Monday, December 20, 2021

Rebisco Volleyball Academy holds coaching clinics

Republic Biscuit Corporation (Rebisco) remains committed towards supporting volleyball in the Philippines, with an eye on getting the country to compete an elite level worldwide.

To achieve such feat, they acknowledge the need to develop the sport on a grassroots-level, particularly in the aspect of coaching and officiating. They believe that improving those particular aspects would allow them to better develop volleyball athletes, especially at the school-level.

As such, Rebisco established the Rebisco Volleyball academy, to train coaches and game officials to get them up to par with their regional and global counterparts with regards to coaching and refereeing standards, specifically with regards to the latest concepts, skills, and modern scientific approaches.

A pilot run of five-day courses took place in Naga, Tacloban, and Cagayan de Oro back in March and April, with additional courses taking place at Numancia, Aklan, Dauis, Bohol, Infanta, Quezon, and Morong, Rizal last October and November, at the behest of the different LGUs.

Volleyball experts taught over two hundred coaches and two hundred referees, with strict adherence to health and safety protocols.

For the coaches., they specifically were taught theory courses highlighting scientific research, game trends, and new philosophies and concepts, based on a unified system on how volleyball coaches train globally. In addition, coaches were also allowed to exchange views and experiences with their fellow coaches and trainers.

As for referees, they participated in drills and on-court activities that allowed them to improve their technical abilities, perceptive responses, and judgment decisions, as well as being given the most comprehensive interpretation of game rules.

"We learned new skills, new tactics and new rules that will help us a lot in handling our players and in refereeing the game. All that we learned from Day 1 to Day 5 we will take to heart and put into practice when we go back to our schools. We thank Rebisco for this opportunity. This is only the beginning,” said Coach Lutchina Tabuso of Timoteo Reyes Memorial School in Morong, Rizal.

"We are happy that the Rebisco Volleyball Academy is now a reality. It is the fulfillment of a grassroots program approved by the Philippine Sports Commission that aims to, among other things, develop a pool of people with technical volleyball know-how who can teach and improve the level of competition in their respective areas,” explained Noric Ng, Business Unit Head of Rebisco.

Ng adds, "The Academy will fire up volleyball enthusiasm in the provinces after the long hiatus from the pandemic. Ultimately, we hope to attain our long-term goal of being able to compete at a higher level locally and abroad."

Monday, December 13, 2021

Kyle Tolentino sparks Marikina over Laguna

Kyle Tolentino

Marikina could have a new star on its squad, as Kyle Tolentino stood out in their 79-73 victory over Laguna-Krah Asia on Monday night at the Chooks-to-Go Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League at the Mall of Asia Arena.

Kyle, the twenty-year-old son of head coach Elvis Tolentino, led all scorers with 24 points, while adding nine rebounds and three assists.

The elder Tolentino shared post-match, "Ako I never doubted naman e, nakita ko naman yung talent. Sabi ko nga sa kaniya, 'di ko siya gagamitin dahil anak ko siya. Kailangan makatulong siya kaya siya ginagamit." He also adds, "Nakita namin maganda yung schedule, nakita namin yung mga games na ahead e. Maganda kasi nga napanood namin yung iba."

The Shoemasters had to fend off the Heroes late, after MJ Dela Virgen and Edgar Charcos nailed consecutive triples to reduce the deficit with 77-73 with 83 seconds left. But Ato Ular's putback off a Joshua Gonzales miss sealed the win for Marikina.

Ular finished with sixteen points and twelve rebounds, with Raynel Casajeros adding eight points and four rebounds.

Dela Virgen led Laguna with seventeen points, seven rebounds, and three assists. AJ Coronel added fourteen points, eight rebounds, and four assists, with Christian Fajarito netted ten points and ten rebounds before fouling out.

Marikina seeks to make it back-to-back victories against Makati on Tuesday at 5pm, with Laguna seeking to end their two-game skid also against the Blazers at 930am on Friday.

The Scores:

Marikina (79) - Tolentino 24, Ular 16, Casajeros 8, Palattao 7, Gonzales 7, Tambeling 6, Carurucan 6, Mendoza 3, Española 2, Gines 0, Sumalacay 0, Pascual 0

Laguna (73) - Dela Virgen 17, Coronel 14, Fajarito 10, Charcos 6, Serios 6, Aurin 6, Fuentes 5, Rivera 5, Saguiguit 2, Laban 2, Guiab 0, Anonuevo 0

Quarterscores: 14-21, 38-36, 66-55, 79-73.

San Juan pounces on Sarangani in MPBL Invitational

Jason Melano

San Juan-Go for Gold AICC snatched its second win at the Chooks-to-Go Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League Invitational powered by TM on Monday night, defeating Sarangani, 91-72 at the Mall of Asia Arena.

The duo of Jhonard Clarito and Jason Melano dominated for the Knights, as they combined for 28 points and 27 rebounds against the Marlins.

San Juan broke the game open in the second half, establishing a ten-point lead at the end of the third quarter, then extending it to as much as nineteen in the final period.

Head coach Randy Alcantara shared afterwards, "Number one is our defense plus naexecute namin yung offense saka yung mga beterano na leader namin napupush talaga yung mga bata na alam mo yung pag sinabing San Juan basketball talagang dapat dikdikin mo sa depensa plus yung offense mo darating 'yan 'wag mo hanapin so ayun yung nangyari ngayon."

He adds, "Nung first quarter kasi parang gigil lahat umiscore e, tumira so nung second half nabago namin. Nung start ng second quarter nabago namin. Gumana yung depensa namin sa poste, transition, mismatches lahat yun nakita namin."

Arvin Gamboa added twelve points and seven rebounds, whilst Rhenz Abando contributing five rebounds and four blocks to add to his ten free throws.

Orlan Wamar, who starred in their opener with 27 points, only netted five this time around, but he did notch three assists alongside five boards.

As for Sarangani, the trio of Marvin Lee, Gabby Espinas, and Macky Acosta each scored fourteen points.

Both teams will be facing Muntinlupa next, with the Marlins seeking to end their skid on Wednesday and the Knights hoping to maintain their undefeated record on Friday.

The Scores:

San Juan (91) - Melano 14, Clarito 14, Gamboa 12, Abando 10, Wamar 9, Hernandez 8, Isit 7, Rodriguez 6, Calma 6, Abundo 5, Manzo 0, Buñag 0

Sarangani (72) - Espinas 14, Acosta 14, Lee 14, Ludovice 11, Sanga 7, Sta. Ana 6, Basibas 3, Munsayac 3, Sarangay 0, Marilao 0, Monteclaro 0, Bautista 0

Quarterscores: 19-20, 35-28, 62-52, 91-72

Yu, Costelo impress in Pasig-Sta Lucia debut

Fran Yu

Pasig-Sta. Lucia opened their Chooks-to-Go Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League powered by TM campaign with a 90-69 victory over Iloilo on Monday at the Mall of Asia Arena.

The Realtors needed a strong second half to dispatch the Royals. After a third quarter to allowed them to establish a 69-59 lead, Fran Yu led a 19-6 run in the final period to break the game open at 88-65 with four minutes left.

The Letran playmaker finished with eleven points, three rebounds, and five assists in almost 26.5 minutes, while Ryan Costelo added a game-high fifteen points off the bench, as well as five rebounds and two assists.

Justin Arana almost produced a double-double with fourteen points and nine boards. Ced Ablaza netted thirteen markers for Pasig, which joins Bacoor and Bacolod with spotless records in Pool A.

Head coach Bong Dela Cruz shared post-match, "Yung first half kasi ang nakita ko siyempre first game, medyo gigil yung mga players, gigil sa basketball ulit so doon kami nawala sa wisyo.

He adds, "Pag dating ng second half sa dugout kinausap namin na tapos na yung first half. Now, itong 'pag dating ng third quarter start na natin yung ginagawa natin sa practices which is na-execute nila yung game plan namin."

Levi Hernandez led Iloilo with fourteen points and three rebounds, while Aaron Jeruta added twelve points and four rebounds. The Royals will have a chance to bounce back on Wednesday when they face Bacolod at 130pm.

Later that same day, the Realtors will face off against the Strikers at 730pm.

The Scores:

Pasig (90) - Costelo 15, Arana 14, Ablaza 13, Yu 11, Bautista 9, Caralipio 8, Apinan 8, Mina 7, Teng 3, Lingganay 2, Ambohot 0

Iloilo (69) - Hernandez 14, Jeruta 12, Mahari 11, Maguliano 9, Taywan 8, Jaime 5, Vito 4, Iñigo 2, Santiago 2, Bederi 2, Javelosa 0, Gumaru 0

Quarterscores: 24-21, 46-40, 69-59, 90-69

Bacoor spoils Caloocan debut in MPBL Invitational

Jerome Garcia

Bacoor took advantage of a sizzling Jerome Garcia to secure a win in the Chooks-to-Go Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League Invitational powered by TM, dispatching Caloocan, 72-50.

Garcia scored nineteen of his 26 points in the first half, after going scoreless in just four minutes during their opener against Bacolod. The EAC alum also nailed six triples, falling just one point short of matching the tournament-high 27 points set by Orlan Wamar last Thursday.

His explosion, coupled with their defense limited the Excellence to just five points in the second period allowed the Strikers to establish a 40-21 advantage. The lead would eventually reach as high as 35 points during the fourth quarter at 65-30, thanks to a Salvador Galit jumper.

Head coach Aldrin Morante shared afterwards, "Siguro adjustments namin ano, first game talagang ni wala kaming tune up game. Yung game namin talagang yun lang after three weeks of practicing kaya medyo nangangapa. Ngayon yung practice namin kahapon ano e, bale move on na. Natuto na lang kami sa pagkatalo namin."

Richard Albo registered a double-double for Bacoor with thirteen points and twelve rebounds, while Paolo Castro added nine points and three assists.

Pao Javillonar led Caloocan with seventeen points and fourteen rebounds, with Mon Mabayo almost securing a double-double of his own with thirteen points and nine boards. Cedric Labing-isa provided six points, four rebounds, and six assists.

The Strikers will try to net their second win in Pool A against Pasig at 730pm on Wednesday, with Caloocan and Negros will duke it out at noon on Tuesday to see who gets their first win of the tournament.

The Scores: 

Bacoor (72) - Garcia 26, Albo 13, Castro 9, Doligon 6, Acidre 6, Canon 5, Galicia 3, Galit 2, Raymundo 2, Quilatan 0, Acuña 0, Malabag 0

Caloocan (50) - Javillonar 17, Mabayo 13, Peñaredondo 9, Labing-isa 6, Matias 3, Abastillas 2, Pacquiao 0, Gil 0, Lasco 0, Raflores 0, Santos 0, Rosagas 0

Quarterscores: 17-16, 40-21, 60-30, 72-50

Manila tramples Rizal in MPBL Invitational

It did not take long for Manila to bounce back from their opening round matchup in the Chooks-to-Go Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League, as they took down EMKAI-Rizal Xentro Mall, 89-59 at the Mall of Asia Arena.

It was a dominant encounter, as the Stars established an 24-11 lead after the first quarter after Dan Sara and Brent Paraiso each scoring eight points in the period.

Sara continued his burst in the second quarter to make it 47-24 at the half, with the lead ballooning to as high as 34 points.

The former Red Lion eventually finished with sixteen points. He noted afterwards, "We just set our composure. With Carlo Lastimosa out, we need to have the next man up para makuha namin yung goal namin today." Lastimosa missed the game due to a knee issue that remains day-to-day.

He adds, "We also had to make a statement."

Acknowledging their 77-80 defeat to Mindoro, head coach Cholo Villanueva reminded his team focus more on the positives. He shares, "It's a relatively young team and siguro everybody was excited yesterday. We had a chance to win yesterday but we were able to build momentum from yesterday."

He also adds, "It's a short tournament so we need to look at the film and see the mistakes that we are making. It's a different animal each game, so we have to study them and be ready to compete."

Paraiso would finish with thirteen points, while John Rey Villanueva contributing fourteen points, five rebounds, four assists and a couple of steals. Mark Neil Cruz netted a double-double with twelve points and thirteen rebounds.

Laurenz Victoria led the Golden Coolers with thirteen points, while Andrian Celada added ten points on 4/12 shooting.

Manila hopes to net back-to-back wins in the invitational when they face GenSan on Wednesday, 5PM.

The Scores:

Manila 89 - Sara 16, Villanueva 14, Paraiso 13, Cruz 12, Mangahas 11, Dyke 8, Ambulodto 6, Battaller 5, Asuncion 2, Importante 2, Baltazar 0, Lopez 0.

Rizal 59 - Victoria 13, Celada 10, Serrano 8, Benitez 6, Sunga 5, Acibar 5, Rios 4, Pretta 3, Dela Cruz 3, Melegrito 1, Vasallo 1, Saret 0.

Quarterscores: 24-11, 47-24, 58-50, 89-59.

Sunday, December 12, 2021

Bacolod outshines Negros in MPBL Invitiational derby

JK Casino

Bacolod held on in the endgame to preserve a 68-67 victory over Negros to cap off the second day of action at the Chooks-to-Go Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League Invitational powered by TM inside the Mall of Asia Arena.

Ichie Altamirano converted two free throws to allow Bacolod to take a 68-67 lead with twelve seconds remaining. He would finish with thirteen points and four rebounds.

The Muscovados, who had been down by as much as twelve in the final period, managed to take the lead after four straight points from Jonathan Gantalao at 67-66. They had a chance to snatch away the win, but Ralph Dinolan lost the ball to Kraniel Villoria as time expired.

Bacolod head coach Alex Angeles praised their opposition, "Hats off ako doon sa team ng Negros kasi despite na controlled nga natin yung laro nandun pa rin sila bumabalik balik." He also added, "Pero sa part namin, oo hindi masaya pero sa positive side a win is a win. Tapos ito magpapatibay lalo samin yung mga ganitong klaseng sitwasyon."

JK Casino led the Ballers with fifteen points, with John Pastias and Arben Dionson adding a combined seventeen markers.

Jaycee Adjei led Negros with thirteen points and six rebounds, with Jafet Claridad and Dinonal each notching ten markers.

Bacolod seeks to make it three straight victories in the tournament with a win against Iloilo on Wednesday at 230pm, while Negros looks to prevent a three-game skid against Caloocan on Tuesday at noon.

The Scores:

Bacolod (68) - Casiño 15, Altamirano 13, Pastias 9, Dionson 8, Viloria 6, Montuano 5, Baiquin 5, Tulipas 4, Soriano 3, Gonzales 0, Colonia 0, Comia 0

Negros (67) - Adjei 13, Gantalao 11, Claridad 10, Dinolan 10, Macion 8, Geolingo 7, Yulo 4, Calma 3, Santillan 1, Maestre 0, Menguez 0, Gadon 0

Quarterscores: 22-11, 39-30, 53-44, 68-67.

Mindoro fends off Manila in MPBL Invitational

James Castro

Mindoro-EOG Burlington rode on an inspired performance from Ryusei Koga to fend off Manila, 80-77, in their opening match at the Chooks-to-Go Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League Invitational powered by TM, Sunday afternoon at the Mall of Asia Arena.

Koga nailed a three-pointer with 106 seconds left in the game to extend the Tamaraws' lead to 78-73. He would finish with seventeen points, three rebounds, and four assists.

Manila would eventually manage to cut down the deficit to a couple of points after Brent Paraiso secured a couple of free throws, but James Castro would ice the game with a couple of his own to preserve the victory for Mindoro.

Tamaraws head coach Britt Reroma credits the team's chemistry in the win. He said post-game, "If you notice yung mga players namin they're more familiar with each other. So kasi maigsi nga lang yung preparation, so we formed a team na kilala talaga namin."

For Koga, it was a special win, dedicating it to his late grandfather Antonio Geralao, who passed away last November 3. He shared afterwards, "It's my lolo's 40th day today so before the game talagang pinuntahan ko yung puntod niya, nag dasal ako. Super fan ko siya, every game ko noon nanonood siya kaya sabi ko yung game na 'to para sa kaniya."

Castro finished with seventeen points in the win, with Alvin Baetiong adding thirteen and six rebounds, while Jeymark Mallari and Jeramer Cabanag combining for seventeen points as well.

John Ambulodto and Paraiso led the way for Manila with 14 points apiece.

Mindoro hopes for back-to-back victories against Bulacan on Tuesday at 930am, with Manila seeking an immediate bounce back against Rizal on Monday, also at 930am.

The Scores:

Mindoro (80) - Castro 17, Koga 17, Baetiong 13, Mallari 9, Cabanag 8, Mariano 8, Matias 3, Villapando 3, Cosejo 2, Liwag 0, Saldana 0, Caldozo 0

Manila (77) - Ambulodto 14, Paraiso 14, Cruz 11, Sara 9, Villanueva 9, Dyke 8, Bataller 5, Mangahas 4, Importante 3, Lopez 0, Asuncion 0, Baltazar 0

Quarterscores: 22-17, 45-38, 65-55, 80-77

Tallo stars for Bicol in Chooks MPBL Invitational

Mac Tallo

Bicol didn't take long in bouncing back from their opening day defeat at the Chooks-to-Go Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League powered by TM.

The Volcanoes snagged an 80-68 victory over Laguna-Krah asia on Sunday, with Mac Tallo leading the way with eighteen points, seven rebounds, and a couple of assists.

Head coach Aldin Ayo shared post-match, "We played well today compared to our performance yesterday, but based on what we've seen, although we are in the tournament already, we are still a work in progress." He added, "If you noticed, yesterday we shot 50 three-point shots and we made only 11. That means trigger happy lahat eh. Everybody wants to score although we've discussed that already pero siyempre first game, excited."

After a narrow 65-70 loss to Basilan, Bicol put up a much better effort against the Heroes, eventually erecting a 71-52 lead in the fourth quarter.

Kent Lao nailed three triples on his way to fourteen points, with Ralph Tansingco adding ten markers, three rebounds, and a couple of assists. Dennis Santos followed up his 22-point outing with eight in the win.

Kim Aurin led Laguna with thirteen points, six rebounds, and three assists in their opening match of the invitational. MJ Dela Virgen and AJ Coronel each added eleven markers.

Bicol hopes to secure back-to-back wins as they face Makati on Wednesday at noon, whilst Laguna gets a quick turnaround against Marikina on Monday at 730pm.

The Scores:

Bicol-LCC Malls 80 - Tallo 18, Lao 14, Tansingco 10, Santos 8, Marcelino 7, Cruz 5, Huang 4, Lanete 4, Yee 4, Pericas 2, Luib 2, Gabawan 2

Laguna-Krah Asia 68 - Aurin 13, Coronel 11, Dela Virgen 11, Fajarito 10, Serios 7, Rivera 5, Guiab 4, Fuentes 3, Charcos 2, Laban 2, Anonuevo 0, Saguiguit 0

Quarterscores: 14-12, 36-23, 54-39, 80-68

Rizal shackles GenSan in MPBL Invitational

Andrian Celada

EMKAI-Rizal Xentromall relied on their defense to hold off GenSan, 73-66, in Pool D action at the Chooks-to-Go Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League Invitational powered by TM on Sunday at the Mall of Asia Arena.

The Warriors shot just 32.8% from the field against the Golden Coolers, who only had a couple of weeks of preparation for the competition.

However, they had a chance to make game out of it after being down by as much as sixteen late in the third. From a 39-55 deficit, the duo of Ronjay Buenafe and Felix Apreku sparked a 16-2 rally to make it a one-possession game, 55-57 with 6:41 left.

Fortunately for Rizal, Andrian Celada and Jordan Rios made sure Rodney Santos' coaching debut with the team will be a victorious one, each scoring seven points down the stretch to preserve the victory.

Celada would finish with 23 points, seven rebounds, three steals, and a couple of blocks. Rios added sixteen points and nine rebounds.

Mark Benitez added ten rebounds, while Kurt Sunga dished out eight assists.

Santos shared afterwards, "Nagso-sorry nga ako sa mga players because I had to squeeze in my schemes and system in just two weeks. Pagdating lang sa game, dumepensa lang ang gusto ko. Puwede sila magkamali sa opensa pero hindi sa depensa. At the end of the day, yung offense bonus na lang yan." He adds, "Mixed emotion ako kasi going into game, kasi nandun yung pressure. Sabi ko nga sa kanila sa dugout, yung pinakaimportante in a short tournament is win the first game."

Buenafe led GenSan with twenty points, with Apreku netting ten markers. RJ Ramirez added eleven in the defeat.

Team stalwarts Pamboy Raymundo and Gerald Anderson were limited in today's action, with the former restricted to four points and committing three turnovers, and the latter scoring a couple of free throws in just three minutes of action.

Rizal joins Imus atop Pool D and will face Manila on Monday.

The Scores:

EMKAI-Rizal 73 - Celada 23, Rios 16, Serrano 9, Victoria 8, Acibar 8, Benitez 4, Sunga 2, Melegrito 2, Pretta 1, Dela Cruz 0, Villanueva 0.

GenSan 66 - Buenafe 20, Ramirez 11, Apreku 10, Masaglang 9, Raymundo 4, Galoran 4, Saldua 4, Anderson 2, Ongteco 2, Mondragon 1, Nakpil 0, Pangilinan 0.

Quarterscores: 17-11, 35-29, 57-43, 73-66.

Nueva Ecija showcases depth against Sarangani

Nueva Ecija showed why they are one of the favorites in the Chooks-to-Go Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League Invitational, securing a 99-92 win over Sarangani on Sunday at the Mall of Asia Arena.

At the same time, head coach Carlo Tan expressed disappointment with their defensive performance. He shares, post-match, "I feel the players played not so good in general but offensively, we were really good,. There are some things that we need to clean up defensively."

Tan also adds, "We really had 10 days to work with this team. It's still a work in progress."

The Rice Vanguards flaunted their depth in this one, with the trio of Michael Mabulac, JP Sarao, and Byron Villarias anchoring the offense in the first three quarters, with Roi Sumang, Renz Palma, and Diego Dario chipping in late to preserve the victory.

Mabulac finished with seventeen points and six rebounds, with Sarao adding fifteen and five. Villarias added four triples on his way to fourteen points, while Sumang netted eight points, three rebounds, five assists, and a couple of steals.

Macky Acosta led the Marlins in scoring with seventeen points, with Marvin Lee adding fifteen markers and also contributing six rebounds, four assists, and a steal. Paul Sanga and Gabby Espinas combined for 24 points as well for Sarangani, who shot 47% from the field in this matchup.

The win puts Nueva Ecija alongside San Juan atop Pool C, with Sarangani joins Val City at the bottom.

The Marlins face off against the Knights tomorrow, with the Nueva Ecija having a little bit of a break before facing Val City on Thursday.

The Scores:

Nueva Ecija 99  - Mabulac 17, Sarao 15, Villarias 14, Gutang 10, Bitoon 10, Gozum 8, Sumang 8, Palma 8, Dario 6, Balucanag 3, Belgica 0.

Sarangani 92 - Acosta 17, Lee, 15, Sanga 13, Espinas 11, Sarangay 9, Marilao 8, Munsayac 7, Basibas 4, Monteclaro 3, Bautista 3, Ludovice 2, Sta. Ana 0.

Quarterscores: 22-13, 49-38, 75-65, 99-92.

Basilan caps MPBL Invitational opener with Bicol win

Michael Juico

The much-anticipated matchup between Basilan and Bicol lived up to the hype on Saturday night, as former held off the latter, 70-65, in Pool B action at the Chooks-to-Go Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League Invitational powered by TM inside the Mall of Asia Arena.

Basilan head coach Jerson Cabiltes shared post-match, "It was a hard-fought game from start to finish."

He adds, "They built a big lead at the start between the first and second quarter we were down by 15. I just told the boys not to give up and to stay with our system and to keep the pressure on. Ayun nga, buti na lang nag bunga nung dulo."

Bicol led 26-11 at that point, and Jumbo Plastic-backed side battled back to overcome the deficit.

After drawing Mark Yee's fifth foul, JR Taganas secured a split of his free throws to establish a 67-65 lead with 47.2 seconds remaining.

Another split from the from the charity stripe, this time from Jay Collado, made it a three-point game with 11.4 seconds left.

Bicol had a chance to tie the game, but Dennis Santos misfires on his three-pointer. Ernesto Bondoc would then convert on a fastbreak layup to cap scoring in the game.

Michael Juico topped Basilan with 24 points on 7/13 shooting, with six rebounds, four assists, and three steals in the victory. Collado added fifteen points and seven rebounds, with team skipper Jonathan Uyloan contributing eleven markers, a couple of boards, and three steals.

Santos led the Volcanoes in scoring with 22 points and four rebounds, while Ralph Tansingco netted thirteen markers. Top-ranked 3x3 baller Mac Tallo finished with twelve points, three rebounds, and five assists.

It will not take long for Bicol to try to give Aldin Ayo a win in his return to five-on-five coaching, as they face Laguna on Sunday at 1pm, while Basilan takes an uncharacteristic four-day break before returning to the court on Thursday against Marikina at 5pm.

The Scores: 

Basilan (70) - Juico 24, Collado 15, Uyloan 11, Serrano 6, Reyes 4, Bondoc 4, Siruma 3, Bringas 2, Taganas 1, Gabo 0, Gimpayan 0, Manalang 0

Bicol (65) - Santos 22, Tansingco 13, Tallo 12, Cruz 5, Yee 5, Marcelino 3, Huang 3, Luib 2, Lao 0, Gabawan 0

Quarterscores: 11-20, 35-35, 51-47, 70-65.

Saturday, December 11, 2021

Imus claims Chooks MPBL Invitational opener

Imus-Buracai De Laiya kickstarted their participation in the Chooks-to-Go Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League powered by TM with a 75-65 victory over Bulacan on Saturday at the Mall of Asia Arena.

The Bandera blew the game wide open in the third quarter, with Leo Najorda's jumper to make it a 56-38 ballgame.

Bulacan managed to cut that deficit to 51-61 through a Oneal Arim bucket, but Najorda led a rally to restore a seventeen-point advantage at 75-58 with 88 seconds remaining.

Imus head coach Manny Torralba shared after the game, "Thankful, thankful sa Lord na nagkaroon tayo ng trabaho. Before the game, I entered the arena pumunta ako [kay] Jesus Christ and I surrendered all my anxiety, yung takot ko... Bigyan niya ako ng mind na aangkop sa malinis paglalaro ng basketball."

Adi Santos led the way for Imus with a double-double, contributing twelve points and thirteen rebounds, as well as adding three assists. Ian Melecio added a team-high fifteen points to go with three rebounds and five assists.

Najorda finished with twelve points, three rebounds, and four assists, while Jhaymo Eguilos added thirteen points, five rebounds, five assists, and a couple of steals.

Jovit dela Cruz led the Kuyas with sixteen points on 7/9 shooting. Bryan Faundo added eleven points and eight rebounds, while Kyle Neypes netted seven markers, five rebounds, and a couple of assists.

Imus will try to get its second victory of the invitational against GenSan on Tuesday at 730pm, while Bulacan attempts to bounce back against Mindoro earlier that day at 930am.

The Scores:

Imus-Buracai De Laiya (75) - Melencio 15, Eguilos 13, Najorda 12, Santos 12, Rogado 11, Reyson 5, Mangalinon3, Llagas 2, Tan 2, Bragais 0, Fuentes 0, Medalla 0

Bulacan (65) - Dela Cruz 16, Faundo 11, Neypes 7, Hoyohoy 7, Caspe 7, Arim 6, Escosio 5, Iñigo 4, De Mesa 2, Martinez 0, Teodoro 0, Marquez 0, Bacay 0

Quarterscores: 18-20, 39-31 61-48, 75-65

All-Star Bacolod completes comeback over Bacoor

Ichie Altamirano

Bacolod nipped Bacoor, 73-71, in their respective Chooks-to-Go Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League Invitational powered by TM openers on Saturday at the Mall of Asia Arena.

JK Casino converted an and-one off a Paolo Castro to give them a 72-71 lead with 28.4 seconds remaining, with the Centro Escolar University alumnus adding a split from an ensuring foul with 6.8 seconds remaining to make it 73-71. He would finish with eight points and nine assists.

The Strikers had a chance to either force an extension of clinch the victory, but Rocky Acidre missed a triple and Mark Doligon was unable to convert a jumper as time expired.

Bacolod head coach Alex Angeles shared after the game, "Ang pini-preach ko naman sa kanila hindi 'man kami maganda sa papel, pero we make sure magtatrabaho kami sa practice." He adds, "Kumbaga suklian lang namin yung grupo na nagpabalik sa amin sa game. Susuklian namin ng depensa kasi kung nakita niyo may run kami, may run sila pero at the end of the day kung sino yung dedepensa sila yung mananalo. Dun kami nag focus especially nung crunch time."

Ichie Altamirano led the team in scoring with twelve points, whilst adding five rebounds and three steals, all coming off the bench. Kenneth Tulipas netted eight points, while Nhomer Gonzales tacking five points and eleven rebounds, as they snatched a win in a game that saw them trail by sixteen in the third period.

Leading the way for Bacoor in the loss is Richard Albo, who topped all scorers with twenty points, while adding five rebounds, three assists, two steals, and a block. Doligon also provided nineteen points and eleven rebounds, with Acidre contributing thirteen points, four boards, and three dimes.

Bacolod joins Iloilo atop Pool A with a win on their slate, while Bacoor joins Negros at the bottom with their respecitve lone defeats.

Bacolod faces off against Negros at 630pm on Sunday, while Bacoor faces Caloocan on Monday at noon.

The Scores: 

Bacolod (73) - Altamirano 12, Casiño 9, Tulipas 8, Viloria 7, Dionson 6, Montuano 6, Baiquin 6, Gonzales 5, Pastias 4, Soriano 3, Dela Cruz 0

Bacoor (71) - Albo 20, Doligon 19, Acidre 13, Castro 9, Canon 6, Galit 4, Taladua 0, Quilatan 0, Acuña 0, Garcia 0

Quarterscores: 11-20, 31-43, 58-55, 73-71

San Juan takes down Val City in MPBL Invitational opener

Orlan Wamar

San Juan-Go for Gold AICC rode on the hot shooting of Orlan Wamar to secure a 97-64 victory over Val City -MJAS Zenith to kick off their campaign at the Chooks-to-Go Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League Invitational powered by TM on Saturday at the Mall of Asia Arena.

Wamar dropped seventeen of his game-high 27 points in the first half, including five triples to help the Knights erect a 47-26 lead into the break. The team eventually finished with 50.7% shooting, with 29 of the 35 field goal conversions being assisted.

Tagged as one of the favorites, San Juan head coach Randy Alcantara played down the expectations. He shared to the media after the game, "Hindi naman kami favorite, siguro na-hype lang. Ayaw namin lagay sa ulo namin 'yun at kailangan namin trabahuin namin yun."

He adds, "Tulad dito sa Valenzuela, nakauna lang kami pero kung hindi, may paglalagyan kami."

Supporting Wamar are Arvin Gamboa and Jason Melano, who each contributed eleven points. The latter also added eight rebounds, while Mon Abudo chipped in six points and eight dimes.

Val City struggled against the Knights from the tip, limited to just eight points in the first quarter. They would finish with just 37.5 percent shooting. Kevin Villafranca and Patrick Cabahug combined to go 12/29 from the field and 27 points. Andrey Armenion dished out eleven assists and Reeve Ugsang grabbed eleven boards.

San Juan looks to make it back-to-back wins in the Invitational against Sarangani on Monday at 5pm, while Val City gets a couple of days off before facing Muntinlupa on Tuesday at 230pm.

Alcantara notes, "Sa format ng liga na ito, kailangan ready talaga yung mga players para umabot sa dulo. Walang mahina na grupo at hindi mo alam sino mananalo kada game. Sa amin, kailangan namin magpakondisyon at i-ready namin yung mga players sa mga susunod-sunod na laro."

The Scores:

San Juan-Go for Gold 97 - Wamar 27, Gamboa 11, Melano 11, Rodriguez 9, Clarito 7, Hernandez 6, Isit 6, Abundo 6, Nocum 4, Bunag 4, Calma 4.

Val City-MJAS Zenith 64 - Villafranca 14, Cabahug 13, Armenion 8, Mojica 8, Moralde 5, Bauzon 5, Ugsang 4, Cachuela 3, Darang 2, Elmejrab 2, Cahigas 0, Delator 0.

Quarterscores: 24-8, 47-26, 71-44, 97-64.

Simple ceremonies mark Chooks MPBL Invitational opener


After a couple of years, the Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League is back, with milestones on tap for its return.

The league is set to have its first games since its bubble experience in Subic to close out the Rajah Cup, and with their official transition as a professional league, they will be the first league to officially open its doors to fans since the pandemic began to take root.

Bounty Agro Ventures, Inc. president Ronald Mascarinas highlighted these when he addressed the crowd inside the Mall of Asia Arena.

He shares, "Ang aming munting kumpanya dahil sa wakas ay makakalaro na rin tayo sa wakas sa harap ng ating basketball fans. Kami nila Senador Manny Pacquiao, Commissioner Kenneth Duremdes, ay tapos pusong nagpapasalamat sa kagalang-galang na mayor ng Pasay City. Mayor Calixto Rubiano na pinaunlakan ang kagustuhan ng mga fans ng live basketball action."

The Chooks-to-Go boss continues, "Sa tulong ng ating chairman ng GAB Baham Mitra, ang ating liga ngayon ay propesyonal na. Magbibigay ito ng mas maayos na kabuhayan sa ating mga manlalaro at game officials." He also notes, "Pero may kaakibat ito na malaking responsibilidad dahil kayo ngayon ay tumatayong ehemplo ng kabataan upang ipakita ang totoong diwa ng sportsmanship. Play hard but most importantly play fair."

League founder Manny Pacquiao graced the proceedings as the guest of honor, and highlighted the MPBL's newfound status alongside the Games and Amusements Board in curbing the threat of game-fixing.

"Sa kabila ng ating pinagdadaanan, narito ako sa inyong harapan upang muling buksan ang mahal nating Chooks-to-Go Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League," said the senator. "Ang pagsasanib pwersa ng Chooks-to-Go at MPBL upang muling buhayin at itaas ang antas ng Philippine basketball. At sa mga susunod na buwan, mag-iikot kami sa mga kapuluan upang mas mailapit sa inyo ang tunay na liga ng bawat Pilipino."

"Bago pa ang lahat, muli akong nagpapaalala na walang lugar o puwang ang game-fixing dito sa liga ng bawat Pilipino. Sa mga nagtatangka na pumasok o pasukan ng game-fixing, huwag niyo kong subukan. Masyadong mataas ang aking respeto sa larong basketball at sa sports. Pahalagahan natin ang laro na nagbibigay saya at kabuhayan sa mas maraming Pilipino."

The simple ceremonies featured the parade of the 22 teams participating in the tournament, as well as an appearance by Tokyo 2020 bronze medalist Eumir Marcial and a performance by Aicelle Santos-Zambrano.

Friday, December 10, 2021

Chooks MPBL Invitational set for opener, fans allowed

Saturday schedule:

9:30 am - Iloilo vs Negros (Pool A)

12:00 nn - Opening Ceremony

1:30 pm - San Juan vs Val City (Pool C)

4:00 pm - Bacolod vs Bacoor (Pool A)

6:30 pm - Bulacan vs Imus (Pool D)

9:00 pm - Bicol vs Basilan (Pool B)

The Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League is set to reignite and make history once again.

Both the local government of Pasay City and the Games and Amusements Board have given their consent to have the SM Mall of Asia Arena host fans during the 2021 Chooks-to-Go Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League powered by TM.

The first couple of days will see a maximum of 1400 fans, but that will eventually lead to a fifty-percent audience capacity of 7500 afterwards.

Each of the ten teams scheduled to play tomorrow and Sunday will receive a hundred tickets for their allocation, with the league also giving away 300 tickets on a first-come, first-serve basis. Fans are expected to be fully vaccinated and must furnish a valid ID.

Interested fans can head to the Coral Way entrance to take advantage of this deal.

Chooks-to-Go president Ronald Mascariñas shares, "We all know that the fans are excited to be allowed back inside the SM Mall of Asia Arena. The first two days though will be our test on how we can fully bring the fans back at the MOA Arena. If our protocols prove to be safe, we will gradually bring more fans in and, hopefully, have 7,500 fully-vaccinated fans inside the venue come the playoffs."

The Chooks MPBL Invitiational will also hold a brief opening ceremony with both Mascariñas and league founder Manny Pacquiao set to grace the occasion.

Aicelle Santos and all-girl band Rogue will serve as performers, with all 22 teams set to parade themselves alongside their respective muses.

The five-game slate will feature the much-anticipated matchup between the Bicol Volcanoes-LCC Malls against Basilan-Jumbo Plastic Medical Depot at 9pm.

Serving as the appetizer just before the opening ceremonies are the Iloilo United Royals and league newcomers Negros Muscovados at 930am, with the Lakan Cup runners-up San Juan Knights-Go for Gold AICC facing off against Val City-MJAS Zenith at 130pm.

The other matchups of the day feature All-Star Bacolod Ballers against Bacoor Strikers at 4pm, followed by the Bulacan Kuyas and the Imus Bandera - Buracai de Laiya at 630pm.

Matches will be streamed LIVE on the Facebook pages of Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas and the Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League, with one game per day set to be aired on IBC 13. Sundays are the exception in the elimination round with two games set for broadcast.

The league also shared its broadcast component, with Noli Eala, Benjie Paras, Anton Roxas, Christian Luanzon, Potit de Vera, Mikee Reyes, Javi Palana, and Mark Zambrano on the call, whilst serving as courtside reporters are Mica Abesamis, Makyla Chavez, Christiana Dimaunahan, Gianna Llanes, Yani Mayo, and Aiyana Perlas.

SKY to offer special Pinoy boxing bundle

SKY is set to satisfy the taste of boxing fans with a slate of quality fights, including top Filipino prizefighters, with SKY PPV's Filipino Boxing Bundle.

This coming December 12 in Dubai, John Riel Casimero (31-4) defends his WBO bantamweight belt against Paul Butler (33-2) in the main event of Probellum: Revolution, with Jayson Mama challenging fellow 16-0 undefeated fighter Sunny Edwards for the IBF flyweight strap.

Also fighting in that event is Donnie Nietes (43-1-5), who will face Norbelto Jimenez (30-9-5) in a title eliminator for the WBA super flyweight division.

Ten days later, Victorio Saludar (21-4) heads the Dominican Republic to defend his WBA minimumweight title against Eric Rosa Pacheco (4-0).

Both boxing events within the Filipino boxing bundle will have same day and next day replays.

The bundle is available for PhP 200, with commercial-free bouts coming in high-definition.

To subscribe to the bundle, one can check out or text SKY PPV <Accout No.> to 23662.

For more details, follow SKY on Facebook (, Twitter, and Instagram (@myskyupdates).

Thursday, December 9, 2021

MPBL secures GAB nod as a professional league

Chooks-to-Go Sports and Marketing Director Mel Macasaquit, Games and Amusements Board Chairman Abraham Mitra, and Chooks-to-Go MPBL commissioner Kenneth Duremdes

The Games and Amusements Board has given its approval on Thursday for the newest professional league in the country, the Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League.

GAB Chairman Abraham Mitra says, "It's such an honor for all of us to have you. Madaming nangyari sa GAB over the past few years pero this is one of the biggest. Madami nagsasabi na masarap sa pakiramdam na magpropro na kami. Maraming nananaginip na maging professional players at makakamit na nila ito sa MPBL."

The league had maintained an amateur status since its inception in 2017, but with the recent decision by GAB and the Philippine Sports Commission regarding the status of professional and amateur leagues, as well as the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has forced it to rethink its position.

League commissioner Kenneth Duremdes shares, "Over the last two years, the players have been praying for the league to resume. During those two years, the league had a time to re-assess our direction. Through perseverence and patience, nandito na tayo. We are back with the help of our partner Chooks-to-Go and the guidance of GAB."

With the announcement, the upcoming Chooks-to-Go MPBL Invitational Tournament this coming December 11-23 will be its first as a professional.

In the run-up towards the start of the competition on  December 11, the 22 participating teams also secured their accreditation as professional teams, which came with the refresher on what the benefits are available in holding a GAB professional license.

They were also reminded of the efforts GAB has in place against game-fixing and point-shaving.

Mitra shares, "Because of Chooks-to-Go, the MPBL is turning professional. GAB will be here in making this tough path of restarting in a pandemic with you. We always believe in self-regulation. Kung ano yung pangangalakad nila, we will respect that." He continues, "We just want to remind everybody that we will not allow any game-fixing. Alam natin na yan nakakasira sa ating laro. Sa ating code of conduct, nakalagay dun na you have to disassociate yourself from game-fixing and point-shaving."

Duremdes adds, "We are now a pro league. With GAB with us, yung mga players na may binabalak, magisip-isip na sila. Once na magkaroon kayo ng bad image, it will be hard to get back."

Wednesday, December 8, 2021

TAP Go set for Probellum broadcast featuring Casimero, Mama


TAP DMV has snapped up another sporting event, as they secured the broadcast rights for Probellum: Revolution.

The boxing event will take place at the Coca Cola Arena in Dubai on December 12, with the broadcast set to start at midnight, live on Tap Go. Those who prefer to watch it on television can check out Tap Sports on their cable provider at 9pm for a same day telecast.

The main event features a WBO bantamweight title matchup between the champion John Riel Casimero (31-4) and the challenger Paul Butler (33-2). Also featured is the IBF flyweight title fight between two 16-0 fighters in the form of champion Jayson Mama and challenger Sunny Edwards.

Butler makes his first foray outside the United Kingdom as he tries to snatch away the belt from Casimero, who is not fazed by the need to travel overseas. The Brit is fresh from claiming the WBO International Bantamweight title from Willibaldo Garcia back in June via split decision.

The champ is also fresh from a split decision victory last August at the Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson, California.

As for the co-main, this matchup is fresh from a three-month postponement due to Edwards incurring an injury. Mama hopes to claim his first title with a victory.

In addition, Donnie Nietes is set to make his return to the ring against Norbelto Jimenez in a WBA Super Flyweight title eliminator.

The 39-year-old four-division champion will be facing a 30-year-old smarting from two missed title opportunities, drawing against Aliu Bamidele Lasisi for the WBC International Super Flyweight title and a defeat to Khalid Yafai for the WBA World Super Flyweight title.

Thursday, December 2, 2021

Tap Sports snags AFF Suzuki Cup broadcast rights

The premier regional competition in ASEAN is headed to TapGo.

Tap Digital Media Ventures (Tap DMV) recently revealed their media acquisition on their social media, followed by the official announcement by the ASEAN Football Federation.

The deal ensure TAP has exclusive rights to the competition in the Philippines, broadcasting all the matches of the tournament, including the semifinals and finals.

AFF President Major General Khiev Sameth says, "We are pleased that... TAP DMV have come on board to further expand the coverage of the AFF Suzuki Cup to reach more fans and new audiences in Asia. Few sporting events in Asia come close to the level of popularity and interest that the AFF Suzuki Cup garner, and we are glad that our fans in... Philippines are now able to catch all the best football action from the comforts of their homes."

SPORTFIVE SEAsia Managing Director Malcolm Thorpe adds, "We are delighted to welcome... TAP DMV as official broadcasters of the AFF Suzuki Cup 2020 for... the Philippines.... The continued interest in the event from major broadcast partners clearly demonstrates the attractiveness of the AFF Suzuki Cup across Asia, and not just in the ASEAN region. We are certain that fans in all these countries will be enthralled with the exhilarating football action and we look forward to working with these experienced media partners to deliver one of the most highly anticipated editions of the AFF Suzuki Cup to all our football fans in these regions."

Of course, Filipinos are very much excited for the chance to watch the Philippines compete in the twice-postponed tournament, although the road towards a return trip to the semifinals is very much complicated.

They kick things off against hosts and three-time champions Singapore on December 8, followed by Timor Leste on the 11th and five-time champions Thailand on the 14th, all of which take place at the Singapore National Stadium.

The Azkals close out against Myanmar at Bishan Stadium on the 18th.

Under Scott Cooper, the Azkals will be led by team captain Stephan Schroeck, with vice captain Patrick Reichelt, Martin Steuble, and Amani Aguinaldo getting the chance to participate in their fourth AFF Suzuki Cup.

Leading the way for the newcomers is newly naturalized striker Bienvenido Maranon, alongside Malaysia League standout Kevin Ray Mendoza (Hansen) of Kuala Lumpur City FC and the much anticipated senior debut of Jesper Nyholm of Djurgardens IF.

Also present is Jefferson Tabinas of Japanese side Mito Hollyrock, whose stint in the dual World Cup/Asian Cup qualifying earned praise and plaudits from fans and analysts alike.

TAP DMV is expected to show its games on Premier Football on television, which is available on the major cable networks. For those who have the TapGo app, one can watch the games with at least the TapGo Premium plans, which are available for just PhP 299/monthly.

MPBL Invitational set for IBC-13 broadcast

IBC-13 Chairman Arturo Alejandrino and MPBL commissioner Kenneth Duremdes

The Chooks-to-Go Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League's Invitational Tournament will be shown on television.

International Broadcast Corporation (IBC-13) will be showing select matches of the December tournament when it starts this weekend, after both sides entered into an agreement on Wednesday night at the Harbor View Restaurant in Manila.

The Chooks MPBL Invitational marks the league's return to action after a nine-month hiatus as a result of the pandemic.

IBC-13 chairman Arturo Alejandrino believes that having sports on the government channel is a means of helping things return to normalcy. He shares, "You know we are very excited partnering with the MPBL because we are going to go back to where we came from. We were in basketball before and for a while, we became very quiet and you know partnering with them is really a milestone also for IBC and we are excited as they are."

Alejandrino continues, "You know last year we have started partnering with Department of Education to bring classrooms into their homes via television, and because of that our viewership got up tremendously and I am glad that because of this viewership base you know the broadcast of the games of MPBL is going to be viewed by Filipinos all over the country."

He adds, "Ang reach natin is from north up to Mindanao, so the basketball flag can go forward and be able to see basketball once again in their television sets. And we will develop more and more partnerships together, but again as I said we have decided in Channel 13 to be able to develop and contribute and one of them is to develop sports. And we are all excited and looking forward to December 11 for the launch."

"We are glad that the MPBL has found a home in IBC 13 and that basketball is back there," said Chooks-to-Go president Ronald Mascariñas. "With the reach of IBC 13 and our social media pages, we are confident that we can bring the league into many homes and be an inspiration to the Filipino youth."

MPBL commissioner Kenneth Duremdes is just glad that the league will be ushering in the return of sports to IBC-13, as it was the channel that once showcased the sport back when he was in his pro playing days.

"Ito na ‘yung masasabi natin ‘yung IBC na home for basketball eh, oo, ito ‘yung inabutan natin noon. ‘Yung IBC sort of reviving of basketball on IBC 13," he shares. "So masaya tayo na nagkaroon tayo ng partnership. Alam naman natin ngayon na restricted pa ang audience so mapapanuod tayo ng mga kababayan natin mga MPBL fans all over the country with IBC on us."

Aside from Alejandrino, gracing the event are IBC 13 on-air Operations Manager Joey Ramos, IBC 13 Sales and Marketing Head Roy Gonzales, MPBL Commissioner Kenneth Duremdes, MPBL legal counsel Atty. Glenn Gacal, and Chooks-to-Go legal counsel Atty. Oliver Correa.

With the entire Invitational already being streamed live on the Facebook pages of Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas and the Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League, the agreement sees IBC-13 showcase select games in pool play, then followed by a couple quarterfinal matches on December 21. They will then show both semifinal games the next day and the title decider on the 23rd.

The confirmed list of televised pool play matches are as follows:

December 11: Bicol vs Basilan (9pm)

December 12: Manila vs Mindoro and Negros vs Bacolod (4pm onwards)

December 13: Laguna vs Marikina (730pm)

December 14: GenSan vs Imus (730pm)

December 15: Pasig vs Bacoor (730pm)

December 16: Bulacan vs Rizal (730pm)

December 17: San Juan vs Muntinlupa (730pm)

December 18: Sarangani vs Val City (730pm)

December 19: Iloilo vs Caloocan and Nueva Ecija vs San Juan (4pm onwards)

December 20: Makati vs Basilan (730pm)

Two million pesos awaits the champion of this short competition.

Tuesday, November 30, 2021

United City entering groundbreaking partnership with Gravity Sport

Eric Gottschalk with the UCFC kit
 Tack on another historic notch for the United City Football Club.

The Pampanga-based team entered into a landmark partnership with Gravity Sport, with among all things, allowing the latter to become the former's official blockchain partner.

In addition, the deal allows UCFC to build & monetize content, data security, and entertainment in a custom-built digital asset ecosystem, something that no Asian football club has done previously.

A similar commercial and technological deal is in place with Serie A side Parma.

UCFC believes that having this kind of partnership "will pave the future of football and how fans will have ownership of the club's collectibles and put a new meaning to tokenization," especially with the increased awareness of blockchain, NFTs, and metaverse in the country.

Team President Eric M. Gottschalk shares, "We are proud to have reached another milestone in our vision of how we think Club football not only in the Philippines shall evolve over time, and we would like to thank Gravity Sport for its vision to see the potential in partnering with UCFC as well as Orchid Sport & Entertainment, which helped us to complete the deal."

He adds, "We will be the first regional football club to integrate blockchain into its operations from merchandise, membership, data analysis & security. Therefore, it allows our fans to get closer to the players through our dedicated fan tokens and exclusive NFTs, which will be launched ahead of the 2022 season."

Using Gravity Sport blockchain technology and NFT marketplace, UCFC will have the opportunity to craft innovative fan-owned assets, including digital player cards, as well as interviews, match highlights, and goals. Such tradeable assets would be available to acquire through unique fan tokens. In the process, Gravity Sport also helps enable the digital economy in serving as the host and operator of that platform, connecting and establishing a new form of engagement with a new global audience and providing an opportunity for them to adopt this new endeavor.

Gottschalk also shares, "The partnership with Gravity Sport and the use of blockchain technology will allow UCFC to make another step forward in unlocking new revenue streams and to become a sustainable football business that does not rely purely on match-day revenues or sponsorship income alone."

Gravity Sport founder Stuart Gallacher shares, "Gravity Sport is tremendously proud to add United City FC to its growing portfolio of international sports properties, following our jersey partnership with Parma Calcio in August."

He adds, "The Philippines is a very interesting market for us as the country is poised to reach new economic heights in the near future while its young, tech-savvy population is naturally equipped to easily grow into the new area of "blockchain technology. And just like us, UCFC is fast evolving, has a clear, futuristic vision while displaying strong values which assures that our ambitions are closely aligned. We are excited to innovate jointly with UCFC as we believe we have an incredibly exciting global blockchain NFT marketplace which will benefit all stakeholders, players, media, and of course the strong fan audiences that UCFC already has."

Gravity Sport's deal is also extended to UCFC's eSports wing, and the public will get a full glimpse of it when the league starts its 2022 season in February/March.

Azkals call up 27 for Suzuki Cup duty

The Philippine Football Federation has called up 27 players to comprise the preliminary roster for the AFF Suzuki Cup.

Stephan Schroeck of United City leads the squad as captain, with Patrick Reichelt acting as vice-captain. Mike Ott, Martin Steuble, Angel Guirado, and Kenshiro Daniels also got enlisted by head coach Scott Cooper and his staff.

Amani Aguinaldo, Kevin Ingreso, Iain Ramsay, and Daisuke Sato are back after sitting out the dual World Cup and Asian Cup Qualifying this past June, with recent call-ups Jeff Tabinas, Mar Diano, Bernd Schipmann and Kevin Ray Mendoza also returning.

Fresh from their stint in AFC U-23 Qualifying are Oliver Bias, Justin Baas, Dennis Chung, Quincy Kammeraad, Oskari Kekkonen, Sandro Reyes, and Christian Rontini.

After a long naturalization process, Bienve Marañon will finally make his Azkals debut, alongside Matthew Custodio, Harry Foll, Amin Nazari, and Jesper Nyholm.

Notables missing out on the competition are Jarvey Gayoso, Manny Ott, Carlie De Murga, Sebastian Rasmussen, Adrian Ugelvik, and Canada-based brothers Michael and Matthew Baldisimo.

A few more were ruled out due to club commitments. With the competition being held outside of the FIFA international window, clubs are not obliged to release players. This includes the likes of Neil Etheridge, Gerrit Holtmann, Michael Kempter, Raphael Obermair, and Patrick Strauss, as well as the likes of Patrick Deyto, and Josh Grommen.

Meanwhile, both Javier Patino and Michael Falkesgaard have called time on their international careers.

Cooper says about the Suzuki Cup, "This is a very prestigious tournament. We have a history of doing well and going to the semifinals, but we need to do more than that. We have to look at the last Suzuki Cup (in 2018) and that half of that schedule, was in the FIFA calendar. For this tournament, we have so many players unavailable and most of them were unable to be released by their clubs. We don’t have that luxury as other countries so we’re hoping that organizers look at the calendar in the future."

Team manager Dan Palami acknowledges that preparations for the tournament have been far from ideal, especially with players still in club competition with less than a couple of weeks from the start. He adds, "We have to deal with the situation. I think now more than ever, the team will have to summon the never-say-die spirit that Filipinos are known for."

Cooper also shares, "It’s extremely difficult hence we have to temper our expectations. We have a nice squad and we have a new addition in Jesper Nyholm, whose season is finally finished, so we can bring him in and there’s couple of new faces coming in."

Nonetheless, he says the Azkals still need to be ambitious and “represent ourselves well.”

"We have a good squad, we must be positive and go on and show what we can do."

Slotted in Group A, the Philippines will kick off their campaign against hosts Singapore on December 8, followed by matches against Timor Leste on the 11th and Thailand on the 14th, all at the Singapore National Stadium. They will finish off against Myanmar at Bishan Stadium on December 18.

Twenty seven players make up the Azkals lineup for the AFF Suzuki Cup 2020 set in Singapore beginning December 5.

Friday, November 26, 2021

PhP 2M awaits Chooks MPBL Invitational champ

Ronald Mascarinas

As always, Ronald Mascarinas comes up with a surprise.

As announced by the BAVI head honcho in cooperation with league founder Manny Pacquiao, the Chooks-to-Go Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League champion is expected to net a couple of million pesos, which provided the 22 teams present with a delightful incentive for their participation in the tournament, which takes place from December 11-23 at the Mall of Asia Arena.

Runners-up will not come up empty handed, as they would receive PhP 500,000 for second place and PhP 250,000 for third.

Mascarinas notes, "This is not just a simple re-start we wanted our league to be at par with the best of the world."

The competition format was also revealed during the event, which sees the teams drawn by league commissioner Kenneth Duremdes into four pools.

Datu Cup champions San Juan has been slotted into five-team Group C, alongside Nueva Ecija, Sarangani, Valenzuela, and Muntinlupa.

Inaugural VisMin Super Cup champions Basilan also was drawn into Group B, with Laguna, Marikina, Makati, and Bicol.

Group A contains Caloocan, Pasig, Bacolod, Iloilo, and newcomers Negros, while completing the field in Group D are Manila, Rizal, Imus, GenSan, Mindoro, and Bulacan.

Duremdes expressed appreciation to the Chooks-to-Go group for their full support of the league's return after a long hiatus as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Given the schedule and teams involved, five-game playdates will take place during the eliminations, with a select few to be broadcasted on live television.

TAP renews deal with Aussie NBL

Tap Digital Media Ventures secured another partnership on its sporting portfolio, entering into an exclusive multi-year deal with the National Basketball League, allowing TAP to remain the home of top flight Australian basketball.

The partnership allows TAP to showcase live and delayed NBL content, as well as highlights, on its linear channel TAP Sports and its OTT platform TAP Go.

Hungry Jack’s NBL Commissioner Jeremy Loeliger shares, "We are delighted to be partnered with Tap to broadcast NBL games in the Philippines."

This season's iteration of the Hungry Jack’s National Basketball League will be special, with the presence of the young Filipino national team prospect Kai Sotto on the Adelaide 36ers roster.

The 7'2" 19-year old joined the 36ers as a pathway towards the NBA, signing a two-year deal with an option for a third. He joins a growing list of prospects who recognize the league's potential in getting them ready to enter the NBA Draft, including Terrance Ferguson, RJ Hampton and LaMelo Ball.

The team is currently in Tasmania participating in the NBL Blitz, a preseason tournament that would help the participants get themselves ready for the upcoming campaign.

Kai has played in just one game for the 36ers so far, netting seven points, five rebounds, and a block against Cairns in the preseason opener.

Loeliger adds, "There is huge Filipino interest in the NBL this season thanks to Kai Sotto’s signing in Adelaide and we are excited Filipino fans will have access to NBL content throughout the year.”

TAP DMV Chief Technology Officer Gonzalo "Bogie" De Guia also shares, "Kai Sotto is one of the most promising Filipino basketball players to ever come out of the Philippines. With the NBL coming to Tap Go and Tap Sports, the country will be able to watch him closely and continue to follow his journey in the international basketball scene. No doubt, he will become a dominant force in the league. We can’t wait to get started."

The 36ers will not only have Sotto as their only major newcomer, as they have tapped former Australian international CJ Bruton to be their head coach. He will make his head coaching debut with the team after spending the last five seasons as an assistant with the Brisbane Bullets. Adelaide also tapped Mitch McCarron as the one tasked mainly to fill the hole as a result of the departure of Josh Giddey.

Adelaide kicks off their season on December 3 as they face the Perth Wildcats.

TAP remains in negotiations with the league as to the extent of the games set for local broadcast.

The NBL adds to the depth of TAP's commitment to showcase the best of the Filipino athlete or those who trace their roots to the archipelago, from the B.League to the WTA, LPGA, and the Asian Tour.

Sunday, November 21, 2021

MPBL referees go through FIBA refresher

With the Chooks-to-Go Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League Invitiational just three weeks away, the league ensured that its officials are ready to for their on-court responsibilities.

Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas technical head Hector Villanueva gathered the 26 referees tasked to handle the tournament at the Prestige Tower Roofdeck in Pasig City for a FIBA-endorsed refresher course Saturday night.

Villanueva invited recently-retired FIBA-licensed referee Liberato Valenzuela to speak in this course. Valenzuela is an honorary FIBA member and a FIBA Rules Contributor.

By the time mag start tayo we will be 110% ready,” said Villanueva. “Magpapatuloy kasi ang physical conditioning namin like kanina nag drills and exercises tayo sa Victoria Sports. And we also plan to hold regular meetings para lalong maging malinaw sa ating mga referees yung mga bagong set of rules ng FIBA that will apply to the games sa Invitational."

Actually na-touch kami sa sinabi ni Comm. Kenneth (Duremdes) na hawak namin ang integrity ng liga. We will make sure na maayos ang officiating sa liga,” he continued.

The course is a chance for the referees to be updated on the latest revisions on the FIBA rulebook, among which includes stricter enforcement for double fouls, window for technical fouls, as well as for instant replay.

Duremdes adds, "We reassure the viewers na magiging maganda yung games natin lalo na sa officiating. Yung integridad and professionalism kasi ng liga talagang nakasalalay sa good officiating and alam ko naman na our referees and technical officials are up to the task."

He also says, "This is also in line with the direction ng ating league founder [Manny Pacquiao] kaya wala akong duda na magiging maayos ang lahat."

Aside from the referees, the coaching staff of both Imus and GenSan were present in the refresher course.

Thursday, November 18, 2021

December 15 set for NBA Jersey Day in the Philippines

Happy #NBAJerseyDay next month!

The NBA is set to commemorate the second edition of NBA Jersey Day next month, as part of their activities in their 75th Anniversary Season.

Slated to take place on December 14 (15 in the Philippines), the day will be highlighted by four games: a United States nationally-televised doubleheader between the New York Knicks and the Golden State Warriors, as well as the Phoenix Suns and the Portland Trailblazers. Also set to be played is the matchup between the Toronto Raptors and the Brooklyn Nets, as well as the Detroit Pistons and the Chicago Bulls.

All four games are available locally via NBA League Pass, with the latter two games mentioned set for broadcast on NBA TV Philippines.

To help celebrate the occasion, the league is asking fans to show their support for their favorite NBA, WNBA, and G League sides by wearing their favorite player's jersey and sharing it on social media, appending it with the hashtag #NBAJerseyDay. In sharing them, you can also tag the league, the team/s, and even the player/s. That way, there is a possibility that it might just be picked up and shown on the social media platforms of either the teams or even by the league.

It can be a current one, a throwback, or even a Hardwood Classic. You can do a selfie, or even get the family or barkada in on the fun.

And in case you do not have one yet, you can avail of the variety of official jerseys that are on

Don't forget to follow the NBA on its varied social media footprint, whether on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok.

GAB helps MPBL in turning pro

The Games and Amusements Board conducted an online meeting with most of the team owners and representatives of the upcoming Chooks-to-Go Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League Invitational Tournament.

Twenty out of the 22 participating teams in the upcoming December tournament were present in the gathering, in which GAB not only reminded them about the need for players, officials, and game personnel for the professional license, but also the duties and responsibilities expected from them as professionals.

Pro Sports Division chief June Bautista says, "We are happy that GAB was able to meet and orient the team owners about our mandate relative to GAB's supervisory and regulatory function over the conduct of professional sports such as basketball."

Bautista's assistant Jackie Lou Ornido adds, "We are also grateful that through this orientation and dialogue we were given the opportunity to discuss and address their concerns and inquiries. GAB is always there to assist and we look forward to working together with the league for the safety and welfare of our athletes and all our stakeholders."

GAB also helped assist with a free renewal of expired licenses for players who were part of the Pilipinas VisMin Super Cup as well as the National Basketball League-Pilipinas.

Wednesday, November 10, 2021

MPBL makes tweaks under new management

In 5... 4... 3... 2... 1...

Under new management, the Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League will be tweaking its rules when it holds its invitational next month.

The adjustments are part of the moves Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas is conducting as it takes over league operations.

Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas spokesperson Mark Zambrano says, "Ang involvement po ng Chooks-to-Go is a little bit more expanded coming from a title sponsorship. Now, ang hawak na po ng Chooks-to-Go ay ang operations of the league. This will still be done in cooperation and partnership with both our league founder Sen. Manny Pacquiao and the office of commissioner Kenneth Duremdes. There will be changes but these changes will all be good for the league. Side-by-side, yun po ang gagawin natin."

The simplest tweak comes from the removal of restrictions involving Fil-foreigners. The league had previously instituted a height limit of 6'5" in order to be eligible to play. A Philippine passport is needed to be eligible to play in the league.

In addition, the limits on how many homegrown players, as well as "ex-pros" can be rostered have also been taken out.

However, the biggest development new management is set to introduce is the professionalization of the league, as well as securing FIBA accreditation.

Zambrano shares, "There will also be meetings with our team managers, league officials, and the Games and Amusements Board regarding this matter."

Kenneth Duremdes remains as league commissioner, and he has embraced the sweeping changes about to take place.

"Unang-una, nagpapasalamat kami sa lahat ng team owners na dumalo and, of course, sa Chooks-to-Go na nagkaroon tayo ng panibagong partnership. We both have a common goal which is to help our players reach their potential," he said. "May mga players na nag-struggle talaga this pandemic. Patience is a virtue talaga at naghintay ng tamang panahon ang MPBL para ma-reignite ang ating liga."

He adds, "This is the best time na matagal ng hinihintay ng ating mga fans at ng ating mga players."

This kind of sentiment extends to the participating teams.

Makati owner Paolo Orbeta shares, "We are very, very happy na makakapag-start na ang league with the partnership of Chooks and the MPBL. We would like to let everyone know that we are aligned with the goals of Chooks-to-Go MPBL. We needed this start para magtuloy-tuloy na for everyone. Maganda na we will have something to end the year on a positive note."

Marikina head coach Elvis Tolentino adds, "Kanina nga nabanggit ni Commissioner na ang tagal ng nawala yung MPBL. Yung invitational tournament natin is our window to start the new normal," while Rizal team manager Angie Azores says, "We are excited sa balik bola ng Chooks-to-Go and MPBL. It's been two long years. Sobrang dami naming natatanggap ng inquiries from the players. We are happy to be able to help them again and bring them back to the sport that they love."

Aside from the three teams mentioned, ten more squads have manifested their interest in participating in the upcoming invitational tournament, led by the Lakan Cup champions Davao Occidental.

Also set to join are Bacolod, Bicol, Caloocan, GenSan, Imus, Laguna, Negros, Nueva Ecija, Sarangani.

Additional teams have until Wednesday afternoon to confirm their participation, with the final list to be revealed on Thursday.

A major reboot will take place once the Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League restarts this December.

Gone will be the height limit restriction for Filipino-foreigners that will play in the league. For as long as the player has a Philippine passport, he will be eligible to play.

Thirteen teams have already confirmed their participation for the Chooks-to-Go MPBL Invitational Tournament set from December 11-21 at either the Caloocan Sports Complex, the Ynares Sports Arena (Antipolo), or Sta. Rosa Sports Complex.

Headlining the field are Chooks-to-Go MPBL Lakan season champion Davao Occidental Tigers.

Other MPBL member teams who want to join the Invitationals are given a Wednesday afternoon deadline to make their decision. The final list of participating teams will be announced on Thursday.

Friday, November 5, 2021

Filipino-American Jordan Williams set for UFC 268

Bomaye set to take part at UFC 268

Expected to make headlines at the much-anticipated UFC 268 this weekend is the rematch between Kamaru Usman and Colby Covington for the welterweight title. Also deserving some attention is another rematch, this time between Rose Namajunas and Zhang Weili for the women's strawweight title, the co-main to the Usman-Covington main event.

However, someone that potentially could warrant some attention to Filipino fight fanatics in particular is tucked away in the Prelims.

In fact, opening the prelims portion of UFC 268 is a matchup between Jordan Williams and Ian Garry. Whilst the latter is making his UFC debut after winning his first seven fights, the former still seeks his first official win inside the Octagon.

Williams earned his way into the UFC through the Dana White's Contender Series. After a no-contest against Tim Caron back in 2018 and a loss against Ramazan Kuramagomedov in 2019, he broke through with knockout victory over Gregory Rodrigues in September 2020.

He shares, "I fought my way into the UFC. I am going to do my best to stay there. It is electrifying to be here in the UFC. I was a mix of emotions to be in the UFC after putting in a decade of work. I was dancing, crying, smiling..."

That paved the way for a couple of fights inside the Octagon, a unanimous decision loss against Nassourdine Imavov in Fight Night: Holm vs Aldana last October 2020 and a submission defeat against Mickey Gall at Fight Night: Sandhagen vs Dillashaw this past July.

Facing Garry, who earned his ticket into the UFC with his experience at Cage Warriors, Jordan says, "It’s going to be a technical match-up. He’s (Ian) a very good striker and his IQ is far from where his career is supposed to be. He mixes it up a lot. I like the match-up. It’s going to be a big match. At this point, I need to prove I belong."

He adds, "I need to derail his hype train and put myself on those tracks."

The man called "Bomaye" has a multi-faceted ancestry, having American, German, Nigerian, and Filipino ancestry. His Filipino heritage can be traced to his grandfather, who came over to the United States via the US Navy. Jordan is very much proud of his roots, showcasing all of them with tattoos on his right shoulder, or also known as his "heritage shoulder."

Jordan concludes, "I got into MMA because while wrestling in school, my friends and I saw Anderson Silva fight. He was such an inspiration. I would also like to draw inspiration and support from my Filipino roots this Sunday at UFC 268."

UFC 268, which is taking place inside the world-famous Madison Square Garden, will be available locally through the Premier Sports Channel, which is on Channel 272 HD on Cignal and HD 176 or SD 140 (Mega Manila) or HD 761 or SD 307 on Sky. Make sure to check your cable provider for further details.

It is also available through the TapGo Premium Plus plan on the TapGo app, which one can avail at PhP 599/monthly.