Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Hidilyn Diaz named as Under Armour Ambassadress

Bellator MMA fighter AJ Matthews with Hidilyn Diaz at the Under Armour Circuit Challenge held at Robinson's Magnolia.

Hidilyn Diaz's blessings continue to flow, as the silver medalist from the Rio Olympics was named as the latest Under Armour Ambassador during the UA Circuit Challenge held at Robinson's Magnolia this past weekend.

The Circuit Challenge is a two-part event tailored for the participants in the UA "Test of Will" regional fitness challenge. The second part will take place on March 4 at Greenbelt 3, with the "Test of Will" taking place on March 25-26 at the Glorietta Activity Center in Makati.

The "Test of Will" is a Southeast Asian-based regional fitness challenge, with participants coming from Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia, Brunei, and the Philippines. Aimed to celebrate human performance, functional fitness and training lifestyle, it is accessible to everyone with the will to train and a drive for competition.

Participants will compete in a four-minute circuit that involves Burpees, One Arm Thruster, TRX Rows, and a Sandbag Throw. They will be scored based on the maximum repetitions they can pull off within 60 seconds. The outstanding men and women from the different national heats will be given a shot to compete at the regional finals at Kuala Lumpur on May 6. Win there, and they will take home 2,500 SGD, or around PhP 88,000.

Details on this competition can be seen here.

Juan Gomez de Liano Statement

The Gomez de Liano family alongside UP Men's Basketball management

Here is the official statement from Juan Gomez de Liano regarding his decision to commit to playing in the University of the Philippines.

It’s official: I’m going to play college basketball for the UP Maroons! First of all, I want to say thank you to the UP Management and the coaching staff for giving me this amazing opportunity. I’m very excited to get to work and begin playing with the team, including my brother Javi, so that we can continue the winning culture started by the team last year and make the UP community proud. There’s nowhere to go but UP! #UPFight

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Ateneo, La Salle keep UE, Adamson winless

Ateneo and La Salle continue their impressive form, taking care of business against struggling opposition yesterday at the Filoil Flying V Centre.

The Lady Eagles celebrated Tai Bundit's return after missing two games with a 25-14 25-21 25-21 win over UE. The Thai coach missed a couple of games due to a personal matter, with current assistant Sherwin Meneses taking the reins in an interim basis.

Team skipper Jia Morado led the charge for the Lady Eagles, tossing 35 excellent sets. Michelle Morente added thirteen hits and nine digs, Bea de Leon added eleven points, and Maddie Madayag contributed three blocks.

Meneses praised Jia at the post-match presser, "Si Jia, talagang magaling siyang mag-set play. Yun ang kanyang pinag-aaralan din. Dinadala niya ang mga spikers, kinakabisado din niya."

The other women's volleyball matchup saw La Salle dispatch Adamson, 25-12 25-16 25-15.

Kim Dy led the defending champions with fifteen points, while Dawn Macandili contributed sixteen digs and eighteen excellent receptions.

In men's action, defending champions Ateneo remained undefeated after a 25-17 25-13 25-22 victory over UE, while Adamson slipped past La Salle, 26-24 24-26 25-20 28-26.

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

FEU-Diliman at cusp of UAAP HS Basketball title

Far Eastern University-Diliman survived a slow start to eke out a 66-65 win over Nazareth-National University in Game 1 of the UAAP Season 79 HS Basketball Finals at the Filoil Flying V Centre.

The Baby Tamaraws showed their postseason inexperience, trailing 2-9 early on before regaining their bearings by the end of the first quarter. According to head coach Allan Albano, "Bago kami sa championship series so medyo nanibago ang mga bata. Natutuwa pa at nasa Finals. Mabuti at naka-recover kaagad kami."

The defending champions did try to battle back from being down 65-56 midway into the final period, but John Lloyd Clemente missed on a three-pointer at the buzzer that could have given the Bullpups the win.

Seeking to reclaim a title they last won in 2012, FEU-Diliman was led by Kenji Roman's twelve points and eight rebounds, with Xyrus Torres contributing ten points and five rebounds. LJ Gonzales fell short of a triple-double, with seven points, ten rebounds, and ten assists.

Clemente led Nazareth-NU with 25 points, six rebounds, and four assists. Winderlich Coyuca added eleven points, three rebounds, and two assists, while Rhayyan Amsali stuffed the stat sheet with ten points, seven rebounds, two assists, two steals, and two blocks.

Game 2 of the Finals will be on Friday afternoon at the Filoil Flying V Centre, with the game to be telecast on S+A and sports.abs-cbn.com

The scores:
FEU (66) - Roman 12, Torres 10, Sapinit 9, Celzo 8, Abarrientos 8, Gonzales 7, Gabane 5, Jabel 2, Baclay 2, Bieren 2, Gloria 1, Mariano 0.
NU (65) - Clemente 25, Coyoca 11, Amsali 10, Peñano 9, Sarip 5, Manalang 3, Malonzo 2, Atienza 0, Calleja 0, Fortea 0, Peralta 0, Tolentino 0.
Quarterscores: 24-20, 43-34, 57-52, 66-65

Contenders meets cellar-dwellers in UAAP Women's Volleyball

Rivals Ateneo and La Salle seek to remain in lockstep behind UP when UAAP volleyball action resumes this afternoon at the Filoil Flying V Centre.

The Lady Eagles seek to win their third straight game against the University of the East in the final game of the day at 4pm, while the Lady Spikers face Adamson at 2pm.

Last season's finalists each are currently toting a 3-1 record, tied with idle National University and just behind the 4-0 record of the Lady Maroons.

The defending champions have seen a couple of players step up alongside Kim Dy and Majoy Baron, as both Tin Tiamzon and Aduke Ogunsanya impress in their last outing, a 29-27 25-16 and 25-21 win over the then-undefeated Lady Bulldogs.

Last year's losing finalists have not missed a beat even with head coach Tai Bundit in Thailand to attend to a personal matter, with assistant coach Sherwin Meneses taking the reins temporarily and leading the team to back-to-back wins.

Meneses does not discount the Lady Warriors, even with their current struggles. He says, "Ang sabi namin, isa-isa lang muna. UE muna ang aming pinaghahandaan. Kitang-kita naman ang UE, lumalaban din talaga."

On the men's side, defending champions Ateneo seeks to win their fifth straight game against winless UE at 8am, while struggling sides La Salle and Adamson battle it out at 10am.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

UAAP Season 79 HS Basketall Finals set

Game today at the Filoil Flying V Centre: 2pm – Nazareth-NU vs FEU-Diliman (Jrs Finals)

Defending champions Nazareth-National University is set to defend its UAAP high school basketball championship this afternoon at the Filoil Flying V Centre in San Juan against Far Eastern University-Diliman.

Although keeping himself mum regarding the Bullpups' chances, head coach Jeff Napa is looking forward to the team being able to secure their fourth championship in the last six seasons, expecting "a very exciting game."

Nazareth-NU has survived the departure of its slotman Justine Baltazar with a collective effort, led by the exploits of John Lloyd Clemente, Rhayyan Amsali, Karl Peñano, Paul Manalang and Winderlich Coyuca.

Meanwhile, the Baby Tamaraws are fresh from a grueling "virtual best-of-three" against Ateneo, capped by a 74-72 win last February 17 to book their first finals berth since current Batang Gilas head coach Mike Oliver led the 2012 team to the championship.

Under the mentorship of Allan Albano, FEU-Diliman will be battle-ready against Nazareth-NU, led by LJ Gonzales, Kenji Roman, Jack Gloria, and RJ Abarrientos.

The UAAP HS basketball finals will be televised on S+A as well as streamed on sports.abs-cbn.com, so there is no excuse in missing out the action. Coverage starts at 2pm.

Friday, February 17, 2017

KIX set for Lucha Underground Season 2

If one wants an alternative kind of wrestling with what is available on our televisions today, the second season of one of most fascinating wrestling shows today is going to be on one of the cable channels.

KIX Channel, self-touted as the ultimate destination for action entertainment in Asia, is bringing back Lucha Underground for its second season. After having shown the first season last year, LU rejoins the different mixed martial arts combat events, blockbuster action movies, hit action series, and cutting-edge reality shows that comprise KIX's roster of programs.

Composed of luchadores and wrestlers from around the world, they showcase their lucha skills in order to become the best fighter, while also having to deal with the new twists and turns that come in their way.

 In Season 2, LU is set to become a little bit more darker with Catarina now in charge due to Dario Cueto's absence. With current LU champion Mil Muertes and LU Trios champions the Disciples of Death in charge, Catarina is now seeking to take control of the Gift of the Gods championship that is currently on the waist of Fénix, with King Cuerno being tasked to take the title away.

This season also marks the highly anticipated debut of former WWE superstar Rey Mysterio. The man who revolutionized professional wrestling with his high-flying style and rapid-fire moves is thrilled to join the roster, "I am excited by the opportunity to join such an extraordinary group of athletes and be a part of the Lucha Underground family. It is a privilege to be able to represent this sport and have a chance to share my love of Lucha with passionate wrestling fans around the globe."

Lucha Underground Season 2 is set to premiere on February 20, 9pm, on KIX.

Thursday, February 16, 2017

The 2017 NBA All-Star Game by the numbers

This weekend, the NBA will be having its All-Star festivities to celebrate the sport of basketball, with the 66th NBA All-Star Game set to take place on February 20, 9am (Manila time) at the Smoothie King Center in New Orleans. It will be televised on both BTV (and NBA Premium), as well as on ABS-CBN Sports' S+A, which is one of 215 countries and territories that will be exposed to the game. Boom Gonzalez and TJ Manotoc are already making their way to the Bayou to represent Filipino coverage of the festivities.

Since the 2017 NBA All-Star Game marks the 25th anniversary of the memorable 1992 edition highlighted by Magic Johnson's performance at Orlando, the NBA shared these 25 tidbits.
1. The French Quarter is hosting its third iteration of the All-Star Weekend, all within the last decade (2008, 2014, 2017).
2. The previous two All-Star Game MVPs New Orleans hosted (LeBron James in 2008, Kyrie Irving in 2014) are back, both of which were selected as starters.
3. All in all, there will be 232 NBA players, both current and former, that will be involved in the different activities.
4. At least 250 of the NBA's entertainment acts, game-presentation producers, and directors from all the 30 franchises will be participating in this weekend.
5. As tribute to the legendary Turner Sports' sideline reporter extraordinaire Craig Sager, the BBVA Compass Rising Stars Challenge will have a special "Sager Strong" section at the lower seating bowl. Said section will host thirty local cancer survivors. The Rising Stars Challenge will take place on February 18, 10am (Manila time).
6. The NBA on TNT Road Show that Turner Sports will host, covers up to 70,000 square feet in size. To take place at Champions Square, which is an outdoor festival plaza nearby the Mercedes-Benz Superdome, it will have four days' worth of live telecasts, musical performances, basketball clinics, interactive fan experiences, and pop-up stores, among others.
7. US coverage of the All-Star Game will be handled by Turner Sports, which has had coverage of this event now for 32 years. The game itself will be shown on TNT for the 15th consecutive year.
8. Nine NBA legends currently serving as Turner Sports analysts combine for 78 All-Star Game selections (15 each for Shaquille O'Neal and Kevin Garnett, 12 for Isiah Thomas, 11 for Charles Barkley, 7 each for Grant Hill and Kevin McHale, 5 for Reggie Miller, and 1 for Steve Smith).
9. ESPN in the US will be presenting the NBA All-Star Celebrity Game for the 14th time.
10. In addition to the Celebrity Game, ESPN, through ESPN Radio, will be handling radio coverage of the All-Star Game for the 21st time, having done this since 1996.
11. NBA All-Star Media Day coverage on NBA TV in the US will last five hours, starting on February 18, 1am (Manila time).
12. The annual NBA Cares All-Star Day of Service owes its roots to New Orleans. Now on its tenth iteration, the Day of Service originated as a response back in 2008 to the devastation Hurricane Katrina had sown all over the Gulf region.
13. The NBA and FIBA will have its third Basketball without Borders (BWB) Global Camp during this All-Star Weekend, with 67 high school boys and girls from all across the world being invited to participate.
14. The entire All-Rookie First Team from last season will be participating in the latest iteration of the BBVA Compass Rising Stars Challenge. Devin Booker, Jahlil Okafor, and Karl-Anthony Towns will represent Team USA, while Nikola Jokic and Kristaps Porzingis will represent Team World.
15. State Farm All-Star Saturday Night will have 10 NBA All-Stars participating. The Taco Bell Skills Challenge will have DeMarcus Cousins, Anthony Davis, Gordon Hayward, Isaiah Thomas, and John Wall, while the JBL Three-Point Contest will have Kyrie Irving, Kyle Lowry, Klay Thompson, and Kemba Walker. As for the Verizon Slam Dunk, DeAndre Jordan is one of the four participants.
16. Speaking of Verizon Slam Dunk, also participating is Aaron Gordon. The Orlando Magic forward last year had three consecutive perfect 50 score dunks on his way to a runner-up finish.
17. LeBron James will continue to pad his All-Star Game career record 291 points as he returns to New Orleans.
18. Russell Westbrook is seeking to win the Kia NBA All-Star MVP for the third straight year. He is the first player to win back-to-back last season.
19. Golden State matches an All-Star Game record by having four selections this season: Stephen Curry, Kevin Durant, Draymond Green, and Klay Thompson
20.  Marc Gasol is the first Memphis Grizzly to have three All-Star selections, after being previously selected back in 2012 and 2015.
21. Durant is averaging 25.6 points during the All-Star Game, which is the highest in its history.
22. At 29.8 points per game, Isaiah Thomas is at the cusp of breaking the Boston Celtics' franchise single season scoring record of 29.9 ppg, set by Larry Bird back in 1987-88. The guard is currently second in the league in scoring.
23. Wilt Chamberlain back in 1962 set the All-Star Game record for scoring with 42 points, but both Russell Westbrook (2015) and Paul George (2016) have come close to matching that feat with 41-point performances.
24. The NBA D-League All-Star Game presented by Kumho Tire will take place on February 19, 330am (Manila time) at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Out of the 24 selections, there are fifteen players with NBA experience.
25. Current Raptors 905 head coach Jerry Stackhouse, who had been named in two NBA All-Star Games as a player, will be coaching the Eastern Conference D-League All-Stars.