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By EDDIE G. ALINEA | Sports Editor & Columnist

 

(Photo from Instagram | @coachot)

 

MANILA – The Philippine team will compete in the Asian Games in Indonesia after all.

 

Nearly two weeks after controversially withdrawing its participation in the Asiad, the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) formally said that it will send a squad to Jakarta for the quadrennial meet.

 

As expected, the key players of Rain ohine will make up the bulk of the national team lineup to be coached by current NLEX mentor Roseller Yeng Guiao. Caloy Garcia, ROS' chief gaffer, will serve as Guiao's associate.

 

"Kasama po rito si Maverick Ahanmisi, Chris Tiu, Gabe Norwood, James Yap, Beau Belga, at si Raymond Almazan," Guiao announced the Elasto Painters' core that will play in the Asiad.

 

They will be joined by Asi Taulava, one of Guiao's players at NLEX, Magnolia's Paul Lee, San Miguel's Chris Standhardinger, GlobalPort's Stanley Pringle, Blackwater's Poy Erram, TNT's Don Trollano, and Gilas cadets Kobe Paras and Ricci Rivero.

 

While Guiao announced a 14-man pool during a press conference at the Smart Araneta Coliseum in Quezon City prior to Game 5 of the Commissioner's Cup Finals between Ginebra and San Miguel, he added, "We will cut that down to 12 before we leave."

 

Daily practices, according to Guiao, will begin on Monday night at the Meralco Gym in Pasig City and will go full throttle when the team heads to the Indonesian capital on Aug. 14.

 

Philippine Olympic Committee president and Philippine Basketball Association board chairman Ricky Vargas assured, "Hindi lang [ito]team but it's going to be a competitive team. We promise our basketball fans that we're not only sending a team but we're also sending a team that they will be proud of." 

 

Presidential assistant Christopher Lawrence Bong Go said Gilas and the rest of the Philippine team that will go to Jakarta and Palembang for the quadrennial meet will have President Rodrigo Duterte’s full support.

 

"Maaasahan ng Philippine delegates sa Asian Games ang buong suporta ng administrasyon ni Pangulong Rodrigo Duterte. Andito kami para suportahan ang mga manlalarong Pilipino na magdadala ng karangalan sa ating bansa (The Philippine delegates to the Asian Games should expect the full support of President Rodrigo Duterte's administration. We are here to support the Filipino athletes who bring honor to our country)," Go said. 

 

A day after getting the imprimatur to represent the country in the coming Asian Games, coach Yeng Guiao and members of the Philippine basketball team met for the first time on August 6 to start their short but extensive preparations at the Meralco gym in Pasig City.

 

Only light skirmishes were scheduled, mostly for purposes of designing plays that will be, Guiao hoped, able to master comes competition time as his boys responded spiritedly.

   

“Maganda ang simula,” Guiao, who is in his second stint as a national mentor following the 2009 FIBA-Asia, assessed. “Feeling ko, inspired ang mga bata. Alam naman natin na biglaan ito at ilan sa kanila ay hindi man mang makakaisip na makalalaro sila sa Asiad representing our flag had it not for the circumstances presently prevailing in th local basketball community.”

 

PBA Commissioner Willie Marcial, one of the people responsible for the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas’ change of heart from not sending a team to eventually allowing the country’s participation owing to a strong public clamor, agreed.

 

“Alam mo, dapat nga nating hangaan at purihin and mga manlalarong ito who defied criticism that they don’t really deserve being in the national team,” Marcial emphasized.

 

“To me, these guys are already winners in the sense that they save Philippine basketball from being in the doldrums had earlier decision to not play in the Asiad pushed through,” Marcial added.

 

“That’ right,” Raymond Yu, who co-owned the Rain or Shine Elasto Painters franchise with Terry Que, butted in. “These boys saved, too, our relations with all Olympic Council of Asia member countries for agreeing to play in the midst of kantyaw ibibabato sa kanila ng ilang kababayan natin.”

 

“And for that, I consider them our modern day dheroes, ngayon pa lamang na hindi pa nagsisimua ang Asa Games,” Yu declared.

 

 “Most importantly, we must thank our basketball-crazy kababayans who didn’t stop clamoring that we send a team in a sport closest to their hearts, Marcial said. “Our thanks also go to the PBA, the SBP and the Philippine Olympic Committee for heeding the insistent demand from our basketball-loving people.”

 

Given the limited time to prepare and the equally limited talents available, Guiao said his team has sufficient manpower to perform creditably and decently and win as many games possible that will make the Filipinos happy.

 

“Out of this pool of players, we hope to build a team composed of 12 men who might come short of coming to the medal podium, but, win the admiration and respect of our people and those of our rivals,” Guiao vowed.

 

“Sisiguruhin namin sa coaching staff at sa mga mamumuno ng ating koponan na ang mga batang ipadadala sa Indonesia ay makapagbibigay karangalan sa aking bansa at sa pangalang Pilipino kung hindi man medalya,” Guiao vowed.

 

“Of course, we’ll try our best to bring home that coveted basketball edal our countrymen have been craving for quite some time,” he added.

 

All but one members of the team – Gabe Norwood, Beau Belga, Raymond Almazan, James Yap, Chris Tiu and Maverick Ahanmisi, all of Rain or Shine Paul Lee of Magnolia Hotshots, Stanley Pringle of Global Port, Don Trollano of Talk ‘N Text, Asi Taulava of NLEX, Poy Erram of Blackwater and Gilas Cadets Kobe Paras and Ricci Rivero – were in attendance.

 

Only San Miguel Beer’ contribution to Guiao’s selection, Christian Stanhardinger, wasn’t around, attending the Beermen’s preparation for their on-going best-of-seven series in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup, now in Game 5.

 

Another Cadet member, Abu Tratter, filled the void in Stanhardinger’s absence by joining the light, but, inspired workout scheduled for the day that satisfied Guiao, assistant coach Coy Garcia, ROS owner Yu PBA Board of Governors member, Atty, Mamerto Mondragon, and PBA Commissioner Willie Marcial, among others.     

 

Before practice began, Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) president Ricky Vargas, Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) president Al Panlilio, Yu and Guiao spoke to the team in a closed-door meeting.

 

The squad will leave for Jakarta on August 14 before plunging to action on August 16.  

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By EDDIE G. ALINEA | Sports Editor & Columnist

 

(Photo from Instagram | @coachot)

 

MANILA – The Philippine team will compete in the Asian Games in Indonesia after all.

 

Nearly two weeks after controversially withdrawing its participation in the Asiad, the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) formally said that it will send a squad to Jakarta for the quadrennial meet.

 

As expected, the key players of Rain ohine will make up the bulk of the national team lineup to be coached by current NLEX mentor Roseller Yeng Guiao. Caloy Garcia, ROS' chief gaffer, will serve as Guiao's associate.

 

"Kasama po rito si Maverick Ahanmisi, Chris Tiu, Gabe Norwood, James Yap, Beau Belga, at si Raymond Almazan," Guiao announced the Elasto Painters' core that will play in the Asiad.

 

They will be joined by Asi Taulava, one of Guiao's players at NLEX, Magnolia's Paul Lee, San Miguel's Chris Standhardinger, GlobalPort's Stanley Pringle, Blackwater's Poy Erram, TNT's Don Trollano, and Gilas cadets Kobe Paras and Ricci Rivero.

 

While Guiao announced a 14-man pool during a press conference at the Smart Araneta Coliseum in Quezon City prior to Game 5 of the Commissioner's Cup Finals between Ginebra and San Miguel, he added, "We will cut that down to 12 before we leave."

 

Daily practices, according to Guiao, will begin on Monday night at the Meralco Gym in Pasig City and will go full throttle when the team heads to the Indonesian capital on Aug. 14.

 

Philippine Olympic Committee president and Philippine Basketball Association board chairman Ricky Vargas assured, "Hindi lang [ito]team but it's going to be a competitive team. We promise our basketball fans that we're not only sending a team but we're also sending a team that they will be proud of." 

 

Presidential assistant Christopher Lawrence Bong Go said Gilas and the rest of the Philippine team that will go to Jakarta and Palembang for the quadrennial meet will have President Rodrigo Duterte’s full support.

 

"Maaasahan ng Philippine delegates sa Asian Games ang buong suporta ng administrasyon ni Pangulong Rodrigo Duterte. Andito kami para suportahan ang mga manlalarong Pilipino na magdadala ng karangalan sa ating bansa (The Philippine delegates to the Asian Games should expect the full support of President Rodrigo Duterte's administration. We are here to support the Filipino athletes who bring honor to our country)," Go said. 

 

A day after getting the imprimatur to represent the country in the coming Asian Games, coach Yeng Guiao and members of the Philippine basketball team met for the first time on August 6 to start their short but extensive preparations at the Meralco gym in Pasig City.

 

Only light skirmishes were scheduled, mostly for purposes of designing plays that will be, Guiao hoped, able to master comes competition time as his boys responded spiritedly.

   

“Maganda ang simula,” Guiao, who is in his second stint as a national mentor following the 2009 FIBA-Asia, assessed. “Feeling ko, inspired ang mga bata. Alam naman natin na biglaan ito at ilan sa kanila ay hindi man mang makakaisip na makalalaro sila sa Asiad representing our flag had it not for the circumstances presently prevailing in th local basketball community.”

 

PBA Commissioner Willie Marcial, one of the people responsible for the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas’ change of heart from not sending a team to eventually allowing the country’s participation owing to a strong public clamor, agreed.

 

“Alam mo, dapat nga nating hangaan at purihin and mga manlalarong ito who defied criticism that they don’t really deserve being in the national team,” Marcial emphasized.

 

“To me, these guys are already winners in the sense that they save Philippine basketball from being in the doldrums had earlier decision to not play in the Asiad pushed through,” Marcial added.

 

“That’ right,” Raymond Yu, who co-owned the Rain or Shine Elasto Painters franchise with Terry Que, butted in. “These boys saved, too, our relations with all Olympic Council of Asia member countries for agreeing to play in the midst of kantyaw ibibabato sa kanila ng ilang kababayan natin.”

 

“And for that, I consider them our modern day dheroes, ngayon pa lamang na hindi pa nagsisimua ang Asa Games,” Yu declared.

 

 “Most importantly, we must thank our basketball-crazy kababayans who didn’t stop clamoring that we send a team in a sport closest to their hearts, Marcial said. “Our thanks also go to the PBA, the SBP and the Philippine Olympic Committee for heeding the insistent demand from our basketball-loving people.”

 

Given the limited time to prepare and the equally limited talents available, Guiao said his team has sufficient manpower to perform creditably and decently and win as many games possible that will make the Filipinos happy.

 

“Out of this pool of players, we hope to build a team composed of 12 men who might come short of coming to the medal podium, but, win the admiration and respect of our people and those of our rivals,” Guiao vowed.

 

“Sisiguruhin namin sa coaching staff at sa mga mamumuno ng ating koponan na ang mga batang ipadadala sa Indonesia ay makapagbibigay karangalan sa aking bansa at sa pangalang Pilipino kung hindi man medalya,” Guiao vowed.

 

“Of course, we’ll try our best to bring home that coveted basketball edal our countrymen have been craving for quite some time,” he added.

 

All but one members of the team – Gabe Norwood, Beau Belga, Raymond Almazan, James Yap, Chris Tiu and Maverick Ahanmisi, all of Rain or Shine Paul Lee of Magnolia Hotshots, Stanley Pringle of Global Port, Don Trollano of Talk ‘N Text, Asi Taulava of NLEX, Poy Erram of Blackwater and Gilas Cadets Kobe Paras and Ricci Rivero – were in attendance.

 

Only San Miguel Beer’ contribution to Guiao’s selection, Christian Stanhardinger, wasn’t around, attending the Beermen’s preparation for their on-going best-of-seven series in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup, now in Game 5.

 

Another Cadet member, Abu Tratter, filled the void in Stanhardinger’s absence by joining the light, but, inspired workout scheduled for the day that satisfied Guiao, assistant coach Coy Garcia, ROS owner Yu PBA Board of Governors member, Atty, Mamerto Mondragon, and PBA Commissioner Willie Marcial, among others.     

 

Before practice began, Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) president Ricky Vargas, Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) president Al Panlilio, Yu and Guiao spoke to the team in a closed-door meeting.

 

The squad will leave for Jakarta on August 14 before plunging to action on August 16.  

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(Photo from Instagram | @mannypacquiao)

 

GENERAL SANTOS CITY– If the opportunity comes, boxing champion Manny Pacquiao said he will not think twice to have a rematch with undefeated American prizefighter Floyd Mayweather Jr.

Pacquiao reiterated his desire  to have another fight with the now retired Mayweather, who defeated him via unanimous decision in their lone faceoff in 2015.

He initially called out Mayweather to “do a second one” with him after arriving here from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia late Monday afternoon.

The “fighting senator” wrested the World Boxing Association “regular” welterweight title from Argentinian Lucas Matthysse in an epic seventh round knockout last Sunday.

“That depends. Let’s see if he decides to return to boxing. If that happens, it means he’s coming back for me,” he told reporters at his mansion in Barangay Lagao here.

Pacquiao said he wants to do “two to three more fights” before finally hanging up his gloves and just focus on his political career.

Now 39 years-old, he acknowledged that age will finally slow him down but added that this was not the case so far, stressing his “passion for boxing” has not wavered.

Presidential son Sebastian “Baste” Duterte, who visited Pacquiao , said the latter has “a lot left” in the tank to continue his boxing career.

He congratulated the senator for knocking out Matthysse “as what we’ve been always rooting.”

“Si Mayweather dapat tumbahin niya. Kailangan niyang tumbahin yun (He should knock out Mayweather. He needs to knock him down),” the younger Duterte said.

Senator Nancy Binay, who also visited Pacquiao, said the latter’s latest feat is a huge victory for the Filipino people.

“The Senate is honored with his accomplishment,” she said.

South Cotabato second district representative and deputy House Speaker Ferdinand Hernandez said Pacquiao made the country “really proud” with his sensational win.

“It was huge for everyone to witness another knockout performance from him,” he added.

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By EDDIE G. ALINEA  | Sports Editor & Columnist

 

(Photo from Instagram | @kingjames)

 

LOS ANGELES/MANILA – A little more  than a month following his signing a four-year, $153 deal with Los Angeles, NBA superstar LeBron James  finally broke his silence on why he chose the Lakers over several teams, including his former Cleveland Cavaliers.      

 

In a video post through his own company, Uninterrupted, via Twitter, James stated that the choice was something he long dreamed of and came to fruition at an ideal time of his career.

 

 “This has always kind of been a dream come true for me, “James said.  “Growing up, I was a Cowboys fan. I was a Bulls fan. I was a Yankees fan. I always felt that was one of the historic franchises.”

 

“Then you look at the Lakers. Being able to play for a historic franchise with so much history and now being able to partner with Magic Johnson, (who is) someone I looked up to when I was younger,” he argued.

 

“Wanted to make no-look passes like Magic. Wanted to get on the break and be Showtime like Magic. Then for it all to come to fruition at this point, I think the timing is everything,” James pointed out.

 

 “For me to be in this position now, the excitement to be a Laker, I am happy to be a part of it because I believe the Lakers is a historic franchise. We all know that, but it’s a championship franchise and that’s what we are trying to get back to. I am happy to be a part of the culture and us getting back to that point,” LeBron explained.”

 

His statements were made during the opening of his I Promise  school in his hometown of Akron, Ohio, through the LeBron James Family Foundation.

 

The Los Angeles Lakers were the odds-on favored to land James in free agency even before the NBA Finals, but that doesn't mean it was an easy decision for him. While most felt that the pitiful postseason performance of the Cavaliers' supporting cast ruined any chances of LeBron returning to Cleveland, there were other intriguing options out there for the King.

 

While he mostly gave the details of his latest philanthropic endeavor, he also talked a little basketball. James revealed which teams he considered before ultimately signing with the Lakers as told to Harrison Faigen of SBNation:

 

"I did my due diligence after the season on the pros and cons on a lot of different teams, including the Cavs, Philadelphia, Houston and Los Angeles," James said. "So it wasn't as quick as it may seem. It just wasn't July 9 like it was before. So after talking to my family more than anybody, I felt like this was the next step in my journey."

 

Everybody knew  the 76ers and the Rockets, along with the Cavs and the Lakers, were making a strong push for James' services, but it's interesting to hear that he actually considered all four teams, and possibly some others.

 

The fact that he has the potential to put the Lakers back to relevancy in the league after a five-year playoff hiatus, James’  revelations have made it clear that he will fully embrace the process of lifting the team back to being a dominant force in their bid for an NBA title.

 

There is a renewed buzz and excitement around the city of Los Angeles that has been lacking for quite some time, and James appears to be more than ready to help lift the Lakers back on top.(Eddie Alinea/PhlTodayUSA)

 

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By EDDIE G. ALINEA, Sports Editor & Columnist

 

FIGHTING SENATOR Manny Pacquiao punishes the heavy bag after a grueling 12 rounds of sparring at the Pacman Wildcard Gym in General Santos City Saturday afternoon. (Photo by Wendell Alinea/MP Promotions)

 

GENERAL SANTOS CITY — All the bases have been covered.

 

This,  Filipino boxing pride Manny Paquiao assured as he prepares himself to put the curtains down on his General Santos training camp starting Monday, exactly a week before departing to Kuala Lumpur for his World Boxing Association welterweight title date with champion Lucas Matthysse.   

 

The Filipino fighting senator is seeking to retake  his place in the elite list of world champions when he collides heads on with Matthysse for the Argentine’s 147-pound belt on July 15 at the Axiata Arena in that Malaysian capital.        

 

“After spending the past two-and-a-half months in the camp, running the road, sparring and working the mitts, heavy bag, speed ball, etc., I believe we’ve covered everything there is to cover to prepare for this coming fight,” Pacquiao said after completing another rigid grind on Saturday at the Pacman Wild Card Gym here.

 

To chief trainer Buboy Fernandez’s projection, his ward and boyhood pal is already 95 percent prepared to fight and can, in fact, lace his fighting gloves anytime this week.

 

“Ang problema lang ay ang pigilang magkaroon si Manny ng sakit like ubo, sipon at lagnat. Otherwise, what we tried to  achieve when we opened the camp has all been achieved,” Buboy said.      

 

“Yeah, I feel I’m ready to again climb the ring after a year’s absence following my last fight a year ago,” the Pamabansang Kamao declared after working a heavy 12-round sparring with three dancing partners.  

 

Assigned the task of getting Pacquiao competitive form were Australian world-ranked lightweight George Kambosos Jr., Philippine junior welterweight champ Jerich Chavez and middleweight Arnel Tinampay.

 

The eight-division champion last fought July 2017 in Brisbane, Australia where he was dethroned of his World Boxing Organization welterweight belt  by former public school teacher Jeff Horn via a controversial unanimous decision.     

 

This week’s training schedule starts Monday with very light gym activities highlighted by a 10-round job with the mitts with Buboy.

 

A slightly heavier regimen awaits Pacquiao on Tuesday when he resumes sparring with his three mates for 10 rounds, two rounds less than the 12 he worked Saturday.

 

What could be the last of his heavy load comes Wednesday when he tries to  complete a hard 10-set plyometric exercise program which, according to strength and conditioning guru Justin Fortune, is a  45-minute energy-sapping procedure.

 

“Everything from there would be relatively easy,” Justin assured. “Yeah, there’s  still eight-round and probably six-round skirmishes on Thursday and Saturday but those are only routine.”

 

Pacquiao and his team that will include his staff, his and wife Jinkee’s families, congressional allies, friends and supporters leaveMonday afternoon next week for Kuala Lumpur.

 

Buboy and Fortune said a short four-round sparring can be scheduled Monday morning depending on Pacquiao’s wish. (Eddie G Alinea/This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

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By EDDIE G. ALINEA | Sports Editor & Columnist

     

(Photo by Wendell Alinea/OSMP)

 

With the resumption of Congress starting on Tuesday, May 15, and up to the next two weeks or so, boxing icon Manny Pacquiao will again play the role of a dual citizen – that of being a sitting member of the Philippine Senate and a prize fighter.

 

This has, actually, been the Filipino eight-division champion’s life since being elected as congressman representing the Province of Sarangani for two terms and senator in 2016.

 

So expect to see him run every morning in the vicinity of his official residence in the posh Forbes Park as part of his preparations for a fight, attend to his duties as a lawmaker from mid-afternoon to early evening daily then resume training the rest of the day.

 

Pacquiao could actually be in the session hall as early as 10 a.m to attend committee hearings of which he is a member or chairman.

 

But wait, count the meetings and social gatherings that require his presence, including prayer rallies and bible reading sessions he is obligated to attend and, indeed, Pacquiao will be leading a busy, tough and gruelling life at least until the mid-July.

 

Already pushing 40, the Pacman is scheduled to fight World Boxing Association welterweight belt-owner Lucas “La Maquina” on July 14 (July 15 in Manila) at Axiata Arena in Kuala Lumpur, a year or so following his loss to Australian Jeff Horn.

 

Thus, requiring him to prepare harder and longer than what he usually had been doing.

 

“He can do it. Mahirap-hirap lang di gaya nung dati, pero knowing Manny, kakayanin nya,” assistant trainer Nonoy Neri assured after he and the training team, which includes chief trainer Buboy Fernandez, Roger “Haplas” Fernandez and Nonito Dodong Donaire Sr. wrapped up Pacquiao’s two-week preparations in General Santos City Saturday.      

               

Donaire Sr., father of two-division champion Nonito Donaire Jr,  joined the training team last week upon invitation of the boxer-legislator himself.   

 

“Time management lamang naman and Manny has been doing that since he was still a congressman. Konting adjustment lang sa oras,” Neri said. “Naka-dalawang linggo na nga kami sa training camp at wala naman kaming nakitang problema.”

 

“Of course, wala pa namang senado nang mag-start kami dito sa GenSan. But I believe we can manage kahit may session na,” he said.

 

Pacquiao and his team will fly to Manila Tuesday, May 15, in time for the resumption of Senate session that day.

 

Neri said the buildup program also resumes Tuesday unless Pacquiao elects to have another day of rest.

 

Plan is to spend two to three weeks here in Manila while sessions are on-going after which the camp  goes back to GenSan when Congress takes a recess anew starting June 1.

 

(Eddie G. Alinea/This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. )     

 

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By EDDIE G. ALINEA

 

File photo from: Philippine Daiy Inquirer

 

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has opened its door to poor countries like the Philippine to experience hosting the Olympic Games by relaxing its rules on the cost of bidding that, in the past, has proven a big burden for those interested in staging the quadrennial conclave.

 

The IOC has, in fact, expressed its intention of removing the high financial requirements bidders have to face in bidding and hosting the competitions among the world’s finest athletes.

 

The IOC, in an article that appeared in the news@yardbreaker.comlast week, has detailed how it is trying to persuade African countries to host the 2022 Youth Olympics with a no-cost bidding process.

 

The IOC announced it will “assume more responsibility and work" on behalf of potential candidates before it picks a host in October.

 

 The IOC wants a "simpler, shorter and cheaper" bidding process amid worldwide concerns over the cost of offering to play host.

 

Although the IOC is setting its eyes for the 2022 Youth Summer Games to be the first Olympics hosted in Africa, not a few are of the belief that invitations are also to be applied to indigent nations in other continents like the Philippines in Southeast, which has long signified intentions of hosting the “Greatest Sports Show on Earth.”

 

Among the requirements the IOC seeks to be eased is the need to produce a candidate file or prepare and make a formal on-stage presentation to IOC voters.

 

African Olympic officials will have to meet an April 13 deadline given by the world body. Olympic officials will visit Africa in May to make a feasibility study into hosting and gauge "motivation of the local authorities."

 

The IOC also wants the Youth Olympic events to move out of stadiums and create a festival experience in parks, streets and city squares. Potential hosts can also suggest sports from recognized though non-Olympic bodies to be included in the program.

 

Invitations to bidders will be sent by the IOC executive board after it meets in July. The IOC will pick the host of the 2022 Youth Olympic Games during its Oct. 8-9 meeting in Buenos Aires, Argentina. 

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(Photo from Twitter | @coachala)

 

INGLEWOOD, California — Donnie "Ahas" Nietes, the longest reigning Filipino world champion, continued his rule after stopping Juan Carlos Reveco of Argentina to retain his IBF flyweight title last week at The Forum in Inglewood, California.

 

Filipino American Brian "The Hawaiian Punch" Viloria, however, bowed to Ukranian Artem Dalakian via unanimous decision in their battle for the vacant WBA flyweight championship also at The Forum.

 

It was a dominating performance for the Ukranian, with all three judges scoring the bout, 118-109.

 

Viloria immediately found himself rocked in the first two rounds before recovering late in round two and settling himself in the next three rounds. He would then press on Dalakian in the seventh and eighth rounds, landing solid punches.

 

That, however, seemed to be his last hurrah as Dalakian connected with a crushing hook to Viloria’s body in the ninth round as he continued to pummel “The Hawaiian Punch.”

 

Viloria was also bloodied in the 11th round after taking an inadvertent elbow to the forehead.

 

Dalakian (16-0, 11 KOs) remained unbeaten and won the flyweight title vacated by Japanese Kazuto Ioka while Viloria (38-6, 23 KOs) saw his winning streak cut short at two.


Nietes, for his part, unleashed a flurry of punches to the body that dropped Reveco. He managed to get back up but was still very wobbly, prompting the referee to stop the fight at the 53-second mark of the seventh round.

 

The 35-year-old Nietes, who improved to 41-1-4, 23, has been a world champion since winning the WBO minimumweight crown after scoring a unanimous decision win over Pornsawan Porpramook of Thailand on Sept. 30, 2007.

 

Reveco, 34, saw his three-fight win streak come to an end, absorbing the fourth loss of his career. His record now stands at 39-4 with 19 knockouts.

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LUBAO, Pampanga – A total of 22 countries, led by defending champion France, will compete in the 17th World University Golf Championship (WUGC) to be held in Lubao, Pampanga in May.
 
The WUGC, a tournament sanctioned by the International University Sports Federation (FISU), will be held at the world-class Pradera Verde Golf and Country Club in the town of Lubao on May 16-19.
 
The Federation of School Sports Association of the Philippines (FESSAP), which is organizing the tournament, disclosed that the countries already registered are Australia, China, Chinese Taipei, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Great Britain, Hong Kong, Ireland, Israel, Japan, Nepal, Netherlands, New Zealand, Poland, South Africa, Switzerland, and the United States. Canada, Malaysia and Mongolia have also expressed their intention to join.
 
Host Philippines will also join the tournament for amateur players with a handicap of nine or less.
 
Each country may enter a maximum of six players. Three players may be fielded in the individual events. In the team event, the two best results per day will be counted for the team classification per day.
 
Medals will be awarded to the top three finishers in the individual and team events in both men's and women's divisions.
 
The FISU has designated Australian Dominic Wall as technical head of the WUGC, which will be played over 72 holes stroke-play, 18 holes each day for four days.
 
To ensure the successful hosting of the WUGC, the FESSAP has teamed up with the provincial government of Pampanga, led by Governor Lilia Pineda and her husband, philanthropist-businessman Rodolfo "Bong" Pineda; Lubao Mayor Mylyn Pineda-Cayabyab; and Pradera Verde Country Club manager, Mike Singgaran.
 
The WUGC Organizing Committee is composed of Marius Aseron (chairman); Emmanuel Edward Co and Benito Techico (vice chairmen); Atty. Baldomero Estenzo, David U. Ong, Godofredo Gallega, Alvin Tai Lian, Prof. Robert Milton Calo, Col. Ariel Querubin, Atty. Maria Luz Arzaga-Mendoza, and Dr. Diosdado Amante, and tournament secretariat members Joseph Sy, Cecil Sarmiento, Nga Yee Rodas, Fructuso Raytos, Eloisa Guillermo, and Ann Janeth Garcia.
 
The Philippines is the third country in Asia to hold the WUGC after Chinese Taipei (2002) and Thailand (2004).
 
Italy hosted the inaugural staging of the WUGC in 1986, as well as the 1988 and 2006 editions, while Spain was host in 1992, 1994 and 2010.
 
France, which hosted the 16th edition of the WUGC in Brive-la-Gaillarde two years ago, bagged the men's team gold medal. Ireland and Chinese Taipei took the silver and bronze medals, respectively.
 
Czech Republic ruled the women's team event as Karolina Vickova won the gold, Marrie Lunackova the silver, and Katerina Vlasinova the bronze.
 
Ireland's Robin Dawson topped the men's individual event. China's Xuewem Luo got the silver, and Chinese Taipei's Yu-Chen Yeh claimed the bronze.

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MANILA — Boxing champion Jerwin Ancajas, world bowling winner Krizziah Lyn Tabora, and world cue champion Carlo Biado passioned inspiring victories overseas last year in a showcase of world-class Filipino talent that brought pride and joy to the country.

 

For doing their share to make 2017 a memorable one, the three will be recognized with the highest accolade to be handed out during the SMC-PSA (Philippine Sportswriters Association) Annual Awards Night at the Maynila Hall of the Manila Hotel on Feb. 27.

 

Ancajas, Tabora, and Biado are all first time winners of the Tapa King-Athlete of the Year award handed out by the country’s oldest media organization every year in the annual tradition presented by MILO and Cignal TV.

 

This marks the first time since 2015 that multiple awardees will be recognized for the Tapa King-Athlete of the Year honor. Boxers Nonito Donaire Jr. and Donnie Nietes, along with golfer Miguel Tabuena, were the co-recipients of the coveted award three years ago.

 

“The PSA is proud to announce Jerwin Ancajas, Krizziah Tabora, and Carlo Biado as its Athletes of the Year for 2017. They are truly deserving of the award for the great honor they brought to the country with their respective victories in the world stage,” said PSA president and SPIN.ph editor Dodo Catacutan.

 

The usual honor list made up of the President’s Award, Executive Award, National Sports Association of the Year, major awardees, among others, will also be given out during the formal ceremony which has the Philippine Sports Commission as major sponsor along with Mighty Sports, Rain or Shine, Globalport, and the Philippine Basketball Association.  

 

Ancajas, 25, began 2017 with a bang after retaining his International Boxing Federation junior bantamweight title with a seventh-round stoppage (technical decision) of Mexican Jose Alfredo Rodriguez in Macau last January.

 

The native of Panabo, Davao del Norte, who fights under the Manny Pacquiao Promotions, made two more successful title defenses against Teiru Kinoshita of Japan in Brisbane, Australia (6th round TKO) and previously unbeaten Irishman Jamie Conlan in Belfast, Ireland (6th round TKO) before the year ended.

 

Ancajas was later signed to a two-year, six-deal fight by Top Rank Promotions, whose founder and CEO Bob Arum dubbed him as the ‘next Pacquiao.’

 

Not to be outdone was Tabora, who bagged the 53rd QubicaAMF Bowling 

 

World Cup in Hermosillo, Mexico in early November and ended the country’s 14-year title drought in the showpiece.

 

The Filipina beat Siti Safiyah Amirah Abdul Rahman of Malaysia in the final, 236-191, to become the fifth Philippine bowler to rule the World Cup after the great Paeng Nepomuceno, the late Lita dela Rosa, Bong Coo, and CJ Suarez.

 

Less than two weeks before Christmas, Biado gifted the country with the World 9-Ball crown after defeating Ronald Garcia, 13-5, in an all-Filipino final in Doha, Qatar.

 

Biado, a gold medal winner in the Southeast Asian Games in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia and winner of the same event in the World Games in Poland, joined the legendary Efren ‘Bata’ Reyes (1999), Alex Pagulayan (2004), Ronnie Alcano (2006), and the great Francisco ‘Django’ Bustamante (2010) as among the past Filipino winners of the event considered as the premier 9-ball tournament in the world. 

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