Friday, April 23, 2021

Ken Tuffin's Wellington debut to be shown through SMART Sports

Ken Tuffin x SMART Sports

SMART Sports is reaffirming its commitment to Ken Tuffin, as he makes his return to action for the upcoming Sal's New Zealand - National Basketball League season.

Tuffin changed sides in the offseason, getting the chance to play for his hometown Wellington after averaging 9.2 points, 4.3 rebounds and almost an assist for the Taranaki Mountainairs last year.

He shares, "It's always been a dream to play for my hometown Wellington. Our assistant Coach Kenny (current Saints assistant Kenny McFadden) was the one who introduced me to the game. Furthermore, Coach Kenny was there in the camp when FEU first came over to scout and recruit me in 2015."

Wellington will open their campaign against the Otaga Nuggets at 330pm, with the broadcast to be streamed on SMART Sports' Facebook page. The 2019 champions skipped the shortened 2020 season, and they are excited to return with a vengeance.

With the Saints, Tuffin will be alongside Taane Samuel and Dion Prewster. Local basketball fans will be familar with the former thanks to his brief stint as a student-athlete at De La Salle University. In addition, the team will be reinforced by a couple of G League veterans in Romaro Gill and Kerwin Roach.

On what he can contribute to his new squad, the former Tamaraw says, "I know my role playing alongside elite one-on-one players like our imports and our captain Dion Prewster. I will always be there to shoot and play D, just picking my spots to shine." He adds, "The Saints are a dominant team.  and anything less than a title is considered a disappointment. My goal is to be a star in my role for the champions."

Tuffin also says, "I'm really appreciative that SMART can broadcast the games for my friends, family, and supporters back home to watch. Thanks to everyone and want to make you proud."

Ginebra San Miguel reveals new jersey, GK partnership

Barangay Ginebra

In line with their newest campaign, Ginebra San Miguel Inc. is releasing the jerseys that its PBA team will sport for the upcoming season.

The new jerseys made their debut in a virtual launch on Thursday, with Japeth Aguilar, Mark Caguioa, Stanley Pringle, LA Tenorio, and Scottie Thompson wearing the two versions, coming in red and in white. Caguioa is also sporting the team's new cap.

GSM's latest campaign, entitled "Bagong Tapang," highlights the courage and strength that Filipinos possess to overcome the challenges posed by the pandemic. 

Aside from the launch, a virtual fan meet-style program took place as a means to take the place of the customary victory party and fans day for the 2020 Philippine Cup champions.

Tenorio shares, "Ang Ginebra fans ibang level talaga. May PBA man o wala, nararamdaman namin na nandyan sila at sumusuporta sa amin. At first, we thought we are not going to survive playing without the fans because as a never-say-die team, doon kami humuhugot ng lakas. Sila ‘yung 6th man namin sa game. Napag-usapan ng team na iisipin namin ‘yung ginagawa namin ay para sa fans at para magbigay inspirasyon lalo na sa panahon ngayon."

Fans will have the chance to get their very own "Bagong Tapang" One Ginebra Nation jersey or cap starting May 1 until June 30, 2021 through its "Bagong Tapang sa One Ginebra Nation Jersey and Cap Collection Promo."

They just need to accumulate any combination of six seals or caps from any of these Ginebra brands: Ginebra San Miguel, GSM Blue, GSM Blue Flavors, Ginebra San Miguel Premium Gin and Primera Light Brandy. One can then head over to select Puregold stores that act as redemption outlets to claim the jersey. Just fork over an additional PhP 100 for the jersey and PhP 150 for the cap. Certifying its authenticity is the presence of a patch on the jersey and a sticker on the cap.

As an additional touch, GSMI has also entered into a partnership with Gawad Kalinga and its Walang Iwanan program. Those who redeem the jersey/cap will also be able to donate to GK's beneficiaries in Sariaya, Quezon and Pililia, Rizal 

General Manager Noli Macalalag shares, "To underscore the need for unity during these times, we partnered with Gawad Kalinga and through the promo, we aim to support GK’s Barangay Walang Iwanan program that helps Filipinos who are severely affected by the pandemic. We hope to encourage Gin Kings fans and our consumers to ‘put on’ a Bagong Tapang kind of courage and to wear this kind of Bagong Tapang for others to see and emulate."

One can check out the specifics of the Bagong Tapang sa One Ginebra Nation Jersey and Cap Collection Promo on and

Wednesday, April 21, 2021

Lexus praises Hideki Matsuyama's triumph in Augusta

Hideki Matsuyama
Luxury automotive brand Lexus praised one of its brand ambassadors, Hideki Matsuyama, on a historic achievement that took place earlier this month.

Hideki became the first Japanese man to claim a golf major by winning the 2021 edition of The Masters last April 8-11. His 10-under par performance at Augusta National was good enough to withstand challenges from Will Zalatoris, Jordan Spieth, and Xander Schauffele.

According to Lexus, they share "an unyielding determination to overcome challenges on the world stage." They also "will continue to drive forward, together."

Toyota Motor Corporation, which has control over Lexus, shared their congratulations through their president, Akio Toyoda.

Congratulations on winning The Masters and a major championship!

Upon seeing you greeted by applause from so many members of the gallery when you secured your victory on the final hole, I, too, was overjoyed. You had continued taking up the challenge of fulfilling your dream of aiming for a win in the majors. Although I don’t think the road to this point was an easy one, you kept up your passion for winning a major, finally grasping victory. After you retrieved the ball, I watched as you shared your joy with your support staff. I was immensely impressed by the smiles on everyone’s faces. I believe that your dream, before everyone realized it, had become the dream of many people. We are very happy to have been among those people. Sensing your flood of emotions in the “Thank you!” of your winner’s statement filled me, as well, with emotion. For the first win by a Japanese golfer in a major championship, and for your continued effort no matter what, I would like to tell you from the bottom of my heart that it is we who say: “Thank you!”. I sincerely congratulate you!

Hideki shared his thoughts about his history-making moment: "I had been nervous all day since the morning today (on the final day of the tournament), and I stayed nervous all the way to the end. I’m glad I was able to play well in front of my family and friends in Japan. Although I hadn’t been able  to win a major, I have a feeling that my victory in The Masters will  lead to change the mind of the young golfers in Japan, as well. I want to win more and more. I appreciate you all. Thank you!"

Matsuyama's performance moved him up the Official World Golf Rankings to 14th overall. It also capped an impressive week for Japanese golf at Augusta National, with Tsubasa Kajitani's victory at the Augusta National Women's Amateur.

Tuesday, April 13, 2021

Folayang-Aoki III approved for ONE on TNT IV

Folayang. Aoki. One more time.

Run it back, one more time.

The fourth edition of the ONE on TNT series scheduled for April 29 was tweaked, with a couple of fighters getting sidelined for different reasons. As a result, former ONE Lightweight World Champions Eduard Folayang and Shinya Aoki will face off for the third time, to likely settle things once and for all.

The one called "Landslide" had been slated to face off against Yoshihiro Akiyama, but "Sexyama" had to pull out due to injury. Meanwhile, the man called "Tobikan Judan" was scheduled to fight Sage Northcutt, but the latter had to step aside due to COVID-19 health and safety protocols. With both fighters without opponents, ONE Championship opted to put those two together as a new matchup for ONE on TNT IV, the last of a four-part special series which will take place at the Singapore Indoor Stadium.

Folayang shares, "This will be a monumental test for me. It’s a sudden change of our preparation, but I’m a professional athlete, so I have to be prepared for anything, at any given time. I have to be ready to calibrate for what will be served for that perfect aim." The Team Lakay standout adds, "I am not a pessimistic person, and I’m a warrior. Naturally, I’m not expecting to lose, but to get the big victory this time."

Aoki shares the same sentiment. "This is the last event of the 'ONE on TNT' series, so it’s meant to be, and it’s going to be a great one for fans. A lot of people have been waiting for this trilogy with Folayang. Looking back at the past two fights against him, I am very motivated to perform well. This fight is a great one for ONE Championship. I think this fight has a lot of meaning. It's fate that we meet again. As always, I will fight anyone, because I am a proud wrestler and fighter."

The first meeting back in 2016 saw Folayang secure a third round technical knockout to become the ONE Lightweight World Champion. The second meeting saw Aoki end Folayang's second title reign in 2019, doing so through an arm triangle choke submission.

Folayang-Aoki III is part of the undercard for ONE on TNT IV, which features current ONE Light Heavyweight World Champion Aung La N Sang defending his title against Vitaly Bigdash.

Friday, April 9, 2021

PFF establishes inaugural PFF eTrophy competition

The Philippine Football Federation is set to launch its initial foray into eSports, with the upcoming PFF eTrophy.

Set to take place on April 15-16, 2021, the federation has invited eight eSports players nationwide to compete in this competition, which sets the stage for the establishment of the national team for upcoming international eSports competitions.

The country has seen an increased rise in interest in eSports, and with the growth of the eFootball movement leading to various online competitions within the various FIFA Member Associations and stakeholders. As a result, the PFF saw this as an opportunity to set up its first online tournament.

The PFF eTrophy sees eight players drawn into two four-man groups, with each group participating in a single round robin. The top two individuals from each group will face off in a two-leg crossover semifinals. The winners will then face off for the chance to be its inaugural champion, but both have earned representation into the FIFAe Nations Series 2021, which is set to commence later this month.

By having this tournament, the federation believes that it would help spur the growth of the sport and an alternative avenue for new fans to take up the sport.

Philippine Football Federation president Mariano Araneta, Jr. shares, "We thank FIFA for including eFootball in its platform which will allow us not only to host eSports competitions, but also to send our players to international competitions."

He adds, "As we host our first ever eFootball competition, we hope that it will encourage football fans and stakeholders to enjoy football not just on the physical pitch, but also on the digital pitch."

General Secretary Atty. Edwin Gastanes says, "We see eFootball as one of the new and innovative ways to promote football to the general public, particularly to the youth. We invite all aspiring eFootball players to join and compete in the PFF eTrophy."

Relive UAAP Season 82 with official yearbook

The 82nd season of the University Athletic Association of the Philippines may have not gotten a proper send-off due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic but the memories still live on.

Season 82 host Ateneo launched an interactive yearbook to celebrate each moment, Friday morning.

The first-of-its-kind UAAP yearbook can be accessed through Shift Interactive's website (

"The year 2020 turned out to be a year like no other. Not only did it affect student-athletes, coaches, and the staff of the University Athletic Association of the Philippines, but the rest of high school, collegiate, and professional sports. Needless to say, it was an unprecedented time for the entire world," said UAAP Season 82 President Emmanuel Fernandez of Ateneo.

"For Season 82 of the UAAP, what started out as an exciting season turned out to be the shortest one in recent history. However, it will also be remembered for the amazing performances displayed by our most promising student-athletes," he continued.

"They did give their All For More in each and every game, and for both the graduating students and the undergrads, it is plain to see that there’s even more that they can give of themselves in the years to come. After all, the students of Season 82 know more than any other batch that because they had less time to play, the passion in their hearts can only keep burning."

Videos and galleries from each UAAP event beginning with the opening ceremony which took place on September 1, 2019 up to the last game day of the season on March 9,2020 are collated in the book. Also featured are the activities done by the eight member schools to help out the affected communities of the pandemic.

Also in the yearbook are features on the UAAP student-athletes that represented the country in the 30th Southeast Asian Games, a list of all the top performers for the season, and a tribute to the student-athletes who were not able to play in their respective events.

"May you enjoy the stories that each page tells as a testimony to what our best student-athletes have achieved and will continue to achieve," continued Fernandez.

"With you, we are one in hoping that All For More transcends last year’s theme, but becomes a way forward for the future — one that we can all celebrate together."

Thursday, April 8, 2021

Multiple sporting events on tap in April for SkyCable

Sports fans will have something to look forward to this April with the offerings available on SKYcable.

Four of the biggest top-flight leagues are available on either Premier Football (Premier League in England) or beIN Sports (La Liga in Spain, Ligue 1 in France, and Serie A in Italy).

Racing aficionados can go to FOX Sports for their high-octane fix, with the Portugal Moto GP and Emilia Romagna F1 Grand Prix. 

Premier Tennis will have the Monte Carlo Masters in mid-April, with the WTA's Billie Jean King Cup Finals at the end of the month.

The first men's golf major of the year gets underway this week with the Masters, as Dustin Johnson tries to defend his title on FOX Sports. The network will also serve as host to the rematch between Jorge Masvidal and Kamaru Usman for the welterweight title on UFC 261 in a couple of weeks.

SKYcable subscribers can avail of FOX Sports, beIN Sports, Premier Football, Premier Tennis, and more via Select for as low as P100 per month. Visit for more details.

Not yet on SKYcable? Subscribe now at

Saturday, April 3, 2021

NBA 2K League taps PS5 as official console

Two major titans establish a historic partnership, with the NBA 2K League announcing a multi-year deal with Sony Interactive Entertainment (SIE), which is the group behind the PlayStation5.

The main gist of the deal sees the PS5 becoming the official console of the NBA 2K League, which starts its fourth season next month. It also is the first partnership SIE has with an eSports league for the console.

NBA 2K League President Brendan Donohue shares, "NBA 2K League players are the best in the world at what they do, so it’s only fitting that they compete on the best gaming equipment in the world. PlayStation is a long-standing global leader in interactive entertainment, and we are thrilled to be able to leverage their gaming expertise and technology to create the optimal experience for NBA 2K League players and fans."

As part of the partnership, all 23 teams and its 138 players will be using PS5s during competitions and other events. Playstation will also be present in the league's broadcasts through branding and signage, whether physical or virtual.

In addition, the PS5 is to serve as the presenting partner for the NBA 2KL Three for All Showdown, a online 3x3 tournament that will involve NBA 2K League players, influencers, and fans that will take place on April 9-10. To be broadcast on the NBA 2K League's social media platforms, a $25,000 prize pool awaits participants, which will take place in the setting of NBA 2K21's "The City." A qualifying tournament is scheduled on April 5-6 for US-based fans for a chance to be a part of the Three for All Showdown.

Those same platforms will be witness to custom content series collaborated on by both parties.

The NBA 2K League also intends to serve as a host for global fan tournaments via Playstation's Competition Center, an online platform offering exclusive content, tips and tricks from the best players in the world and also live eSports coverage of select events.

Buto tops PSC-NCFP Luzon leg

Al Basher Buto topped his older and more experienced opponents to claim the Luzon leg of the Philippine Sports Commission-National Chess Federation of the Philippines selection tournament last Thursday.

Conducted online in a span of three days and played with a rapid time control of 15 minutes with a 10-second increment, the 11-year-old prodigy netted eight victories in his nine matches, capped off by defeating Janmyl Tisado to secure the title.

Seen by some as the next iteration of Wesley So, the veteran age group internationalist also beat Jose Piro Caro, Joemel Narzabal, Marlon Constantino, Alfredo Balquin, Jr., Juan Samson Guillermo Cantela, Jerish John Velarde, and Mark James Marcellana.

Joseph Mendoza II handed Buto his only defeat in this leg during the second round.

Tisado had the chance to secure the victory with a draw, but the loss to Buto puts him in second place with 7.5 points.

Neil Ari Magnaye Merilles also finished with 7.5 points, but finished in third. Rounding out the top ten are Marcellana, Ivan Travis Cu, Adrian Basilgo, Daniel John Lemi, Israel Landicho, Cedric Daniel Macato, and Jan Darryl Bautista.

Outstanding participants from this leg will earn a spot in the semifinals, currently scheduled on May 11-13.

The tournament will resume with the Visayan leg on April 13-15 and the Mindanao leg a week later. Those who survive the semifinals will meet in the grand finals which will take place from July 2-4 and will utilize both online and face-to-face matches. Outstanding finishers will be integrated into the national team, per tournament director GM Jayson Gonzales.

Interested participants can still register for free, and for any queries, can contact either Michelle Yaon (0910-3726152) or Susan Neri (0933-5505019).