Saturday, November 30, 2019

PH athletes' heroism hailed on Bonifacio Day

As the nation commemorates the 156th birth anniversary of revolutionary hero Andres Bonifacio, the Philippine South East Asian Games Organizing Committee (PHISGOC) enjoins all Filipinos to pay tribute to the country's modern-day heroes: our national athletes.

The Opening Ceremony of the 30th South East Asian (SEA) Games will be held on tonight, November 30, which coincided with the annual commemoration of Bonifacio Day.

"Today, we celebrate the birth of one of our greatest national heroes, Gat Andres Bonifacio, who was known for his courage and love for the Philippines. Coincidentally, we also celebrate the heroic feats of our Filipino athletes who continue to raise the country's flag through sports," PHISGOC Chairman and Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano said.

As the committee tasked to take the lead in organizing the biggest SEA games, PHISGOC called for unity among all Filipinos to show support for the athletes who will represent the Philippines in the next 11 days of the Games.

"These national athletes embody the virtues of Bonifacio. They exude courage every time they fight in their respective sports events. And they do so with the goal of bringing honor to the Philippines," Speaker Cayetano said.

"Our athletes are heroes in their own way because of the tremendous pride they bring to our nation. They deserve all the praise they can get from their fellow Filipinos, especially now that the 30th SEA Games is officially starting today," he added.

Cayetano stressed that the Philippine hosting of the 30th SEA games is an opportunity to honor our athletes and showcase the world-class talent of the Filipinos.

PHISGOC encouraged Pinoys to support the athletes competing in the sports event by watching their games in venues near them. There will be a total of 56 sports and over 500 events that will be held in 58 different venues in Metro Manila, Central and Southern Luzon

“The athletes, guests and spectators attending the opening ceremonies will be treated to a display of world-class technology driven and spectacular show that will showcase the best of Filipino performers,” PHISGOC said in a statement.

Meanwhile, veteran playwright Floi Quintos in his social media account shared that the “power of spectacle is one that has been used worldwide to further agendas. But it is in the hands of spectacle’s creators to patch together some meaning, some cohesion, some message that goes beyond the political.

Friday, November 29, 2019

30th SEA Games Opening Ceremonies set for Saturday

Expect world-class talent and technology for the Opening Ceremonies for the 30th Southeast Asian Games.

Those attending the festivities at the Philippine Arena will be treated to a showcase of some of the best Filipino talent, but those who can't be at the cavernous stadium can watch LIVE on ABS-CBN at 7pm on Saturday, November 30.

For the Opening Ceremonies, the host Philippines has tapped the award-winning Five Currents consortium to produce the event.

The Los Angeles-based live content creators have had experience taking on such events, from the Olympics Opening Ceremonies in both London and Sochi, as well as the 2018 Asian Games in Jakarta and the 2015 European Games in Baku. Their events have reached out to a total of twenty billion people worldwide, while also netting numerous industry accolades, including 14 Emmys out of 29 nominations, as well as sixty Telly Awards.

In collaboration with select Filipino talents on-stage and behind the scenes, Five Currents handled the creative and technical aspects of this particular production, including the design execution and the fabrication of all key elements and visuals that would make the SEA Games Opening Ceremonies a unique digital masterpiece.

Aside from the usual parade of athletes and the lighting of the cauldron, notable Pinoy talents will also make their presence felt inside the Philippine Arena.

Lani Misalucha will lead the singing of the Philippine National Anthem, followed by a four-part production that includes song and dance numbers to be performed by celebrated Filipino artists.

There will also be a dance production choreographed by Huling El Bimbo director Dexter Santos and veteran dancer Cherry Villanueva, featuring dancers from the Ramon Obusan Folkloric Group as well as student performers from various colleges and universities.

Performers like Christian Bautista, Aicelle Santos, Jed Madela, Elmo Magalona, KZ Tandingan, Inigo Pascual, the TNT Boys, Ana Fegi, Robert Sena, and are to render a medley of songs, including the 2019 SEA Games theme: "We Win as One." Helping with the production are musical arrangers Nikko Rivera and Jimmy Antiporda, as well as music producer Eloisa Matias, while taking the lead behind the scenes are veteran playwright Floy Quintos and National Artist for Music Ryan Cayabyab.

NCAA Division I golf coaches set for Manila visit

DreamBig Events' Akshay Maliwal
Filipino junior golfers will have an opportunity to parlay their talents into a potential athletic scholarship in the United States.

Thanks to DreamBig Events, a sports events company dedicated to providing a positive, motivating, and challenging platform for young athletes in Asia to improve their sporting skills, a few NCAA Div I head coaches will be making the trip across the Pacific for the Gold Series Golf Camp, also known as "The Road to US College Golf."

Open to junior golfers between 12-18 years of age, the camp will take place at the Orchard Golf & Country Club this coming December 17-18.

Overseeing the camp are golf coaches from three top NCAA Div I schools: UCLA, Cal, and Columbia, with the participants getting the chance to experience guided range and short game sessions, allowing these young golfers to sharpen their practice and pre-tournament routines. In addition, they will be also be mentored with regards to course management skills and help them prepare for competition, exposing them to US coaching styles and higher-level competition.

In order to maximize personalized and customized instruction, the camp is limited to thirty participants.

Aside from the camp, golfers will also have a two-day FCG Golf Tournament, which serves as an opportunity to participate in one of the top-caliber jungolf tournaments in the world.

DreamBig Events founder and CEO Akshay Maliwal shares, "This is an exceptional opportunity for young golfers to interact with world-class coaches and glimpse the future of how their game can evolve and take them to places they’ve never been before. Learning under these top-caliber coaches is a privilege that only a few can experience, and to have them right here in Manila to train and teach them is an advantage in terms of savings on time and travel expenses."

He adds, "These camps do not just hone young athletes’ skills, they introduce and familiarize athletes with the college recruiting process and lets them experience, even for two days, a day in the life of a college athlete at a top academic and athletic university."

Maliwal views the camp as a means for young golfers to become student-athletes in the United States, with the hopes that entering the college athletics ecosystem helps them prepare for their future in competing in the global stage. He shares, "Asia, the Philippines in particular, is rich in golfing talent that only needs to be discovered and honed. All young talents need is one big break to change their lives and put this region on the world map of golf. It all begins in camps like these. And because our camps offer a wide array of activities, campers have fun as they learn all the good stuff."

DreamBig Events has had experience in the last three years working with top-caliber coaches from a variety of Div I and III programs, from the likes of Ivy League institutions like Harvard, Yale, Princeton, Columbia, Penn, and Brown, to notable Pac-12 institutions Cal and UCLA, as well as the likes of NYU, Tufts and Carnegie Mellon University, Claremont-McKenna, and Johns Hopkins University, among others.

Interested participants may register now at

Thursday, November 28, 2019

Pinoy paddlers reach success in international dragon boat regatta

Members of the SAG-1 crew
The Philippines continued to flex its excellence in dragon boat racing with their recent domination at the 4th Guam Thanksgiving Day Dragon Boat Festival this past weekend.

Pinoy side SAG-1 bested eight teams from the likes of Hong Kong, Japan, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, and hosts Guam in the tourney, winning six gold medals and took home a couple of overall champion awards in the 200-meter and 400-meter races.

SAG-1 topped both categories in the small boat (12-seater) division with a time of 2:25.54 and 5:30:04. Guam finished runner-up in the 200-m category with a time of 2:28.07, while Hong Kong took the silver in the 400-m category with their time of 5:44.61.

SAG-1 paddlers also clocked in a time of 2:02.46 and 4:41.27 in the mixed standard races, beating out their opposition from Japan, Singapore, and Hong Kong in both the 200-meter and 400-meter divisions. They completed their gold haul in clinching the 200-meter and 400-meter divisions for the open small boat category, beating out Hong Kong in the 200-m division, 1:02.03 to 1:03.53, and Guam in the 400-m division, 2:20.32 to 2:23.85.

According to SAG-1 team captain Michael Lara, "We were overwhelmed with the results, but I also believe that the two months of hard training by the team led us to victory." Head coach Ric Nacional adds, "We are not just a club team once we join an international event. Every stroke of our paddles is dedicated to the Philippines. We are grateful to represent our country in international competitions such as this one."

Lara also shared the benefits of participating in dragon boat racing, noting that it "promotes the value of working as one solid unit to achieve a common goal, no matter how challenging it may be." He adds, "As we apply this during training, we hope that it also translates to the paddlers’ lives outside the boat, in their homes, community, and society." Most of the team is composed of working professionals, who have carved out time from their busy schedules to train with the team during weekends.

SAG-1 is set to participate in the Club Crew Challenge Series 4 of the Philippine Canoe-Kayak Dragonboat Federation, which will take place on December 15 at the Malawaan Park in Subic.

PHISGPC statement re: Senator Panfilo Lacson comments

The organizers of this year’s South East Asian Games (SEA Games) said Thursday that state spending for the Philippines’ hosting of the regional sports competition is all accounted for and were made in compliance with Commission on Audit (COA) rules.

Ramon Suzara, chief operating officer of the Philippine South East Asian Games Organizing Committee (PHISGOC) made this assurance as he decried the statement made by Sen. Panfilo Lacson erroneously comparing the manner of spending done for the country’s hosting of the SEA Games to the multi-billion peso pork barrel scam.

Suzara noted that the funds spent by the PHISGOC for the SEA Games cannot be compared in any manner whatsoever to the shameless pork barrel racket perpetrated by Janet Napoles, who utilized so-called private foundations to siphon state funds to ghost projects.

“Every centavo spent by PHISGOC were all used for the benefit of the athletes and to ensure the Philippines’ successful hosting of the SEA Games,” Suzara said. “Senator Lacson is welcome to inspect the world-class facilities and other requirements that were prepared for this year’s SEA Games so that he can see for himself how the funds were prudently spent by the organizers.”

He issued the statement in response to Lacson’s allegation that the transfer of P1.5 billion in public funds to PHISGOC, a private foundation, was questionable and could be compared to Napoles’ pork barrel scam.

Suzara said that while PHISGOC is a private foundation, 80 percent of its members come from the government. Both the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) and Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) are well represented in the PHISGOC.

He also recalled that during the Senate plenary deliberations on the PSC budget, Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano, who chairs PHISGOC, provided senators with a breakdown of the P1.5 billion fund.

Suzara also pointed out that it was Lacson himself who said that Cayetano assured senators that PHISGCOC consulted COA every step of the way in spending funds for the SEA Games.

PHISGOC’s job of overseeing the preparations for the SEA Games is nothing new, Suzara said, as this was the same strategy done when the Philippines hosted the SEA Games in 2005. Other ASEAN members also formed organizing committees to oversee the preparations of the sports event in their countries.

Suzara said Lacson might have forgotten that due to the delay in the approval of the 2019 national budget, PHISGOC had to race against time in procuring the necessary equipment and other requirements for the SEA Games.

“The 2019 budget was only signed into law by the President in April because Congress was unable to approve the budget bill on time. This gave the government less than six months to procure all that was needed to ensure the Philippines’ seamless hosting of the SEA Games,” Suzara noted.

While Speaker Cayetano recommended to the President that the procurement be done by the Department of Budget and Management, PHISGOC had no choice but to do part of this job because of the lack of time, Suzara said.

“It takes several months to get things moving in compliance with procurement rules before either the DBM or PSC can bid out contracts. We had less than six months to mobilize to ensure that the SEA Games would push through,” Suzara said.

Suzara said PHISGOC is ready to face any investigation or post-audit of the spending done for the SEA Games as earlier made clear by Speaker Cayetano.

He also welcomed the suggestion of Albay Rep. Joey Salceda for the Senate to conduct the legislative inquiry to ensure that it would be impartial and transparent.

PHISGOC Statement re: SEA Games hosting

The Organizing Committee remains focused on ensuring the success of the Philippine hosting of the 30th SEA Games, and assures the public that all government regulations have been observed in this great endeavor.

Our Chairman has declared numerous times that we are willing to participate in any form of investigation on the 30th SEA Games, after its conclusion on December 12.

We agree that during the inquiry, we should be investigating too the proliferation of Fake News a few days before the Opening Ceremony, which has put the organizing committee, the Games, and the country in a bad light.

Presidential Spokesperson would agree with this as he himself was a victim of Fake News.

For now, we call on all Filipinos to stand together as one nation, one Team Philippines. Only in unity can we truly say that We Win As One!

Sunday, November 24, 2019

Carlos tops SMART National Badminton Open

The Women's Singles Podium finishers

Bianca Carlos bucked both cramps and her opponent's solid challenge to lead the winners of the 2019 SMART National Badminton Open Finals, Friday evening at the Muntinlupa Sports Complex.

Up by one, 17-16, Carlos suddenly cramped up when she went for a return in the deciding third set of the women's singles final. "Hindi ko na lang binigyan ng pressure yung sarili ko," she said.

"Anybody's game na 'yun eh. Naglaro na lang ako nung pinaka-best na kaya ko, and kahit nag-cramps talagang ginapang, pinilit. Sobrang nakaka-proud 'yung moment."

The former UAAP Most Valuable Player edged out top-seed Sarah Barredo in the first game at 21-18. The latter then forced a decider with a tight 21-19 win the following frame. Carlos eventually took the decider, 21-18.

Fellow Southeast Asian Games-bound campaigners Thea Pomar and Ariel Magnaye went out with two titles for the day. The pair took the mixed doubles title and the gold in women's doubles and men's doubles, respectively.

The duo overcame their respective women's and men's doubles partners Alyssa Leonardo and Alvin Morada in the championship of the mixed event, in a tight two-setter at 21-18, 22-20.

Pomar and Leonardo then took down Patricia Barredo and Lea Inlayo in the women's event with a dominant 21-12, 21-16 conquest. On the other hand, Magnaye and Morada carved contrasting wins in either set and won the plum at 24-22, 21-7.

Top-seed Ros Pedrosa joined his national team colleagues in the winner's circle, stopping the run of SMASH Pilipinas teammate Lanz Zafra at 22-20, 21-11.

Seeing Zafra run roughshod of the competition prior to the final, the former National University standout just refocused his mindset.

"I just kept telling myself na, 'Keep calm, Ros. Trust yourself'," he shared.

PHISGOC statement re: Timor-Leste, Myanmar, Cambodia

SEA Games 2019
We sincerely apologize to our athlete guests from Timor-Leste, Myanmar, and Cambodia for the inconvenience caused to them by the confusion regarding their transportation and hotel arrangements. While PHISGOC strives to ensure proper coordination of the arrival details, airport welcome and transportation provisions of all international teams to their respective assigned hotels, we acknowledge our shortcomings in this particular incident and vow to do better.

For the information of the public, the confusion with the Timor-Leste football team happened when some of their members were initially brought to the Century Hotel along with the rest of the team. However, the Timor-Leste coordinator pointed out that some were actually billeted at the nearby Hotel Jen. PHISGOC was able to arrange the delegates’ shuttle to the other hotel.

As to the Cambodian football team, their change in arrival details was relayed late to the PHISGOC Games Services Department.  Instead of the arrival time initially relayed to PHISGOC, the Cambodian team arrived in NAIA at 4AM. Transportation was immediately provided, but since their hotel rooms were not yet available because the standard check-in time is 2PM, PHISGOC requested that the team be allowed to wait at an air-conditioned private hotel conference room with tables and chairs where the members could rest and feel comfortable while waiting for their rooms.

There were 34 international arrivals on Friday, November 22, in our NAIA Terminals, consisting of seven (7) sports team delegations, technical officials and representatives of the respective National Olympic Committees. Yesterday, November 23, there were 38 arrivals in our NAIA Terminals and 5 arrivals in our Clark International Airport of SEA Games athletes, delegates and officials.

While we are pleased to report that in the past two days there have been 75 international arrivals, consisting of various sports team delegations, technical officials and representatives of the respective National Olympic Committees, that have gone off without a hitch, the incident with the two teams remain a constant reminder for us as organizers to be more diligent. We owe it to our guests and our countrymen.

Thursday, November 14, 2019

CNN Philippines to show NBA games

Coming to CNN Philippines.

The impasse with regards to free tv coverage of the NBA seems to have been resolved for the time being, as the league, through NBA Philippines, has agreed to have select matches shown on CNN Philippines (Channel 5 in Zamboanga, Channel 8 in Bacolod, Channel 9 in Manila, Cebu, and Davao, and Channel 12 in Baguio, among others).

NBA Philippines Managing Director Carlo Singson shares, "Weekends just got better with the return of live NBA games on national television through CNN Philippines. Filipino fans now have a choice of watching our games across a variety of platforms including television, computers and mobile devices via social media and NBA League Pass."

Select games will be shown starting on November 16, starting with the matchup between the Boston Celtics and the Golden State Warriors at 1130am.

The other games that will be shown on CNN Philippines for the rest of the month of November are as follows:

November 17: Milwaukee Bucks at Indiana Pacers, 8am
November 23: Houston Rockets at Los Angeles Clippers, 1130am
November 24: New Orleans Pelicans at Utah Jazz, 10am
November 30: Dallas Mavericks at Phoenix Suns, 10am

Aside from games, they will also feature highlights on their various news programs, including Sports Desk and News Night.

The NBA will also continue to stream select matches on its social media channels (Facebook, Twitter). They will announce in advance which games will receive such treatment.

In addition, fans can opt to invest in NBA League Pass, which delivers unrivaled access to NBA games and programming, as well as downloadable content, exclusive features, and more.

One can available of NBA LP via or downloading the official NBA App on the App Store and Google Play, with the ability to choose options from the plethora of packaging options. Globe, PLDT, and SMART subscribers can also bundle NBA LP offerings onto their respective data services, with the variety of packages available. For Globe subscribers, one can secure NBA LP offerings through its official store on Lazada and Shopee.

Monday, November 11, 2019

Collegiate Press Corps claims back-to-back UAAP Goodwill Games title

The triumphant Collegiate Press Corps taking a photo at center court of the SMART-Araneta Coliseum.

Despite being barred for playing for Far Eastern University this UAAP Season 82, Emman Ojuola still made waves by steering the Chooks-to-Go Collegiate Press Corps to back-to-back titles in the 2019 UAAP Goodwill Games at the expense of rival Technical Group/Stats, 112-110, Sunday at Smart Araneta Coliseum.

The Nigerian big man powered the Press with his dominating 27 points and 27 rebounds, with seven assists and two blocks to boot in the tightly contested Finals affair.

Impactful was the Tamaraw's entrance to the game three minutes into the first quarter which drew shock and awe from opposing team. Ojuola then went to work as he went toe-to-toe against Technical Group/Stats' resident import and UAAP Season 69 MVP Ken Bono in the paint.

With Media holding a tight 107-104, the 22-year-old slotman converted on a much-needed three-point play 1:08 remaining to push his side up six, 110-104.

After a turnover by the opposition, NBTC's Ryan Monteclaro was called for a dubious traveling violation earning the ire of the men in the sidelines led by Randolph Leongson of, Yo Sarmenta of ESPN5, and Matthew Li of Tiebreaker Times.

Phoenix guard RR Garcia swished a triple from the right corner to trim the gap to three, 110-107, with 15.4 to play, but Monteclaro nailed the insurance charities that put the game away, 112-107.

NCAA top scorer Allyn Bulanadi rekindled his shooting touch and led the Media with 33 points, on a 5-of-13 clip from deep, to go with five assists and three rebounds as he calmly netted his patented lefty jumpers from downtown that provided the spark for the comeback victory.

Monteclaro, who suited up for Adamson back in his UAAP days, also added 26 points, including six from beyond the arc, as throngs of journalists stormed the court in euphoric glee, celebrating another victory against their heated rivals, extending their playoff win streak to four dating back to 2015.

Roy Cayanan of Tiebreaker Times chimed in 14 points, nine assists, and four boards, while Anton Altamirano of NBTC submitted seven points, four rebounds, and three dimes as the two-time champions also got solid contributions from Cedelf Tupas of the Philippine Daily Inquirer, AJ Bolando and Philip Matel of ESPN5, Christian Jacinto of ONE Championship, John Bryan "Slashman" Ulanday of the Philippine Star, Paul Carpio of PM, Bong Lozada of, Josef Ramos of the Manila Times, Aivan Episcope and Cyreel Zarate of Abante, and Niel Masoy of

It was sweet redemption for the newsmen, who were on the wrong end of a controversial 112-111 loss against the same team last Oct. 12 but made sure that the result of the championship will not be in doubt this time out.

Garcia, the UAAP Season 73 MVP, led the Technical Group/Stats with 43 points and eight rebounds, while Bono, who is also playing for TNT KaTropa, finished with 31 points, on a lethal 9-of-14 clip from threes, and seven boards.

Fellow resident Tech/Stats reinforcement Joel Lee Yu added 32 points and eight rebounds, as the runner-up also fielded RJ Deles of Marikina Shoemasters, ABS-CBN Sports' Martin Javier, and UAAP referee Jaime Rivano.

The Scores:

UAAP MEDIA 112 -- Bulanadi 33, Ojuola 27, Monteclaro 26, Cayanan 14, Altamirano 7, Bolando 3, Carpio 2, Jacinto 0, Tupas 0, Ulanday 0, Ramos 0, Lozada 0, Matel 0, Episcope 0, Zarate 0, Masoy 0.

TECHNICAL GROUP 110 -- Garcia 43, Lee Yu 32, Bono 31, Deles 3, Rivano 1, Canete 0, Javier 0, Tabora 0, Celeste 0.

Quarters: 30-19, 52-46, 83-80, 112-110.