Friday, September 29, 2023

Collegiate Press Corps to expand its Player of the Week Awards

In time for the start of the collegiate season, the Collegiate Press Corps is also set to bestow deserving student-athletes its Player of the Week nods.

In the past few seasons, the collegial body normally rewards outstanding players in the men's basketball and women's volleyball competition, with the occasional award going to a women's basketball and men's volleyball student-athlete.

Among the recent awardees in those circumstances for women's basketball are Ria Nabalan of National University (Season 81), Pat Pesquera of the University of the Philippines and Mar Prado of Adamson University (Season 82), and Kacey dela Rosa of the Ateneo de Manila University and Bettina Binaohan of De La Salle University (Season 85).

In addition, Afril Bernardino was bestown the Award of Excellence back in 2018.

For men's volleyball, both Josh Ybanez of the University of Santo Tomas and Joshua Retamar of National University were named as awardees this past season.

And with both leagues freshly kicking off their respective campaigns, the Press Corps has decided to make awarding the Player of the Week for both collegiate divisions in basketball and volleyball as part of their regular routine.

In a statement, the group says, "With collegiate sports going back to its normalcy, it’s also imperative for the Collegiate Press Corps to expand our reach to the other athletes and what better way to do that than extending our Player of the Week citations to women’s basketball and men’s volleyball, on top of the traditional men’s basketball and women’s volleyball honorees."

The CPC will also honor the outstanding Men's and Women's Volleyball Player of the Year at its annual Collegiate Awards scheduled to take place in May next year.

In making this unanimous decision, it believes that having the awards expanded would further contribute to the ascent of both sports.

The NCAA is in the midst of kickstarting its 99th season, while the UAAP will commence its 86th season this weekend.

UAAP set for strong opening weekend

Games Saturday at the SM Mall of Asia Arena

2 p.m. – UE vs UST (Men)
4 p.m. – Ateneo vs NU (Men)

Games Sunday
(SM Mall of Asia Arena)

9 a.m. – La Salle vs FEU (Women)
11 a.m. – UP vs Adamson (Women)
2 p.m. – La Salle vs FEU (Men)
4 p.m. – UP vs Adamson (Men)

(UST Quadricentennial Pavilion Arena)
1 p.m. – UE vs UST (Women)
3 p.m. – Ateneo vs NU (Women)

ATENEO de Manila University sets in motion its bid for a second straight championship against dangerous National University Saturday in the UAAP Season 86 men's basketball tournament at the SM Mall of Asia Arena.

For coach Tab Baldwin, he does not care about the preseason rankings as he let the Blue Eagles' game do the talking starting with the 4 p.m. clash with the Bulldogs.

"What I think any of the coaches think about who might be at the top or bottom of the league is irrelevant. It’s gonna sort itself out through the season. I completely pass on that question," Baldwin said during last Wednesday's media launch.

Joseph Obasa will be Ateneo's new man in the middle replacing Ange Kouame, while Baldwin will also count on Kai Ballungay, Mason Amos, co-captains Sean Quitevis and Chris Koon to sustain the success.

Coach Jeff Napa wanted his troops to elevate their level of play, as NU hopes to improve its third place finish last year.

"Sa amin rest assured, every school we will be ready makipaglaban sa kanila," said Napa.

The Bulldogs, who split their season head-to-head with the Blue Eagles last year, seek to offset the departure of John Lloyd Clemente with Kean Baclaan, Steve Nash Enriquez and last season's high school MVP Reinhard Jumamoy taking care of the team's offense.

Big man Omar John's improved play during the off-season hopes to translate to success for NU.

Pido Jarencio makes his much awaited collegiate coaching comeback as University of Santo Tomas takes on University of the East at 2 p.m.

The Growling Tigers are upbeat on turning around last year's 1-13 season behind holdovers Nic Cabañero and Adama Faye and freshmen SJ Moore and Mark Llemit.

Without last season's Mythical Five member Luis Villegas, the Red Warriors will have to find ways to dig deep to improve their sixth place finish last season with Rey Remogat leading the way.

The opening ceremony is at 12 noon with this season's theme "Fueling the Future." Gener Caringal, an UE alum who is affiliated with the Philippine Ballet Theatre, Cultural Center of the Philippines and Ballet Philippines, will direct the opening rites.

"UAAP Season 86's opening ceremony will be a testament to the beauty of simplicity, proving that even in the absence of grandeur, our shared passion and unity will make this day truly memorable," said league president Rod Roque.

Wednesday, September 27, 2023

UAAP reveals Commissioner's Team for Season 86 Basketball

The University Athletic Association of the Philippines (UAAP) is proud to introduce the distinguished members of the Commissioner's Office for UAAP Season 86. Under the leadership of Commissioner Xavier Nunag, this team will continue to elevate the basketball tournaments to new heights, ensuring a fair, vibrant and competitive season.

Nunag, a former student-athlete for the University of the Philippines and current Nike head coach for skills and youth development, will continue to lead the charge as Commissioner of the basketball tournaments. His experience as a student-athlete, coach, and entrepreneur uniquely positions him to steer the UAAP basketball tournaments towards excellence. Moreover, Nunag's experience as interim UAAP Basketball Commissioner last season allowed him to gain valuable insight that he plans to carry over to the new season.

"I am grateful for the continued trust and support of the UAAP. We are committed to making UAAP Season 86 an unforgettable experience for fans, student-athletes, and all stakeholders," Commissioner Xavier Nunag stated.

In a historic move, Atty. Mariana Lopa has been named as the Deputy Commissioner for women's and girls’ basketball, becoming the second woman to hold this position in the UAAP's history.

She follows in the footsteps of Edith Boticario, who served as Deputy Commissioner in UAAP Season 82.

Lopa is an alumna of Ateneo de Manila University and currently serves as the managing director of Girls Got Game. She brings a wealth of experience and passion to her new role.

"It's nice to be back home in the UAAP. When I was growing up, it was my dream to play in the UAAP. I never thought I'd return as a deputy commissioner. I'm very, very happy and excited," said Atty. Lopa.

"Having a deputy commissioner for the women's tournament is crucial because there needs to be someone overseeing the games and ensuring the commissioner's team's presence at all times. I believe it's equally important to have someone who has played in the UAAP and is deeply rooted in the women's basketball community because I understand the intricacies of the women's game, the women's tournament and the challenges that we face."

For high school basketball, the UAAP welcomes Deputy Commissioner Marvin Bienvenida, a champion coach from the NCAA.

Bienvenida, who was a teammate of Nunag during their time at UP, boasts a remarkable coaching career, including leading La Salle Greenhills to their first and only NCAA Juniors Basketball championship in Season 93. He currently serves as the athletic director of LSGH.

"It's truly an honor to be a part of Commissioner Xavy's team. First and foremost, it feels great to be back in the UAAP with a different role this time. Secondly, I'm humbled that someone like Commissioner Xavy must have noticed something in me. Perhaps it's because I bring solid support and possess characteristics that align with his team's needs," shared Bienvenida.

"My goal for the high school boys' tournaments this year is to propagate and reinforce the mission and vision of the commissioner's team throughout all senior competitions, while maintaining or even surpassing that standard in our UAAP participation."

Rounding out the Commissioner's Office are Michael Villar, who joins as the Commissioner's Team Media Consultant, and Lance Mandalano, who serves as Admin Personnel. Their roles will be pivotal in ensuring the smooth operation of UAAP basketball events.

"Success isn't about delegating tasks; it's about entrusting the right people with the responsibility. Coach Marvin, a high school basketball expert, and Atty. Mariana, a driving force in women's basketball, exemplify this passion and expertise. When you have individuals who genuinely love what they do, success becomes not just a goal, but a natural outcome," said Nunag.

During the off-season, Commissioner Nunag and his team embarked on a proactive approach by personally visiting each of the eight member schools. Their aim was to engage in discussions about new rules and regulations for UAAP Season 86 and establish strong relationships with coaches and student-athletes,

"One aspect of my role was to visit all the teams so that we could establish a common understanding of the rules. This way, if players or coaches have any questions, they can be clarified early on," said Nunag.

Watch UAAP Season 86 on UAAP Varsity Channel, One Sports, and Pilipinas Live!

Pilipinas LIVE is now available globally and in any device. Download and subscribe now on Google Play or the Apple App Store or watch via #FuelingTheFuture

86th Season of the UAAP set to fuel the future this weekend

The highly anticipated UAAP Season 86 is poised to kick off with a bang, promising a season filled with thrilling sportsmanship and unforgettable moments.

Set to begin on September 30, 2023, at the SM Mall of Asia Arena, the UAAP Season 86 theme, "Fueling the Future," embodies the spirit of resilience, determination, and innovation that continues to define collegiate sports in the Philippines.

The UAAP Season 86, led by University of the East (UE) President and Season 86 Chairman Dr. Zosimo Battad, aims to ride on the momentum and themes of the last 2 Seasons, further fueling optimism as we continue to navigate this post pandemic landscape.

Dr. Battad shared his insights on the theme, stating, "The 'Fueling the Future' theme reflects the unwavering commitment of our student-athletes and the entire UAAP community to overcome adversity and reach new heights. This season will showcase not only the incredible talents of our young student-athletes but also their potential to be catalysts for change."

UE Athletic Director and Season 86 President Rodrigo Roque extended a warm welcome to the community, saying, "We invite everyone to join us in celebrating the power of sports to inspire and unite. UAAP Season 86 promises to be an exciting journey, where we will witness outstanding displays of skill, teamwork, and sportsmanship from our student-athletes."

UAAP Executive Director Atty. Rene "Rebo" Saguisag enthusiastically shared, "UAAP Season 86 is gearing up to be truly extraordinary, with a return to the normal, full calendar of thrilling competitions and a couple of additional demo events that will add even more excitement and diversity to this already amazing season.."

Cignal TV, the official UAAP broadcaster, is now bringing UAAP games closer to sports fans with the introduction of their new streaming service, Pilipinas Live. This app promises to make watching the upcoming UAAP Season 86 games, especially the much-awaited basketball matches, more exciting and accessible to Filipinos both local and abroad.

With Pilipinas Live, fans can enjoy an upgraded viewing experience. You can watch the live games with multi-camera angles to follow your favorite teams and players throughout the season. But that's not all; the app offers exclusive behind-the-scenes footage, pre and post-game interviews, and a unique fan stream view that lets you see student-athlete idols and school teams from a new perspective. Plus, you can interact in real-time during UAAP games with features like in-game voting, polls, and quizzes. With Pilipinas Live it will take your UAAP viewing experience to the next level.

MediaQuest and Cignal TV President and CEO Jane Jimenez Basas stated, "We are proud to introduce Pilipinas Live to the rest of the world. UAAP Season 86 will be at the forefront of our programming, allowing Filipino fans anywhere they may be, to experience the excitement of watching collegiate sports, like never before. With Pilipinas Live, we are committed to enhancing the fan experience and making UAAP more accessible to a wider audience internationally."

UAAP Season 86 Men’s Basketball games will also air on the UAAP Varsity Channel (Available on Cignal TV) and One Sports (Free-to-Air) every Wednesday, Saturday, and Sunday.

Mark your calendars for September 30, 2023, and get ready to witness the future of Philippine collegiate sports unfold at the SM Mall of Asia Arena beginning at 12 noon with the league’s official opening ceremony tipping off the 86th year of the Philippines’ premier collegiate league.

Tuesday, September 26, 2023

MCFASolver Tech Centrale set to bring Cebu experience onto PBA 3x3

The Cebu Masters proved to be positive experience for MCFASolver Tech Centrale squad.

Representing Lubao in the latest leg of the FIBA 3x3 World Tour and seeded twelfth in the field, they managed to top the qualifying round to kickstart the action inside the sprawling SM Seaside City Cebu.

They dispatched Taichung Hong Jia from Chinese-Taipei, 19-10, then followed that with a 17-11 victory over Auckland, to advance to the main draw.

Slotted in Pool D, they battled against eventual champion Miami, 15-22, and contested against Ulaanbaatar MMC Energy, 17-21, to finish tenth overall in the competition.

Having showcased their wares against some of the best in the world, the team was encouraged by their form.

TH Tumalip, the lone Filipino in the quartet, says about his experience, "Naipakita naming kaya namin makipagsabayan."

He adds, "Malaking bagay yung experience na nakuha namin, from practicing with some of the top 3x3 players hanggang sa exposure na nakuha namin paglaban sa mga top teams, madadala namin lahat yun papunta sa PBA 3x3."

Serving as his teammates for the 3x3 World Tour event are Jose Blasquez of Spain, who was on the team that secured them a spot in this competition, as well as former Lyceum big man Mike Harry Nzeusseu of Cameroon and Stanko Kujundzic of Croatia.

The Anton Altamirano-coached squad is now looking to prepare themselves for the PBA 3x3 Second Conference, which will start this coming October with regular teammates Yutien Andrada, Ael Banal, Louie Vigil, and newcomers Brandon Ramirez and Nico Salva.

Sunday, September 24, 2023

Manila Chooks! ekes out berth into the Cebu Masters knockout rounds

Manila Chooks! star Mac Tallo basks in the glory of winning, while leaving Futian's Dimeo van der Horst with the feeling of the agony of defeat.

Fifteen months of frustration finally ended on Saturday night, as Manila Chooks! secured a berth to the knockout rounds of a 3x3 World Tour Masters.

Mac Tallo sent his hometown crowd at the SM Seaside City Cebu into a frenzy by nailing a game-winning two-pointer with 99 seconds remaining, as they defeated Futian, 21-17 at the 2023 Chooks-to-Go FIBA 3x3 World Tour Masters.

He shared to the media afterwards, "Siyempre ginawa namin ang lahat. Ang mentality namin mula kaninang umaga mag-cramps na tayo, kahit ma-injure tayo ibuhos na natin lahat kasi we never, I think it's been a year na hindi kami nakapasok ng Day 2 ng mga tournaments."

Tallo adds, "At ito na iyon, finally, nakapasok na kami. Hopefully, iyong momentum namin sa last game, madala namin bukas."

The top-ranked Filipino 3x3 baller scored nine points, with Marcus Hammonds adding five of his own. The remaining duo of Tosh Sesay and Marquez Letcher-Ellis combined for the remaining seven points.

With the win in the books to balance out their 14-20 defeat to Vienna, they earned a second-place finish in Pool C, good enough to make it into the quarterfinals, where a matchup against Ub awaits at 4pm.

The Serbs and likely title favorites lead the cast of quarterfinal participants. The Manila leg champions dispatched Wuxi, 21-16 and survived Sansar, 21-19. The Chinese side beat the Mongolians, 21-12 to finish second in Pool A.

Amsterdam topped Pool B with its wins against San Juan, 19-12, and Paris, 21-18. The Puerto Ricans clawed out a 21-19 win over the French to secure second spot.

Vienna managed to top Pool C by pairing their win over Manila with a 21-13 win over Futian.

The last two tickets were formally issued to Miami and Ulaanbaatar, with the Americans topping the Pool after a 22-15 triumph over Lubao and a 21-18 win over the Mongol quartet. Ulaanbaatar would outlast the other local side, 21-17 to cap off Day 1 action.

Highlighting the Saturday activities was a performance by rock band Sponge Cola for the Opening Ceremonies.

The Ub-Manila Chooks! matchup kicks off Day 2 action at 4pm, followed by Miami-San Juan at 425pm. Amsterdam-Ulaanbaatar is slated at 5pm, with the Vienna-Wuxi matchup concluding quarterfinal action at 525pm.

Semifinals are scheduled at 610pm and 635pm, with the championship to be decided at 730pm.

Aside from basketball, the shootout finals will take place at 550pm, with title favorite Steve Sir leading the four-man field that includes Tallo.

In addition, a dunk contest will also take place at 7pm, led by Filipino fan favorite David Carlos.

Saturday, September 23, 2023

3x3 World Tour Cebu Masters set for launch

Miami x Manila in Cebu with the Sisters of Mary

The Chooks-to-Go FIBA 3x3 World Tour Cebu Masters starts today at the sprawling SM Seaside City Cebu, with the field including those that have made it to what the Philippines is trying to break into, the Summer Olympics.

The presence of players who were part of the inaugural edition in Tokyo, which includes the likes of Dejan Majstorovic and Dimeo van der Horst, serve as an inspiration for Manila Chooks mentor Chico Lanete, who shares, "It’s a motivation for us since there will be Olympians who will play here in the Cebu Masters."

The Philippines remains focused on earning their way into the Paris 2024 Games, and they aim to get as much points as they can to secure a chance to play into the competition, which will take place at Place de la Concorde at the heart of the French capital.

With two key local cogs still sidelined due to injuries in Paul Desiderio and Dennis Santos, Tallo will rely on a familiar face in Marcus Hammonds and a couple of relative newcomers in Marquez Letcher-Ellis and former UC standout Tosh Sesay. Both Desiderio and Santos have made the trip down South to provide support and encouragement.

The team participated recently in scrimmages against a Miami side led by BYU icon Jimmer Fredette, something that Lanete appreciates. He says, "We’re also blessed because there are teams that want to play with us. Like Miami, they were the ones who asked for a tune-up game. It’s a big help for us."

Fredette acknowledges how much the Philippines loves its basketball. He shares, "The Philippines have been very, very busy with basketball this summer, and we hope to be able to put on a show. I know this is a basketball-crazy country. Even the guy who picked us up was telling me all about how the people here just love basketball, they love the NBA, they love 3x3."

Joining Jimmer in this competition are Canyon Barry, Kareem Maddox, and Dylan Travis.

Manila Chooks will open up its campaign in Pool C against Vienna at 420pm, and close it out against Futian at 820pm. The matchup between Vienna and the van der Horst-led Futian will be at 620pm.

Miami, on the other hand, starts things off against either Lubao MCFASolver Tech Centrale, Taichung Hong Jia, or Auckland at 445pm. The three teams will duke it out in a round robin for that opportunity to open the World Tour leg at 1245pm. The Americans. will conclude their pool play against Ulaanbaatar at 645pm.

Kicking off pool play will be the Majstorovic-led Ub Huishan NE, who are seeking to bounce back consecutive fifth-place finishes after winning the first five legs of the 2023 World Tour, including the one that took place in Manila. They play Wuxi at 320pm in Pool A, with their matchup against Sansar MMC Energy a couple of hours later.

Completing the Pools is Pool B, highlighted by the presence of Amsterdam HiPRO, San Juan, and Paris. The Dutch face the Puerto Ricans first at 345pm, followed by their matchup against the French a couple of hours later. San Juan vs Paris takes place a couple of hours after that.

Outstanding teams will advance into the knockout rounds, which will start at 4pm Sunday at the same venue.

The champion takes home a $40,000 purse, with the runner-up settling for $30,000.

In case one will not be able to get to SM Seaside City Cebu, they can check out the action either at the FIBA 3x3 YouTube page, or through the Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas page on Facebook.

Friday, September 22, 2023

Lubao seek to impress in FIBA 3x3 debut

Lubao-MCFASolver Tech Centrale

Lubao-MCFASolver Tech Centrale is set to impress with their FIBA 3x3 debut at the Chooks-to-Go Cebu Masters this weekend.

The 12th seeds will be involved in the Qualifying Draw of the competition, where they have to deal with Auckland and Taichung.

They will face the Taiwanese side first, at 1245pm, followed by the Kiwis at 155pm.

Survive that, and they will enter into next stage as the third team of Pool D, where a Jimmer Fredette-led Miami and Asian powerhouse Ulaanbaatar MMC Energy beckons.

TH Tumalip believes that they are ready for the task ahead. He says, "Mahirap yung pagdadaanan namin pero handa kaming ipakita kung ano yung kaya namin. Pinaghandaan namin ng mabuti yung Cebu Masters at di kami susuko ng ganoon lang kadali."

TH will be with his teammate in claiming the Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas 3x3 Quest 3.0 title, Jose Blasquez. The Anton Altamirano-coached side has tapped a familiar face in the 3x3 scene locally in former Lyceum FSA Mike Harry Nzeusseu, as well as the top-ranked Croatian 3x3 player in the world Stanko Kujundzic.

The Cebu Masters will be shown on FIBA 3x3's YouTube page, as well as the Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas' page on Facebook.

Lions Nation MMA secures Iron Bunny Philippines partnership

Lions Nation MMA and Iron Bunny.

Just in time for their upcoming debut in ONE Championship, Lions Nation MMA has secured a partnership with Iron Bunny Philippines as the stable's official outfitter.

Established in 2015 and based in Liloan, Cebu, Iron Bunny is an independent apparel brand with an emphasis towards those with an active lifestyle and competitive sports. Founded by Ricky Enriquez and Vir Moore Moranta, the brand has been getting more recognition specifically with the local mixed martial arts community in the Philippines. With the latter, Iron Bunny has been able to expand into the US market, securing a collaboration with former UFC bantamweight world champion Cody Garbrandt and Team Alpha Male.

In announcing this partnership, Enriquez shares, "It is truly a dream come true to collaborate with the biggest names in Philippine MMA, and we are immensely grateful to Lions Nation MMA for entrusting our brand with this opportunity. We promise to continue our unwavering support for Philippine MMA and its dedicated stakeholders, both at the local level and on the global stage."

Formed this past June, Lions Nation MMA is comprised of fighters who previously were connected with Team Lakay, led by Eduard Folayang, Kevin Belingon, Honorio Banario, Joshua Pacio, Edward Kelly, and Jeremy Pacatiw.

Folayang shares about their partnership, "I am deeply grateful to Iron Bunny Philippines for coming on board as the official apparel for Lions Nation MMA's opening campaign in ONE Championship. I'm truly excited about this partnership and the opportunities it will bring. Their commitment to Philippine MMA is commendable, and I believe that this collaboration marks the beginning of a promising journey together."

It won't be long before we will see Lions Nation MMA sport the Iron Bunny outfits, as three fighters will be scheduled to have matches in ONE Championship events in the next couple of weeks.

Jenelyn Olsim will be the first one out, facing Jihin Radzuan on September 29 at ONE Friday Fights 35 at Lumpinee Boxing Stadium in Bangkok.

The much-anticipated rematch between Folayang and Amir Khan is part of the ONE Fight Night 14 card the next day at Singapore Indoor Stadium.

Pacio takes his turn against Mansur Malachiev on October 7 for ONE Fight Night 15 back at Lumpinee Boxing Stadium

Tuesday, September 19, 2023

Gatorade No Sugar set to address Rehydration in a healthier way

Gatorade No Sugar is available in Citrus Quench & Blue Bolt variants at SRP PHP 40.00 for 500 ml bottles.

As Filipinos become more health-conscious, so have their desire for a better hydration fit to their quest to have a healthy lifestyle. It is already trending towards that direction, with the rise of runners and cycling enthusiasts, as well as the increasing number of exercise session participants tailored towards dance or Zumba, whether outdoors or indoors through a variety of fitness facilities strewn all across the metro.

All of these efforts have a singular end-goal, a improved well-being both physically and mentally.

To reach that level of aesthetic, hydration serves as an essential element. Gatorade has been one of the major industry leaders at this aspect, and they have introduced a new electrolyte drink that would be a game-changer.

Called Gatorade No Sugar, it provides all the electrolytes of a normal Gatorade, but without sugar or calories, instead relying on Stevia. This is ideal for individuals who casually exercise just enough to meet daily needs and fitness goals within the current fast-paced environment, compared to competitive athletes that have rigorous and extensive routines.

Gatorade No Sugar comes in Citrus Quench and Blue Bolt, and is already available in the market for Filipinos to partake, guilt-free.

Monday, September 18, 2023

NBA unveils third edition of Launchpad program


The NBA always seems to be ahead of the curve in its attempts to integrate technologies into its system.

And in keeping in step, the league announced earlier this month its third installment of NBA Launchpad, its initiative to source, evaluate, and pilot emerging technologies that could advance its top basketball and business priorities.

The NBA Launchpad is also the league's foray into improving its direct-to-consumer efforts. One such case is how they reimagined the NBA App and NBA ID membership program that was introduced just before the start of the 2022-23 season.

This year's edition of said program is also set to collaborate with the WNBA to introduce such technologies onto women's basketball.

Entrepreneurs and companies big and small can submit their respective innovations to NBA Launchpad, with the emphasis targeting six priority areas, split equally between game-related matters and fan experience ones:

Centering on the former are: Advancing Women's Basketball, Identifying Future Stars in Asia, and Improving Player Availability and Well-Being. Fitting the latter description are: Building Immersive Experiences, Enhancing the NBA Content Library, and Uncovering Next-Gen Fan Insights.

However, proposals that fall outside the priority areas will also be entertained, as well.

Once they meet the evaluation process, the ones selected will have a six-month research and development project within the NBA's ecosystem. They would be able to secure access to the league's resources, hands-on support, and other incentives that can help develop their technologies.

At the conclusion of the program, these recipients will have the chance to make their presentations to NBA executives, strategic partners, and investors during Demo Day scheduled within the 2024 edition of NBA Summer League.

The league shared specific details pertaining towards their priority areas as well in making this announcement.

The Game

Advancing Women’s Basketball: Over the past five seasons, the WNBA has experienced significant growth in viewership, attendance and player popularity, yet female athletes continue to face various challenges, including higher rates of dropping out of youth sports, increased risk of injury and underinvestment in health and performance technologies specifically designed for women.

To enhance the women’s basketball experience, the NBA and WNBA are seeking solutions that will increase basketball participation, decrease risk of injury or improve performance for female athletes.

Identifying Future Stars in Asia: The NBA is a global league, with 120 international players from 41 countries and six continents on 2022-23 opening-night rosters. As basketball continues to grow globally, the NBA is looking to ensure that players from all around the world, including in regions less represented in the NBA, can be evaluated and discovered.

While the NBA continues to grow the game in these regions, there is an opportunity to leverage AI and consumer technology to help identify high-potential players from Asia earlier in their athletic careers. To execute this vision, the NBA is seeking scalable and accessible technologies that can democratize talent discovery for youth athletes.

Improving Player Availability and Well-being: Over the past several years, there has been an increase in the number of games that star players miss each season. As teams continue to manage injuries and player participation, single-game absences are also on the rise.

To promote player wellbeing and participation over an 82-game season, the NBA is seeking technologies that can help predict and mitigate injury risk, assist in injury prevention and management, and aid in injury diagnosis and treatment. Possible solutions include biomechanical analysis software, AI-enabled injury risk forecasting models and precision sensing technologies.

The Fan Experience

Building Immersive Experiences: As a league with a young, tech-savvy fanbase, immersive and mixed reality experiences have become increasingly important to the league’s fan engagement efforts, helping to bring fans across the globe closer to the game. Developments in this space such as real-time 3D player and ball tracking data advancements have unlocked new and reimagined fan-facing experiences that allow fans to engage with on-court action like never before.

The NBA is seeking technology that can power 3D applications of NBA data in immersive environments on digital platforms, particularly on the NBA App. Potential areas of interest include animation engines, 3D asset creation and user capture and creator tooling.

Enhancing the NBA Content Library: The NBA has an industry-leading content archive with dozens of petabytes worth of files stretching back more than 75 years.

To enable fans to experience the NBA’s rich history and compelling storylines in new and innovative ways, the league is seeking partners and technologies that can analyze and enhance video in this vast media database.

Uncovering Next-Gen Fan Insights: The NBA and WNBA have more than 1 billion fans globally. As with all sports, though, the leagues’ relationships with fans are evolving. Fans are increasingly captivated by the intersection of sports and culture and are engaging with NBA and WNBA content and athletes through a multitude of platforms.

In response, the NBA and WNBA are seeking technologies to analyze fan behaviors, uncover predictive insights to drive personalization, and identify new touchpoints (e.g., cross-platform content, customizable merchandise and opportunities for direct content creation).

Saturday, September 16, 2023

Manila Chooks set for battle at Cebu Masters

Manila Chooks

Manila Chooks hopes to overcome injury attrition as they rejigger their 3x3 World Tour campaign at the 2023 Chooks-to-Go FIBA 3x3 World Tour Cebu Masters next week at SM Seaside.

With Paul Desiderio and Dennis Santos ruled out due to injuries, Mac Tallo will rely on the trio of Marcus Hammonds, Marquez Letcher-Ellis, and Tosh Sesay to get Manila into the knockout rounds.

Tallo shares, "Kailangan talaga namin mag-adjust sa team after the sudden injuries nila Paul and Dennis. Pinilit talaga nila maglaro pero hindi talaga gumaling in time ang tuhod ni Paul and medical condition ni Dennis."

He adds, "Thankful din ako na nag-step up si Quez, Tosh and Marcus kasi matagal ko na sila nakakalaro and aligned kami sa gustong ma-achieve ng team dito sa Cebu Masters. We will play hard."

Even with their recent woes, Tallo believes that they will not be pushovers, as the 11th seeds are set to evade qualifying and enter into pool play against undetermined opponents.

The stacked field includes Ub Huishan NE of Serbia, Amsterdam HiPro, and Vienna; as well as a Miami-side that is anchored by BYU legend Jimmer Fredette.

Asian sides Sansar and Ulaanbaatar, both backed by MMC Energy, as well as Futian and Wuxi from China serve as excellent foils.

The field also includes fellow Filipino side Lubao MCFASolver, who earned their spot by winning the Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas 3x3 2023 Quest 3.0 as Quezon City Wilcon Home Depot, a tournament that Manila Chooks finished 3rd last month.

A cool $40,000 awaits the champion, with $30,000 to be rewarded for the runners-up.

Fans will be able to watch the Cebu Masters through the FIBA 3x3 YouTube channel as well as the Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas page on Facebook.

Friday, September 15, 2023

Lubao MCFASolver Tech Centrale set for FIBA 3x3 debut in Cebu

Lubao MCFASolver

After earning a spot in the Cebu Masters leg of the FIBA 3x3 World Tour, the Wilcon Home Depot 3x3 team made a few tweaks heading into this coming tournament.

The Terrence Tumalip-bannered quartet is set to represent the storied basketball history of Pampanga through the municipality of Lubao. They also secured a local sponsor in the form of MCFASolver Tech Centrale, which is the top electronics store in Central Luzon.

Co-team owner Ma. Cristina F. Antonio shares, "It’s our tremendous pleasure to be representing the country in this World Tour event. We all know how famed Cabalens are in basketball and we want nothing more but to contribute to that starting this tournament."

Founded by Antonio and co-owner and partner Erickson A. Solver in October 2017, MCFASolver Tech Centrale started out in Sta. Cruz, Lubao, and has since grown into 55 branches across Central Luzon and even branched out into Pangasinan and La Union, with soon-to-open stores in Benguet and the rest of Northern Luzon down the line.

Since securing a spot in the Cebu Masters by claiming the Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas 3x3 2023 Quest 3.0 at Ayala Malls Solenad last month, the Anton Altamirano-coached squad made a couple of adjustments to ensure the team is ready for the task ahead.

Tumalip and Jose Blazquez will be joined by Mike Harry Nzeusseu as well as Stanko Kujundžić, the top-ranked 3x3 baller from Croatia.

Tumalip shares, "Confident kami sa ilalaro namin at alam namin na kaya naming makipagsabayan sa kahit na sinong makakalaban namin dito."

Lubao will have a formidable task ahead, with the likes of Ub, Amsterdam, Vienna, and Miami in the field for the September 23-24 tournament, as well as a Manila Chooks side led by Cebu native Mac Tallo.

UAAP set to Fuel the Future for Season 86

UAAP Season 86

With the upcoming 86th season of the UAAP set to commence, the league has officially unveiled the logo to accompany its theme, one that encapsulates its mission and spirit.

In revealing the logo to its theme, "Fueling the Future," it highlights its commitment to becoming the driving force behind the development of future professional athletes and national team mainstays, acting as the stepping stone, training ground, and building block for student-athletes seeking to reach the pinnacle of their careers.

Coincidentally, the theme shares the same initials as "face-to-face," with the league and its eight member-schools now approximating pre-pandemic conditions.

All in all, it is an acknowledgment that the UAAP is back and stronger than ever. One that is ready to inspire and unite fans across the nation, and even around the world.

To further build on with the theme, this season's logo provides a visual testament to the league's vibrancy and energy.

It prominently features the UAAP season and theme, front and center. Surrounding this are splashes color that evokes the explosive collision of energy, creating sparks that ignites passion and excitement.

The official colors of the member-schools are integrated into the logo, with their presence matching the order that is seen on the league's official seal. Host school UE is on top with its red hue, followed in clockwise order by the University of the Philippines, the University of Santo Tomas, Far Eastern University, National University, the Ateneo de Manila University, De La Salle University, and last season's hosts Adamson University.

The splash of colors symbolizes the unity and diversity that encapsulates what the UAAP community is all about.

The combination of this season's theme and logo, evokes what lies ahead: an unforgettable journey filled with thrilling sportsmanship, remarkable talent, and unwavering passion, one that is poised to set new standards and inspire current and future generations of fellow student-athletes and fans alike.

Season 86 is set to kick off this coming September 30.

Kampeon Cup set for Cebu debut, defending champions seek title defense

Photo c/o Karl Tan

The third edition of the AIA Vitality Kampeon Cup is set to be unveiled later this month, with the action finally making its long overdue visit to Cebu.

Set to take place on September 22-24 at the Dynamic Herb Complex in Cebu, the hosts will defend their crown against seven other squads, with each of them seeking to be the second-ever champion of the competition.

Leading the cast of challengers is BGC, who has been the losing finalists of the last couple of editions. Ethan Lee, who is managing the side, has decided to tap 7s Football League head honcho Anton del Rosario to serve as a playing coach for the side, in a bid to finally unseat Cebu.

Also set to take part are Bacolod, Iloilo, Palawan, and Pampanga. Davao returns after missing out on the second edition, while making its debut is Zamboanga, whom del Rosario praised for the work that has been done to grow the game there.

Action commences on September 22 with pool play taking place until the afternoon of September 23. Top two teams advance into the crossover semifinals that evening.

The final will take place on September 24 at 2pm, with youth matches serving as an appetizer for the culminating day.

The competition seeks to cap off a strong year for the partnership and investment AIA Philippines has had with seven-a-side football in the country.

AIA Philippines Head of Branding and Communications Bernadette Chincuanco shares, "AIA Philippines, formerly Philam Life, has been partners with the 7s since 2019, even through the pandemic, and we’ve had very good games together, bringing football to so many children and communities in the Philippines and living our brand purpose of helping people live, healthier, longer, better lives. We look forward to more of these."

Lee, who is the AIA 7s Executive Director, shares, "This will be the biggest showing yet in terms of participation in the AIA Vitality Kampeon Cup. With every tournament we play, the league grows even more. I cannot think of a great way to cap off this 2023 with an eight-team field competing for the title of the fastest growing sport and biggest football tournament in the country."

For Del Rosario, this is a reflection of the continued growth of his program. He says, "Last season, we had over 700 teams from several cities around the country participating in their own local 7s football tournaments. Now we have an even bigger field. This will ultimately help the selection for the team that will represent us in the next BPI AIA Asia 7s and perhaps, even the TST tournament."

Back in April, the first AIA Vitality Women's Kampeon Cup took place, with a couple of coaches from AIA-supported Tottenham visiting the country. Not long after, the first BPI AIA Asia 7s brought together some of the best seven-a-side ballers from across the region, with both competitions being held at the McKinley-Hill Football Stadium.

A few weeks after that, AIA helped support the lone Asian entrant Far East United in The Soccer Tournament, a $1M winner-take-all competition that made waves in North Carolina.

The experience allowed del Rosario, and Lee, to import a few things from TST into the 7s Football League, which just started its 8th season earlier this month, as well as in the Kampeon Cup.

The most notable adoption is Target Score Time, which is TST's version of the Elam Ending in their sister competition, The Basketball Tournament. Teams will play an untimed period with the objective of scoring one goal to serve as a winning moment. If Team A is trailing Team B, they will need to score one more goal than Team B's total at the end of the second half. Team B only needs to score to secure the victory.

A quirk of target score time is that every few minutes, a player from both sides will be taken off the field.

With the all the things happening in the sport in the past year, the former Philippines international had one thing to say about that, "It’s a great time to be involved in football."

Monday, September 11, 2023

Pilipinas Ultimate claims AOUGC Open Division Title

The fifth and final day of the WFDF 2023 Asia Oceanic Ultimate & Guts Championships took place on Sunday at the Ayala Alabang Country Club in Muntinlupa, with title matches and placement games for three divisions: Open, Women's, and Mixed.

The Philippines, represented by Pilipinas Ultimate, earned a shot at the title after winning its semifinal matches on Saturday, defeating Malaysia in the morning for the quarterfinals, 15-7, and Koels in the afternoon for the semifinals, 15-8. It was their first finals appearance since 2013.

Standing in their way is Australia, who also ran through their campaign undefeated. The Aussies handled China in the quarterfinals. 15-5, and fended off Japan in the semifinals, 13-11.

In a tightly contested match, where Australia managed to come close, 11-10, late in the second half, Pilipinas Ultimate held on and claimed the victory and an undefeated stint, 15-12.

Japan secured third place with a 13-11 win over Koels.

Australia will not come home without a trophy on the final day, as they went on to claim Women's Division title with an 11-10 victory over Japan.

Capping off the activities is Mānuka defeating Australia for the Mixed Division title, 15-11.

Organized by the Philippine Flying Disc Association, the 2023 edition of the AOUGC is part of the World Flying Disc Federation's activities for the current year.

Saturday, September 9, 2023

Pilipinas facing stiff competition heading into AOUGC weekend

The third day of the WFDF 2023 Asia Oceanic Ultimate & Guts Championships (AOUGC) was held with more games for the Philippine Ultimate National Team (hereafter Pilipinas Ultimate) and the participating club South Team Durian.

In Open Pool A, the Pilipinas Ultimate Open Team had a strong day by beating Singapore’s Disc Knights with a score of 15–6 and then following it up with a clutch 14–13 victory against the Japan Open Team.
In Open Pool B, Binata Ultimate (Philippines U24 Men’s Team) won 13–7 against Team India’s Open Team. Binata Ultimate, however, struggled to find their form against the Australia Open Team and was dealt with a 15–4 loss.

In the Women’s Division, Binibinis Ultimate (Philippines Women’s National Team) suffered a streak of losses against the Chinese Taipei Women’s Team, the Japan Women’s Team, and Singapore’s Pangolins Team. The 6–9 loss against Chinese Taipei was a continuation of the game yesterday that was suspended. The Japan Women’s Team showed why they were yet undefeated in the tournament, after Binibinis Ultimate fell to them 15–4. Lastly, Binibinis Ultimate lost a close 8–10 match to the Pangolins.

In the Mixed Crossovers Division, the Pilipinas Ultimate Mixed Team lost to the Mānuka team 9–10 in their bracket game. Their game the following day will determine their final placement in the bracket.

In the Master Mixed Division, the Philippines Master Mixed Team and club South Team Durian both split their games. The Philippines Master Mixed Team overcame Singapore’s Vintage Team with a 13–10 victory, but fell short 9–12 against the People’s Republic of China Master Mixed Team. Club South Team Durian defeated the Team India Master Team with a 15–7 slate, but later got bested 9–12 by the Singapore Vintage Team. The two Philippine teams will compete the following day for a chance to play in the finals of the Master Mixed Division.

This weekend will see the crowning of the champions of the major division of AOUGC, with the Master Mixed Division to be known on Saturday afternoon, followed by the finals of the Open, Women, and Mixed Divisions on Sunday.

All matches of the AOUGC, which is taking place under the auspices of the Philippine Flying Disc Association and an official event of the World Flying Disc Federation, are taking place at the Ayala Alabang Country Club.

Friday, September 8, 2023

Pilipinas Ultimate make inroads in AOUGC Day 2

Day 2 of the WFDF 2023 Asia Oceanic Ultimate & Guts Championships (AOUGC) continued with more games for the Philippine Ultimate National Team (hereafter Pilipinas Ultimate) and the debut matches of the participating club South Team Durian at the Ayala Alabang Country Club in Muntinlupa.

In Open Pool A, the Pilipinas Ultimate Open Team came away with a decisive 15–5 victory against the Hong Kong Open Team, for their only match of the day.

In Open Pool B, Binata Ultimate (Philippines U24 Men’s Team) competed against Singapore’s Zero Discplacement Ultimate Team and the Republic of Korea Open Team. The match against Zero Discplacement became tightly contested in the second half before Binata Ultimate made a series of winning plays to secure a 15–12 triumph. Against the Korea Open Team, Binata Ultimate won with a final score of 15–7.

In the Women’s Division, Binibinis Ultimate (Philippines Women’s National Team) aimed to continue their strong tournament run as they faced the Hong Kong China Women’s Team and the Chinese Taipei Women’s Team. Binibinis Ultimate secured a wire-to-wire victory against the Hong Kong Team, at one point leading 8–2, before settling for a final tally of 15–6. The match against Chinese Taipei Women’s Team, however, was among the tournament games that were suspended later on in the day due to lightning and thunder alerts.

In the Mixed Division Pool A, the Pilipinas Ultimate Mixed Team notched a 15–8 win against the Australia Mixed Team for their first match of the day. They then competed in the Mixed Crossovers against Team India from Pool C, where they outmatched Team India with a 15–7 showing. The Philippine National Mixed Team will continue their games tomorrow in the Mixed Bracket (1–8).

In the Master Mixed Division, the Philippines Master Mixed Team and club South Team Durian made their debut. The Philippines Master Mixed Team dismantled the People’s Republic of China Master Mixed Team with a 15–6 showing for their first game. Club South Team Durian opened their tournament run against Team India’s Master Mixed Team with a 15–10 victory. The two Philippine teams then competed against each other for their respective second match of the day, with club South Team Durian prevailing 15–11 against the Philippines Master Mixed Team.

Suspended matches will resume early Friday morning, followed by the scheduled matches for Day 3.

Thursday, September 7, 2023

Pilipinas Ultimate impress on AOUGC opener

The opening day of the WFDF 2023 Asia Oceanic Ultimate & Guts Championships (AOUGC) kicked off on Wednesday with 8 total matches for the Philippine Ultimate National Team, comprised of two matches each in the two Open Divisions, the Women’s Division, and the Mixed Division. The Philippine teams started strong in the tournament by notching 7 wins out of its 8 opening contests.

The AOUGC is part of the calendar for the World Flying Disc Federation for the year, and is organized by the Philippine Flying Disc Association. Matches are set to take place until the weekend at the Ayala Alabang Country Club in Muntinlupa.

In Open Pool A, the Pilipinas Ultimate Open Team notched wins against the Koels Team from Singapore and the People’s Republic of China Open Team. In the opening game, the Koels team took an early lead in the first half, but the Philippines Open National Team eventually notched a 15–12 comeback win owing to strong second half play. The second game featured a close first half between the Chinese team and the Philippine team, before stellar play from Pilipinas Ultimate allowed them to run away with a 15–10 win for their second victory.

In Open Pool B, Binata Ultimate (Philippines U24 Men’s Team) took on the Malaysia Open Team for their first match of the day and the Chinese Taipei Open team for their second. In the first game, Malaysia Open kept Binata Ultimate at bay for almost the entire contest, before a series of clutch plays from Binata Ultimate turned a 9–11 deficit into a 12–11 win for the Philippines. However, Binata Ultimate was outmatched by the Chinese Taipei Open Team in their second match, where they fell to a 10–14 loss.

In the Women’s Division, Binibinis Ultimate (Philippines Women’s National Team) opened the tournament with emphatic wins against the Malaysia Women’s Team and the Republic of Korea Women’s Team. Strong showcases from the Binibinis Ultimate team allowed them to gain wide margins of victory in their openers—a 15–6 victory against the Malaysia Women’s Team and a 15–4 win against the Korea Women’s Team.

In the Mixed Division Pool A, the Pilipinas Ultimate Mixed Team secured two victories—one against against Singapore’s Zero Discplacement Ultimate Team, and another against the Brunei Vikings Team. The first game was tightly contested all throughout, but strong defense in the second half allowed Pilipinas Ultimate to turn a 7–8 halftime deficit against Zero Discplacement into an 11–10 victory via universal point. The second game featured a wire-to-wire victory by Pilipinas Ultimate, who at one point led the Vikings 8–1, before settling for a 15–6 win.

Matches for all Pilipinas Ultimate Teams will continue to be held on the second day of the tournament. The Pilipinas Ultimate Master Mixed Team and club South Team Durian are scheduled to have their respective debut matches in the Masters Mixed Division.