<![CDATA[SPIN.ph: Sports Interactive Network Philippines]]>https://www.spin.phCurrent and trending Philippine sports news and commentary on basketball (NBA, PBA, UAAP, NCAA), boxing (Manny Pacquiao), football (FIFA world cup), volleyball, golf, MMA/UFC, active lifestyle (running, marathon, triathlon, cycling, biking), as well as featured stories on athletes and men's health and wellness, style and grooming./logoSPIN.ph: Sports Interactive Network Philippineshttps://www.spin.phenTue, 18 Feb 2020 00:05:04 +0800Pasaol stars as Zamboanga stuns No. 4 Batangas to move on verge of MPBL semishttps://www.spin.ph/basketball/alvin-pasaol-stars-as-zamboanga-stuns-batangas-in-mpbl-quarterfinals-a2437-20200217https://www.spin.ph/basketball/alvin-pasaol-stars-as-zamboanga-stuns-batangas-in-mpbl-quarterfinals-a2437-20200217Alvin Pasaol the hero as Zamboanga nips BatangasALVIN Pasaol carried Zamboanga to a pulsating 78-74 victory over Batangas to take Game One of their best-of-three South Division quarterfinals in the 2020 Chooks-to-Go Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League (MPBL) Lakan Cup playoffs Monday at Rizal Memorial Colleges Gym.

The burly scorer put on a show for his fellow Davaoeños, lighting up for 17 points, five rebounds, two steals, one block, and an assist to move a win away from advancing to the semis.

It was Pasaol who allowed the Family's Brand Sardines-backed crew to seize control of the game, taking a 42-32 lead in the third frame.

But that was until the Tanduay-sponsored Athletics made a spirited run late, as Jeff Viernes' three with 28.8 seconds left cutting the lead down to three, 76-73.

The two-time All-Star MVP had a chance to further close in Batangas, but he could only muster a split with 15.3 ticks left.

Robin Rono, who tallied 13 points and eight rebounds to his name, responded with a pair of freebies in the ensuing possession for Zamboanga as Viernes botched his treys late.

"We need to stay composed kasi playoffs na ito. Good thing we stuck on our defensive plan in the end. We made stops, we controlled the rebounds and hit the crucial free throws," said coach Britt Reroma.

Aaron Black added 11 points, four rebounds, and three assists, while Harold Arboleda got 10 points and seven boards for the five-seed Zamboanga.

Zamboanga can sweep the series on Friday, albeit in enemy territory as Batangas hosts Game Two at Batangas City Coliseum.

Viernes starred for the Athletics with his 18 points, six rebounds, and five assists,as Jhaymo Eguilos had 16 points and nine boards in the loss.

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The Scores:

ZAMBOANGA 78 -- Pasaol 17, Rono 13, Black 11, Arboleda 10, Santillan 7, Asistio 7, Bonsubre 4, De Vera 3, Villamor 3, Thiele 3, Manzo 0, Reyes 0.

BATANGAS 74 -- Viernes 18, Eguilos 16, Santos 11, Melano 10, Bragais 9, Teodoro 5, Grimaldo 4, Koga 1, Basibas 0, Rogado 0, Lopez 0.

Quarters: 22-25, 40-32, 57-54, 78-74.

randolph b. leongsonMon, 17 Feb 2020 22:53:00 +0800
SOTY: Gabuco, Marcial, Petecio set sights on Olympic glory after 2019 boxing gold rushhttps://www.spin.ph/life/people/soty-nesthy-petecio-josie-gabuco-eumir-marcial-fighters-of-the-year-a793-20200217https://www.spin.ph/life/people/soty-nesthy-petecio-josie-gabuco-eumir-marcial-fighters-of-the-year-a793-20200217Nesthy Petecio, Josie Gabuco, Eumir Marcial are the undisputed Spin.ph Fighters of the YearFROM Southeast Asia to Asia and all the way to the world.

Filipino boxers Nesthy Petecio, Josie Gabuco, and Eumir Felix Marcial never had it so good than in 2019 when they asserted their dominance just about everywhere, be it in the continental meet or the world stage.

Petecio, 27, led the charge when she bagged a gold in the AIBA Women’s World Boxing Championships in Ulan-Ude, Russia, beating hometown bet Liudmila Vorontsova by split decision to rule the featherweight division.

A native of Tuban, Davao Del Sur, Petecio received a total of P3.5 million in incentive from President Rodrigo Duterte (one of her earliest benefactors), the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC), the MVP Sports Foundation, and an additional P500,000 from Presidential Adviser on Sports Dennis Uy for becoming the first Filipina to win a gold in the World Boxing Championships in seven years after Gabuco first did the trick in 2012.

Not bad for a farmer’s daughter who once lived in a makeshift shelter covered by tarpaulin.

Petecio, whose life story was featured in the weekly drama anthology Maalaala Mo Kaya (with future Darna Jane De Leon portraying the world champ), is eyeing a berth in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

She fell short in her initial attempt at the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Games after losing a split decision to Zohra Ez Zahraoui of Morocco in the AIBA Women’s World Boxing Championships, which served as qualifier for the Olympics.

As the second-ranked fighter in the women’s 57 kg category, Petecio is favored to top her division and clinch an Olympic slot.

Her fellow national teammate Gabuco is also dead set on making it to the 2020 Tokyo Games.

The grizzled 32-year-old inched her way toward the quest early last year when she copped the women's light-flyweight gold at the ASBC (Asian Boxing Confederation) Elite Boxing Championships 2019 in Bangkok, Thailand, beating North Korea’s Kim Hyang Mi.

Gabuco, once the toast of Philippine women’s boxing, was the first Pinay to rule at the AIBA Women's World Boxing Championship, winning her division seven years before Petecio duplicated her feat in 2019.

Marcial, meanwhile, fell short of a gold in the AIBA World Championships in Yekaterinburg, Russia last year, settling for silver after his loss to hometown bet Bakshi Gleb in the middleweight final.

With his commendable finish, Marcial joined a lean but esteemed list of Filipino pugs who had also achieved a similar feat in the prestigious tournament — light-flyweights Roel Velasco in 1997 and Harry Tanamor in 2007.

His achievement was hardly surprising considering Marcial's decorated past as a junior boxing campaigner.

At the International Boxing Association Junior World Championships in Astana, Kazakhstan eight years ago, for example, the pride of Lunzuran, Zamboanga City lorded it over the competition with his gold medal victory. Likewise, Marcial was recognized in 2014 as the Best Youth Boxer in Asia.

Now 24, Marcial has repeatedly declined to turn pro to fulfill his dream of winning the country's first ever gold in the Olympics. 

To cap a remarkable season that had the three boxers emerging as Fighters of the Year in SPIN.ph’s annual Sportsman of the Year (SOTY) Award, Gabuco, Marcial, and Petecio led the Philippine boxing team on top of the 30th Southeast Asian Games.

The Filipinos won a total of seven golds in 13 events — with 12 entries bagging at least a medal — to clinch the sports’ overall title.

Marcial once again proved he’s one of the region’s best big men in the ring, reigning anew in the 75 kg category (middleweight) for his third straight SEA Games gold. His victory was highlighted by his smashing knockout win over Manh Cuong Nguyen of Vietnam in the finals, which lasted for just 71 seconds.

Gabuco was equally impressive after winning a record fifth SEA Games gold medal when she topped the 48 kg category (light-flyweight). She previously won golds in 2009 and 2011 – both at pinweight – and 2013, 2015, and 2019 at lightweight, and could have made it six in a row had Malaysia not scrapped women’s boxing in the biennial meet’s calendar of events in the 2017 edition in Kuala Lumpur.

And Petecio?

She ended an eight-year frustration when she finally won her first SEA Games gold following three straight silver medal finishes from 2011 to 2015.

As they say, the first is always the sweetest.

Gerry Ramos Mon, 17 Feb 2020 21:03:00 +0800
Poy Erram headed to KaTropa in TNT-Blackwater-NLEX tradehttps://www.spin.ph/basketball/pba/poy-erram-moves-to-katropa-after-tnt-blackwater-nlex-trade-a793-20200217https://www.spin.ph/basketball/pba/poy-erram-moves-to-katropa-after-tnt-blackwater-nlex-trade-a793-20200217Ed Daquioag, Anthony Semerad, Magat also on the move in complicated tradeJOHN Paul ' Poy' Erram is returning to his roots.

The vastly-improved big man is headed to the TnT Katropa prior to the PBA 's 45th season at the center of a three-team trade also involving his former ballclubs NLEX and Blackwater.

The trade papers have already been submitted to the PBA office.

According to insiders, the complicated trade kicks off with the Katropa sending lanky big man Marion Magat and a future first-round pick to the Elite for a future first-round pick by Blackwater.

The Elite will then deal two future draft picks – including the first-rounder it acquired from the Katropa – together with Anthony Semerad to the Road Warriors to get Erram’s services.

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To complete the transfer of the 6-foot-8 Erram to the team which selected him in the second round of the 2015 draft, Blackwater will be sending the big man to the Katropa for guard Ed Daquioag and another first-round selection. 

Erram still played for the Road Warriors in their 103-97 victory over San Miguel Beermen at the start of the Phoenix Super Basketball Tourney on Monday at the Upper Deck gym in what turned out to be his final game for the franchise, 

NLEX management later posted on its facebook account a statement thanking Erram for his short but memorable stay with the Road Warriors.

"We thank Poy for his hard work, sacrifice, and dedication to our organization, and wish him the best as he continues his career in the PBA," read the statement. "As an organization, we continue to look towards the future and place the NLEX Road Warriors in a position for sucess in the PBA."

The deal has reportedly undergone several revisions, which at one point had NLEX asking the services of big guard Don Trollano instead, the former Adamson stalwart being a former player of NLEX coach Yeng Guiao while still with Rain or Shine.

In the end, the Road Warriors had to settle for two future picks and Semerad, who has just recovered from an injury he suffered during the Commissioner's Cup playoffs while playing for TnT Katropa.

Curiously, TnT left Erram unprotected during the 2014 expansion pool, leading Blackwater to pick up the rights on him.

It was with the Elite that he eventually blossomed into one of the league's imposing big men, emerging as the team's top two-way player who was selected as part of the Gilas team to the 2018 Asian Games and the 2018 Defensive Player of the Year.

He was traded by Blackwater prior to the 2018 rookie draft to NLEX in a trade that was later revised in a three-team deal that also includes the rights on rookies Paul Desiderio and Abu Tratter. 

Gerry Ramos Mon, 17 Feb 2020 20:39:00 +0800
Even without June Mar, Russel Escoto upbeat on SMB debuthttps://www.spin.ph/life/guide/russel-escoto-makes-smb-debut-in-a-pre-season-tune-up-game-stays-positive-amidst-june-mar-s-absence-a2442-20200217https://www.spin.ph/life/guide/russel-escoto-makes-smb-debut-in-a-pre-season-tune-up-game-stays-positive-amidst-june-mar-s-absence-a2442-20200217After preseason debut, Escoto stays positive on SMB despite June Mar’s absenceIT has been a month since Russel Escoto found a new home in San Miguel Beer after a one-on-one trade with Kelly Nabong, who was sent back to NorthPort Batang Pier in January.

And as Escoto plays his first-ever game with the champion team, he knows at the back of his mind that this group is consisted of fighters — even if they're mising June Mar Fajardo, set to skip the season due to a shin fracture.

Escoto, as one of the few big men left to power SMB, has taken down a few notes to work on to get better at his role. He had six points, and four rebounds for the Beermen as they submitted to NLEX, 97-103, on Monday.

Yes, they may have fallen short in the tune-up match, but Escoto kept a positive mindset in his new place with the Beermen, who have won the last five All-Filipino conferences titles.

“Happy naman ako sa pinakita ko sa first game ko, pero for me, not enough pa, I have to contribute more para matulungan ‘yung team lalo na’t wala si June Mar,” he shared with SPIN Life. “Ginagawa ko lang ‘yung role ko, help them sa rebounds, sa defense. May outside shooting din ako kaya kahit papaano nakakatulong sa team. Goal ko talaga is to open the floor para sa mga point guard ko, kasi magagaling talaga sila lahat.”

Reflecting on the squad's chemistry, he added: “Hindi naman nananalo ang team na isa-isa lang, alam natin na malaking bagay talaga si June Mar, pero I think kaya pa rin namin to kasi lahat naman mag-sstep up, collective effort para makuha namin ‘yung gusto namin. Magagaling naman ang mga kasama ko dito."

The ex-Far Eastern University star also revealed that he admires how grounded his veteran teammates are, and how they’re helping him adjust to the SMB’s system day-by-day.

“Madali silang pakisamahan, kahit champion team sila at marami nang napatunayan," he said. "Hindi sila mapag-mataas, tinutulungan nila ako, and minomotivate everyday to excel.”

kate reyesMon, 17 Feb 2020 20:07:00 +0800
At All-Stars, hard to miss the giant imprint Kobe and Stern had on gamehttps://www.spin.ph/basketball/nba/column-kobe-stern-legacy-in-full-display-at-all-star-festivities-a1409-20200217https://www.spin.ph/basketball/nba/column-kobe-stern-legacy-in-full-display-at-all-star-festivities-a1409-20200217Kobe, Stern legacy in full display during NBA All-Star WeekendCHICAGO — It’s been almost a month since Kobe Bryant died, almost two months since NBA commissioner emeritus David Stern preceded him. If one measure of a man is how much he’s missed, well, the Windy City wake honoring both was raucous enough to shake the heavens.

The NBA All-Star weekend is supposed to be a celebration of the game, and there was plenty of that. Both Bryant and Stern had a vision worth celebrating; they looked at a basketball and saw a pebbled globe covered in possibility. It was on full display on the United Center’s Chicago-themed skyline floor on Sunday night (Monday, Manila time).

The former commissioner got the ball rolling internationally, most prominently when he sent the Dream Team to the 1992 Barcelona Olympics. And all those kids who were too young to Be Like Mike when they finally stepped onto playgrounds stretching from Australia to Brazil — and points in-between — were lucky to inherit a role model like Kobe,

The investments both men made in the wider world has been steadily paying dividends. At the start of the season, there were 108 foreign-born players in the league, fully a quarter of the NBA. There were eight from seven different nations outside the United States in the varsity game, including second-generation star Damantas Sabonis, whose father, Arvydas, played for both the old Soviet Union’s best teams and the Portland Trailblazers.

Bryant, in fact, seemed to be around every corner you turned this weekend. There was graffiti scrawled on walls around town, chants of “Kobe! Kobe!” breaking out in bars where some of the weekend’s festivities flashed across TV screens, and during pre-game introductions, practices and the games themselves inside packed arenas.

In a fitting finish, the trophy handed to Kawhi Leonard as the star of the big game is now officially named the Kobe Bryant Most Valuable Player award. But maybe more fitting still was how hard everybody on the floor played the final quarter of what was an exhibition game.

Kobe would have loved that. He circulated so widely in league circles and did so many things so well — Bryant was already well into a second-career as a filmmaker, with an Oscar to his credit, when he was killed in a helicopter crash — that even after three weeks of questions, few players had trouble coming up with an original answer to what most impressed them about the man.

“I know everybody says the ‘Mamba mentality,’ but I was luckier than most,” third-year Jazz star and first-time All-Star Donovan Mitchell said. “I got a chance to see it up close.”

Mitchell was still playing college ball at Louisville when he lucked into watching a gathering of NBA players practicing at a nearby arena a few years ago.

“Practice ended and somebody yelled at (Allen) Iverson, ‘A.I., where you going?’ So A.I. said, ’the club, naturally.” Then Kobe wandered over and somebody asked him. He nodded back at the court they just left and says, ’Going to work out,’” Mitchell recalled. “I never forgot that.”

To be sure, the league has plenty of work to do to keep its impressive growth spurt of the last few years going. As current Commissioner Adam Silver learned last fall, when a tweet by Houston general manager Daryl Morey supporting protesters in Hong Kong enraged China’s government, one problem with building an empire is that sooner or later, you run into someone else’s.

Silver acknowledged a day earlier that relations with the Chinese rulers were still tense, despite the high stakes and a relationship the NBA had cultivated with Asia’s rising power — where it’s games were broadcast to hundreds of millions of fans — stretching back to the 1970s.

“I think that the magnitude of the loss will be in the hundreds of millions of dollars. Certainly probably less than $400 million,” Silver said calmly, “maybe even less than that.”

With annual revenue believed to be approaching $10 billion, the good news is that the product isn’t the problem. If you accept the narrative that that bi-coastal duel between Magic Johnson and Larry Bird birthed the modern NBA, and Michael Jordan almost single-handedly made it must-see TV, the defining characteristic of this latest generation is its depth and the ease with which it connects with fans.

Akron, Ohio-born LeBron James remains, at 35, the baddest man in the game. But who could have foreseen that the whiz kid who’s closing the gap fastest at the moment would be Luka Doncic, the Dallas guard born a scant 20 years ago born in Ljubljana, Slovenia? Or that the best new coach in the game would be a 50-something named Nick Nurse, who grew up in Iowa but spent the first two decades of his apprenticeship drawing up unconventional schemes while bouncing around Europe.

Chances are good that Stern had something like that in the back of his mind, and Kobe definitely had a hand in shaping all of them.

After his team walked off winners, James was asked whether the players discussed playing the fourth quarter so fiercely to pay tribute to Bryant.

“No, there was no discussion because we’re all competitors. We wouldn’t be All-Stars if we weren’t competitors. We all compete at the highest level, try to put our respective teams in position to win every night,” he said.

But a moment later, he conceded it was impossible not to think about Bryant, what with the visuals and chants of “Kobe” pushing the players to match his “Mamba mentality.”

“So,” James said, “he was definitely here.”

jim litkeMon, 17 Feb 2020 19:56:00 +0800
Pia Wurtzbach throws alley-oop to Kai Sotto, admires NBA's 'heart' in All-Star coveragehttps://www.spin.ph/life/guide/pia-wurtzbach-nba-all-star-experience-a547-20200217https://www.spin.ph/life/guide/pia-wurtzbach-nba-all-star-experience-a547-20200217On the Game: 'I was at the edge of my seat. Na-stress ako!'By the looks of things, Pia Wurtzbach made the most out of her short stint as the Philippines' correspondent for the NBA All-Star 2020 in Chicago.

The Miss Universe 2015 flew to the Windy City last week to take part in the Association's midseason festivities. After touring the host city and rubbing elbows with several NBA personalities, Pia took to Instagram to express her newfound understanding of and appreciation for the sport and its fans' involvement.

"What I learned during this whole weekend is that it's really more than just a game. Real talk, guys," she wrote. There's a sense of family even if you don't support the same teams. It's a sport that unites everyone."


Pia was particularly impressed with the players and organization's "heart" for the children. She went on to described the All-Star Game as the "most exciting" basketball match she's ever watched: "I was at the edge of my seat. Na-stress ako!"

Still, seeing the annual exhibition game live was just the tip of the iceberg of Pia's All-Star experience, which she documented via the official Facebook page of NBA Philippines and her personal IG account.

Prior State Farm All-Star Saturday Night's MTN DEW 3-Point Contest (won by Buddy Hield) and AT&T Slam Dunk (Derrick Jones, Jr.), the beauty queen got the chance to shoot some hoops and throw it down.



Pia also met up with Filipino phenom Kai Sotto in the Basketball Without Borders Global Camp, where she brushed up on her basics with the help of the 7'2 high school player.



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The 17-year-old even completed an alley-oop dunk from the former Miss Universe:


Possibly the biggest highlight of her Chicago trip, Pia set foot on the storied United Center. There in the rafters hangs all of Michael Jordan and his 1990s Bulls teams' six championship banners.



Not everyone could hold and take a photo with winning team captain LeBron James' sweat-soaked game-worn All-Star jersey — the perfect way to cap her memorable assignment as NBA PH insider.


John Paulo AguileraMon, 17 Feb 2020 19:31:00 +0800
Arvin Tolentino signed to one-year rookie contract by Ginebrahttps://www.spin.ph/basketball/pba/arvin-tolentino-signed-to-one-year-rookie-contract-by-ginebra-a795-20200217https://www.spin.ph/basketball/pba/arvin-tolentino-signed-to-one-year-rookie-contract-by-ginebra-a795-20200217Arvin Tolentino, a 6-5 forward with a soft touch, gives Ginebra a new weapon on offenseARVIN Tolentino has been signed to a one-year contract by Barangay Ginebra, his agent Charlie Dy confirmed on Monday.

Tolentino was Ginebra’s first-round pick at 10th overall during the 2019 PBA regular draft at the end of his campaign with Far Eastern University in the UAAP.

Tolentino, a former San Beda juniors star who briefly played for Ateneo in the UAAP, also saw action in the MPBL as well as the PBA D-League before he entered the draft.

The 6-foot-5 Tolentino is expected to give the Gin Kings a new weapon on the offensive end with his ability to shoot from the outside.

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In his final year with FEU in 2018, Tolentino posted averages of 12.8 points and 5.0 rebounds, while converting a team-high 29 triples in 13 games with the Tamaraws.

Reuben Terrado Mon, 17 Feb 2020 19:20:00 +0800
Bobby Ray Parks, TNT finally agree on one-year contract extensionhttps://www.spin.ph/basketball/pba/bobby-ray-parks-tnt-finally-agree-on-one-year-contract-contract-extension-a2437-20200217https://www.spin.ph/basketball/pba/bobby-ray-parks-tnt-finally-agree-on-one-year-contract-contract-extension-a2437-20200217Stalemate comes to an end as Parks agrees to stay at TnT on one-year dealBOBBY Ray Parks' stalemate with TNT has finally come to an end.

The no. 2 pick in the 2018 PBA Rookie Draft has agreed to a one-year extension with the KaTropa, ending months of negotiations after his old contract expired.

TNT team manager Gabby Cui confirmed the news, saying the two parties came to terms on the deal early Monday.

Parks' contract situation has been one of the most talked about in the offseason after his two-conference deal, originally signed with Blackwater, came to an end at the conclusion of the 2019 PBA Governors' Cup.

The two-time UAAP MVP averaged 18.8 points on a 39-percent shooting, to go with 6.3 rebounds, 3.5 assists, and 1.4 steals in his first season in the PBA.

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The contract extension is a fitting birthday gift for Parks, who turns 27 on Wednesday.

He started his career with the Elite in the Commissioner's Cup, but was eventually shipped to TNT late in the Governors' Cup, where he averaged 12.2 points, 6.4 boards, and 3.6 dimes for the KaTropa in the season-ending conference.

randolph b. leongsonMon, 17 Feb 2020 18:31:00 +0800
As Phoenix negotiations bog down, Sol Mercado free to talk to other teamshttps://www.spin.ph/basketball/pba/after-failed-phoenix-bid-mercado-asked-to-shop-around-for-teams-a793-20200217https://www.spin.ph/basketball/pba/after-failed-phoenix-bid-mercado-asked-to-shop-around-for-teams-a793-20200217Sol searching as Phoenix talks stallSOL Mercado could end up not playing for Phoenix in the PBA 45th season.

The Fil-Am guard has been told by Fuel Masters management that he’s free to look for any team willing to sign him after negotiations for a new contract between the two parties bogged down.

A person close to Mercado confirmed the go-signal Phoenix had given to the camp of the 35-year-old combo guard.

“We were told to look for any interested team,” said the source on Monday after the Fuel Masters’ tune-up game against Alaska at the Upper Deck gym.

Mercado was acquired by the Fuel Masters in an offseason trade for the service of LA Revilla.

The same person admitted Phoenix management had initially talked about plans of not signing up the guard from Sacramento, California as the team has a surplus of players in the backcourt.

“To be fair with them (management), they already said that they have no plans of signing up Sol,” added the source.

But nonetheless, the Fuel Masters opened negotiations with Mercado’s camp, only for the talks on a new deal to bog down a week ago.

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The bone of contention, sources said, was Mercado’s big salary from his previous contract.

More than the signing of Mercado, there is bigger urgency for the Fuel Masters’ priority to beef up a frontcourt depleted by injuries to Jake Pascual and Dave Marcelo.

Also, Calvin Abueva, the team’s top rebounder during last season’s Philippine Cup, has yet to be reinstated afer being slapped with an indefinite suspension last year.

Gerry Ramos Mon, 17 Feb 2020 18:23:00 +0800
Arwind Santos, Calvin Abueva empower small-town hoops in hometown Pampangahttps://www.spin.ph/life/guide/arwind-santos-and-calvin-abueva-empower-small-town-hoop-dreams-in-hometown-pampanga-a2442-20200217https://www.spin.ph/life/guide/arwind-santos-and-calvin-abueva-empower-small-town-hoop-dreams-in-hometown-pampanga-a2442-20200217PBA star pair take a break from all-Filipino buildup to inspire young kabalensTHEIR on-court aggressiveness may be often mistaken as arrogance, but Pampanga natives Calvin Abueva and Arwind Santos never forget their roots.

The two Kapampangans joined forces and spent their weekend at a local ‘ligang labas’ opening in Bacolor, Pampanga on Sunday, giving some words of wisdom to the young participants.

“Nag-launch sila ng liga, tapos kami ‘yung guest speakers. Nag-talk kami ni Calvin para ma-inspire ‘yung mga players. Kinuwento namin kung paano ‘yung naging journey namin papuntang PBA. Sinabi namin na kaya din nilang marating ‘to. Nagbigay lang din ng konting tips sa mga bata,” San Miguel Beer forward Santos shared with SPIN Life.

Although both are busy with their respective ball clubs, with the PBA's all-Filipino conference set to open in less than a month's time, they still managed to make time to visit their home province.

“Importante talaga ‘yung mga ganon, importante ang basketball para mailayo sa bisyo ang kabataan. Mas maganda na puro basketball na lang sila kaysa mag-inom, magbisyo o magdroga. Kaya malaking tulong ‘yon,” Santos explained.


Brought together by the same place where their love for the game started, Santos revealed that he is actually good friends with the Phoenix Fuel Masters player.

Abueva and Santos shared the same stable during the early part of their athletic career, nurtured by then Pampanga vice governor (and now incumbent governor) Dennis Pineda.

kate reyesMon, 17 Feb 2020 18:22:00 +0800
Bianca Pagdanganan first-ever PSA Ms. Golf, Stephan Schrock named Mr. Football anewhttps://www.spin.ph/multisport/stephan-schrock-bianca-pagdanganan-earn-special-awards-at-psa-night-a1373-20200217https://www.spin.ph/multisport/stephan-schrock-bianca-pagdanganan-earn-special-awards-at-psa-night-a1373-20200217Bianca Pagdanganan first-ever Ms. Golf, Stephan Schrock named PSA's Mr. Football anewTWO more outstanding Filipino athletes in Stephan Schrock and Bianca Pagdanganan will be the recipients of special awards from the Philippine Sportswriters Association (PSA).

Schrock will be conferred with the Mr. Football award, while Pagdanganan is going to be the first ever to receive the Ms. Golf title during the SMC-PSA gala night on March 6 at the Centennial Hall of the Manila Hotel.

The 33-year-old Schrock and Pagdanganan, 22, join Ms. and Mr. Basketball Jack Animam and Thirdy Ravena, Ms. and Mr. Volleyball Sisi Rondina and Bryan Bagunas, and Coach of the Year Pat Aquino as among those to be honored with special awards by the country’s oldest media organization in the event presented by the Philippine Sports Commission, Milo, Cignal TV, Philippine Basketball Association, AirAsia, and Rain or Shine.

For making the country proud with its exceptional performance that netted for the host the overall title of the 30th Southeast Asian Games, Team Philippines was the unanimous choice as the recipient of the coveted Athlete of the Year award.

Pagdanganan had her own share in the Filipinos’ successful title drive in the SEA Games as she spearheaded the country’s two-gold romp in golf by winning the women’s individual event and the women’s team event in tandem with Lois Kaye Go.

The recipient of the 2018 PSA Athlete of the Year, with fellow golfers Go and Yuka Saso, weightlifter Hidilyn Diaz and skateboarder Margielyn Didal, Pagdanganan also won the Hawkeye El Tigre Invitational in Mexico last year.

A gold medal winner in the 2018 Asian Games, the Filipina golfer attended Gonzaga University and later, the University of Arizona, which she helped win the NCAA Division 1 women’s golf championships in the same year.

A sports and society major, Pagdanganan turned pro last year.

Schrock meanwhile, will be receiving his second Mr. Football award after winning his first in 2013.

The veteran midfielder of Ceres Negros stood as the rock of the Philippine Azkals that is currently on a transition, serving as the captain of the U22 team in the SEA Games that came close to reaching the knockout stage.

The Fil-German player was also named by the ASEAN Football Federation as one of the recipients of the AFF Best XI Award during the AFF Awards held in Hanoi, Vietnam.

On the domestic front, Schrock led Ceres Negros to a third successive Football League title and steered the team to the Asean Zonal semifinals of the AFC Cup.

Along with goalkeeper Neil Etheridge, Schrock spearheaded the Azkals’ campaign in the 2022 World Cup and 2023 AFC Asian Cup joint qualifiers.

[ArticleReco:{"articles":["99286","99073","98839","98583"], "widget":"More from spin"}]

from the wiresMon, 17 Feb 2020 17:17:00 +0800
Guiao has no desire to trade Poy Erram, but admits decision 'not at my level'https://www.spin.ph/basketball/pba/nlex-coach-yeng-guiao-not-in-favor-of-trading-poy-erram-a795-20200217https://www.spin.ph/basketball/pba/nlex-coach-yeng-guiao-not-in-favor-of-trading-poy-erram-a795-20200217That's weirdIF NLEX coach Yeng Guiao is to be asked, he would prefer that the Road Warriors not trade Poy Erram.

The usually straight-shooting Guiao was ambiguous when asked about rumors that the  NLEX big man is headed to sister team TNT KaTropa in a trade, saying that such decision is no longer at his level.

Guiao made it clear that he is not favor of such deal.

“Wala ako masabi diyan kasi ako, ayoko i-trade si Poy, as of now. Wala pa akong masabi. I think, it’s not at my level so I cannot comment on it,” said Guiao after Monday’s tune-up game against San Miguel at The Upper Deck.

The 6-7 Erram posted averages of 11.7 points, 7.8 rebounds, and 2.1 blocks for the Road Warriors in 2019, his full year with the team after he was moved from Blackwater to NLEX in the previous offseason.

Erram’s stint with NLEX, particularly Guiao, however, was not always smooth sailing.

In one game during the 2019 season, Guiao was caught in a viral video lambasting Erram and Kenneth Ighalo during a timeout, urging Erram to work on his body and get stronger.

Erram took the tongue-lashing in a positive manner.

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But Guiao knows Erram is a gem to NLEX, admitting that he faces a dilemma about the rumored trade since there are only a few good big men in the PBA.

“There are very few quality big man in the league and Poy is one of them. So I’m still in a quandary. I’m still not sure what the situation is or will be,” said Guiao.

Despite the rumors swirling around his top center, Guiao said Erram is being treated by the team as if he is staying.

Erram played in NLEX’s win over San Miguel in the tune-up game where he scored four points, and has been diligently practicing with the Road Warriors.

“Unless it happens, we treat him like before. He is part of our team, he is part of the family  of NLEX, and we will see what happens,” Guiao added.

Reuben Terrado Mon, 17 Feb 2020 16:59:00 +0800
What's not to like with the Tyson Fury vs Deontay Wilder rematch?https://www.spin.ph/boxing/what-s-not-to-like-with-the-tyson-fury-vs-deontay-wilder-rematch-a1403-20200217-lfrmhttps://www.spin.ph/boxing/what-s-not-to-like-with-the-tyson-fury-vs-deontay-wilder-rematch-a1403-20200217-lfrmFourteen months after an entertaining draw, Fury and Wilder get at it againLAS VEGAS — The water was warming up, and so was the sun. On the kind of day that made it easy to forget about dreary weather back home, Tyson Fury was sitting poolside in the backyard of his home in the shadow of the Las Vegas Strip, watching as some of his housemates frolicked in the shallow end.

The Gypsy King resisted the impulse to join them. He didn’t have a swimsuit on and, besides, he had more serious things to attend to.

Like promoting a fight that, on paper, needs no promotion. Fury and Deontay Wilder for the title on Saturday night (Sunday, Manila time) in the biggest heavyweight showdown in years.

“If this fight doesn’t sell, no fight in history will sell," Fury said. ”You’ve got a Brit versus and American, a talker versus a talker, personality versus personality. Both unbeaten, and we fought to a draw last time.

“What’s not to like?”

Frankly, not much. Fourteen months after they were both disappointed in a draw in a hugely entertaining fight, Fury and Wilder meet in a rematch so big that it took two major TV networks to combine for the pay-per-view show.

It’s a fight with a bit of everything, the kind of fight boxing fans usually only dream about. There’s little not to like about the bout at the MGM Grand arena, except maybe what it costs to watch at home on Fox Sports or ESPN pay-per-view ($79.99).

Still, this fight might be the rare one worth calling up a few buddies and ordering pizzas. If it even comes close to the drama of the first fight, the entertainment value will be priceless.

And it’s taking place only because the two best heavyweights in the world are willing to put their unbeaten records and everything else on the line to make it happen.

“It takes a certain type of man to risk his life and not just his life,” Fury said as a camp member splashed nearby. “I mean risk everything he’s ever achieved in his life. To put it all on the line, draw a mark and say, right, let’s have the two best men fight each other for the ultimate glory. That’s what me and Wilder are doing.”

How Fury got to this point isn’t exactly how the path to heavyweight greatness is usually mapped out. He won a piece of the title against Wladimir Klitschko in 2015, only to descend into the darkness of depression and drug and alcohol addiction that threatened to end not only his career but his life.

Fury ballooned to 385 pounds and seemingly would never fight again. But he discovered that working out would help him beat his demons and he hasn’t stopped since returning to the ring in June 2018 after a 2 1/2-year absence.

He’s still big — 6-foot-9 and probably about 270 pounds at fight time — but sober now and right in the mix at the top of a heavyweight division that is suddenly hot once again. Two months after Anthony Joshua got a piece of the title back by beating Andy Ruiz Jr. in Saudi Arabia, Fury and Wilder will meet with the winner considered by most in boxing to be the legitimate heavyweight champion.

“The sleeping giant has now awoken," Fury said. ”We’ve brought it back to the glory days. I believe the heavyweight division now is thriving like it was in the 70s and 80s."

While the fight has a lot of intriguing sidelights — as well as two showmen with contrasting styles not afraid to mix it up — the real selling point is the first fight. Fury outboxed Wilder throughout that fight only to get knocked down in ninth round and then completely flattened in the 12th.

Wilder was walking around the ring celebrating what was surely another knockout victory. But somehow Fury got up and actually took the fight to Wilder in the closing seconds and when the scorecards were tallied it was a draw.

The rematch shapes up as boxer versus puncher once again, except Fury claims this time he’ll be the one knocking Wilder down. He’s predicting a second round knockout, despite Wilder’s claims that he hits like a much smaller man.

“I don’t respect his boxing skills,” Fury said. “But the thing is I’m not looking for boxing skills in this fight. I’m looking for the big knockout punches. So it’s going to be a very entertaining fight while it lasts.”

It’s Fury’s third straight fight in the boxing capital of the world, and he left England at the first of the year to properly train for it. Fury and his camp are ensconced in a rented house near the glittering Strip, though Fury says he rarely ventures out to the casinos.

On a recent night he did visit the Strip, though, taking in a Vegas Golden Knights hockey game. Almost as if it was planned — and it kind of was — Ryan Reaves and Ross Johnson of the New York Islanders dropped their gloves and squared off and traded blows right off the opening draw as Fury cheered from the stands.

“He asked me to (fight) and I said, ‘Let me go run somebody first’ and he goes `(Tyson) Fury is here,'” Reaves said. “I just said, `Yeah, that’s true. Alright, we’ll do it.'”

[ArticleReco:{"articles":["98614","96782","93971","83197"], "widget":"More from spin"}]

Much like Fury’s first fight with Wilder, the fisticuffs between Reaves and Johnson ended in a draw, with both players getting 5-minute penalties. But the fight seemed to spark the struggling Knights who went on to a 1-0 win.

The fight Saturday night could be just as close, with bookies making it a rare pick ‘em choice. And if the old adage in boxing that styles make fights is true, it could be one that lives up to the hype the second time around.

The Gypsy King against the Bronze Bomber, with everything at stake.

The kind of fight you’d pay to see.

tim dahlberg, apMon, 17 Feb 2020 16:10:00 +0800
It's AFP Cavaliers vs DENR Warriors in UNTV Cup title serieshttps://www.spin.ph/basketball/afp-cavaliers-battles-denr-warriors-for-untv-cup-title-a1373-20200217https://www.spin.ph/basketball/afp-cavaliers-battles-denr-warriors-for-untv-cup-title-a1373-20200217AFP Cavaliers battles DENR Warriors for UNTV Cup titleARMED Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) arranged a title duel in the 8th UNTV Cup at Paco Arena in Manila.

The top-seeded defending champions AFP Cavaliers outgunned the Judiciary Magis in the payoff period to pull off a tense 72-67 win to complete a sweep of their best-of-three semis series.

The win pushed the Cavaliers within two wins of becoming the first back-to-back champions in the tournament for public servants.

Standing in their way are second seeds DENR Warriors who bested the National Housing Authority Builders in their own series capped by an 82-75 win, thanks to another double-double performance by MVP candidate Ralph Lansang.

AFP and DENR start their best-of-three finals series on March 1 with the chosen charity of the champion team getting P4 million.

The foundation selected by the runner-up gets P2 million while the charities picked by the third and fourth placers shall earn P1 million and P500,000, respectively.

Romeo Almerol, Lansang’s chief rival for the coveted MVP plum, presided over AFP’s onslaught with 17 points and 10 boards while Jerry Lumongsod and Darwin Cordero chipped in 12 and 10 points, respectively.

The Warriors got off to a slow start but rallied furiously in the second frame behind the red-hot shooting of Lansang and never looked back.

Lansang finished with 25 points and 10 boards.

First Game
AFP 72 – Almerol 17, Lumongsod 12, Cordero 10, Rosopa 10, Tan 6, Bautista 6, Quiambao 4, Sergio 3, Zuniga 2, Araneta 0.
Judiciary 67 – Salamat 14, Tolomia 14, Dela Cruz 12, Dionisio 11, Marquez  8, Ybanez  6, Mustre 2, Serrano 0, Bergonio 0, Litonjua 0, Malinao 0, Roma 0.
Quarterscores: 18-14; 33-33; 44-45; 72-67.

from the wiresMon, 17 Feb 2020 15:54:00 +0800
At La Union, a classic style of surfing is making a comebackhttps://www.spin.ph/life/guide/at-la-union-a-classic-style-of-surfing-is-making-a-comeback-a1017-20200217-lfrmhttps://www.spin.ph/life/guide/at-la-union-a-classic-style-of-surfing-is-making-a-comeback-a1017-20200217-lfrmTHERE WERE 10 seconds left in the final heat of the men’s longboarding competition at the Single & Unattached event in Urbiztondo Beach in La Union. 

It was an all-locals final featuring four La Union boys battling it out for the top spot. Among them was Roger Casugay, local hero and Southeast Asian Games gold medalist, as well as SEA Games runner-up Rogelio “Jay-R” Esquivel.


The judges’ perch at a balcony in Monaliza Resort was maddeningly silent. In previous heats, they regularly broadcasted each surfer’s score and their current standing, and the points they needed to advance to the next round. 

This was relatively new for Single & Unattached.

Thanks to a computerized system that could tabulate their scores on the fly, the five judges could now announce points and rankings as the participants rode in. Every time the announcers’ mics crackled to life, the speakers booming across the reef break, it added an extra layer of pressure to the competitors out there in the surf, biding their time and strategy to get the best waves and impress the panel.

But for this heat, they went old school. Lips sealed, mic silent, except to announce how little time the surfers had left.

At the 10-second countdown, Esquivel rose from his board and began driving hard to shore. He deftly stepped forward and back in a 360 pirouette atop his log, then, as the buzzer sounded, leapt from his board and tried to land on Rico Dumaguin’s. He missed, and fell to the water with a laugh.

“Gusto ko sanang i-ride yung board [ni Rico], kaso tagilid. Kung nakadiretso sana, lilipat ako sana,” he said as he went ashore. 


Considering the three other surfers in the heat, he added: “Maraming dayo na magagaling, at di namin akalain na apat kaming local yung nag-finals. Saya sa pakiramdam.”

It was only later that day, at the awarding ceremony in Clean Beach resort, that he later found out that he’d won first place, eking out a slim 0.25 point lead over Dumaguin. 

Going single

The Single & Unattached surfing festival is, as its cheeky name suggests, usually timed for Valentine’s. But don’t mind the double meaning in its moniker.

Set up eight years ago by architect and surfer Buji Libarnes, its name technically refers to the type of surfing that goes on in the event: aboard single fin longboards, with no leash attached to keep the board from being swept away from a rider. These surfboards are affectionately called "logs" — a name that brings to mind tree trunks, floating dead in the water. But these boards are anything but lumpen and graceless.


“They are single fin, heavier surfboards, with rounder rails throughout. They have no hard edges, [and are] focused more for style [and] aesthetics rather than performance,” explained shaper Ian Zamora, who specializes in manufacturing single fin longboards out of his shop in Malibu, California.

Zamora, who was born in the Philippines but moved stateside as a teen, has been coming to La Union regularly over most of the past decade, thanks to an invite from Libarnes. At this year’s event, Japanese surfer Akimoto Shohei was riding a Zamora Surf creation. Roger Casugay, too.

When surfing began to break into the mainstream back in the late 1960s, the single fin longboard was cutting edge stuff. But in the past few decades, our collective image of surfing has been defined by the shortboard: nimble teardrops of foam and fiberglass, carving up the glassy green of a wave or slicing nimbly through the water. In contrast, “traditional longboards are heavier, slower, so you have to draw out all your movements,” explained Zamora. 

He added: “That's why [longboard riding is] more style-oriented than progressive performance boards. Filipino surfers, they love style. You're all really into style here. Even like, if you see the jeepneys, the tricycle, you always have to kind of bling it out.”

Libarnes, who moved for good to San Juan three years ago, described the style that defines longboard surfing. Because of its size and length, board riding becomes more of a playful art. “Sa shortboard, di ka makapaglakad sa board e,” he told SPIN Life from atop the roofdeck of Vessel, the hip San Juan hostel he runs with his wife Nikki. “So [on the board], it's like a dance. You dance all the way to the nose and back.” 

With his fingers, he demonstrated the proper way to do it: index finger and middle finger criss crossing over each other, instead of merely shuffling from side to side. “Mababa score nun pag nag-shuffle ka. Kelangan cross step papunta at paatras.” 


Libarnes continued: “Tapos yun, syempre, yung hanging five — five toes on the nose — and then hanging ten... Yun ang mataas na score.”

At Single & Unattached 2020, 70 percent of a surfer’s score would be determined by those classic moves: nose rides, hang fives, hang tens, or a daring 360 walk across the top of the board. Then 30 percent of the points would come from high-performance stunts you’d typically see on a shortboard.

As head judge Mike Oida told the surfers during the quarterfinals, his voice booming out of the mic as the surfers paddled out: “We're looking for a variety of maneuvers. We're looking for the creativity of how you paint this wave. Make sure you're in the critical part of the wave. Paint it well, dance it well.”


Esquivel considers himself proficient in both shortboard and longboard. “Para sa akin, mas nagsu-surf kasi ako ng shortboard talaga e,” he said before the early morning finals heat, looking out at the gloomy sunrise over a surf that would resolve itself into four-, five-footers — the kind of conditions that made for showstopping finals. “Pero kung yung alon sakto lang, longboard.” 

At this year’s SIngle & Unattached, his longboard riding was some kind of magic. In fact, that was what some observers were jokingly calling the crazy, daring backward kicks that he’d sometimes do when dancing on the board: “black magic”.

The longboard life

There was a time Libarnes remembered when longboarding was looked down on by surfers. “Pang beginner lang. Baduy.”

A surfer learns on longboards. Its wide base make things so much easier for a beginner. “Mas madali yung longboard na gamitin kasi mas madali siyang tayuan, mas madali siyang i-balance,” explained Esquivel. “Kasi yung shortboard, maliit. Medyo magalaw siya.”


The expectation was that a longboarder would soon graduate into a shortboarder. But Zamora believes that this shouldn’t always be the case.

“It's more realistic for them. An intermediate surfer can start doing the cross steps, start walking to the nose. But an intermediate surfer probably can't do airs and big barrels [or the other] kind of performance stuff.” 

He added: “So the traditional surfing and the surfboards definitely cater to a wider range of [surfers]... especially since surfing is so young here in the Philippines. It's a good platform.”


For husband and wife team Buji and Nikki Libarnes, the fact that their little event is now on its eighth year is a fact that continually surprises them.

Single & Unattached 2020 wasn’t even supposed to happen. Nikki had just given birth to their first child, and the new parents had no time to organize the event. Thankfully, a core group of log enthusiasts took over the event’s organization for them, bringing dozens of surfers from Siargao, Australia, Hawaii, Japan, South Korea, and of course, locals from San Juan, La Union.

They’d founded the event on a lark. Yes, they wanted to showcase the underappreciated art of longboarding. But they also wanted a lighthearted event in peak San Juan surf season that would be a break from the very serious competitions out there. 

But the success of Single & Unattached isn’t happening in a vacuum, said Buji Libarnes. Longboarding is experiencing a resurgence around the world. 


He ticks off the longboarding events popping up around the globe in the past few years, all of them with names as quirky as his own event’s. Nine Foot & Single in Bali. Single Fin Mingle in Christchurch, New Zealand. Mexi Log in Mexico. Then there was the legendary, journeyman Duct Tape Invitationals, founded by longboarder Joel Tudor.

The men’s and women’s longboarding champion at Single & Unattached — Esquivel and Siargao’s Aping Agudo — would be invited to the Mexi Log Fest. Meanwhile, in recognition of his heroic act at the SEA Games, Casugay also received an invitation to Single Fin Mingle.


“Ibang level na ngayon, yung surfers, yung locals,” said Libarnes. “Sobrang galing na nila mag-log. Nakakagulat. Ang lupit na nila, yung mga new blood natin, sina Rico [Dumaguin], sina Roger [Casugay], si Jay-R [Esquivel].”

He’s been coming to La Union long enough to remember Casugay as an 11-year-old kid begging him for the candy he always kept in the pocket of his board shorts to chew on while out on the ocean. Now, with Single & Unattached looking forward to a decade of logging, Libarnes is confident that the art of longboarding is alive and well in the shores of La Union.

And if you want to get into longboarding yourself?


“Stick to it,” he said. “Don't jump on a shortboard right away. [It will] teach you style and grace and technique. Nandito kasi ang fundamentals ng good style.”

Lio MangubatMon, 17 Feb 2020 15:39:00 +0800
Rianne Malixi, Abby Arevalo head field as Philippine Ladies Open tees offhttps://www.spin.ph/golf/rianne-malixi-abby-arevalo-head-field-in-philippine-ladies-open-a1373-20200217https://www.spin.ph/golf/rianne-malixi-abby-arevalo-head-field-in-philippine-ladies-open-a1373-20200217Rianne Malixi, Abby Arevalo head field as Philippine Ladies Open tees offTHE Philippine Ladies Open 2020 gets going on Tuesday with Rianne Malixi out to extend her winning ways, Abby Arevalo seeking redemption and Nicole Abelar and Eagle Ace Superal ready to foil the two aces who clashed for the national crown the last time out.

Laurea Duque, Mariel Tee, Sophia Blanco, Junia Gabasa, Arine Taguines, Sam Dizon, Rhea Langamin and Mafy Singson are also among those expected to make strong starts at the Manila Golf Club in Forbes Park.

A number of foreign bets are also coming into the championship, organized by the Women’s Golf Association of the Philippines, among them Airi Mitsuhashi, Aussie Angela Enqi and Fil-Guamanian Kristin Oberiano.

Focus will be on the 12-year-old Malixi and Arevalo, 20, with the former all primed up for another championship run after snaring the National Stroke Play title with a victory over the latter on the third playoff hole at Riviera last month.

Malixi also emerged as the winningest player in the ranks last year, ruling the Philippine Junior Amateur Open at Sherwood Hills where she won the overall crown despite playing in a lower age-group category. She also dominated the Philippine Amateur Open Match Play and Northern Luzon Regional Championship.

Arevalo is going all out to atone for that setback with the SEA Games team gold medalist and former San Jose State U mainstay also eyeing a win that would bolster her confidence for her planned pro debut next month.

“I’m excited to play and see where I’m at with this opportunity,” said Arevalo, who is set to vie in the Women’s Amateur Asia Pacific and the Queen Sirikit Cup before joining the Ladies Philippine Golf Tour at Summit Point. Both world-ranking events, however, were postponed due to coronavirus concerns.

The top 30 percent of the field after 18 holes will qualify for the Open division with the rest to vie for honors in Classes A and B of the event the 54-hole tournament, a World Amateur Golf Ranking event sponsored by San Miguel Corp., Diamond Motors, Sunsports and Eva Air and backed by Globe, the National Golf Association of the Philippines, Copok (Seascape Village), Inquirer Golf, New World Hotel, Pocari, Manila Golf Ladies, Regent Travel, Hyundai, Poten-Cee, Pascual Lab, Net25, Lake Shore CCY, FHLCI and Tagaytay Ladies.

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from the wiresMon, 17 Feb 2020 15:35:00 +0800
Another bad break for SMB as Marcio Lassiter out with fractured nosehttps://www.spin.ph/basketball/pba/another-bad-break-for-smb-as-marcio-lassiter-out-with-fractured-nose-a2437-20200217https://www.spin.ph/basketball/pba/another-bad-break-for-smb-as-marcio-lassiter-out-with-fractured-nose-a2437-20200217After Fajardo sidelining, Beermen deal with Lassiter injury blowSAN Miguel just couldn't get the breaks in the lead-up to the 2020 PBA Philippine Cup.

Marcio Lassiter is the latest to get bit with the injury bug, suffering a fractured nose three weeks away from the season opener.

The Fil-Am sniper got elbowed in the Beermen's tuneup game against Rain or Shine last week and had to sit out their preseason game against NLEX in the Phoenix Super Basketball Tournament on Monday.

Lassiter's injury is the latest bad break to hit the Beermen, who will be without top star June Mar Fajardo in the all-Filipino tournament after the big man suffered a complete fracture on his right tibia.

Lassiter, though, promised he'll be ready when San Miguel raises the curtain to the new season in a game against Magnolia on March 8 - even if he has to wear a protected mask to protect his nose.

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"Yes, I'll be ready," the 32-year-old quipped in a short chat with SPIN.ph.

The Beermen are gearing up for run at a sixth straight Philippine Cup title - and a second Perpetual Trophy.

randolph b. leongsonMon, 17 Feb 2020 15:13:00 +0800
The only thing better than the NBA All-Star Game were the sneakershttps://www.spin.ph/life/active-lifestyle/nba-all-star-2020-sneakers-a547-20200217https://www.spin.ph/life/active-lifestyle/nba-all-star-2020-sneakers-a547-20200217Some All-Stars like Bam Adebayo paid tribute to Kobe with custom kicksIt's only fitting that NBA stars strutted their stuff in the biggest exhibition match of the basketball calendar.

Team LeBron narrowly escaped Team Giannis, 157-155, after being down by nine points at the end of the third quarter. Anthony Davis made the winning free throw, but Kawhi Leonard was named the first-ever Kobe Bryant MVP.

Check out the game highlights:

[youtube:{"videoId":"null","youtubeId":"eSXBikj6d0U", "caption":""}]

Both All-Star squads showed out not only in a hard-fought final period, but also through their players' respective shoe games.

Jayson Tatum - DIOR x Air Jordan 1, Air Jordan XXX4


6 pts, 3 ast, 3 stl

Chris Paul - Jordan CP3.XII


23 pts, 7 3pt, 6 ast

Luka Doncic - Air Jordan XXX4 'Cement' Low


8 pts, 4 ast

Jimmy Butler - Nike PG 4 'Gatorade' ASW


4 pts, 2 stl

Khris Middleton - Nike Zoom Freak 1 'Bred'


5 pts, 2 ast

[ArticleReco:{"articles":[99834], "widget":"See Also"}]

Trae Young - adidas N3xt L3v3l 2 'Ice Trae'


10 pts, 10 ast

Anthony Davis - Nike Kobe 5 Protro


20 pts, 9 reb, 3 stl, 3 blk

Bam Adebayo - Nike Kobe A.D. Mid


8 pts, 2 reb

Donovan Mitchell - adidas D.O.N Issue #1


7 pts, 5 reb 4 ast, 2 stl

Kawhi Leonard - New Balance KAWHI


30 pts, 8 3pt, 7 reb, 4 ast, 2 stl

LeBron James - Nike LeBron 17 'Monstars'



23 pts, 6 ast, 5 reb, 2 blk

John Paulo AguileraMon, 17 Feb 2020 15:04:00 +0800
NLEX off to fine start in preseason meet, nips undermanned San Miguelhttps://www.spin.ph/basketball/pba/jr-quinahan-leads-way-as-nlex-beats-san-miguel-in-preseason-a795-20200217https://www.spin.ph/basketball/pba/jr-quinahan-leads-way-as-nlex-beats-san-miguel-in-preseason-a795-20200217JR Quinahan leads way as NLEX beats San Miguel in preseasonNLEX defeated San Miguel, 103-97, on Monday in the Phoenix Super Basketball Tourney at The Upper Deck.

JR Quinahan had 14 points as the Road Warriors edged the the five-time PBA Philippine Cup champion who are playing without June Mar Fajardo.

Kiefer Ravena and Bong Galanza added 11 points, while Kris Porter hit key shots late in the match to help lift NLEX.

Porter completed a three-point play to put NLEX ahead, 91-90, before Mike Ayonayon padded the lead to three. Wendell Comboy cut the deficit to three for San Miguel, 96-93, but Porter drilled a three for a six-point lead.

Porter finished the game with nine points for NLEX, which joined Alaska in the leaderboard with a 1-0 record in the preseason pocket tournament organized by Phoenix.

Mo Tautuaa finished with 15 points, while Terrence Romeo, Alex Cabagnot, and Arwind Santos each had 14 markers for the Beermen.


The scores:

NLEX 103 – Quinahan 14, Galanza 11, Ravena 11, Taulava 10, Porter 9, Miranda 6, Alas 6, Soyud 6, Paniamogan 6, Baguio 5, Ayonayon 5, Ighalo 4, Erram 4, McAloney 4, Varilla 2, Fonacier 0.

San Miguel 97 – Tautuaa 15, Romeo 14, Cabagnot 14, Santos 14, Pessumal 8, Ross 7, Zamar 6, Comboy 5, De Guzman 4, Gamalinda 4, Ganuelas-Rosser 0, Mamaril 0, Alolino 0, Austria 0.

Quarterscores: 29-22; 45-45; 74-76; 103-97.

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Reuben Terrado Mon, 17 Feb 2020 15:03:00 +0800
Kawhi Leonard emotional after winning Kobe trophy: 'He did a lot for me'https://www.spin.ph/basketball/nba/kawhi-leonard-wins-first-kobe-bryant-all-star-mvp-award-a1686-20200217https://www.spin.ph/basketball/nba/kawhi-leonard-wins-first-kobe-bryant-all-star-mvp-award-a1686-20200217Kawhi Leonard wins first Kobe Bryant All-Star MVP awardCHICAGO — Kawhi Leonard made it look effortless, nailing one 3-pointer after another and nearly matching an All-Star Game record.

The tough part came afterward. Finding the right words to express how he felt after becoming the first Kobe Bryant MVP award winner wasn't so easy.

Leonard scored 30 points and hit eight 3-pointers to lead Team LeBron to a 157-155 victory over Team Giannis on Sunday night (Monday, Manila time).

He was presented the MVP trophy that the league renamed after Bryant on Saturday, three weeks after the Lakers great and his 13-year-old daughter Gianna were among the nine people killed when their helicopter crashed near Los Angeles.

"It's very special," Leonard said. "Like I said, I had a relationship with him. Words can't explain how happy I am for it. Able to put that trophy in my room, in my trophy room, and just be able to see Kobe's name on there, it just means a lot to me. He's a big inspiration in my life. He did a lot for me."

Bryant had a huge presence over the first All-Star festivities in Chicago since 1988, when Michael Jordan delighted the home crowd by beating Dominique Wilkins in a classic slam dunk contest and scoring 40 points to take MVP honors in the game.

There were all sorts of tributes to Bryant, his daughter and late NBA Commissioner Emeritus David Stern. But once the game started, it didn't take long for Leonard to make his presence felt.

The Los Angeles Clippers star has two NBA Finals MVP trophies after helping San Antonio and Toronto win championships.

He was picked for his fourth All-Star team and put on quite a display from the perimeter, knocking down 8 of 14 3-pointers.

Had he made one more, he would have matched Paul George's All-Star record set in 2016. And he appeared to be well on his way to breaking it after a scorching start.

Leonard hit one just seconds into the game. He made all four 3s in the first quarter — the only shots he took while scoring 12 points.

Leonard was 7 of 10 in the first half, only to cool off a bit after that. He missed a step-back 3 that could have won it with his team up 154-153, but was the runaway winner for the game's MVP honors with seven votes. LeBron James got three and Chicago product Anthony Davis and Chris Paul received one apiece.

All that's missing for Leonard now is the league's regular season MVP award.

"My mindset is always just to try to make my team the best team at the end of the regular season," Leonard said. "And if I'm fortunate enough to win a regular season MVP, then I'll be happy with it. I always just want to win championships. I'm not really concerned with the personal goal. So I always want to play to win championships."

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andrew seligman, apMon, 17 Feb 2020 14:47:00 +0800