Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Color Manila reveals 2017 plans

On its fifth year, Color Manila seeks to build on its successful 2016 with a bigger 2017.

The winner for the ASIA Sports Industry Awards for Best Mass Participation will kick off the new year with their trademark Color Manila Run at the MOA Running Grounds on January 8.

Runners can choose between 3k, 5k, 10k, and 21k runs.

Color Manila VP Justine Cordero says, "We are happy to be on our fifth year for the Color Manila Run. This is our biggest annual event and we usually like starting the year with a big bang. Some of the runners are already familiar faces who have been participating in our events from Day 1. We are always thankful for their support and we look forward to seeing them more in the future.

Aside from the Color Manila Run, Color Manila is also looking at holding other runs in the provinces, and in the long run, overseas.

Color Manila President Jay Em shares, "Our goal has always been to bring that same level and fun in other parts of the Philippines. In the past, we brought our "concept-fun runs" to these key cities - Davao, Ilocos Sur, Iloilo, Cebu, Pangasinan, Bacolod, La Union, and Isabela. For 2017, we are going back to these exciting locations and we are also adding events in Boracay, Bohol, Rizal, Abra, and Cagayan de Oro."

He adds, "We have also partnered with the Tourism Promotions Board (TPB), since it is also one way to encourage sports tourism in the country. For some of the participants, the events become a way for them to see the rest of the country, by joining different fun runs in different cities. For example, last October, we had participants who joined us from the Costume Run in Alabang to Clark the next day, then capped it with the Blacklight Run in Vigan the day after. It was a long weekend for all, and some took the time out to have a vacation run of sorts."

Em believes that this is the time that they go overseas, noting "We were more than inspired by our win at the Asia Sports Industry Awards (SPIA), that as a Philippine sports entity, we can compete internationally. Perhaps on our fifth year, this will be the perfect time to enter the international market. We are ready to bring that Filipino brand of fun and excitement to other parts of the world.

Color Manila is capping off its 2016 calendar with a couple of provincial Black Light Runs, one at Clark on December 3 and at Dagupan on December 10.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Cycling's PhilBike Expo turns three

PhilBike Expo this weekend.

The only international-standard trade and consumer show for cycling in the Philippines is set to take place this weekend.

The third edition of PhilBike Expo allows cycling enthusiasts access to a diverse range of local and international products and demonstrations.

Organized by Phil-Bike Convention, Inc, the PhilBike Expo has seen over seventeen thousand enthusiasts in its previous two editions, and in this latest endeavour, they brought in some noted names:

Kenny Belaey is one of the biggest names in the bike trail world scene. Dubbed as "The Magician," he is a 24-year veteran of the sport and is the record holder for the most medals won at the World Cup and World Championships. His latest video project, called "Balance," shows his unprecedented crossing of a slackline on top of the French Alps.

Japanese teenagers Yu Shoji and Takumi Isogai are dubbed as "The Superkids." These two are making their name in the Flatland scene with their cutting edge and flair for pushing innovation to the limits. The 14-year old Shoji claimed first place in the 2015 Voodoo Jam and third place in the 2014 FlatArk Novice. The 15-year old Isogai won the 2014 FlatArk Expert and finished eighth in the 2016 FlatDev Pro.

Accompanying the Superkids is their mentor, Viki Gómez, who is noted for his ability to craft new tricks that surpass the limits of one's imagination. A two-time winner in the European X-Games, this Red Bull athlete is also a three-time champion at both the Flatland World Circuit Series and at the Red Bull Circle of Balance.

Lastly, joining the four is Rocky Mountain Bicycle ambassador Geoff Gulevich. This Canadian finished fifth in Jumpship 2011, as well as in the Red Bull Rampage 2010 and Crankworx Joyride 2011.

Aside from the exhibition, the PhilBike Expo brings together over 100 global brands from the realm of cycling and fitness, allowing newbies and enthusiasts the opportunity to check out the best and the latest the industry has to offer. In addition, there are unique, indoor interactive features at the SMX Convention Center, which includes a selection of games, contests, and raffles that offer prizes that includes brand new mountain bikes.

Those interested to attend can visit, with tickets as low as PhP 120. Discounts are available for children below 12 years old and toddlers that are smaller than three feet tall get in for free. One can also check out their social media accounts (Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram).

Thursday, November 17, 2016

NBA Philippines and NBA Store celebrate NBA Cares anniversary with Knowledge Channel donation

Donation of the check worth PhP 235,000 from the NBA Philippines and NBA Store Philippines last November 11.
Making the presentation are Carlo Singson of the NBA and Bea Lim of IATC to Doris Nuval of KCFI.
To commemorate the tenth year anniversary of NBA Cares, the NBA through NBA Philippines, alongside International Athletic Trading Company, Inc, which manages the three NBA Stores in the Philippines, donated PhP 235,000 to the Knowledge Channel Foundation, Inc.

To raise the proceeds, the NBA Stores conducted a retail promotion from August 10 to September 13, allotting a portion of the sales of the NBA name and number t-shirt sales for the Knowledge Channel's activities for the students of the Yapak, Talaga, and Roman Tantiangco Elementary Schools in Morong, Rizal. Said proceeds will be used to fund multimedia learning resources and teacher workshops for the three schools.

The symbolic turnover took place last November 11 at the Glorietta branch of the NBA Store, with NBA Philippines Managing Director Carlo Singson and IATC VP of Marketing Bea Lim presenting the check to KCFI Head of Access Doris Nuval.

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

AFF Suzuki Cup Group Stage schedule for the Philippines

AFF Suzuki Cup Group Stage matches

It is that time of the year again, as regional pride is at stake with the upcoming 2016 AFF Suzuki Cup.

Tickets are still available via Ticketworld, and the Philippine Football Federation already outlining shuttle details to the arena:

No official announcement as of yet for local free tv broadcast for the AFF Suzuki Cup, but Fox Sports is slated to show the Azkals matches at 8pm on Fox Sports 1.

Monday, November 14, 2016

Isaac Go claims Player of the Week nod

As the eliminations come closer to its conclusion, the surprising Ateneo Blue Eagles at the cusp of securing a twice-to-beat advantage.

The Loyola-based dribblers are riding on a five-game winning streak since being upset by the University of the Philippines, with a huge matchup against Adamson putting a bow to the elimination round of the 79th Season of the UAAP.

One of the key cogs of keeping that strong late-season surge going has been the contribution of Isaac Go. The big man kicked things off with a 14-point, 7-rebound outing against defending champions Far Eastern University, with half of his scoring output coming in the final quarter to snuff out any attempted comeback by the Tamaraws.

He then followed that up with a career-high fifteen points on 7/9 shooting to put a bow on the disappointing season for the University of Santo Tomas with a 74-64 victory.

These performance in helping Ateneo take solo second place with one playdate remaining landed him the latest ACCEL Quantum / 3XVI - UAAP Press Corps Player of the Week nod, beating out Adamson's Jun Espeleta, La Salle's Jeron Teng and Kib Montalbo, and UE's Philip Manalang in the process.

This is the second straight week that an Atenean has been honored with this achievement, following Aaron Black.

According to the Xavier School alum, he is merely repaying the confidence that his coaches and teammates has given him. He says, "It’s the confidence that my coaches and my teammates give me that is important. When they put me in, they tell me that I can do something. They know that I’ll make the right play."

He adds, "It’s a huge confidence booster for my part and it gives me motivation to go out there."

Even with Isaac's contributions, Ateneo head coach Tab Baldwin is not surprised with the players that are stepping up during this stretch. The ertswhile national team head coach says, "Our team is full of good players. They’ve developed through the course of the season.” He adds, “They’ve developed confidence in one another and we try to take what the defense gives us. That explains why different players are probably featured in different games.”

At 9-4, a victory against Adamson on Wednesday will secure the other twice-to-beat advantage still in play. In contrast, a defeat will ensure a playoff for that privilege. Whether that will be a two-team or three-team playoff will be dependent on how FEU fares against UE on the same date. In any case that the Tamaraws and the Soaring Falcons are tied by themselves, FEU will hold the advantage.

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Eddie Alvarez’ road to the Land of Opportunity

Kensington in Philadelphia is best known for the filming locations of both Rocky and Creed movies. Apart from that bit of Hollywood trivia, it is also the tough fighting neighborhood that shaped newly minted UFC lightweight champion Eddie Alvarez to the man he is today. Born and raised right at the corner of Cornwall and G Street, Alvarez credits a lot of his character to his hometown, recognizing that circumstances would be completely different had he been from anywhere else.

“I think my biggest attribute inside and outside the cage is my ability to be resourceful – to find light where there is none, to be in a dark place and know that I’m still going to come out on top. I’ve been doing it at such a young age that it’s natural to me,” said Eddie Alvarez.

Growing up without many resources, Alvarez was forced to become resourceful at a very young age. With an imagination unlike most kids on his block, he chose to not be limited by his obscure upbringing, something that he compares to being like in the Elephant Graveyard from The Lion King. Sports was his way out and it translated to a respectful high school wrestling career that also presented him with opportunities to take it to the collegiate level. However, financial limitations forced Alvarez to abandon those plans and not long after he discovered mixed martial arts (MMA). The rest, as they say, was history.

Early on in his MMA career, Alvarez was able to find immense success in virtually every promotion he fought for. He established himself as one of the best fighters in the world outside the UFC and earned himself the unofficial nickname “The Underground King.” It may come as a surprise to many, however, that Alvarez never had the intention to make a career as a professional fighter.

Alvarez shares: “I look at this as an opportunity, not a career,” he says. “This was never a plan in the first place. I never wanted to fist fight for a living. It was something that I just started doing and I went with it.”

Back then, prize fighting certainly did not pay the bills as well as it does today but that did not matter to The Underground King, whose sole motivation was his competitive drive.

“I’ve been fighting for so long that it’s never been about the money and anyone who’s followed my career knows I just love it. There was a point in my career when I didn’t even know if the money aspect would ever happen,” recalls Alvarez. “The money is cool but the competitiveness of it is the coolest part. To be in a fight that millions of people are watching and everyone just wants to find out who the better guy is – that’s why I get up early and go to bed late.”

In 2014, Alvarez made his highly anticipated UFC debut and in just two short years, he shocked the world when he became the undisputed UFC lightweight champion, proving to MMA pundits and fans alike what he has always known: that he is among the very best in the world.

Since winning the title, Alvarez has already begun to enjoy a first class lifestyle. However, despite reaching the pinnacle of the sport, he attests that he will never forget his humble beginnings.With his wife and four children by his side, Alvarez has become a product of his own success and failures, and now it is time to enjoy the fruits of his labor.

“When I’m done with this, I’ll be the same guy that I am now. I know who I am and I’m not going to lose my head doing this,” attests Alvarez. “The money is a by-product of a lot of hard fought battles against the best guys in the world. It’s cool that it has manifested itself and we can show something for it. My wife, kids and I have been though a whole hell of a lot with this fight game so it’s pretty cool to see.”

Alvarez is now set to meet brash Irish superstar and UFC featherweight champion Conor “The Notorious” McGregor in the main event for UFC 205: ALVAREZ vs McGREGOR. Set to be the biggest card in UFC history, it is also the first fight event that the world’s premier MMA organization will hold in New York City. It will take place in none other than the world’s most famous arena, Madison Square Garden.

“Three years ago, I came in the UFC and had a lackluster performance. Now we’re fighting in the biggest event in UFC history, in Madison Square Garden, in the East Coast – my home. Words can’t describe it. Walking around Madison Square Garden, walking around New York, it’s just hard not to get goosebumps,” marvels Alvarez who has gone through the unlikeliest of journeys in MMA.

A lot is certainly riding on the line for both combatants. For McGregor, he is looking to become the first fighter in UFC history to hold two championship belts simultaneously. Alvarez, on the other hand, apart from defending his title for the first time, is on a mission to silence any more critics who doubt his claim as the greatest Lightweight fighter in the world.

Alvarez has made it clear that he does not believe McGregor offers much of a threat to him as compared to his past opponents. He remains confident as ever in his preparation, believing that he has the tools to derail McGregor’s hype train.

“I think technically, Conor’s a good fighter but after a certain point in a fight, technique doesn’t matter especially in championship fight. It comes down to your spirit and willingness to fight. I think that’s the main ingredient that makes a champion and I think that’s what he’s missing,” said Alvarez.

Alvarez is holding nothing back in training for what will be the biggest fight of his career. Whether it is his extensive fighting experience or well-rounded skillset that will play the biggest factor, there is nothing that seems to faze him or make him doubt that anything can stop him from having his hand raised in the end.

“I’ve had a lot of practice along the way. I know how to prioritize and make sure I’m doing everything I need to do to win the fight.”

While McGregor has held nothing back in the build-up as well, boldly claiming that he will knock Alvarez out cold, the UFC lightweight kingpin has made his feelings about McGregor abundantly clear since they first shared the same stage together.

“Usually when I square off with a man, my heart rate goes up. I feel something. I’ve never felt so unthreatened by a human being when I was up on stage with him. I’ve never felt so unthreatened by another man,” he said.

Only time will tell now who will seize the most out of this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Jarin, Banal highlight Coaches Convention

MVP Sports Foundation Coaches Convention

Almost 800 basketball coaches from all over the country attended the three-day MVP Sports Foundation Coaches Convention at the Oasis Manila Events Place on October 26 and the Filoil Flying V Centre from October 27-28.

Among the coaches and basketball officials who gave talks and workshops include national team manager Butch Antonio, Goldwyn Monteverde of Chiang Kai Shek College and Adamson University High School, skills trainer Kirk Collier, San Beda Red Lions coach Jamike Jarin, and Koy Banal.

Rodel Camacho of Santa Clarita International School in Iloilo said that this was his third year of attendance and it helps him with his basketball program that is only four years old. “I learned a lot from what Coach Jamike taught us,” bared Camacho who added that it was one thing to see Jarin’s Red Lions run the plays on television and another while seeing it demonstrated with all the options. “It’s good to learn from the best.”

All the coaches were also treated to a live and actual Alaska Aces practice and were able to interact with the coaches and players.

Some of the alumni to come up from the NBTC ranks includes current La Salle head coach Aldin Ayo.

The Coach Convention precedes the Regional knockout phase for the 2016-17 season of the National Basketball Training Center that culminates in the national championship this March.

“We’re continuously growing,” pointed out NBTC Program Director Eric Altamirano. From what started out as 16 teams 11 years ago, has now expanded to over 700 high school squads from 62 cities. “Now we have a Division One and Division Two.”

The MVPSF Coaches Convention is under the SM-NBTC Program that is recognized and sanctioned by the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas. The Coaches Convention kicks off the annual SM-NBTC tourney, a nationwide high school basketball tourney that culminates every March.

Monday, November 7, 2016

Aaron Black named as the Player of the Week

Ateneo pulled off what was perceived as the unthinkable this past Saturday, as the Blue Eagles ended the 12-game unbeaten run of La Salle with an 83-71 victory at the SMART-Araneta Coliseum.

The Green Archers have been very dominant in Season 79, including the first meeting of the two rivals last October 2, 97-81. But the Blue Eagles used their impeccable execution on both ends of the floor to establish a large lead and hold on to it until the end to give their archrivals their first loss of the season and establish the Final Four playoff format.

Leading the charge for the men in blue and white was Aaron Black, who notched 16 points on 7/10 shooting and 7 rebounds. That was his best performance in the last five games since coming back from a left foot injury last September that kept him out for a month.

Facing the media in the post-match press conference, Black says, "I just came into the mentality that I really want to win this game. Always be attacking." He is now averaging 9.3 points, 4.2 rebounds, and 2.2 assists this season for the Blue Eagles.

His performance in leading the Blue Eagles was rewarded as this week's ACCEL Quantum / 3XVI-UAAP Press Corps Player of the Week, beating out Paul Desiderio, Sean Manganti, and Matt Salem.

Ateneo's win keeps themselves within striking distance from the second seed and its corresponding twice-to-beat advantage. At 7-4, they officially booked their seat in the Final Four and is now one game behind Far Eastern University, who they face on Wednesday.

Ateneo head coach Tab Baldwin shares, "It means a lot to beat La Salle and it means a lot to get a win at this stage of the competition. It was a big win for us. We are very happy but we don't want to go much beyond that. We still have a huge game against FEU on Wednesday and we have to come down from the clouds and be ready to play."

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Jett Manuel snags UAAP Press Corps Player of the Week nod

The University of the Philippines still has some fight left in them this late in the season, a welcome change from the previous years.

Although they are guaranteed to have another losing season at 4-8, the Fighting Maroons still remain within a feasible distance from the fourth and final postseason slot currently held by Adamson at 5-5.

Being in the race for the postseason has surprised the Diliman-based squad, with team captain Jett Manuel noting that "This is the first time in my career that, at this point in the season, I'm still vying for the Final Four."

Manuel, who is playing in his final season, contributed 19 points, five rebounds, 2 assists, and two steals in defeating National University, 71-66, on Wednesday. He made all six of his foul shots in the final minutes to preserve the win against their fellow postseason aspirants.

His efforts against the Bulldogs garnered him the ACCEL Quantum / 3XVI-UAAP Press Corps Player of the Week nod for October 24-30, beating out his teammate Javi Gomez de Liano and La Salle's Ben Mbala for the honor. Manuel is the first UP player to be named as the POTW since the award was revived in 2005.

Even with the Maroons securing their first 4-win season in a decade, Manuel says, "We're grateful right now for the (fourth) win, but me, medyo selfish, I want to win more. You know, these opportunities don't come often, especially for UP. So I always tell the team coming into games na I want us to win so bad."

UP head coach Bo Perasol echoed those sentiments. "Ga-graduate na rin si Jett. At least, alam niyang hanggang sa huling pagkakataon, meron kaming chance. I think we are going to fight for that chance. I think we are going to embrace that opportunity."