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PH game developers explore opportunities with Malaysia

The global gaming industry was estimated to be valued at US$152.1 billion in 2019 which shows that there’s a huge chunk of the market that is open to be served and explored by the Philippines......»»

Category: sportsSource: abscbn abscbnSep 21st, 2020

ONE eSports announces inaugural Mobile Legends: Bang Bang event

Singapore - ONE Esports, a subsidiary of  ONE Championship™ (ONE), the largest global sports media property in Asian history, announced today the inaugural ONE Esports Mobile Legends: Bang Bang Invitational, which will take place from 2 May to 5 July. Top players and teams from all over the world will compete for a total prize pool of US $150,000. Mobile Legends: Bang Bang (MLBB) is a Multiplayer Online Battle Arena (MOBA) game for mobile phones and tablets. The game launched in mid-2016 for Android and iOS and is the most popular mobile Multiplayer Online Battle Arena (MOBA) game in the world (outside of China) with over 500 million installs and 80 million Monthly Active Users. It is a MOBA played in Southeast Asia, Europe, North America, Middle East, and India. In total, Mobile Legends: Bang Bang has reached 139 countries and regions, has been localized in 25 languages and operates on over 1,200 servers to ensure the game runs smoothly. MLBB is also the first title announced as a medal game at the 2019 Southeast Asian Games’ inaugural esports event. The ONE Esports Mobile Legends: Bang Bang Invitational will bring together the world’s best MLBB players and teams. It will be the first of two Mobile Legends: Bang Bang competition series promoted jointly with MLBB developer Moonton. The competitions will develop the best MLBB teams, share and celebrate the stories of esports heroes, and inspire MLBB fans all around the world. Country online qualifiers will be held from 2 May to 17 May, and the Main Event will take place from 1 July to 5 July. The schedule is as follows: 2-3 May - Indonesia, Singapore 9-10 May - Philippines, Malaysia 16-17 May - Thailand and Laos (Combined), Myanmar 1-5 July - ONE Esports Mobile Legends: Bang Bang Invitational Overall winners of the competition will take home a total of US $50,000, followed by US $25,000 for 2nd place, US $20,000 for 3rd place, and US $15,000 for 4th place. 5th and 6th place get US $8,000 each, 7th and 8th place get US $6,000 each, 9th and 10th place get US $4,000 each, and 11th and 12th place get US $2,000 each. More information on the event can be found at this link: oneesports.gg/ONE-MLI Carlos Alimurung, CEO of ONE Esports, stated: “ONE Esports is proud to partner with Moonton to deliver the ONE Esports Mobile Legends: Bang Bang Invitational Series. Southeast Asia is at the vanguard of mobile esports, and Mobile Legends: Bang Bang has nurtured and grown one of the healthiest esports communities in the world. We will not only provide the community with opportunities to compete against the best Mobile Legends: Bang Bang teams, but also execute a world-class competition series that engages and wows esports fans.” Lucas Mao, Director of Operations of Moonton, stated: “Over at Moonton, we are really excited about this collaboration with ONE Esports. Their track record in producing story-driven sports production gives us the confidence to go into a longer collaboration where we will feature not one but two regional invitational tournaments in 2020. We wholly believe that this partnership with ONE Esports will further expedite our long term goal of building a sustainable and dynamic esports ecosystem.” For more updates on ONE Esports, please visit oneesports.gg, follow us on Instagram @oneesportsgg and like us on Facebook at facebook.com/oneesports. For more updates on ONE Championship, please visit onefc.com, follow us on Twitter and Instagram @ONEChampionship, and like us on Facebook at facebook.com/ONEChampionship. For more updates on Mobile Legends: Bang Bang, check out @mobilelegendsgame on Instagram, Facebook at: bit.ly/2wrUDU5, and YouTube at: bit.ly/2HBeG50......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsFeb 27th, 2020

U-22 Azkals come up short against Myanmar in 2019 SEA Games action

There would be no last-minute equalizer this time, as the Philippine Under-22 Men's Football absorbed a heartbreaking 1-2 loss to Myanmar in the second match of their 2019 Southeast Asian Games campaign, Wednesday evening at the Rizal Memorial Football Stadium in Manila.  The Philippines once again found themselves unable to finish off their opportunities as they couldn't convert on early chances.  For the second straight match, the U-22 Azkals conceded first, as Aung Kaung Mann put Myanmar on the board first with a fantastic finish in the 17th minute from an assist from Myat Kaung Khant.  Took Myanmar 16 minutes to break through the Azkals' defense. Still a lot of time left ???????? #SEAGames2019 pic.twitter.com/71i6tjkUtC — ABS-CBN Sports (@abscbnsports) November 27, 2019 The Pinoy side would manage to pull even just before the mid-game break, thanks to Justin Baas, who was able to finish from a cross from Yrick Gallantes that bounced off Dennis Chung and landed in range.  DAT VOLLEY ???? JUSTIN BAAS WITH THE EQUALIZER #SEAGames2019 #GalingNatinIto pic.twitter.com/MKO7w5RQNG — ABS-CBN Sports (@abscbnsports) November 27, 2019 It was the same story for the U-22 Azkals in the second half, as they found themselves coming within inches of finding the back of the net, but ultimately missing.  Win Naing Tun scored the go-ahead goal in the 78th minute, shaking off his defender before firing past Azkals keeper Anthony Pinthus and sealing the deal for the visitors.    He got slick with it ???? Myanmar regains the lead #SEAGames2019 pic.twitter.com/mUvv8CK6Ll — ABS-CBN Sports (@abscbnsports) November 27, 2019 With the loss, the U-22 Azkals drop to one draw and one loss in two matches played. Myanmar meanwhile, records the first win in Group A and they improve to one win and one draw in two matches for four points.  The Azkals return to the pitch for a crucial matchup against Malaysia on Friday, November 29th at the Rizal Memorial Football Stadium. Kickoff time will be at 8:00 PM. .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsNov 27th, 2019

ABL Season 10 Preview

With the 10th Season of the ABL officially underway, we’ve been witnesses to one of the more colorful and exciting off seasons in the past few years. This is a testament to the ever-growing level of competition the league has seen year in and year out, as teams are doing their best to make sure that they enter the season with as competitive a lineup as they can muster. After another banner season which saw the CLS Knights defeat perennial contender the Singapore Slingers, everything is up for grabs. Established teams have entered into rebuilding mode, former champions have gone the direction of youth, regular contenders have added more depth both among their imports and locals, while this year’s expansion club boasts of one of the more impressive lineups we’ve seen from an expansion club in recent memory. All of this just makes for an even more exciting tenth season as the ABL continues to rise to greatness. Here is a quick rundown of what to expect from each of the teams: San Miguel Alab Pilipinas  (Regular season record: 18-8, 2nd, lost to HK Eastern in the quarterfinals) Former ABL Champs San Miguel Alab Pilipinas will be fielding a virtually new squad this 2019-2020 season, with Lawrence Domingo and Brandon Rosser as the only holdovers from Coach Jimmy Alapag’s 2018-2019 campaign. Gone are 3-time local MVP Bobby Ray Parks, Jr, former Defensive Player of the Year Renaldo Balkman and PJ Ramos. Instead, Alab will be relying on Fil-American guards Jason Brickman and Jeremiah Gray to lead their cast of locals. Brickman is no stranger to winning, after having led the Westports Malaysia Dragons to an ABL championship in 2016, and Mono Vampire to a Finals appearance two seasons ago. He remains one of the league’s best passers and has a knack for making winning plays. Jeremiah Gray meanwhile, is arguably Alab’s most touted local addition, and the 6’4” scorer could be one of the most exciting locals to watch out for this season. Since joining the ABL three seasons ago, Alab has finished the regular season no lower than 3rd place, but after last season’s early post season exit against the Hong Kong Eastern, Coach Jimmy Alapag and the rest of the squad are looking to bring the franchise back to the ABL Finals. Formosa Dreamers (Regular season record: 19-7, First, lost to Mono Vampire in the quarterfinals) The Formosa Dreamers shocked the ABL last season when, after finishing with a dismal 1-19 record in their inaugural season, the Dreamers finished at the top of the heap after the regular season with a 19-7 record. It was short-lived however, as the team from Taiwan bowed out in the first round of the post-season to the 8th seeded Mono Vampire of Thailand.  None of the three imports (Will Artino, Malcolm Miller and Tevin Glass) who steered them to a first-place elimination round record will be back this season, and neither will Coach Dean Murray. Instead, the Dreamers will be tapping former Saigon Heat Head Coach Kyle Julius, who steered the Heat to the franchise’s first winning season and playoff victory, to call the shots from the sidelines. They’ve also added two explosive imports in Jerran Young and Marcus Keene. Young, the 6’6” wingman who averaged 19ppg, 7.1rpg, and 2.3 spg to help bring the Slingers back to the ABL Finals last season. Keene meanwhile, suited up for two games for Mono Vampire last season and averaged 32.5ppg before being cut. Look for these two imports to power the Dreamers fast paced offense together with Taiwanese National Team mainstay Jet Chang, and reliable locals Kenny Chien, Lee Hsueh-Lin, and Wu Sung-Wei.   Hong Kong Eastern (Regular Season record: 13-13, 7th, defeated Alab Pilipinas in the quarterfinals, lost to Singapore Slingers in the Semifinals) 2017 ABL Champion Hong Kong Eastern has reset their program, parting ways with 2017 Coach of the Year Edu Torres, as well as former world import MVP, Marcus Elliot. They’ve opted to go with younger imports in Trey Kell (23 years old) and TJ Price (26 years old), while retaining last season’s replacement to Sam Deguara, Michael Holyfield. They’ve also tapped former NBA G-League coach Jordan Brady as Torres’ replacement.  Trey Kell is a talented scorer, standing 6’4”, and averaged 21.6ppg, 7.9rpg, and 4.8apg at the Canadian National Basketball League where he was named Finals MVP. TJ Price meanwhile is another scoring guard who averaged 16.7ppg, 3.3rpg, and 3.2apg in the Hungarian League A Division. Talented as their imports may be however, the success of Eastern’s rebuild will still largely depend on the contributions from the locals.     Kuala Lumpur Dragons (Regular Season record: 8-18, 9th, did not advance to the post season) Key Players: Will Artino, Amir Bell, Cade Davis Now known as the Kuala Lumpur Dragons, the 2016 ABL Champs have long road ahead to retain their past glory. Having not made it to the last three postseasons, Head Coach Jamie Pearlman will be relying heavily on former Creighton Bluejay and Formosa Dreamers center, Will Artino. Artino averaged a double-double in his first season in the ABL, and led the Dreamers to first place at the end of last year’s regular season. He will be partnered up with a solid shooter in Cade Davis, and Amir Bell, a 6’4” guard from Princeton, who averaged 10.4ppg, 4.2rpg, and 3.9apg for Agrigento in the Italian League 2nd Division. It will be interesting to see how this new mix of imports will blend with their locals, especially in a tough bracket that includes San Miguel Alab Pilipinas, Mono Vampire, Singapore Slingers, and the Saigon Heat.   Macau Black Bears (Regular Season Record:14-12, 6th, lost to the Singapore Slingers in the quarterfinals) Key Players: Mikh McKinney, Kenny Manigault, Brandon Edwards, Lai Ka Tong, Jenning Leung When Anthony Tucker went down to injury last season, so did Macau’s hopes of really contending for the ABL crown. Granted, Mikh McKinney was the league’s best scorer and Ryan Watkins, the best rebounder, but without their former World Import MVP and best playmaker, the Black Bears simply could not advance.  This season, gone are Tucker and Watkins. McKinney will have the explosive and athletic Kenny Manigault as his backcourt mate. Manigault averaged 17.1ppg and 5.3rpg playing in Finland. Their third import is 6’6” Brandon Edwards, who will be tasked to mix it up inside with the best big men of the league. It will be tough for this guard-laden Macau squad, and they will rely mostly on a small-ball style, utilizing McKinney’s and Manigault’s athleticism to relentlessly attack defenses and create opportunities for themselves and the rest of their teammates.   Mono Vampire Basketball Club (Regular Season Record: 11-15, 8th, defeated Formosa Dreamers in the quarterfinals, lost to CLS Knights Indonesia in the Semifinals) Key Players: Mike Singletary, Ryan Watkins, Tyler Lamb, Freddie Lish, Moses Morgan Mono Vampire proved that they were dead serious on making it back to the Finals this upcoming ABL Season. Last year, after bucking a slow start, Mono Vampire added Romeo Travis, Malcolm White, and Freddie Lish midseason, and still ended up becoming the hottest team to close the regular season. They also surprised everyone by eliminating the top seeded Formosa Dreamers despite being the 8th seeded team in the post-season.  This year they brought back their solid core of Tyler Lamb, Mike Singletary, Freddie Lish, and Moses Morgan; while also adding the one of last year’s most efficient imports and rebounding leader Ryan Watkins from the Macau Black Bears. 6’1” Preston Knowles, the former Louisville Cardinal, will be manning the point guard spot, as former world import MVP Anthony Tucker, will miss the season due to another foot injury. Regardless of Tucker’s absence however, Mono Vampire looks to possess one of the league’s deepest rosters.    Saigon Heat (Regular Season record: 14-12, 5th, lost to CLS Knights Indonesia in the quarterfinals) Key Players: Chris Charles, Gary Forbes, Sam Thompson, Sang Dinh, Chris Dierker, Tam Dinh Coming from their most successful season thus far where they won their first ever playoff game, the Saigon Heat are poised to make waves this coming ABL season. Their local core of Khoa Tran, Sang Dinh and Chris Dierker, has been further bolstered by VBA MVP and Sang’s older brother, Tam Dinh (24.5ppg, 54.8% FG%), who will look to carry his scoring ways in the ABL. The Heat have also chosen to add length and experience, signing ABL All-time 10 Honoree Chris Charles, NBA veteran Gary Forbes, and former Ohio State Buckeye, Sam Thompson. However, the Heat will no longer be with head coach Kyle Julius -- architect of their playoff runs the past 2 seasons – as he is now with the Formosa Dreamers. In his place, the team has tapped 2-time Vietnam Basketball Association (VBA) Coach of the Year Kevin Yurkus, to lead the squad.    Singapore Slingers (Regular Season record: 16-10, 3rd, defeated the Macau Black Bears in the quarterfinals, defeated HK Eastern in the Semifinals, lost to the CLS Knights Indonesia in the Finals) Key Players: Xavier Alexander, Marcus Elliot, Anthony McClain, Delvin Goh, Leon Kwek Arguably the most talked about offseason transfer belonged to the Singapore Slingers with their signing of former World Import MVP Marcus Elliot. Elliot played the last 3 seasons with Hong Kong Eastern where he averaged 23ppg, 7.6rpg, and 6.5apg. He also ranks 3rd in the ABL’s all-time scoring list, and has the second most career triple-doubles next the Slingers’ Xavier Alexander, last season’s Import MVP. With Elliot and Alexander, Singapore would now possess the league’s most potent backcourt, although there will surely be a period of adjustment, as both players are used to having the ball in their hands for most of the game. Further bolstering Coach Neo Beng Siang’s lineup is the addition of 7-foot big man Anthony McClain, a walking double-double, who most recently normed 17.8ppg and 13.6rpg in Taiwan’s Super Basketball League. Providing local support as well are Delvin Goh, who has continuously improved every season, and the returning Leon Kwek, who’s scoring and heads up play was sorely missed last season when he had to sit out due to National Service commitments.   Macau Wolf Warriors  Regular Season record: 2-24, 10th, did not advance to the post season) Key Players: Steven Thomas, Julian Boyd, Douglas Herring, Cai Chen After a dismal inaugural season, record-wise, the Wolf Warriors are looking to follow in the footsteps of the Formosa Dreamers, who rebounded from their 1-19 debut season to top the elimination round of season 2018-2019. They’ve brought in former ABL Champion Coach Todd Purves to mastermind the team’s rebuild, as well as ABL import legend and All-time Ten Honoree Steven Thomas, and ABL Champion Douglas Herring, who led the CLS Knights to their first ever ABL Championship last season. Rounding out their import lineup is Julian Boyd, a prolific scorer who averaged 22.5ppg and 9.9rpg, in his most recent stint in Iceland’s domestic professional league. Cai Chen, their top local last season, will try to prove that his 19.7ppg and 7.4rpg was no fluke, as he will try to lead their cast of locals to a better finish this time around.  Taipei Fubon Braves (new) Key Players: OJ Mayo, Charles Garcia, Joseph Lin, Lin Chih-Chieh, Tseng Wen-Ting One of the most interesting and exciting expansion teams the ABL has seen in a long while, the Taipei Fubon Braves not only bring with them a winning tradition, but a star-studded lineup. Champions of the local Taiwan Super Basketball League, the Braves will be parading arguably the best ex-NBA player to play in the league in OJ Mayo, former NBA D-League player and double-double machine, Charles Garcia, as well as 7’4” behemoth Sim Bhullar, and Taiwanese National Team veterans Lin Chih-Chieh and Tseng Wen-Ting. Another notable name on their lineup is Joseph Lin, younger brother of former NBA star Jeremy Lin.  Coach Roger Hsu’s team will be coming into the ABL with a lot of hype surrounding them; but with their chemistry and championship pedigree, he hopes the transition from their domestic league to the higher level of competition in the ABL will be a smooth one......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsNov 16th, 2019

Sugod Malaya working to promote diversity in Football

Football has yet to shed its image of being a rich kid’s sport in the country, but Allianz Philippines and Sugod Malaya are showing that “the most beautiful sport in the world” is best played in an equal playing field. It doesn’t matter what your background or social standing is, as long as you are committed and dedicated to playing the game. “Globally, Allianz is known to be a staunch supporter of football, and we want to promote that same passion here in the Philippines. When Sugod Malaya came to us for help, we immediately saw that they are an organization that represents our goals and ideals for the sport—that it’s not just a game to be played by a few, but by all,” said Gae Martinez, Chief Marketing Officer of Allianz Philippines. Established six years ago, Sugod Malaya is a nonprofit football club that has close to 300 active members today—from the well-to-do to the poorest of the poor. “When we started, our dream was to establish a club that is really free, regardless of whatever the player’s background is,” said Mark Duane Angos, Secretary General and one of the founders of Sugod Malaya. He acknowledged that football in the Philippines suffered the reputation of being a game that is only played in gated communities and Sugod Malaya seeks to change that. “We were forming a team back then and realized that it lacked diversity. At that time, I was doing a community outreach program for San Beda and got in touch with folks in Tondo,” Angos said. The club eventually got four kids from the area to play with their team in Bacolod which, along with Iloilo, are considered the “Meccas” of football. “When they played in Bacolod, they really played well together,” Angos shared. From the 11 kids they had back then, the club has grown significantly. More than half of its members come from impoverished backgrounds, with 30-40 percent coming from the poorest of the poor. “At first, we were only relying on the generous donations of our club’s parents until we wanted to expand and solidify the program. In the end, it became more than just a football club; it also became a tool for community development. It is now a club that provides an opportunity for kids from all backgrounds to play and, at the same time, have their talent seen and discovered by the global community,” Angos said. While they consider their games in Iloilo and Bacolod to be memorable ones, nothing could beat their excitement in playing for international leagues. Sugod Malaya has played in the Borneo Cup in Malaysia and the Singa Cup in Singapore, and has likewise done well in their stints in other Asian countries. Most recently, Sugod Malaya experienced how it is to play European football when they played in Barcelona, Spain. They played in the Mediterranean Cup and competed against Barcelona FC’s famed La Masia squad, the youth team that produced global football megastars Lionel Messi and Andres Iniesta. Angos said they almost gave up the idea of joining while they were in their planning stage. “We knew, from the perspective of cost, that Barcelona would be too much even though its organizers were nice enough to give us partial subsidy. At some point, we thought of backing out because we felt that participating in one tournament might affect our entire program—we have a team playing in Europe and getting that experience, but then the other scholars would be suffering because we’d run out of funds and resources. So when Allianz and like-minded individuals came in, we saw the light at the end of the tunnel,” he revealed, adding that they knew of Allianz’ dedication to football. “When we heard that they were willing to help us, we were excited. We are very thankful and, at the same time, excited to see that we have represented Allianz well,” he pointed out. Even though the much stronger Barcelona team defeated Sugod Malaya, the kids remain determined. “You can see that it (playing against Barcelona) reinforced their determination,” Angos said. In playing in Barcelona, the kids realized how different football is being played in Europe. “In the Philippines, they would cheer for you when you make a goal. In Spain and the rest of Europe, the crowd will clap and appreciate your good pass, even if you don’t score, and when you make a good save. They can appreciate the strengths of the whole team,” Angos shared. He added that because of Allianz’ support in getting the kids to play in Spain, many other opportunities for the club came up. They were invited to play in Colombia (a team that they won over during the friendly competition), Ireland, and Portugal, among others. “The Colombian coach said that our play is unpolished, which is not a bad thing because it makes it unpredictable and exciting,” Angos said, adding that the other clubs have compared their style to that of Manny Pacquiao’s. In the end, what Mark and the rest of Sugod Malaya wants to achieve for the sport in the country, is to make Filipinos realize that “Football is a sport for the Filipinos.”.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJun 11th, 2019

Rediscover Play and Esports at Home at the Biggest Gaming Convention in PH

The much-awaited Electronic Sports and Gaming Summit (ESGS) takes on a whole a new turn—from a completely on-ground event to a virtual one, now fully livestreamed online. PLDT Home, the country’s fastest fixed network, powers the biggest gaming convention in the country that will bring in the best esports and gaming experience virtually on Facebook from October 23 to 25.  The best of Philippine Esports and more! Die-hard Esports fans are in for an epic gaming weekend as six (6) different Esports tournaments take center stage at the ESGS Astra Arena, featuring the most popular competitive titles such as Mobile Legends: Bang Bang, Dota 2, Call of Duty: Mobile, PUBG Mobile, VALORANT and Rainbow Six: Siege. Adding to the thrill is the presence of the very best pro-am teams which will battle head to head in a bid to win the competition’s top exciting prizes. The schedule of the competition is as follows: Legion Games Rainbow Six Siege Open Championship – Oct 23, 2020; ASUS Republic of Gamers Call of Duty: Mobile Tournament – Oct 23, 2020; Legion Games Mobile Legends: Bang Bang Open Championship – Oct 24, 2020; ASUS Republic of Gamers Dota 2 Tournament – Oct 24, 2020; Mountain Dew PUBG Mobile Tournament – Oct 25, 2020; PLDT Home Fibr VALORANT Tournament – Oct 25, 2020. In addition, something to look forward to during the event is the showcase of the latest up and coming video games from top developers – Blizzard, Square Enix, Ubisoft, and Devolver Digital. The Taipei Game Show will likewise join in on the fun as they talk about their featured game titles. Other activities that esports fans can take part in include the ESGS Fan Hall for an exclusive fan experience; the ESGS Indie Fest-the home of indie games; and the ESGS launch pad for product launches.  PLDT Home also brings in exclusive fan meet and greet experience with the country’s top esports and gaming idols. Esports personalities Alodia Gosiengfiao and Dexie Diaz will have an exclusive meet and greet with lucky PLDT Home subscribers. PLDT Home also powers the much-awaited exhibition game match of professional esports team TNC Predator with lucky audience members. Philippines’ fastest fixed network As the leading digital services provider in the country, PLDT Home brings the country’s esports to the next level with its strongest internet connection for the home. PLDT Home Fibr remains the preferred internet connection for the multi-player and bandwidth intensive games as it can reach up to 1Gbps and enables equal upload and download speeds for a lag-free gaming experience. Now that more and more esports enthusiasts are starting to try their hand on online gaming and streaming at home, they need a reliable internet connection that can power up their games. Make sure to level up your gaming experience with PLDT Home Fibr Plan 2999 with speeds of up to 100 Mbps which is perfect for seamless Ultra HD streaming and uninterrupted online gaming on multiple devices. For ESGS 2020 updates and schedules, follow PLDT Home on Facebook (www.facebook.com/PLDTHome), Twitter and Instagram (@PLDTHome)......»»

Category: newsSource:  mb.com.phRelated NewsOct 22nd, 2020

Memorial lot investments yield good ROI – Golden Haven

Investing in a memorial lot offers higher yield, according to the top executive of Golden Haven Memorial Park. Red Rosales, chief operating officer of the country’s first integrated memorial parks, reported of the huge price valuation of Golden Haven lot owners. Investing in Golden Haven lots now will grant you high returns in the future. When its Golden Haven Memorial Park, Las Pinas first opened in 1984, memorial lots cost only P5,000. “Today that value has gone up to P378,000, showing an impressive 2,240 percent increase or 67 percent increase per annum,” said Rosales. Golden Haven Memorial Park in Las Piñas, a 15-hectare property that features elements of Spanish architecture and a beautiful Butterfly Garden for people of all ages to enjoy. When the park first opened in 1984, memorial lots at this location cost P5,000. The Villar Group owned Golden Haven has also other memorial park investments in other locations. The Golden Haven Cebu, the most beautiful memorial park in the country inspired by Italian design, costs only P25,000 per plot in 2005. Today, a lot at Golden Haven Cebu costs P232,000, an increase of over 828 percent in value or a 46 percent increase per annum. This mountaintop sanctuary maximizes the enchanting surroundings with its various amenities such as the Pope John Paull II Memorial Hill, the Garden Plaze, the Imperial Gardens, among others. Still another choice place is the Golden Haven Memorial Park in Cagayan de Oro which is known for its majestic replica of the famed Christ the Redeemer statue at Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. In 2007, memorial plots at this beautiful location cost P33,000. Today, those plots now cost P89,000, boasting a 170 percent increase in value.  Under normal circumstances, Rosales said that investing in a memorial lot might be the last thing on many people’s minds. After all, the pursuit of leisure and other mundane affairs often take precedence over matters like a final resting place—for themselves or for those they love.          However, Rosales said that realizing how fragile and unpredictable life is may motivate people into making smart decisions now such as investing in a memorial lot at any of Golden Haven’s premier locations. Families go to Golden Haven Memorial Parks not just to visit those long gone but also to forge new happy memories together. “Because there is no telling what lies ahead for all of us, now is actually the best time to invest in a beautiful final resting place that befits the wonderful memories we shall leave behind. In this regard, there is no better choice than a prime lot at any of Golden Haven Memorial Park’s many locations across the country,” he said.  But people do not just buy a memorial lot, they now choose parks that are strategically located, beautifully designed, and high potential for growth.    According to Rosalies, families go to Golden Haven Memorial Parks not just to visit those long gone but also to forge new happy memories together. “Golden Haven inspires this through its elegant architecture that complement the park’s picturesque naturescapes,” said Rosales.  Golden Haven has more going for it than its beautiful parks and tranquil settings that honor the dearly departed. As with any piece of real estate, memorial lots at Golden Haven increase in value over time. “With an annual appreciation of 20 percent, investing in Golden Haven lots now will grant you high returns in the immediate future,” he said. The pandemic also presents opportunities for clever investors—both seasoned and beginners—to purchase properties while price increases have been temporarily halted. He said that many developers are now offering incredibly flexible terms and even substantial discounts to prospective property seekers. They can come in at a low cost—with no risks involved—but with a proven high return on their investments. “Nowhere is this more evident than at Golden Haven, one of the most trusted names in the deathcare industry,” he said. As it works towards having a memorial park in every Filipino’s hometown, Golden Haven now boasts of thirty beautiful and enticing sites across the country, offering memorial lots that make perfect low-risk and safe investments. For the numbers do not lie when it comes to Golden Haven. Rather, they tell a story of continuous growth. Golden Haven is a subsidiary of publicly listed Golden Bria Holdings Inc., currently positioned as the third largest real estate company in the country in terms of market capitalization valued at more than P200 billion......»»

Category: lifestyleSource:  abscbnRelated NewsOct 18th, 2020

SBP honors Alapag for contributions to Philippine basketball

Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas paid tribute to Jimmy Alapag as the longtime Gilas Pilipinas captain moved to US for good to explore new opportunities......»»

Category: newsSource:  philstarRelated NewsSep 23rd, 2020

Toff de Venecia at the 18th Congress

The founder of an innovative theater company, now a member of the 18th Congress, is enthused about ensuring the future of creative artists, from film makers to fashion designers, musicians, book and print producers, game and software developers, animationists, gastronomists, furniture designers and architects......»»

Category: newsSource:  philstarRelated NewsSep 7th, 2020

Aljun Melecio s never-ending quest to prove he belongs

Aljun Melecio has these hardware sitting pretty on his trophy case: UAAP 78 Jrs. MVP, UAAP 79 Rookie of the Year, UAAP 79 champion. Now heading into his fifth and final year in De La Salle University, he remains recognized as one of the best point guards in all of college. Well, recognized by just about everybody except himself. Asked if he feels worthy to stand alongside the likes of NCAA 95 Finals MVP Fran Yu or UAAP 82 Rookie of the Year Mark Nonoy, he answered, modest as always, "Nope. I don't. Wala pa akong napapatunayan." Yes, the 5-foot-8 super scorer who was then head coach Aldin Ayo's "most-wanted recruit" feels he is yet to prove himself. Yes, the primetime playmaker who was once comforted by Tab Baldwin after the Green Archers had lost the championship despite his 16 points in Game 3 of the Finals feels he is yet to prove himself. That in itself is not necessarily surprising, though. And that's because all throughout his young career, Melecio has felt, again and again, that he has to prove himself. He had to prove himself even to La Salle, his home of nine years now. "Actually, 'di naman ako ni-recruit ng Zobel dati," he shared. "To be honest, my mindset at that time ay mag-Team B lang sa Zobel para pag may games, mas magagamit ako. Kaysa naman mag-Team A ako and nakaupo lang sa bench." BREAK IN Aljun Melecio, now a graduating guard, is La Salle's most recent homegrown product. Of the Green Archers' probable UAAP 83 roster, the now-22-year-old is the lone player to have come from the Taft-based school's Jrs. programs - and mind you, they have two in La Salle Zobel and La Salle Green Hills. In DLSZ, Melecio was a scoring dynamo who once dropped 42 points on archrival Ateneo de Manila High School. Did you know, though, that he wasn't even supposed to wear the green and white? "I was supposed to transfer sa UST nung high school," he recalled. "Pero napag-usapan naming family na since si kuya, nasa Zobel na nung time na yun, mas okay sigurong Zobel na lang din ako para magkasama kami." Aljun was referring to older brother Aleck who was also his teammate for three years with the Jr. Archers. If not for Aleck, however, Aljun would have suited up for University of Sto. Tomas High School where good friend Renzo Subido had already committed to play for college. After all, it was Subido, and dad Henry, who had convinced the Melecios to move to Manila from Bukidnon. "The reason talaga why we took the risk to come here was because of Coach Henry," Aljun shared, looking back at the time when all of them were repping Lourdes School of Mandaluyong. "They invited us to play basketball in Manila kaya malaki ang utang na loob namin sa Subido family." While Coach Henry and Renzo have been always there to lend a helping hand, that did not necessarily make the transition any easier - especially for a 10-year-old kid who was born and bred in Valencia City. "Grabe yung sacrifice na ginawa namin just for me to have more opportunities in life. That was a big adjustment not just for me, but also for my parents," Melecio said. He then continued, "Dumating yung time na ayoko nang bumalik sa Manila kasi na-homesick ako. Looking back now, normal lang naman siguro yun, lalong-lalo na bata pa ako." BREAKTHROUGH Make no mistake about it, looking back now, Aljun Melecio has no regrets. As he put it, "It was all worth it." Of course, he also had lady luck smile on him somewhat as, yet again following the footsteps of Subido, he transferred from Lourdes to DLSZ. And there, he found yet another mentor willing to believe in him. "Sina Coach Boris [Aldeguer], pagdating ko sa Zobel, they invited me to join yung practice ng Team A. Nagulat ako na kaya ko naman pala so doon na nag-start yung confidence ko," he said. Indeed, Melecio did not let Coach Boris down as in his first year, he proved to be a building block in their rebuild. While the boys from Alabang eventually ended outside the playoff picture, he had made more than enough noise to get the attention of the Philippine national youth team. There, DLSZ's top gun got his first taste of wearing the flag as part of the Batang Gilas training pool. "Masayang-masaya ako nun na makasama sa practice team dahil dream ko talaga maging part nun," he narrated. "May jersey lang and makasali lang ako sa practice, masayang-masaya ako." There, Melecio showcased his skills alongside other promising prospects such as Nieto twins Mike and Matt as well as Jolo Mendoza of Ateneo, Renzo Navarro of San Sebastian College-Recoletos, and Jollo Go of Hope Christian High School. And there, yet again, he knew full well he had to prove himself. During training itself, the new kid on the block believed he was doing so. At the same time, however, he had to come face-to-face with another beast altogether - how to get to practice in the first place. As it turned out, the then-13-year-old had to commute from south to north each and every time he participated in Batang Gilas training. How did his trips go? "From Alabang, mag-tricycle ako to [Alabang] Town [Center] then jeep going to Starmall [Alabang]. After nun, bus to Magallanes, MRT, then LRT, tapos jeep ulit," he shared. He then continued, "So papunta pa lang to Moro, pagod na ako. Then after practice, mag-commute na naman pauwi." Fortunately for him, there were also kind hearts like the Nieto twins who took him to the LRT station in Katipunan or Evan Nelle whom he rode with going back south. Still, around 33km and about an hour separated DLSZ in the south and Ateneo's Moro Lorenzo Sports Center in the north - indeed, that was some sort of workout already. BREAKDOWN In the long run, that was, unfortunately, much too much for young Aljun Melecio. While wearing the flag would have meant much, he also felt circumstances, such as that hell of a commute that cost him PHP 200 for a one-way trip, held him back from giving his all. Instead, Melecio felt he could do much more if he just rechanneled his energy to DLSZ. "After ilang weeks na ginagawa ko yung routine na yun, I started asking myself kung paano maayos yung priorities ko. Pinakiramdaman ko kung saan ako mag-iimprove so I talked to Coach Boris," he said. He the continued, "And I decided na mag-all in sa Zobel." All in for the Jr. Archers, he did, and boy, did it prove to be the right call. He was just getting started in UAAP 76, slowly but surely getting a grasp of both his capabilities and confidence as he helped the green and white barge back into the Final Four. Then in Season 77, it all clicked as he shot the green and white to the second rung of the stepladder all while putting up per game counts of 16.6 points, 6.2 rebounds, 4.1 assists, and 2.3 steals. Without a doubt, he willed his way into the Mythical Team that included the Nieto twins, his batchmates in Batang Gilas. The following year, with averages of 22.7 points, 7.1 rebounds, 3.3 assists, and 2.3 steals, he carried DLSZ all the way to the Finals where they stole one game from eventual champion Nazareth School of National University. And oh, he was the unanimous MVP of Season 78, besting the likes of future Gilas Pilipinas pool members Justine Baltazar and Gomez de Liano brothers Javi and Juan. Even then, though, he wouldn't call himself the best of the best. "I didn't think na I belonged kasi never kong gustong isipin na ganun ako," he said. He then continued, "Ang alam ko lang, I worked extra hard, I had extra motivation to play. Thankfully, coach Boris supported my decision and dahil dun, na-boost yung confidence ko." BREAK FREE From there, Aljun Melecio did nothing but go onto greater and greater heights in La Salle's Srs. squad. Never tell him he has accomplished anything, though, as he would be the first to tell you that you're wrong. Up until now, he feels that he is yet to prove himself. He hopes to prove that he has what it takes to be behind the wheel for the Green Archers' new era. He hopes to prove that he could bounce back following the worst statistical season for him. And he hopes to prove that he has every right to be mentioned in the same breath as his one-time teammates in the Batang Gilas pool and his batchmates who are now part of the Gilas Pilipinas pool. "Lahat naman, ginagawa kong motivation," he said. "May it be positive or negative, we all have our timing so I'm just being patient para sa kung anuman ang ibibigay na chance sa akin." If and when that next shot at wearing the flag comes along, Melecio only vows to do what he has never stopped doing. Asked about getting a golden opportunity at the Gilas pool, he answered, "That's still a dream for me. I know I still have a lot to prove." He then continued, "But I will give my all if given the chance to represent. I always do." If and when that time comes, there would be no more 33km distance, one-hour travel time, or PHP 200 cost. Still, Aljun Melecio would work just as hard - if not more - as he did when he once had to commute south to north just to get to practice. Don't forget, proving himself is already second nature to him. --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsAug 29th, 2020

Always About the People

“Solid!” That was the only reaction, or lack thereof, that I could muster after that first breakaway slam of Kiefer Ravena’s UAAP collegiate basketball career over the outstretched arms of UST’s foreign center, Karim Abdul. Moments before, you could see Kiefer was going to go hard, as it was a one-on-one breakaway and he had the speed advantage over Abdul, who was hot on his heels. Little did I know that he was going to go for that highlight that would announce his entry into college basketball. That reaction, that loss for words, can pretty much sum up my past 10 years of covering college basketball for ABS-CBN Sports.  They first asked me to write about my most memorable UAAP game coverage; but I must confess, I was never really good at remembering exact details of games, unlike some of my fellow sportscasters, or even coaches I know, who remember almost detail for detail, or play by play. My memories come in highlights, or sometimes even just flashes of good or memorable plays.  I remember a 6’8”, 18-year old Ben Mbala, whom we first saw a glimpse of while Anton Roxas and I were covering the CESAFI league in the hot and humid Cebu Coliseum, sometime around 2012. He was playing for the Southwestern University Cobras, wasn’t as built and polished as when he was with DLSU, but you could already see the raw talent and athleticism. Fast forward a few years, I remember well how he took the UAAP by storm, with his monster dunks, and how he piloted La Salle to a championship while winning league MVP in Season 79.  I remember the heralded rookie season of Kiefer Ravena in the men’s division, after a storied juniors career. Kiefer won Rookie of the Year honors and helped lead Ateneo to two more titles to round up their 5-peat, before it was Jeron Teng’s turn to lead the Green Archers to a championship over his elder brother Jeric and the UST Growling Tigers.  I remember Bobby Ray Parks Jr. and his back-to-back MVP seasons. He was arguably the most complete college player during that time. It was painful to see his team fall short especially during his second MVP year. The Bulldogs made history the year after though, with Alfred Aroga, Troy Rosario, and Gelo Alolino now at the helm, winning the school’s first ever championship after more than forty years. I would argue that the past decade saw some of the brightest UAAP college basketball stars, both local and foreign, take to the hard court. It would almost be unfair to start naming them because I’ll surely end up leaving some names worthy enough to be mentioned. But we all remember Greg Slaughter, Ryan Buenafe, RR Garcia, Terence Romeo, Mac Belo, RR Pogoy, Roi Sumang, Charles Mamie, Alex Nuyles, Jericho Cruz, Papi Sarr, Jeron Teng, Jason Perkins, Aljun Melecio, Kiefer and Thirdy, Bobby Ray, Alfred Aroga, Kevin Ferrer, Karim Abul, Jeric Teng, Ange Kuoame, Matt and Mike Nieto, Paul Desiderio, Juan GDL, and the list goes on and on… all of them making their mark in the UAAP the past ten years. Aside from the highlights, there were the more mundane, behind-the-scenes memories, especially covering out-of-town games when we used to do the CESAFI and the PCCL. That was basketball coverage at its purest. There was a time we traveled to Lanao Del Sur to cover the Mindanao regional selection of the PCCL. Lanao was about another two to three hour drive from Cagayan de Oro along a dark highway with trees and mountains all around; and where there was only one mall in the entire town. Or when we traveled by van to La Union to cover the north regional selection of the PCCL… or even staying a whole week at the Cebu Grand Hotel, for the VisMin regional selection. Coverages then were bare bones: no real-time stats or live graphics, and I would even sometimes have to tally the points and rebounds of each player in-game on my notebook just so that I’d have some semblance of stats to mention on the coverage. Still, those games were so much fun because the players, getting their first shot at national TV coverage, would leave everything out on the floor.  In a year or so, both the UAAP and the NCAA will announce their respective new homes, and new broadcast teams will have the privilege of covering the best collegiate basketball players in the country. That’s how the ball bounces. I’m a firm believer that in life there are seasons, and a perfect time for everything. I’m just thankful for the opportunities thrown my way. If you were to ask me why the coverage of the UAAP helped build the league into what it is today, my answer would be simple: it was always about the people. At the end of the day, what makes the UAAP and its coverage great are the stories of the people that play, coach, officiate, cover, and run the games. It’s not really about the championships or the awards, but rather the challenges, hardships, and journeys of each of the individuals that brought them there.  And it is also about the directors, producers, cameramen, reporters and make-up artists that make sure that the audience sees what is supposed to be seen – the winning basket, a fan’s priceless reaction, the agony in defeat, and the glory of victory. It’s what Boom Gonzalez or Mico Halili would always say, that our job as anchors and analysts is to tell the people watching at home the story of what is happening in the game in the best way possible.  I just want to tip my hat to all the people that allowed us to do our jobs the best way possible. From our directors, producers, cameramen, floor directors, fellow panelists, courtside reporters, league officials, statisticians, make-up artists, and all those people behind the scenes whom we worked with, know that we were able to give our best because of you; and the UAAP coverage will not be what it is if not for all of your hard work and dedication.  It was, is, and will always be about the people. Marco Benitez was the team captain for the Ateneo Blue Eagles when they won the UAAP Season 65 men's seniors basketball title in 2002. Marco eventually covered collegiate basketball as analyst for ABS-CBN Sports starting in 2010. He is presently the President of the Philippine Women's University (PWU)......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsAug 23rd, 2020

Intal considers semis win over Thais in SEA Games better than UAAP titles

Winning three titles in the UAAP is already an incredible feat. But for Ateneo de Manila University product Rex Intal, those college championships pale in comparison with the ecstasy he felt when the Philippine national men’s volleyball team toppled powerhouse Thailand in the semifinals of the 30th Southeast Asian Games last year. [Related story: SEA GAMES: PHI men's volleyball team advances to the gold medal round] A member of the Nationals who captured a historic silver medal in the biennial meet, Intal considers their thrilling come-from-behind win that dethroned Thailand in the knockout semis as the most memorable game he has ever played in.    “For me it was one of the best games talaga na nalaruan ko. Not the best performance pero best games na most unforgettable,” said Intal in his appearance on Volleyball DNA hosted by Anton Roxas and Denden Lazaro. “Actually most unforgettable game na talaga.” The former Blue Eagle middle went as far as saying that the victory over the Thais, which was watched by an electric crowd inside the PhilSports Arena last December, even topped the three titles he had while playing for Ateneo.   “Naramdaman ko talaga na may tumalo na sa first, second and third UAAP championships. Sorry UAAP pero iba ‘yung SEA Games na naramdaman ko. Iba ang naramdaman ko nu’ng umabot kami ng Finals,” said Intal, who with PHI squad teammates Marck Espejo and Ish Polvorosa led the Blue Eagles to a UAAP grand slam from Season 77 to 79.   “Individually ah, hindi 'yung combined na three UAAP championships,” cleared Intal. “Siguro kapag combined medyo same.” The Nationals faced top seed Thailand, which ruled the previous four editions, on December 8 in the crossover semis attended by a 6,700-strong crowd.   The experience of playing in front of the home crowd in an all-important game that time was a surreal feeling according to Intal. “Grabe ang experience na ‘yun. Ang saya maglaro nu’ng time na ‘yun kasi first time ‘yung buong crowd hindi hiwalay,” said Intal of the atmosphere inside the venue compared to what he’s used while playing in the UAAP. “Lahat nagtsi-cheer talaga. In front of the home crowd ang sarap maglaro sa crowd na ‘yun,” he added. “Isa ‘yun sa di ko makakalimutan na experience sa buong buhay ko.” It was a dramatic win for the Nationals as they came back from a 1-2 deficit and a scary 21-24 hole in the fourth set to upset Thailand in five sets.   “Nu’ng nanalo kami nung napalo na ni Bryan ang bola sigawan na kami nun,” recalled Intal, who scored six points in the match playing in four sets. “’Di kami makapaniwala. As in lahat ng boses na mayroon kami kailangan naming ilabas.” “Totoo pala na kailangan mong kurutin yung sarili mo, ‘Totoo ba ‘to? Totoo ba ‘to?’” he added. “’Yung inisip ko nun ay ‘di ‘yung natalo namin ang Thailand. Ang naisip ko was may medal na kami.” That win assured the Philippines of a silver medal for the first time since its runner-up finish in the 1977 SEA Games in Malaysia and a rematch against group stage tormentors Indonesia. The Indonesians were too much for the inexperienced Filipinos as the host team yielded in straight sets. But still, although the Nationals fell short in the gold medal round for Intal the whole SEA Games experience especially their conquest of Thailand will always be on the top of his list.   --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsAug 21st, 2020

Professional Fighters League launches OTT platform

NEW YORK – Professional Fighters League (PFL), the first organization ever to present MMA through a Regular Season, Playoffs, and Championship format, today rolled out a new OTT platform, providing fight fans with access to hundreds of hours of premium PFL content wherever they are, with no restrictions. The PFL MMA app is available now for free on Apple TV, Roku, Fire, Android, and iOS devices. “With the launch of our first OTT platform, we’re excited to fulfill the growing global demand for our product by providing fight fans around the world with free access to premium PFL content wherever, whenever and however they want to consume it,” said PFL CEO Peter Murray. “Professional Fighters League is a media and content company. As we continue to grow, innovate, and reimagine MMA, we have placed an emphasis on engaging fans all year long through impactful storytelling and unprecedented access to the sport, our fighters, and the action inside the cage. As the app continues to evolve, this will especially be a destination for international fans outside the US.”  PFL Unlocks Its Vault – Access Classic Fights On Demand  Professional Fighters League is delivering a full fight library, from classic matchups to million-dollar championship fights, featuring PFL stars such as Kayla Harrison, Ray Cooper and Emiliano Sordi. Fans will also gain access to never-before-seen World Series of Fighting matchups. Relive all the memorable moments in one location, at your fingertips.  Enjoy Original Programming From PFL Studios  In addition to event replays, fans will enjoy original storytelling from PFL Studios, a fully integrated global media division of the Professional Fighters League producing original MMA content for all platforms including television, digital and mobile. Murray drew inspiration for PFL Studios from his time with NFL Films and has assembled a top executive team, including Executive Producer and 16-time Emmy winner George Greenberg and Chief Digital Officer Dan Ghosh-Roy, to lead the effort.  Go Behind-The-Scenes  PFL MMA will feature exclusive, never-before-seen interviews and footage that will provide fans with unprecedented access to the league. Hear from PFL stars like Rory MacDonald and personalities like MMA legend Randy Couture, in addition to celebrity fans.  The league will monetize the OTT platform through sponsorship and advertising opportunities for leading brand partners, in addition to microtransaction purchases for fans tied to gaming and exclusive content.  Professional Fighters League partnered with ViewLift to bring the PFL MMA OTT platform to life. ViewLift offers end-to-end solutions for creating, launching, and monetizing video applications across mobile, over-the-top, connected TV and game consoles. For more info visit www.PFLmma.com and follow PFL on Instagram (@PFLmma), Twitter (@ProFightLeague), and Facebook (/PFLmma)......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsAug 5th, 2020

UAAP open to explore broadcast options after ABS-CBN loses franchise

Though still in the middle of talks with the embattled network for a possible new deal, the country’s premier collegiate league said that it's open for other opportunities with what’s “best for UAAP community” remaining as the top priority......»»

Category: sportsSource:  philstarRelated NewsJul 11th, 2020

Kai Sotto s coach at TSF believes he s ready for the big time

The coach that guided Kai Sotto when he first went to the US believes that it's just a matter of time before the 7'2" Filipino teen phenom plays in the NBA. When Sotto decided to go to America to chase his NBA dream, he landed in Atlanta and played for The Skill Factory under coach Rob Johnson. In less than a year there, Johnson saw more than enough to believe that Kai is destined for the big time. After his stint at TSF, Sotto took a major step towards the NBA by signing with the G League, where he'll team up with other top prospects like top-ranked Jalen Green. "I believe the G League will be a great challenge for Kai. I believe he is prepared to play at that level," Johnson told the Olympic Channel. "He just needs to take advantage of the opportunities in front of him and continue to improve," he added. The level of play Kai will face in the G League will be different and far better. But based on his time at TSF, Johnson is confident that Sotto will be able to take everything in and come out as an evolved as an evolved player. "Kai has a great attitude about training, he is a gym rat. He loves finding out information to apply to his game and to help him improve," Johnson said. "Kai has great basketball IQ. He is easy to coach and understands instructions and concepts at a very high level," he added.   — Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJun 29th, 2020

Ken Tuffin out to make mom proud by making it to the PBA

For the next two months, Ken Tuffin will be showcasing his skills in the New Zealand National Basketball League. The Far Eastern University captain was a starter in his very first game for the Taranaki Mountainairs and had a solid showing of 10 points, four rebounds, and two steals. Whether or not he's in the first five, though, Tuffin vowed to just keep doing what he has always done - go all-out. "Coach puts us in different groups depending on the personnel so I think I started last time for matchup purposes. Whatever it is, I'm really thankful for them," he said in last Friday's The Prospects Pod. He then continued, "Obviously, I'll just take all opportunities and do the best I can to help the team." In the end, the Filipino-Kiwi's stint in New Zealand will help out the Tamaraws - the Tamaraws who will, no doubt, welcome back with open arms their 6-foot-4 forward who had just gotten valuable international experience. And in the end, Tuffin's time in Taranaki will only be a big boost for his first and foremost dream - the PBA. "The end goal is always to play professionally. I would love to play in the PBA, of course, because it would mean a lot to me as well as my family," he said. The 23-year-old traces his roots to La Union where his mother was born and bred as well as Pangasinan and Pampanga where his relatives now reside. "It would mean a lot to have someone from my mom's side to make it (to the PBA)," he said. "It would really make them proud to (experience) something like that. Definitely, that's one of my goals." Of course, Tuffin is taking it one step a time and his full focus is on the Mountainais now - with FEU and then the PBA Draft not that far behind. --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJun 27th, 2020

ON THIS DAY: Philippine volleyball makes SEA Games return

On this day five years ago, the Philippines made its return in the Southeast Asian Games after a 10-year hiatus. The hyped PHI women’s team saw action for the first time in the 2015 Singapore edition of the biennial meet and faced Indonesia in a match that drew headlines even before the actual game at the OCBC Arena Hall 2. In a controversial move, the Philippines filed a protest against Indonesia, demanding a gender test for its powerful spiker Aprilia Manganang because of her masculine appreance and physique. The request was denied by the Singaporean SEA Games organizing committee, citing that the FIVB had already cleared Manganang in a previous FIVB-sanctioned tournament. [Related story: Philippine request for gender test on Indonesian player denied] The protest backfired for the Filipinas as they were given a rude welcome by the Indonesians, particularly Manganang. Manganang let the Filipinas know that no amount of distraction will get her out of her game as she banged in 13 points to power Indonesia to a 25-22, 25-20, 25-14, win. [Related story: PHI protest backfires as inspired Manganang waxed-hot] Alyssa Valdez, who was the Team Philippines' flag-bearer, paced the Pinays with 15 points, but the towering sisters Jaja Santiago and elder sibling Dindin Santiago-Manabat were neutralized and had only seven and two points, respectively. It was a big letdown for the Nationals, who were bracketed in Group B together with Indonesia, Vietnam and Malaysia. That SEA Games edition format assured the top two teams from each bracket at least a bronze medal. However, it did mark the historic return of the Philippines in the SEA Games since winning bronze in the 2005 Manila edition.    The Philippine women’s team that time was composed of Valdez, the Santiago sisters, Rhea Dimaculangan, Grethcel Soltones, Jovelyn Gonzaga, Maika Ortiz, Jia Morado, Rachele Anne Daquis, Aby Marano, Bea De Leon and Denden Lazaro under head coach Roger Gorayeb. In men’s play, the Filipinos found early success after beating Malaysia, 20-25, 25-23, 25-18, 25-19, in their Group A opener. The Philippines was bracketed with Thailand, Myanmar and Malaysia. Marck Espejo led that PHI team together with John Vic De Guzman, AJ Pareja, Rex Intal, Josh Villanueva, Kheeno Franco, Edward Camposano, Ysay Marasigan, Sandy Montero, Peter Torres, Timothy Sto. Tomas and Ish Polvorosa with Oliver Almadro calling the shots.     ---     Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJun 10th, 2020

PB(A)BL: Christian Standhardinger adds to own hype with Hong Kong stop

Not all players take the same route going to the PBA, each player will have his own story to tell. This series will be about those who chose a different path, those who had to hustle overseas at one point in their careers before eventually landing in the PBA. Here, we take a look at current big-name PBA players who spent some time in the other major basketball league with Philippine teams in the region: the Asean Basketball League. They don’t have to play for a Filipino team, after all, the ABL is a great place where Filipino talents can shine even while playing for other countries. [Related: PB(A)BL: Like a Dragon, Matthew Wright brought fire in Malaysia's dream season] The penultimate entry to the series is about Christian Standhardinger and impressive season with Hong Kong Eastern.   Stop and Go Christian Standhardinger became one of the busiest basketball players in the region by the time he travelled to Manila in mid-2017 following his call-up to Gilas Pilipinas. The Fil-German forward became the national team’s de facto naturalized player during that year’s Jones Cup, FIBA-Asia Cup, and SEA Games. After Gilas was removed from medal contention in the FIBA-Asia Cup in Lebanon, Standhardinger left to join the SEA Games team in Kuala Lumpur. In between, Standhardinger found the time to sign with the ABL’s Hong Kong Eastern and make himself available for the PBA Draft (more on that later). Standhardinger officially debuted for Hong Kong Eastern on November 19 2017, scoring 26 points and grabbing 14 rebounds in a win against Alab Pilipinas. Hong Kong entered the 2017-2018 season as defending champions and with Standhardinger, the team obviously targeted back-to-back titles. Unfortunately, HK couldn’t keep its success against Alab. Despite taking home-court advantage, Hong Kong got swept in the semifinals by the Philippine team led by Justin Brownlee and Renaldo Balkman. Alab would go on to win the championship, beating Mono Vampire in five games. Standhardinger played a total of 22 games in his lone ABL season for Hong Kong, shooting 50 percent from the field for 22.5 points per game on top of 11.7 rebounds, 2.3 assists, and 1.3 steals. He had his most productive outing in Thailand, posting 40 points, 17 rebounds, three assists, and five steals in a Hong Kong win over Mono Vampire.   Gilas to ABL to PBA Christian Standhardinger officially made his Gilas debut in July 2017 in the Jones Cup and would eventually help the team to a fourth-place finish. Exactly one month after his Gilas debut, it was reported that he would suit up for Hong Kong Eastern. In early September, Standhardinger declared for the PBA Draft and was taken first overall by the Beermen on October 29, 2017. The Draft became infamous as San Miguel made a deal with Kia to acquire the number 1 pick. The deal, approved by then PBA Commissioner Chito Narvasa, caused enough controversy that the PBA Board actually separated into two separate factions. The deal also paved the way for Narvasa’s resignation and Willie Marcial stepping in to become the new PBA Commissioner. But back to Standhardinger, CS didn’t immediately join the Beermen as less than a month after the PBA Draft, the ABL season would start. After months of anticipation, Standhardinger finally debuted for San Miguel in the 2018 Commissioner’s Cup but the Beermen failed to defend their mid-season title, losing to Ginebra in the Finals. Despite a rocky stint with San Miguel, CS would win two championships with the team in the 2019 season. But even as the Beermen went through all that trouble to acquire the rights to pick him first, Standhardinger only lasted four full conferences with the team. Standhardinger’s trade away from San Miguel made big news late in 2019, but the move pretty much “freed” the hard-working forward. With Northport Standhardinger led the Batang Pier to the Governors’ Cup semifinals, having a better finish than San Miguel. CS also won his first-ever Best Player of the Conference award after an incredible breakout performance for his new team.   — Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8 .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsMay 8th, 2020

PB(A)BL: Like a Dragon, Matthew Wright brought fire in Malaysia s dream season

Not all players take the same route going to the PBA, each player will have his own story to tell. This series will be about those who chose a different path, those who had to hustle overseas at one point in their careers before eventually landing in the PBA. Here, we take a look at current big-name PBA players who spent some time in the other major basketball league with Philippine teams in the region: the Asean Basketball League. They don’t have to play for a Filipino team, after all, the ABL is a great place where Filipino talents can shine even while playing for other countries. [Related: PB(A)BL: Chris Banchero's hot streak with San Miguel Beer] Today, we focus on Matthew Wright and his incredible one-and-done season with the Westports Malaysia Dragons.   Enter the Dragon Long before he ended up being a regular to Gilas Pilipinas, Matthew Wright actually already suited up for the national team via the U-18 squad in 2008. The Fil-Canadian then went home to Toronto and played in the NCAA tournament via St. Bonaventure. As a 25-year-old shooter, Wright got close to his other home when he suited up in the ABL for the Wesports Malaysia Dragons with his future Phoenix head coach Ariel Vanguardia and another prospect in Fil-Am Jason Brickman. With the Dragons, Wright set the ABL on fire with his scoring exploits. In his lone stint during the 2015-2016 season, Wright set the league record for most three-point shots made in one game at 10. He also set the record for most three-point shots made in a single season at 71 and his total points of 461 were the 4th highest of all-time and most by a non-World Import. Wright ended up being the ABL’s first-ever Heritage MVP, leading the league with an average of 23.1 points on 41.8 percent shooting from deep. He also added 4.2 rebounds and 3.4 assists. More importantly, Wright helped the Dragons to the no. 1 seed in the 2016 season with a strong 16-4 record. The crowning achievement was Malaysia winning its first, and so far, only ABL title by taking out the Singapore Slingers in the Finals, 3-2.   ABL to Gilas to PBA After leading the Westports Malaysia Dragons to the ABL championship, Wright was added to a Gilas Pilipinas pool that included guys like then amateurs Kiefer Ravena, Mac Belo, Ray Parks Jr., Kevin Ferrer, and Jio Jalalon. Wright was later named to the actual Gilas Pilipinas Cadets team and entered the PBA through the 2016 Draft. While no order was revealed, Wright joined the Phoenix Fuel Masters, reuniting with Dragons coach Ariel Vanguardia. Once in the PBA, Wright’s scoring exploits continued, in one game scoring 42 points, which was the most for a rookie since Eric Menk scored 43 for Tanduay since 1999. He finished second in the Rookie of the Year race and was part of the All-Rookie Team. The Fil-Canadian sniper also became a regular for Gilas Pilipinas since, consistently making the final team for tournaments like the SEABA Championship, the FIBA Asia Cup, and the FIBA World Cup Asian Qualifiers. In the 2019 season, his third with Phoenix, Matthew Wright led the Fuel Masters to a breakthrough semifinals appearance in the Philippine Cup as the no. 1 seed. He also ended the year as the league’s no. 2 scorer.   — Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8 .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsMay 6th, 2020

Bagunas featured in FIVB website

National men’s team standout Bryan Bagunas became the latest Filipino volleyball star to be featured in the official FIVB website. The 30th Manila Southeast Asian Games silver medalist in the feature article talked about how he got into volleyball. [Bagunas gives men's volleyball a boost in the Philippines]  “Basketball was the first sport I played, then I got curious in playing volleyball in one of our high school intramurals. It was during my sophomore year when I started to focus on playing volleyball,” said Bagunas, who is currently playing for Oita Miyoshi Weiss Adler as an import in the prestigious Japan V. Premier League.   “There was even a time that I had to participate in both basketball and volleyball events in the intramurals, added the pride of Balayan, Batangas. “But I fell in love with volleyball more, and since then I enjoyed playing it and did my best to improve myself.” Bagunas, a two-time UAAP champion and Season 81 Most Valuable Player, also shared his struggles while playing for National University. “My first three years of playing for my university were quite frustrating but also challenging because we always finished as runners-up,” he said. “It was in 2018 when I got the chance to taste a championship title, then I followed it up with another title win, which opened more opportunities for me as an athlete. I became a club player in my third year in university and then a national team player that participated at the 2017 Southeast Asian Games. At this point, I was not only doing it for myself, I was able to help my family as well.” The 2019 Philippine Sportswriters Association Mr. Volleyball shared that his most cherished moment as part of the national squad was the historic silver medal finish that ended the country’s podium drought since winning the bronze medal in the 1991 edition of the biennial met and first runner-up finish since 1977 in Malaysia.   “It may not be a gold medal but to bring the country back to a final after 42 years felt like we won the championship,” he said. “It felt good to bring honor and pride for the country, seeing the faces of our countrymen and how proud they were of our achievement was priceless.” Bagunas is the third local volleyball star to be featured in the FIVB website after Sisi Rondina and Jaja Santiago......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsApr 30th, 2020

NBA 2K League to tip off 2020 season with remote gameplay

The NBA 2K League announced on Monday that the start of its 2020 regular season will begin Tuesday, May 5 (Wednesday, May 6 in the Philippines) with at least six weeks of remote gameplay.  All 23 NBA 2K League teams will participate in regular-season gameplay from their local markets with games simulcast live on the NBA 2K League’s Twitch and YouTube channels. Games will begin at 7 p.m. ET every Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday (7 a.m Philippine time every Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday with four distinct matchups each night.  Over the course of the six weeks of remote gameplay, each team is scheduled to play at least eight matches that will count toward its regular-season record.  Each match will be played in a best-of-three format, which will allow the NBA 2K League broadcast to switch between games in real-time and give fans more opportunities to experience the league’s most exciting moments.  Each three-game-series victory will represent one regular-season win, and each three-game-series loss will represent one regular-season loss.  The start-of-season game schedule will be announced in the coming days. The 2020 season will once again include three in-season tournaments (THE TIPOFF, THE TURN and THE TICKET), in which teams compete for banners that link together to form THE BANNER CHAIN powered by AT&T.  All 23 teams will compete in THE TIPOFF and THE TURN.  The 14 teams that are not one of the top nine playoff seeds will compete in THE TICKET, which will see the winning team earn the 10th and final spot in the 2020 NBA 2K League Playoffs.  In addition, select NBA 2K League teams will host rivalry matches and round-robin events.  The remainder of the 2020 season schedule and structure, including the dates of tournaments, rivalry matches and round-robin events, will be shared as information becomes available. The NBA 2K League will implement an innovative production model that allows for a remote broadcast in all 23 team markets and NBA 2K League broadcasters to announce games in their homes from a virtual NBA 2K League Studio, while switching between games occurring at the same time.  “We are thrilled to officially tip off the 2020 NBA 2K League season remotely and hope the excitement of NBA 2K League competition provides both new and returning fans with a fun way to stay connected and engage with our league during these unprecedented times,” said NBA 2K League Managing Director Brendan Donohue.  “Our players have been quarantining with their teammates as they prepare for the season and will now have the opportunity to compete against one another and show they are the best players in the world.” New for the 2020 season, the NBA 2K League has launched a campaign entitled, “THIS IS NOT A GAME.”  From the NBA 2K League Combine to the Draft, regular season to the Finals, the NBA 2K League is more than just a game; it’s a way of life filled with hours of practice and preparation for a season of challenges where only one team can emerge as champions.  For the latest news and updates on the NBA 2K League and #ThisIsNotAGame, fans can sign up to receive emails at NBA2KLeague.com and follow the NBA 2K League on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Twitch and YouTube. Below please find the 2020 NBA 2K League start-of-season schedule: May 5 – 8                    Regular Season – Week 1 May 12 – 15                Regular Season – Week 2 May 19 – 22                Regular Season – Week 3 May 26 – 29                Regular Season – Week 4 June 2 – 5                    Regular Season – Week 5 June 9 – 12                  Regular Season – Week 6    .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsApr 28th, 2020