Wednesday, December 28, 2022

Pampanga set for PSL debut

The Manila Bankers Life-Pilipinas Super League will have another team make its debut tonight, as Pampanga hosts San Pedro Laguna-ARS Warriors later today at the Bren Z. Guiao Convention Center in San Fernando.

The G Lanterns will rely on Archie Concepcion, Mitchelle Maynes, and Arvie Bringas, against a Warriors side that has won just once in their four games this conference.

Fresh from a 99-57 drubbing against Pampanga Royce Hotel last December 15, the Warriors has since tweaked its squad, hoping that new additions Mark Doligon, Jopher Custodio, and Jan Colina can snap their current three-game skid at 8pm.

The first game of the double-header features Koponang Lakan ng Bulacan facing Bagong 6pm, with both teams hoping to come back from their respective second defeats in the conference.

Bulacan is coming off a 69-60 loss to San Juan last Thursday that dropped their record to 2-2, while Cabuyao is reeling from a 74-52 setback from Pampanga Royce that sent them down to 1-2.

The former will ride San Sebastian alumni Jason Ballesteros and Leo Najorda, while the latter will rely on the trio of CJ Cadua, Joel Jolangcob, and Jude Codiñera.

The Manila Bankers Life-Pilipinas Super League Pro Division Second Conference Dumper Cup is presented by Winzir and co-presented by SCD Cosmetics and Dumper party-list, and supported by NET 25, Adcon, Wcube Solutions Inc., MDC, Unisol, Don Benitos, and Finn Cotton.

Sunday, December 25, 2022

Philippine Badminton Open set for return in February

PBad officials Christopher Quimpo, Imee Moreno, and Jude Turcuato

After a three-year break, the Philippine Badminton Open is set to resume next year.

The Dragonsmash Badminton Center in Chino Roces Avenue, Makati City will serve as the venue for the competition this coming February 20-26.

Back in 2019, the competition served as a test event for the 30th SEA Games at the Muntinlupa Sports Complex. For the 2023 edition, it will be part of the national team's preparations for the 32nd iteration, which will take place later in the year in Phnom Penh, Cambodia.

Imee Moreno, who will serve as the PBO project director, shares, "The Intercollegiate Tournament was able to prove to us that there are a lot of players that have a lot of potential here in our country. We are very much excited about what is in store for us in the world of badminton."

The Cagayan de Oro councilor adds, "The Philippine Badminton Open is a milestone for us because this will be the start of our national ranking system for our players. This is where we can help develop and hone the skills of our players. This is also through this tournament that we can support our national team players, especially as they prepare for the SEA Games and other international tournaments."

The Philippine Badminton Association also bared that it will introduce a rankings system, designating the PBO as a Super 500 tournament, with a PhP 1,000,000 pot. PhP 70,000 will be rewarded to the singles winners (men's and women's) and PhP 150,000 to the doubles winners (men's, women's, mixed).

The NSA considers the PBO as one of the many domestic competitions they are planning for the upcoming year, with the world slowly returning to pre-pandemic levels.

PBaD Secretary-General Christopher Quimpo shares, "The Philippine Badminton Open has been there since I joined PBAD. The first tournament was back in 2016 and we had 500-plus players compete. After, the last time we held this was right before the 2019 SEA Games. It's very welcoming that we will have the Philippine Open again next year. A lot of learnings and clamor for tournaments happened since then. But a question was raised, 'Who's really the best in our country?' And we hope that we can find them in this tournament."

PBad vice president Jude Turcuato adds, "On behalf of the MVP Sports Foundation, chairman Manny V. Pangilinan, and our president Al S. Panlilio, badminton is one of the sports that we identified where the Filipino can be a world-class athlete. Getting into that level takes a lot of training, repetition, and mindset. It will take the full force of the badminton community to get it done. It used to be one of the country's most popular sports, and the community has shown that it can rise once again. This tournament will jumpstart what we want to do for the calendar year."

Interested participants can register through the tournament portal, Entry fee is PhP 1,000, which includes a shirt, shuttlecock, and court fees. Deadline for registration is February 5, 2023.

Wednesday, December 21, 2022

Knee injury forces Lito Adiwang to drop out of ONE Championship fight

Lito Adiwang

We will have to wait for the Thunder Kid's return a little bit longer.

ONE Championship announced on Wednesday that Lito Adiwang is withdrawing from his upcoming matchup against Masnur Malachiev.

The match had been slated to be a part of the card for ONE Fight Night 6, set to take place at the Impact Arena in Bangkok on January 14.

The Filipino shared that the knee pain has been getting worse during his preparations for the fight, and was advised by doctors to check for medical attention and rest for sixty days. He shares, "It’s heartbreaking that I have to break a promise to my father to fight this January. Also [sorry] to our fans and supporters who are eager and excited to watch me back in action."

Lito adds, "My mind is 1000 percent ready to go to war but suddenly, my knee is not cooperating and it’s getting worse when I try to push it hard for training. As per the advice of my doctor, I’ll give it some time to recover and continue my therapy to strengthen it."

Adiwang tore his ACL against Jeremy Miado last March during ONE X, then undergoing surgery a couple of months later.

What followed is a long rehabilitation process, with the objective of getting the injured knee strengthened. It had been all systems go, until the pain started to bother Adiwang, thus the need to have it checked with physicians, which led to the decision to drop out of the fight.

Although disappointed, Lito chooses to view things half-full. "It’s heartbreaking to withdraw but I need to think for the best and look at the big picture. I may not fulfill my promise this time, but this made me focus to the bigger promise that I gave to both of my parents that one day I will become a World Champion," he says.

Lito also has this message to convey, "To ONE Championship, my opponent, fans and supporters, I’m sorry that I will not be able to compete this January in Bangkok but I will do my best to heal and recover as fast as I can and continue this fight. I’ll enter the Circle healthy and prepared to give the best show that I can give."

Sunday, December 18, 2022

UST, UE retain UAAP judo titles

c/o UAAP

UAAP Season 85 Collegiate Judo final standings

UST 47 pts (5-3-3)
UP 26 (2-2-6)
DLSU 15 (1-1-5)
Ateneo 8 (0-2-2)

UE 37 (3-5-4)
UST 34 (3-1-7)
UP 19 (2-1-2)
Ateneo 5 (0-1-2)
DLSU 1 (0-0-1)

Both the University of Santo Tomas and the University of the East retained their respective collegiate titles at the conclusion of the UAAP judo tournament on Sunday at the Blue Eagle Gym, doing so in contrasting fashion.

The Tiger Judokas secured their fifth straight title with 47 points built on five gold medals, three silver medals, and three bronze medals.

UST head coach Steven Esteban says about their title run this season, "Feeling thankful and feeling grateful kasi pinayagan na uli ng school, ng board ng UAAP na maglaro uli at mag-training. Congratulations sa mga bata, they deserved (the championship) naman. Happy, I feel joyful, I feel thankful sa mga supporters, sa school namin, at sa mga officials namin."

To seal the title, UST banked on their 1-2 finish in the men's lightweight (under-73 kg) division, with John Mari Quilang defeating Maekhael Sasi in the final, with Xavier Bustamante of UP and Angelo Saria of DLSU securing bronze medals.

Setting things up was Ryan Christian Benavidez's exploits in the half-lightweight (under-66 kg) division, where he defeated Mark Jeremiah Bangui in the final, with Paolo Cruz of UP and Troy Estrella of DLSU claiming the bronze medals.

The Fighting Maroons ensured their second place finish with a second gold medal, as Hyejun Lee topped the featherweight (under-55 kg) class, outlasting Ron Novino in the final. The bronze medals went to Nick Ligero and Janry Pamor, both from UST.

La Salle did manage a gold medal, thanks to Eiyan Donaire in the extra-lightweight (under-60 kg) class. Donaire defeated Ralph Suarez of UST in the final, with Benedict Macale of UP and Elijah Claravall of Ateneo completing the podium. That would be enough to put DLSU ahead of Ateneo in third place.

c/o UAAP

In contrast, the Lady Warriors fended off UST for the title, securing the successful title defense with a three-point victory, 37-34.

Remianne Pangilinan was the lone gold medal winner for UE in Day 2, securing the middleweight (under-70 kg) title over UST's Casey Tolosa in the final. Casey's teammate Jeanmae Lobo and Andrea Villena of DLSU nabbed the bronze medals.

The Tiger Judokas made it close with their gold medals in the half-middleweight (under-63 kg) and heavyweight (over-78 kg) divisions.

Levie Espuerta took the former by dispatching Veneza Dayao of UE in the final, while Sydney Sy secured the latter by defeating Jubelle Vergara in the final.

Sharing the bronze medals are Krizza Amisola of UST and Aescie Ramos of UE in the half-middleweight, with Kathleen Ferriols of UST and Stephanie Fetalver of UP in the heavyweight.

The University of the Philippines snapped up the remaining gold in play, with Pag-ibig De Villa claiming the half-heavyweight (under-78 kg) class over Nicole Habierto of UE, as Dianne Aquino of UE and Lea Quimba of UST secured the bronze medals.

When asked about their title defense, UE head coach Rodimple Rodriguez shares, "Actually, overwhelming yung pakiramdam, since nanggaling nga sa pandemic. Feeling naman gahol talaga yung preparation kasi nag-start kami mag-training mga second week ng August. Pero nag-step up naman yung mga players at nakuha namin yung back-to-back championship."

In the individual awards, half-heavyweight (under-100 kg) champion Chino Sy was named as the Most Valuable Player with Sasi named as the Rookie of the Year. As for the women, Joemari-Heart Rafael was adjudged as both the Rookie of the Year and the Most Valuable Player, adding to her impressive feats after being named as a two-time MVP in the high school ranks the previous two seasons.

UST secures HS Judo titles

c/o UAAP

UAAP Season 85 high school judo final standings:
UST 54 pts (5-5-4)
DLSZ 22 (2-2-2)
Ateneo 9 (0-1-6)
UE 7 (1-0-0)

UST 54 pts (5-5-4)
DLSZ 18 (2-1-1)
UE 15 (1-2-2)
Ateneo 0 (0-0-0)

University of the Santo Tomas completed its domination in the high school portion of the UAAP Season 85 Judo tournament on Sunday morning at the Blue Eagle Gym.

The Tiger Judokas extended their reign in the boys division for a sixth straight season, while also reclaiming the girls title by ending the University of the East's three-season reign.

UST's head coach Paul de Vera shares, "Sobrang hirap kasi marami kaming adjustments na ginawa from scratch talaga. Kasi mentally and physically dapat mai-ayos mo muna yung sarili nila. Determinado lang naman sila talagang i-maintain at saka urge na makuha talaga 'yung championship. Kumbaga, maibalik ang korona sa Espana."

To clinch their seventh-ever title, UST rode on Fierre Afan and Paolo Oliquino's achievements, as they finished 1-2 in the half-middleweight (under-81 kg) category. Elijah Manuel of La Salle-Zobel and Antonio Violago of Ateneo claimed the bronze medals.

In addition, Jeordan Caguicla claimed the middleweight (under-90 kg) title over Alphonso Academia of Ateneo, with Alphonso's teammate Reynar Legaspi securing the bronze medal.

Capping off UST's championship is Jay-Ar Suplic defeating fellow Tiger Judoka Adrian Mamuric in their best-of-three matchup for the heavyweight (over-100 kg) title.

La Salle-Zobel claimed the only gold that did not belong to UST, with Sian Guevarra topping the half-heavyweight (under-100 kg) class, defeating Vaughn Pijuan of UST in the final. Vaughn's teammate Kyan Ballecer shares the bronze medal with Kian Matienzo of Ateneo.

UST would finish with 54 points, while DLS-Z ending up at 22. The aggregate effort of Ateneo with their silver and six bronze medals proved to be enough to move past the solo gold of the University of the East to end up as second runners-up, nine points to seven.

In the distaff side, UST held on to their lead to claim their third title.

Oonah Benavidez took home the Tiger Judokas' lone gold in Day 2, as she defeated Jhen Rose Obena in the final of the lightweight (under-57 kg) class. Oonah's teammate Ysabel Cunanan and Bevely Compra of DLS-Z secured the bronze medals.

La Salle-Zobel copped a couple of gold medals to move past the University of the East and finish in second place 18-15.

Tala Tadeo topped Mikaela Palma of UE in the final of the extra-lightweight (under-48kg) division, while Zoey Itliong defeated Abigail Morales in the final of the half-lightweight (under-52 kg) class.

Armilene Cortez of UST and Alexza Gatdula finished as bronze medalists in the under-48 kg division, while April Shawn of UST took the under-52 kg bronze.

The lone gold for the Junior Lady Warriors came from Dennice Tan in the featherweight (under-44 kg) division, as she defeated Ianna Caviteno of UST in the final. Bronze medals were awarded to UST's Elyssa Cao and UE's Quency Alcala.

For the individual awardees, John Patrick de Tomas of UST was named as the Most Valuable Player after topping the boys' half-lightweight (under-66kg) division, while Janika Quizon was named as the MVP in the girls' division after claiming the half-heavyweight (under-78 kg) title.

Cortez was named as the Rookie of the Year in the girls' division, with Yngo Ramos of La Salle-Zobel being the boys' counterpart, after a silver medal finish in the featherweight (under-55 kg) class.

Letran, CSB set for NCAA title decider

It all boils down to one deciding game at the City of Antipolo.

Top seeds College of Saint Benilde and defending champions Letran will face off for one final time on Sunday, December 18, in order to crown the champion of the National Collegiate Athletic Association of the Philippines in Men's Basketball.

Set to take place at the Ynares Center, Game 3 will be shown LIVE on both GMA and GTV at 3pm. For those able to attend, tickets are available via In case one is unable to go, the game will also be streamed on the NCAA Philippines website (, NCAA Philippines Facebook page and YouTube channel, and GMA Sports' Facebook and Twitter pages. Basketball fans abroad will also be able to catch all the action via international channel GMA News TV.

"It has been an exciting season for the NCAA. GMA Network, through GMA Synergy, is proud of our student athletes as they showcased their skills and sportsmanship throughout this season. Whoever wins between the Letran Knights and the Benilde Blazers truly deserve the championship. Indeed, the NCAA inspires everyone to ‘Achieve Greatness Every Day.’  We would like to thank the NCAA community for joining all the players and the teams in their journey this season, the sports fans who showed their support in every game, and all the Kapuso viewers who continue to make watching NCAA games their habit. We are also grateful for the trust of the NCAA Policy Board and Management Committee," shares First VP and Head of GMA Regional TV and Synergy and Acting Head of GMA Integrated News Oliver Victor Amoroso.

The Blazers are coming off a 76-71 victory in Game 2 at the SMART-Araneta Coliseum, with Will Gozum and Miggy Corteza each scoring 21 points to force the winner-take-all dynamic. The magnitude and intensity also resulted heated moments, most notably with former Finals MVP Fran Yu getting ejected for a disqualifying foul in the second quarter, which led to being suspended for Game 3.

Aside from the game, last week also saw the league honor its outstanding ballers, led by Gozum being named as this season's Most Valuable Player. The UP transfer netted a near-double-double season with 16.9 points and 9.8 rebounds, becoming the first CSB player to win the award in seventeen years.

Joining Gozum in the Mythical Selection are the San Beda duo of JB Bahio and James Canlas, as well as Letran's King Caralipio and Arellano's Cade Flores.

Flores took home the most hardware, after being named as both the Rookie of the Year and the Defensive Player of the Year honors.

The Chief also led the cast for the All-Defensive Team alongside fellow awardees Gozum and Bahio, with Mark Omega of Perpetual and Romel Calahat of San Sebastian completing the cast.

Comprising the remaining awards are Shawn Umali of Lyceum being named as the Most Improved Player, and San Beda being named for the Sportsmanship award.

All of these events on Sunday reflected well on the ratings end. Game 2 garnered a 3.8 rating on Nielsen Philippines' National Urban TV Audience Measurement (NUTAM), a number that surpassed the combined ratings on TV5 (1.4), A2Z (1.4), and the Kapamilya Channel (.3).

Streaming data indicated 1.6 million views on Facebook, as well as 265,000 on YouTube and 61,600 on Twitter.

Providing the halftime entertainment for Game 3 will be Bianca Umali of the Sparkle Artists Center, with XoXo also set to showcase their talent.

Taking care of the coverage is Andrei Felix and Jerry Codinera, with Martin Javier acting as host.

For more updates on NCAA, visit its official website Follow @ncaaphilippines, @gmasynergy, and @gmasportsph on social media.

Saturday, December 17, 2022

UE women at cusp of Judo title retention

c/o UAAP

UAAP Season 85 Collegiate Judo Standings after Day 1
School - points - g-s-b

UE 22 2-2-2
UST 13 1-1-3
UP 8 1-0-1
Ateneo 5 0-1-2
DLSU 0 0-0-0

The University of the East has a slim lead over the University of Santo Tomas in the women's division of collegiate portion in the UAAP Season 85 judo tournament after the first day of action at the Blue Eagle Gym.

The Lady Warriors have two each of gold, silver, and bronze to secure a 22-point total at the halfway point, with a nine-point margin against the Tiger Judokas.

The Recto-based squad can thank Leah Jhane Lopez and Joemari-Heart Rafael for their gold medal efforts, with the former dispatching Mary Joy Baldos of UST in the final of the featherweight (under-44 kg) division and the latter outlasting Yzabelle Claravall in the final of the extra-lightweight (under-48 kg) division.

The featherweight bronze medals went to Princess Lintac of UE and Vlessie Hisula of UST, while the extra-lightweight ones were awarded to Jhanen Mae Marcos of UP and Danica Barela of UST.

The lone gold for UST came in the lightweight (under-57 kg) division, where Princes Cortez dispatched Mylene Matias of UE in the final. Rosanna Nolido of Ateneo and Kyrstanna Resente of UE bagged the bronze medals.

The University of the Philippines managed to move past Ateneo in the standings thanks to Ayessa Baloy's gold medal in the half-lightweight (under-52 kg) division, as she stunned Jewel Rafael of UE in the final with a waza-ari. The bronze medals were awarded to Faiza Asilum of UST and Roni Lapuz of Ateneo.

Day 2 action is set to take place on Sunday afternoon at the same venue.

UST men at cusp of Judo title retention

c/o UAAP

UAAP Season 85 Collegiate Judo Standings after Day 1
School - points - g-s-b

UST 25 3-1-1
UP 16 1-2-3
Ateneo 4 0-1-1
DLSU 3 0-0-3

University of Santo Tomas is halfway to a successful title defense, at the close of the first day of collegiate action in the UAAP Season 85 judo tournament on Saturday afternoon at the Blue Eagle Gym.

The Tiger Judokas claimed three gold medals on their way to 25 points. a nine-point lead against the University of the Philippines, which has a gold in their main tally.

Aaron Reyes was one of the UST gold medalists, surviving an accidental headbutt in the quarterfinals from Karl Tenorio of UP to eventually claim the middleweight (under-90 kg) title.

The senior would secure the gold after a quick victory over Arhann Rodil of Ateneo. He shares about his road to the gold, "Yung sa 'kin naman, sa performance ko, binuhos ko talaga lahat kasi last playing year ko na. Para sa 'kin kahit anong mangyari basta manalo."

Another gold for UST came from Chino Sy in the half-heavyweight (under-100 kg) class, making quick work out of Carlos Sandoval of the University of the Philippines in the final.

The third gold came from Rael Abujos, who assured a 1-2 finish for the Tiger Judokas by defeating teammate Tristan Reyes in the final of the heavyweight (over-100kg) division. UP's Zarchie Garay and Ateneo's Yvan Ayalin secured the bronze medals.

The lone gold that did not go to UST's way went to Jayvee Ferrer. The SEA Games silver medalist defeated fellow UP judoka Ollzhen Dionisio to claim the half-middleweight (under-81 kg) crown, with Junel Porlaje of UST and John Hernandez of DLSU securing the bronze medals.

When asked about UST's performance, Reyes acknowledges, "Para sa 'kin, OK naman po performance ng team. Sa heavyweights po nakuha namin yung mostly gold and silver."

Day 2 of collegiate judo action resumes on Sunday afternoon.

UST asserts HS Judo Day 1 action

c/o UAAP

UAAP Season 85 Day 1 High School Judo Standings
School - points - g-s-b

UST 23 2-2-3
DLSZ 14 1-2-1
UE 7 1-0-0
Ateneo 3 0-0-3

UST 37 4-3-0
DLSZ 3 0-1-0
Ateneo 0 0-0-0
UE 0 0-0-0

The University of Santo Tomas asserted itself as a powerhouse in the UAAP Season 85 Judo championships, taking control of both the boys and girls division on the first day of action on Saturday morning at the Blue Eagle Gym.

Falling short of the title back in 2020, the Junior Tiger Judokas secured all but one medal in the four divisions in play.

Margaret Fajardo claimed the heavyweight (over-78 kg) gold medal against her two rivals, with teammate Mariah Lua fending off Rochelle Goitia of La Salle-Zobel for the silver.

Jennelyn Tunacao defeated teammate Krystelle Amisola in three matches to claim the middleweight (under-70 kg) title, while Janika Quizon claimed the half-heavyweight crown (under-78 kg) over Althea Lua with a two-match sweep.

Angelique Cortez completed the gold dash for the girls in claiming the half-middleweight (under-63 kg) title over Gabrielle Talaue of DLS-Z.

Talaue's silver medal would be the only medal secured by a non-UST judoka.

In the boys' division, Patrick de Tomas and Zeus Babanto claimed UST's two gold medals to help hold the lead for the Junior Tiger Judokas at 23 points.

The former did it in the half-lightweight division (under-66 kg), needing just 39 seconds to secure the gold over Nash Dabandan of DLS-Zobel. UST's John Paul Villanueva and DLS-Z's Anthony Cabanting claimed the bronze medals.

The latter defeated teammate Joermil Caguicla to claim the lightweight (under-73 kg) gold medal. In an all-Ateneo matchup, Aldwyn Thor defeated Primo Luciano for the bronze medal.

La Salle-Zobel snapped up a gold medal in the extra-lightweight (under-60 kg) division, as Mikee Trinidad defeated Justin Bagallon of UST in the final. Finishing as bronze medalists in this division are Raizelle Turla of UST and Eupurt Asayo of Ateneo.

The University of the East fielded just one participant in the boys division, and it paid off with Eric Rodriguez netting the gold in the featherweight (under-55 kg) category. The Junior Warrior battled Yngo Ramos of La Salle-Zobel to a draw in regulation with a waza-ari each, but Eric manages to secure the ippon after 43 seconds in the extension to secure the title. Jose Malaya of Ateneo and Bobby Eupena Jr of UST secure the bronze medals.

La Salle-Zobel is in second place, with fourteen points. Rodriguez's feat puts UE in third place with seven points.

Action continues Sunday morning with the remaining weight classes to be played.

Friday, December 16, 2022

UST, UE ready for Judo repeat

The final tournament for the first semester of the 85th season of the UAAP is set to commence this weekend, with the two-day judo competition at the Blue Eagle Gym, with the University of Santo Tomas and the University of the East seeking to retain their titles.

The Golden Judokas are seeking to extend their title run to five straight seasons including fending off the University of the Philippines in the last edition, whilst the Lady Warriors are seeking back-to-back titles after snapping UST's five-year reign for their maiden title back in March 2020.

Judo was one of the few events that got completed before the onset of the pandemic that forced the premature conclusion of 82nd season.

It was a similar situation for the high school ranks, with UST claiming its fourth straight boys' title, with UE retaining theirs for the third straight time in the girls' division.

"The technical meeting and draw were successfully done this afternoon and attended by the different coaches of these top universities," said UAAP Season 85 judo commissioner Dave Carter, who was joined by Philippine Judo Federation president and Ateneo coach Ali Sulit during the meeting.

"We wish everybody the best now that we are re-starting the face-to-face action! These are top athletes and everyone is excited."

Collegiate action commences at 130pm, with the High School edition gets a 9am start.

PFF Women's Cup final to be decided between UP and FEU

In a potential preview to the UAAP football season next year, the University of the Philippines and Far Eastern University will dispute the PFF Women's Cup final on Saturday, December 17, at the PFF National Training Facility in Carmona, Cavite. Kickoff is slated at 7pm

Both teams are coming off semifinal upsets to earn their place in the final, with the fourth seed Fighting Maroons escaping with a 5-4 penalty shootout victory over Kaya FC, after a scoreless normal, added, and extra time.

The third seed Lady Tamaraws formalized the final matchup with a 3-0 victory over Tuloy FC, with goals from Katrina Magbitang, Lylhanie Cayabyab, and Dionesa Tolentin setting the stage for this weekend.

FEU ended up as 2-0 winners in their lone meeting in the eliminations, with Tolentin and Regine Rebosura responsible for the scoring.

UP head coach Anto Gonzales shares, "The girls accepted their capabilities on what to do to contain the strengths of their opponents. and the awareness and willingness to sacrifice and work for the team. We’re
appreciative of the efforts of our players even if they’re not good individually, but all the more that we have to work together as a team

FEU head coach Let Dimzon says about their matchup, "Going into the finals we really need to motivate the players and prepare them individually, physically, and mentally. The players have good character and the more they are challenged, they show their fighting spirit."

In the undercard, Kaya and Tuloy will face off for the third place game at 4pm.

The doubleheader puts a cap to the PFF Women's Cup, the first women's football tournament in the country post-pandemic. Including Saturday, 32 matches were played in the past couple of months to determine the best local women's side.

SMART Omega earns quarterfinal slot in CODM Worlds


SMART Omega earned a spot in the postseason of the Call of Duty Mobile World Championships, which are being held at Raleigh, North Carolina.

They started off with a sweep of STMN eSports, taking a 250-213 win in Hardpoint, followed by a 12-10 victory in Search and Destroy. Capping things off for the Filipino side is a 3-0 win in Control over their European opposition. 

They followed that up with another sweep, this time against North American side NSYL Mayhem in the Winner's match. After holding to a 250-243 win in Hardpoint, Omega fended Mayhem off in Search and Destroy, 7-5, before completing the sweep with a 3-0 result in Control.

After topping Group A, the team is now guaranteed a top-eight finish as it heads for a quarterfinal matchup against SKADE. The Brazilian side dispatched the other Southeast Asian team in the field, Almighty of Singapore.

Thursday, December 15, 2022

NU retains men's title, drops women's to UST in UAAP taekwondo

c/o UAAP

UAAP Season 85 Collegiate Taekwondo Final Standings:
NU 5-0
UST 4-1
DLSU 3-2
FEU 2-3
UP 1-4
Ateneo 0-5

UST 5-0
NU 4-1
DLSU 3-2
UP 2-3
FEU 1-4
Ateneo 0-5

National University successfully defended their men's title at the collegiate kyorugi portion of the UAAP Season 85 taekwondo touranment, which concluded on Thursday at the Blue Eagle Gym.

The Bulldogs won all their ties against the rest of the field to earn its fourth straight championship, just a couple of days after their compatriots claimed their first title in the poomsae division. They finished off their run with a 4-3 victory over the University of Santo Tomas.

Head coach Carlos Padilla shares about their achievement, "Siyempre, sobrang saya no na na-maintain yung four-peat. Alam naman natin na hindi madali na mag-maintain na ganong streak, kailangan talaga ng hardwork. Yung training ng mga bata, hindi biro -- two to three times a day, Monday to Saturday. So, binigay sa kanila ngayon. Sobrang happy ako na nagbunga yung pinagpaguran nila."

Leading the way in the title romp was Kurt Barbosa. The Tokyo Olympian finished the season undefeated after dispatching fellow national team member Rommel Pablo Jr in the finweight (under-54 kg) division, 2-0 (12-11, 12-7). In the process, he secured his third straight gold in the weight class. Completing the podium alongside the two standouts is Radiz Navidad of Far Eastern University.

Sturjay Gilbuena would clinch the tie for NU after a 2-0 (5-5, 3-2) win over Reyvin Villanueva in the featherweight (under-68 kg) division. Joining them on the podium is Kyle Laroya of the University of the Philippines.

The Bulldogs would have an additional gold medal through Dex Ian Chavez in the flyweight (under-58 kg) division. Rama Chandra Liporada of UST and Lois Manalaysay join Chavez as fellow medalists.

The Tiger Jins would a gold medalist in their runner-up finish, thanks to Justin Mark Agno in the lightweight (under-74 kg) class. Agno would top Jemuel Rendora of FEU and Lao Nusari of NU.

Finishing in third place is DLSU, which capped off its campaign with a 6-1 thrashing of Ateneo. The Green Jins claimed the three remaining gold medals, as Einz Aricayos topped the welterweight (under-80 kg) class, with Carlo Dionisio taking care of the bantamweight (under-63 kg) division over Kurt Pajuelas of NU and Dave Lobaton of UST. The other gold went to Marc Gasilos in the middle/heavyweight division (over-80 kg), with Mark Arby of UST and Gab Soria of NU accompanying Gasilos in the podium.

Comprising the rest of the podium in welterweight is Israel Cantos of UST and Hedwig Yap of FEU.

c/o UAAP

NU's hopes to complete the collegiate sweep were dashed in the women's division, as UST reclaimed the title by sweeping the field for their thirteenth title and first since Season 76.

The Tiger Jins doused the hopes of the Lady Bulldogs with a 6-1 victory, with Realis Tabiando clinching the tie by defeating Jubilee Briones in the lightweight (under-62 kg) division, 2-0 (2-1, 3-2).

Head coach Gershon Bautista shares, "We're overjoyed, especially after the pandemic. As you know, lahat naman ng teams naghanda, Pero yung team kasi namin -- even during the pandemic --kahit na online yung setting, kahit hindi namin gusto yung online, we're still training during that time."

NU's lone win came from Veronica Garces in the flyweight (under-49 kg) division, as the national team stalwart defeated Angelica Valdez, 2-0 (3-3, 5-3), capping off an undefeated campaign. Completing the podium with these two is Jade Papa of DLSU.

Papa and the rest of the Green Jins finish in third place with a 3-2 record, earning the spot after a 6-1 win over Far Eastern University.

UST would finish with five gold medals, led by SEA Games bronze medalist Laila Delo in the middle/heavyweight (over-67 kg) division, with Allyah Eusalan of DLSU and Micha Villarama of NU as fellow podium placers.

Reign Ragutana claimed the welterweight (under-67 kg) title for the Tiger Jins. Joining her in the podium are Nicole Anne McCann of NU and Argie Lamasan of DLSU.

The rest of the Tiger Jins champions are Jasmine Ramirez in the finweight (under-46 kg) class over Clarence Sarza of NU and Eirenne Lumasang of Ateneo, Mary Limjoco in the bantamweight (under-53kg) class over Purcia Ang of DLSU and Abigail Abing of NU, and Tabiando.

The other gold medal that UST was unable to secure went to Florence Chavez of the University of the Philippines, who topped the featherweight (under-57 kg) title. She finished ahead of Laizel Abucay of UST and Via Trocio of NU.

In the individual awards, Barbosa's flawless campaign netted him his second Most Valuable Player nod, with Aricayos being named as the Rookie of the Year. For the women's division, Delo would be named as the Most Valuable Player, with Ragutana as the Rookie of the Year.

SBP seeks volunteers for World Cup hosting

With the opening of the 2023 iteration of the FIBA World Cup on August 25 creeping closer, the next stage of preparations was launched earlier this month, with the Local Organizing Committee introducing its Volunteer Program at the Novotel hotel inside Araneta City.

Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas Chairman Emeritus Manuel V. Pangilinan shares, "The monumental task of co-hosting the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2023, including its final phase, is upon us, and the challenge to deliver has never been as daunting. But we Filipinos have always been known to come together and unite for causes most worthy, and the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2023, I sincerely believe, will move us to showcase that quality to the rest of the world."

He adds, "I therefore invite every Filipino, from all walks of life, to be part of this global sporting event, starting with the launch of its own Volunteers Program."

SBP President Al S. Panlilio says, "We at the SBP are in full support of the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2023 Volunteers Program. We will extend all possible resources both here in Manila and around the country, to ensure that anyone who wants to contribute to this worthy cause is able to do so."

The program seeks to determine around five hundred volunteers that embody the "Bayanihan" spirit and showcase our world-class Filipino hospitality.

Interested applicants will need to meet these requirements:

  • Need to be at least eighteen years of age by August 1, 2023
  • Fluent in English and Filipino (knowledge of additional languages will help)
  • Fit to render work
  • Confident and comfortable dealing with stressful situations, and ones with conflict
  • Fully vaccinated (will need proof of vaccination)
  • Residents of the Philippines

In addition, the Volunteer Program will also reflect FIBA's preference in establishing a diverse and inclusive basketball community.

Successful applicants would be assigned to a specific aspect of the World Cup hosting of their choosing, including Sports, Venues, Games Services, International Relations and Protocol, Safety and Security, FIBA World Congress, among others. They would be entitled to have the official tournament uniforms, meals, IDs, transportation allowance, and a certificate of participation.

One can register at, with those who have inquiries can send their questions and clarifications to

Wednesday, December 14, 2022

NU takes charge in UAAP collegiate taekwondo

c/o UAAP

UAAP Season 85 Day 1 Collegiate Taekwondo Kyorugi Standings

NU 3-0
UST 3-0
DLSU 1-1
FEU 1-1
Ateneo 0-3
UP 0-3

NU 3-0
UST 2-0
DLSU 2-1
UP 1-2
FEU 0-3
Ateneo 0-3

National University kicked off its title retention campaign on an impressive note, winning all its matches in the first day of the collegiate kyorugi action in the UAAP Season 85 Taekwondo tournament at the Blue Eagle Gym inside Ateneo de Manila University.

The Men's Division saw the Bulldogs dispatch the University of the Philippines, 6-1, Far Eastern University, 5-2, and Ateneo, 7-0. Leading the cast is national athlete Kurt Barbosa, who shared afterwards, "It's good to be back talaga, kasi after three years na pandemic walang mga laro. Kaya itong UAAP namin pinaghandaan talaga namin, kaya sabi namin pagbalik, 'Handang-handa na kami ulit para i-defend yung title."

Barbosa won both his matches on the mat in his under-54 kg division, defeating Vince Yango of UP, 10-0 and 8-4, and Ron Jaranilla, 12-0 and 12-0. The Rookie-MVP of Season 81 was handed another win with Antonio Sucero of Ateneo forced to withdraw due to a pulled hamstring.

Season 82 runners-up University of Santo Tomas also won its matches, issuing 7-0 sweeps against UP and Ateneo before nipping La Salle, 4-3.

DLSU did manage to get themselves on the board with a 4-3 win over UP. Far Eastern University did bounce back from their loss against NU with a 7-0 sweep against Ateneo.

On the women's side, the Lady Bulldogs swept its first two assignments against Ateneo and FEU, before eking out a narrow 4-3 win over La Salle.

Securing the win in their matchup is Nicole McCann, defeating Argie Lamasan in three rounds, 0-12, 10-3, 2-0.

The Green Jins dropped to 2-1 with the defeat, which came after they dispatched UP, 4-3, and Ateneo, 6-1.

Also remaining undefeated so far in the distaff side is UST, winning against FEU, 6-1, and UP, 5-2.

The Lady Maroons did manage a win in Day 1, nipping FEU, 4-3.

Expect an intense race in the second and final day of competitions on Thursday, with NU and UST still to face off.

Luis Scola named as FIBA World Cup Global Ambassador


Luis Scola

The World Cup gets its first international global ambassador, with FIBA naming Luis Scola for the honor.

The Argentine legend will help promote the World Cup, which starts on August 25 across three countries: main co-host the Philippines, and fellow co-hosts Japan and Indonesia. That includes activities taking place in the run-up to the competition, like the upcoming Draw Ceremonies slated for April.

As one of the members of the "Global Generation," Scola appeared in five iterations of the World Cup/World Championships, with his 41 games played tied for the most appearances alongside Ubiratan Pereira Maciel of Brazil. His total of 716 points is second all-time in the competition in scoring.

He made his debut in Indianapolis back in 2002, when it was still called the World Championships, helping Argentina make it to the finals before they fell short in overtime to Yugoslavia.

Fresh from winning the Olympics in Athens, Scola averaged 14.3 points and seven rebounds on 55.3% shooting as Argentina made a run to the semifinals in the 2006 edition in Japan, where they fell short to Spain, 75-74.

In Turkey for the 2010 edition, Scola topped the competition in scoring with 27.1 points per game, buoyed by a 37-point performance against Brazil in the Round of 16.

His fourth appearance came in 2014, with the tournament being rebranded into its current World Cup nomenclature. He averaged 19.5 points in Seville, including a 30-point outburst in the group phase against Croatia and a 19-point output against then-World Cup debutants Gilas Pilipinas.

At the age of 40, he made his final World Cup appearance in the 2019 edition, and still showed he still got it in China by being named to the TISSOT All-Star Five. That included a 28-point, 13-rebound performance in an 80-66 triumph over France in the semifinals.

Scola also played in five Olympics, making the semifinals in 2008 and 2012, winning the bronze in Beijing. He served as Argentina's flagbearer in the 2016 edition at Rio de Janeiro, before playing his final edition at Tokyo last year.

The former Houston Rocket was a force in continental competition, being named as a FIBA AmeriCup Most Valuable Player four times (2007, 2009, 2011, 2015). He helped Argentina to a podium spot nine times in the tournament.

He shares about the announcement: "I'm truly honored to be a World Cup Global Ambassador and to take on this new role. I always wanted to represent Argentina, to sing the national anthem before games and to play alongside so many amazing players, and for great coaches. We always set out to win tournaments, but the most important thing was to give our best, to be good role models and to play for our country. Being part of our Golden Generation with so many amazing players has also been a very special experience. To play every summer was also a priority because it helped me maintain my fitness for the following season. We had amazing victories. While there were some disappointing results, we won a lot more than we lost and learned many life lessons along the way. Maybe the biggest was that with perseverance, togetherness and a shared vision, a team can achieve more than is expected. If all players, all teams, take that approach next year, this is going to be another unforgettable World Cup across the Philippines, Japan and Indonesia."

UST sweeps to secure HS Taekwondo title

c/o UAAP

UAAP Season 85 High School Boys' Taekwondo Kyorugi standings

UST 4-0
FEU-Diliman 3-1
NU-Nazareth 2-2
Ateneo 1-3
DLS-Zobel 0-4

The University of Santo Tomas flexed its dominance of the high school kyorugi portion of the UAAP Season 85 taekwondo championships at the Blue Eagle Gym on Tuesday.

The Tiger Jins won all four of its ties to claim its fourth straight title and fourteenth overall.

When asked about what makes their program successful, head coach Gershon Bautista shares, "I think ano na talaga yun eh, mind-setting talaga. Kahit anong sabihin natin -- players na bagong balik, bagong salta, many of them, nagkita lang kami after nung pandemic. Hindi naman sa 'min nanggaling eh."

He adds, "The program is strong because of the mindset of the players and they believe in the training regimen. We believe in them and they, in turn, believe in us."

UST started the day off with a 4-1 win over NU-Nazareth, then swept Ateneo, 5-0. They would clinch the title with a 4-1 triumph over FEU-Diliman, rendering their final tie against La Salle-Zobel, which they won 5-0, as non-bearing.

Legolas Peñaredondo would clinch the championship with a 2-0 (4-1 and 13-6) win over Vinn Pineda of FEU-Diliman to lock in the third win of their tie against the Baby Tamaraws.

FEU secured second place by defeating the Bullpups, 3-2 to finish with a 3-1 record. The Baby Tamaraws secured the win by winning the last two matches of the tie, with Pineda defeating John Balido, 2-1 (1-8, 2-0, 5-0) to set up the deciding matchup, which James Camillo would clinch with a 2-1 (13-2, 0-1, 11-2) win over Kurt Bodegas.

NU-Nazareth ends up in third place with a 2-2 record.

In the individual categories, Peñaredondo was named as the Most Valuable Player, aside from topping the fourth category (63-70 kg). Pineda would finish as runner-up in the same category, while John Balido of NU-Nazareth secured the bronze medal. Balido was also chosen as the Rookie of the Year. 

UST also claimed the gold medals in the first (under-48 kg) and third (55-63 kg) categories, with Sean Duenas securing the former and Jose Jacob Cartagena taking the latter.

Joining Duenas as first category medalists are Rodito Sinugbojan Jr. of NU-Nazareth and Timothy Melicado of FEU-Diliman. Serving as company for Cartagena in the podium are Kent Banzon of NU-Nazareth and Juztene Buan of FEU-Diliman.

The other two categories went to FEU, with Felix Castel securing the second (48-55 kg) category and Camillo in the fifth (63-70 kg) category. Accompany Castel as his podium peers are Renzo Gavillanes of UST and Noel Macasaet of Ateneo, while Bodegas and John Gabriega of UST join Camillo.

Tuesday, December 13, 2022

NU claims Season 85 poomsae title

c/o UAAP

National University secured its first title in the Poomsae portion of the UAAP Season 85 Taekwondo tournament, which took place on Tuesday morning at the Blue Eagle Gym.

The Bulldogs won two golds and two silvers in the five events being contested, pipping the University of Santo Tomas, who also won a couple of golds, but could only muster a silver and a bronze.

NU sealed their maiden title in the men's team event, with the trio of Ceanne Rosquillo, James Lopez, and Jed Tan netting an 8.265 score, narrowly netting the gold over the trio of Dominic Navarro, Joshua Cachero, and Datu Rayhan of the University of the Philippines and their 8.235 score, for the lone medal of the Fighting Maroons in the competition.

A UP gold would have handed UST a successful title defense, with Vincent Rodrigues, Kobe Macario, and Dairus Venerable falling short with a 8.165 to finish third in the division.

NU's other gold came in the women's individual category with Laeia Soria topping the field with a score of 8.250. Last season's Rookie-MVP Aidaine Laxa came in second with 8.135 for UST, with Mikee Regala of La Salle completing the podium at 7.880.

Soria would be named as the tournament's Most Valulable Player.

NU head coach Dustin Mella says about the championship, "I'm still processing it, but it's hard work basically. We had to rethink our own approach to our lineup, to the events we want to emphasize. It was a lot of hard work and there were really so many factors."

The Tiger Jins' two golds came in mixed pair and the women's team events.

Rodrigues teamed up with Chelsea Tacay to nip the duo of Patrick Perez and Regala of DLSU, 8.230 to 8.215, with Ateneo's Joaquin Tuzon and Elaine Borres finishing in third with 7.895.

Laxa, Jade Carno and Stella Yape retained their gold with a 8.350 score, with Soria, Abegail Pacificador, and Denise Alicias claiming the silver medal with an 8.215. Completing the podium is the La Salle trio of Sofia Sarmiento, Zyka Santiago, and Daphne Ching with their 8.005.

The Blue Eagles secured the only gold that did not belong to either NU or UST, as Tuzon topped the men's individual event with an 8.195 score, nipping both Rosquillo's 8.170 and Perez's 8.115. In securing the gold, Ateneo would lock in its first podium finish in the history of the competition.

Still ongoing is the high school kyorugi competition, with the collegiate action set to take place in the next couple of days.

Monday, December 12, 2022

FIBA World Cup 2023 co-hosts make their initial picks

Fans have a slight idea on which team is headed where in the 2023 iteration of the FIBA Basketball World Cup, with the co-hosts picking preferred teams to be in their respective domains.

The decision of Central Board illustrates that the United States will be in one of four groups playing in the Philippines, once they lock in their spot after the final window of qualifying. It is a move done based on commercial reasons, with neither impact on the tournament's integrity or the process for the draw.

The corresponding move by fellow co-hosts Japan and Indonesia will see Slovenia headed to Okinawa to be a part of one of two groups, with Canada off to Jakarta, also as part of one of two groups. Both countries have already locked in their spot in the competition.

Once the final window of qualifying has been completed in the end of February, the complete Draw Principles for the World Cup will be established. One aspect of the draw, which will take place in Manila on April 29, has already been confirmed, as the Philippines is already assured in a spot in Pot 1 alongside the top teams in the FIBA rankings. In the process, it ensures Gilas Pilipinas will not be in the same group as the defending Olympics 5x5 champions.

Once the groups have been determined, Day Passes and single-game tickets will be made available for purchase.

UST shooting for Poomsae repeat

Taekwondo coaches meeting

Taekwondo action in the 85th season of the UAAP is set to commence, with poomsae kicking things off on Tuesday at the Blue Eagle Gym.

The University of Santo Tomas is seeking their fifth title in the competition, months after ending La Salle's quest for a three-peat at the Mall of Asia Arena.

The Tiger Jins anchored their title run by topping the team categories, as well as in the mixed pair. They were also boosted by the presence of Aidaine Laxa, who was named as both the Rookie of the Year and the Most Valuable Player.

The Green Jins are hoping to move back level with the defending champions after finishing third, with National University nabbing runner-up honors. The two will serve as the biggest obstacles for UST's title defense.

Serving as potential spoilers in the competition are the University of the Philippines, Ateneo de Manila, and Far Eastern University.

Also set to take place alongside the poomsae event is the high school kyorugi, which makes its return after a three-year pandemic-related break.

UST is seeking to claim a record fourteenth crown in the division, with FEU-Diliman, NU-Nazareth, Ateneo de Manila, and La Salle-Zobel serving as stumbling blocks.

Action in both poomsae and kyorugi starts at 8am.

Kyorugi action for both collegiate divisions will take place on Wednesday and Thursday.

Saturday, December 10, 2022

NU reclaims CDC crown

c/o UAAP

The title is back at Bustillos, as National University was named as the UAAP Season 85 Cheerdance Competition champions, in front of just over eighteen thousand fans Saturday at the SM Mall of Asia Arena.

With a "Cheer-obics" inspired routine, the high-risk, high-reward performance netted a total of 723 points, enough to give the NU Pep Squad their seventh title in nine seasons.

The championship is a fitting send off for their head coach Ghicka Bernabe, who is stepping down from her role to get married to her fiance.

She shared to the media afterwards, "Yung happiness ko mas malaki sa arena. It's a milestone for me as a coach."

Defending champions Far Eastern University finished in second place with 719 points, their Francis Magalona-inspired performance was bolstered by its solid scores in tumbling.

FEU Cheering Squad head coach Randel San Gregorio says about the result, "Yung fact na nag-first runner-up ay bonus na sa amin ito."

Finishing in third place is the University of Santo Tomas, as the Salinggawi Dance Troupe used a Lady Gaga-inspired performance to net a total of 640 points, their best finish in five years.

SDT head coach Mark Chaiwalla shares, "Gratitude and being proud I am. It's really overwhelming, it's amazing."

The rest of the scores are as follows: University of the East in fourth with 606.5, Adamson (595), University of the Philippines (575.5), La Salle (528.5), and Ateneo (502.5).

Friday, December 9, 2022

FEU seeks Cheerdance repeat

c/o UAAP

One of the most anticipated events in the UAAP is set to take place on Saturday afternoon at the Mall of Asia Arena with the Cheerdance competition.

Far Eastern University is looking to retain its title, this time with the familiar format instead of the pandemic-restricted three-minute run involving a maximum of fifteen performers.

15-25 cheerdancers will have a six-minute routine, with a couple of bass and snare drums serving as accompaniment, hoping not just to impress the judges, but also the expected capacity crowd inside the venue.

FEU Cheering Squad head coach Randel San Gregorio shares, "We wish everyone the best performance possible," with the defending champions choosing to pay homage to music legend Francis Magalona.

Serving as the main opposition to a successful title defense is the NU Pep Squad, who will be performing a "Cheerobics"-based routine this time around in an attempt to claim their seventh title in the last nine seasons.

Adamson, who alongside FEU are the only schools to have won the title during NU's recent dominance, will kick off the action at 4pm.

Following them will be the University of the East, UST and the Salinggawi Dance Troupe, La Salle, Ateneo, FEU, NU, and a retooled University of the Philippines Pep Squad.

Teams were given Friday to finetune their performances at the hallowed venue.

Sunday, December 4, 2022

Cheerdance competition returns old format

c/o UAAP

The Cheerdance Competition for the 85th season of the UAAP will be reverting back to old format when the action starts on December 10.

Last season's format saw a maximum of fifteen performers doing a three-minute routine, something rooted with pandemic-related restrictions.

This time, fans at the Mall of Asia Arena will be able to witness between fifteen and twenty-five performers do a six-minute routine.

Special events committee chairwoman Gigi Kamus of the University of Santo Tomas shares, "Mas maraming time yung mga performers to enjoy their routine. We will have a full house this time. We will have drums, two bass, and two snares."

Defending champion Far Eastern University is looking forward to this weekend, with FEU Cheering Squad head coach Randel San Gregorio saying, "Excited pa rin. First time magde-defend ang FEU in 13 years. Sana mabuo namin. Mas triple ang kaba kaysa sa excitement. Ibang level ng pressure ito."

He adds, "If we win again, we will win two in a row in one year. Baka hindi na maulit ito."

San Gregorio also shares, "We focused on conditioning also. Sana buo lahat tayo on Saturday so we can give a great show for the crowd. We wish everyone the best performance possible."

Serving as the main opposition in FEU's title defense is National University, with the NU Pep Squad set to have a "Cheer-obics" routine.

NU head coach Ghicka Bernabe notes, "We focused also sa dance ngayon. we focused extra time for that. Very mae-enjoy lahat. Feeling ko mas alive ngayon."

She adds about their preparations, "From Season 84, nagmadali tayo. At least ngayon, I think it's more than enough to prepare for this competition."

As for head judge Paula Nunag, she says, "This competition on Saturday is very exciting. They will be able to showcase their passion."

The order of performances, has been pre-determined, with the order as follows: Adamson, UE, UST, DLSU, Ateneo, FEU, NU, and UP.

UAAP Cheerdance returns for 2022

coming soon

One of the most colorful and liveliest events each season in the University Athletic Association of the Philippines is the Cheerdance Competition, and for the league's 85th season, the CDC will take place on December 10, 2022 at the SM Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City.

Season 85 President Fr. Aldrin Suan, CM shares, "The Cheerdance Competition is the event where we cheer for the individuals who rally our varsity teams on a daily basis. It's a very special event that everyone in the UAAP community looks forward to. And as what we have seen during the halftime of our men's basketball games, all teams are ready to have their one shining moment on December 10." 

Cignal TV President and CEO Robert P. Galang adds, "We are very pleased that last season’s Cheerdance Competition was a success despite the restrictions and limitations imposed for the safety of all. The love and support of the students, fans and alumni for all eight school squads remain strong, and we at Cignal are happy to once again be able to bring the second CDC this year to fans inside their homes or wherever they may be right at the palm of their hands."

All eight schools will be represented, with the Adamson Pep Squad, Ateneo Blue Eagles, DLSU Animo Squad, defending champions FEU Cheering Squad, NU Pep Squad, UE Pep Squad, and the UST Salinggawi Dance Troupe ready to entertain everyone with their routines.

Adamson will perform first, followed by UE, UST, DLSU, Ateneo, FEU, NU, and UP.

The broadcast of the Cheerdance Competition will be LIVE on both One Sports and on the UAAP Varsity Channel, with streaming capability locally on Cignal Play and the SMART Gigaplay app and internationally via iWantTFC.

NCAA Season 98 Finals set

c/o NCAA

The finals of the 98th season of the NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament is set to commence on Sunday afternoon at the SMART- Araneta Coliseum, with the top two seeds at the end of eliminations set to tangle.

Although the Knights have topped the Blazers in both of their meetings in the eliminations, head coach Bonnie Tan knows that things are different in the bigger stage.

He shared to the media, "Pagtatrabahuhan namin kasi number one team ang Benilde so mindset pa rin namin is nasa dehado side tayo. Excited din kaming makalaban ang CSB sa Finals dahil first time din nila after long years na absent sila sa Finals. Sana mabigyan natin ng magandang laban yung CSB."

The Knights are hoping to become the eighth team to successfully pull off three straight titles, and the first Letran team to do so since 1982-84, when a team led by Samboy Lim earned the feat.

After an undefeated shortened season earlier this year, Letran rode on the leadership of Brent Paraiso, Louie Sangalang, and Fran Yu, overcoming a sluggish 3-3 start to win ten of their last twelve matches in the eliminations, before topping Lyceum in the Final Four.

As for CSB, they bounced back from falling short in the play-in tournament earlier this season by setting a school record with fourteen wins, then overcame San Beda in the Final Four, making their return to the finals after a two-decade absence.

Reflecting on their semifinal matchup, Charles Tiu says, "This was a good test for us, if we can stand our ground, I think maybe we'd have a chance (against the Knights)."

Will Gozum and Miguel Oczon has been taking charge for the Blazers.

The game will be shown on the league's Facebook and YouTube pages, as well as that of GMA Sports. It will be televised on both GMA and GTV.

Game 2 will be next Sunday, also at the SMART-Araneta Coliseum. A potential deciding Game 3 will be played at the Ynares Center in Antipolo if necessary on December 18.

Monday, November 28, 2022

GOMO reopens Circuit Makati Skate Park

new skate park

The old skate park at the Circuit Makati got a refreshed new look earlier this month, with the unveiling of the GOMO Skate Park at Circuit Makati.

The refurbishment was the outcome of a partnership between GOMO, the country's first fully digital telco, Ayala Land, and Make It Makati. Giving it a fresh look is artist Raco Ruiz, who streamed the makeover.

Now open for all skaters, whether first-timers, amateurs, or professionals, the facility is part of the second anniversary efforts of GOMO, as they continue to provide next-level experiences for its subscribers.

To gain entry into the park, subscribers can convert 8GB of their data into a one-day access pass via 'Mo Creds.

"With GOMO Skate Park, we want our subscribers to have a safe space they can call their own, where they can nurture their creativity and love for the sport. Throughout our second year since launch, and in succeeding years to come, we aim to equip the GOMO Fam with the freedom and flexibility that will allow them to experience the world no holds barred–all made possible by ‘Mo Creds," said GOMO Marketing Director Don Laudencia.

To commemorate the reopening, GOMO invited featured artists and DJs to provide live music, with the likes of Denise Julia, February Bank, Menon, DJ Steelo, CA Christian Alexander, Evan Proper, Astridx, Tolo Marvelous and Hoest providing the beats.

In addition, notable local skateboard stars Cindy Lou Cerna, CL Paje, Renz Gelig and Mak Feliciano shredded the park with their tricks.

Rangers claims 7s Football League title

Rangers as Div 1 champions

A new champion was crowned in the AIA 7s Football League Division 1, as Rangers Philippines survived a 2-1 penalty shootout victory over Manila Digger on Sunday night at the McKinley Hill Stadium.

Olisa Anena scored the winning spot kick, with Junel Marasigan able to stop all of the defending champions' attempts. The keeper ended up being named as the Most Valuable Player for his efforts.

Ebere Juel broke through in the ninth minute for Rangers, but Manila Digger found their equalizer just before the end of regulation through a strike from Ilemona Usman, the first goal Rangers allowed in the postseason.

Extra time saw both teams unable to pierce their respective defenses, setting up the heroics in the penalty shootout.

Team manager Kross Ubiam shared, post-match, "We were peaking at the right time."

Rangers completed its "Cinderella" run in the postseason with this championship, which was set up through a 7-0 shutout of Middle Beast in the quarterfinals and a 3-0 upset of top seeds Sino FC in the semifinals.

Coached by former UAAP champion Ayi Aryee, Rangers is composed of: Ebere Juel, Bolaji Idris, Stanley Edeme, Hassan Mohhamed, Forio Jonah, Junel Marasigan, Fidel Nnabuife, Charles Ujam, Olisa Anene, Femi Originde, Charles Muotouh, Idowu Ominisi, Bernard Ifeachor, and Mikael Lagard.

In the two other division finals, Black Amigos defeated Resenha, 4-2, to claim Division 2, with Manila Digger not going empty handed as they secured a 3-2 win over Mangtas FC in Division 3.

Sunday, November 27, 2022

Manila Digger seeks Div 1 repeat in 7s Football League


Manila Digger seeks to defend their AIA 7s Football Division 1 title on Sunday, November 27, at the McKinley Hill Stadium in Taguig. Kickoff is scheduled at 630pm.

Led by Stephen "Tonaldo" Appiah, who recently represented BGC at the Kampeon Cup, Manila Digger is also backstopped by a couple of collegiate standouts in Michael Asong and Darwin Regala.

Tonaldo shares, "Tactically, mentally, and physically, we are ready for the game. It will definitely be a difficult game but we are ready."

Serving as the foil in this one is Rangers Philippines, who carved two upsets en route to the final, dispatching Middle Beast and top-ranked Sino FC. They also were able to defeat Manila Digger in the eliminations, which may prove to be a slight advantage.

Managed by former Kaya FC defender Kross Ubiam and coached by former UAAP champion Ayi Aryee, they are led by former UFL players Fidel Nnabuife and Charles Ujam.

Kross says about the matchup, "This is going to be a great finals but we are going for nothing less than the cup. Manila Digger are not pushovers but we will be ready. Let the best team win."

There will also two other men's finals to be decided, with Manila Digger facing off against Mangtas in Division 3 at 430pm, followed by Black Amigos against Resenha at 530pm.

Kaya FC retains AIA 7s Football League Women's Division 1 crown

Division 1 champions

Kaya FC successfully defended its AIA 7s Football Women's Division I title this past Sunday, November 20, at the McKinley Hill Stadium, defeating Nomads Braves, 1-0.

The lone goal of the match came in the 44th minute, as Dionesa Tolentin's cross found Shelah Cadag, with the former UST standout sending it towards the top left corner.

It was then up to the league's best defense to hold on to a clean sheet, as they shut down any offensive opportunity from the Braves, who had beaten them in their last two meeting coming into this one.

Head coach Let Dimzon shared post-match, "It was a great showcase for the young Nomads Braves, but this was our best performance all tournament long. We strive to improve with every game so we can play great football with a premium on passing and classy finishing."

With this in the bag, the team now is focused on securing the PFF Women's Cup, which is currently ongoing.

In Division 2, Azzurri SC-Diliman claimed the title with a 2-1 victory over Manila Digger.

Saturday, November 19, 2022

Local composition of 2023 NBTC field, set to be determined

c/o NBTC

The field for the 2023 edition of the SM NBTC National Championship is about to take shape, as the local component of the competition is set to take root.

NBTC Program Director Eric Altamirano notes, "Another good development for the healthy return of grassroots basketball. After our successful Global Games, it’s the turn of our Local Qualifying Tournaments (LQTs)."

Leading the way in the LQTs are the HS tournaments for both the UAAP and NCAA, with each likely to commence this coming January. Champions of both leagues will be entered automatically in the tournament, which is tentatively set for April. Earning the spots last time were San Beda and eventual champions NU-Nazareth.

Aside from these two, other LQTs are already in place to determine the other participants. The Central Luzon LQT is set to finalize its representative this weekend at the Bren Z. Guiao Convention Center in San Fernando, Pampanga. Other locations for LQTs include Baguio, Cavite, Laguna, Antipolo, Quezon, Bicol, Cebu, Cagayan de Oro, Kidapawan, and CAMANAVA.

It had been recently announced that seven squads have earned their spot through the Global Games, with teams from Canada, Italy, the Middle East, the United States, Australia, and New Zealand set to fly in.

The tournament itself has been tweaked to expand from being a purely school-based league into including club sides.

Qatar-Ecuador to open 2022 FIFA World Cup


The 2022 edition of the FIFA World Cup us set to begin early Monday at midnight, with the matchup between Qatar and Ecuador set to open things at the Al Bayt Stadium.

50th in the world, the hosts had intense preparations in the run-up to their upcoming debut in the biggest football competition in the world, including a run to the semifinals of the FIFA Arab Cup last year.

Relying on the likes of Ali Almoez, Mohammed Muntari, Abdulaziz Hatem, Boualem Khouki, and Saad El Sheeb, the Maroon have won six of nine matches under the stewardship of Felix Sanchez Bas' since September. They also aim to not join South Africa as host countries who missed out on the next round.

As for Ecuador, they earned a spot in the tournament for the first time in eight years by securing the last automatic guaranteed bid for CONMEBOL, but not without scrutiny.

The nation had fielded Byron Castillo in qualifying, where they finished with seven victories in eighteen matches. However, the Club Leon defender became the subject of complaints from Chile and Peru due to eligibility issues. The Court of Arbitration for Sport did side with Ecuador, but the nation's football federation opted to leave him out of the final pool to prevent any complications.

Only one player was on the squad in Alex Dominguez the last time they played in the World Cup in 2014, but the next generation of El Tri footballers have stepped up under Gustavo Alfaro's coaching, led by Brighton teammates Moises Caicedo and Pervis Estupiñan. Enner Valencia of Fenerbahce and Gonzalo Plata of Valladolid also providing offense.

Both teams are seeking to get an early advantage in Group A, with African champions Senegal bucking the absence of their top man Sadio Mane and early group favorites the Netherlands completing the group.

Preceding the match is the opening ceremonies, which will feature Jungkook of BTS as one of the myriad of performers.

Fans of the World Cup in the Philippines will be able to watch the competition on Skycable and Cignal, as well as on TapGo TV through World Cup TV.