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Mark Bautista reflects on journey since coming out three years ago

Mark Bautista has reflected on his journey since coming out as a member of the LGBTQIA+ community in February 2018 by way of writing a memoir......»»

Category: entertainmentSource: philstar philstarJul 31st, 2021

Behind the Scenes: The Heroes of ABS-CBN Sports

While the general public sees or hears the finished product on-air or online, most do not witness or appreciate those who worked tirelessly behind the scenes at ABS-CBN Sports. There’s an African proverb that says it takes a village to raise a child. Well, it took almost exactly that to make ABS-CBN Sports work. As we commemorate National Heroes Day in the country on the final day of ABS-CBN Sports, it is only fitting to acknowledge and thank those behind-the-scenes heroes who have been part of the amazing journey (DISCLAIMER: I may have left out some names, but it is purely unintentional so my apologies). Thank you, first and foremost, to our Chairman Emeritus Gabby Lopez, whose passion and love for sports led to the initiative that is ABS-CBN Sports. Thank you to our former President and CEO, Charo Santos-Concio, our current President and CEO, Carlo Katigbak, a true tennis fan, and our Chairman Mark Lopez, who showed us composure, class and grace as leaders.  Thank you to our beloved COO, Cory Vidanes, who allowed ABS-CBN Sports to reach a broader audience when it aired special events on Channel 2 as well as feature athletes and sports personalities on entertainment programs.   Thank you to the voice of ABS-CBN and former ABS-CBN Sports head, Peter Musngi, for leading the division during its early years. Thank you to Narrowcast head, Antonio “March” Ventosa, as well as his executive assistant, Trina Magallanes, for helping us navigate during the transtition period of ABS-CBN Sports.   Thank you to the captain of our ship, ABS-CBN Integrated Sports head, Dino Laurena, who inspired us to work harder and better to serve our audience.  Thank you to Sir Dino’s gatekeeper, his executive assistant, Donna Seat, who was our bridge whenever we needed to reach out to the boss. Thank you to S+A channel head and production head, Vince Rodriguez, LIGA channel head, Jojo Neri-Estacio and Business Unit Head, Jun Martinez. They were our constant guides who enabled us to provide quality content on broadcast despite immense internal and external pressure.  Thank you to the people who made sure we never went beyond our budget and reached our targets – our Finance team made up of Berg Capiz, Jem Castro and Lorna Gendrano. Thank you to our S+A On-Air team of Rommel Noviza, Janice Rulloda, Princess Basye, Biboy Diga, Mark Marinay, Arnold Saclolo, Borge Raval and Hans Espiritu as well as our Liga Channel team of  Anna Santos, Francis Patawaran, Aprille Signo and Joramie Roque, for ensuring everything airs on time.  Thank you to our Digital Head, Mico Halili, for his innovative and fresh ideas on the digitial space.   Thank you to the men and women who made our broadcast coverage as close to flawless – our Production Manager, Jennifer Jimenez, our directors, which include THE Abet Ramos, Al Neri, Raul de Ocampo and Rommel Pedrealba, and our technical directors made up of Elmond Salvahan, Jhonnald Garcia, Marvin Chavez, Bingbong Pangan, Arnold Bulaong and Joseph Vega. Thank you to the men and women who made sure our partner properties were happy with our coverage, and that everything was in place for each and every game or show we put out there – our Executive and Associate Producers Vic Caridad, Malou Neri, Ada Bayuga, Diana Sayson, Oxy del Rosario, Mae Mañalac, Aries Galot, Apples Dela Vega, Kristina Manzana, Roy Briones, Ledz Cahinhinan, JC Gonzales, Gab Gonzales and Manny Gabutina.  Thank you to those who crafted and produced memorable segments – our segment producers Eva Evangelista, Carlo Grajo, Cha Lucero, Mark Morados, Jeff Sta. Maria, Jet Montebon, Sharon Muli, Alex Brocoy, Mika Barrios, Bill Barrinuevo and Volta delos Santos as well as our video editors Pido Cruz and Fonz Fajatin. Thank you to those who put the right words into play – our writers Monica Magpantay, Paul Loyola, Jigs Guardiano, Adrian Dy, Sheiden Dela Cruz, Ken Natividad, Syjin Reyes and Migs Gomez. Thank you to those who gave the right cues to our anchors, analysts and courtside reporters – our panel director Larry "Care Mo Naman" Deang, our floor directors Miky "Gandara" Mirabueno, Lyanne Ocampo-Tan and Fritz Dizon. Thank you to the people who made sure that the right moments were captured – our Camera Control Unit made up of George Austria, Joel Supremo and Edgar Guarte, our Cameramen Lloyd Villamor, Rovic Pacis, Gerald "Superman" Fermin, Ron Fermin, Ronald Mangcoy, Michael Pico, Emman Andes, Butch Pineda and Mark Nicolas. Thank you to those who made sure we heard the sounds and voices loud and clear – our audio engineers Elias Javier, Ramil Ciruano, Albert Agbay, Jancel Abobo as well as our audiomen Joseph Nicolas and Ameng Atienza. Thank you to the guys who allowed us to get another look at the action – our EVS/Slomo Operators Joejay Abarquez, Raymond Biojon and Dido Batallion and VTR men Christian Abarquez, Kenneth Abarquez and Oliver Sañez. Thank you to the people responsible for making things more visible on our screens –our Electrician/Lighting Directors Alvin Saavedra and Jorge Paraon and our lightman Calvin Liong. Thank you to those who create those cool graphics and effects that catch our attention during games and shows - our Graphic Artists/Operators Jam Memdoza, Denice Ylagan, Erol Corpuz, Sara Concepcion, Jeff Jugueta and Kevin Camero. Thank you to the team who put the little things in order – our set-up assistants Jerald Testor, Ivan Castillo, Ferdie Mangaong, Remus Taniengra, Daniel Dimaculangan, Eduardo Dacumos, Ryan Ancheta, Allan Porsioncula, Laurence Sosa, Illac Alvarez, Benjo Asiatico, Manny Cajayon, Lepoldo Bofill, Victor Taniegra, Caleb Bautista, Jeremiah Mallari and Bennett Cabus. Thank you to the guys who provided the correct statistics and graphics – our panel scorers/GFX feeders Rico Bayuga, Ronaldo Serrano, Arvin Estabillo and Gilbert Serrano. Thank you to those who made our on-cam talents look good – our makeup artists Mylyn Concepcion, Nina Concepcion, Estrella Besabe, Norma Calubaquib and Nizel Reduta and our stylist Lyle Foz. Thank you to those who were always ready to lend a helping hand – our production assistants, Lian Salango, Pau Hiwatig, Helen Trinidad, Riri Gayoma, Jade Asuncion and Lovely Dela Cruz. Thank you for the imagination and artistry of our Creative Communications Management (CCM) team composed of Elirose Borja, Jerome Clavio, Djoanna San Jose, Lara Mae Allardo, Robin Lorete, Cristy Linga, Christopher Eli Sabat, Archimedes Asis (the voice of S+A), Jan Dormyl Espinosa, Aila Onagan and Nyro Mendoza. They say that advertising is the lifeblood of media and that we wouldn’t be able to deliver high-quality content if not for advertisers brought in our by our Sports Sales team, so thank you to our Sports Sales Heads Jojo Garcia, Nicole Moro and Ken Ti, along with our account executives Tin Saw, Annalyn Herrera, Trina Vallarta, Joey Tang, Karlo Miguel, Paul Sembrana, Mike Tan, Ray Del Castillo, and Jason Gaffud. Thank you to those who constantly pitched ideas and presented to clients on our behalf, our Business Development Executive, Tonyo Silva, and our Sports Marketing team made up of Thirdy Aquino, Maui Tang, Jason Roberto, Danica Jose, Lala Cruz and Hanz Trajano. Thank you to the people who looked out for the wellfare and concerns of our division members – our Human Resources squad made up of Arvin Crisol, James Lee, Anika Gregorio and Donna Yabut. Social media has been a game changer and enabled people to relive key moments in sports events, so thank you to our social media team made up of Jon Rodriguez, Alvin Laqui, Danine Cruz, Aia del Mundo, Melvin Rodas, Clev Mayuga, Migs Flores and Lloydie Moreno. We would also like to give special thanks to our former bosses and colleagues who have moved on from this world, Rolly V. Cruz, Danilo A. Bernardo, George G. Padolina, Marco Franco, Gerald Gicana, Rhodora "Dhanda" Panganiban, Vernie Calimlim and Erwin Evangelista.  Lastly, I personally want to thank the website content team made up of sub-section editors Santino Honasan, Mark “Mr. Volleyball” Escarlote, Norman Benjamin Lee Riego (Yes, it has to be his complete name) and Paul Lintag, former sub-section editor Milan Ordonez, former writer Philip Matel, videographers Nigel Velasquez, Rocio Avelino and Steph Toben, photographers Arvin Lim, Richard Esguerra and Joshua Albelda, former NBA Philippines website managing editor Adrian Dy, contributing writers Anton Roxas, Marco Benitez, “Doc Volleyball” AJ Pareja, Migs Bustos, Mikee “Diliman Legend” Reyes and Ceej Tantengco. While our journey in telling these stories with ABS-CBN Sports will abruptly come to a halt, it has been an honor and a pleasure serving the Filipino sports fans worldwide. We may no longer be around as an organization, but the great athletes will keep playing and inspiring and the games will continue. And so, with a sense of immense gratitude, we say: Maraming Salamat Kapamilya! Hanggang sa muli! --- Lorenzo Z. Manguiat has been the Editor-in-Chief of sports.abs-cbn.com since 2014 and Sports News Desk Head since 2015. He started as game writer for ABS-CBN Sports in 2000 and served in various other capacities within ABS-CBN. He is among the thousands of employees who will be retrenched on August 31, 2020.  .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsAug 31st, 2020

Taduran stakes IBF title

IBF minimumweight champion Pedro Taduran realizes the odds are stacked against him in his second title defense against countryman Rene Mark Cuarto at the Bula Gym in General Santos City this afternoon but he’s not bothered by the challenger’s handlers promoting the fight, the judges coming from Mindanao and the 14-day quarantine after a long journey from his training camp in Bangar, La Union......»»

Category: sportsSource:  philstarRelated NewsFeb 26th, 2021

Cj moving over to San Miguel

CJ Perez, a sensation in his first two years in the pros, would no longer head back to Terrafirma but join new team San Miguel Beer after his journey with Gilas in the coming February window of the FIBA Asia Cup qualifiers in Doha, Qatar......»»

Category: sportsSource:  philstarRelated NewsJan 29th, 2021

GOT7 celebrates 7th debut anniversary: ‘Many more to come,’ ‘'7YearsWithGOT7’

GOT7 now (top) and their debut photos: (from left) Mark, JB, Jackson, Jinyoung, Youngjae, Yugyeom and BamBam (Twitter)  K-pop boy band GOT7 marked their seventh anniversary since debut today, Jan. 16, with messages for their fans.  GOT7 debuted on Jan. 16, 2014 with a performance on the TV music show “M Countdown” of “Girls Girls Girls,” the main track of their first album “Got It?,” which was released on Jan. 20.  Their seventh anniversary came just less than a week after it was announced that all the members were leaving JYP Entertainment, their agency for seven years, after negotiations for contract renewal failed. The last day of their exclusive contract is on Jan. 19.  Despite the uncertainty, members assured fans that they will continue with the group although they will be joining different agencies.  Fans marked the occasion by trending the hashtag #7YearsWithGOT7 on Twitter and posted messages.  “Thank you guys for 7 years. Many more to come. #7YearsWithIGOT7,” wrote member Mark Tuan.  When the news came out on Jan. 10 that GOT7 had decided not to renew their contracts with JYP Entertainment, Mark told fans that GOT7 will continue.  “The past 7 years have been the best years of my life. Nothing is coming to an end, just the beginning. The seven of us are going to continue to bring you guys the best version of us till the end. #GOT7FOREVER,” he posted on Twitter.  Jackson Wang celebrated the anniversary with the message “7 years. Always blessed for everything.”  “#GOT7FOREVER,” JB and Youngjae posted on Instagram along with a photo of the group while BamBam wrote “#IGOT7FOREVER 7years.”  An exclusive report by Korean media outlet Dispatch on Jan. 10 stated that Jinyoung will join actors’ agency BH Entertainment and Yugyeom is in talks with Jay Park’s AOMG label.  Youngjae is reportedly joining Sublime Artist Agency, BamBam is joining MAKEUS Entertainment.   Mark will return to the US and plans to open a personal YouTube channel while Jackson’s global activities will be handled by Team Wang. There was no mention of JB’s potential agency. The following day on Jan. 11, JYP Entertainment finally confirmed that GOT7 members will be leaving the agency.  “JYP held in-depth discussions with members of GOT7 ahead of their exclusive contract termination on Jan. 19. As a result, the two sides agreed not to proceed with a contract renewal, hoping for a new future,” it said, according to Yonhap News......»»

Category: newsSource:  mb.com.phRelated NewsJan 17th, 2021

THRILLMAKER: Ces Drilon turns over a new leaf

In showbusiness, there will always be the one hit wonders, those people who hit mainstream popularity usually for only one piece of work and become known to the general public solely for that momentary success.  Of course, those of this type are, sooner or later, gone from the public eye and then eventually forgotten.  Then there are the lurkers, as in the online world, they are those who just quietly stay afloat in the sidelines, not hitting it big but somehow able to prolong their presence in the showbiz realm.  Then come the real superstars, those who are able to prolong their relevance by not being boxed in by their past successes and are not afraid to explore and reinvent themselves for a more “current” image.  When one talks about reinvention, favorite pop icon of the 80s, Madonna, always comes to mind.  Locally, there is Vilma Santos-Recto, who has, throughout her career, taken on a lot of image makeovers from her days as a childstar, a teenstar, a dramatic star and now as a star legislator—truly stamping her mark as a Star For All Seasons. In Philippine television, one personality who has, over the decades, managed to successfully take on any role she’s been asked to play is seasoned broadcaster Ces Oreña-Drilon.  From being a very incisive news reporter, she shifted to covering business and then even hosted her own popular business show in the 90s.  From there we all saw her taking on the mainstream news anchoring chores in ABSCBN’s late primetime newscast Bandila, before eventually heading the Lifestyle Ecosystem of the entire network. When the dust coming out of the whole ABSCBN franchise debacle finally settled, regular viewers and fans found Ces still widely present in their mobile devices, with her KUMU ventures Ces and the City and Bawal Ma-Stress Drilon still getting good audience shares.  She has also upped her “influencer” status further by going into various businesses which are not only profitable but are inspiring more and more women to empower themselves though enterprise and hardwork. Very recently, the former Usapang Business host decided that she wanted to do something bigger for the nation—bigger than just giving Filipinos their daily dose of the news.   This is why she recently accepted her election as President of the TOWNS Foundation (The Outstanding Women in the Nation’s Service).    TOWNS Foundation Incorporated is a national organization of dynamic and effective women who by their common shared activities and interests help transform the lives of the Filipinos.  The association is composed of 160 women, all accomplished in their respective fields, be it in the private or government sectors, who have been working together to help in the country’s development for the past 50 years.  Among the goals of the TOWNS Foundation is the recognition of women achievers which paved the way for the TOWNS Awards.  All TOWNS awardees become members of the foundation. The vision of TOWNS is to have a nation of empowered women who serve as catalysts for national development towards improving quality of life.  Its four-fold mission includes: identifying and recognizing exemplary women; harnessing talents of its members to influence national issues; inspiring women leaders and entrepreneurs; and providing a nurturing environment to TOWNS members. When the COVID19 pandemic hit the country last year, TOWNS joined forces with the UP Medical Foundation, Inc (UPMFI) to source funds that were used to procure PPEs for hospitals all over the country.  The still ongoing campaign has so far raised over P57 Million for countless frontliner beneficiaries. With her election as President, Ces now joins the ranks of former TOWNS Presidents Olivia Ferry, who became ZONTA International President; former PEZA administrator Lilia De Lima; former SSS Administrator Corazon dela Paz-Bernardo; businesswoman  Evelyn Singson; and former DOH Secretary Esperanza Cabral. With Ces now at the helm, we’re certain that the group is now headed to even greater heights of greatness for we know that when Ces starts talking business, she really means it......»»

Category: newsSource:  mb.com.phRelated NewsJan 17th, 2021

Improved right-of-way acquisition key to timely Skyway 3 completion — Villar

Improved acquisition of road right-of-way was among the key reasons behind the recent completion of the Metro Manila Skyway Stage 3, Public Works and Highways Secretary Mark Villar said Saturday. Public Works and Highways Secretary Mark Villar (MARK VILLAR FACEBOOK / MANILA BULLETIN FILE PHOTO) In a statement, Villar commended the department’s task force responsible in speeding up the road right-of-way (RROW) acquisition for the elevated expressway that links the southern and northern parts of Metro Manila. “We are now on the final stage of the Skyway Stage 3 Project that will link the southern and northern portions of Metro Manila by connecting SLEX and NLEX before the end of 2020. This would not be possible if not for the commitment of our DPWH ROW Task Force who have worked relentlessly with concessionaire CITRA Central Expressway Corporation (CCEC) to speed up delivery of needed ROW,” Villar said.  Right-of-way acquisition, the secretary stressed, is the most common cause of project delay, especially under public-private partnership. This prompted the creation of a task force for each flagship program and decentralization of ROW operations under Department Order No. 65, series of 2017.  According to Villar, prior to the issuance of DO 65, “ROW acquisition for the Skyway Stage 3 was sluggish at 8.64 percent, even though it had been 35 months since it commenced in 2015.” The improved system, he said, allowed them to acquire 95 percent of ROW in two years and seven months. It is instrumental in facilitating the ROW acquisition, particularly on the issue of National Grid Corporation (NGCP) and Meralco on the removal and relocation of their respective facilities, the secretary said.  As of September 2020, 40 out of the scheduled 47 service utilities of NGCP had been completely removed/relocated, five ongoing, and two for expropriation.  Out of the 1,312 Meralco utilities affected, 1,090 were completely removed or relocated, 24 ongoing, and 198 not to be relocated anymore, while 95.0 percent site possession had been delivered.  “We recognize the need to speed-up ROW acquisition for the timely realization of our Build, Build, Build program and with our formed ROW task forces, the public can expect more big-ticket projects to be completed in the coming months and years,” Villar said.  He bared that a fifth segment had been introduced at the north end of the project from Balintawak Cloverleaf at Epifanio delos Santos Avenue (EDSA). This will connect to the North Luzon Expressway Footbridge to avoid traffic congestion along A. Bonifacio Street and EDSA......»»

Category: newsSource:  mb.com.phRelated NewsOct 24th, 2020

Dara holds live broadcast to celebrate reaching 1 million subscribers on YouTube

Dara, aka Sandara Park, held a live broadcast on Oct. 16 to celebrate her milestone of getting one million subscribers on her YouTube channel Dara TV. People from different countries tuned in to watch Dara’s broadcast where she thanked subscribers, gave updates about herself, discussed her plans and raffled off personal items to mark the occasion. Her YouTube subscribers reached one million on Oct. 10 and she tweeted, “Happy 1M subscribers #DaraTV Thank you so much everyone!!! Maraming salamat sa inyong lahat!!! #DaraTV1Million.” “This is the first time I’m doing YouTube Live and the comments are coming in so fast we can’t even read it,” Dara said during the broadcast. She added, “I’ve been doing YouTube for three years and there are about 60 videos uploaded on my channel. But, guys, that is amazing because I still hit one million. Thank you to everyone who subscribed.” Dara also revealed that she put on some weight and she’s very happy about it, saying, “I gained some weight for the first time in my life. I’ve been 38 to 39 kilos. I’ve finally gained six kilos.” “A lot of people were worried about me. I look more mature and I’m very pleased. The sad part about gaining weight is I don’t fit into all of my clothes anymore. I recently donated my clothes to my niece and nephews. I’m gonna shop for some jeans next week. My jeans don’t fit me anymore,” she said. She told her Pinoy fans, “Kamusta kayong lahat? Nagustuhan nyo ba yung recent upload ko sa DaraTV, yung Philippine market? Super enjoy ako dun. Ang ginawa ko dun nagpicture lang pero nag-enjoy pa rin ako (How are you? Did you like my recent upload on DaraTV about the Philippine market? I enjoyed it. I only took photos but I still enjoyed it).” In a video she uploaded on Oct. 3, Dara went to a Filipino street market near the Hyehwadong Catholic Church in Hyehwa-dong in Jongno, Seoul where she got to mingle and take photos with Pinoys and Koreans. Every Sunday, hundreds of Filipinos go to the street market to eat, buy Filipino food and products.The video now has more than 2 million views on YouTube. Dara also ranked the top five countries that watch her YouTube videos the most and the Philippines emerged as No. 1. “Maraming salamat sa inyong lahat. Grabe number one talaga kayo (Thank you very much. You are really number one). I love it because I started my career there. I miss you guys. I’m always thankful for support,” she said. Dara during her live broadcast on YouTube (Screenshot from Dara’s video) The US placed second with Dara saying, “Thank you so much for supporting DaraTV. South Korea, her home country, is third. She commented, “Even though I have a lot of content outside of Korea, im very thankful that I have a lot of Korean subscribers.” “Thank you so much, Indonesia,” she said as the country placed fourth while United Arab Emirates is fifth and Dara said, “I’ve never been there but I really wanna go.” Dara thanked viewers for enjoying her video with CL and said she also wants “to go to Minzy’s dance academy to learn and dance there.” She was asked what was most memorable during the music video shoot with Park Bom and she said, “It’s always very chaotic when I’m with her. The most memorable thing about that shoot is that it had to be very serious but she just made me laugh so much and she asked why I wasn’t being all ‘hip-hoppy’ for my web scene but I just enjoyed that shoot a lot because it was so funny.” Dara started her showbiz career in the Philippines and left it to debut in 2NE1 in 2009. The group disbanded in 2016. She is still under YG Entertainment. She was asked if she’s going to blog about a tour of the new YG Entertainment headquarters located in Hapjeong in Mapo District, Seoul. “Next year, maybe. Still a work in progress. It looks very futuristic, very cool looking. Kinda looks like a music video set,” she said. One commented that Dara has no problem buying new clothes but she said “I can’t shop that much these days because I want to save more money [because of the ongoing pandemic].” “We should all save money. Since we can’t perform and also everyone around the world, we have to save our money. We’re just being very mindful here. I’m very thankful because I’ve been working so much. I just came back from a schedule and this entire week I had schedules and it looks like I will be very busy next week as well so I’m very thankful for my job,” she said. She said the upcoming episodes on DaraTV include staycation and cooking episodes. To celebrate the milestone, Dara raffled off bracelets and Polaroid photos, and her own clothes. Dara will also be hosting the second season of the TV show “Idol League” with BTOB’s Eunkwang and the first episode is set on Oct. 17. About her plans, she said, “Right now, I’m gonna focus on emceeing and you guys can look forward to that. You guys might see something related to acting because I’ve been talking to my musical friend. And for music, it’s always on my mind. We are all working on it so stay tuned.” Caption Dara during her live broadcast on YouTube (Screenshot from Dara’s video).....»»

Category: lifestyleSource:  abscbnRelated NewsOct 18th, 2020

PBA history in the making

The coming Clark bubble will mark a first in the PBA’s 45-year history and the pro league’s marketing arm EXCITE is opening the doors for sponsors to join the journey that is destined to break viewership records during this pandemic......»»

Category: sportsSource:  philstarRelated NewsSep 24th, 2020

For Mike Nieto, all roads lead to leading

Mike Nieto's leadership is not just for the basketball court. Apparently, his voice carries just as much weight inside the Nieto household in Cainta. "Hanggang bahay, umaabot yung pagli-lead ko," he shared with a laugh. "Rinig na rinig palagi boses ko sa bahay. Since I've proven to them na I can be a leader sa court, siyempre, I can also be a leader dito sa bahay." What does that mean exactly? Well, let's just say that whenever the Nieto family decides they want and need some quality time together, it's the 23-year-old who sets the time and the place where it would happen. "I think nasanay na rin kasi sila na ako ang palaging nagsasalita kahit sa ganyang bagay so most of the time, ako na talaga nagsasabi saan at anong oras kami pupunta," he said. This is not at all that surprising as when you talk about Mike Nieto, you talk about leadership. That has long been the calling card of the 6-foot-2 swingman - from his days as a Blue Eaglet to his time as a Blue Eagle and from his stint in Batang Gilas to his current run in the Gilas Pilipinas pool. But… Why do people say that in the first place? What is it with Mike Nieto that just speaks, leader? FTW: For The tWin To get the answer, we need to go back to the start. As in, the very, very start. Technically, Mike is the leader of the four Nieto siblings as he is the firstborn of Ateneo de Manila legend Jett and super mom and dentist Girlie. Matt is his brother, but is younger by two minutes. Make no mistake, though, the twins have always gotten along. "Kami ni Matt, ever since, close na talaga kami. We started playing basketball at the age of six and from then on, naging magkasama na kami sa lahat ng bagay," Mike said. He then continued, "Even course namin sa college, pareho kaya almost lahat ng classes namin, classmates kami. Ever since talaga, unusual na hindi kami magkasama." Indeed, the Nieto twins have always been some sort of a package deal. Hence, the reports of their commitment to Ateneo for college had headlines such as "Ateneo scores 'twin kill' as Nieto brothers commit to play for Blue Eagles." Through and through, however, Mike was thought to be the leader - even though Matt is the point guard. The reason for that? Because "Big Mike" is more vocal. And why is he more vocal" Well, because he had a two minute headstart on "Matty Ice" at letting his voice be heard. Seriously, though, Mike said it was just because he doesn't waste any time at all in being vocal - and that's why he's being heard first and more often. "Siguro, mas maingay lang kasi ako kay Matt. Ako kasi, kapag may nakita akong mali sa ginagawa ng teammates ko, siguradong makakarinig agad sila sa akin," he shared. He then continued, "Hindi ako papayag na lilipas ang isang bagay na alam kong makakasama sa team. Talagang maglalabas at maglalabas ako ng mga salita hanggang ma-solve ang problema." That doesn't mean that Matt doesn't lead, though. As his twin put it, "Matt is the leader on the court. That's the assignment Coach Tab [Baldwin] gave him and I think he has done well with that." Well, yeah, Matt has three rings as court general of the Blue Eagles' dynasty to show for that. LOL: Lead out Loud It was another court general altogether, however, who had made the biggest mark on Mike Nieto. While he never was a point guard due to his wide frame, he was always trying to emulate one of the best ball-handlers in the history of Philippine basketball. "Jimmy Alapag is my role model when it comes to leadership," he said. "I'm just very lucky that for a long time now, he would talk to me on how I can affect the team positively on and off the court." When Alapag was in his prime as captain of Gilas Pilipinas, Nieto was put on the pedestal as skipper of Batang Gilas. While he knew full well that was a tall task, he was also eager to prove himself worthy. "Sa Batang Gilas under coach Jamike [Jarin], he made me team captain kahit second year high school pa lang ako. But that made me realize na I have the capabilities of being a leader," he said. With that, Mike had the responsibility of making sure the likes of Paul Desiderio, Richard Escoto, Jollo Go, Jolo Mendoza, and Renzo Navarro were kept in line. And from then on, he just did not stop keeping at it. Whether it be as the Jrs. MVP as a Blue Eaglet or a rotation regular as a Blue Eagle, Nieto's biggest contribution has always been his leadership. "Being a leader is never easy. At the end of the day, you have to gain the trust of your teammates and your coaches - that's the hardest part," he said. Ask his teammates from high school, many of whom were still his teammates come college, and they would say they always have his back. "Buti na lang nakuha ko ang tiwala ng lahat ng tao na nakapaligid sa akin. Kaya rin ako nag-succeed being the team captain ng every team na nagiging part ako," he said. While he has always had the full faith of longtime teammates and good friends Thirdy Ravena, Gian Mamuyac, Mendoza, and of course, twin Matt, Mike could only acknowledge that it was another challenge altogether being the voice of the team that swept the season. "Ang malaking naging difference ngayong college from high school, kinailangan kong magsalita ng English mas madalas," he said, through chuckles. With foreigners such as Ange Kouame and Filipino-foreigners like Raffy Verano, Nieto, indeed, did have to make sure his communication lines were crystal clear. The thing about leaders, though, is that they give their all in anything and everything - whether that be giving a pep talk or passing the message to somebody like Kouame who only started learning English in 2017. IMO: In My Opinion And the thing about leaders? They do not necessarily care about themselves. Imagine Mike Nieto, a Jrs. MVP, a team captain for Batang Gilas, a literal blue-blood in Katipunan. Do you know his averages through their three-peat? In 47 games total, he saw 14.2 minutes of action and had 5.2 points and 3.7 rebounds per game. Still, that did not matter at all. All that mattered for Mike are all those Ws. "To be a leader, you have to prove palagi that you can lead on and off the court," he said. "I think yun ang napatunayan ko kay coach Tab - na handa akong i-sacrifice ang personal goals ko para sa ikabubuti ng team. Wala akong pakialam sa sarili ko since ang nasa utak ko lang is kung ano ang makabubuti para sa team namin." But did he? Did Nieto prove himself to Coach Tab - a coach who has gone around the world and seen it all? The talented tactician's statement right after Ateneo completed its perfect run through UAAP 82 speaks volumes. “Look at all of us and think about where we’re gonna be in 10 or 15 years, you’ll forget most of us,” he said in the post-game conference where he sat alongside the Nieto twins, Ravena, Isaac Go, and Adrian Wong. “But you won’t forget Mike Nieto.” Coach Tab then went on to explain why he said so. As he put it, "Mike is a natural leader. Mike is a communicator. Mike is a thinker. In terms of touching people, making lives better, and making sure that everybody around him has a better chance than what he has, that’s our captain." High praise coming from the very mentor who has been getting nothing but high praise. Safe to say, though, Mike has proven himself to coach Tab. TBC: To Be Continued In doing so, Mike Nieto has also made it possible for the two of them to continue working together. Mike, twin Matt, fellow Blue Eagle Go, University of the East's Rey Suerte, and San Sebastian College-Recoletos' Allyn Bulanadi were the first five names listed for the Gilas pool. The likes of Ravena, Dwight Ramos of Ateneo, Justine Baltazar of De La Salle University, Dave Ildefonso then of National University, and the University of the Philippines foursome of Javi and Juan Gomez de Liano, Kobe Paras, and Jaydee Tungcab also made the list not long after. But the fact remains that "Big Mike" - he of zero starts, but three titles in a row in his last three years in blue and white - was one of the first names there. With that, he is now one of the few Batang Gilas players who have successfully gotten promoted to the Men's team. "Of course, sino bang ayaw i-represent ang bansa natin, 'di ba? That's why I'm very grateful for this opportunity to be part of the Gilas pool," he said. He then continued, "That's why I've been working on my game even harder so that I can provide whatever Gilas needs from me." Of course, what Gilas would need from Nieto is, first and foremost, his leadership. After all, that is still and would always be his greatest strength. To do so, though, the youngster would have to prove himself yet again - not only to Filipinos who are forever invested in their national team, but more importantly, his teammates, many of whom are already superstars in the PBA. For Mike, however, this is nothing new - nothing new at all. "Ever since I was in grade school, people have been doubting that I can progress my game to the next level. What we can't forget is that at the end of the day, it's in your hands if you want to prove them wrong or prove them right," he said. He then continued, "I actually enjoy these kinds of moments since dito talaga lalabas ang totoong pagkatao mo. Ang sigurado ko lang, I will fight for my spot in Gilas." And so, from a successful high school career and then an even more successful college career, Nieto is now seeking success as part of the Gilas pool. Does he deserve to be there? That's for the haters to hate, the doubters to doubt, and the bashers to bash. And that's for Mike Nieto to lead them out of the darkness. --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsAug 27th, 2020

2020 king of recruiting crown remains on UP’s head

Who was our King of Recruiting in 2018? Find out here. Who was our King of Recruiting in 2019? Find out here. --- From 2007 to 2015, the University of the Philippines only had 13 wins to show in 126 games total. That time is self-deprecatingly called in Diliman as the dark days. Due to that disappointing standing, the Fighting Maroons had the toughest time bringing in recruits. And due to that lack of pieces to the puzzles, they lost even more. Safe to say, State U was stuck in a vicious cycle in the dark days. That’s not to say they didn’t have blue-chip recruits back then as in their time, all of Woody Co, Mark Juruena, Mike Gamboa, Kyles Lao, Jett Manuel, and Mikee Reyes were among the best high school players. Only, a blue-chip recruit or two does not make a team. Fast forward to now and oh, how things have changed. Last year, UP was hailed as ABS-CBN’s King of Recruiting alongside University of the East. “On the strength of the transfers of Kobe Paras and Ricci Rivero, the Fighting Maroons… are worthy of the title,” it said then. And the season before that, the maroon and green was also up there with the best of them in terms of recruitment, having brought in the likes of eventual Season MVP Bright Akhuetie, Will Gozum, and Jaydee Tungcab. Indeed, there was nowhere to go but up. That has only continued this year as UP has left no doubt that it is now a force to reckon with in terms of recruitment. Early on, they already had a solid haul in Joel Cagulangan, once the best point guard in high school, and tireless workhorse Malick Diouf. And then, the shock of shocks. As it turned out, Nazareth School of National University stalwarts Carl Tamayo and Gerry Abadiano were going to be Fighting Maroons. Meaning, for the first time in recent history, the most promising prospect coming out of high school is headed to Diliman. Not only that, State U also answered its biggest question heading into next season – the question at point guard, filling in for Jun Manzo. But as it turned out, they weren’t done just yet - no, our friends, they weren’t done just yet. Tamayo and Abadiano’s departure from National U was shocking, without a doubt, but CJ Cansino’s exit from University of Sto. Tomas was even more so. Cansino, against his will, decided to move on from his alma mater since 2015 due to personal reasons. Fortunately for him, he landed on his feet. Now, the Fighting Maroons have ready-made replacement for Rivero as well as a leader in the shades of Paul Desiderio for UAAP 84. And that, our friends, is why we have no choice but to put the 2020 King of Recruiting crown on UP’s head once more. Tamayo and Abadiano are the bluest of blue-chip recruits this year and Cagulangan, Cansino, and Diouf are among the most talented transferees, but also joining them in the maroon and green will be scoring machine RC Calimag from La Salle Green Hills, burly big Miguel Tan from Xavier High School, Filipino-American playmaker Sam Dowd, Filipino-Australian tower Ethan Kirkness, physical forward Jancork Cabahug from University of Visayas, and versatile wing CJ Catapusan from Adamson University. The former Bullpups are guaranteed ato be contributors even as rookies while Calimag, Tan, and Dowd are going to shore up a bench that had just lost Gomez de Liano brothers Javi and Juan. Of course, Diouf, Kirkness, Cansino, Cabahug, and Cagulangan are still serving residency, but when they will be eligible, they will get a shot at a squad that will look brand new. All of Bright Akhuetie, J-Boy Gob, David Murrell, Noah Webb, and Rivero are graduating players while Paras is only guaranteed to play one more year. That means that after Season 83, the Fighting Maroons may very well have to fill six spots. That means that UP is not only beefing up for UAAP 83, it is also securing its future. If not for the shock of shocks, though, the crown would have been claimed by De La Salle University which sent a statement that it is back and better than ever. Justine Baltazar and Aljun Melecio may be playing their fifth and final years in college, but the green and white’s future has only brightened following this prolonged preseason. First and foremost, Kevin Quiambao, the third leg in that National U tripod of talent out of high school, has the capability and confidence to follow in the footsteps of Baltazar. Hopefully, he will be eligible for Season 83, but if not, what’s certain is he will be playing in UAAP 84. Alongside him as pieces for the future are super scorers CJ Austria and Emman Galman, all-around swingman Joshua Ramirez, and Filipino-Americans Jeromy Hughes, Kameron Vales, and Philips bros. Benjamin and Michael. Among all those, Jonnel Policarpio, likened to a young Arwind Santos, has the highest upside, but the Fil-Ams have much potential as well. And don’t forget that Evan Nelle, the primetime playmaker from San Beda University, is just getting primed and prepped to take the reins when Melecio leaves. Of course, the caveat here is that we are all in uncharted territory due to the continuing COVID-19 crisis. And in that light, the next season of the UAAP remains far away and a lot could still happen until then. While majority of the local blue-chip recruits have already committed, talents from abroad and transferees from other schools could still come and change the game. With that being said, there remains no doubt that UP and La Salle have made the biggest noise in the offseason. However, it’s not actually the Fighting Maroons or the Green Archers who got the lion’s share of the best graduating players in the 2020 NBTC 24. Yes, that honor belongs to Lyceum of the Philippines University which is finally reaping the rewards of its rising Jrs. program with NCAA 95 Jrs. MVP John Barba and Batang Gilas playmaker Mac Guadana being promoted as full-fledged Pirates. Guadana could do it all and looks like the next great guard in the Grand Old League while fearless slasher is Barba is a perfect complement to him. Add another fiery guard in John Bravo and sweet-shooting big man Carlo Abadeza and LPU has restocked its coffers after losing Marcelino twins Jaycee and Jayvee and Cameroonian powerhouse Mike Nzeusseu. In all though, the 2020 NBTC 24 was dominated by UP… and San Beda. Of the annual rankings’ 15 graduating players, four would be Fighting Maroons and another four would be Red Lions. Yes, San Beda’s grassroots program is back on track with its Jrs. championship core all remaining in red and white. Rhayyan Amsali, ranked no. 1 in the 2020 NBTC 24, is the most college-ready high school player while Justine Sanchez is a long-limbed forward who could turn out to be the next Calvin Oftana, you know, the NCAA 95 MVP. Yukien Andrada, meanwhile, is only continuing to develop his two-way game and Tony Ynot is a 3-and-D weapon who had even left an impression on Jalen Green. And hey, as somebody said, don’t sleep on the UAAP’s three-time defending champions. Ateneo may already be missing Isaac Go, Thirdy Ravena, Adrian Wong, and Nieto twins Mike and Matt and they may not be making noise as of late, but they are still welcoming Dave Ildefonso and Dwight Ramos with open arms. Ildefonso will only be good to go come UAAP 84, but Ramos is already being seen by head coach Tab Baldwin as a difference-maker for the Blue Eagles in Season 83. Eli, Dwight’s younger brother, is also in the mix to backstop SJ Belangel and Tyler Tio. Note also that former blue-chip recruit Inand Fornilos may very well finally get his shot while both Jolo Mendoza and Raffy Verano are also back. Ateneo’s foe in the Finals last year also reloaded quite a bit as for the third year in a row, UST will be sending the Tiger Cubs’ best player to the Srs. squad. Following in the footsteps of Cansino and Mark Nonoy, post player Bismarck Lina will be a Growling Tiger next season. Alongside him to fortify the frontcourt are Christian Manaytay, Bryan Samudio, and Bryan Santos while bolstering the backcourt are Joshua Fontanilla and Paul Manalang. Speaking of fortifying the frontcourt, Far Eastern University is the team that got the biggest boost in terms of size. With 6-foot-7 Nigerian Emman Ojoula’s residency over and done with, the go-go guards of the Tamaraws have yet another weapon to burn opponents with. CESAFI MVP Kevin Guibao and transferee Simone Sandagon are no slouches either while Cholo Anonuevo has a roster spot waiting for him if and when he decides to come home after trying his luck in the US. RJ Abarrientos no longer appears here as he was already in FEU’s list last year. These are the new faces to see for the other teams: CSB Blazers LETRAN Knights JRU Heavy Bombers MAPUA Cardinals ADAMSON Soaring Falcons UE Red Warriors --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsAug 26th, 2020

Mark Magsayo vs. Jose Haro set for September 23rd in Los Angeles

Undefeated Filipino featherweight Mark "Magnifico" Magsayo's return to the ring this year has been confirmed.  The 25-year old will be making his first walk out to the ring as a member of Manny Pacquiao's MP Promotions stable on Wednesday, September 23rd in Los Angeles, California when he faces American Jose "Pepito" Haro in a ten-round contest.  Both MP Promotions and Magsayo himself posted the bout announcement on their respective social media pages.  Magsayo (20-0, 14 KO), one of the country's most promising prospects, will be looking to gain momentum once again after competing just two times in the last two years or so. Formerly an up-and-coming project of the recently-folded ALA Promotions, Magsayo made a name for himself an an exciting knockout artist with world championship potential.  Following a split with ALA Promotions in 2017, Magsayo was inactive for all of 2018, before returning to the ring twice in 2019.  Earlier this year, the Tagbilaran-native announced his signing with MP Promotions. In July, Magsayo flew to the US to begin training camp.  Facing Magsayo is 33-year old Haro, who owns a 15-1-1 pro record with 8 wins via KO. The Washington native is currently riding a seven-fight winning streak. .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsAug 20th, 2020

Allan Albano laying foundation for FEU s continued contention

UAAP boys basketball, in the last decade, has been dominated by Nazareth School of National University and Ateneo de Manila High School. In the last 10 years, the Bullpups and the Blue Eaglets have won all but two championships. That one and only other team to have won it all? Far Eastern University-Diliman. And while the Baby Tamaraws have not been as bejeweled as National U or Ateneo in recent history, they have competed with them year in and year out just the same. In fact, the last time the green and gold's high school squad missed out on the playoff bus was Season 77. That means a five-season streak of making the playoffs - not that far from their kuya Tamaraws who have charged to the next round from Season 75 to now. Safe to say, all in all, the healthiest basketball program - at least in both the men's and boys' side - in the UAAP is FEU's. Their continued contention is, apparently, all because they start them young. "I think most of the credit should go to our high school coaches like coach Allan Albano," active consultant Nash Racela said on Coaches Unfiltered. "Kumbaga, kami nina coach Olsen , naghihintay na lang kami doon sa mga produkto na meron si Coach Allan." Albano was the shot-caller in the Baby Tamaraws' pleasant surprise of a title in Season 79. There, he introduced the world to the all-around force that was L-Jay Gonzales who was backstopped by the likes of RJ Abarrientos, Royce Alforque, Jun Gabane, Jack Gloria, Kenji Roman, and Xyrus Torres. If many of those names sound familiar, that's because they have only moved on up to starring in the Srs. "FEU has always been known as yung program na akala mo walang player. I think yung player development is very crucial lalo na ngayong most of our players come our high school," Tamaraws head coach Olsen Racela said. Coach Olsen went on to say that while the FEU Srs.'s last championship was led by Mac Belo and Roger Pogoy, players who sharpened their saws first with Team B, their current core has been harvested from their crop in Diliman. Indeed, lead guard Gonzales, go-go guard Alforque, sharpshooter Torres, and stretch forward Brandrey Bienes are all proud products from the Baby Tamaraws. Add prized prospects coming in Abarrientos and Cholo Anonuevo and already half of the green and gold's team for UAAP 82 has been homegrown. "Maganda lalo ngayon yung relationship ng high school sa college namin. I think that's very important for our program na imbis na umaalis yung players mo towards supposedly greener pastures, nag-stay sila," Coach Nash said. With that, FEU is all-set to continue walking this way. "Now, ang recruitment talaga namin is focused in high school, yung younger players," its active consultant said. With that, FEU is all-set to continue entrusting its future in the more than capable hands of Albano and assistants Mark Isip, Denok Miranda, and Vic Pablo. And without a doubt, because Allan Albano is hard at work laying the foundation, the Baby Tamaraws and the Tamaraws aren't going away anytime soon. --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJul 22nd, 2020

Birdies galore at Hilton Head, and Spieth needed them badly

By DOUG FERGUSON AP Golf Writer The RBC Heritage began two month later than usual with a little rain, a little sunshine and a lot of birdies, most of them from Jordan Spieth to turn a rough start into a furious finish. Ian Poulter holed a 30-foot birdie putt and followed with a 5-iron to 4 feet for a birdie that closed out his round of 7-under 64, giving him a share of the lead Thursday with Mark Hubbard at Hilton Head. “I've always loved coming here to play golf,” said Poulter, and he has plenty of company this year. The RBC Heritage, typically a week after the Masters in April, is the second tournament since the PGA Tour returned after 90 days from the COVID-19 pandemic. The top three players in the world are at Hilton Head — Rory McIlroy, Jon Rahm and Justin Thomas — and none broke par on a day in which 66 players in the 151-man field shot in the 60s. A year ago, only 38 players in the 132-man field opened with rounds in the 60s. Spieth wouldn't have guessed he would be one of them after a tee shot what was 5 yards right of the 12th fairway hit a tree and didn't stop rolling until it was out-of-bounds. He made triple bogey and was 3 over through three holes. “All of a sudden, I’m 3 over through three, and you start to see guys going 2 under through two, 2 under through three early,” Spieth said. “It’s not a great feeling.” Determined to at least try to get under par for his round, Spieth had a career-best six straight birdies on his back nine and finished with seven birdies over his last eight holes for a 66. Poulter and Hubbard, who started birdie-eagle, were a shot ahead of a group that included Webb Simpson, Ryan Palmer and Viktor Hovland, Colonial winner Daniel Berger, Brooks Koepka, Ernie Els and that incredible bulk, Bryson DeChambeau, were in the large group at 67. DeChambeau, who added some 40 pounds of mass to increase his swing speed, was hammering shots over the range during practice earlier in the week. He had to tone it down on the tight, tree-lined Harbour Town Golf Links. “I couldn’t unleash the Kraken today,” DeChambeau said, a student of physics and Scandinavian folklore. “It was just too tight out there. The wind was swirling all day, and I couldn’t feel comfortable to give it a good whack, but I was still able to manage keeping it mostly in the fairway.” Dustin Johnson was poised to make a move until hit into the water on the par-3 14th and compounding the error with a three-putt triple bogey. He still managed a 68. It was the first PGA Tour with spectators on the property, just not on the golf course with tickets. Harbour Town is lined with vacation homes, villas and townhouses, and plenty of people spilled onto their decks and into their yards to watch. The tour has ropes to line the fairway. This year, they put up ropes to line the yards to keep people from coming all the way onto the course. One family had a sign up for Spieth as he walked along the eighth fairway, one of only two holes on the front nine where he failed to make birdie. That shot out-of-bounds had all markings of bad breaks he has seen too often during three winless years. With a provisional tee shot in the fairway, Spieth went over to look at the trees, and then some 20 yards to the right at his original tee shot nestled in the pine straw. And then he three-putted. Instead of getting down, he told caddie Michael Greller on the next tee, “That's over. Le'ts get four (birdies) today and shoot under par.” “I ended up getting a few more than that,” he said. Just like last week's opening round at Colonial, he got hot on his back nine. The streak began with an 8-foot putt on the par-5 second hole, and included a 7-iron to 4 feet to a left pin near the water on the par-3 fourth. He was on such a roll that Spieth began to contemplate eight straight birdies to end his round. But he saw enough mud on his ball from the fairway on No. 8 that he played conservatively to 30 feet, and then finished with another short birdie. McIlroy and Thomas, who both had chances to win going into the final round at Colonial last year, had 72. Rahm had a 71. For McIlroy, it was the first time since the ZoZo Championship in Japan in late October that he was over par after the first round. Rory McIlroy was among those who struggled, and only a pair of birdies on the back nine kept it from being worse. He opened with a 72. That ended a streak of seven straight tournaments in which he broke par in the opening round dating to the ZoZo Championship in Japan last October. “I'm sort of missing my 3-wood left and missing my driver right,” McIlroy said. “If you’re in any way like in two minds what to do off the tees around here and get a little bit sort of guidey, it can bite you.”.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJun 19th, 2020

SUPER SHOWDOWN: rookie EJ Laure vs. rookie Eya Laure

University of Sto. Tomas fans waited a long time to see sisters EJ and Eya Laure play together for the Tigresses after their explosive tandem won it all for the school during their stint with the girls' team. UAAP Season 82 saw the reunion of the Laure sisters albeit brief – two games to be exact – before the tournament was scrapped because of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.  One could just imagine what impact the Laure siblings would have brought to the Tigresses if not for the cancellation of the season. Skills-wise, both can contribute on points as well as provide support on defense. They have already proven it during their respective rookie seasons. In fact, both earned Rookie of the Year awards. But which Laure played better in her maiden stint with the black and gold? For this week’s ‘Super Showdown: Volleyball edition’, we compare the two well-rounded siblings based on their offense and defense, impact, competition and lasting impression for the Tigresses.        OFFENSE AND DEFENSE EJ brought the much-needed firepower for the then Odjie Mamon-mentored Tigresses in Season 77. In her first year, EJ averaged 11.7 points per game while providing help on net and floor defense. However, her main role in that UST batch was to contribute on points at the wing. She had a 32.17% success rate in attacks. On the defensive side, EJ contributed 13 kill blocks while playing a decent role on floor defense.     Eya, on the other hand, gave UST an added scoring option to a squad that already had veteran Sisi Rondina and 6-foot-2 Milena Alessandrini.     Eya averaged 16.4 points per outing behind Rondina’s 18.5 points per game in the elimination round of Season 81. Eya placed second in UST kill blocks with 19 during the elims behind Kecelyn Galdones’ 23. Eya also punched in 35.90% of her attacks.    TEAM IMPACT EJ gave UST faithful a ray of light when the highly-recruited talent decided to remain with UST after powering the Junior Tigresses to the girls’ title the year before.   The Season 76 Girls’ MVP adjusted well with setter Alex Cabanos and showed good chemistry with veterans Pam Lastimosa, Mela Tunay and Ria Meneses. EJ’s presence also brought back the UST crowd that in the past two years slowly dwindled after lumbering at fifth and sixth place in Season 75 and 76, respectively. Just like her older sister, Eya brought excitement to the Tigresses supporters. UST was then coming off its worst finish in decades – landing at seventh place in Season 80. Eya, Rondina and Alessandrini formed the deadly trio that brought great promise for UST heading into the season. The former high school MVP, Best Setter and two-time Best Opposite Spiker winner did not disappoint right from her debut game.   COMPETITION Although the favorite for the RoY award, EJ had to contend with one of league’s best batch of rookies. She played alongside another promising freshman in Rondina, who delivered UST’s first gold medal of the season in beach volleyball while bagging the rookie of the year and MVP awards. Ateneo had a prized recruit in middle Bea de Leon while De La Salle University's rookies were Eli Soyud and Aduke Ogunsanya. Far Eastern University also introduced solid young guns in ChinChin Basas, Heather Guino-o and Jerrili Malabanan. National University had Jorelle Singh and University of the Philippines got then rookie libero Ayel Estranero. Adamson University recruited a solid middle in Joy Dacoron while University boasted of skilled newcomers in libero Kath Arado and Judith Abil. EJ did pocket the RoY award as expected. But for the first time in the last two decades EJ shared the recognition with another impressive freshman in Arado – the first libero to receive the award since Mel Gohing of DLSU in Season 71. Just like her older sister, Eya came in as the odds-on favorite for RoY, considering the implementation of the K-12 education program. However, she still had to work to lay her claim. Eya faced her high school rivals Princess Robles, Ivy Lacsina of Jen Nierva of National University. Jolina Dela Cruz made immediate impact as DLSU’s leading scorer while Far Eastern University got Lycha Ebon, who unfortunately had her rookie year cut short after sustaining a knee injury.   LASTING IMPRESSION While EJ did give UST the boost it needed, the Tigresses still closed Season 77 outside of the top four. UST finished the elimination round with 6-8 win-loss record tied with FEU at fourth to fifth spot. Actually, UST came one set win away to a bus ride to the stepladder semifinals. EJ in the most important game for the Tigresses went cold, scoring only five points in just three sets of action. She started in the first two frames that UST yielded, sat out the third and fourth sets with Rondina playing better, before playing off the bench in the fifth.       It would take EJ two more years for a taste of a Final Four appearance. Unfortunately, EJ suffered a shoulder injury that forced her to sit out two seasons. Eya was a vital cog in the Tigresses’ rise in Season 81. She was consistent and her all-around game was a plus for the Kungfu Reyes-mentored team, which closed the elims with a 10-4 mark tied with the Lady Spikers. Eya’s heroics during the playoff against DLSU for the semis twice-to-beat advantage, where she dropped 17 points in the Tigresses’ four set win, pushed UST on the brink of ending an eight-year Finals stint drought. Eya erupted for 25 points in the Final Four to dethrone the four-peat seeking Lady Spikers in five sets. She backed Rondina in UST shocking Game 1 sweep of Ateneo in Game 1 of the Finals. Eya also showed big heart and great character in Games 2 and 3 despite playing hurt only to close her first year with a heartbreak after losing to the seasoned Lady Eagles. She averaged 10.6 points per game in the Finals.     --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJun 8th, 2020

Dawn Macandili: It All Started With a Flying Shoe

Libero Dawn Macandili had to start somewhere before becoming Miss Everywhere. Her first venture into volleyball – the start of her successful journey – is as memorable as the pair of shoes she was wearing that day. Coming from a sports-loving family, it’s all but natural for the former De La Salle University star to be into sports. Her father played hoops for Jose Rizal University for a while but had to give it up as he was already juggling his studies and work. Macandili's paternal grandmother was a slugger on a softball team and her brother played basketball before shifting to tennis. Her eldest sister played volleyball and then became a team captain of a cheering squad in college while her other sister fell in love with tennis.   She ended up choosing volleyball as her sport.      “I started playing (volleyball) in the middle of fifth grade,” said Macandili, who recalled that she was around 11-years-old then when she joined the De La Salle University-Lipa team. The national team standout shared a humorous anecdote about her official volleyball game debut. Back then she was a spiker. “My first-ever official volleyball game was back when I was in Grade 5 and I was playing in Skechers with Velcro straps,” she said.   “In the middle of the game while I was running for the ball, one of my shoes came off,” Macandili continued. “That was the most memorable first game ever.” From there Macandili never looked back. Transferring to De La Salle-Zobel, Macandili was given a new role under Ramil De Jesus, who was also the coach La Salle's high school team.    “At first, I was a spiker for DLS-L’s grade school team because my teammates were almost the same height as me. When I moved up to the high school team I played libero as my height wouldn't suffice (as a spiker) anymore,” she said. “Our coach in the high school team was coach Ramil de Jesus. I, being a Lasallian at heart, could not imagine studying anywhere else but in DLSU,” Macandili added. “Another big factor was that coach Ramil is a great mentor and has produced elite players. I thought that if I was going to play in college. I was gonna play for him.” She won three high school UAAP titles from Season 73 to 75. Macandili was also a member of the team that won gold in the 2010 and 2012 Guam Youth Games and helped NCR win the Palarong Pambansa 2013 gold medal where she was also named Best Libero. Naturally, she moved up to play for the Lady Spikers in college. Her first two years weren’t as successful as she wished it to be after DLSU lost to Ateneo in the UAAP Finals in Season 76 and 77. The Lady Spikers got their payback in Season 78 and won two more titles as Macandili closed her collegiate career a champion. In that three-year reign, Macandili bagged two Best Receiver awards, Best Digger honors and the Season 80 Finals Most Valuable Player award.   She brought her success to the Philippine Superliga, winning numerous titles and individual accolades, including the 2016 All Filipino Conference MVP. Macandili joined the national team in 2017 and saw action in the 2017 Kuala Lumpur Southeast Asian Games, 2018 Asian Games in Indonesia and in the Manila SEA Games last December 2019.  Macandili was also recognized as 2nd Best Libero in the 2017 AVC Asian Senior Women’s Volleyball Championship held in Binan, Laguna. Looking back, Macandili can’t help but be grateful on that first volleyball game of hers. After all, the shoe that flew off somewhere brought her to where she is now.     That gem of a memorable moment never fails to put a smile on her face.   --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJun 8th, 2020

Diaz remembers journey, hopes to inspire fellow Filipinos

The Philippines’ first gold medal and Olympic record were the product of all the hard work Hidilyn Diaz and ‘Team HD’ put together that past two years before the Tokyo Olympics......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsAug 4th, 2021

Athletes& rsquo; Olympic journey costs P30m

For Filipino athletes to perform well in the Olympics, stakeholders in Philippine sports must earmark around P30 million per individual annually for the next four years......»»

Category: sportsSource:  thestandardRelated NewsJul 21st, 2021

Duterte gets failing mark from teachers

MANILA, Philippines — Teachers on Tuesday gave President Rodrigo Duterte a failing mark for his “consistently poor performance” in fulfilling his commitment to the education sector five years into his presidency, saying the state of education in the Philippines only grew worse under his leadership. The Alliance of Concerned Teachers (ACT) slammed the Duterte administration […] The post Duterte gets failing mark from teachers appeared first on Cebu Daily News......»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsJul 21st, 2021

Siblings in bakwit school, Inday and Toper mark the culmination of their education

The last four years for Lumad students like Inday and Toper seemed like a tug-of-war struggling for their right to learn, and fighting for their return to their ancestral lands. The post Siblings in bakwit school, Inday and Toper mark the culmination of their education appeared first on Bulatlat......»»

Category: newsSource:  bulatlatRelated NewsJul 15th, 2021

Celebrating 100 years

Last July 2, the Communist Party of China (CPC), the world’s largest governing party,  celebrated its 100th year anniversary. Considered by observers worldwide as the spark which triggered the revolutionary struggle of the Chinese people culminating in the establishment of the People’s Republic of China in 1949, the party has been acknowledged by and large by the Chinese people, all 1.4 billion of them as of last count, as having provided the much-needed guidance and steely determination in that long journey. .....»»

Category: newsSource:  thestandardRelated NewsJul 7th, 2021