Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Norris Cole, Taj McWilliams-Franklin in Manila for the 2016 Jr. NBA / Jr. WNBA National Training Camp

The 2016 Jr. NBA / Jr. WNBA Philippines National Training Camp presented by Alaska will have a couple of guests visiting and helping out.

New Orleans Pelicans guard Norris Cole and WNBA legend Taj McWilliams-Franklin will be coming over this weekend to help coach the 2016 finalists in the National Training Camp, which will be held at the Don Bosco Technical Institute in Makati on April 22-23 and the SM Mall of Asia Music Hall on April 24.

Norris and Taj will assist with Jr. NBA / Jr. WNBA head coach Craig Brown in overseeing the NTC, which is composed of finalists (Top 50 boys and Top 24 girls) from the different Regional Selection Camps. The outstanding participants from the NTC will be selected to comprise the Jr. NBA / Jr. WNBA All-Stars (ten boys and five girls), and will be rewarded with an overseas NBA experience alongside their ASEAN counterparts.

The All-Stars will be joined on that overseas experience by the 2016 Jr. NBA and Jr. WNBA Coaches of the Year.

Cole averaged 10.6 points, 3.7 assists, and 3.4 rebounds for the Pelicans this season, although injuries limited the 28th overall selection of the 2011 NBA Draft to just 45 games. He was part of the Miami Heat's title run back in 2012 and 2013.

“I’ve heard basketball is a way of life in the Philippines, and I look forward to experiencing this passion during my first visit to the country,” said Cole. “I am also eager to work with the Jr. NBA and Jr. WNBA participants and to share the importance of a winning attitude on and off the court.”

McWilliams-Franklin averaged 11.4 points, 6.8 rebounds, 2.0 assists, 1.3 steals, and 1.0 blocks in fourteen WNBA seasons. Playing for the Orlando Miracle, Connecticut Sun, Los Angeles Sparks, Washington Mystics, Detroit Shock, New York Liberty, and the Minnesota Lynx, the 32nd pick of the 1999 WNBA Draft won two championships, one with the Shock in 2008 and one with the Lynx in 2011.

“It feels great knowing how much boys and girls in the Philippines appreciate basketball,” said McWilliams-Franklin. “I’m excited to share my time on and off the court and inspire more children to play the game.”

The Jr. NBA program is the NBA's global youth basketball participation program for boys and girls (via the Jr. WNBA). Aside from teaching basketball skills, the program also nurtures core values in helping to grow and improve the youth basketball experience. Existing in 33 countries, the Jr. NBA Program will reach more than 6.5 million youth.

In the Pinoy context, the 2016 Jr. NBA / Jr. WNBA Philippines brought together over a record 20,000 players and coaches nationwide.

The Jr. NBA / Jr. WNBA program is presented by Alaska, with the following sponsors:

Official Partners: CloudFone, Gatorade, Globe Telecom
Supporting Partner: Spalding
Official Broadcasters: ABS-CBN Sports (via ABS-CBN Sports + Action), Basketball TV, NBA Premium TV

For more details about the program, check out and

Monday, April 18, 2016

UAAP Football: What to expect on the Final Matchday

This is the current UAAP standings with three total games remaining.


1 UP 13 8 3 2 27 15 5 10
2 La Salle 13 8 2 3 26 22 10 12
3 Ateneo 14 8 1 5 25 32 21 11
4 UST 13 7 4 2 25 21 17 4
5 FEU 13 7 3 3 24 28 9 19
6 NU 14 4 5 5 17 26 18 8
7 Adamson 13 1 1 11 4 3 42 -39
8 UE 13 0 1 12 1 4 29 -25

Two of the three games hold some major semblance to the postseason:

2pm UP vs FEU
4pm La Salle vs UST

What are the scenarios?

1. UP wins over FEU, La Salle wins over UST

UP 30
La Salle 29
Ateneo 25 (+11)
UST 25 (4 - margin of defeat to La Salle)
FEU 24

Final Four set: UP vs UST (1 vs 4), La Salle vs Ateneo (2 vs 3)

2. UP wins over FEU, La Salle and UST draw

UP 30
La Salle 27
UST 26
Ateneo 25
FEU 24

Final Four set: UP vs Ateneo (1 vs 4), La Salle vs UST (2 vs 3)

3. UP wins over FEU, UST wins over La Salle

UP 30
UST 28
La Salle 26
Ateneo 25
FEU 24

Final Four set: UP vs Ateneo (1 vs 4), UST vs La Salle (2 vs 3)

4. UP and FEU draw, La Salle wins over UST

La Salle 29
UP 28
FEU 25 (+19)
Ateneo 25 (+11)
UST 25 (4 - margin of defeat to La Salle)

No Final Four yet. Playoff between Ateneo and UST to determine 4th.
Final Four match-ups: La Salle vs Ateneo-UST playoff winner (1 vs 4), UP vs FEU (2 vs 3)

5. UP and FEU draw, La Salle and UST draw

UP 28
La Salle 27
UST 26
FEU 25 (+19)
Ateneo 25 (+11)

No Final Four yet. Playoff between FEU and Ateneo to determine 4th.
Final Four match-ups: UP vs FEU-Ateneo playoff winner (1 vs 4), La Salle vs UST (2 vs 3)

6. UP and FEU draw, UST wins over La Salle

UP 28 (+10)
UST 28 (4 + margin of victory over La Salle)
La Salle 26
FEU 25 (+19)
Ateneo 25 (+11)

No Final Four yet. Playoff between FEU and Ateneo to determine 4th.
Final Four match-ups: UP vs FEU-Ateneo playoff winner (1 vs 4), UST vs La Salle (2 vs 3)

7. FEU wins over UP, La Salle wins over UST

La Salle 29
FEU 27 (+19 + margin of victory over UP)
UP 27 (+10 - margin of defeat to FEU)
Ateneo 25 (+11)
UST 25 (4 - margin of defeat to La Salle)

No Final Four yet. Playoff between Ateneo and UST to determine 4th.
Final Four match-ups: La Salle vs Ateneo-UST playoff winner (1 vs 4), FEU vs UP (2 vs 3)

8. FEU wins over UP, La Salle and UST draw

FEU 27 (+19 + margin of victory over UP)
La Salle 27 (+12)
UP 27 (+10 - margin of defeat to FEU)
UST 26
Ateneo 25

Final Four set: FEU vs UST (1 vs 4), La Salle vs UP (2 vs 3)

9. FEU wins over UP, UST wins over La Salle

UST 28
FEU 27 (+19 + margin of victory over UP)
UP 27 (+10 - margin of defeat to FEU)
La Salle 26
Ateneo 25

Final Four set: UST vs La Salle (1 vs 4), FEU vs UP (2 vs 3)

These two games will be televised on Sports + Action as well as on its HD sibling. Online streaming available on

Friday, April 15, 2016

UFL Cup Final set Saturday

Global vs Ceres (c/o Global FC)
Two titans of local club football are set to face off , as Global FC goes up against Ceres-La Salle FC to determine the 2016 UFL Cup champion this Saturday night at Rizal Memorial Football Stadium.

They already met in the Group Stage, with Global claiming a 2-1 win.

Kickoff for the final is scheduled at 8:15pm. Game will be shown on Sunday night on Aksyon TV.

Michael Martinez makes top 20 in World Championships

Michael Martinez participated in the 2016 ISU World Figure Skating Championships that was held in Boston a couple of weeks ago, finishing in the top 20.

The lone Pinoy Winter Olympian performed to the music of Sergei Prokofiev's "Romeo and Juliet," while conducting triple axels and the signature biellmann spin during the free skate routine. It netted him a score of 137.12. Combined with his short program score of 66.98 nets him a 204.1, which pegs him in 19th overall and two spots better than last year's finish of 21st.

Javier Fernandez of Spain successfully defended his title, beating world number 1 Yuzuru Hanyu of Japan, 314.93 to 295.17. Jin Boyang of China was in third with 270.99.

Michael's mother Teresa explains that he religiously trains to build his array of technical moves, but carefully plots his strategy to gain maximum points for better standing. She adds, "Michael did not take the risk of executing his practiced quad jumps in fear of inconsistency and eventual deduction, should he fall. We are now training with international coach Igor Samohin to congeal his set of skills and hopefully break through the top 10 in the next competition. As an elite skater, he’ll always have the pain—chest, shoulder, hip, ankle, knee, back -- due to constantly falling on hard ice. If you’re not a tough skater, it will make you think twice about the sport. But Michael is in it to win it. He’s glad to see his improvement in the rink, but looks forward to winning the gold in the long run."

Michael is currently ranked 27th overall with 1067.

One can continue to track his development on SM Skating ( /, as he prepares for the upcoming season in July and the 2018 Winter Olympics in PyeongChang, Korea.

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

24 emerge from Jr. NBA / Jr. WNBA Manila Regional Selection Camp

Sixteen boys and eight girls stood out over the rest in the Manila Regional Selection Camp of the Jr. NBA/Jr. WNBA Philippines 2016 presented by Alaska at Don Bosco Technical Institute on April 9-10. They will represent the National Capital Region in the National Training Camp on April 22-24.
Fourteen of the 16 Jr. NBA finalists are from Metro Manila while the remaining two players came from Batangas City and Bacolod City respectively.  Mark Glenn Gabon, 14, of National University; Luis Gabriel Aguila, 13, of Nazareth School of NU; Johndhel Austria, 13, of Escuela de Sophia; Jearico Nunez, 13, of University of Perpetual Help System-Dalta; Kai Zachary Sotto, 13, Jericho Ross Paglinawan, 14 and Mark Nicole Lucban, 13 of St. Francis of Assisi School; Reich Randell Villegas, 13, of Ateneo de Manila; Prince Junnell de Belen, 13, of San Isidro Catholic School; Pauloh Villarin, 13, of De La Salle Zobel; Patrick Lance Inting, 14, of Our Lady of Pillar Catholic School; Miguel Rey Luis, 13, of Xavier School;  Anjelo Raphael Argente, 14, of De La Salle Lipa and Andrei Philip Lechoncito, 13, of St. John’s Institute of Bacolod are headed to the next phase of the program.

Eight girls were selected as Jr. WNBA representatives of Metro Manila composed of the following individuals: Dianne Camille Nolasco, 11, of Miriam College; Lalaine Gonzales, 13, of Escuela de Sophia; Carly Monreal, 13, and Princess Marie Villarin, 10, of De La Salle Zobel; Jonalyn Bongalos of University of Perpetual Help System-Dalta; Lindsey Nacional, 12 of Baptist Bible Seminary Institute, Taytay; Magda Lioui Flores, 13, of Christian Grace School of Cavite and Ma. Cecilia Quilenderino of Dalig National High School of Antipolo.

The fourth and final Jr. NBA/Jr. WNBA Philippines 2016 Regional Selection Camp drew a record number of 1,114 participants—the highest Regional Selection Camp attendance to date since the grassroots program was established in 2007. The camp also attracted young players from the Southern Tagalog and Visayas regions like Jem Joaquin, 14, and Mark Salibio, 12, who are indigenous people of the Ati tribe in Boracay.

The young athletes experienced vitals tests and skills challenges with key participants advancing to Day 2 and competing with peers in scrimmages.  Selected by the Jr. NBA/Jr. WNBA evaluation committee led by Jr. NBA Coach Craig Brown and Alaska Aces Assistant Coach Jeffrey Cariaso, the 24 Jr. NBA and Jr. WNBA players will move on to the National Training Camp after showing all-around skills and exhibiting the Jr. NBA/Jr. WNBA core S.T.A.R. values of Sportsmanship, Teamwork, a positive Attitude and Respect.

The Jr. NBA/Jr. WNBA Philippines National Training Camp, featuring an NBA and WNBA player or legend,  will gather all regional picks from Baguio, Cebu, Davao and Manila, and top Alaska Power Camp performers will vie for ten Jr. NBA slots and five Jr. WNBA slots that will make them part of the 2016 batch of Jr. NBA/Jr. WNBA All-Stars.  Culminating the program will be the selection of Jr. NBA and Jr. WNBA All-Stars who will go on an overseas NBA experience trip with fellow Jr. NBA All-Stars from Southeast Asia later in the year.

“The Jr. NBA Philippines is the league’s longest-running youth basketball participation program outside the United States that continues to positively impact the lives of children, parents, and coaches,” said NBA Philippines Managing Director Carlo Singson.  “Together with Alaska, we are committed to providing world-class basketball instruction to further our mission of encouraging an active lifestyle among Filipino youth.”

CloudFone, Gatorade, and Globe Telecom serve as Official Partners of the Jr. NBA/Jr. WNBA in the Philippines, while Spalding is a Supporting Partner.  ABS-CBN Sports + Action, Basketball TV and NBA Premium TV are the Official NBA Broadcasters of the Jr. NBA/Jr. WNBA in the Philippines.

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

FEU seeks women's volleyball Final Four berth

Games today at the Filoil Flying V Center:

8 a.m. – NU vs La Salle (M)
10 a.m. – Ateneo vs UE (M)
2 p.m. – Ateneo vs UE (W)
4 p.m. – FEU vs Adamson (W)

Volleyball action resumes in San Juan with another quadruple-header, highlighted by Far Eastern University attempting to secure a Final Four berth.

The Lady Tamaraws are in solo third place with an 8-5 record, and will be the first team to close out its eliminations campaign against the already eliminated Adamson Falcons at 4pm.

Head coach Shaq delos Santos believes that his squad is getting better by the day, noting that "Honestly speaking, meron pang ilalabas ang mga bata. Kailangan lang kaming maging consistent kami mula sa simula hanggang dulo." He adds, "Masaya kami sa mga bata, ipinapakita nila na pinipinilit nilang kayanin lahat. Sobrang proud kami sa kanila."

Along with securing a Final Four berth without a hitch, FEU is seeking revenge against the Lady Falcons from their first round meeting, a five-set loss (25-21, 25-17, 19-25, 23-25, 10-15). They are fresh from a four-set win (17-25, 25-20, 25-22, 25-14) over fellow postseason chaser UP this past weekend.

Also set to take place today is a match-up between the defending champions and the cellar-dwellers in the standings, as both the men's and women's teams of Ateneo and UE are set to tangle.

Already securing the twice-to-beat advantage, the Lady Eagles are intent on not taking their opposition lightly, ahead of their highly anticipated matchup against La Salle on Sunday.

Reigning MVP Alyssa Valdez remarked, "Every game is important. Kahit anong game pa iyan, kahit anong team pa yan, kailangan talaga naming ibigay ang 100 percent namin. Matututo at matututo kami in every game. Manalo man o matalo, may errors man o wala."

On the men's side, a win for the Blue Eagles officially designates them as the top-ranked side heading into the Final Four.

In the opening match of the day, NU aims to end their elimination campaign with at least a playoff for the other twice-to-beat advantage, as they are slated to go up against La Salle.

Saturday, April 2, 2016

La Salle, Ateneo seek twice-to-beat advantage in UAAP women's volleyball

Games today at the Mall of Asia Arena:

8 a.m. – UE vs AdU (Men)
10 a.m. – FEU vs NU (Men)
2 p.m. – UE vs DLSU (Women)
4 p.m. – AdU vs Ateneo (Women)

Ateneo and La Salle look set to claim the twice-to-beat advantage in the Final Four in UAAP women's volleyball, as they face also-ran opposition at the Mall of Asia Arena.

The Lady Spikers are scheduled to take on the winless University of the East at the first part of the women's doubleheader at 2pm, while the Lady Eagles are set to face Adamson at 4pm.

The rivals both tote 9-2 records, and with a victory today, they will make it a three-game lead over the University and Far Eastern University with two games remaining.

Having clinched their seventh straight postseason berth, the defending champions are now looking to adjust with middle hitter Maddie Madayag being done for the season with a knee injury.

Meanwhile, last season's losing finalists hope that Cyd Demecillo is back at close to full strength after that incident after their last match two weeks ago.

On the men's side, Adamson and NU seek to formally clinch their postseason berths in men's volleyball with wins against separate opposition.

The Soaring Falcons will face winless UE to open things up at 8am, followed by the Bulldogs against FEU at 10am.