Tuesday, September 29, 2020

TM partners with Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas to elevate 3x3

Chooks-to-Go and TM: partner in 3x3

A new partnership for the 2020 3x3 season in the Philippines.

Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas officially welcomed Globe into the world of 3x3 basketball, entering into a partnership with TM for the upcoming President Cup.

TM sees this as an opportunity for Filipinos to take a moment from their stressful days to relax and bond with their families by watching the league’s action-filled games via online streaming as we wait for the day when live audiences can be allowed in sporting events again.

Globe VP for Consumer Mobile Business Kristelle Dizon shares, "TM is one with the Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas 3x3 President’s Cup in championing the talents of our local players and bringing them to the international stage." She adds, "We continue to look for ways to help rekindle the passion of fans for basketball games by supporting Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas 3x3 President’s Cup online. This will allow fans to watch and support their favorite teams while staying safe at home."

On the new partnership, Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas 3x3 league owner Ronald Mascariñas says, "We are glad to have a partner in TM that shares the same vision as ours -- to help bring the Filipino athlete to the global stage."

Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas 3x3 held its inaugural season last year, with the aim to boosting the profile of the Philippines in 3x3 basketball. The initiatives of the league eventually led to sending a couple of its teams into the FIBA 3x3 World Tour, as well as securing a spot in the Olympic Qualifying Tournament for Tokyo 2020.

Slated to take place in October, the President's Cup powered by TM will help prepare pool members of the national team get ready for the OQT, which is scheduled next year in Austria. The pool is composed of Joshua Munzon, Alvin Pasaol, Leonard Santillan, and Troy Rike. The quartet comprise the Zamboanga City Family's Brand Sardines-Chooks team that is one of the twelve teams in the tournament.

Serving as the teams opposing Zamboanga City are Butuan City-Uling Roasters, Bacolod-Masters Sardines, Nueva Ecija Rice Vanguards, Palayan City Capitals, Zamboanga Peninsula Valientes-MLV, Porac-Big Boss Cement Green Gorillas, Bicol 3x3 Pro, Pasig-Sta. Lucia Realtors, Sarangani Marlins, Pagadian City-Rocky Sports Valientes, and Petra Cement.

Complete Card for ONE: REIGN OF DYNASTIES on 9 October Revealed

The poster for ONE Championship's Reign of Dynasties MMA event

ONE Championship revealed its fight card for its upcoming mixed martial arts event: ONE: REIGN OF DYNASTIES, highlighted by a muay thai championship fight.

The ONE Strawweight Muay Thai World Title is on the line, as Sam-A Gaiyanghadao defends his belt against top contender Josh Tonna, while flyweight contenders Aleksi Toivonen and Reece McLaren tangle in the co-main event.

Other notable fighters in the card include Amir Khan, who is attempting to own the most number of knockout finishes in the history of ONE Championship in his matchup against Rahul Raju, while former ONE Strawweight World Champion Dejdamrong Sor Amnuaysirichoke returns to action against Hexigetu of China Top Team.

Completing the matches on ONE: REIGN OF DYNASTIES is Eko Roni Saputra in a catch-weight matchup against Murugan Silvarajoo, while opening things up is a scrap between Roshan Mainam against ONE Hefei Flyweight Tournament Champion Liu Peng Shuai.

The official match card is as follows:

  • Sam-A Gaiyanghadao vs. Josh Tonna (ONE Strawweight Muay Thai World Title)
  • Aleksi Toivonen vs. Reece McLaren (mixed martial arts – flyweight)
  • Amir Khan vs. Rahul Raju (mixed martial arts – lightweight)
  • Eko Roni Saputra vs. Murugan Silvarajoo (mixed martial arts – catch weight of 63.5 kilograms)
  • Dejdamrong Sor Amnuaysirichoke vs. Hexigetu (mixed martial arts – strawweight)
  • Roshan Mainam vs. Liu Peng Shuai (mixed martial arts – flyweight)

ONE Championship also revealed a teaser for ONE: REIGN OF DYNASTIES

Stay tuned for more details about the upcoming event with the venue currently to be determined.

Friday, September 25, 2020

President's Cup to be conducted inside a full bubble

Full bubble for the upcoming Chooks 3x3 President's Cup

A minor setback for the return of competitive 3x3 basketball took place on Thursday afternoon, as the Inter-Agency Task Force denied Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas' request to resume play.

The denial is centered on the Department of Health's stance to allow only tournaments that take place inside a full bubble, even with Chooks 3x3's compliance with the guidelines set by the Joint Administrative Order for the resumption of sports practices and implementation of technological advancements.  

Despite strictly following the guidelines set by the Joint Administrative Order for the resumption of sports practices and implementing technological advancements, the Inter-agency Task Force denied Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas 3x3's application for a license for resumption, Thursday afternoon.

Chooks 3x3 had proposed a semi-bubble set-up for the upcoming President's Cup, which will see players and staff that have passed testing protocols inside the INSPIRE Academy for four days.

With the IATF's decision in mind, the league will accede to the task force's recommendation, as an emergency meeting was scheduled by owner Ronald Mascariñas to tweak the tourney to fit a full bubble set up.

The Bounty Agro Ventures, Inc. head shares, "We are committing to doing a full bubble with each conference taking place inside Inspire Academy for 15 days." When asked about the potential rescheduling of the tournament, he shares that they will work on getting the necessary clearances to push through with the President's Cup.

Games and Amusements Board chair Baham Mitra has committed to help secure the needed approval to proceed with the tourney, with both GAB and the Commission on Higher Education praising the protocols put in place by the league.

CHED chair Popoy de Vera personally saw the workouts that are taking place at the UP Epsilon Chi Center, and believes that this can be adapted for the amateurs, in light of recent incidents involving student-athletes participating in perceived as illegal activities.

Thursday, September 24, 2020

NBA tweaks Draft Combine for 2020

COVID-19 is forcing the NBA to tweak certain elements in the path towards the NBA Draft.

The NBA Draft Combine will start in phases, beginning September 28 until mid-November at the latest, with activities to take place in the different NBA team markets as well as virtually. The adjustments will allow teams to be able to continue player evaluations in the midst of the pandemic, allowing teams to make informed choices in time for the NBA Draft 2020 presented by State Farm, which is tabled to take place on November 18.

NBA League Operations President Byron Spruell says, "NBA Draft Combine is an essential part of the pre-draft evaluation process. While the circumstances surrounding this Combine are unique, we’re excited to creatively deliver a valuable experience for our teams, who have remained flexible through the process, and for prospective draftees who are just beginning their NBA journeys."

Players will go through league and team interviews via videoconference starting September 28 until October 16. They will also take part in an individual on-court program that consists of strength and agility testing, anthropometric measurements, shooting drills, and a "Pro Day" video. These, as well as the medical tests and evaluations, will take place at the NBA team facility nearest to where the player is based, during the month of October.

During the NBA Draft Combine 2020, the league will incorporate HomeCourt technology. Developed by NEX Team, Inc., an NBA strategic partner, HomeCourt is a mobile basketball training application that utilizes advanced machine learning and computer vision to record the shooting evaluation of the Combine and provide analytics. Players can then use the data to create a "Pro Day" video for as long as 45 minutes, which teams can then evaluate and make decisions.

In addition, the NBA is expanding its use of an online tool called "Combine HQ." Developed by Fusion Sport for its Smartabase software platform, Combine HQ is a one-stop shop teams use for scouting information gathered during the Combine's on-court portions. Data procured can be used as a basis to compare information on draft prospects past or present.

Tuesday, September 22, 2020

Mitra impressed with Chooks-to-Go 3x3 test run

Games and Amusements Board chairman Baham Mitra at the Chooks 3x3 test run at INSPIRE Academy.

Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas 3x3 held its test run for the upcoming President's Cup on Monday afternoon at the INSPIRE Sports Academy in Calamba, with a special guest observing its proceedings.

Games and Amusements Board chairman Baham Mitra was present for the test run and was impressed with how the league intends to conduct the tournament. Among the aspects that was demonstrated included how the players will enter and exit the playing court, as well as the state of the waiting rooms.

Helping with test run are members of the Zamboanga City-Family's Brand Sardines-Chooks (Joshua Munzon, Alvin Pasaol, Leonard Santillan, Troy Rike) and Butuan City-Uling Roasters (Karl Dehesa, Franky Johnson, Chris de Chavez, JR Alabanza, and Chico Lanete).

Mitra says, "I'm impressed with the preparations being done by Chooks-to-Go." He adds, "They did not just meet the requirements but also improved on their submitted safety protocols."

League owner Ronald Mascariñas responds, "We would like to thank Chairman Baham for the kind words. It's our job to keep our players safe first and foremost as this is their livelihoods." He adds, "... this is a huge step forward not only for us but for Philippine sports as well in this time of a pandemic."

Mitra continues, "I'm very confident with the success that will come Chooks-to-Go 3x3's way. It will be something that everybody will look up to."

Guidelines regarding entry into the President's Cup bubble can be described as strict.

Players will need to undergo polymerase chain reaction testing two days before each leg of the tournament. They, along with the coaches and league staff will also need to present their GET Philippines tracing app before they undergo mandatory disinfection and temperature checks. They also will undergo antigen testing before proceeding to their respective rooms inside the INSPIRE Academy.

The test run is set to continue on Thursday with regards to the broadcast aspect of the tournament, which is tentatively scheduled to open on October 2.

Monday, September 21, 2020

Bismarck Lina decommits from UST, set to complete transfer to UP

From left to right: Bo Perasol, Bismarck Lina, Atty. Agaton Uvero

The Sorsogon incident has taken away another one from the University of Santo Tomas' men's basketball team.

Bismarck Lina, who was set to join the Growling Tigers from their own high school as an incoming freshman, has changed his mind and is now set to transfer to the University of the Philippines.

Men's Basketball Team head coach Bo Perasol made the confirmation, as he shares that the former Tiger Cub is already processing his transfer from UST to UP. Bo adds, "He’s just working on some papers and documents to complete his transfer."

He averaged a double-double during Season 82, with 16.6 points and 10.9 rebounds, while dishing out a couple of assists and swatting nearly a block in his ten games with UST. According to Perasol, "We are very happy to welcome him to the team and we look forward to working and playing with him. Bismarck is a young man with a great fighting attitude and huge potential. For me, the one-year wait will be beneficial for him and for the team because we will have enough time to get to know each other and learn together."

As noted by Perasol, Lina has been officially ruled out for the upcoming UAAP season. Bo shares, "He has to be enrolled for at least two semesters in UP, but the first semester has already started so he has to wait until Season 84."

Bismarck will be taking the VAAS route for his transfer, one that many student-athletes like him take to enter the University. It is also the same route that fellow former Tiger Cub CJ Cansino underwent to complete his transfer from Espana to Diliman.

The former Gilas Youth stalwart will join former teammates Carl Tamayo, Gerry Abadiano, RC Calimag, and James Spencer in calling UP home.

Lina shared this on his transfer, "It is really hard on my part to leave UST. But all I can say is that I’m really thankful to the UP Fighting Maroons for giving me another home. I can’t wait to work and compete alongside them."

Sunday, September 20, 2020

Ronald Mascariñas ups stakes for 2020 Chooks-to-Go 3x3 season


BAVI head / Chooks Pilipinas 3x3 owner Ronald Mascariñas

With an eye on getting the Philippines into the Tokyo 2020 Olympics via the Olympic Qualifiers, Ronald Mascariñas concocted a unique way of getting the national team prepared for the competition.

The Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas 3x3 owner set up incentives for the eleven other teams to aspire for against the Zamboanga City-Family's Brand Sardines-Chooks, who are composed of Joshua Munzon, Alvin Pasaol, Troy Rike, and Leonard Santillan. The quartet comprise four of the top six Filipinos in the 3x3 rankings.

Aside from the PhP 100,000 top prize in each of the first four legs of the President's Cup, whoever team Zamboanga City faces in the finals of each leg will also pocket the same amount. The financial incentive provides the caveat that ZC needs to be in the finals for the opposing team to earn that windfall.

The losing finalist normally will only receive PhP 30,000, while finishing third nets that team PhP 20,000.

Mascariñas shares, "This season of Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas 3x3 is really to help our national team get ready for the Olympic Qualifying Tournament in Graz, Austria next year. We can’t just let them train without actually facing competition. It won’t make sense." He adds, "But we also have to reward the teams that have taken the time and effort to face them. That is why we raised the stakes for our first conference."

Originally scheduled to take place last March 18-22 in Bangalore, India, the OQT has since been moved to next year in Austria as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The President's Cup powered by TM is set to start on October 2 at the Inspire Academy in Laguna, with subsequent legs scheduled on October 4, 16, and 18. The Grand Finals, which has a PhP 1,000,000 prize for the champions, PhP 300,000 for second place and PhP 100,000 for third place, will occur on November 7. Dates are still tentative pending approval from the IATF, as the body has yet to give its approval for the league to conduct scrimmages.

Looking to take advantage of those incentives are Butuan City-Uling Roasters, Bacolod-Masters Sardines, Nueva Ecija Rice Vanguards, Palayan City Capitals, Zamboanga Peninsula Valientes-MLV, Porac-Big Boss Cement Green Gorillas, Bicol 3x3 Pro, Pasig-Sta. Lucia Realtors, Saranggani Marlins, Pagadian City-Rocky Sports Valientes, and an unidentified team supported by Petra Cement.

Monday, September 14, 2020

Murals inspired by Kobe Bryant pop up in Manila

Kobe mural inside Araneta City

One of the activities commemorating the life and legacy of Kobe Bryant via Mamba Week saw Nike Philippines commission a couple of murals in Metro Manila.

To do that, Nike joined forces with local graffiti trio ARAL Cru and Kayo Cosio of Honeycomb Arts to design murals inside Araneta City in Quezon City and along EDSA-Kalayaan.

Honeycomb Arts have handled over sixty of these projects here and abroad, using public art as a means to convey culture and messaging, whilst the trio of Bvdot, Cinos, and Frank embody the Mamba Mentality with their hard work, quality of execution, the ability to work under pressure, and of course, love for the game.

The first project saw them head inside Araneta City, to a space that directly faces the Araneta Coliseum. The Big Dome hosted Kobe's final appearance in Manila.

The portrait portion of the mural is derived from a photo of Kobe smiling during the visit. The mural itself depicts imagery of fearlessness and focus, and a color scheme that resembles a sunset, which sets a tone of thankfulness for a good Kobe day that had passed.

ARAL Cru at the Kobe mural along EDSA-Kalayaan

A few hours later, ARAL Cru made the trek towards EDSA-Kalayaan for the other mural for Kobe, using the same colors as the one in Araneta City.

This particular one uses the symbolism of the sunrise and the beginning of a new day. It depicts Kobe wearing his two iconic jersey numbers, 8 and 24, shooting crumpled pieces of paper into a trash bin. An optimistic way of showing the moment when we are reminded to be a little better each time the sun rises, just like Kobe. Throughout his career he evolved both as a person and as an athlete, he was always the one you could reliably turn to when the game is on the line.

Sunday, September 13, 2020

G League Select picks Ignite as its name

The G League is set to Ignite

Earlier this month, the NBA G League unveiled the name for the team of their elite prospects.

Called the NBA G League Ignite, the unaffiliated team will be based in Walnut Creek, California, and are under the tutelage of former NBA head coach Brian Shaw. Prospects participating with this program are being prepared for the NBA Draft, as well as with the other life skills necessary once he enters the professional ranks.

League president Shareef Abdur-Rahim shares, "We are thrilled to officially announce NBA G League Ignite as the name of our new team for elite prospects and we think it’s a fitting moniker for a group comprised of young players taking the first step of their promising professional careers. These players have a passion for the game and a desire to develop their skills for the next level and it brings us a lot of pride for them to blaze trails as inaugural members of NBA G League Ignite."

The Ignite already have six players on their initial roster: top high school prospects Jalen Green, Jonathan Kuminga, Daishen Nix, Kai Sotto, and Isaiah Todd, and NBA Global Academy graduate Princepal Singh. They are already conducting their on-court preparations, as well as receiving the off-court mentoring and life skills training. Helping them on-court in Walnut Creek are assistant coach Rasheed Abdul-Rahman, video coordinator Jerry Woods, and athletic trainer Pete Youngman.

In releasing the name, the G League also revealed the wordmark of the Ignite, which highlights the bold and capitalized font of the monicker. According to the league, it heralds the team's energetic commitment to basketball development and serves as an anchor for the team's full identity and uniform designs, which are still to be determined.

Saturday, September 12, 2020

LaLiga ready for its 90th season

The twenty teams in the Spanish top flight.

This weekend marks the start of the 2020/21 LaLiga Santander campaign, its 90th overall.

Fresh from the longest season in league history, one made possible due to the ongoing pandemic, LaLiga promises to remain as exciting and spectacular as ever, with some of the best and brightest teams and players on full display at some of the world's best stadia.

The league is taking an entertainment approach to this season, comparing itself to a long mini-series, with 38 episodes filled with tension and passion. See for yourself with this teaser.

On September 7, to commemorate the start of the upcoming campaign, LaLiga held a kickoff event, which provided viewers what to expect for this season, including the latest technological and audiovisual innovations. Gracing the activities were LaLiga president Javier Tebas, league Icons Iker Casillas and Andrés Iniesta, as well as league Ambassadors, Fernando Sanz, Fernando Morientes, Samuel Eto'o, Diego Forlán, Gaizka Mendieta, and Luis Garcia.

Aside from this, the league also had activations all over the world and in the different social media platforms for the upcoming season. Numerous influencers tried out the different filters and challenges that are available on their respective social media, while in certain locations, festivals took place, done in partnership with PUMA, which will display a giant replica of the match ball to be used this campaign.

Fixtures this weekend sees Eibar and Celta Vigo open festivities tonight at 10pm, followed by Granada and Athletic Club at 1230am and Cadiz and Osasuna at 3am. As for Sunday night, Deportivo Alaves vs Real Betis start things at 8pm, followed by Real Valladolid and Real Sociedad at 10pm, Villareal and Huesca follow at 1230am, then capping things with Valencia and Levante at 3am.

Due to their participation in the tweaked campaigns in Europe this past season, league champions Real Madrid and newly-minted UEFA Europa League champions Sevilla get their seasons underway a little bit later than their fellow league counterparts. And after a little bit of drama, Lionel Messi ended speculation by announcing his return to FC Barcelona for the upcoming season.

Thursday, September 10, 2020

JHI, STATS Performance Apparel renews UP MBT partnership

Partnership renewed

The partnership continues.

Both Januarius Holdings, Inc. and the University of the Philippines announced that the partnership between the two for the men's basketball program will be renewed for a couple more seasons.

The partnership allows the JHI and its athleisure brand STATS Performance Apparel to remain as the team's official outfitter after having the role last season.

JHI President/CEO JJ Atencio shares, "Our journey with the UPMBT started three years ago, when, acting on a strong gut feeling, we decided to be major sponsors, despite the team’s just coming out of a lackluster season, the absence of significant community support, and my not even being a UP alumnus. We wanted to be part of the dream and help create something that eventually we could all be proud of.  Fast forward to today, it’s a completely different situation, isn’t it?"

He adds, "While the team has accomplished a lot these past years, the work isn’t finished yet. That dream continues to unfold. Success is a process after all, and we continue to be motivated and encouraged to keep on supporting and being part of this journey - in good times and bad. We think that the next two years will be really good for the team."

JHI has been supporting the teams since 2017 and has been instrumental with the preparations for the Fighting Maroons, most notably with their overseas training activities, starting in Las Vegas in 2017, Serbia in 2018, and Tokyo last year.

Although the pandemic has virtually ruled out overseas activities for the team this year, Atencio believes in this particular aspect of the team's preparation, "We’ve seen it. After three straight years of training abroad, we placed fifth the first year, second in the second year, and third after last year’s training. We’re still committed to sending the team for training abroad in Seasons 83 and 84 as soon as it’s possible."

The new partnership also establishes a new line of commitment from JHI/STATS to the Fighting Maroons: data analytics.

According to Atencio, "What’s also exciting for us starting this year is analytics. That’s one of the things we are working on with the team and that’s what we’re looking forward to -- how it would help them."

UP MBT head coach Bo Perasol bares, "We are beyond grateful for having JJ [Atencio] and STATS in the team for the past three years and a couple more. Despite the COVID-19 situation, he still chose to stay on. He is as determined as we are to see everything through. More than the financial aspect of things, the moral support they have given us from the start is priceless. JJ is like a father or a brother to the players and us coaches. His kindness and faith in the team truly inspires us."

UP MBT manager Atty. Agaton Uvero adds, "Sir JJ Atencio was one of the first to give hope to our program. A believer in the value of education, he graciously sponsored the team’s first overseas training when all we had to show was a promise to do our best. Four years after, we now have a sustainable program and a team that is going to be competitive for many years to come. We will always be grateful for his support."

To commemorate the renewed partnership, a memorandum of agreement signing was conducted, involving Atencio, Perasol, Uvero, NTGBUP Foundation founder Renan Dalisay III, JHI COO Marcy Valenzuela, and STATS CEO Edrin Panganiban.

Wednesday, September 9, 2020

Antetokounmpo leads NBA All-Defense honorees

The NBA announced its All-Defensive Teams today, led by the 2019-20 Kia Defensive Player of the Year Giannis Antetokounmpo.

The Milwaukee Bucks forward earned 195 total points from a global panel of a hundred sportswriters and broadcasters, receiving 97 votes onto the NBA All-Defensive First Team. The Greek Freak secured his third All-Defensive Team nod overall, after being named to the Second Team in 2016-17 and the First Team last season.

Joining Antetokounmpo in the NBA All-Defensive First Team are Anthony Davis of the Los Angeles Lakers (187 points off 87 First Team votes), Ben Simmons of the Philadelphia 76ers (185 points off 88 First Team votes), Rudy Gobert of the Utah Jazz (180 points off 85 First Team votes), and Marcus Smart of the Boston Celtics (152 points off 57 First Team votes).

Davis, who finished second in the Defensive Player of Year Award this season, secured his fourth All-Defensive Team selection, equally split between the First and Second Team. A former two-time Defensive Player of the Year, Gobert has been named to four straight First Team selections, while Smart has been named in the First Team for back-to-back seasons. Simmons makes his All-Defensive Team debut this season.

As for the 2019-20 NBA All-Defensive Second Team, it is composed of Kawhi Leonard (128 points), Brook Lopez (67 points), Bam Adebayo (61 points), Patrick Beverley (60 points), and Eric Bledsoe (59 points).

This is Leonard's sixth All-Defensive Team selection, while this is the third for his teammate Beverley. Bledsoe was selected for the second time in his career, with Adebayo and Lopez joining Simmons as first-time awardees.

The Milwaukee Bucks' trio of Antetokounmpo, Lopez, and Bledsoe makes it the first time that a team has at least three players in the NBA All-Defensive Team since the 2012-13 season, where the trio of Tony Allen, Mike Conley, and Marc Gasol of the Memphis Grizzles received such a nod.

Selection for the All-Defensive Team is based on the games played before the season was paused last March 11, with voters making the picks for two guards, two forwards, and a center for both teams. Said voters had to pick players at the position that they play regularly in, although players who received votes at multiple positions are slotted at the position they received the most votes in. A vote in the First Team is worth two points, while a vote in the Second Team is worth a point.

Monday, September 7, 2020

United City Football Club supports #BIDASolusyon

United City Football Club continues to make waves in football scene, revealing that they will support the Department of Health's #BIDASolusyon sa COVID-19 campaign.

This particular initiative by the DOH highlights four principles needed to address the pandemic: 

  • Bawal walang mask
  • I-Sanitize ang mga kamay
  • Dumistansya ng isang metro
  • Alamin ang totoong impormasyon

Club co-founder Eric Gottschalk shares, "The ongoing pandemic has affected everyone, and it is required that everyone contributes somehow towards defeating the virus.  We at United City Football Club (UCFC), including our staff and our players, have committed to support the BIDA Solusyon sa COVID-19 campaign of the Department of Health (DOH) by implementing the 4 BIDA principles into our daily routines."

He adds, "It is our responsibility as a football club to contribute to society, and we thank the DOH for allowing us to become the first professional sports team in the Philippines to join hands and to support BIDA. This is such an important initiative, and we as a Club will do everything we can to support the cause, and we hope that this will encourage many more sports teams and athletes to support their campaign."

As part of this partnership, UCFC will integrate the #BIDASolusyon branding onto their social media content, with the players integrating it on their own social media. They will also practice what they preach, once they commence their resumption of training at the Philippine Football Federation's National Training Center in Carmona for both the AFC Cup and the Philippines Football League, following protocols as agreed upon in the Joint Administrative Order issued by the Games and Amusements Board, the Department of Health, and the Philippine Sports Commission.

Health Secretary Francisco T. Duque III says, "The Department of Health extends our thanks to all our partners who help us ensure that our message: ‘Everyone could BIDA Solusyon’ is communicated to all, regardless of age, status or interest.  We hope to partner with more organizations like United City FC in providing the public with the right information they need to stay safe and protected against COVID-19."

For more information on the #BIDASolusyon, please visit facebook.com/BIDASolusyon.

CHED praises Chooks 3x3 health protocols

Standard Chooks 3x3 COVID-19 protocols

With all the buzz about how to go about preparing for sports in the Philippines in these times, Chooks Pilipinas 3x3 has been proceeding with their activities gradually and smoothly at the UP Epsilon Chi Center inside the Diliman campus.

Their conduct has drawn praise from the Commission on Higher Education, led by its chairman Popoy de Vera. The organization has gotten some attention recently, as the Joint Administrative Order group of the Department of Health, the Games and Amusements Board, and the Philippine Sports Commission requested their input as they looked into the Sorsogon incident that involved the men's basketball team of the University of Santo Tomas. 

De Vera believes that the Chooks 3x3 protocols serve as a ideal set-up if amateur teams were allowed to resume practices. He shares, "Nakita ko yung ginawa nila Eric Altamirano sa Chooks 3x3 sa UP. Ang ganda. Dapat ipakita sa mga amateurs."

With GAB head Baham Mitra asking for best practices from the three major professional leagues in the country, Chooks Pilipinas 3x3 commissioner Eric Altamirano expressed willingness to share their input.

Altamirano shares, "We will gladly do so. We are hoping to share our best practices to the amateurs." 

The league bared its COVID-19 protocols through these procedures:

  1. Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) test for all players and staff.
  2. Negative PCR results enables players to train at the facility, provided they fill up the contract-tracing application devised by GET Philippines AND undergo an anti-gen test.
  3. Facility undergoes complete disinfection process after each team goes through their respective hourly sessions. This also applies to any material used during the session.
  4. Players are encouraged to practice proper health protocols on AND off the court.

The league feels that they are ready to proceed to the next level of their return to competitive action, having submitted their proposal to proceed towards resumption of scrimmages.

Chooks 3x3, along with their fellow professional leagues the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) and the Philippines Football League (PFL), are expected to appear on Monday to make presentations to the JAO group.

Mitra believes that the presentations from the pro leagues would lead to a means that would allow non-professionals to get themselves going. He shares, "Hopefully after reviewing this, we can implement it as soon as possible."

PUMA's Accelerate and Adrenalina designated as official LaLiga match balls

The official LaLiga match balls for the 2020/21 season

In the run-up to the upcoming 2020/21 LaLiga Season, the league and PUMA unveiled the official match footballs to be used both in LaLiga Santander and LaLiga SmartBank.

The league will be using two footballs: the Accelerate, which comes in the traditional white color and is the primary ball for the season, and the Adrenalina, which comes in the lemon tonic fluo yellow and is to be used for key fixtures.

In crafting both footballs, PUMA centers on the ball acting as the heart of LaLiga. With the league able to extract a fan's feelings and emotions, allowing them to feel every touch, every pass, and every goal. That way, it invigorates them every match, putting themselves on the edge of their seat. As such, the ball accelerates the fans' heartbeats with the action on the pitch, producing adrenaline corresponding to the passion they possess.

The continued evolution of football also equates to the continued growth of the skill, technique, and talent needed to play at a top level, and as such, the heart of LaLiga will beat faster than ever as it enters the next level. 


For most of the season, the Accelerate match ball is set to be used. It is a traditional white ball that has integrated the colors of the LaLiga logo onto its design, with custom acceleration graphics allowing it to showcase the explosive speed of the ball whenever it moves. The ball's design enables it to adapt to the precise and fast-paced action of the league and symbolizes how the games accelerates the fans' heart rates.

As for the Adrenalina, it is to be used for decisive matches throughout the season, including derbies and the biggest matchup in the league, El Clásico. The ball comes in an eye-catching lemon tonic fluo yellow hue, and features electrifying patterns that signify the nerves in one's body as it reflects an increased heartbeat, which forces the body to produce adrenaline, whether on the field for the players or on the stands for the fans.


Both the Accelerate and Adrenalina are FIFA-quality approved, guaranteeing the highest level of performance. Beneath their respective facades lie a state-of-the-art design, integrating PUMA's latest technology. The footballs are high-frequency molded, ensuring excellent shape retention, durability, and reduced water absorption. It uses a unique eight-panel configuration, which reduces the number of seams that leads to larger panels for better connection with the ball. A 3D textural 1.2mm PU surface is integrated for improved aerodynamics, as well as increased resistance to abrasion and wear, resulting in greater durability. In addition, a newly developed POE foam has been added to improve touch by increasing sensitivity, providing a firmer touch, improved rebound consistency and explosive power. Both color combinations offer excellent visibility of trajectory and explosive speed.

Sunday, September 6, 2020

The elements behind Real Madrid's historic Youth League triumph

La Cantera with the latest historical achievement for Real Madrid

Although they fell short in the UEFA Champions League, Real Madrid made history last month, claiming their first-ever UEFA Youth League title with a 3-2 win over Benfica in Nyon.

In the process, the title puts credence to the claim that the Spanish giants have the best U-19 side in the continent.

It was the first major title for Raul as a manager, and surely there are more trophies to be had for the Spanish legend, but to reach this moment, he needed quality talent, and here are five examples of such standouts.

Luis López: Most notable for his penalty save in the final, his technical acumen as a keeper is something worth eyeing for both club and country. Senior manager Zinedine Zidane thought he was good enough for a call-up to the main squad. Luis' intelligence and leadership is vital not only in providing a sense of tranquility but also with providing motivation when necessary.

Miguel Gutiérrez: He might be the next great fullback from La Fabrica, and like López, earned a main squad call-up from Zizou when depth in the defense became a slight issue during the LaLiga restart. He played in all ten Youth League matches, scoring four times, including the quarters, semis, and final. Miguel may have a knack for scoring, but his main calling card is his defense and leadership, having served as the team captain on occassion, and like his first team counterpart Sergio Ramos, he can take and make penalties.

Pablo Ramón: Pablo and Miguel are the only players in the squad who figured in all ten Youth League matches, forming a defensive partnership. His ability to win his one-on-one matchup as well as his capability to bring the ball from the back line was one of the reasons he was acquired last year from RCD Mallorca. He is expected to play a key role for Real Madrid Castilla next season.

Antonio Blanco: The midfielder served as the heart of the offense for Raul, whether winning the ball back or starting attacks, as he loves getting his teammates into ideal situations. He already has a season under his belt at Castilla and big things are expected from him in the upcoming campaign.

Sergio Arribas: The playmaker made his mark during the quarterfinals against Inter, serving up a couple of assists and drawing up a penalty for a 3-0 victory. Opponents had difficulty dealing with his knack of creating chances, whether for himself or for his teammates. Raul will gladly take advantage of these skills when Sergio is expected to join Castilla this coming season.

Revisiting 2014 for Ivan Rakitic

Ivan Rakitic the last time he played for Sevilla

After six seasons with FC Barcelona, where he won thirteen titles (4 in LaLiga Santander, 4 Copa del Rey, 2 Spanish Super Cup, 1 UEFA Champions League, 1 UEFA Super Cup, 1 FIFA Club World Cup), he decided on September 1 to rejoin Sevilla FC, where he won his first major title, the UEFA Europa League.  

Back in 2014, Atletico Madrid sprung a surprise on everybody in LaLiga by ending their 18-year league title drought, with city rivals Real Madrid dispatching Barcelona in the Copa del Rey. That year also featured both teams in the UEFA Champions League Final, where a dramatic Sergio Ramos goal in the 93rd minute helped seal "La Decima" in Lisbon.

In 2014, France Football and FIFA jointly gave the FIFA Ballon d'Or to Cristiano Ronaldo for his efforts that season. Both organizations since have gone on their separate ways, with the latter establishing The Best to recognize outstanding player achievements in the sport.

One thing the Croat will recognize is that he will arrive to a squad that won the UEFA Europa League, six years on. And he will have the chance to help the Andalucian side reach even greater heights when the league resumes play this month and in the upcoming UEFA Champions League.

Preparation is Brian Shaw's key for his gameplan

One of the segments that took place in the NBA Republika Playoffs Party is the AXA Game Plan, which featured an appearance by G-League head coach Brian Shaw.

The Ignite head coach believes in preparation as an essential for any game plan to work, whether on the basketball court or in real life. He shares, "Failing to prepare is preparing to fail. If you call yourself a professional, whether you’re a lawyer, a doctor, an actor, there’s a certain responsibility to that. You have to put in your time and work. So, if you shortcut anything as a professional, there will come a time where the game will shortcut you because you didn’t do everything."

Joining him on that segment, which was made possible by the NBA's official insurance partner in the Philippines, AXA Philippines, are Barangay Ginebra head coach Tim Cone, and Alab Pilipinas head coach Jimmy Alapag. It featured an engaging discussion on their respective careers, coaching experiences, and dealing with adversity.

Co-hosted by Nikko Ramos and Tin Gamboa, the NBA Republika Playoffs Party served as the means to celebrate the start of the NBA postseason after it was interrupted by the coronavirus pandemic. The party contained numerous video segments that included appearances by former NBA champion Glen Rice and Jalen Green of the Ignite, and was streamed on Facebook.

Friday, September 4, 2020

FOX Sports to showcase US Open on SKY

The first Grand Slam since the influx of the coronavirus pandemic is already underway at Flushing Meadows, with the 2020 US Open until September 14.

The pandemic has already made an impact in this tournament, as organizers have banned fans to enter the facility.

Novak Djokovic seeks to make history as he could snag his fourth men's singles crown in this particular Grand Slam, and creep closer to his contemporaries Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer. The Serbian is undefeated so far this year, and both Nadal and Federer are skipping this tournament for different reasons.

Acting as the biggest obstacles for Novak are Dominic Thiem, Daniil Medvedev, recent Manila visitor Stefanos Tsitsipas, and Alex Zverev.

In the women's side, Serena is trying to end a three-year Grand Slam drought, as she continues to pursue her 24th Grand Slam title. Seeded third, she will have to deal with top seed Karolina Pliskova and second seed and 2020 Australian Open champion Sofia Kenin.

US Open matches are telecast LIVE on FOX Sports 1 and 2. For SKYcable subscribers, they can secure this by adding the FOX Sports pack on their existing plans for PhP 150 monthly via SKYcable Select.

Ja Morant named as Rookie of the Year

Ja Morant was officially named as the 2019-20 Kia NBA Rookie of the Year, and will receive the Eddie Gottlieb Trophy for his achievement.

He is the second player from the Memphis Grizzlies to be bestown the award, following Pau Gasol back in the 2001-02 season.

The second overall pick of the 2019 NBA Draft, Morant received 99 out of 100 first place votes from a global panel of sportswriters and broadcasters, earning a total of 498 points.

The lone first place vote that did not go to Ja went to Zion Williamson, who finished in third place with 140 points.

Finishing in second place is Kendrick Nunn, who secured 204 points.

Voting was based on games played before the NBA pressed pause on the season last March 11. Players get five points per first place vote, three points per second place vote, and a point per third place vote.

Morant led the Grizzlies, as well as all qualified rookies, in scoring (17.6 points) and assists (6.9 assists), while shooting 49.1% in 59 games.He is one of three NBA players to have those kind of numbers this season, joining LeBron James and Nikola Jokić. The Murray State alum netted eleven double-doubles, including a 27-10-10 triple-double against the Washington Wizards on February 9. He also had seven 20-point and 10-assist games, including a 27 & 14 performance against LeBron and the Lakers on February 29.

Morant also stepped up when the game matters the most, scoring 7.3 points in the fourth quarter, which is sixth in the NBA at the time the league stopped play. And among those six, he had the best fourth quarter field goal percentage at 55.9%.

Named as the Kia NBA Western Conference Rookie of the Month for October/November, December, January, and February, he joins Gasol as the only Grizzlies rookies named as Rookies of the Month at least three times. He needed just 48 games to set the franchise record by a rookie in assists.

The Grizzlies almost matched their season total in wins last season, going 32-33 after finishing last year at 33-49. By finishing in eighth place, they earned entry into the seeding round inside the NBA campus at Walt Disney World when the league decided to restart the season.