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Northrail spent P232 M for relocation without a single family relocated –COA

Some P232.89 million in government funds spent for the relocation program for informal settlers displaced as a result of the Northrail Project went down the drain with no actual relocation undertaken despite the huge expenditure. Worse, the five parcels of land tapped as relocation site have been assessed by the Mines and Geosciences Bureau as “vulnerable to natural hazards, hence, not considered appropriate as residential area,”  the Commission on Audit (COA) has reported. In the recently released  Expanded Audit of the Northrail Project initially implemented by the North Luzon Railways Corporation (Northrail), COA also disclosed that out of the disbursements totaling P505.35 million for additional right-of-way acquisition, P423.46 million in expenditures were found to be irregular. “Northrail spent around P232.89 million for the relocation program in a joint undertaking with the Provincial Government of Bulacan (PGB) and Alto Projekt Asia Inc. (APAI) without actual relocation undertaken,” COA said. Auditors disclosed that  at least 10,000 families living in the PNR property and the right-of-way in Bulacan were to be relocated to give way to the Northrail project. To jumpstart the relocation of affected families Northrail entered into a memorandum of agreement with  the PGB which then received P10 million and 50 hectares of land in Norzagaray, Bulacan for the implementation of the project. ”While the PGB committed to complete the relocation on June 30, 2011, there was no actual relocation undertaken by PGB,” COA noted. By that time, Northrail already spent P232.89 million for the “purported relocation program without relocating a single family.” In the same special audit report, COA also flagged some P505.35 million expenditures for the right of way acquisition, noting that P423.46 million in disbursements were “found with deficiencies.”.....»»

Category: newsSource: mb.com.ph mb.com.phOct 22nd, 2020

Zach Randolph announces his retirement

Bruising power forward Zach Randolph, who had a 17-year career in the NBA, announced his retirement earlier today on his social media channels.         View this post on Instagram                   I gave this game my all, and it gave everything back and more. Basketball will always be a part of me. From Marion, to East Lansing, to Portland, NY, LA, Memphis, Sacramento, and everyone in between - thank you all for an incredible journey. Special thank you to the Memphis Grizzlies and the entire city which I will forever call home, my family for always supporting me - my mom, brother, and sisters for taking this journey with me, the Portland Trail Blazers for taking a chance on a young kid from Marion, Coach Moe Smedley, Coach Tom Izzo, Commissioners David Stern and Adam Silver for the opportunity, all the NBA organizations, front offices, staff, and every single teammate. To my agent Raymond Brothers - you’ve not only been my agent my whole career, you’ve been my big brother as well. One love. Z-Bo. A post shared by Zach Randolph (@macbo50) on Dec 28, 2019 at 6:25am PST "I gave this game my all, and it gave everything back and more. Basketball will always be a part of me. From Marion, to East Lansing, to Portland, NY, LA, Memphis, Sacramento, and everyone in between - thank you all for an incredible journey," Randolph wrote. "Special thank you to the Memphis Grizzlies and the entire city which I will forever call home." Randolph was the 19th overall pick in the 2001 NBA Draft, taken by the Portland Trail Blazers. A two-time NBA All-Star who also was named the league's Most Improved Player in 2004, he is perhaps best known for his stint with the aforementioned Grizzlies, where he was a key part of that team's "Grit 'N Grind" era. The 6'9" lefty finished with career averages of 16.6 points, 9.1 rebounds, and 1.8 assists. He spent his last two seasons with the Sacramento Kings, but did not hit the court during the 2018-19 season. Randolph failed to find another suitor this past offseason, leading to his retirement......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsDec 29th, 2019

Tight-knit Timberwolves relishing fresh start

By Dave Campbell, Associated Press MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — The tension that the Minnesota Timberwolves lugged into last season has been long stamped out, replaced by talk of creating culture, establishing process and building relationships under a new regime. This team will be flying under the radar in the star-bursting Western Conference, facing a steep climb to the fringe of the playoff picture after finishing in 11th place in 2018-19. How much impact a fully healthy roster, an upbeat mood and a modernized on-court strategy will ultimately have on performance remains a mystery, but for now it’s clear at least that these players have been enjoying each other’s company. Whether through a trip to the Bahamas led by center Karl-Anthony Towns or the well-attended informal workouts on the court at team headquarters, the Timberwolves didn’t have to share how-they-spent-their-summer-vacation stories when they showed up on Monday (Tuesday, PHL time) for the start of training camp. They spent so much of the offseason together they already knew the details. “They’ve been so responsive to sacrifice some of their summer, which is not an obligation by any sort,” Towns said. “It’s a voluntary thing to do, and every single person has stepped up to the plate and said they want to be great.” The trade demand made by Jimmy Butler shrouded the dawn of last season until he was sent to Philadelphia for a package highlighted by Robert Covington. Two months after that, president and coach Tom Thibodeau was fired just halfway into his five-year contract. Gersson Rosas and Ryan Saunders were appointed to fill Thibodeau’s dual title, and several role players were swapped out in the first steps toward establishing a more collaborative and empowering environment with schemes on offense and defense designed to mesh better with the current state of the NBA. Nobody in the organization could ever recall so many players around the practice facility throughout the offseason. “Every year I’ve been in the league, really, I would see a lot of guys at training camp. That’s when the whole team would show up. But this year was more special,” forward Andrew Wiggins said. Point guard Jeff Teague at age 31 is the oldest of the 20 players on the roster to start camp. “It’s more upbeat. I was telling someone earlier it kind of feels like New York City right now. Everything’s fast paced, everyone’s moving around, everyone has somewhere to be. Everybody’s focused,” Teague said. “Last year was more like Indiana: Everybody was chill and relaxed. Kind of my vibe. It’s exciting to see, though. I think everyone around here is happy with the way things are going.” Here some other takeaways from the Timberwolves, on the eve of training camp to start the franchise’s 31st season in the NBA: HITTING THE ROAD For the first time in five years, the Timberwolves will hold a portion of training camp in Mankato, the small riverside city about 90 miles southwest of Minneapolis where owner Glen Taylor got his college degree in 1962 from what is now called Minnesota State University. Though the team will practice there on Tuesday and Wednesday (Wednesday and Thursday, PHL time) before returning to home base, the out-of-own trip allows for a little more bonding time. It also restores the tradition of a team dinner at the Taylor house, with his wife Becky’s lasagna as the menu feature. “We can really just focus on the work, the task at hand, and really set a tone for everybody,” Saunders said. OPENING UP Covington played in only 22 games for the Wolves after arriving in the trade due to a bone bruise on his right knee. The injury he believed would be minor proved to be anything but that, and the angst of being unable to play for his new team clouded his mind to the point that Saunders recommended Covington see a therapist to help with his mental health. “It made me get to the point where I had to send my family away from me, just because I couldn’t put them through that energy that I was feeling up top,” Covington said, crediting the sessions for not only improving his mood but accelerating his rehabilitation. BIG WIG Beginning the second season of his five-year maximum contract, Wiggins will again be under plenty of scrutiny as a $27 million player who has yet to fulfill the potential he came with as the first overall pick in the 2014 draft. Rosas and Saunders have taken the positive approach while trying to encourage him to ditch the mid-range jumpers for more 3-pointers and layups. “That gives me confidence, and it makes me believe that this is my year,” Wiggins said......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsOct 1st, 2019

Cavs' Irving shares inspirational message to motivate kids

em>By Tom Withers, Associated Press /em> CLEVELAND (AP) — Kyrie Irving spent a day dedicated to transition and big speeches by delivering a message from the heart. Cleveland's All-Star point guard, whose own life has undergone major changes over the past year or so because of fatherhood, an Olympic gold medal and NBA championship, spoke to hundreds of school kids on Friday (Saturday, PHL time) about following their dreams. To kick off a program promoting physical fitness, Irving shared some wisdom and experiences he hopes will help motivate kids to reach their potential. He urged them to listen to their parents, follow their own path and reminded them that life's journey never ends. 'I'm still figuring it out,' he said. 'I'm still you.' Teaming with Kids Foot Locker, Irving visited one of the city's Boys & Girls Clubs to launch a six-week fitness challenge which promotes a healthy lifestyle and encourages kids to excel outside and inside the classroom. Not far removed from their age group, the 24-year-old Irving easily connected with the kids, who wore 'Go Big' T-shirts and could barely contain their excitement when the Cavaliers' star was introduced and walked to the middle of the basketball court. 'Listen to your parents,' Irving told them, but not in a preachy way, rather the way an older brother would tell his siblings. 'Make sure you cherish the friendships you have and family is first — always.' Before the event, Irving, who was named an All-Star starter for the Eastern Conference on Thursday (Friday, PHL time), spent a few minutes with the Associated Press discussing the motivation to support his community and aspirations beyond basketball. Irving understands both his place and platform and wants to maximize it. And as the nation looked toward Washington, D.C., Irving simply wanted to make a positive impact on some kinds in Cleveland. 'I want to be a generational leader and I am that already,' he told AP. 'I have to accept that and to do that you have to acquire as much knowledge and still grow every single day, make sure I'm living the truth and share that with the rest of the world. It's not necessarily opening up to the media or anyone else, but it's about opening up to the kids that matter — that are going to be changing our world in a few years. 'I'm OK with this, man. As long as I can shape a kid's day or shape a kid's life in any way possible, and help them realize their potential is endless, you are limitless. You can be your own decider in your life. Whatever else is going on, you have to take control of it.' Irving was raised almost exclusively by his father, Drederick, after his mother, Elizabeth, died when he was four. The elder Irving didn't have to push his child, who was driven from an early age. It's that independence, the strength to be unafraid and willingness to fail but learn, that's at the heart of Irving's message. 'I want them to think bigger,' he said. 'It's a lost simpler for me now as I've gotten older. There were things that I thought were going to stop me and limit me, but those things aren't necessarily real, they're false and created by whatever it is that tells us what we can't do, the outside influences. Never listen to that, man. I've always figured it out one day at a time. 'As long as you can see through it, and find your own truth, you'll be fine. I try to give kids the truth. I still am that kid that was growing up in Boys & Girls Clubs in New York and New Jersey, going to different neighborhoods. I'm that same kid. I've never changed and being able to acquire the knowledge that I have from other people helps me — and hopefully resonates with the kids.' .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 21st, 2017

Suffer thy poor: Lockdown, economic slowdown hurt Davao’s relocation community

Her family of 12 only eats two full meals a day, and most times it is just rice doused in soy sauce or salt given to them by their neighbor......»»

Category: newsSource:  davaotodayRelated NewsOct 25th, 2020

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

Wright dedicates performance to baby boy, OFWs

Matthew Wright (PBA Images) ANGELES CITY–Phoenix guard Matthew Wright dedicated his fiery performance against Magnolia on Friday to his son Sonny who just celebrated his first birthday. Wright waxed hot with 23 points, pouring eight of those in the Fuel Masters’ blistering 22-0 run in the fourth quarter that kindled their 91-84 comeback win over the Hotshots at the Smart 5G-powered AUF Sports Arena. The Gilas Pilipinas stalwart also collected seven rebounds, four assists and two steals in almost 46 minutes of play without a single turnover as Phoenix arrested a two-game skid to improve to 3-2.  “The first birthday is always very special and I hate to see that I cried just thinking about it. The only way I can make this better was to dedicate my performance to him,” said Wright, whose family resides in the United States.  “I’m sure he’s watching but I don’t know if he understood what I was saying (in the TV interview). But when he gets older, hopefully he’ll look back and he’ll forgive me for not being in his pictures on his first birthday,” he added. The Fil-Canadian sniper said that missing special family occasions is part of the sacrifice that the 350-man delegation has to make in order to ensure the success of the Philippine Cup bubble. “Everybody’s going through it so you just have to suck it up.” The 6-foot-3 cager said he was even reminded of the bigger undertaking that the overseas Filipino workers have to do for their families. “It’s an amazing sacrifice and it’s so hard to be away from your family. And we’re only doing it for a couple of months so we got to man up.” “I was just thinking about them today.” .....»»

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

How to make the most out of your home WiFi

With families usually sharing a single home broadband plan to have  internet connection  at home, there is a need to properly provide internet connection in every nook and cranny inside the house.  This enables members of the family to find their own personal corner to study, work, entertain, or simply surf with privacy. .....»»

Category: techSource:  thestandardRelated NewsOct 12th, 2020

North Korea to defy coronavirus with huge parade

Nuclear-armed North Korea is expected to parade its latest and most advanced weapons through the streets of Pyongyang on Saturday, as the coronavirus-barricaded country celebrates the 75th anniversary of leader Kim Jong Un’s ruling party. Saturday is expected to see thousands of goose-stepping soldiers packed into Pyongyang’s Kim Il Sung Square, named for North Korea’s founder, under the gaze of his grandson Kim Jong Un ED JONES AFP/ MANILA BULLETIN South Korea’s unification minister told parliament on Thursday that a “large-scale parade” was anticipated, and satellite imagery on the respected 38North website has also suggested the cavalcade could be huge. The anniversary comes during a difficult year for North Korea as the coronavirus pandemic and recent storms add pressure to the heavily sanctioned country.  Pyongyang closed its borders eight months ago to try to protect itself from the virus — which first emerged in neighbouring China — and has still to confirm a single case of infection. Last month, troops from the North shot dead a South Korean fisheries official who had drifted into its waters, apparently as a precaution against the disease, prompting fury in Seoul and a rare apology from Kim. Nevertheless, Saturday is expected to see thousands of goose-stepping soldiers packed into Pyongyang’s Kim Il Sung Square, named for North Korea’s founder, under the gaze of his grandson, the third member of the family to rule the country. A procession of progressively larger armoured vehicles and tanks is likely to follow, culminating with whatever missiles Pyongyang wants to put on show. The North is widely believed to have continued to develop its arsenal — which it says it needs to protect itself from a US invasion — throughout nuclear negotiations with Washington, deadlocked since the collapse of a summit in Hanoi in February last year. Now analysts expect a new submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM) or an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) capable of reaching the US mainland to appear — maybe even one with multiple re-entry vehicle capabilities that could allow it to evade US defence systems. The anniversary of the Workers’ Party means North Korea “has a political and strategic need to do something bigger”, said Sung-yoon Lee, a Korean studies professor at Tufts University in the United States. Showcasing its most advanced weapons “will signal a big step forward in Pyongyang’s credible threat capabilities”, he said. But unlike on many previous occasions, no international media have been allowed in to watch the parade, and with many foreign embassies in Pyongyang closing their doors in the face of coronavirus restrictions, few outside observers will be present. It is not clear whether state broadcaster KCTV will air the event live — some past parades have not appeared on television until the following day. But the South’s government has detected signs that Kim is to give a speech at the parade, Yonhap News Agency reported Friday citing unnamed sources.  – Masks and missiles? –  At the end of December, Kim threatened to demonstrate a “new strategic weapon”, but analysts say Pyongyang will still tread carefully to avoid jeopardising its chances with Washington ahead of next month’s presidential elections. Showing off its strategic weapons in a military parade “would be consistent with what Kim Jong Un promised”, while “not provoking the US as much as a test-launch of a strategic weapon”, said former US government North Korea analyst Rachel Lee. The messaging of the parade “will be heavily domestic — on party accomplishments, unity around the leader, and improving the economy before the Eighth Party Congress”, she added, referring to a meeting of the Workers’ Party due to take place in January. But Harry Kazianis of the Center for the National Interest warned that with thousands of people involved, it could turn into a “deadly superspreader-like event” unless “extreme precautions” were used. The impoverished nation’s crumbling health system would struggle to cope with a major virus outbreak, and he added that such protective measures seemed “pretty unlikely”. “Clearly masks and missiles don’t mix.”.....»»

Category: newsSource:  mb.com.phRelated NewsOct 9th, 2020

Single mom no more: Daughter announces Bettinna Carlos engagement

According to Bettinna, apart from Mikki's honesty, what she loves about her fiance is that he embraces her and her family's "uniqueness.".....»»

Category: newsSource:  philstarRelated NewsOct 8th, 2020

FACES OF CEBU: Rhee Telen Jr., giving LSIs a home away from home

CEBU CITY, Philippines — Terminals are a familiar, yet not so pleasing, sight for Rhee Telen Jr. Telen, 27, spent the last 20 years in about 20 residences. He and his family moved from different towns and provinces in the Visayas and Mindanao regions to follow his father who is a priest in Aglipayan Church. […] The post FACES OF CEBU: Rhee Telen Jr., giving LSIs a home away from home appeared first on Cebu Daily News......»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsSep 13th, 2020

New Zealand announces return of coronavirus after 102 days

New Zealand announced its first locally transmitted coronavirus infections more than 100 days on Tuesday and issued a stay-at-home lockdown order for the country’s largest city. After receiving global praise for its success containing the virus, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said four cases had been detected in a single family in Auckland from an unknown […] The post New Zealand announces return of coronavirus after 102 days appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: newsSource:  tribuneRelated NewsAug 11th, 2020

Fight mars A s 9th straight win, 7-2 over Astros

By The Associated Press Benches cleared and even the stands emptied during Oakland’s 7-2 victory over the Astros on Sunday, tempers flaring at last between the AL West rivals months after Houston’s sign-stealing scandal was brought to light by Oakland pitcher Mike Fiers. Oakland’s Ramon Laureano got hit by a pitch — for the third time in the three-game series — this one by Humberto Castellanos with one out in the seventh. Laureano began exchanging words with animated Astros hitting coach Alex Cintron, then left first base, threw down his batting helmet and began sprinting toward him. Astros catcher Dustin Garneau tackled Laureano before the A’s outfielder reached Cintron, and a wild scene ensued. Players rushed out of both dugouts to join the fray. A’s and Astros players who were sitting in the seats, observing COVID-19 social-distancing protocols, also rushed onto the field. Laureano was ejected by plate ump Ted Barrett. Oakland won its ninth straight, and Houston lost its fifth in a row. Matt Olson hit a three-run homer in the third and Matt Chapman connected the very next pitch, taking the score from 1-0 to 5-0 on consecutive offerings from Astros starter Cristian Javier (1-1). Robbie Grossman also homered and Mark Canha contributed an RBI single. A’s rookie left-hander Jesus Luzardo (1-0) earned his first major league win in his second career start. BRAVES 5, PHILLIES 2, 1st game; BRAVES 8, PHILLIES 0, 2nd game PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Ronald Acuna Jr. homered twice and Freddie Freeman also went deep to spoil Spencer Howard’s big league debut and Atlanta Braves completed a sweep of the doubleheader with an 8-0 win in the second game. Acuna also homered in Atlanta’s 5-2 victory in the first game. He had four hits in the second game and added his his fourth career multihomer game. The Phillies had waited since the restart to send Howard (0-1) to the mound. Freeman hit a two-run homer in the third for the early lead and Acuna had a solo shot to the opposite field in right for a 3-0 lead. Atlanta’s Max Fried (3-0) hummed along against the Phillies until needed to get out of a bases-loaded, two-out jam in the fifth. Acuna hit a two-run shot off Trevor Kelley for a 6-0 lead in the sixth. In the first game, Acuna hit a two-run homer off Deolis Guerra (1-1) and Adam Duvall had a three-run double to lead the Braves. Tyler Matzek (2-0) pitched 1 1/3 scoreless innings for the win, and Mark Melancon worked a scoreless ninth for his third save. INDIANS 5, WHITE SOX 4, 10 innings CHICAGO (AP) — Delino DeShields snapped a tie with a perfectly placed squeeze bunt in the 10th inning to lift Cleveland. DeShields’ bunt drove in José Ramírez, who started the inning on second as part of baseball’s extra-inning rule for the pandemic-shortened season. Mike Freeman added a two-out RBI single that gave Cleveland a 5-3 lead. Veteran left-hander Oliver Perez got the final two outs following a 46-minute rain delay for his first save. It was just the fifth save of his 18-year career. Phil Maton (1-0) pitched a scoreless inning for the win. Jimmy Codero (0-1) allowed two runs, one earned, in the loss. José Abreu and James McCann homered for Chicago. ROYALS 4, TWINS 2 KANSAS CITY, Mo (AP) — Hunter Dozier hit a two-run single in his first at-bat since testing positive for COVID-19, and prized prospect Brady Singer earned his major league win to lead Kansas City. The Royals won their fourth in a row overall. The Twins lost all three at Kauffman Stadium and have dropped four straight. Dozier hadn’t played this season while recovering from the virus. He quickly delivered, putting the Royals ahead 2-0 in the first inning. Singer (1-1) allowed two runs and five hits in five innings. The Kansas City bullpen threw four shutout innings with Scott Barlow closed for his first save. Jose Berrios (1-2) went 5 1/3 innings giving up four runs. He allowed Maikel Franco’s leadoff homer in the sixth. RANGERS 7, ANGELS 3 ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — Los Angeles Angels right fielder Jo Adell was charged with a rare four-base error when a fly ball from Texas’ Nick Solak popped out of the rookie’s glove and flew the few remaining feet over the fence in the Rangers’ win. The play was initially ruled a home run for Solak, but the official scorer changed it to an error after consulting with the Elias Sports Bureau. Texas completed a three-game sweep as Lance Lynn (2-0) earned his 100th career win, losing a shutout on Tommy La Stella’s two-run homer in the fifth. Shin-Soo Choo capped a four-run fourth with a two-run single that chased Angels starter Andrew Heaney (1-1). Rougned Odor ended an 0-for-18 skid with an RBI single for the first run in the fourth. BREWERS 9, REDS 3 MILWAUKEE (AP) — Christian Yelich homered, tripled and drew a bases-loaded walk Milwaukee got its first home victory. The Brewers avoided falling to 0-5 at home for the first time since 1970, the franchise’s inaugural season in Milwaukee. Justin Smoak broke out of a slump and delivered hits from each side of the plate during a six-run rally in the sixth that put the Brewers ahead for good. Milwaukee poured it on in the seventh with back-to-back homers from Keston Hiura and Yelich. Sonny Gray (3-1) gave up three hits to the Brewers’ first four batters of the sixth and left with the score tied and runners on the corners with one out. Michael Lorenzen replaced Gray and didn’t retire any of the four hitters he faced as the Brewers eventually built a 7-2 lead. Brent Suter (2-0) earned the win with two innings of shutout relief. METS 4, MARLINS 2 NEW YORK (AP) — Jacob deGrom dodged trouble for five innings, rookie Andrés Giménez had three hits and scored three runs, and New York won a home series for the first time this season. DeGrom (2-0) allowed two runs and seven hits, marking the 25th time in his past 27 starts he permitted three runs or fewer. Jesus Aguilar hit a two-run homer in the fifth for the Marlins, who lost their second straight after getting off to a 7-1 start despite 18 players testing positive for the coronavirus. Seth Lugo tossed a scoreless ninth for his third save. Pablo Lopez (1-1) allowed three runs — two earned — and five hits in five innings. RED SOX 5, BLUE JAYS 3 BOSTON (AP) — Mitch Moreland hit two home runs, including a walk-off shot over the Green Monster to lead Boston. Xander Bogaerts drew a two-out walk from Thomas Hatch (0-1) to set up Moreland’s game-winner. Matt Barnes (1-1) pitched a scoreless ninth to get the win. The Blue Jays now head to Buffalo, New York, where they’ll play their remaining home games at the site of their Triple-A affiliate across the Niagara River from Canada. Rafael Devers also homered for the Red Sox. RAYS 4, YANKEES 3 ST. PETERSURG, Fla. (AP) — Michael Perez had an RBI single with two outs in the ninth inning to lift Tampa Bay. Mike Brosseau started the ninth with a double off Zack Britton (0-1) but was thrown out at third on Brandon Lowe’s grounder. Lowe advanced to second on a wild pitch before Manuel Margot walked. After both runners advanced on Willy Adames grounder to first, Perez lined a single to right as the Rays took three of four from the AL East leaders. Brosseau and Lowe both homered in the seventh, when the Rays tied it at 3. Ryan Thompson (1-0) worked a perfect ninth for his first major league win. TIGERS 2, PIRATES 1 PITTSBURGH (AP) — Spencer Turnbull pitched seven strong innings and Miguel Cabrera singled home the tiebreaking run in the eighth for Detroit. Cabrera’s single to left-center field off Richard Rodriguez (0-1) scored Jonathan Schoop, who was hit by a pitch with two outs and took second on a wild pitch. Turnbull (2-0) allowed only one run and five hits while striking out four and walking two. Buck Farmer pitched a scoreless eighth inning and Joe Jimenez retired the side in order for his fifth save. PADRES 9, DIAMONDBACKS 5 SAN DIEGO (AP) — Dinelson Lamet was brilliant in taking a no-hitter into the seventh inning and Fernando Tatis Jr. continued his remarkable power surge with a two-run homer off winless Madison Bumgarner, who allowed four of San Diego’s club-record six long balls as the Padres beat Arizona. Manny Machado homered twice off Bumgarner. Wil Myers, Francisco Mejia and Ty France also went deep for San Diego. Lamet (2-0) had allowed only one baserunner, on a hit by pitch, until Kole Calhoun homered leading off the seventh. The right-hander struck out 11 and walked none in 6 2/3 innings. The Padres remain the only major league team without a no-hitter, having played 8,154 games since 1969 without one. With the Padres leading 9-1, Diamondbacks catcher Carson Kelly pitched a scoreless eighth. Bumgarner (0-3) has struggled with the Diamondbacks, who gave him an $85 million, five-year contract in December after he spent a decade with the San Francisco Giants, helping them win three World Series titles in five seasons. He allowed six runs and five hits in two innings. Arizona manager Torey Lovullo said the 31-year-old lefty exited after experiencing back spasms. DODGERS 6, GIANTS 2 LOS ANGELES (AP) — AJ Pollock and Mookie Betts each hit a three-run homer to rally Los Angeles past San Francisco. The Dodgers have won nine of 12, and they took two of three in the series from their NL West rivals. Their 29 long balls lead the majors. With the Dodgers trailing 2-0, Cody Bellinger singled off Giants starter Kevin Gausman with one out in the seventh inning and Justin Turner followed with a single off submariner Tyler Rogers (1-3). Max Muncy took a called third strike, but Pollock sent a full-count pitch to left-center for his fourth homer and a 3-2 lead. Betts’ shot in the eighth made it 6-2. Jake McGee (1-0) got the win with a hitless inning. Mike Yastrzemski had a two-run single in the fifth for the Giants. MARINERS 5, ROCKIES 3 SEATTLE (AP) — Justus Sheffield pitched six shutout innings for his first major league win, Dylan Moore hit a two-run homer and Seattle slowed down Colorado. Sheffield (1-2) gave up four hits without a walk and struck out seven in his longest stint this season. He worked his way out of a jam with a strikeout to end the fifth, then sat down two more Rockies in the sixth before reaching his pitch limit. Charlie Blackmon extended his hitting streak to 13 games with a first-inning double for Colorado. The loss snapped a three-game win streak for the Rockies, who had won seven of eight in August -- including two straight over the Mariners. Colorado starter German Marquez (2-2) allowed six hits in seven innings......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsAug 10th, 2020

Arjan Bhullar promises to be tough test for ONE heavyweight king Brandon Vera

When Filipino-American ONE Heavyweight World Champion Brandon "The Truth" Vera finally makes his return to action, it will likely come against top heavyweight contender Arjan "Singh" Bhullar.  The Indian-Canadian heavyweight, who had an impressive run in the UFC before jumping over to Asia-based ONE Championship, was impressive in his promotional debut, dominating former title contender Mauro Cerrilli en route to a unanimous decision win.  The win over Cerrilli was enough to earn Bhullar a title shot, and now, he looks to do for India what Vera did for the Philippines.  “I respect Vera for what he has accomplished in this sport. For how long he has been fighting the best, for how he has represented ONE as a champion, for what he has done for the Philippines and the Filipino people, and for what he has done for himself and his family," said Bhullar. "I want to do all of that and more for myself, for India, for Indians worldwide, and for ONE."  “Vera is a great ambassador for the sport and has treated me with the utmost respect. The feelings are mutual, until we become competitors in the Circle," Bhullar continued. Vera, who has been ONE's heavyweight king since 2015, has yet to lose in the division, and has never gone past the first round against other heavyweights as well.  As far as experience goes, Vera - who also made a name for himself in the UFC - has the distinct advantage.  “His strengths are clear. He has a tremendous amount of experience and has seen all the different looks a fighter can see in the cage. He can fight out of both stances, going forward and backward. He is well-rounded everywhere, and has excellent Muay Thai. That has allowed him to finish every single heavyweight threat he has faced,” said Bhullar. In ONE, Vera holds wins over the likes of Igor Subora, Paul Cheng, Hideki Sekine, and Cerrilli. Bhullar, a former Canadian National Wrestling Team member, is by far the toughest test tha Vera will face in ONE's heavyweight ranks.  “But none of those guys were named Arjan Singh Bhullar, nor bring what I do to the Circle," Bhullar confidently stated.  Compared to Vera, who is widely regarded as one of the faces of ONE, Bhullar is a relative unknown. If he can dethrone Vera however, it's hard to not see the 34-year old become a household name, not just in India, but in the world as well.  “I'm younger. I'm hungrier to get what I haven't yet. I have been pursuing the opportunity to be a world champion since I was in diapers. I am a lifelong athlete who still lives and breathes competition to the fullest. I don't have any other distractions or priorities in my life,” said Bhullar. Bhullar's main motivation is to be able to bring pride to India, and he's highly confident that he can get the job done against ONE's most dominant heavyweight star. “I have an entire nation and people worldwide who are supporting my quest. I have the skills that have proved problematic for Vera in his losses in the past. I have the strongest mindset to get this job done, which will carry me through the most extreme conditions. I am a winner. I am one billion strong.”      .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsAug 5th, 2020

DID YOU KNOW? Jema Galanza was supposed to play for FEU

Jema Galanza is one of the best examples of a well-rounded player. A high-flyer and power-hitter with high volleyball IQ as well as superb floor defense, Galanza was a true gem during her stint with Adamson University in the UAAP. Although the Lady Falcons only saw one semifinals appearance during her tenure as Adamson’s top hitter, it didn’t diminish the luster of Galanza’s name as one of the school’s top volleyball aces. However, Adamson almost missed the chance to recruit the Laguna native. Apparently, the now 23-year old Creamline star was initially interested to play for another UAAP squad. Galanza shared on Volleyball DNA that she wanted to play for Far Eastern University. “Sa totoo po talaga, FEU po talaga dapat ako. Fan po ako ng FEU dati, nu’ng time pa po nina Ate Rachel [Anne Daquis]. Kasi nanonood kami [ng games nila] sa San Juan pa po dati talagang punung-puno,” said Galanza, who added that she’s been a big fan of the Lady Tamaraws since grade school. The former national team member added that her volleyball coach father, Jesse, and the then FEU mentor the late Nes Pamilar were actually friends. “Ang father ko close siya kay Coach Nes nu’ng time na ‘yun. Eh si Coach Nes nga rin po ang coach [ng FEU] nu’ng time na yun,” said Galanza. “Nagkakausap po sila. And nagpa-Palaro na rin ako nun and nakakausap ni Tatay si coach Nes.” Galanza was committed to join Pamilar after graduating from San Pedro Relocation Center National High School. However, Pamilar was replaced by Shaq Delos Santos in Season 74 – a year before Galanza graduated from high school.    “Pero kaya po ako napapunta sa Adamson kasi nu’ng time nag a-graduate na po ako ng high school nagkaroon ng problema sa FEU kasi nawala si Coach Nes,” said Galanza. “Nu’ng saktong araw po na yun na may laro rin ang FEU bigla pong dumating yung manager ng Adamson sa bahay namin.” Without any second thought, Galanza grabbed the opportunity to play for the Lady Falcons. “Kami naman po ng family ko ang gusto lang naman namin siyempre free ang tuition fee kasi gusto talaga naming makatapos lang naman,” said Galanza. “At least may titirahan, may pagkain and may sapat na allowance OK na po ‘yun.” Looking back, Galanza believes that it was her fate to spread her wings as a Lady Falcon. “Para sa kanila talaga ako kasi bigla ngang nagkaroon ng prolema sa FEU. Eh si coach Nes nga ang kadikit ko po doon. Nu’ng wala na si Coach Nes talagang nagbuo din sila ng bagong team, bagong coach. So baka mahirapan ako kung magbabago rin so sa ibang school na lang,” she said.     --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsAug 3rd, 2020

Family kept Trina Guytingco going during COVID-19 scare

First, the bad news. Last Wednesday, Trina Guytingco's COVID-19 test from two weeks ago came back positive. The Ateneo de Manila University playmaker said so herself in the latest episode of So She Did. "About three weeks ago, I attended a basketball (camp) in Vegas. I spent three days with a whole bunch of women, just playing basketball," she shared. She then continued, "A couple of days later, I started feeling sick. Then I received news that one of my teammates (from the camp) tested positive." Not long after, Guytingco was feeling the effects of the virus herself. "I started to have fever, a really bad headache, a sore throat, loss of appetite, and just a lot of body aches," she said. The 22-year-old never thought she was going to be at the wrong end of the continuing COVID-19 crisis. After all, she never failed to look out for their health. "Prior to that, I was very cautious with everything I was doing - wearing a mask, washing my hands, practicing social distancing," she said. Even so, she was far from safe and secure for when lady luck didn't smile upon her. Guytingco does not know for sure when, where, and how exactly she contracted COVID-19. What's certain is that after the basketball camp, she was not well and good. As she put it, "For me, it felt like I worked out the whole day even if I was literally in bed the whole day. I was exhausted and my body was just hurting and aching everywhere." Even worse, the 5-foot-7 guard's mind was in the same state as the body. "It was just very nerve-racking. I didn't know what was about to happen so it just messes with your head," she said. She then continued, "It was a very rough week for me. There were days when you think you're going to be fine, but there were days you think why did this happen to me?" Now, the good news. Guytingco is with her family in their home in Pleasant Hill, California. And of course, they are doing their best to make her feel better - just as she's doing her best not to make them feel worse. "Even before the test results, I treated myself like I was positive and my family treated me like I was positive. I was just in my room for a whole two weeks," she said. While she was waging war with the virus, her family wore masks and disinfected anywhere and everywhere she was - even inside their home. Her mom was also on top of things - making sure she took medicine and vitamins as well as ginger tea with cinnamon for her sore throat. And the even better news? Trina Guytingco is doing much, much better now. "I've been feeling amazing," she said, while also sharing that her latest rapid test result came last Thursday and it was negative. Still, she says she will keep staying safe. "We still don't know how much (worse) this virus can get. I don't know when I'm 'safe' already so we're just hoping I keep getting better," she said. --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsAug 2nd, 2020

Hurricane Isaias lashes Bahamas on path to virus-hit Florida

Hurricane Isaias lashed the Bahamas Friday as it churned toward Florida, bringing new dangers to a US state suffering record deaths from an unrelenting coronavirus outbreak. Soldiers carry out cleaning work on destroyed houses after the overflow of the Magua river due heavy rains caused by Isaias storm in the city of Hato Mayor, northwest of Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, on July 31, 2020. (Photo by Erika SANTELICES / AFP) The category one storm, packing winds of 75 miles (120 kilometers) an hour, gained strength Thursday night after sweeping over the Dominican Republic. As of 2100 GMT, it was an expansive storm, moving northwest at a speed of 15 mph, kicking up heavy squalls and whipping the southeastern Bahamas and Turks and Caicos island chains with strong winds, the Miami-based National Hurricane Center said. “Hurricane conditions will continue to spread northwestward into the central and northwestern Bahamas tonight (Friday) and Saturday,” it added. The eye of the storm was expected to pass over the southeastern Bahamas sometime during the evening Friday and reach the central Bahamas during the night. Hurricane warnings were up across the low-lying Bahamas while parts of Florida’s east coast — including Palm Beach, the location of President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort — were under a hurricane watch. Florida could start the feeling the effects of the storm by late Saturday, according to the National Hurricane Center. Florida governor Ron DeSantis signed an emergency declaration for counties on the exposed Atlantic coast. But a slight shift westward in the storm’s trajectory raised hopes that Florida would be spared a direct hit.  DeSantis said it was too early to open shelters, but urged residents to stock up on enough water, food and medicine to last a week. Bahamas Prime Minister Hubert Minnis on Thursday relaxed strict stay-at-home orders imposed because of the coronavirus to allow residents to prepare for the hurricane. “I beg you, do not use this period for hurricane preparation to go socializing and visiting friends or family,” Minnis said at a news conference. “If you do not need to be out, please, please, STAY AT HOME! We are in the midst of a pandemic and if we do not act responsibly, the consequences could be dire,” he said. It is the Bahamas’ first hurricane since Dorian, a maximum strength Category 5 storm last year that devastated two islands, pummeling them for three days.   Hurricane plus pandemic Isaias left a shambles in Puerto Rico, downing trees and electric lines and inundating houses as it cut a path through the island on Thursday. “If you are seeing this, please, we need help,” a man in Mayaguez, on the island’s western side, begged in a video that showed his family clinging to the roof of their car as rising waters inundated their house. In Florida, the concern was that if Isaias does hit, it would cause havoc at a time when hospitals are flooded with a surge of COVID-19 cases. On Friday, Florida reported another 257 deaths, setting a fourth consecutive single day state record and pushing its virus death toll to 6,843. The state’s coronavirus testing centers, meanwhile, were closed Thursday and won’t reopen until they get the all-clear.  The state’s emergency management division explained that the testing centers are housed in tents and could not withstand tropical force winds. For several weeks, Florida has had nearly 10,000 new coronavirus cases a day.  The Republican-run state is now second in the nation in number of cases at 470,386, surpassing early epicenter New York.  Only California, with almost double Florida’s 21 million population, has had more......»»

Category: newsSource:  mb.com.phRelated NewsAug 1st, 2020

No paychecks for 11 big leaguers: advance larger than salary

By RONALD BLUM AP Baseball Writer NEW YORK (AP) — Grant Dayton will notice one glaring absence this season after he reports to the Atlanta Braves: his twice-a-month salary. He is among 11 major leaguers whose prorated pay for the abbreviated 60-game season amounts to less than the $286,500 advance already received by the 32-year-old left-hander. “It’s going to be weird not getting a paycheck,” he said Friday, “but we already got paid.” Dayton gave up the 6,776th and final home run of of last season's record total, to the New York Mets' Dominic Smith. To resume preparation for the new season he will drive Monday from his home in Winter Haven, Florida, to Atlanta with wife Cori, 2 1/2-year-old son Decker and nearly 6-month-old Nolan for Braves' workouts at Truist Park. After opening day was postponed because of the coronavirus pandemic, Major League Baseball and the players’ association agreed March 26 to a deal that called for teams to advance $170 million in salaries over the first 60 days of the season. Others who won’t get paychecks because of lower prorated salaries are Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Jimmy Nelson and New York Yankees reliever Jonathan Holder ($277,778 each), Pittsburgh infielder Erik Gonzalez and Minnesota pitcher Matt Wisler ($268,519 apiece), Philadelphia catcher Andrew Knapp ($262,943), Chicago Cubs pitcher Jharel Cotton ($237,037), pitchers Collin McHugh of Boston, Ross Stripling of the Dodgers and Jesse Hahn of Kansas City ($222,222 each) and Milwaukee pitcher Freddy Peralta ($575,200). “My first reaction was, wow, if we don’t have any games this year, I’m going to get paid the same amount that Freddie Freeman’s getting paid, so that’s pretty cool,” Dayton said in a reference to his teammate, a four-time All-Star first baseman with a $22 million salary that was cut to about $8.15 million. “I knew that there was going to be a point that if we resume games, I wouldn't get paid. And I was OK with that because we still received significant amounts of money and we’re fine.” Each of the roughly 480 players with so-called “straight” contracts that call for a single salary received $286,500. The 769 players with “split” contracts that have a lower salary in the minor leagues — generally a younger group not yet eligible for arbitration — got either $16,500, $30,000 or $60,000, depending on their minor league pay level. Dayton, who has spent parts of three seasons in the majors, has a $655,000, one-year contract. His prorated salary for the short season will be $242,593, assuming the contagion does not cause more games to be canceled. The group won’t have to return any cash because the March deal states “in the event there is a 2020 championship season, any amounts advanced to individual players that cannot be recouped by clubs via payroll deduction during the 2020 season for any reason shall be reimbursed to clubs from the International Tax Fund at the conclusion of the 2020 season.” That tax fund is money collected from teams that exceeded their specified bonus pools to sign high-priced Latin American amateurs. “We’re blessed because we’re getting more money than the prorated amount,” Dayton said. Most of the group has relatively low salaries for arbitration-eligible players because of injuries that sidelined them and reduced their statistics. Nelson returned last June from shoulder surgery and was limited to three starts and seven relief appearances. McHugh missed September and the postseason with a sore right elbow and signed a deal with a $600,000 salary and $3.65 million in performance and roster bonuses. Cotton, Dayton, Hahn and Stripling all were interrupted by elbow surgery early in their careers, and Gonzalez missed more than half of last season after breaking his collarbone. Peralta has a low salary in 2020 as part of a $15.5 million, five-year contract he agreed to in March. Dayton was 0-1 with a 3.00 ERA in 14 relief appearances last year and is 1-3 with a 3.34 ERA in 68 big league games that included time with the Dodgers in 2016-17. He wonders how he will fare in arbitration next winter. “It's going to be a weird year and a short season, but I guess they’re going to have to treat it on paper like a real season, a championship season," he said. "And as far as contracts go in the future, they’re going to have to take the stats this year, which is kind of scary for a relief pitcher, to be honest because you have one bad game, it takes a whole year to get that back. The slow starters can't be slow starters anymore." Stripling, a financial adviser for B. Riley Wealth Management when he’s not playing baseball, negotiated a $2.1 million deal in January but was able to have $1.5 million designated as a signing bonus, which is protected and not reduced. Only the $600,000 specified as salary in the contract gets prorated. “It will be strange to receive no money or paychecks throughout the year,” he said. “I’m thankful for my background in finance, because I’m comfortable with my ability to budget. I do worry about the 10 other guys in my situation. Technically will be receiving zero income until next April. That’s a long time to budget ahead.” One option for players could be licensing money they are owed that had been retained for them by the union. “Our PA is offering a stipend of sorts for guys in similar situations,” Stripling said. “But I don’t know how much money or how often they can receive it. It also comes from our `war chest,′ which is money saved for salaries in case of a work stoppage in 2022. Most guys will try to avoid pulling money from that unless they are in dire situations.”.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJun 27th, 2020

Four champion martial artists who are also champion dads

Father’s Day comes but once a year, and is a time to celebrate the incredible patriarchs in our lives who have guided us through our toughest challenges. They are the foundation of every family, working tirelessly through day and night to make sure the people they love are happy and safe. This Father’s Day, let’s honor the men in our lives who embody strength, discipline, and loyalty. Great fathers provide their children with a feeling of security, both physically and emotionally, but aren’t afraid to let them stumble and fall in order for them to learn the lessons they need to make it through life.  These four men have given their children the gift of martial arts, but more importantly have also proven to be amazing dads. Ken Lee Brazilian jiu-jitsu and taekwondo black belt, Ken Lee, introduced martial arts to his children at a young age because he believes it can help develop them into great fighters, not just in competition, but also in life. Together with his wife Jewelz -- also a champion martial artist -- they’ve raised four incredible children, including reigning ONE Women’s Atomweight World Champion Angela Lee, and ONE Lightweight World Champion Christian Lee. Their two youngest children, Adrian and Victoria, are both on their way to following in their footsteps. Needless to say, martial arts is the family tradition. “Martial arts has always been a way of life for my family,” said Lee. But as much as he is the powerful voice in each of his children’s corners whenever they compete, Lee takes pride in being their father first and foremost. Guiding their careers, he says, is only his second priority. “I will always be their father first and coach second. As a father, the most important thing for me when it comes to my children is their safety and good health, that they are happy and able to live their dreams,” said Lee. Mark Sangiao Filipino martial arts icon Mark “The Machine” Sangiao is a well-known pioneer in the Philippines’ local martial arts community. He is a loving father to two boys, and a father-figure to his students in the famed Team Lakay. Many seek Sangiao out for his wisdom, not just in competing at the highest levels of martial arts, but also for his experience in traversing the hardships of life. The principles he imparts on his two sons, and many young Team Lakay athletes who could very well be considered his own children, have helped guide them down the right path. “As a father, what matters most for me when it comes to my children is providing them what they need,” said Sangiao.  “I’m not just referring to their material or financial needs, but most importantly giving enough attention to their emotional, psychological, and spiritual well-being. It is essential that I can provide these to my children, because these are the very core of their development and formation as good and responsible people.” Sangiao has cultivated and developed many world champions, including former titleholders Eduard Folayang, Honorio Banario, Geje Eustaquio, and Kevin Belingon, as well as ONE Strawweight World Champion Joshua Pacio. While his eldest son Jhanlo has decided to take after his father in becoming a martial artist, Sangiao says he would support his children regardless of their chosen profession. “I may end up raising a martial artist, a gardener, a businessman, a lawyer -- it doesn’t matter. I will raise them the exact same way. I will support whatever they want to be in life, and what they want for their future. I just want to raise my children to be good, strong, and responsible people,” said Sangiao. Eduard Folayang For two-time former ONE Lightweight World Champion and Team Lakay veteran Eduard “Landslide” Folayang, being a father means imparting his wisdom to his children, and helping them become good members of society. Folayang is a proud father to two young girls, and hopes to instill in them the right values and principles. “I think we have to give our children the right principles to live by. They must be strong in both the body and the mind, but also kind and generous,” said Folayang. While he will support his children no matter what they decide to do when they get older, Folayang still plans on introducing them to martial arts, which is what helped turn his life around as a young man raised in hardship and poverty. “Being a father feels great. I do want my children to practice martial arts. It’s a great way of life and will teach them a lot of lessons. I just want them to find their own talents and help make the world a better place,” said Folayang. Danny Kingad Former ONE World Title challenger and ONE Flyweight World Grand Prix Championship Finalist Danny “The King” Kingad is relatively new to fatherhood, with his son Gleurdan Adrian becoming his pride and joy after being born just two years ago.  Being a father, Kingad says, is his single greatest purpose, and he vows to do everything in his power to give his son a good life. “I want to spend every day with my son. It’s important to me to be there for him. I want to help prepare him for the challenges life will bring,” said Kingad. Kingad grew up a troubled youth who fell into bad company and many vices. It wasn’t until he discovered martial arts that his life gained meaning and direction. He hopes to one day introduce martial arts to Gleurdan, when his son is ready. “Martial arts was a saving grace for me, and I learned a lot from training and competing. I would love for my son to learn the core values that martial arts instilled in me when I was younger. I think it will teach him a lot about respect and honor. But of course, I’m here to support my son in whatever he wants to be in life,” said Kingad. “What’s important to me is that he learns to be humble and respectful, and most especially strong, to be able to handle tough times. Having a strong mind is the best asset of a martial artist.”.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJun 21st, 2020

Filipino-American MMA star Mark Muñoz recalls retirement bout in Manila

In 2015, Filipino mixed martial arts fans’ prayers were answered when the UFC, finally brought the legendary Octagon to the Philippines.  UFC Fight Night Manila was headlined by Frankie Edgar and Urijah Faber, two former world champions and two of the world’s best at the time.  But while the main event was indeed on worthy of a pay-per-view card, Pinoy fans flocked to the Mall of Asia Arena to see one of their own compete in the Octagon for the very last time.  The UFC’s inaugural card in Manila also featured the retirement bout of Filipino-American Mark “The Filipino Wrecking Machine” Muñoz.  (READ ALSO: Mark Muñoz ends career on the highest of notes) Muñoz was 37 at the time, and was already a veteran in the UFC, having fought 14 times for the North American promotion. During his peak in the UFC, the California-native won seven out of eight fights and came within a win away from becoming a title contender, before losing to eventual middleweight titleholder Chris Weidman.  Following the loss to Weidman, Munoz went on to drop three of his next four bouts.  In the final fight of his MMA career, Muñoz had the chance to go out on top and retire in front of his fellow Filipinos. In front of over 13,000 strong, Muñoz did just that, beating Luke Barnatt via unanimous decision and announcing his retirement durung the post-fight speech.  (READ ALSO: The MMA community reacts to Mark Munoz's final fight and retirement) On an episode of The Hit List Vodcast, Muñoz recalled that night and what it meant for him to end his career that way.  “Oh man. I would cherish that night forever,” Muñoz said. “Even when I came to the Philippines early and I visited my family, I still have four generations of my family still there and it was so cool to see my whole family and just to have the support there from everybody. It was amazing and for me, you know, I just felt the love.” “I loved it. And when I walked out, I heard just people cheering and as I was walking out, I slapped somebody’s hand and I started crying you know. Like, whoah, that’s crazy, I’m getting ready to fight and you know like, dude that’s nuts. For me to be able to have that impact on people because they love the sport I love and I’m able to do it in a high level, it made me just wanna give,” he continued.  Following the hard-fought three-round victory, Muñoz addressed the Pinoy crowd and gave a heartfelt message, thanking his fans and then expressing his desire to help the Philippines out in terms of wrestling, an aspect that has long been deemed lacking or inadequate among Filipino mixed martial artists.  “Like I said before, when I got on the microphone, they handed the microphone to me and they never do that, so when they handed the mic to me, I told everybody that I wanna go back to the Philippines and I wanna help in any way I can and so, right now I’m actually building a website that people could access from all around the world, so it’s a wrestling website and I have the best people on there.  Muñoz’s commitment to helping Filipino wrestlers remains to this day, saying that he would gladly fly out to the motherland if he was asked to do so.  “I have my wrestling room where you could have the capability of getting on there and learning from me, and if someone wants to bring me for a seminar out there, I’ll come. In a heartbeat. I’d love to go back to the Philippines and help my kababayan. Just be able to support and help everybody I can,” he said.  While Muñoz did decide to call it a career that night, the former collegiate wrestling star believed that he could still compete at a high level, especially since he was working with world champions and elite-level talent on a daily basis.  “I honestly felt that I was still in my prime,” Muñoz admitted. “I honestly felt that I could have fought more and I felt like I could beat still the guys that beat me. I trained with all the best guys. I trained with Lyoto Machida and fought him and I do very well with him inside the gym. Michael Bisping was a training partner of mine. Anderson Silva I trained with him for a very long time. I know that level and I can be at that level. I felt like I could still compete at that level.” The reason why he left the sport, Muñoz explained, is to be able to spend more time with his family.  “To answer your question, the reason why I stepped away from the sport was not because my body wasn’t able to do it. I stepped away because my family needed me more than me being in the sport. Because, I’m telling you it was hard for my wife, she was a single mom with all the kids for a long time so it was hard. Things at home was pretty rough for us and I didn’t like that at all. All the while I was coaching and travelling all the time so something has to give. I felt like yes, it was a storybook ending but a the same time, I can still compete with the best guys in the division.” Check out the full interview HERE .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJun 15th, 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