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NCAA open to adding more sports for Season 96

The NCAA is considering to add more sports aside from the four mandatory events for Season 96. Sports that require minimal player-to-player contact could be included in the sports calendar of the shortened season set to tentatively open March 2021 according to Management Committee (ManCom) chairman Fr. Vic Calvo, OP of host Letran. The oldest collegiate league in the country earlier announced that only the four mandatory sports basketball, volleyball, swimming and track and field will be played in the coming season. However, Calvo mentioned the depending on the situation of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, other sports might be added. “Hindi naman tayo talaga naka-fix but we are fluid. We are on observing kung ano yung situation and we will fit in that situation para matuloy ‘yung NCAA,” said the ManCom chairman on Tuesday on the online session of the Philippine Sportswriters Association Forum. Sports like tennis, chess, badminton, table tennis, and e-sports might be included. “Actually, marami pa sa mga schools ang nag-maintain ng other events. Kaya for example yung basic rule na kapag sa isang tournament like lawn tennis, medyo individual sport yan except sa doubles. Kapag merong apat na schools (na may team) they can organize, look for the budget, sponsorship,” said Calvo. The Letran official specifically mentioned the possible consideration of online chess and esports, both of which have come in handy during this time of pandemic. He said Mobile Legends is one of the online sports being deliberated by the collegiate league, citing how the country even won a gold medal in the event when e-sports made its debut in the last Southeast Asian Games. “Sa SEA Games ginawa na natin ito. Nag-champion naman tayo, so why not do this especially in this time of the pandemic,” stressed Calvo in the session presented by San Miguel Corporation, Go For Gold, Amelie Hotel Manila, Braska Restaurant, and the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR), and powered by Smart. As for the other sports, Calvo said it can be held by staging lesser events like doing away with the relays in swimming and track and field, or not having doubles in both lawn tennis and badminton. Track and field and tennis were among the sports affected when the NCAA decided to totally cancel the second semester events of Season 95 following the outbreak of the coronavirus. “Naka-apekto yun (COVID-19) sa Season 95 because we’re not able to finish its calendar. At may ilang events that were scheduled to be held like beach volleyball track and field, cheerleading, while indoor volleyball and lawn tennis were not able to complete their tournaments,” said Cayco. With the failure to stage other sporting events, the NCAA also decided not to hand out a general championship since schools within the top three of the standings are all closely clustered together at the top. “Kasi yung 1-2-3 spots are up for grabs. So we decided not to award a general championship,” added Cayco, also president of the Larong Volleyball sa Pilipinas Inc (LVPI). “So everything is now on Father Vic’s lap.” Calvo said it hasn’t been discussed yet within the ManCom whether a general championship will be given in the coming shortened season. “Hindi pa siya na-discuss. We’ll cross the bridge when we get there,” added the long-time Letran athletic director. “Premature pa as of now.” Besides, more events could be added to Season 96 calendar once the health situation starts to get better in the coming months. “Depende sa sitwasyon, eh. We don’t know what will happen between now and March 2021,” said Calvo......»»

Category: sportsSource: abscbn abscbnJun 23rd, 2020

NCAA open to adding more sports for Season 96

The NCAA is considering to add more sports aside from the four mandatory events for Season 96. Sports that require minimal player-to-player contact could be included in the sports calendar of the shortened season set to tentatively open March 2021 according to Management Committee (ManCom) chairman Fr. Vic Calvo, OP of host Letran. The oldest collegiate league in the country earlier announced that only the four mandatory sports basketball, volleyball, swimming and track and field will be played in the coming season. However, Calvo mentioned the depending on the situation of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, other sports might be added. “Hindi naman tayo talaga naka-fix but we are fluid. We are on observing kung ano yung situation and we will fit in that situation para matuloy ‘yung NCAA,” said the ManCom chairman on Tuesday on the online session of the Philippine Sportswriters Association Forum. Sports like tennis, chess, badminton, table tennis, and e-sports might be included. “Actually, marami pa sa mga schools ang nag-maintain ng other events. Kaya for example yung basic rule na kapag sa isang tournament like lawn tennis, medyo individual sport yan except sa doubles. Kapag merong apat na schools (na may team) they can organize, look for the budget, sponsorship,” said Calvo. The Letran official specifically mentioned the possible consideration of online chess and esports, both of which have come in handy during this time of pandemic. He said Mobile Legends is one of the online sports being deliberated by the collegiate league, citing how the country even won a gold medal in the event when e-sports made its debut in the last Southeast Asian Games. “Sa SEA Games ginawa na natin ito. Nag-champion naman tayo, so why not do this especially in this time of the pandemic,” stressed Calvo in the session presented by San Miguel Corporation, Go For Gold, Amelie Hotel Manila, Braska Restaurant, and the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR), and powered by Smart. As for the other sports, Calvo said it can be held by staging lesser events like doing away with the relays in swimming and track and field, or not having doubles in both lawn tennis and badminton. Track and field and tennis were among the sports affected when the NCAA decided to totally cancel the second semester events of Season 95 following the outbreak of the coronavirus. “Naka-apekto yun (COVID-19) sa Season 95 because we’re not able to finish its calendar. At may ilang events that were scheduled to be held like beach volleyball track and field, cheerleading, while indoor volleyball and lawn tennis were not able to complete their tournaments,” said Cayco. With the failure to stage other sporting events, the NCAA also decided not to hand out a general championship since schools within the top three of the standings are all closely clustered together at the top. “Kasi yung 1-2-3 spots are up for grabs. So we decided not to award a general championship,” added Cayco, also president of the Larong Volleyball sa Pilipinas Inc (LVPI). “So everything is now on Father Vic’s lap.” Calvo said it hasn’t been discussed yet within the ManCom whether a general championship will be given in the coming shortened season. “Hindi pa siya na-discuss. We’ll cross the bridge when we get there,” added the long-time Letran athletic director. “Premature pa as of now.” Besides, more events could be added to Season 96 calendar once the health situation starts to get better in the coming months. “Depende sa sitwasyon, eh. We don’t know what will happen between now and March 2021,” said Calvo......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJun 23rd, 2020

PetroGazz seeks to surpass Creamline in an all-local battle

Creamline remains the standard when it comes to strength of its local lineup in the Premier Volleyball League. The Cool Smashers have the deepest bench as the two-time Open Conference champions parade a star-studded roster led by elite hitters Alyssa Valdez, Jema Galanza, Michele Gumabao, Risa Sato and top setter Jia Morado. That’s the reason why PetroGazz, which built an exciting rivalry against Creamline last year, is keen on shoring up its team composition for PVL Season 4. “’Yung level ng Creamline kapag all-Filipino mas mataas talaga sa amin,” admitted Angels coach Arnold Laniog in an interview with ABS-CBN Sports. PetroGazz pulled off an upset over Creamline in last year’s Reinforced Conference Finals with the help of prized imports Cuban Wilma Salas and American Janisa Johnson. The two teams met again in the Open Conference championship, but the firepower of the Cool Smashers’ local arsenal proved too much for the Angels, who were swept in the Finals series. Creamline completed a rare 20-game tournament sweep last year. “We need to work hard para maka-recruit ng players at possible talents na magpi-fit din mismo sa system namin,” Laniog said.   The Angels made their move early this year when they signed three-time NCAA Most Valuable Player Grethcel Soltones, Jerrili Malabanan and setter Ivy Perez. Their arrival proved to be timely after skipper Paneng Mercado-de Koenigswater took a leave of absence because of her pregnancy and starting setter Djanel Cheng departed. The trio according to Laniog fits perfectly with their system has shown good chemistry with holdovers Jeanette Panaga, Cherry Nunag, Jonah Sabete, Jovyu Prado, Cai Baloaloa, Jessey De Leon, Chie Saet and liberos Cienne Cruz and Rica Enclona. Unfortunately, their preparation was halted because of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Still, Laniog is confident that once the government gives the green light for volleyball activities to resume PetroGazz will be ready to take on the powerhouse Cool Smashers in an all-Filipino setting.    “Sabi ko nga in the future di malayo na kaya naming malagpasan ang challenge ng locals ng Creamline,” he said.     --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJul 15th, 2020

PetroGazz not slowing down amid pandemic

PetroGazz head coach Arnold Laniog remains confident with the competitiveness of the Angels despite losing a couple of key players this year and the long layoff brought by the health crisis. Veteran hitter Paneng Mercado-de Koenigswater took a leave of absence due to pregnancy while PetroGazz parted ways with its starting setter Djanel Cheng following a successful campaign in the Premier Volleyball League Season 3 last year. The Angels filled the missing pieces in their lineup by signing prized hitters Gretchel Soltones and Jerrili Malabanan while tapping Ivy Perez to replace Cheng. Laniog, who steered PetroGazz to a breakthrough PVL Reinforced Conference title exactly a year ago, told ABS-CBN Sports that the new recruits were already building chemistry with the holdovers before their preparation for the season was halted due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.     “Bago mag-pandemic, nabi-build naman namin ‘yung relationship nu’ng tatlong bago sa old players,” said Laniog. “’Yun naman ang gusto namin na ma-develop ‘yung relationship ng new players, para pagdating sa game o kahit sa ensayo walang ilangan ba. Para malabas natin sa kanila ang potential nila para sa team.” Soltones, a former three-time NCAA Most Valuable Player, and Malabanan transferred to PetroGazz after their contracts with PLDT in the Philippine Superliga expired. The duo will make their return to the PVL since helping BaliPure win the 2017 Open Conference title and then PayMaya to a runner-up finish in the 2018 Reinforced Conference. The addition of the two hitters according to Laniog will give more depth to PetroGazz’s local roster especially with the PVL looking to hold the Open Conference this year once the government gives the green light for volleyball activities to resume.      “Very big addition talaga sila. Nakita namin ang potential ng dalawa, malaking bagay para sa rotation ng team. Naging mas malalim ngayon kahit sa all-Filipino,” Laniog said. The mentor also pointed out that his holdovers are ready to fill in the shoes left by Mercado-de Koenigswater at the wing spot.   “Kasi ang mga players naman namin tini-train namin as universal,” said Laniog. “So ‘yung opposite pwedeng maging open. Nandyan naman si Cai Baloaloa, si Jonah Sabete na pwedeng maglaro sa opposite side and also Malabanan.” Despite the ban on team training under the community quarantine, PetroGazz keeps a strict tab on its players. Making sure that they remain in tip-top shape through home workout activities and virtual team building sessions.     “Di pa rin namin tinatanggal ang condition ng katawan na nandoon pa rin sa fit level,” said Laniog. “Para anytime na i-allow na ng government na bumalik sa training ay ready sila.”   --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJul 14th, 2020

NCAA to open next year with 4 mandatory sports

The NCAA announced it will open Season 96 early next year with only four mandatory sports to be played — basketball, volleyball, track and field, and swimming.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  philstarRelated NewsJun 11th, 2020

Fan experience to change profoundly amid COVID-19 pandemic

By DAVE SKRETTA AP Sports Writer KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Dayton Moore remembers so clearly the vast sections of empty seats inside Kauffman Stadium when he took over as general manager of the Kansas City Royals, and he remembers just as vividly — nearly a decade later — how those seats filled and fans roared as the long-suffering club won the World Series. Those dueling memories make the thought of playing games in empty stadiums hard for Moore to fathom. “I know how much strength all players draw from the fans and environment,” he said, when asked about plans to play a shortened season without crowds, “and you need that support to get through an entire Major League Baseball schedule.” As lockdowns are lifted and restrictions eased, sports are finally starting to emerge in the coronavirus pandemic. But in virtually every situation, fans are not yet being allowed to attend and the only consensus for now is that there could be a long period of empty or nearly empty seating. Some U.S. universities are modeling for 25% capacity for the upcoming football season or maybe half-full arenas for the ensuing basketball season. “I think for most sports, a reduced crowd wouldn't negatively impact the overall experience, especially in a situation like baseball or even the NFL,” said Katy Lucy, a digital marketing agent from Atlanta whose fandom is split between all things Georgia Bulldogs and the Washington Capitals. “But it would be different for sure for those who attend in person." Count her family among those who would pause before heading to the ballpark. “For me personally, I’m not sure I would feel comfortable attending a live sporting event until there is a known treatment or widely available vaccine,” Lucy said. “I trust the institutions to put the proper measures in place; however, making sure that they are enforced is another matter.” Many college and pro sports teams already were dealing with declining ticket sales. Watching at home or streaming games are factors, as is the changing social makeup of fan bases. Dynamic pricing, increases in parking and concession prices, and a push toward luxury seating have exacerbated the problem. Major League Baseball attendance has declined six of the past seven seasons. In college football, 13 of the 130 schools that played in the Football Bowl Subdivision reported average crowd sizes of 50% or less last season. Even the NFL has seen an increase in empty seats despite its generally rock-solid popularity. So as coronavirus concerns linger, how are teams going to lure fans back when stadiums do reopen? Loyalty and engagement apps, widespread around the major leagues and colleges even before the pandemic, will become even more common and interactive as teams try to recapture lost revenue. There also will be more behind-the-scenes content and enhancements available via smartphones that will only be available to those in the stadium or arena, offering fans something unique over fans watching at home. “Fans want that experience to be top-notch, period. That's why teams are thinking about this,” said Britton Stackhouse Miller, senior vice president at Fortress U.S., a developer of engagement and integration systems with clients in European soccer, baseball, the NBA, NFL and NHL. Temperature checks, hand sanitizer distribution stations and touchless vending will become the norm for a while. Even concessions will change, though one big difference — gulp — could lead to a lot of grumbling. “If you don't sell beer the number of visits to the bathroom drops dramatically,” said Marc Ganis, the director of sports consulting firm Sportscorp. “So for a time we may have to think about not selling beer.” It won't just be the vast oceans of bench seats left open, either. Many experts believe those hardy fans will be the first to return. It's the corporate suites from which many colleges and pro franchises derive so much of their gameday revenue that may end up being empty until long after games have resumed. Economic woes may last for some time. For fans who stay home, leagues are looking for ways to keep them engaged, too. When Germany's top soccer league returned without fans, broadcaster Sky knew it had a problem with silence coming through the TV. Engineers created “carpet audio” from previous games between the same teams, then teased out roars for specific events such as goals and red cards, giving those watching at home the option of a more realistic experience. “This was the only idea that we thought could be most respectful to the fans,” said Alessandro Reitano, vice president of sports production for Sky Deutschland. “To be honest, it's a major success.” Old crowd noise is a bit like an old game, though. It lacks a certain authenticity. So along came ChampTrack, which created an app that utilizes the microphones of fans. It captures their every roar and groan and sends the audio to its server, which then aggregates the noise into a single stream. That stream is then returned to the viewer using proprietary algorithms to provide the broadcast with real-time sound, which is then immediately erased to ensure personal privacy. “Once they press play on our web app, they can hear what everyone else is cheering about and their own cheer,” said ChampTrack chief executive Elias Anderson, adding the system could soon handle as many as 150,000 fans for each game. Sound is one element of the fan experience. Optics is another. “When it was clear there would be no audience this season, the fans had the idea of bringing their images to the stadium,” said Lubbo Popken, deputy press secretary for German soccer club Borussia Monchengladbach, which affixed fan likenesses to their seats. “We were surprised how many people wanted to be part of this idea and have their images in the stadium. It really changed the atmosphere in the empty stadium.” Of course, none of that is the same as having real fans creating real noise......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJun 8th, 2020

SUPER SHOWDOWN: Ayo s Mayhem Letran vs Tan s Big, Bad Letran

In the last decade, only one school has stood between San Beda University and its complete and utter dominance of NCAA Men's Basketball. That school? The Red Lions' archrival Colegio de San Juan de Letran. In 2015, the Knights came from out of nowhere to put a stop to San Beda's search for a sixth straight title. Four years later, the Red Lions were going for a fourth consecutive championship and, more impressively, a season sweep only to be resoundingly rejected, yet again, by their archrivals. And so, Mendiola is home to 80 percent of total trophies since 2010. The other 20 percent, though? They are proudly presented in Intramuros. Come to think about it, though, which triumph over its fierce foe was sweeter for Letran? Here in ABS-CBN Sports Super Showdown, that is what we aim to answer. To determine who comes out on top between the blue and red's proud champions, we will be judging them in five categories (frontcourt, backcourt, coaching, level of competition, and shock factor) with a boxing-style 10-point must system determining the decision. FRONTCOURT The trademark of Aldin Ayo's very first championship team was that of playing much bigger than its expectations, its own size, and its, more often than not, bigger opponents. Ayo's nominal center was 6-foot-5 Jom Sollano while his regular 4-man was 6-foot-4 Kevin Racal. Off the bench, his first quote-unquote big was 6-foot-3 Felix Apreku. Still, those three played their roles to a tee and, along with the rest of the team, assembled a well-oiled machine that made the most of its speed advantage. Fast forward four years and "undersized" could no longer be used to describe Letran. In 6-7 Christian Balagasay, 6-6 Jeo Ambohot, 6-6 Pao Javillonar, 6-5 Larry Muyang, 6-4 Ato Ular, and 6-4 Mark Sangalang, Bonnie Tan finally had big, bad weapons in his arsenal. And for sure, those big, bad weapons flipped what was once a chink in the armor of the Knights into a super strength. And for sure, this department would be dominated by that rotation of ready and raring big men. Advantage 2019 Letran, 10-8 BACKCOURT The two teams' Finals MVP both come from the backcourt. Mark Cruz, like he has always done, came up big for Letran and averaged 17.3 points, 6.3 rebounds, 4.3 assists, and 3.0 steals Fran Yu, meanwhile, used the big stage and bright lights to break out to the tune of norms of 13.7 points, 6.0 assists, 3.3 rebounds, and 2.0 steals. In those two, the Knights had capable and confident counters to San Beda's own primetime playmakers in Baser Amer and Evan Nelle. The edge here, however, would have to go to Cruz whose signature play in the winner-take-all Game 3 was not a shot. Rather, it was a setup - after driving through the lane and drawing defenders with under a minute left, he found Sollano open at the baseline. Sollano only made good on the assist and his shot proved to be the go-ahead basket for the title. Add Rey Nambatac's offense and Mcjour Luib's defense here and Ayo's Letran just had a more well-rounded backcourt compared to Tan's which also included Jerrick Balanza and Bonbon Batiller. Advantage 2015 Letran, 10-9 COACHING Ayo is one of the best collegiate coaches in all of the Philippines. He has seen Tab Baldwin win the last three titles in the UAAP, but it still wasn't that long ago when he won back-to-back championships with different teams and in different leagues. Time and time again, the youthful mentor has proven to get the most out of his players - from the Cruz-Nambatac-Racal triumvirate in Letran to Ben Mbala-Jeron Teng De La Salle University and now, University of Sto. Tomas with Soulemane Chabi Yo, Rhenz Abando, CJ Cansino, and Mark Nonoy. What he doesn't have, however, are the so-called "super friends" of Tan. Through the NCAA 95 Finals, NorthPort head coach Pido Jarencio and assistant Jeff Napa were sharing their mind with the Knights themselves during timeouts. They were informal additions to regular assistants Rensy Bajar, Lou Gatumbato, Raymond Tiongco, and Ginebra point guard LA Tenorio. Even more were behind the bench in Letran special assistant to the rector for sports development and San Miguel Corporation sports director Alfrancis Chua, NorthPort team manager Erick Arejola, Columbian governor Bobby Rosales and head coach Johnedel Cardel, and Magnolia governor Rene Pardo. Asked about all those behind his back, Tan answered then, "In business, you need partners to be successful and in sports naman, we need friends lalo na yung mga may alam kung paano manalo. Friends ko yan lahat so welcome sila - brainstorm and synergy kami." Still, it's already a given by this point that competition only fuels the already burning fire inside Ayo. With that, there is just no doubt that he would only push himself harder and farther in the face of Tan and his so-called "super friends." And the one-time NCAA and one-time UAAP champion coach much more motivated than ever is nothing but a scary thought. Advantage 2015 Letran, 10-9 LEVEL OF COMPETITION NCAA 91 was the year of "Kagulo sa NCAA." Then, six squads out of 10 had a legitimate claim to a playoff berth. So competitive was the field that Jiovani Jalalon and Kent Salado's Arellano University as well as a University of Perpetual Help side that had Scottie Thompson, Prince Eze, and Bright Akhuetie fell short of the Final Four. Illustrating the competition even further, the season's Finalists only had one member of the Mythical Team between them - San Beda's Art Dela Cruz. On the other hand, NCAA 95's playoff cast was completed a week before the end of the elimination round. Yes, there was a Red Lion team that automatically advanced to the Finals and had three out of five Mythical selections. Still, that tournament's fourth-seed was San Sebastian College-Recoletos who had an 11-7 standing. Comparing that to NCAA 91's fourth-seed in Mapua University who sported a 12-6 slate and the 2019 Golden Stags wouldn't even make the 2015 playoffs. Advantage 2015 Letran, 10-9 SHOCK FACTOR It was a shock to see Letran upset San Beda in Game 1 of the NCAA 95 Finals after the latter won each and every game in the elimination round, It was even more of a shock to see the Knights actually topple the dynastic and season sweep-seeking Red Lions. Still, there was always an outside shot of that happening. "Letran is one of three shoo-ins for the Final Four – as well as a strong contender to wage war in the Finals and even possibly, hoist the trophy," ABS-CBN Sports stated in its preseason preview for the blue and red then. "This fully loaded lineup has the makings of a dynasty-ender – what’s only up in the air is if it would be motivated enough to do just that." On the other hand, nobody, nobody at all aside from Ayo had Letran contending in NCAA 91 - much more, winning it all. As ABS-CBN Sports stated in its preseason preview then, "It remains to be seen if the Knights' fortified defense and added offensive firepower can overcome their lack of size especially against the Final Four teams, all of whom have only gotten bigger." Even when the Knights finally charged to the championship round, not that many gave them a chance. In fact, all that doubt became tattooed on the mind of Ayo whose first words in the post-game conference when they finally claimed the crown was, "Joey, follow your heart!" The fiery mentor was referring to the Philippine Star's Joey Villar who said in the leadup to the Finals that his heart wants to root for Letran, but his mind knows San Beda would win. He wasn't alone. Even Ayo had to admit that his players themselves didn't believe until the season was already underway. "Sa totoo lang, nung team-building namin nung preseason, nung tinanong ko kung naniniwala ba silang magcha-champion tayo, they laughed. Nung natalo lang namin yung JRU nung (second game of the season), dun lang sila naniwala.," he said then. Advantage 2015 Letran, 10-9 FINAL SCORE: 48-46 for 2015 Letran.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsApr 21st, 2020

NCAA Season 95: San Beda outlasts JRU in debut

Cesca Racraquin and Nieza Viray rallied San Beda University to a hard-fought 25-17, 22-25, 25-27, 25-14, 15-6, escape over Jose Rizal University to open their campaign in the NCAA Season 95 women’s volleyball competition on a high note on Saturday at the FilOil Flying V Centre in San Juan. The veteran duo came through with clutch plays in the fourth and fifth sets as the Lady Red Spikers overcame a 1-2 match deficit to turn back the gritty Lady Bombers.      “'Yun nga, JRU maganda rin talaga ginawa nila eh, habang kami may mga dapat ayusin,” said coach Nemesio Gavino, who is looking to steer San Beda back in the Finals following a runner-up finish two years ago. The Lady Red Spikers bounced back mightily in the fourth set after yielding the extended third frame before pulling away midway in the deciding frame.    “Sa paningin ng tao maganda 'yung laban pero para sa amin hindi,” said Gavino. “Pero nagpapasalamat ako kasi mga bata, hindi nagpapatalo 'yang mga 'yan. 'Yung experience talaga nandoon, nakita ko sa game.” Fourth year hitter Racraquin tallied 24 points off 20 attacks, three aces and a kill block while adding 22 digs for an all-around performance for the Mendiola-based squad. Viray finished with 21 points with all but one coming off spikes while Kimberly Manzano and Trisha Paras contributed 15 and 11 markers, respectively, for the Lady Red Spikers, who pounded 66 kills. Lynne Matias had 21 excellent sets for San Beda. The Lady Red Spikers broke away from a 4-3 lead in the fifth with five straight points for a 6-3 advantage. Racraquin made it a seven-point lead, 12-5, on an off the block hit before San Beda finished off the Lady Bombers with a 3-1 spurt capped by Manzano’s quick attack. JRU failed to capitalize on its opening day win over San Sebastian College to fall to a 1-1 slate. Dolly Verzosa led the Lady Bombers to 16 points while Mary Ruiz got 14.     ---     Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 18th, 2020

20 for 20: Pinoy Sports Personalities to Watch in 2020

As we enter a new decade, ABS-CBN Sports takes a look at 20 Pinoy sports personalities destined to shine in 2020.    Kiefer Ravena After an 18-month wait, Kiefer Ravena is finally back in basketball. Despite only playing in the PBA’s third conference, his impact was immediate, leading NLEX to the number 1 seed in the Governors’ Cup. The Road Warriors didn’t advance sure, but if Kiefer can impact a team that way in limited time, wait until you see what he can do with a full offseason.   Alex Eala At just 14 years old, Filipina tennister Alex Eala is already turning heads, and she’s yet to turn pro. With a runner-up finish at the ITF Mayor’s Cup in Osaka, Japan and her first ITF Juniors title in Cape Town, South Africa, Alex has had quite the fruitful year, leading to a career-best 11th-place ranking in the ITF Juniors table to finish the year.  Heading into 2020, Eala now has her sights set on turning pro as she plans to join more professional tournaments to raise her ranking even more. Expect the young tennis star to make even more headlines in the coming year.     Bryan Bagunas A vital cog in the national team’s silver medal finish in the 30th Southeast Asian Games, Bagunas is considered as one of the best Filipino volleyball players in this generation. Eyes will be on his blossoming international career playing as an import in the Japan V. Premier League.         Margielyn Didal While already a household name in Philippine skateboarding due to her success in the 2018 Asian Games in Jakarta, Margielyn Didal made even more waves in 2019. The 20-year old Cebuana reached the semifinals of the 2019 SLS World Championships in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil and captured gold in the 2019 National Championships and the 2019 Southeast Asian Games.  Didal is currently looking to qualify for the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo, and if she can do so, it’s highly likely that the Pinay skater can become an even bigger star in the industry.    Marck Espejo After his spectacular collegiate career with the Ateneo Blue Eagles, Marck Espejo's colorful career as part of the men's national volleyball team and in the club league continues to blossom. Just like Bryan Bagunas, Espejo will be showing his skills internationally with a stint in Thailand following a historic silver medal finish at the 30th SEA Games.   Yuka Saso After a decorated amateur career that saw her  participate in major tournaments such as the Ladies’ European Tour, the Summer Youth Olympics and claim top honors in the 2018 Asian Games, 2018 and 2019 Philippine Ladies Open, and the 2019 Girls’ Junior PGA Championship, 18-year old Pinay golfer Yuka Saso finally made the jump to pro in November of 2019.  With even more competitions in store plus a 2020 Tokyo Olympics berth in her crosshairs, it’s quite likely that we hear more about Saso in the coming months.  Carlos Yulo Perhaps no other young athlete in the Philippines shot to stardom faster than gymnastics phenomenon Carlos Edriel Yulo. After a gold medal finish in the floor exercise at the 2019 World Championships in Stuttgart, Yulo hauled in even more hardware in the 2019 Southeast Asian Games, taking home two more gold medals and five silvers.  Yulo’s spectacular 2019 earned him a spot in the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo, and if his SEA Games and World Championships performances are any indication, Caloy is bound for another podium finish on the biggest stage there is.   Eya Laure Last UAAP season’s rookie of the year will return as the heir apparent of Season 81 MVP Sisi Rondina. With her national team stint, all eyes will be on the younger Laure as she reunites with older sister EJ as they try to bring University of Sto. Tomas back in the Finals after falling short last year. Hidilyn Diaz 2019 was another big year for Olympic silver medalist weightlifter Hidilyn Diaz, highlighted by her first ever gold medal in the 2019 Southeast Asian Games. Diaz also finished with silver medals in the 2019 Asian Championships and a bronze in the 2019 World Championships.  All those podium finishes are crucial in Diaz’s quest for another Olympics berth in 2020. Should the 28-year lock up another spot in the Summer Games in Tokyo, we could see another Olympic medal coming home.    Kat Tolentino  After initially announcing that she would not come back for her final season in the UAAP, Kat Tolentino changed her decision and will suit up for the Ateneo Lady Eagles once last time, providing a great morale-booster in their bid for back-to-back titles. Tolentino’s leadership will be tested as she will be leading a young team.      Joshua Pacio 23-year old Joshua “The Passion” Pacio proved to be the brightest spot for Philippine MMA stable Team Lakay in 2019. After opening the year with a questionnable decision loss to Yosuke Saruta, Pacio silenced any doubts in the rematch and regained the ONE Strawweight World Championship with a highlight-reel headkick knockout. Pacio would follow that up with another masterful performance, this time with a second-round submission win over top contender Rene Catalan before the end of the year.  2020 is shaping up to become another banner year for the rising Pinoy star, as he’s scheduled for another title defense on January 31st in Manila, this time against former champ Alex Silva of Brazil. A win for Pacio will solidify his claim of being the best strawweight ever in ONE Championship history.     Louie Romero The Adamson University freshman displayed great potential during the pre-season when she piloted the Lady Falcons to title win in the PVL Season 3 Collegiate Conference. Romero is expected to be a gem of a setter for the young Adamson squad hoping make a return in the UAAP Final Four. Manny Pacquiao While eight-division world champion Manny Pacquiao is certainly in the twilight of his professional boxing career, 2019 showed that he is still one of the best around. A successful title defense over Adrien Broner followed by an impressive dismantling of the previously-undefeated Keith Thurman to capture the WBA’s primary world title proved that even at 40, Manny Pacquiao is still a big name in the sport.  With Pacquiao targeting an early return in 2020, more big names are lined up to fight “the People’s Champ”, including names like Danny Garcia, Shawn Porter, and even a title-unification bout against Errol Spence. Still, the biggest fight that is out there proves to be a rematch against Floyd Mayweather Jr, granted that “Money” finally bites.    Faith Nisperos A key addition for the repeat-seeking Ateneo de Manila University. The highly-touted rookie hitter will add height and firepower for the Lady Eagles in UAAP Season 82 women’s volleyball. In the previous PVL Collegiate Conference, Nisperos flashed her scoring prowess, exploding for 35 points in one outing.   Robert Bolick The two best rookies of 2019 were CJ Perez and Robert Bolick. We know what we can expect from CJ, but Bolick is an interesting case as 2020 will be his return from knee injury. Bolick could still win Rookie of the Year, but even if he doesn’t, his return to Northport could push the reloaded Batang Pier from a Cinderella team to full-on PBA title contender.   Joshua Retamar His playmaking skills as well as his efficiency on net defense during the national team’s silver medal finish in the 30th Southeast Asian Games makes him a setter to watch out for come UAAP. Retamar is an asset for National University’s three-peat bid.       Kai Sotto The Philippines' 7-foot-2, 17-year-old is opening eyes as he suits up for Atlanta-based The Skills Factory - so much so that he has already gotten interest from quite a few US NCAA schools. Before Sotto continues breaking the glass ceiling for Filipinos, though, he will go home for a while to wear the flag with Mighty Sports-Pilipinas in the 2020 Dubai International Basketball Tournament.   Jema Galanza Coming off a great outing to close the PVL Season 3 highlighted by copping the Open Conference MVP award, expectations are high for Jema Galanza as Creamline aims to reclaim the PVL Reinforced Conference crown and complete an Open Conference three-peat.      Kobe Paras Many questioned just what the 6-foot-6 tantalizing talent would bring to the table for UP - but more often than not, he had all the answers as he led the Fighting Maroons to their second straight Final Four. In the end, Paras was actually the steadying force State U needed in what was a hyped up season. They may not have made it back to the Finals, but they still got much more motivation as they run it back for next year.   Pat Aquino What's next for the most decorated mentor in women's basketball? Pat Aquino followed up a six-peat for National U with the Philippines' first-ever gold medal in women's basketball in the SEA Games. Without a doubt, he will only continue steering the sport forward especially as the likes of UST and FEU are already gearing up to put up greater challenges in the new year.   Isaac Go Isaac Go is technically not the no. 1 pick of the 2019 PBA Draft but he is without a doubt, the no. 1 prospect of the year. His top selection from the special Gilas Pilipinas Draft is proof of that. Gilas Pilipinas has the FIBA Asia Cup Qualifiers on deck in 2020 and as a new era dawns on the national team, all eyes will be on the biggest piece for the future that’s already drafted into the new Philippine squad......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 1st, 2020

2019 Monthly Memorable Sports Moments (Part 2)

The year 2019 was a rollercoaster ride for Filipino athletes and Pinoy sports fans. We saw the highs and the lows, basked in the glory of triumph and felt the agony of defeat. We witnessed history unfold and experienced the best and the worst of Philippine sports. Here’s a look back at the sports news that made the headlines that made the end of the decade a memorable one.   JULY Eight-division champion Manny Pacquiao defeated Keith Thurman via decision to claim the WBA (Super) Welterweight World Championship belt. Abraham ‘Bambol’ Tolentino won as Philippine Olympic Committee president in a special election after the resignation of Ricky Vargas.   AUGUST John Riel Casimero knocked out Mexican Cesar Ramirez in the tenth round to retain the Interim WBO Bantamweight World Championship belt. San Miguel Beer captured the 2019 PBA Commissioner’s Cup championship. F2 Logistics won the 2019 PSL All-Filipino Conference title.   SEPTEMBER Pole vaulter Ernest John Obiena earned a ticket to the 2020 Tokyo Olympics after clearing 5.81 meters in the Salto Con L'asta meet in Piazza Chiari, Italy. Gilas ended the horror trip to China with a 0-5 record in the 2019 FIBA World Cup. Japanese-Filipino sumo wrestler Hisashi Mitakeumi captured his second top-division title after defeating Takakeisho in a playoff to win the Autumn Grand Sumo Tournament. Pedro Taduran needed only four rounds to dispatch Samuel Salva to become the new IBF Minimumweight World Champion. Kiefer Ravena saw action in the PBA after an 18-month ban.   OCTOBER Caloy Yulo won a historic gold medal in the 49th FIG Artistic Gymnastics Championships in Stuttgart, Germany and also earned a spot in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. Nesthy Petecio won the gold medal in women’s featherweight of the 2019 AIBA Women's World Boxing Championship in Ulan-Ude, Russia. Brandon Vera fell short against Aung La N Sang in their ONE light heavyweight bout in Tokyo while Kevin Belingon was submitted by Bibiano Fernandes in their bantamweight title clash. Adamson University won the PVL Collegiate Conference title. F2 Logistics ruled the PSL Invitational Conference.   NOVEMBER Ateneo de Manila University won its third straight title in UAAP Season 82 men’s basketball via tournament sweep while National University completed a six-peat with its 96th straight win in women's basketball. Letran dethroned San Beda University in the NCAA Season 95 men’s basketball tournament. Creamline retained its PVL Season 3 Open Conference crown. Reigning IBF Super Flyweight World Champion Jerwin "Pretty Boy" Ancajas' scheduled world title defense against Mexico's Jonathan Javier Rodriguez was cancelled because the challenger’s visa issues.  Nonito Donaire Jr. lost to Japanese KO artist Naoya Inoue via unanimous decision in the finals of the World Boxing Super Series Bantamweight Tournament. Joshua Pacio retained the ONE Strawweight World Championship with a masterful submission win over fellow Filipino Rene Catalan. The Philippines began its fourth hosting of the Southeast Asian Games. Businessman, sports patron and University of the East head coach Bong Tan passed away after collapsing during a basketball game. He was 53.   DECEMBER Pinoy boxer Johnriel Casimero knocked South African Zolani Tete out in the third round to capture the WBO Bantamweight World Championship. Reigning IBF Super Flyweight World Champion Jerwin “Pretty Boy” Ancajas retained his belt after needing just six rounds to dispose of Chilean challenger Miguel Gonzales. Team Philippines won the overall championship in the SEA Games after copping 149 gold medals. Barangay Ginebra and Meralco forged a Finals encounter in the 2019 PBA Governors’ Cup.    .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsDec 30th, 2019

ABS-CBN S+A’S “THE SCORE” LOOKS BACK ON THE BEST OF 2019 IN PH SPORTS

ABS-CBN S+A wraps up a milestone year for Philippine sports with a two-part special of “The Score,” featuring champion athletes in basketball and volleyball, and medalists from the recent 30th Southeast Asian Games (SEAG). Joining veteran sports anchor Mico Halili on December 30 (Monday) to discuss the year in basketball are kings of the hardcourt Fran Yu and Jerrick Balanza from the NCAA Season 93 men’s basketball champion Letran Knights and John Wilson and Mike Ayonayon of MPBL Datu Cup champion San Juan Knights, and Southeast Asia women’s basketball queens Afril Bernardino and Janine Pontejos. Afril and Janine helped make 2019 one for the books for Philippine women’s basketball as members of the teams that clinched the gold medals in SEAG women’s basketball and women’s 3x3. Other SEAG heroes and heroines will also be part of the program as Mico shifts the discussion to Team Philippines’ 387-medal haul in the region’s biennial sporting event. To share their thoughts on the Filipinos’ historic feat are CJ Concepcion (Fencing), Carlo Peña (Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu), Kim Kilgroe (Triathlon), Jasmine Alkhaldi (Swimming), Christiana Means (Skateboarding), and Meggie Ochoa (Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu). On December 31 (Tuesday), former volleyball superstar and now multisport athlete and “Umagang Kay Ganda” anchor Gretchen Ho takes over the special to focus on the sensational year for Philippine volleyball. Premier Volleyball League (PVL) 2019 Open Conference champions Creamline Cool Smashers will be represented by national athletes Alyssa Valdez and Jia Morado with teammates Jema Galanza and Kyla Atienza, while 2019 Reinforced Conference champions Petro Gazz Angels will be represented by Cherry Nunag, Jonah Sabete, and Chie Saet. Joining them in the roundtable are UAAP Season 81 women’s volleyball champion Ateneo Lady Eagles’ setter Deanna Wong and middle blocker Maddie Madayag, who also represented the country in the SEAG. As in previous years, ABS-CBN Sports has been delivering the inspiring stories of Filipino athletes through its coverage of tournaments in various local and international leagues on multiple media platforms including S+A on TV, S+A HD, LIGA, and LIGA HD on cable, and online on iWant, sports.abs-cbn.com, and the ABS-CBN Sports social media accounts and YouTube channel. In 2020, the sports arm of the country’s leading media and entertainment conglomerate will continue to highlight the greatness and positive values of Filipino sports idols and icons. Don’t miss “The Score: Best of 2019” two-part special on December 30 and 31, 6 pm on ABS-CBN S+A and S+A HD. Watch online on iWant. For sports news, follow @ABSCBNSports on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter or visit sports.abs-cbn.com. For updates, follow @ABSCBNPR on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter or visit www.abs-cbn.com/newsroom......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsDec 30th, 2019

2019 Monthly Memorable Sports Moments (Part 1)

The year 2019 was a rollercoaster ride for Filipino athletes and Pinoy sports fans. We saw the highs and the lows, basked in the glory of triumph and felt the agony of defeat. We witnessed history unfold and experienced the best and the worst of Philippine sports. Here’s a look back at the sports news that made the headlines that made the end of the decade a memorable one.   JANUARY Eight-division champion Manny Pacquiao opened the year on a high note and retained his WBA welterweight title after a 12-round unanimous decision win over Adrien Broner. The Philippine volleyball community mourned the passing of head coach Nes Pamilar. He was 52. Joshua Pacio lost his One straw weight title belt to Japanese Yosuke Saruta via split decision while Geje Eustaquio also parted ways with his flyweight belt. The 44th season of the PBA opened.   Jett Manuel of Barangay Ginebra announced his retirement in the PBA after one season while Chris Tiu hanged his jersey after six seasons with Rain or Shine. Gilas Pilipinas began its preparation for the sixth and final qualifying window for the 2019 FIBA World Cup. The Azkals finished its historic AFC Asian Cup debut winless after bowing to South Korea, China and Kyrgyzstan.    FEBRUARY Gilas Pilipinas clinched a golden ticket to the 2019 FIBA World Cup in China after back-to-back wins to close out the qualifiers. Aston Palicte beat erstwhile unbeaten Puerto Rican Jose Martinez via TKO in their WBO Superflyweight world championship eliminator while Vic Saludar retained his WBO minimum weight world title. Arellano University completed a three-peat in the NCAA Season 94 women’s volleyball while Perpetual Help won back-to-back titles in the men’s division and five straight in the juniors play. Seventeen year-old Filipino wakeboarder Raphael Trinidad clinched a silver medal in the open category of the IWWF World Cable Wakeboard & Wakeskate Championships at Pampa Wake Park, Buenos Aires. The Philippine Sportswriters Association feted the finest Filipino athletes  for the year 2018 in its annual awards night.    MARCH Larong Volleyball sa Pilipinas announced the composition of the men’s and women’s seniors national team and women’s U-23 squad. Gilas Pilipinas landed in Group D in the FIBA World Cup with Serbia, Italy and Angola after the draw. San Beda University won its second straight NCAA Season 94 beach volleyball title while Emilio Aguinaldo College completed a men’s division repeat. Kevin Belingon lost his One bantwamweight title to Brazilian Bibiano Fernandes to disqualification from illegal blows while Eduard Folayang surrendered his lightweight belt to Shinya Aoki in a submission loss.   APRIL Hidilyn Diaz pocketed three silver medals in the Asian Weightlifting Championship. EJ Obiena ended the country’s decade-long gold medal drought in the Asian Athletics Championships after ruling the men’s pole vault in record fashion in Doha, Qatar. Nonito Donaire Jr. knocked out Stephon Young in the sixth round to retain his WBA superbantamweight belt and advance to the WBSS bantamweight tournament finals wile John Riel Casimero claimed the WBO interim bantamweight title. The San Juan Knights captured the MPBL Datu Cup in a winner-take-all Game 5 over Davao Occidental Tigers. Team Philippines recorded its best gold haul in Arafura Games in Australia. Marathon star Rafael Poliquit died of complications from subdural empyema. He was 30.   MAY Ateneo de Manila University won the UAAP Season 81 women’s volleyball title while National University bagged its second straight men’s crown. San Miguel Beer captured its fifth straight Philippine Cup championship at the expense of Magnolia. Petron defeated F2 Logistics in three games to retain its Philippine Superliga Grand Prix throne. Jerwin Ancajas scored a 7th round TKO win over Japanese Ryuichi Funai to keep his IBF super flyweight belt. The UAAP and NCAA collegiate press corps feted the best student-athletes in basketball and for the first time in women’s volleyball. Some athletes and sports personalities tried their luck in the 2019 mid-term elections.   JUNE   Philippine Olympic Committee president Ricky Vargas stepped down from his post after just 18 months in office. Cignal-Ateneo won the PBA D-League Aspirants’ Cup title.   (To be continued).....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsDec 29th, 2019

Woods comeback at Masters named AP Sports Story of the Year

By Eddie Pells, Associated Press A green jacket. A heart-melting embrace. A stirring return to the top of golf by one of the sport’s all-time greats. In choosing Tiger Woods’ victory at the Masters as The Associated Press sports story of the year, voters went with the uplifting escape of a great comeback over options that were as much about sports as the issues that enveloped them in 2019: politics, money and the growing push for equal pay and equal rights for women. The balloters, a mix of AP member sports editors and AP beat writers, elevated Woods’ rousing victory at Augusta National over the runner-up entry: the U.S. women’s soccer team’s victory at the World Cup. That monthlong competition was punctuated by star Megan Rapinoe’s push for pay equality for the women’s team and an ongoing war of words with President Donald Trump. Rapinoe’s efforts to use sports as a platform to discuss bigger issues was hardly a one-off in 2019. Of the top 12 stories in the balloting, only three — titles won by the Toronto Raptors, Washington Nationals and University of Virginia basketball team — stuck mainly to what happened between the lines. All the rest — including the blown call that cost the Saints a chance at the Super Bowl, a California law that threatens to upend the NCAA and Simone Biles’ dominance at gymnastics' world championships, set against the backdrop of the sex-abuse crisis consuming the sport in the U.S. — were long-running sagas that went beyond a single day or event. They painted sports not as an escape from the world’s problems but merely another window into them. It’s no stretch to say that the whole of the Woods saga — namely, the sordid, pain-riddled, decadelong prelude to his victory at Augusta National in April — would fit into that category, as well. His downfall began in the wee hours the day after Thanksgiving in 2009, when he ran over a fire hydrant outside his house in Florida, triggering an avalanche of stories about infidelity that would lead to the breakup of his marriage and play into the near-destruction of his career. Part 2 was the injuries. Woods came close but did not return to his dominant form after his return to golf following his breakup with his wife. And as time went on, his physical condition deteriorated. He didn’t play in 2016 or 2017, and at the end of '17, he conceded his back was so bad that his days of competitive golf might be behind him. There were four risky back surgeries. Woods also required a good deal of inner healing after a mortifying DUI arrest in 2017 that exposed his reliance on painkillers. Through it all, Woods somehow kept nurturing his love for golf. And eventually, he found his game again. He climbed his way back to the top. He had close calls at two majors in 2018 — the British Open and PGA Championship — and then won the season-ending Tour Championship, as good a sign as any that, at 43, he could take on the best and win. But regular tournaments are not the majors, and no major is the Masters. It was on those hallowed grounds at Augusta National where Woods set the marker, starting a decade of dominance that would redefine the game. He blew away the field by 12 strokes in 1997 to win the first of what has become five green jackets and 15 major titles. On that day, Woods came off the 18th green and wrapped himself in a warm embrace with his father, Earl, whose death in 2006 left an undeniable void in the player's life. Though there had been a handful of close calls between his U.S. Open victory in 2008 and the start of 2019, it was clear that if there was a single course where Woods could conjure the old magic and end a major drought, it would be Augusta National. As a four-time champion, Woods built a career on studying every inch of the layout, knowing every fault line and every sneaky twist and turn of the slickest greens on earth. But where, at one time, he might have overpowered the course and intimidated the competition, in 2019, he simply outlasted them both. He avoided mistakes while everyone else was making them. Instead of taking a lead into the last day, then never giving anyone a whiff of hope, this was a comeback. He started the day two shots behind. As AP Golf Writer Doug Ferguson wrote in his wrapup of the final day: “Woods never missed a shot that mattered over the final seven holes, taking the lead with a 5-iron to the fat of the green on the par-5 15th for a two-putt birdie, delivering the knockout with an 8-iron that rode down the ridge by the cup and settled 2 feet away for birdie on the par-3 16th.” When it was over, Woods came to the same spot where he’d met Earl 22 years before. He scooped up his son, Charlie, and held him in a long embrace, then did the same with his 11-year-old daughter, Sam, and mother, Tilda. “For them to see what it’s like to have their dad win a major championship, I hope that’s something they will never forget,” Woods said. Very few golf fans will. And in a sports year dominated by weightier topics, Woods at the Masters stood out — a comeback story that left people smiling at the end......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsDec 26th, 2019

Woods has surgery on left knee for minor cartilage damage

By Doug Ferguson, Associated Press A season that began with Tiger Woods celebrating a fifth Masters title ended with a fifth surgery on his left knee. This one wasn't serious. Woods said Tuesday on Twitter he had arthroscopic surgery last week to repair what he described as minor cartilage damage. In a statement Woods released on social media, Dr. Vern Cooley said he looked at the rest of the knee and found no additional problems. pic.twitter.com/80SQDuk4Kg — Tiger Woods (@TigerWoods) August 27, 2019 "I'm walking now and hope to resume practice in the next few weeks," Woods said, adding that he looked forward to traveling to Japan in October for a planned Skins Game exhibition and the ZoZo Championship on Oct. 24-27. Mark Steinberg, his agent at Excel Sports, described the knee as little more than "irritating." "It was bothering him, but arthroscopic these days is different than we had years and years ago," Steinberg said. "He's up and walking now. This will have no effect on the fall or winter." Woods has a light schedule the rest of the year — Japan in late October, his Hero World Challenge in the Bahamas the first week of December and then the Presidents Cup at Royal Melbourne in Australia. He is the U.S. captain and could play as a captain's pick. He won't have to make that decision until a week after the Japan event. Woods has dealt primarily with back issues the last six years. He had the first of four back surgeries in the spring of 2014, and the last one in 2017 to fuse his lower spine when it reached a point he feared he might never compete again. He returned a year later and capped off his comeback with a victory in the Tour Championship. The final piece was a major, and Woods delivered the most memorable week of the year in April at Augusta National when he won the Masters for his 15th major. But that was his lone highlight. He missed the cut in the PGA Championship and the British Open and was never a factor in the Memorial or the U.S. Open. He withdrew after the opening round of The Northern Trust to start the FedEx Cup playoffs, and he failed to reach the Tour Championship. He said about his health at the BMW Championship that "body-wise it's the same. If it's not one thing, it's another. Things just pop up." "I'm making tweaks and changes trying to play around this back and trying to be explosive and have enough rest time and training time," he said at Medinah. "That's been the biggest challenge of it all." Woods first had surgery on his left knee as a freshman at Stanford in 1994 to remove two benign tumors and scar tissue. He had arthroscopic surgery to remove fluid and cysts after the 2002 season, and another after the 2008 Masters to repair cartilage damage. Two months later, after winning the 2008 U.S. Open, he had reconstructive surgery to repair his ACL. Steinberg described this surgery as "more cleanup maintenance.".....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsAug 27th, 2019

Impact rookies allow Mapua to gun down EAC, go streaking in NCAA 95

All of a sudden, Mapua University has gone streaking in the NCAA 95 Men's Basketball Tournament, adding Emilio Aguinaldo College to its just recently created list of victims via a 76-66 victory, Tuesday at Filoil Flying V Centre. The Cardinals actually found themselves in a close contest after two quarters and were only up by one, 35-34, early in the third. It was at that point, though, that they unleashed a terrifying 21-0 tear that blew the game wide open in their favor courtesy of a 56-34 lead late in the quarter. The Generals would not be able to threaten the rest of the way. With the double-digit decision, Mapua has now won its last two games. This, after starting the season with five losses in a row. "Hopefully, makatulong itong dalawang sunod na panalo," first lieutenant Yong Garcia said post-game. "Galing kami sa 0-5, down ang mga bata, pero ang focus lang namin is one game at a time." Just like in their breakthrough win just last Saturday, Laurenz Victoria was key in this one, dropping all but three of his 10 points in their massive surge in the third quarter. He was then flanked by prized rookies Cyril Gonzales and Paolo Hernandez with the former finishing with 13 points and three rebounds and the latter ending with 11 markers, three boards, two assists, and two steals. There's bad news for the Cardinals, however, as, with the decision no longer in question, Jasper Salenga incurred a disqualifying foul. That means he will have to serve a one-game suspension in their next outing opposite Jose Rizal University on Friday. "Disappointed si coach Randy sa last part ng game," coach Yong said, also explaining that head coach Randy Alcantara decided to go directly into the locker room to talk to his wards rather than go to the customary post-win interview. " Ginusto niyang bigyan ng chance yung iba para mabigyan ng confidence, pero 'di naging maganda ang resulta." For EAC, JC Luciano topped the scoring column with 12 points to go along with seven rebounds. At the wrong end of that terrifying tear in the third quarter, however, they absorbed their sixth loss in seven games. BOX SCORES MAPUA 76 - Gonzales 13, Hernandez 11, Victoria 10, Bonifacio 8, Serrano 8, Lugo 7, Garcia 5, Gamboa 4, Salenga 4, Bunag 2, Jabel 2, Nieles 2, Aguirre 0, Dela Cruz 0, Nocum 0. EAC 66 - Luciano 12, Maguliano 10, Gonzales 9, Mendoza 7, Dayrit 6, Tampoc 6, Carlos 5, Taywan 4, Martin 3, Cadua 2, Gurtiza 2, Boffa 0, De Guzman 0, Estacio 0. QUARTER SCORES: 15-10, 35-27, 60-39, 76-66. --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsAug 13th, 2019

PVL: Jewelle Bermillo set to do double-duty to end PVL season

Rookie libero Jewelle Bermillo had quite the eventful first conference in the Premier Volleyball League.  In her maiden run with the BaliPure Purest Water Defenders in the 2019 PVL Reinforced Conference, Bermillo was on the receiving end of a hard-hitting facial courtesy of PetroGazz import Wilma Salas, and then made the news again after an incident with teammate and import Danijela Dzakovic.  As eventful as the Reinforced Conference was for Bermillo, it was largely a forgettable one as they finished last in the standings, failing to get a win in ten matches played.  It was indeed tough, but it was also a huge learning lesson for the 19-year old as she gears up for her second PVL conference.  "Yung experience ko, andami kong na-gain, naging mature ako last conference and madadala ko yun sa Open Conference," Bermillo told ABS-CBN Sports. "Sobrang nag-grow ako sa lahat ng nagyari last conference. Naging mas matured ako, naging mas matapang ako sa loob ng court ngayon." While being the youngest on the team, Bermillo is positioned as one of the Water Defenders' leaders and anchors, and the responsibility is something that she welcomes with open arms.  "Pag sinasabi ni Coach na ako yung mag-handle sa loob ng court kasi ako na yung libero, hindi ko nafi-feel na bata ako kasi may tiwala sila sa akin, na kaya ko i-handle sila sa loob ng court, lalo na sa floor defense. Hindi ko nafi-feel na bata ako sa loob ng court." An incoming sophomore for San Sebastian College-Recoletos in the NCAA, being able to compete in the PVL, alongside some of the best talents in the country is definitely a goldmine of experience for the young libero, and she is nothing short of eager to be able to bring that experience back to her collegiate team once the NCAA Women's Volleyball Tournament begins next year.  "Siguro sa akin, kay Coach Roger [Gorayeb], marami siyang ineexpect sa akin na itong experience ko dito sa BaliPure, na madadala ko sa kanila para maging leader din ako sa kanila sa team namin." Bermillo will get even more training in becoming a leader in the closing leg of the PVL season, as she shared that she will not be suiting up for the Lady Stags in the Collegiate Conference, but will instead serve as an assistant coach, alongside legendary San Sebastian mentor Roger Gorayeb.  The young libero could hardly keep her excitment as she spoke about the massive opportunity.  "Sobrang excited ko, sobrang unexpected, parang, yung dream ko agad na, eto, sa age kong ‘to na naging Assistant Coach na ako ni Coach Roger, si Coach Roger pa," Bermillo said, excitement.  Bermillo adds that rather than having her play in the Collegiate Conference as well, Gorayeb saw fit to let her focus on her experience with BaliPure as a way to grow and develop as a player.  "Sabi nga ni coach sa akin, hindi ko kailangan i-pressure ka na maglaro. Yang experience na natutunan mo sa BaliPure, ilalaan natin yan para sa NCAA." Bermillo sees the job offer, so to speak, as a sign of trust from Gorayeb's side, and it should prove to be an invaluable experience, especially for someone who still has years to go in the collegiate ranks.  "Ito, yung pagiging Assistant Coach ko sa kanila, sa mother team ko, ituturo ko lang sa kanila, iga-guide ko sila kung ano yung mga natutunan at na-experience ko last conference. Sobrang laking bagay, kasi para sa akin, malaki yung tiwala sa akin ni Coach Roger, kaya binigay niya yung ganung responsibility, parang sa kanya, alam niya na kaya ko na agad yung ganung responsibility, kaya sobrang thankful ako na nagkaroon siya ng tiwala na ibigay sa akin yung position na maging Assistant Coach itong collegiate conference." she added.  Bermillo admits that she did try to convince Coach Roger to let her suit up for San Sebastian as well, but with the Collegiate Conference and the Open Conference set to overlap, the schedule would be a problem and it would put too much on the young libero's shoulders.  "Sobrang pinilit ko talaga si Coach na mag-laro ako, pero sabi niya mahihirapan daw ako kasi nga sabay po yung games namin ng BaliPure tapos may sched pa po na parehas may game yung collegiate tapos kami, kaya naisipan na lang niya na gawin akong Assistant Coach para mapag-sabihan ko rin yung mga bata. May mga mas bata pa sa akin na maglalaro sa akin, mga first year, sabi niya ikaw na mag-guide sa kanila," she explained. .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsAug 8th, 2019

NEW TEAMS ADD FIRE TO 2019 PVL OPEN CONFERENCE ON ABS-CBN S+A, iWANT

  The Premier Volleyball League (PVL) Season 3 Open Conference fires away this Sunday (August 11) LIVE from the FilOil Flying V Center in San Juan City on S+A, LIGA, and iWant featuring new teams raring to snatch the crown from defending champions Creamline Cool Smashers. From six teams last conference, PVL will feature nine star-studded and talented squads in this tournament including the returning Philippine Air Force Lady Jet Spikers led by multi-awarded setter Wendy Semana and outside hitter May Ann Pantino. NCAA Season 94 Women’s Volleyball champions, the San Beda Lady Red Spikers and their star hitters the Viray twins, Nieza and Ella, will banner the Chef’s Classic Lady Red Spikers. While the Choco Mucho Flying Titans will be led by the triple towers of Kat Tolentino, Maddie Maddayag, and Bea De Leon, who are fresh from a title run in UAAP Season 81 with the Ateneo Lady Eagles. The 2019 PVL Open Conference will also mark the much-anticipated comeback of legendary DLSU Lady Spiker Manilla Santos-Ng, who will suit up with the Titans. Volleyball fans can expect an all-out battle right away in the opening day with a double header at 2 pm between the Lady Jet Spikers and the Cool Smashers of Alyssa Valdez and Jia Morado, who are more than eager to defend their Open Conference title after losing to the PetroGazz Angels last conference. Meanwhile, the Angels led by Paneng Mercado and breakout star Jonah Sabete are out to prove they are still a powerhouse even without their reinforcements as they take on the gutsy BanKo Perlas Spikers of Nicole Tiamzon and Dzi Gervacio at 4 pm. Don’t miss the opening of the 2019 PVL Open Conference this Sunday (August 11) LIVE on S+A and LIGA, on high definition on S+A HD and LIGA HD, online on iWant, sports.abs-cbn.com, and TFC.tv. For more stories and news on the PVL, follow @ABSCBNSports on Twitter and Facebook or visit sports.abs-cbn.com. For updates, follow @ABSCBNPR on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram or visit www.abscbnpr.com......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsAug 8th, 2019

PVL: Lady Troopers equalize

PacificTown Army beat BanKo, 25-23, 20-25, 25-20, 25-23, in Game 2 of the Premier Volleyball League Season 3 Reinforced Conference battle for third on Saturday at the FilOil Flying V Centre in San Juan. The Lady Troopers equalized in the best-of-three series and put themselves in a good position to snatch the bronze depending on the outcome of the championship series between Creamline and PetroGazz. BanKo played catch early in the fourth set and knotted it at 20. Ging Balse Pabayo capped a two-point swing for Army before the Perlas Spikers tied it again at 22.  Ukrainian Lena Lymareva-Flink put the Lady Troopers back on top with an off the block kill before BanKo setter Jem Ferrer was whistled for a setting error that put Army at match point, 24-22. The Perlas Spikers saved a match point before Lymareva-Flink sealed the win with a hammer that penetrated the two-woman wall of BanKo.     Royse Tubino finished with 23 points including 20 off attacks while Lymareva-Flink scored all but one of her 21 markers from kills while adding 13 excellent sets for the Lady Troopers. American Jenelle Jordan had 17 points while Best Libero winner Angela Nunag posted 18 digs for PacificTown Army.  "Definitely, masaya dahil nanalo, pero hindi mo inaasahan na yung laban ang taas ng level. Both teams panalo sa laro na ‘to kasi nagi-exceed na sa expectation yung level ng competitiveness as a whole tapos makikita mo ang team mo kasama doon sa level ng pag-angat," said Lady Troopers coach Kungfu Reyes.  PacificTown Army can bag the bronze medal if Creamline wins over PetroGazz in Game 2 of the Finals because of a higher tiebreak using the FIVB rule. The championship match is ongoing as of press time.    Game 3, if necessary, in on Sunday at the Ynares Sports Center in Antipolo. The Perlas Spikers showed grit in a thrilling 25-27, 10-25, 27-25, 26-24, 16-14, come-from-behind win in Game 1 on Wednesday. Thai Sutadta Chuewulim finished with 14 points with 10 digs and 13 excellent receptions while 1st Best Middle Spiker Kathy Bersola had 13 markers with five coming off kill blocks BanKo. Best Opposite Spiker Dzi Gervacio and 1st Best Open Hitter fired 12 points each in a lost cause.      --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJul 13th, 2019

NCAA 95: Letran s Santiago wants to make a name for himself in basketball

National University almost had a brand new Santiago donning the blue and gold. Only, it wasn't in volleyball, but in basketball. And only, it wasn't meant to be. Lenard Santiago, the younger brother of volleyball towers Dindin and Jaja, is now playing for Colegio de San Juan de Letran - playing basketball, that is. "Galing akong Nueva Ecija then nung namatay yung father namin, kinuha ako ng mga ate ko and napunta ako sa Manila," he shared after the Squires season-opener last Monday. "Una akong nag-try sa NU, pero 'di ako nakuha kaya dinala nila ako sa Letran." Santiago worked on his game with the Intramuros-based squad's Team B for one year before making his big league debut last year in the NCAA. Now, he is playing out his last year in the Juniors. Of course, the 18-year-old shared that often, he gets asked why he's playing on the hardwood instead of the taraflex. "Kung tinatanong ako ng mga ate ko or ng ibang tao ba't ako nag-basketball, dun kasi ako lumaki sa probinsya at basketball ang naging laro ko," he said. That doesn't mean, however, that he does not play the sport his sisters made a name for themselves in. "Naglalaro rin po ako ng volleyball. Actually, kinuha nga rin po ako ng coach ng Letran so dual events po ako (sa NCAA 95)," he said. He then continued, "Second choice ko pa rin naman yung volleyball. Kung 'di po ako mag-succeed sa basketball, e 'di mag-volleyball po ako." Without a doubt, getting to play two sports does nothing but make Santiago a more complete athlete. "Sa basketball, nakakatulong yung volleyball kasi napapalakas yung legs ko at nagiging matalas ang utak ko sa pagbabasa ng tao," he shared. He then continued, "Sa volleyball naman, nakakatulong ang basketball sa bilis at kung paano magbasa ng blockings." At the same time, though, the 6-foot forward in basketball and open spiker in volleyball feels the heavier weight of the last name he carries on his back. "Minsan, may pressure po talaga dahil yung mga ate ko, may malaking pangalan sa volleyball," he said. Fortunately for him, his sisters are nothing but supportive of him. "Lagi nilang sinasabi sa akin, dapat daw mas nagfo-focus nga ako sa basketball kung yun ang gusto ko," he said. He then continued, "Pero okay lang din naman kasi may naitutulong sa akin ang volleyball at kaya ko namang i-balance." In Lenard, the Santiagos have a new tower rising in a different sport and a different school. And in the same way that Dindin and Jaja remain fixtures in the higher levels of volleyball, their younger brother hopes to do the same in basketball. "Basketball po ang unang choice ko laruin and gusto ko makapunta sa PBA in the future. Sana po," he said. --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJul 11th, 2019

UP, UE share 2019 s king of recruiting crown

Who was our King of Recruiting in 2018? Find out here. --- Last season, the University of the Philippines, at long last, broke through in the UAAP. Behind the leadership of Paul Desiderio and key contributions from Season MVP Bright Akhuetie and Mythical selection Juan Gomez de Liano, the Fighting Maroons made their first Final Four since 1997 and first Finals in 32 years. Now, even without the iconic Desiderio, State U is nothing but confident it could build on its breakthrough. The reason? Well, because two of the brightest young stars in Kobe Paras and Ricci Rivero are now orbiting Diliman. Paras has all the physical tools to take any league by storm and now in maroon and green, he is out to continue the legacy of his father Benjie who delivered the school’s first and only championship. Meanwhile, the Euro-stepping Rivero already knows a thing or two about taking the UAAP by storm, having been chosen for the Mythical Team when he was still playing for De La Salle University in 2017. Add big man J-Boy Gob, another transferee, to that and, indeed, UP is only equipped to keep contending. On the strength of the transfers of Paras and Rivero alone, the Fighting Maroons would have been worthy of the title of 2019 King of Recruiting. Right up there with them, though, in terms of getting a big boost in the offseason is University of the East. Absent from the Final Four in the last decade, the Red Warriors will be heading into the upcoming season with a fully stocked arsenal. Now up front for them – alongside stalwart Philip Manalang, of course – will be 6-foot-9 Senegalese Adama Diakhite, three-time champion and two-time MVP in the CESAFI Rey Suerte, and college-ready Harvey Pagsanjan, the no. 7 high school player in the 2019 NBTC 24. Diakhite is a hulking presence who will prove to be a tough matchup even for the likes of reigning MVP Akhuetie and last year’s Rookie of the year Ange Kouame. Suerte, a gifted scorer from anywhere on the court, fills right into the hole left behind by scoring dynamo Alvin Pasaol while Pagsanjan can continue making all the right plays he had been doing as the longtime beacon of hope for Hope Christian High School. Also flanking them are former Ateneo de Manila University forward John Apacible, defensive stopper Neil Tolentino, Filipino-Kiwi swingman Richie Rodger, and Filipino-Australian point guard Jasper Rentoy. And with that, UP and UE will have joint custody of the crown of the 2019 King of Recruiting. They dethrone National University which claimed the crown a year ago behind a big-time recruiting class that included Ildefonso brothers Dave and Shaun, John Lloyd Clemente, and John Galinato. Just like last year, there remains no doubt that the new Fighting Maroons and Red Warriors will make their respective sides forces to reckon with come UAAP 82. Still, several squads also made it a point to be better in the offseason. In fact, the graduating players in the 2019 NBTC 24 have been spread out among eight different teams. From the 2019 NBTC 24, the annual ranking of the best high school players in the country, 14 are moving on up to the Seniors. Adamson University is the biggest winner in terms of recruits from that ranking, with three of the top 15 players now in San Marcelino. Ninth-ranked Aaron Fermin is a double-double machine in the NCAA Jrs. and is nothing but determined to realize his potential as a two-way force under multi-titled mentor Franz Pumaren. In CESAFI standout Joshua Yerro and UAAP Jrs. Mythical selection Joem Sabandal, coach Franz also has young blood to bolster the backcourt that will no longer have Koko Pingoy. The Soaring Falcons also scored four other former Baby Falcons in big man Lorenz Capulong and wings Adam and Andrey Doria and AP Manlapaz. When it comes to reaping the rewards of its high school program, though, nobody could still touch Mapua University which again got two keep its Jrs. studs in Clint Escamis and Dan Arches, both of whom made it into the top two-thirds of the 2019 NBTC 24. Escamis and Arches are offensive guards who will give much-needed firepower to a promising core comprised of fellow Mapua HS products Warren Bonifacio, Eric Jabel, Noah Lugo, and Laurenz Victoria. Also, the Cardinals are the favorites to land NCAA 94 Jrs. Finals MVP Paolo Hernandez, another Red Robin. Also bagging two prized prospects from the 2019 NBTC 24 is La Salle which is now the place where the talented tandem of Joel Cagulangan and Joshua David get to work. Cagulangan has long been a star in the making and the NCAA 94 Jrs. MVP is, without question, Taft Avenue’s point guard of the future. The even better news is that he will still have wingman David, a tried and tested glue guy, to grow with. Also set to debut for the Green Archers are Filipino-Americans Jordan Bartlett, a speedster guard; Tyrus Hill, a high-flying forward; and Kurt Lojera, a big-bodied swingman. In all, there are six graduates from the top 10 of the 2019 NBTC 24. All of them would be on different teams in the Srs. Two players from 2019 NBTC 24 are yet to commit to any school, but there is no doubt that Red Robin Hernandez and Greenie Inand Fornilos will be able additions to any collegiate team. For the second straight year, Aldin Ayo will be adding a top three recruit out of high school as incoming sophomore CJ Cansino will now join forces with another triple-doubling talent in Mark Nonoy, a rookie who plays way beyond his years. But wait, there’s more as UST also welcomes with open arms its newest foreign student-athlete in Beninese Soulemane Chabi Yo whose speed and skill will make him a problem for the other foreign student-athletes more used to being powerhouses. Sprinkle in stretch four Sherwin Concepcion as well as versatile forwards Rhenz Abando and Brent Paraiso and there’s a reason why the Growling Tigers are now very much a darkhorse contender. L-Jay Gonzales and RJ Abarrientos remain FEU’s backcourt for tomorrow, but in the meantime, the former is poised for a breakout just as the latter is poised to wrap up his K-12 schooling. Yes, Abarrientos is not yet good to go come UAAP 82, but his steady hand is still the perfect pairing for the burst of energy that is Gonzales. Make no mistake, however, the Tamaraws have gotten help in the form of 6-foot-10 Cameroonian Patrick Tchuente as well as former Baby Tams Daniel Celzo and Jack Gloria. Letran is already the biggest it has ever been up front with NCAA 94 Rookie of the Year Larry Muyang alongside Jeo Ambohot, Christian Balagasay, and Christian Fajarito. Now, the Knights have also beefed up at the wings with Allen Mina and Mark Sangalang as well as former Red Warrior and Growling Tiger Jordan Sta. Ana. LPU will have to prove it could continue contending even without NCAA 93 MVP CJ Perez, but the good news is that now backtopping Marcelino twins Jaycee and Jayvee are former San Sebastian College-Recoletos key cogs Alvin Baetiong, Jayson David, and Renzo Navarro. That’s still a pretty solid lineup in our books. Just like last year, the now two-time UAAP champions are mostly intact, only losing team captain Anton Asistio as well as reserve guard Aaron Black. That doesn’t mean, however, that there are no new faces in Ateneo. Geo Chiu, Kai Sotto’s twin tower, decided to stay in Katipunan just as fellow ex-Blue Eaglets RV Berjay and Jason Credo are now seeing minutes in head coach Tab Baldwin’s rotation. And oh, there is a possibility that double-double machine Fornilos, who placed no. 13 in the 2019 NBTC 24, is bound to be a Blue Eaglet. Perps is nothing but determined to build on the triumphant return to the NCAA of head coach Frankie Lim and to do that, they will be leaning on former San Beda University pillar Ben Adamos as well as ex-Adamson HS workhorse Jefner Egan. Count out the Altas at your own risk. JRU is just on the first phase of a grand rebuild, but there is no doubt that things are looking up for Kalentong. In John Amores, they now have an end-to-end force who is all set to make an immediate impact as a rookie. These are the new names to watch for the teams: Baste CSB National U San Beda --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsMay 3rd, 2019

No practice, no problem: Stenson leads in Abu Dhabi

STEVE DOUGLAS, AP Sports Writer br /> ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — Henrik Stenson chipped in from 30 yards and had seven more birdies Thursday to open the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship with an 8-under 64 in his first competitive round of 2017. Showing no rustiness from an offseason of little practice, the fourth-ranked Stenson led by two strokes midway through the first round. Three-time winner Martin Kaymer, Oliver Fisher, Kiradech Aphibarnrat and Marc Warren were next. Stenson will do well to top 2016 — he won the British Open for his first major title and finished the season as Europe's No. 1 — and he prepared for the new year by mostly ditching his clubs, preferring to spend more time on the ski slopes with his family in Utah. Even his build-up to the Abu Dhabi event wasn't ideal, with two overnight flights in three days from his home in Orlando interrupted by his attendance at an awards ceremony in Stockholm where he beat Zlatan Ibrahimovic, among others, to win Male Sports Athlete of the Year at the Swedish Sports Awards. All Stenson needed was a few buckets of balls and some good putting sessions to get him back on track. Playing in an early-morning three-ball with two more current major champions in Dustin Johnson and Danny Willett, Stenson birdied four of his first five holes after starting at No. 10, completing the hot streak with the chip-in after leaving his approach five yards short of the green. He curled in a birdie putt from 15 feet on No. 17 and tapped in at the par-5 18th to pick up another shot before making birdie on two of his last three holes to end a round in which he was never in trouble. 'Very limited preparation,' said the 40-year-old Stenson, before adding with a smile: 'So that might be the way forward.' 'I was quite amazed how good the game felt coming into today. But again, I feel like I scored better than I played.' It was Stenson's second best round at the Abu Dhabi Golf Club, only bettered by his course-record 62 in 2006 when he was runner-up to Chris DiMarco. It is a long course that suits Stenson's eye, and the same could be said of Kaymer. The two-time major winner from Germany mixed eight birdies — three coming on his final three holes — with two bogeys for his 66, his latest low score at an event where he usually excels. He won in 2008, '10 and '11, and should have won in 2015, only to throw away a 10-shot lead with 13 holes to play on the final day. 'The golf course, for me, doesn't feel like I need to do a lot of special things in order to play well because I usually putt well on those greens,' Kaymer said. 'Doesn't feel like a hard-working day.' Johnson, at No. 3 the highest-ranked player in a strong field after Rory McIlroy's withdrawal on Monday, shot 72 in his first appearance in Abu Dhabi. Defending champion Rickie Fowler also was at even par. .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 19th, 2017