Wednesday, February 28, 2024

Capital1, SMART Sports claim PSA Cup wins

Photos by Kiev DC

The second matchday of the Philippine Sportswriters Association's PSA Cup took place on Tuesday night, with the Capital1 Solar Boys and the SMART Sports Scribes notching victories at the Ninoy Aquino Stadium.

The Solar Boys defeated Say Chiz Smileys, 67-58 in the first half of the doubleheader, with the duo of Aldo Aviñante and John Bryan Ulanday combining to score forty points in the victory.

Also chipping in for the squad backed by Vergel Meneses, Uratex and Rebel are Delfin Dioquino and Christian Jacinto, who contributed double-double numbers. The former had thirteen points and fifteen rebounds, while the latter got eleven points and 23 boards, as well as three blocks.

The Smileys managed to almost erase a thirteen-point first half deficit, whittling it down to just a one-possession game at 55-53, but the Solar Boys rode out the threat with timely points from Ulanday, Aviñante, and Dioquino to preserve the victory.

Jeric Lopez led the Smileys with 24 points and sixteen rebounds, with Cedelf Tupas netting seventeen markers and four boards. Jonas Terrado of the Philippine Daily Inquirer stuffed the stat sheets with fifteen points, seventeen rebounds, four assists, a couple of steals, and a couple of rejections.

The second half of the doubleheader saw the Scribes hold on to an 84-76 victory over the Strong Group Athletics Press Row Bros.

Julio Sampedro helped set the tone for the Danny Espiritu-backed selection by scoring sixteen of his 22 points in the first half. He also added eleven rebounds and six assists.

The Press Row Boys showed no quit, as they tried to erase a thirty-point deficit, outscoring the Scribes, 34-14 in the final quarter.

However, buckets from Reuben Terrado and AJ Bolando held ensure that the SMART-backed side secure their first win in the tournament.

Bolando also would finish with 22 points, while adding five rebounds and three steals.

Leading the way for the still-winless Press Row Bros is Eugine Flores with thirty points, six rebounds, and seven assists. Diego dela Paz netted a double-double with thirteen points and fifteen rebounds, while Paul Lintag tacked a near-double-double of his own with thirteen points and nine boards.

The PSA Cup is one of the projects of PSA president Nelson Beltran of The Philippine Star and is supported by the Philippine Sports Commission.

United City, Blocksport forge technological partnership

 


As it continues its path towards their return to active football in the Philippines, United City Football Club strives to remain ahead of the game.

Fresh from launching its dedicated Fan App, UCFC has established its strategic partnership with Blocksport, paving the way as it embraces the capabilities of Web3 and blockchain technology in enhancing fan engagement and unlocking future revenue streams.

United City FC and Blocksport are excited about the transformative potential of this partnership, as we work together to create a cutting-edge fan experience and position the club at the forefront of the evolving sports and technology landscape.

Established in 2019, the Swiss-based firm has been a trailblazer in the sports technology space, establishing successful partnerships with numerous clubs across Europe and Africa, with their partnership alongside UCFC being the first of its kind in the ASEAN region.

Blocksport specializes in helping build digital infrastructure to establish community hubs, using Web3 and blockchain technologies to help with fan engagement and revenue generation.

Among the potential activations that can be conducted with this partnership include: Digital Collectibles and Memberships, NFT Games, Online Ticketing, Exclusive and Premium Content.

In revealing their partnership, COO Samir Ceric says, "At Blocksport, we are committed to empowering sports clubs with innovative solutions that transcend traditional boundaries. Our collaboration with United City FC signifies a bold step towards the future of fan engagement..."

He adds, "... By combining the power of Web3 and blockchain, we aim to create a digital ecosystem that meets and exceeds the expectations of the modern fan. Together with United City FC, we are paving the way for a new era in sports technology not just in the Philippines but beyond."

On UCFC's end, club president Eric Gottschalk says, "We are excited about the endless possibilities our partnership with Blocksport brings. As we step into Web3 and blockchain, we are not just transforming the fan experience; we are revolutionizing how clubs interact with their supporters. This is a game-changer not only for United City FC but also for Philippine Football, and we are proud to lead the way in embracing the future of sports technology."

Both sides believe in the transformative potential of this partnership, with the goal of create a cutting-edge fan experience that positions the club at the forefront of the evolving sports and technology landscape.

Tuesday, February 27, 2024

NU, Adamson seek second wins

c/o UAAP

Standings W L

Women

UST 3 0

DLSU 2 1

FEU 2 1

AdU 1 1

NU 1 1

UE 1 2

Ateneo 0 2

UP 0 2

Men

FEU 3 0

UST 2 1

DLSU 2 1

NU 1 1

AdU 1 1

Ateneo 1 1

UP 0 2

UE 0 3

Games Wednesday at the SMART-Araneta Coliseum

10 a.m. – NU vs AdU (Men)

12 noon – Ateneo vs UP (Men)

2 p.m. – NU vs AdU (Women)

4 p.m. – Ateneo vs UP (Women)

National University and Adamson seek their second wins and a tie for second place as the UAAP Season 86 volleyball tournament resumes at the SMART-Araneta Coliseum on Wednesday.

The Bulldogs and the Soaring Falcons kick off the quadruple-header at 10am in men's action, with the defending champions coming off a straight sets win against Ateneo last Saturday, 25-22 25-15 25-17.

Adamson also is coming off a straight sets win as well, dispatching the University of the Philippines, 27-25 25-15 25-22.

On the women's side, this particular matchup is slated to take place at 2pm with the Season 84 champions having been put to the test by the Blue Eagles, battling back from being 2 sets down to emerge as 25-17 24-26 26-28 25-19 15-7 winners.

NU head coach Norman Miguel believes that his wards will be returning to the norm that got them back-to-back finals runs. He says, "Kailangang ma-relax ang mind eh. Iyon ang pinagdadaanan namin ngayon eh. Parang nago-overthink, siyempre di ba, yung may mga expectations. Yun lang, para mabalik ang connection with each other."

For this particular matchup, the returning mentor adds, "Adamson has a good pass. May passing skills sila na kapag nakakapag-set play sila ng mabilis. So kami kailangan namin makapag-adjust doon. Nag-adjust din kami, pinag-aralan namin ang Ateneo dahil high ball sila. Pero siyempre, ganoon pa rin nagte-training ang kabila para mapuntusan kami. The same thing, kung paano magte-train din ang Adamson, kami doubly hard ngayon na may mine-maintain kami, may talo kami. So as much as possible, tuloy-tuloy na ang wins namin. Doble trabaho talaga, blocking, passing and floor defense."

Even with the straight sets victory, the Lady Falcons were tested to the limit by the Fighting Maroons, 25-22 25-22 28-26.

JP Yude shared post-match after their win, "Ang sabi ko sa kanila na everytime, do your best and enjoy the game so that lalabas ang tunay na laro nila. Noong last game (against the Lady Spikers), medyo kumbaga na-overwhelm lang sila sa nangyayari, sa kalaban na malalaki. Sa nakikita ko sa kanila, ito na ang start na makakakuha sila ng kumpiyansa for the next game kasi matibay ang kalaban namin kasi NU."

The other volleyball matchup is the Katipunan derby, with both Ateneo and UP seeking to get their season on the right track.

Oliver Almadro seeks to get their first win of the season at 4pm against the team he previously mentored.

Their men's counterparts joust at noon, with UP seeking their first win of the season, while Ateneo seeks to join that logjam of teams in second place.

UP lands NUNS athletes Kianne Olango and Yesha Noceja

Yesha x Kianne c/o UP OASD

Two of the biggest uncommitted student-athletes have locked in their collegiate destinations.

Kianne Olango and Yesha Noceja have decided to take their talents to Diliman and commit to the University of the Philippines on Tuesday, the school reveals. Both will be eligible to play in the upcoming season, which UP will be serving as hosts.

Olango was the Most Valuable Player in Season 85 and was named as Season 86's Best Opposite Hitter. As the captain of the National University-Nazareth School, she helped lead the Lady Bullpups to the finals in the last couple of seasons, winning the title in Season 85. The 5'8" spiker is considered as one of the bright prospects for Philippine volleyball, according to Alyssa Valdez.

Kianne shares about her commitment, "I'm very thankful for the learnings I got from my time in NUNS. At the same time, sobrang excited ko lang din pong makapag-aral sa UP para sa future ko while also doing whatever I can to help out (WVT)."

Also 5'8", Noceja is a product of the Palarong Pambansa and was a key cog for the Lady Bullpups.

Yesha says, "Malaking bagay pong makakapag-prepare kami para sa future namin on- and off-court sa school na nag-e-excel in both athletics and academics. Thank you very much to NUNS para sa lahat ng nagawa nila para sa'min."

Both have expressed eagerness to prepare for their off-court future in a school with a proud tradition of Honor and Excellence.

With the two high school prospects locked in, UP Volleyball program director Oliver Almadro shares, "When you build a program, you need players with talent, determination, and leadership. Ganyan na ganyan yung maitutulong sa'tin ni Yesha and Kianne, as well as all our recruits. The UP volleyball program is really thankful they chose us."

Before landing the NUNS student-athletes, the program backed by Strong Group Athletics and the UP Office for Athletics and Sports Development recently secured the commitments of Jothea Mae Ramos from Bacolod Tay Tung High School and Joanneesse Gabrielle Perez from Sacred Heart School-Ateneo de Cebu in a bid to make a return to the postseason, something they last pulled off in Season 79 with the likes of Tots Carlos and Isa Molde.

Monday, February 26, 2024

UST upends Ateneo in UAAP men's finals rematch

c/o UAAP

UAAP Season 86 Tennis Standings

Men's:

UST 4-0

UE 3-1

NU 3-1

Ateneo 3-1

UP 1-3

DLSU 1-4

AdU 0-5

Women's:

NU 3-0

UST 2-1

UP 2-1

DLSU 1-2

Ateneo 0-4

Men's Ties on Wednesday, 7:30 am, at the Felicisimo Ampon Tennis Center

Ateneo vs UE

UST vs UP

DLSU vs AdU (Men's)

The University of Santo Tomas kept their record undefeated in the UAAP Season 86 Men's Tennis Tournament on Sunday at the Felicisimo Ampon Tennis Center inside the Rizal Memorial Sports Complex, dispatching Ateneo de Manila in their tie, 4-1.

Eric Jay Tangub secured the first win in the tie for the Male Tennisters, defeating JD Velez, 6-4 6-1 in the second singles pairing.

Last season's Rookie-MVP Nilo Ledama doubled the lead, outlasting  Noy Seno in the first singles matchup, 6-1 1-6 6-2.

The tie was clinched for UST in the first doubles, due to JJ Llavore and Stef Gurria forced to retire against Steven Sonsona and Symon Jaculan in the second set, with the latter pair winning the first set, 6-2.

Ateneo did manage to avert a sweep with Nio Tria and Axl Gonzaga taking the second doubles match over Richard Bautista and Geo Serino, 3-6 7-6 (4), 6-2.

UST did managed to close things out with Sebastian Santos defeating Austin delos Santos in the third singles match, 6-3 6-1, moving them atop the standings with four straight victories.

The defeat dropped Ateneo 3-1, alongside the University of the East and National University.

The Red Warriors claimed a 5-0 sweep against winless Adamson, while the Bulldogs took care of business against La Salle, 4-1.

Securing the wins for UE are Romeo Largo (6-0 6-4 over Miecoz Candelesa), Marc Nicole Suson (7-6(1) 6-2 over Ramon Bentillo, Dawson Ormoc and Prince Bo Lastimosa (6-0 4-6 6-1 over Lawrence Sombreo and Tristan Correo), Rastley John Baje and Kent Morales (7-5 6-4 over Jerald Delos Santos and Nikko Lumahan), and Jarrell Edangga (6-1 6-2 over Herald Aton).

NU got its result from triumphs by AJ Alejandre and Gab Bandoquillo (6-2 7-6(5) over Leyton Portin and Enzo Enriquez), and Benedict Santiago (6-3 6-2 over Ohye Tortal). Ibarra Ortega locked in the tie with a 6-4 5-7 6-4 victory over EJ Geluz.

The Green Tennisters managed to secure their lone win in the second doubles, as Brysl Libao and RJ Virrey topped Angil Balaoing and Vaughn Codilla, 6-2 6-2.

The defeat drops DLSU to 1-4 in the season so far.

On the women's side, National University remained undefeated, defeating Ateneo in their tie, 3-2.

Elsie Abarquez kicked things off with a 6-1 6-0 win over Althea Ong in the first singles pairing. It was then followed up with a 6-0 6-0 thrashing by Angela Cabaral and Rovie Baluete against Tricia Howard and Nina Sandejas in the first doubles.

Securing the tie for the defending champions was Adeline Abadia, who nipped Chelsea Roque, 6-3 6-2.

The Blue Eagles ended their first round campaign without a victory.

In the other women's matchup, the University of Santo Tomas swept the University of the Philippines, 5-0, to draw themselves level with them at 2-1.

Patricia Lim kickstarted things for the Female Tennisters with a 6-4 6-3 win over Renee Esteban, followed by Debbie Gom-os and Miles Vitaliano against Joshea Malazarte and Jesha Cervantes, 6-3 6-2 in the first doubles.

Clinching the tie for UST is Alex Santos, with the senior outlasting Jufe Cocoy, 6-2 2-6 6-2.

Sunday, February 25, 2024

NU routs Adamson in Landicho coaching debut

c/o UAAP

UAAP Season 86 Baseball Standings

NU 1-0

UST 1-0

DLSU 1-0

Ateneo 0-1

UP 0-1

AdU 0-1

Softball Games scheduled on Wednesday at the UP Baseball/Softball Field

3 p.m. - AdU vs UST

5 p.m. - Ateneo vs DLSU

National University gave its new head coach Romar Landicho a winning debut on Sunday, as the Bulldogs blew out Adamson in its season opener, 16-3, at the UAAP Season 86 Baseball tournament at the UP Baseball Field inside the Diliman campus.

Landicho, who replaced long-time mentor Egay delos Reyes, shares about the changes he made with his wards, "Isa siguro sa change is yung mindset lang, kasi last year 'pag dumarating kami sa late innings parang bumibigay. So, 'yun talaga 'yung in-address namin, 'yung mental toughness."

He adds, "Siguro maganda na na-establish namin sa first game para ma-experience nga mga bata. Hopefully, matuloy-tuloy lang namin 'yung momentum."

MJ Carolino allowed just three runs in over five innings of work, including three strikeouts. He had plenty of run support, especially early on with eight runs coming in the first three innings, which included a leadoff hit from Nigel Paule.

Paule also sparked another scoring binge in the seventh inning with his second hit, helping pave the way to a seven-run burst to break the game open and put it out of reach.

Kevin Maulit also had two hits in the game, tacking on three RBIs and himself scoring a run.

Amiel de Guzman then cleaned things up in relief to invoke the mercy rule afterwards, as the Soaring Falcons were limited to just seven hits.

The Line:

NU 1 4 3 0 1 0 7 x x - 16 12 5

AdU 0 0 1 0 1 1 0 x x - 3 7 7

Saturday, February 24, 2024

NU escapes Ateneo upset in women's volleyball

c/o the UAAP

Standings W L

Women

DLSU 2 0

UST 2 0

UE 1 1

AdU 1 1

FEU 1 1

NU 1 1

Ateneo 0 2

UP 0 2

Games on Sunday at the Mall of Asia Arena

9 a.m. – FEU vs UE (Men)

11 a.m. – UST vs DLSU (Men)

1 p.m. – FEU vs UE (Women)

3 p.m. – UST vs DLSU (Women)

Upset averted, as National University outlasted the Ateneo de Manila University in a five-set duel, 25-17 24-26 26-28 25-19 15-7, to cap off action on Saturday at the UAAP Season 86 Women's Volleyball Tournament at the SM Mall of Asia Arena.

Ensuring that they would not be beaten in the final set and drop down to 0-2, Bella Belen and Vange Alinsug took over as they finished off the Blue Eagles in almost two and a half hours.

The UAAP Season 84 Rookie-MVP ended up with 21 points, 24 digs, and ten excellent receptions. She told the media after the game, "Isa po sa pinaghuhugutan namin or ako is yung pagkatalo namin nung last game namin against UST. Mahirap po yung pinagdaanan namin ngayon pero I'm really happy kasi halos lahat ng nasa lineup nagamit and nakita namin kung ano yung potential ng mga bago namin."

The latter added nineteen points in securing their opening triumph of the season.

NU head coach Norman Miguel also shared post-match, "I think this is unpopular for everyone. Sa tingin ko ngayon pa lang nagsstart magrecover yung team coming from University Games and after that tuloy tuloy kami sa training, we had series of practice games against the top club teams."

He adds, "Para sa akin I think medyo kulang pa sa recovery yung team namin that's why we performed like this."

Ateneo set themselves for a potential victory by taking the next two sets after dropping the first. 

With the Lady Bulldogs at set point with a 24-23 lead, AC Miner and Lyann de Guzman scored the next three points to steal the second set. The third set saw Yvana Sulit and Sobe Buena make the clutch hits allowing Ateneo to take the lead.

NU regained their bearings and relied on their middle blockers Erin Pangilinan and Chams Maaya to break away from 15-14 and force a decider at 25-19. Maaya would finish with nine spikes, five blocks, and an ace.

Complementing the side are Alyssa Solomon finished with twelve points in just four sets of action, as well as Shaira Jardio, who tacked on 21 digs and 17 receptions.

Buena would finish with sixteen points to lead the Blue Eagles, with Miner and Geezel Tsunashina combining for 26 points.

De Guzman produced eleven points, 22 digs, and five receptions, as Ateneo dropped its second straight assignment.

NU will shoot for its second win this Wednesday when it clashes with Adamson at the SMART Araneta Coliseum at 2 pm. After that, Ateneo will look to end its misery when it faces the University of the Philippines in the 4 p.m..

Esti Lestari named as United City FC chairwoman


United City FC named Esti Puji Lestari as its new chairwoman, as the club seeks to return to its previous glory.

Born in Sukabumi, Indonesia, Esti is armed with the experience and expertise that the club needs as it makes its comeback to Philippine football after a short hiatus, having previous stints as Persijap Jepara president and QD Red Lions China CEO. In both positions, she played instrumental roles in driving organizational growth and success.

As the only female owner of Persijap Jepara in its long history, she led strategic initiatives to enhance the club's brand visibility, optimize revenue streams, and foster community engagement, solidifying its position as a sustainable football club in Indonesia that continues to exist. Additionally, she has been a prominent advocate for women's football, championing initiatives to support and develop women's football at all levels.

With the Red Lions, she brought her dynamic leadership and strategic acumen to oversee the club's administration and development. Her visionary approach and dedication contributed to the growth and success of QD Red Lions during her tenure

In her initial statement as the new chair, Esti states,

"Reviving United City FC is my mission. It is an honor and privilege to be a part of a club with such a great tradition and long history, and my aim is to match the outstanding achievements of the past with similar ones in the future. 

I feel I have unfinished business in football, and as an esports owner, I intend to add value to the club off the field as well as on it. 

I am grateful for this opportunity and know that the Philippines football landscape is very supportive of not only the men’s game but also the women’s with their participation in the recent World Cup. 

In the spirit of ASEAN cooperation, I would also like this to be a pathway for both men and women from Indonesia as well as Philippines to gain valuable experience and benefit from the synergy between two nations."

From the perspective of UCFC, club president Eric Gottschalk shares, "We are privileged and proud to have such an esteemed investor and seasoned football expert join our Club to catapult the development of UCFC forward. Esti has been a long-time personal friend, and I am pleased to work alongside her as I know what she will bring to the Club. Our project and mission of UCFC have never changed, even when we took a break from football in 2023, but now we are back, and with Esti’s support, we will continue the legacy of the club and raise the bar once again for the gold standard of Philippines football."

Alongside the announcement of Esti's role, UCFC also reaffirmed its commitment to the sport with five specific bullet points:

  • Achieving Sporting Success: United City FC aims to compete at the highest level of Philippine football, striving for championships and representing the country internationally.
  • Community Engagement: United City FC is dedicated to fostering strong connections with its fans and the local community, organizing outreach programs and initiatives to promote the growth of football at the grassroots level.
  • Youth Development: United City FC recognizes the importance of nurturing young talent and providing opportunities for aspiring footballers to develop their skills within a professional environment.
  • Commercial Growth: United City FC seeks to maximize commercial opportunities, leveraging Esti's expertise to enhance revenue streams, attract sponsors, and expand the club's global brand presence.
  • Women's Team Establishment: United City FC is committed to promoting women's football by establishing a dedicated team, providing opportunities for female athletes to compete at the highest level, and inspiring the next generation of women footballers.

The appointment signals an exciting new era for UCFC, as it looks forward to leveraging her expertise and vision to achieve new heights of success both on and off the field.

Friday, February 23, 2024

EA SPORTS and LALIGA collaborate on new ad

From LA Liga

Earlier this month. EA Sports and LaLiga collaborated on an ad aimed to illustrate a sport that is both without barriers and is for everyone.

Entitled "Transforming the game," it toggles between the virtual and real worlds, with the main ethos highlighting the sport making a positive impact on society, a belief shared by both brands and will be extended to all projects it jointly conducts.

Filmed at a pitch in Vallecas that LALIGA refurbished back in July, it involves several players who received scholarships at the LALIGA ACADEMY from EA SPORTS this year. The LALIGA ACADEMY is LALIGA's international academy based at the ESC LALIGA & NBA Centre, a centre of sporting and academic excellence in Madrid that works towards promoting and encouraging grassroots football worldwide. Both the pitch refurbishments and the scholarships are part of LALIGA FC FUTURES project, which encompasses its joint global initiatives in the field of youth football, and manifests its missing to "Transforming the game."

You can see the full ad below


Thursday, February 22, 2024

ANTA named as PBA Official Footwear

ANTA and the Philippine Basketball Association

ANTA continues to make waves in the local basketball scene, as the global sportswear giant is now the official footwear partner of the Philippine Basketball Association.

League commissioner Willie Marcial says, "We are thrilled to welcome ANTA as our official footwear partner. ANTA's commitment to innovation and quality aligns perfectly with our vision to elevate Philippine basketball. This partnership promises exciting developments for PBA players and fans, and we are confident it will contribute significantly to the continued growth of the sport."

ANTA Philippines General Manager JP Paglinawan adds, "Teaming up with the PBA gives us the opportunity to support these athletes perform at their best at the highest level of basketball locally. Partnering with the PBA comes at a perfect time when ANTA is growing at a very rapid pace across the country. Together, we look forward to further developing the future of both brands and more importantly, Philippine basketball."

Aside from the league, ANTA formed partnerships with three PBA ballclubs to act as its team outfitter: the TNT Tropang Giga, the Magnolia Hotshots, and the Rain or Shine Elastopainters. The deal with the Elastopainters in particular includes a future rollout of community programs that reflects ANTA's dedication in supporting local basketball and fostering its future.

ANTA also unveiled its advertisement that illustrates its partnership with the PBA, which includes PBA greats Alvin Patrimonio and Benjie Paras and its current standouts. 


In addition, they have extended their specific partnership with San Beda, one in place thanks to their ANTA Varsity Project, to include the Red Lions' participation in the upcoming PBA D-League under Marinerong Pilipino.

Wednesday, February 21, 2024

Velez powers Ateneo over UE

c/o UAAP

UAAP Season 86 Men's Tennis Standings

Ateneo 2-0

UST 2-0

UE 2-1

NU 1-1

UP 1-2

DLSU 1-2

AdU 0-3

Ties on Saturday at the Felicisimo Ampon Tennis Center

7:30 a.m. - NU vs UP (Men's)

8 a.m. - Ateneo vs UP (Women's)

11 a.m. - Ateneo vs AdU (Men's)

1 p.m. - DLSU vs NU (Women's)

2:30 p.m. - UST vs DLSU (Men's)

JD Velez helped Ateneo eke out a 3-2 win against the University of the East in their tie on Wednesday for the UAAP Season 86 Men's Tennis Tournament at the Felicisimo Ampon Tennis Center inside the Rizal Memorial Sports Complex.

The freshman from Ormoc outlasted Marc Suson, 0-6 6-4 7-5, in the final match of the tie to lock in the win for the Blue Eagles. Suson had battled back from being 1-5 down to tying things at 5-5, and even got to score the opening two points of the 11th game before Velez settled things down.

Ateneo head coach Gee Abacan shares, "I lost several key players from last season, but I got new ones, which is a good thing."

He adds about the difficulty of dealing with the Red Warriors, "Kapag kalaban talaga namin UE, it's always been 3-2, not 4-1 nor 5-0; pahirapan talaga. Happy ako na napanalo ni Velez because imagine 6-0 sa first set at nagka-cramps na siya."

The Blue Eagles got two wins on the board with Noy Seno defeating Jarell Edangga, 6-2 6-4, and the duo of Nio Tria and Axl Gonzaga topping Dawson Ormoc and RJ Singson, 7-6 (7) 6-2.

UE would knot things up with Romeo Largo Jr's 6-3 6-2 victory over Austin Delos Santos in the second singles, followed by Kent Morales and RJ Baje neutralizing JJ Llavore and Stef Gurria, 5-7 6-1 7-6(7).

Ateneo now joins the University of Santo Tomas atop the standings at 2-0, with UE dropping into third at 2-1.

The Male Tennisters dispatched the University of the Philippines, 4-1, to keep their record unscathed.

Last season's MVP Nilo Ledama clinched the tie with a 6-2 6-3 victory over Andrei Jarata.

Ericjay Tangub kicked things off for the defending champions with a 6-0 6-2 victory over Zire Mina, while their doubles tandems also snapping up wins. Richard Bautista and Vince Sereno turned back Karl Miguel and Jonas Silva, 7-5 6-4, and Steven Sonsona and Symon Jaculan dispatched Rafael Liangco and Hakim Boloto, 6-2 6-3.

The lone win of UP came from Loucas Fernandez, securing a 6-3 6-2 win over Brent Cortes.

The final men's tie of the day saw La Salle secure their first win of the season, claiming a 4-1 triumph over Adamson in a battle of winless teams.

EJ Geluz nipped Jerald Delos Santos, 6-4 6-0 to lock in the tie during the third singles match.

DLSU joins UP at 1-2, while Adamson slips to 0-3.

Smileys, Solar Boys top PSA Cup opener

c/o PSA

The media get their turn on the basketball court, as the PSA Cup held its opening night doubleheader at the Ninoy Aquino Stadium on Tuesday.

Graced by Richard Bachmann of the Philippine Sports Commission and Dr. Ian Laurel of the Athletic Events and Sports Management, Inc. and the Shakey's Super League, the opening ceremonies kicked off the four-team tournament, which is one of the projects of the Philippine Sportswriters Association under the leadership of its president Nelson Beltran of the Philippine Star.

The first matchup of the day saw Christian Jacinto and Aldo Aviñante power the Capital1 Solar Boys over the Strong Group Athletics' Press Row Boys, 86-74.

Jacinto logged in a double-double performance with 21 points, thirteen rebounds, a couple of steals, and three blocks, while Aviñante tacked on nineteen markers while adding three boards and five dimes on his 35th birthday.

Mentored by Ramon Bonilla of the Manila Bulletin, the Solar Boys got additional contributions from Mark Rey Montejo and John Bryan Ulanday, who combined to score 32 points.

Leading the way for the Daily Tribune's Julius Manicad-mentored Press Row Boys is Karlo Sacamos, who contributed 21 points and twelve rebounds, while Diego Dela Paz and Eugene Flores each netted seventeen points.

The second game of the doubleheader saw the Say Chiz Smileys fend off SMART Sports Scribes, 66-64.

Jeric Lopez nailed the game-winning floater with 39 seconds remaining, with Philippine Daily Inquirer's Francis Ochoa-mentored side securing the key stops down the stretch against the side mentored by Dodo Catacutan of SPIN.PH.

Jonas Terrado topped all scorers with 21 points while also stuffing the stat sheet with fourteen rebounds, a couple of assists, four steals, and a block. Lopez added sixteen points, three rebounds and four assists, while Cedelf Tupas netted fifteen markers, four dimes, and four steals.

The Scribes got nineteen points from AJ Bolando, but was limited to a couple of points in the final period. He also added eight rebounds and a couple of steals. Before fouling out late, Julio Sampedro added eighteen markers, all coming from beyond the arc.

Action resumes next week with Say Chiz and Capital1 starting the doubleheader, with SMART Sports and Strong Group facing off afterwards.

THE Say Chiz Smileys had the last laugh after surviving a close one against the Smart Sports Scribes while Capital1 Solar Boys delivered a wire-to-wire victory over the Strong Group Athletics Press Row Bros in the opening of the 2024 Philippine Sportswriters Association (PSA) Cup at the Ninoy Aquino Stadium on Tuesday, February 20.

Tuesday, February 20, 2024

Timberland Mountain Bike Park hosts 2024 edition of 7-Eleven Trail

7-Eleven Trail

To commemorate the 40th anniversary of Philippine Seven Corporation, the 7-Eleven Trail cross country marathon took place at the newly-unveiled Timberland Mountain Bike Park located inside Timberland Heights in San Mateo, Rizal last February 18.

It was the second time the competition took place at the facility, post-pandemic. Alongside the 7-Eleven Run earlier this year, these events align with PSC's dedication to foster a healthy lifestyle, as well as nurturing a strong sense of community within its network of patrons of its 7-Eleven branches nationwide.

Jose Victor Paterno, Philippine Seven Corporation President and CEO shares, "We are beyond thrilled to introduce Timberland Mountain Bike Park as the focal point of this year's 7-Eleven Trail. It definitely added an exciting dimension to the event, providing an opportunity for participants to experience a whole new thrill of mountain biking."

Over a thousand cyclists, varying from competitive cyclists to relative newcomers, embraced the challenge of going through a single-loop course that lasted forty kilometers, with the route interspersed with road climbs, fire roads, and single tracks.

To take advantage of the variety of options that the TMBP provides for cyclists, organizers split the routes to either the A-Line, a high-speed route that includes jumps, drops, sharp turns, and gaps, or the B-Line, which is a less-technical and slower lanes, but incorporates twists and curves to provide a little challenge.

In addition, the trail featured specific elements like The Skills Zone that is tailored for first-timers and novices, Point Break with its twisty, cross-country-style single track, and Enter The Dragon and its fast ridgeline descents combined with challenging technical features.

The trails were appropriately graded based on their difficulty levels, with an intuitive signage system also installed to ensure easy navigation for the riders.

Regardless of route choices, the goal of the event is to instill a sense of accomplishment upon completing the demanding race, allowing participants to savor the unique terrain of Timberland Heights’ captivating natural and scenic setting.

Emmanuel Dave Montemayor led all finishers with a time of 1:42:07, ahead of Mark Lowel Valderama (1:43:14) and Dave Rhoa (1:43:34).

In the women's category, Nicole Quinones nipped Shagne Yaoyao by three seconds to claim the victory, clocking in at 2:15:14. Finishing in third is Adel Pia Sendrijas.

Nicole is not the only one in her family who did well in the 7-Eleven Trail. Her father, Eboy, won the 55+ category, while her brother Matthew Symon clocked at 1:55:58 to finish tenth in the 19-24 age group.

Montemayor and Quinones each netted PhP25,000 for topping the overall category, while Valderama and Yaoyao got PhP15,000 as runners-up. Rhoa and Sendrijas each took home PhP10,000 as third placers.

Age Group winners received PhP7,000, while second and third placers took home PhP5,000 and PhP3,000 each.

This event was made possible through its venue partners: Timberland Heights, Timberland Highlands Resort, Timberland Mountain Bike Park, Araneta, and the municipality of San Mateo Rizal. 

Also supporting the event are Specialized, GT Bicycles Philippines, All Terra Cyclery, DJI Philippines, Coca-Cola, Wilkins, Mondelez, Selecta, Gatorade, Summit, Nature Spring, Red Bull, Black Mamba, Pocari Sweat, Enature, Delfi, Suncoast, Lipton Tea, Mister Donut, CDO Hotdog, San Marino, Jolliant, Passion Max, Trust, and 7-Eleven’s CliQQ, City Cafe & Gulp.

Sunday, February 18, 2024

Queen City's Khalifa-USJ-R tops Visayas Regionals

Khalifa-USJR

Khalifa-University of San Jose-Recoletos swept their way to the NBTC Visayas Regional Championship on Sunday, dispatching St. Roberts International College-Elite Lab, 62-57, at the Willy and Nolita Au Court inside the campus of Bacolod Tay Tung High School.

The Jaguars needed a late burst in the final period to secure the victory, after their Iloilo-based opposition managed to cut the deficit to a single point, 53-52, with less than five minutes remaining.

Jan Vince Oring nailed a three that ignited a 10-4 to put the game on ice.

Khalifa-USJR overcome a sluggish start to put up a 32-29 lead at the half, then turned it up in the third period behind eventual Most Outstanding Player Peter John Peteros and John Nethan Dela Torre to make it 53-44 heading into the final period.

UNBL-Don Bosco of Dumaguete secured the bronze, thanks to their stronger win-loss record against Trinity-Davies of Central Negros.

NBTC Program Director Eric Altamirano shares about the just-concluded RC, "Our Visayas RC was a rousing success, from the competitive games to the amazing young talent that we all got to watch. All of it wouldn't have been possible if not for the all-out support of the Provincial Government of Negros Occidental, Gov. Bong Lacson and head of provincial sports Tony Agustin, and generous sponsors Wilford Sy and Rowela Alacapa."

These four teams will represent the region in the NBTC National Finals, set to take place at the Mall of Asia Arena on March 18-24, where they will face twelve other RC survivors, ten overseas teams, the finalists of the UAAP and NCAA, and two wildcards.

Kofi Agyei's Late heroics salvage draw for Ateneo against Adamson

c/o UAAP

KOFI Agyei struck late to earn Ateneo de Manila University a 1-1 draw at the expense of Adamson University in the UAAP Season 86 Men’s Football Tournament on Sunday at the UP Diliman Football Stadium.

The 6-foot-4 forward from Ghana put the ball at the back of the net in the 90th minute to save the Blue Eagles after he missed several chances throughout the match. 

The 22-year-old striker’s goal capped off an eventual afternoon for Ateneo and coach JP Merida was happy that his player had a big impact to start the campaign.

I’m so happy with Kofi for today’s game,” said Merida. “Coming into the first game in the UAAP, we struggled with how he managed the last contact before scoring a goal. That was what we were worried about."

We had a lot of exercises for finishing. But again, we’re happy because we go home with one point. I think that’s the best start for this Season 86,” he continued.

Adamson initially broke the deadlock in the 45+2 minute. Ilonggo striker Lorent Jayaon unleashed a fantastic shot from outside the box that went past Ateneo goalkeeper Artuz Cezar. 

Soaring Falcons midfielders Roque Empleo Jr. and Mark Christian Ricario all had sniffs at goal but none found the net.

Ultimately, Adamson had to settle for a draw after Agyei’s late leveler. 

New Soaring Falcons head coach Darlton Digha lamented the Soaring Falcons’ failure to finish their goalscoring opportunities and it was back to the drawing board for their team.

It’s a football game,” said Digha. “You have to take care of your chances because you also make mistakes. I think we wasted a lot of chances today and I think we should have done better. It’s a game of chances and Ateneo took care of its chances.”

After starting this season with a draw, both schools shall next face University of Santo Tomas. 

Adamson takes on UST first this Thursday at 6:30 p.m. while the Blue Eagles and the Golden Booters go against each other this Sunday at 4:30 p.m. at the same venue.

Adamson XI: Nalog (GK), Buenaobra (C), Jayaon, Jose, Arañas, Empleo Jr, Napili, Francisco, Casing, Banagodos, Coquilla.

Ateneo XI: Cezar (GK), Salud, Dela Cruz, Agyei, Maquiling, J Lopez (C), W Lopez, Abaa, Escobin, Bautista, Uy

Saturday, February 17, 2024

UST clinches first-ever final berth in UAAP high school football

c/o UAAP

UAAP Season 86 High School Boys’ Football Standings

UST 11 points (+7)*

FEU-D 9 points (3)

DLSZ 7 points (0)

Ateneo 1 points (-9)

*Finalist

Matches Friday at the UP Diliman Football Stadium

4 p.m. - DLSZ  vs Ateneo

6:30 p.m. - UST vs FEU-D

The University of Santo Tomas made history on Saturday as they booked their spot in the UAAP Season 86 High School Boys Football Tournament final for the first time in school history.

A thrilling 2-2 draw against De La Salle-Zobel meant that the Junior Golden Booters netted their eleventh point of the season, guaranteeing them a top-two finish in the double round robin eliminations with three wins and two draws.

Midfielder Yuan Angelo Maniscan opened scoring after 25 minutes for UST, taking advantage of a miscommunication between the Junior Archers in defense.

Zobel found a response with a Julio Antonio Yoldi header two minutes into first half stoppage time.

Kent Laurenz dela Pena would retake the lead for UST early in the second half, managing to steal the ball from a Zobel defender inside the penalty box and then converting it in the 47th minute.

The Juniors Archers tried to find an equalizer, taking them until three minutes into stoppage time to find their answer, a Bacchus Ekberg free kick goal that made it an anticlimactic finish for the Espana-based booters.

The goal was the third of its kind for the defender in five matches so far this season.

Even with the result, UST head coach Marjo Allado reflects on adjustments they will need for their remaining two matches.

He shares, "Regarding sa game, we were leading in the first half and the second half. Yung concern namin yung endgame eh: ang daming players nag-cramps and we have to check that eh kung ano yung loading. Anyway, we survived. Qualified na kami sa final. Waiting na kami and first time ng UST juniors makalaro sa final so deserve nila yan."

With a spot in the final locked in and heading into their matchup against FEU-Diliman, Allado seeks to balance ending their eliminations on a positive note while also preventing key players from incurring suspensions.

The mentor says, "Yung concern namin against FEU, of course, is yung yellow cards lang. Pasok na kami so it’s a non-bearing game but we have to take it seriously kasi you’re going to the final, di pwede ganun attitude mo. Parang yung pinaghirapan mo the whole season, mawawala lang sa final. I think now it’s about recovery for the players and the mental aspect is the most important thing now kasi yung final naman matagal pa."

In the other game of the double-header, the Baby Tamaraws dispatched Ateneo, 4-1, with Theo Jico Libarnes scoring all four goals for the defending champions.

Three of those goals came in a span of six minutes in the first half. A penalty conversion in the 35th minute was then quickly followed by a brace in the 39th and 40th minute. The Cebu native capped things off with a cool finish in the 75th minute.

Head coach Albert Besa mused about his 19-year-old striker, "Well, Libarnes is expected to be scoring that way because he is a scoring machine from where we recruited him. However, lately, he hasn’t been focusing on his last touch and he’s been rushing and missing so many easy goals. These four goals should boost him and we should see the scoring machine that he really is supposed to be."

Ateneo did manage a consolation goal in the 85th minute, care of their captain Andres Gabriel Dumlao. The defeat puts the Blue Eagles out of contention with only a solitary point to their name after five matches.

With nine points, FEU-D will need a victory against UST to keep their title defense hopes alive, as Zobel also still has a possibility of clinching that berth playing in the first game of the upcoming doubleheader on Friday.

Besa notes, "I believe it’s a must-win for us because if La Salle comes up with a win, they sneak in. It’s good that we came from a convincing win so the momentum’s on our side."

Visayas contingent for NBTC National Finals known

c/o NBTC

The identities of the four teams set to fly to Manila for the 2024 SMART-NBTC National Finals has been confirmed with the semifinal field finalized at the Visayas Regional Championships held in Bacolod.

Negros squads almost secured all available spots, but could only manage two berths.

UNBL-Don Bosco of Dumaguete snapped up a spot with a 54-40 win, thanks to Emmanuel Catalan, who was the only player who scored in double figures.

The other Negros-based team to lock in a berth was Trinity-Davies Paint/El Tzino, as they won their matchup, 78-65, behind the efforts of John Loyd Martinez and Austin John Braganza.

Khalifa-ANS Sports of Cebu and St. Roberts International College-Elite Lab of Iloilo prevented the Negros sweep, with the former toppling STI-West Negros University-Nzane, 75-63, and the latter dispatching Bacolod Tay Tung High School on their court, 72-48.

Pacing the Cebuanos were Judd Kyle Rueda and Peter John Peteros, while Justin Rafael Cargo and Rengie Ecarma led the Ilonggos in the win.

The quartet join the other RC sides who have earned their way into the National Finals scheduled on March 18-24: Yengskivel Sportswear (CAMANAVA), Philippine College of Science and Technology-Calasiao (Pangasinan), Pampanga Lanterns, and 1 San Rafael (Bulacan) and Mindanao qualifiers Toyomoto Auto Supply and Bullet Customs Brokerage-Prime Bistro (Davao), Xavier-Ateneo de Cagayan-Sealcor, and Notre Dame of Midsayap (SOCCSKSARGEN).

Action will resume on Sunday as the four remaining teams tangle to determine who is the regional champion, which is supported by the Negros Occidental Provincial Government, led by Governor Bong Lacson.

The final set of RCs is scheduled this coming early March, with the city of Lucena hosting the South Luzon leg.

Friday, February 16, 2024

UAAP Volleyball kicks off this weekend

c/o UAAP

Games today at the SM Mall of Asia Arena

10 a.m. – Ateneo vs UE (Men)

12 noon – AdU vs DLSU (Men)

2 p.m. – Ateneo vs UE (Women)

4 p.m. – AdU vs DLSU (Women)

Games Sunday at the SM Mall of Asia Arena

10 a.m. – FEU vs UP (Men)

12 noon – NU vs UST (Men)

2 p.m. – FEU vs UP (Women)

4 p.m. – NU vs UST (Women)

La Salle kicks off its title defense on Saturday afternoon against Adamson at 4pm, as the UAAP commences its volleyball tournament at the Mall of Asia Arena.

The Lady Spikers hope their overseas training in Thailand will aid in their quest to repeat and make it thirteen championships for their program.

Julia Coronel shares, "I would say now that we are ready for this upcoming season. Kasi grabe din po ang naging preparation namin throughout the preseason and gusto talaga naming manalo ulit kami at hawak po ang championship this season."

Coronel will have big shoes to fill, both on and off the court, as not only is she taking on the captaincy, but also being the main setter now with the departure of Mars Alba. 

The 23-year-old adds about both responsibilities, "So far looking great. Na-embrace ko rin yung role ko..."

Julia will have numerous attacking options at her disposal, from the likes of reigning Most Valuable Player Angel Canino, Thea Gagate, and Alleiah Malaluan, to Shevana Laput, Baby Jyne Soreño, and Maicah Larroza.

Seeking to step into the spotlight alongside Coronel are Amie Provido and Lyka de Leon, with the latter becoming the main libero with the departure of Justine Jazareno.

Serving as La Salle's opening opponents are the Soaring Falcons, who are seeking to build on last season's postseason appearance, but also use the momentum from their championship in the just-concluded championship in the high school girls division.

JP Yude, who helped steer the Baby Falcons to an undefeated season, will take over from Jerry Yee.

Yude will also have to deal with the departure of key cogs from last season's postseason success, with with latest being Lorene Toring, whose ACL injury just before the start of the season prematurely ending her student-athlete career.

Angelica Alcantara takes over from Louie Romero in setting duties, with the likes of Shar Ancheta, Jen Villegas, and Antonette Adolfo stepping up, with new faces Red Bascon and Barbie Jamili in tow.

Stepping into the limelight to lead her teammates is Lucille Almonte, who hopes that their preseason form would yield dividends in the league.

She says, "Sobrang laki po kasi isa po ako sa mga naiwan from last season. Kailangan ko po talagang mag-step up and kailangan ko talagang i-guide ng maayos ang team."

Almonte adds, "Sobrang blessed naman ako kasi nandiyan yung mga coaches ko para i-guide nila kami."

The other women's volleyball matchup features Ateneo against UE at 2pm, with both teams taking on massive rebuilding responsibilities.

The Blue Eagles now have Sergio Veloso as their mentor, while Yee has moved from San Marcelino to Recto to helm the Lady Warriors.

Ateneo is coming off their worst season in a decade, finishing 4-10 and missing the postseason.

Roma Mae Doromal now serves as the team captain, with AC Miner and Lyanne de Guzman mentoring the young side that includes outstanding high school setter Shaine Cortez.

UE is set to officially debut its crop of newcomers from California Academy, led the Casiey Dongallo, Gracen Fernandez, and Kizzie Madriaga, with veterans Khy Cepada, Riza Nogales, Dara Nieva, and Ange Reyes providing leadership.

The men's division also kickstarts on Saturday, as Aimar Okeke makes his debut for Ateneo against UE at 10am, with the Noel Kampton-led La Salle facing off against Adamson at noon.

7s Super League set for March launch

FROM L-R; Melissa Henson - AIA Philippines Chief Marketing Officer, Anton Del Rosario - Founder & CEO 7x7 Philippines, Ethan Lee - Executive Director 7x7 Philippines

Another tweak in 7-a-side football is set to happen in a few weeks, as the people behind 7x7 Football Philippines is introducing its top tier domestic 7s football competition, the 7s Super League.

Set to debut in March, the 7s Super League will feature top-tier football talent from across Luzon, with seven teams set for participation in the inaugural campaign: Alabang South Supers, BGC Soldiers, Pampanga Strikers, Paranaque Super Nets, Quezon City Heroes, Siniloan GOM Blues, and Pasig City Pirates.

7x7 Football Philippines founder and CEO Anton del Rosario says about the Super League's launch, "This will be a game-changer for football in the Philippines. The unique format, combined with the caliber of players involved, promises to deliver an unforgettable football experience."

Del Rosario notes the growth of this particular aspect of football in the country. with the presence of the 7s leagues across the different regions, capped off with the Kampeon Cup.

He also shares the league's commitment to what it calls the "7x7 Goals of J.O.Y," which is focused on creating Jobs, providing Opportunities, and nurturing the Youth, all through football.

The league will also adopt rules currently in place in 7s Football League play, including the Target Score Time first introduced at The Soccer Tournament. 

Extending their support to the Super League is AIA Philippines, who has been a longstanding supporter of seven-a-side football in the country. With a mission of helping Filipinos live healthier, longer, and better lives, AIA's partnership with 7s Super League underscores its dedication to supporting football programs worldwide, providing players a pathway towards success in football.

Del Rosario shares about this partnership, "AIA Philippines understands the needs of its customers and provides holistic solutions that include life protection, health insurance, savings, education, retirement, and investment. Thanks to AIA, we are able to give players the opportunity to showcase their talent on a bigger stage with the 7s Super League."

Representing the group in the presentation held at the Mansion Bar in Makati is Chief Marketing Officer Melissa Henson.

The opening set of matches for the 7s Super League will take place at McKinley-Hill Stadium in Taguig on March 10. The expectation is that the competition will go around the different teams throughout its triple-round-robin eliminations. Outstanding teams advance into the semifinals, with the championship to be decided in a one-match affair.

Thursday, February 15, 2024

La Salle secures Luis Pablo transfer

c/o John Mauricio

Luis Pablo has decided to return to the roost.

The NCAA Season 98 Juniors Basketball Most Valuable Player has transferred to La Salle after spending his freshman campaign at the University of the Philippines.

According to the nineteen-year-old, he opted to portal over because he felt that could fulfill his potential under head coach Topex Robinson.

Pablo shares, "Gusto ko rin ipakita kung ano pa yung mga kaya kong gawin. Nakaka-excite na mabibigyan ako ng chance na mas maipakita yun."

He adds, "Sisiguraduhin ko lang na talagang mapapakita ko at hihigitan ko pa yung mga expectations ng mga tao, mas lalo na sa sarili ko."

In what would be his only season in Diliman, Luis averaged 1.5 points and 1.75 rebounds on just over nine minutes of action.

Looking to grow further both as a student and an athlete, he immediately tried to find his way back home to the green and white.

With the transfer in place, La Salle team official Awoo Lacson shares, "First of all, we’re very very excited that he’s considering coming back to De La Salle. He’s one of our sons in our La Salle program and we want them back. We want them to play for us. We want to win with them. It’s our commitment to help them become winners."

He also notes, "I think Luis’ abilities cannot be measured at this point. He is full of potential. He will be able to mature to become a very dependable veteran. I think he’s going to help our program be successful for the years to come."

Pablo may leave his former La Salle-Greenhills teammates Seven Gagate and Joshua Coronel behind, but he will be reunited with his fellow Greenies Rocco Zamora, Ethan Alian, and Santi Romero in Taft.

The forward will also join Prince Rivero as LSGH alums who earned MVP nods to play in the senior ranks at DLSU.

Ultimately, it was in Pablo’s destiny to find his way back to La Salle.

He says, "Tiwala ako sa plano ni Lord sa akin. Pinakinggan ko talaga yung family ko — yung mother ko at yung father ko. Tingin din nila na makakabuti ito sa akin."

Luis also believes that he won't have to make major adjustments by transferring. "Galing naman ako sa La Salle kaya hindi na rin bago sa akin yung culture dito."

Pablo will sit out the upcoming season for the Green Archers, as they make their title defense this year. He will join recent transferees Jacob Cortez and Kean Baclaan in Season 88. The three look to become key pieces in what would be Mike Phillips' final season, backstopped by both Raven Cortez and foreign student-athlete Henry Agunnane.

Luis is stoked to be alongside his soon-to-be backcourt teammates. "Sobrang nakaka-excite maging kakampi sila hindi ko pa na-experience eh," he said. "Magiging exciting. Talagang excited na rin ako."

Wednesday, February 14, 2024

Cignal TV offers NBA Watch and Win Promo

Watch and Win!

The month of February is important for the NBA, as it is when the NBA holds its All-Star Weekend, celebrating the best of the league.

To help commemorate the occasion, Cignal TV will have the NBA Watch and Win Promo for the rest of the month for its subscribers, whether they are watching through One Sports, NBA TV Philippines, or through Pilipinas Live!

The mechanics are pretty much simple. Just make sure to watch the games live on either of the three media platforms, wait for the NBA trivia to be flashed, then head on to NBA.onesports.ph and input the answers until 11:59pm on each day alongside your details.

Lucky viewers will be rewarded with NBA merchandise in the process, which lasts between February 7 to March 8, 2024. The winners will be identified a week later, on March 15.

For more details about the NBA Watch and Win Promo, they can check out the official social media platforms of Cignal TV.

The 2024 edition of NBA All-Star Weekend takes place on February 17-19 at Indianapolis. Day 1 features the Rising Stars Challenge at 10am, with coverage of All-Star Saturday Night starting at 9am. The actual All-Star Game takes place on Monday at 930am. All three elements will be shown LIVE on NBA TV Philippines, One Sports, and Pilipinas Live.

Afterwards, make sure to continue to check out Cignal TV's NBA coverage as the season heats up in time for the playoffs. Select games will be on the said channels.

NBA TV Philippines is available on Cignal TV Postpaid Plans 520 & up, as well as with the Sports Action Theme Pack. The channel is also available through Pilipinas Live! for PhP 149/monthly.

Cignal TV is also offering special deal for those switching carriers, as you might be able to get up to three free months without a need for a cash outlay. More details are available via cignal.tv/subscribe.

Friday, February 9, 2024

Padel Pilipinas hosts Baler tourney

Padel Pilipinas

With the long weekend, Padel Pilipinas revealed that they are hosting their inaugural padel tournament at Baler.

Called the Baler National Padel Open Tournament, it is in conjunction with Padel Pilipinas and Play Padel Philippines, with the assistance of a couple of LGUs with connections to the province in Senator Sonny Angara and Congressman Rommel Angara.

The BNPOT will have three categories: the Men's and Women's Open, and Mixed Intermediate, with sixteen teams set to participate.

Among the notable participants in the tournament is Padel Pilipinas president Senator Pia Cayetano, as well as top Japanese padel player Shungo Kusakabe.

Under the Senator's leadership, Padel Pilipinas has been resolute in promoting the sport across Luzon, setting up padel clinics across the island.

Thursday, February 8, 2024

Emirates seals NBA partnership, becomes In-Season Tournament title sponsor

New Basketball Partners. NBA x Emirates

The NBA officially unveiled on Thursday its latest partnership, as it has designated Emirates to be its Official Global Airline Partner.

As part of its partnership, the league has bestown title sponsor status to the global airline for the NBA In-Season Tournament, now called the Emirates NBA Cup.

Expect co-branded promotions and activations through the NBA's social media platforms and in-arena signage for next season's iteration, capped off with the semifinal and championship matches.

In addition, Emirates also becomes the first logo to appear as a jersey patch for the league's referees, which will be debuting at the upcoming NBA All-Star Game next week. The same will apply for their counterparts in the NBA G-League next season (2024-25) and in the WNBA (2025).

In introducing this partnership, Emirates Group Chairman and Chief Executive HRH Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum shares, "We are proud to establish a global marketing partnership with the National Basketball Association to become its Official Global Airline Partner. This collaboration will also see Emirates become the league’s first referee jersey patch partner and the inaugural title partner of the NBA Cup.  With basketball’s popularity around the world, we are excited to work with one of the most globally recognized and prestigious professional leagues.  The NBA is a valuable addition to our sponsorship portfolio as it allows us to connect with a vast global fanbase, including in the U.S., where the game is an integral part of the country’s sport culture."

For the league, Deputy Commissioner and Chief Operating Officer Mark Tatum adds, "Emirates is a world-class airline that shares our commitment to engaging fans around the world in new and creative ways. As basketball continues to be recognized as the fastest growing sport globally, this collaboration will showcase the excitement of the NBA to the millions of people who fly Emirates every year."

In addition, Emirates will get an increased presence in the marquee events the NBA has in store for the rest of the season and beyond, including the NBA All-Star's fan event called NBA Crossover, the NBA Global Games overseas, and other fan activations like NBA District and NBA House. The airline's branding will be very much visible throughout the virtual in-arena and the top of the backboard signage during major NBA games, kicking off with the NBA All-Star Game.

Emirates will also serve as the presenting partner of the NBA Finals Legacy Project, where the league is dedicating a new NBA Cares Live, Learn, or Play Center in the places where the upcoming NBA Finals will take place.

On their end, Emirates will integrate NBA content on its in-flight entertainment system, which allows its passengers on all its flights to enjoy long-form documentaries, player profiles, and interviews.

Official NBA merchandise, as well as co-branded items in the future, will be made available at the Emirates Store at the Emirates' Headquarters in Dubai and also via www.emirates.store. For Skywards members, one can redeem Miles incurred in order to purchase these particular merch.

This is the latest effort by Emirates to highlight its connection with sports, serving as the title sponsor of England's premier cup competition, the Emirates FA Cup, among others.

EASL Final Four matchups set

EASL Final Four

With the conclusion of the pool play games on Wednesday, the EASL semifinal pairings have been confirmed for next month.

Seoul SK Knights topped Group B after dismissing the Meralco Bolts, 72-62 on their home turf, setting up a duel with fellow Korean side and defending champions Anyang Jung Kwan Jang. Both teams finished their respective pools at 5-1. Their matchup will kick off the semifinal doubleheader at the Hoops Dome in Lapu-Lapu City at 5pm on March 8.

In the other matchup, the undefeated Chiba Jets of Group A is slated to face the New Taipei Kings, which will feature two of the most exciting players in the region in Yuki Togashi and Jeremy Lin.

The latter has been dominant in the P. LEAGUE+ for the Kings, almost averaging a triple-double with 26.9 points, 8.5 rebounds, and 8.9 assists. He recently incurred an injury during their matchup against Ryukyu Golden Kings, and was rested 

The winners tangle in the Championship Game couple of days later at 7pm, with the third place matchup set to tip at 4pm, also to be played at the Hoops Dome. They will become the first champion of the EASL in its intended true full-length home-and-away format.

Tickets for both playdates will be made available through TicketMAX.

Sunday, February 4, 2024

Toyomoto Auto Supply claims NBTC Mindanao Regionals crown

Toyomoto Auto Supply

Toyomoto Auto Supply escaped as the inaugural NBTC Mindanao Regional Championship winners, having eked out an 87-85 victory against Xavier-Ateneo de Cagayan-Sealcor in the final on Sunday at the Sarangani Capitol Gym.

Norman Cagampang was the hero of the day for the Davao-based squad, nailing a triple with 0.7 seconds remaining. He was also fouled during that attempt, in which the guard opted to deliberately miss the bonus free throw in order to let the clock run out.

It was a gut-wrenching defeat for the Kingfishers, who held an 85-82 lead with 32 seconds remaining before coughing up the final points of the match. They came into the match with a four-match winning streak before wilting in the end.

Andre Lumanag was named as the RC's Most Outstanding Player.

Fellow Davao-based side Bullet Customs Brokerage-Prime Bistro secured third place over Notre Dame of Midsayap thanks to their stronger win-loss record.

NBTC program director Eric Altamirano shares, "Just like North Luzon, we saw here in Mindanao na andami pa rin talagang promising na bata all over the Philippines. We're just honored na makapagbigay tayo ng stage for them to showcase their talents all the way to Mall of Asia Arena."

For the four teams mentioned, the National Finals beckons at the Mall of Asia this coming March 18-24. They will have to fend off a field that includes twelve other RC qualifiers, ten invited teams from overseas, the finalists of the UAAP and NCAA high school competitions, and a couple of wildcards to be crowned the best under-19 team in the country.

Mindanao contingent for NBTC National Finals known

c/o NBTC

Mindanao's representation at the 2024 SMART-NBTC National Finals has been secured with the results from the quarterfinals of their Regional Championship at the Sarangani Capitol Gym.

Two of those teams are based in Davao City, with Bullet Customs Brokerage-Prime Bistro defeating El Kids Esperanza, 82-58, and Toyomoto Auto Supply toppling Cor Jesu College x El Granjero of Digos, 79-68. Starring for the former is Keith Francis Marquez, while the latter touts Andre Lumanag.

Notre Dame of Midsayap claimed the third berth after Jeffrey Malacapag and the Rams defeated Breakthrough Basketball of Tagum, 85-77. while Vince Acut and Elihu Alcover led the Xavier-Ateneo de Cagayan-Sealcor snapped up the last spot after an 88-83 triumph over Team Harbor Pilot Sports of Misamis Occidental.

These four teams join the four teams who locked in their slots during the North Luzon RC in Laoag: Yengskivel Sportswear (CAMANAVA), Philippine College of Science and Technology-Calasiao (Pangasinan), Pampanga Lanters, and 1 San Rafael (Bulacan).

Four more teams are set to be confirmed in each of the two remaining RCs, the Visayas leg in Bacolod on February 16-18 and the South Luzon leg in Lucena on March 1-3.

The other berths for the National Finals scheduled between March 18-24 are to be allocated to the finalists of the UAAP and the NCAA's high school competitions, teams from the NBTC's Global Partners, and a couple of wildcard entries.

Friday, February 2, 2024

NBA Philippines celebrates Lunar New Year with NBA Store promo

Lunar New Year and the NBA

The upcoming week kickstarts the National Basketball Association's Lunar New Year celebrations in the Philippines.

Taking place in both NBA Stores in the country, the league is coursing its 13th edition of celebrating the holiday through a "Pick & Pop" promotion.

Lasting from February 5-11, customer at either the branches of SM Megamall or the SM Mall of Asia will have a chance to pick a red envelope if they make a minimum in-store single receipt purchase of PhP 5,000. Said envelope will contain a chance to win special prizes, including gift vouchers and NBA t-shirts.

Actual NBA-related Lunar New Year celebrations commenced as early as this past Monday, January 29, when the Detroit Pistons hosted the Oklahoma City Thunder. 25 teams will have a variety of LNY-related activities, including in-arena activations, local community initiatives, and content on their respective digital and social platforms.

The 25 teams are as follows:

  • Atlanta
  • Boston
  • Brooklyn
  • Charlotte
  • Chicago
  • Cleveland
  • Dallas
  • Denver
  • Detroit
  • Golden State
  • Houston
  • Indiana
  • Los Angeles (Lakers and Clippers)
  • Memphis
  • Miami
  • Minnesota
  • New Orleans
  • New York
  • Oklahoma City
  • Philadelphia
  • Phoenix
  • Sacramento
  • San Antonio
  • Utah

Make sure to check out the latest NBA news and updates through the league's official website and app, as well as through its social media platforms on X, Facebook, and Tiktok.

Thursday, February 1, 2024

Final Rematch highlights Day 1 of Manila Hustle 3x3

Mikka Cacho, Monique del Carmen, Manila Hustle 3x3 tournament director Peachy Medina, Camille Clarin, and Tin Cayabyab.

Manila Hustle 3x3 is set to commence this weekend, starting off with Pool Play on Saturday at the SM Mall of Asia Music Hall.

One of the highlights of Day 1 sees last year's finalists grouped together in Pool C, as Gilas Pilipinas Women and Army Altama square off at 330pm to kickstart their respective stints.

As the Lady Macbeth Riots, they claimed the inaugural title behind the shoulders of eventual Most Valuable Player Kacey dela Rosa, 21-11.

This time around, Gilas Women will be fielding a brand new quartet, but chemistry will not be a problem with an all-National University crew of Mikka Cacho, Camille Clarin, Monique del Carmen, and Tin Cayabyab, as they build up a potential pool for future competitions.

Clarin shared during the pre-tournament press conference, "We're looking to build a good foundation based on players coming into the program and preparing for long-term tournaments."

Army still has Camille Sambile and Mar Prado backstopping their quartet, with Zoos Tokyo and Thai side Shoot It Dragons completing Pool C.

The lone returning player from the Riots has moved to another team, as Trina Guytingco leads Titans in Pool D. The Ateneo alumna is joined by fellow Blue Eagle Jhazmin Joson and a couple of foreign recruits in Supavadee "Bo" Kunchuan and Lina Nakazawa. Alongside them is the Kaye Pingol-led Uratex Dream, which has tapped Renzhu Li of China to help boost their campaign, last year's semifinalists Dinoman Hansol of Korea, and newcomers Royals Basketball from Australia.

Discovery Perlas banners Pool B, with a couple of former UAAP MVPs in Allana Lim and Grace Irebu serving as anchors. They are grouped alongside three debuting teams in Unicle from Korea, Owls.EXE from Japan, and Shiv Nadar School from India.

Kickstarting the action at 1030am is a couple of Pool A teams, with Tokyo Dime going up against Bluefire, which features La Salle women's basketball alumnae in Snow Penaranda and Ameng Torres. The other teams in Pool A are Jumpshot from Singapore and the second Uratex entrant in Tibay, which has enlisted Gilas Women standout Afril Bernardino and Spanish baller Ari Geli, who played for Zoos last year.

Opening Ceremonies for the two-day competition will take place at 10am, with all pool play matches slated at the venue on Saturday and the knockout rounds on Sunday.

The top team in each pool will advance straight to the quarterfinals, with the teams in second and third place will have to go through a last sixteen crossover knockout playoff to complete the field.

The champion gets $3,000 with the losing finalist snapping up $2,000 and the third place team $1,000.

Serving as partners for the Manila Hustle 3x3 presented by Uratex and SMART are the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (technical), SMART Sports and Puso Pilipinas (media), Seiko Prospex (timekeeper), and B'lue (hydration), with Titan, Wilson, Green Cross, Secret Fresh, BDO, Laurin CocoMCT, Peloton Workforce, Senka, Pinesbel Manufacturing, Tsubaki, IFern, Evercool Radiator, Home Suite Furniture, and Quality Corrugated Box Manufacturing, and Aquaflask as sponsors.

Fans will be able to watch the proceedings through the SMART Livestream app, as well as on the Facebook pages of Puso Pilipinas.

Cebu to host EASL Final Four

 

The Final Four is headed to Cebu

The EASL has a venue for its Final Four, and it will take place at the Queen City of the South.

The semifinal and final will take place at the Hoops Dome in nearby Lapu-Lapu City, with the semifinals scheduled on March 8 and the third place game and final slated a couple of days later.

In making the announcement, EASL CEO Henry Kerins shares, "Cebu is an incredible venue for the first EASL Final Four. It has some of the most passionate basketball fans in the Philippines. The Hoops Dome is a great arena that will be packed with local and travelling fans. And this is an amazing tourist destination – we are excited to showcase Cebu, including the magical resort island of Mactan, and the beautiful culture of the Philippines to our fans across the region."

He adds, "The Final Four is going to be a world-class sports entertainment experience."

Having earned their spots in the postseason and getting the chance to be crowned as the best club team in East Asia are defending champions Anyang Jung Kwan Jang Red Boosters, fellow Korean Basketball League squad Seoul SK Knights, P. LEAGUE+ side New Taipei Kings, and the Chiba Jets of the B. LEAGUE.

With the pandemic finally out of the way, this will be the first time a EASL champion will be crowned through a true home-and-away competition, a truly historic moment for the league. Said winner will earn $1 million in prize money, with the runner-up taking home $500,000. Finishing in third will net that team $250,000.

Tickets will be made available through TicketMAX, with further details to be made available through the league's social media platforms.