Doha-bound Pasig clobbers Bataan in Chooks 3×3 grand final

‘He’s the best 2-way basketball player in the NBA’ – Lowry on Leonard ahead of game 6

Pasig Grindhouse endured another heated encounter as it ran through old rival 1Bataan, 19-7, and claim the first ever Chooks-to-Go 3×3 Pilipinas President’s Cup on Sunday at SM Fairview.

Joshua Munzon, the country’s top ranked 3×3 player, led an inspired attack for the Grindhouse Kings in the championship round to be named the inaugural champions of the tournament and take home the grand prize of one million pesos.

Joshua Munzon (Photo from Chooks-to-Go)

Munzon scored 11 points in the finals, most of which coming after an altercation with Chito Jaime midway through the game.

“It’s attributed to our hardwork. Since we first lost in this league, that really left a bad taste on our mouths. We’re driven every week to push ourselves to get better,” said Munzon who was later named the tournament’s best player.

“We’ve been practicing for the physicality. It’s something we have to get used to,” he added. I feel like we’ve been a target since week one,” he added.

Taylor Statham added five while Troy Rike chipped in two for the Grindhouse Kings, who earlier qualified to the FIBA 3×3 World Tour Masters in Doha following their 19-18 win over the San Juan Knights-Go For Gold in the semis.

Pasig Grindhouse Kings (Photo from Chooks-to-Go)

Alvin Pasaol led the way for the Risers, scoring five of their seven points in the game. After a solid outing in the tournament, BAVI President and CEO Ronald Mascarinas later announced that Chooks will be giving 200,000 pesos for the runners-up.

Both teams will be representing the country in the coming Chooks-to-Go Asia Pacific 3×3 Super Quest on April 6-7 at the SM Megamall Fashion Hall.

Earlier, Kobe Paras outlasted dunk specialist David Carlos in another exciting edition of the Gameville Slam Dunk contest.

Paras entertained the crowd with a reverse jam off the backboard to get a 50 and narrowly edge Carlos who finished with 49.

Valenzuela Classic’s Chris de Chavez also ruled the three point competition after outshooting Pasay’s JP Belencion, 7-6, in the final round.

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2019 PBA All-Star: North’s rendition of Dante Gulapa dance enough to beat South in showdown

‘He’s the best 2-way basketball player in the NBA’ – Lowry on Leonard ahead of game 6

The North All-Stars were able to celebrate two huge wins in the final day of the 2019 PBA All-Star Game last night at the Calasiao Sports Complex in Pangasinan.

Aside from winning the All-Star Game, North was able to beat their southern counterparts in the dance-off held before the main game.

RELATED – High-flying Aguilar stars as North routs South in highest-scoring PBA All-Star Game ever

Calvin Abueva and Arwind Santos led the squad during the performance, but it was the injured Marc Pingris who stole the show.

PBA North All-Stars (Photo from the PBA Media Group)

Pingris, who wasn’t able to suit up for the All-Star Game due to injury, made up for his absence by stealing the spotlight and starring in the team’s version of internet sensation Dante Gulapa’s ‘Eagle Dance’.

North won P100,000 for emerging as winners in the dance-off.

On the other hand, South bagged P50,000 after a runner-up finish that saw them perform their own version of the ‘Eagle Dance’, too.

Meanwhile, in the PBA All-Star 3×3 contest, CJ Perez led a furious Team Codiñera come-from-behind win over Team Patrimonio, 22-19.

CJ Perez (Photo from the PBA Media Group)

Down 12-19, Perez took over and drained four straight two-pointers as their foes, composed of four-time PBA MVP Alvin Patrimonio, Robert Bolick, Javee Mocon and Mike Nieto, failed to close out in the clutch.

Isaac Go later knocked down a two from the left win to give cage legend Jerry Codiñera’s squad the win.

Perez and Go were also flanked by Matt Nieto.


RELATED – THROWBACK: A detailed look at the 1989 PBA All-Star Game

RELATED – 2019 PBA All-Star: Mocon tip-in lifts Rookie/Sophomores over Juniors in wild finish

High-flying Aguilar stars as North routs South in highest-scoring PBA All-Star Game ever

‘He’s the best 2-way basketball player in the NBA’ – Lowry on Leonard ahead of game 6

Japeth Aguilar’s above-the-rim antics highlighted North’s dominance over South, 185-170, and the highest-scoring PBA All-Star Game ever on Sunday at the Calasiao Sports Complex in Pangasinan.

The high-flying beanpole tallied 32 points behind a flurry of dunks to lead his side to a one-sided victory in front of a frenzied home crowd.

Aguilar even showed off his hops during the third quarter, where he flushed down a slam after jumping over South’s June Mar Fajardo.

Japeth Aguilar (Photo from the PBA Media Group)

He was later named the co-Most Valuable Player alongside Arwind Santos, who finished with 34 points, 17 rebounds and six assists off the bench.

This game became the highest-scoring contest ever in the yearly showpiece, surpassing the 176-point output set by the Veterans in a lopsided win over the Rookies/Sophomores back in 2012.

North stormed to a 51-25 lead after the first quarter and never looked back, but they did allow South to climb back from as much as 27 down in the third period as a Mark Barroca triple made it just a two-point game, 90-92.

That was the last time South came close to threatening, though, as a 13-2 blast restored order for a North side that cruised until the final buzzer.

Three-point champ PJ Simon led South with 34 points on 15-for-25 shooting form the field. Fajardo, meanwhile, scattered 26 points and 13 boards.

Paul Lee was impressive for North, too, as he knocked down nine threes on his way to scoring 27 points. LA Tenorio also had a triple-double by recording 11 points, 10 rebounds and 15 assists.

Thanks to a fast-paced, high-scoring clash that saw both teams produce 45 three-pointers and 38 dunks, a total of 83 wheelchairs will be donated to the Alagang PBA Foundation by Double V Production, who pledged to donate a set amount for every trey and dunk made in the showpiece.


RELATED – THROWBACK: A detailed look at the 1989 PBA All-Star Game

RELATED – 2019 PBA All-Star: Mocon tip-in lifts Rookie/Sophomores over Juniors in wild finish

RELATED – 2019 PBA All-Star: Rey Guevarra grabs record-tying fifth dunk contest crown

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Japan’s national teams granted automatic places at Tokyo 2020 Olympic Basketball and 3×3 Basketball Tournaments

‘He’s the best 2-way basketball player in the NBA’ – Lowry on Leonard ahead of game 6

Japan’s men’s and women’s national teams will compete in the Olympic Basketball and 3×3 Basketball Tournaments at the Tokyo 2020 Games after FIBA’s Central Board on Saturday decided to grant them automatic places during its meeting in Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire.

The decision was made based on the Japanese Basketball Association (JBA)’s application which confirms they meet the various sporting requirements.

There has been a continuous stream of positive developments in the country’s basketball landscape in recent years, including the on-court success of the men’s and women’s senior national teams, the revamp of the B. League (the national top-flight men’s competition) and making history by being part of the first-ever successful multiple countries bid – together with Philippines and Indonesia – to be awarded the hosting rights for a FIBA Basketball World Cup, for the 2023 edition.

For 3×3 Basketball, FIBA’s urban discipline – set to make its historic debut as part of basketball’s Olympic program at Tokyo 2020 – host nation Japan will be represented by both men’s and women’s teams in the 3×3 Olympic tournament after FIBA’s Central Board granted automatic places for teams of both genders (male and female) to the host country, subject to approval by the International Olympic Committee (IOC).

Japan’s men’s team is currently ranked 4th and the women’s 8th (March 30, 2019), while Japan has been hosting a World Tour event for 7 years and this year will host the World Tour Final in Utsunomiya.

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Yuka Saso aims to have fun in Women’s Amateur Asia-Pacific

How well do fans know Pebble Beach of US Open Championship?

Yuka Saso will be looking to extend her Asia domination when she tees it up at this year’s Women’s Amateur Asia-Pacific (WAAP) in Japan.

The forever smiling 17-year-old came close to winning the inaugural WAAP at Singapore’s Sentosa Golf Club last year when she forced her way into a four-way playoff, but a bogey on the second extra hole denied her victory as Thailand’s Atthaya Thitikul prevailed.

Saso made up for that heartbreak later in the year in Jakarta where she won the individual gold medal in golf at the 18th Asian Games and also combined with teammates Bianca Pagdanganan and Lois Kaye Go to win the team gold – both a first for Philippine golf.

World No. 72 Pagdanganan, who secured the individual bronze medal in the quadrennial games, will also be a part of the Philippines’ contingent in Japan, along with Abegail Arevalo, Clare Legaspi, Mikhaela Denise Fortuna, and Francesca Bernice Olivares Llas.

Saso has been in terrific form of late, having finished outside the top four only once in her last seven starts since November 2018. She heads to the second edition of the WAAP as the third highest-ranked player in the field at world No. 30.

The championship will be played at The Royal Golf Club in Hokota, Ibaraki Prefecture, Japan, from April 25-28.

Even though expectations will be high for Saso, given her performance last year and current form, she intends to just go out and enjoy herself at the WAAP.

“I am very proud of what we did at the Asian Games, especially with my teammate Bianca and Lois. We really had fun out there. The Asian Games taught me so many things. It was a very nice experience,” said Saso, who has committed to the Georgia Bulldogs and plans to pursue a college golf career in the United States before turning professional eventually.

 

“Even though I did not win, last year’s WAAP was great fun too, and I felt that I learned a lot. I don’t really think about getting so close (to the title), and neither is the tied second place finish any extra motivation for me to do better this year. There were plenty of positives to take from that result.

 

“I am now really looking forward to playing the WAAP again in Japan. We all know that it is such a prestigious championship. As I said, I just want to enjoy every moment of being there.”

Yuka Saso

It’s not just her form – that stretch of six top-fours in seven starts includes successfully defending her Philippine Ladies Open title last month – but also the fact that Saso has played a number of events on the Japan LPGA Tour and done consistently well that makes her one of the favorites, a tag she quickly downplayed.

 

“I’m not so sure if I am playing my best golf at the moment but I’m happy with the way I’m playing right now. Of course, there’s still a lot of things that I need to work on but what matters to me is I’m having fun,” said Saso, who made four cuts in the five professional events she played in 2018.

 

“I am not sure if playing with professional tournaments in Japan will help with my preparations for the WAAP. But I’m pretty certain the Royal Golf Club will be a big step for me and I will have lots of questions regarding the golf course when I am there.”

 

Women’s golf is enjoying a boom in the Philippines. As well as their unprecedented success at the Asian Games, four Filipino ladies are now ranked inside the top-100 of the WAGR.

Saso credited the National Golf Association for the success and said: “I think it’s because the players are now working on the right things and the support that we get is getting better.

 

“I don’t really want to speak for the others but I’m sure everyone, including me, are very excited and looking forward to the WAAP.”

 

The field at the Royal Golf Club comprises 15 players ranked inside the top 100 of the WAGR. The largest contingent is eight players from host nation Japan, while there will be players representing nations such as Bangladesh, Guam, Vietnam, and Cook Islands – countries where the women’s game is still in its infancy.

The champion will earn a spot in two of the five women’s majors – the AIG Women’s British Open and the Evian Championship. She will also receive an invite to the 2020 Augusta National Women’s Amateur.

The Women’s Amateur Asia-Pacific championship has been developed by The R&A and Asia-Pacific Golf Confederation (APGC) to unearth emerging talent and provide a pathway for Asia’s elite women amateurs to emerge on the international stage.

The R&A launched the Women in Golf Charter last year and is committed to increasing the participation of women in the sport. The WAAP is one of several key championships conducted by the governing body and a significant initiative along with the APGC to drive the popularity of women’s golf in the region.

Kabaya Ohayo Group and Rolex are the championship’s Official Scoring Partners and Evian are Official Water Supplier. IMG assists with championship staging and TV broadcasting.

For more information on the championship, visit the website at randa.org/WAAP. For updates, like the championship’s Facebook page and follow @WAAPGolf on Twitter and Instagram.

Entry to the Women’s Amateur Asia-Pacific championship is free of charge.

————

Watch all three FOX Sports channels live on the FOX+ app. For more info on FOX+, click here or to start your free 30 day trial, download the FOX+ app.

Yuka Saso aims to have fun in Women’s Amateur Asia-Pacific

How well do fans know Pebble Beach of US Open Championship?

Yuka Saso will be looking to extend her Asia domination when she tees it up at this year’s Women’s Amateur Asia-Pacific (WAAP) in Japan.

The forever smiling 17-year-old came close to winning the inaugural WAAP at Singapore’s Sentosa Golf Club last year when she forced her way into a four-way playoff, but a bogey on the second extra hole denied her victory as Thailand’s Atthaya Thitikul prevailed.

Saso made up for that heartbreak later in the year in Jakarta where she won the individual gold medal in golf at the 18th Asian Games and also combined with teammates Bianca Pagdanganan and Lois Kaye Go to win the team gold – both a first for Philippine golf.

World No. 72 Pagdanganan, who secured the individual bronze medal in the quadrennial games, will also be a part of the Philippines’ contingent in Japan, along with Abegail Arevalo, Clare Legaspi, Mikhaela Denise Fortuna, and Francesca Bernice Olivares Llas.

Saso has been in terrific form of late, having finished outside the top four only once in her last seven starts since November 2018. She heads to the second edition of the WAAP as the third highest-ranked player in the field at world No. 30.

The championship will be played at The Royal Golf Club in Hokota, Ibaraki Prefecture, Japan, from April 25-28.

Even though expectations will be high for Saso, given her performance last year and current form, she intends to just go out and enjoy herself at the WAAP.

“I am very proud of what we did at the Asian Games, especially with my teammate Bianca and Lois. We really had fun out there. The Asian Games taught me so many things. It was a very nice experience,” said Saso, who has committed to the Georgia Bulldogs and plans to pursue a college golf career in the United States before turning professional eventually.

 

“Even though I did not win, last year’s WAAP was great fun too, and I felt that I learned a lot. I don’t really think about getting so close (to the title), and neither is the tied second place finish any extra motivation for me to do better this year. There were plenty of positives to take from that result.

 

“I am now really looking forward to playing the WAAP again in Japan. We all know that it is such a prestigious championship. As I said, I just want to enjoy every moment of being there.”

Yuka Saso

It’s not just her form – that stretch of six top-fours in seven starts includes successfully defending her Philippine Ladies Open title last month – but also the fact that Saso has played a number of events on the Japan LPGA Tour and done consistently well that makes her one of the favorites, a tag she quickly downplayed.

 

“I’m not so sure if I am playing my best golf at the moment but I’m happy with the way I’m playing right now. Of course, there’s still a lot of things that I need to work on but what matters to me is I’m having fun,” said Saso, who made four cuts in the five professional events she played in 2018.

 

“I am not sure if playing with professional tournaments in Japan will help with my preparations for the WAAP. But I’m pretty certain the Royal Golf Club will be a big step for me and I will have lots of questions regarding the golf course when I am there.”

 

Women’s golf is enjoying a boom in the Philippines. As well as their unprecedented success at the Asian Games, four Filipino ladies are now ranked inside the top-100 of the WAGR.

Saso credited the National Golf Association for the success and said: “I think it’s because the players are now working on the right things and the support that we get is getting better.

 

“I don’t really want to speak for the others but I’m sure everyone, including me, are very excited and looking forward to the WAAP.”

 

The field at the Royal Golf Club comprises 15 players ranked inside the top 100 of the WAGR. The largest contingent is eight players from host nation Japan, while there will be players representing nations such as Bangladesh, Guam, Vietnam, and Cook Islands – countries where the women’s game is still in its infancy.

The champion will earn a spot in two of the five women’s majors – the AIG Women’s British Open and the Evian Championship. She will also receive an invite to the 2020 Augusta National Women’s Amateur.

The Women’s Amateur Asia-Pacific championship has been developed by The R&A and Asia-Pacific Golf Confederation (APGC) to unearth emerging talent and provide a pathway for Asia’s elite women amateurs to emerge on the international stage.

The R&A launched the Women in Golf Charter last year and is committed to increasing the participation of women in the sport. The WAAP is one of several key championships conducted by the governing body and a significant initiative along with the APGC to drive the popularity of women’s golf in the region.

Kabaya Ohayo Group and Rolex are the championship’s Official Scoring Partners and Evian are Official Water Supplier. IMG assists with championship staging and TV broadcasting.

For more information on the championship, visit the website at randa.org/WAAP. For updates, like the championship’s Facebook page and follow @WAAPGolf on Twitter and Instagram.

Entry to the Women’s Amateur Asia-Pacific championship is free of charge.

————

Watch all three FOX Sports channels live on the FOX+ app. For more info on FOX+, click here or to start your free 30 day trial, download the FOX+ app.

2019 PBA All-Star: Beau Belga defends Obstacle Challenge after bucking early trip

‘He’s the best 2-way basketball player in the NBA’ – Lowry on Leonard ahead of game 6

Rain or Shine big man Beau Belga successfully retained his Obstacle Challenge title during the 2019 PBA All-Star Weekend on Friday at the Calasiao Sports Complex in Pangasinan.

Belga won his second straight crown by clocking a 21-second finish in the final round, barely beating Colubian Dyip’s Russell Escoto (21.3 seconds) for the win.

The 32-year-old slotman almost didn’t make the finals after tripping in the second round against Meralco’s Bryan Faundo. Despite the blunder, he was still able to win the matchup by finishing at 23 seconds.

Beau Belga (Photo from the PBA Media Group)

TNT’s Yousef Taha also made the final round, although he timed in at 26.3 seconds.

Defending five-time Most Valuable Player June Mar Fajardo exited early in the first round after losing to Faundo.

Other participants were included Alaska’s Noy Baclao, Barangay Ginebra’s Prince Caperal, Blackwater’s Raymar Jose, Magnolia’s Kyle Pascual, NLEX’s Marion Magat, NorthPort’s Mo Tautuaa and Phoenix’s Justin Chua.


RELATED – PBA: Pringle, Anthony help NorthPort repel Alaska fightback as playoff quest continues

RELATED – PBA: In-form Ginebra locks up third seed after drubbing eliminated Meralco

RELATED – PBA: Compton rooting for Magnolia, Ginebra wins as playoff fate slips out of Alaska’s hands

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Watch all three FOX Sports channels live on the FOX+ app. For more info on FOX+, click here or to start your free 30 day trial, download the FOX+ app.

Chooks Pilipinas 3×3 winner will get a chance for a World Tour berth

‘He’s the best 2-way basketball player in the NBA’ – Lowry on Leonard ahead of game 6

After a two-week break, the Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas 3×3 President’s Cup returns on Sunday, March 31 for the finale of the first conference. And the stakes are certainly high for the Grand Finals set to take place at the SM Fairview Events Center.

Last Saturday, the International Basketball Federation set the deadline for all 12 competing teams for the first-ever Chooks-to-Go Asia Pacific Super Quest. That is why during a meeting between the team owners last week, they have agreed that the top two teams from the first two legs will compete in the biggest 3×3 tournament in this side of the world.

“I would like to thank all our partners for understanding the decision made by FIBA,” expressed league owner Ronald Mascariñas. “Truly, they are one in supporting Pasig and Bataan for the Super Quest.”

“I think we will be able to form a competitive team for the Super Quest to have a good representation of the Philippines,” said league commissioner Eric Altamirano.

Advancing to the Super Quest are the Pasig Grindhouse Kings, who accumulated 360 points, and the 1Bataan Risers, who tallied 325 points during the first four legs.

Also competing in the two-day tournament from April 6 to 7 at the SM Megamall Fashion Hall Events Center are pro teams from Korea, Mongolia, Vietnam, Taipei, Indonesia, Japan, Australia, New Zealand, Hong Kong, and China.

“I’ve never been in a 3×3 tournament that had Philippine teams that are more ready than these two. Before, talagang last minute yung teams na pinapadala. They’ve shown in our league that they can compete with the international teams,” expressed Altamirano.

Though the two teams representing the Philippines for the Super Quest have already been determined, all the pioneering teams in the first-ever 3×3 basketball league in the country are still going all out for the Grand Finals. And it’s because an outright seat for the FIBA World Tour Masters Doha and a grand prize of PHP 1,000,000 are still on the line.

“Our team owners thought that they were already out of the running for the grand prize. When we notified them about this, all the teams immediately called for practice,” quipped Mascariñas. “That is why we are really excited to see the A-game of our athletes and they promised to bring it during the Grand Finals.”

For the ticket to the Doha tournament that will take place from April 18 to 19, the most number of points garnered across all five legs, including the knockout Grand Finals, will gain the seat. Pasig and Bataan are still in the running for this.

The Kings can clinch the seat if they finish at least in third place as they would garner an additional 70 points, still five points higher than the maximum amount of points the Risers can notch in five legs.

On the other hand, 1Bataan needs to win it all and Pasig to be eliminated in the quarterfinals for them to punch their ticket to Doha.

The winner-take-all pot of PHP 1,000,000 is still up for grabs as the team that wins the knockout tournament will take the cash home.

Safe to say, Pasay, the Go for Gold-San Juan Knights, the Valenzuela Classic, the Vigan Baluarte Wolves, the Cebu-Max4 Birada, the Zamboanga Valientes, the Marikina Shoemasters, the Bulacan Kuyas, the Bacoor Strikers, and the Zark’s-Quezon City Jawbreakers are planning to lay it all on the line on Sunday.

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Why you should watch ONE: A New Era on March 31

ONE Championship: Enter the Dragon – HIGHLIGHTS

On March 31 from Tokyo Japan, ONE Championship will put on the greatest show in its promotion’s history, and arguably the best of the year in mixed martial arts.

ONE: A NEW ERA will feature three co-main events, four World Title bouts, and two epic promotional debuts. If that wasn’t enough, the show also features a fantasy-like kickboxing bout (Andy Souwer vs Yodsanklai IWE Fairtex), along with a match featuring perhaps the greatest female mixed martial artist in Japanese history in Mei Yamaguchi.

Here is a look at the entire card with a word on the top bouts and why you should watch.

Main Event

ONE Lightweight World Championship

Eduard Folayang (C) vs Shinya Aoki

Mixed Martial Arts: 77.1kg

Rematch will be the word of the day in Japan. There are three of them and none bigger than the battle for the ONE Lightweight World Title.

Reigning ONE Lightweight World Champion Eduard Folayang owns a stoppage win over Shinya Aoki from their first meeting back in November 2016. At the time, Aoki was champion and he looked unbeatable as he mowed down every opponent he faced in the lightweight division. The resilient and conditioned Folayang wouldn’t be denied and his constant pressure led to the TKO victory and his first title reign.

Folayang has since lost the title and regained it while Aoki battled through the toughest patch of his glorious career to ascend back to the mountaintop. Now he will challenge for the World Title against the man who dethroned him, and Aoki will do it in front of his adoring countrymen in Japan. It would be hard for any bout on the card to follow this one, so it’s good it is the main event.

Co-Main Event

ONE Women’s Strawweight World Championship

Xiong Jing Nan (C) vs Angela Lee

Mixed Martial Arts: 56.7kg

You know the main event has to be special if a champion-vs-champion superfight is the co-main event. ONE Women’s Atomweight World Champion Angela Lee will put her undefeated professional record on the line as she climbs up to strawweight to challenge Xiong Jing Nan for her ONE Women’s Strawweight World Title.

Lee has battled past Japanese legend Mei Yamaguchi on two occasions but this battle with the powerful Xiong will be the biggest challenge of Unstoppable’s short, but impressive career thus far.

Ever since Xiong arrived in ONE, she’s done nothing but dominate her opponents. She too will be facing her toughest test. Which world-class martial artist will emerge victoriously?

Co-Main Event

ONE Middleweight World Championship

Aung La N Sang (C) vs Ken Hasegawa

Mixed Martial Arts: 93.0kg

As mentioned before, rematches are aplenty on this card.

In 2018, ONE Middleweight World Champion Aung La N Sang and Japan’s Ken Hasegawa battled in the Bout of the Year.

Aung La successfully defended his World title after securing a fifth-round KO, but Hasegawa represented himself well. Now Hasegawa will get a rematch with the “Burmese Python”, but this time, the scrap takes place in the challenger’s home country.

Can Aung La duplicate his performance, or has Hasegawa found some answers, and is he capable of using his fans’ energy to supplant Aung La as champion?

This figures to be another brawl and it could steal the show.

Co-Main Event

ONE Bantamweight World Championship

Kevin Belingon (C) vs Bibiano Fernandes

Mixed Martial Arts: 65.8kg

Yet another rematch comes our way here, and this one is the third bout in the series between reigning ONE Bantamweight World Champion Kevin Belingon and Bibiano Fernandes.

In 2018, Belingon avenged a submission loss to Fernandes in their first meeting. Belingon took the bout by a narrow decision, and because of Fernandes’ long-standing reign as bantamweight king, he was awarded an immediate rematch.

With Belingon’s margin of victory far smaller than what Fernandes enjoyed in their bout, there is something for the Filipino warrior to prove. Brazil’s Fernandes wants nothing more than to win his title back, and both men want to win the series. On most cards, this would be the main event. On March 31, it will be the first co-main event.

ONE Flyweight World Grand Prix (Quarter-Final)

Demetrious Johnson vs Yuya Wakamatsu

Mixed Martial Arts: 61.2kg

The debut of legendary 12-time Flyweight Mixed Martial Arts World Champion Demetrious “Mighty Mouse” Johnson will be the last non-title bout on the card. He faces local hero Yuya Wakamatsu in his promotional debut and it will be one of the more highly-anticipated first looks in mixed martial arts history.

Johnson is still widely regarded as one of the best pound-for-pound mixed martial artists in the world, and he’ll be looking to show that against Wakamatsu.

ONE Lightweight World Grand Prix (Quarter-Final)

Eddie Alvarez vs Timofey Nastyukhin

Mixed Martial Arts: 77.1kg

“The Underground King” Eddie Alvarez is in the same situation as Johnson. He’s a former multiple-time Mixed Martial Arts World Champion making his ONE Championship debut and looking to make a statement.

Alvarez faces Russia’s Timofey Nastyukhin in the first round of the ONE Lightweight World Grand Prix. He is expected to challenge for ONE’s gold at some point, and perhaps become the first man to win a world title in the three major global mixed martial arts promotions.

Nastyukhin represents Alvarez’s first impediment, as he had constantly asked for the toughest most dangerous opponent available. Nastyukhin certainly fits that bill. Expect a tremendous war of attrition in this exciting lightweight matchup.

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Chooks-to-Go to continue supporting Kai Sotto abroad

‘He’s the best 2-way basketball player in the NBA’ – Lowry on Leonard ahead of game 6

Over a year ago, Chooks-to-Go pledged to fund Kai Sotto’s overseas training for the years to come.

“We’re very excited about Kai Sotto,” expressed Bounty Agro Ventures, Inc. president Ronald Mascariñas back in Ferbruary 10, 2018.

“He’s the Yao Ming or the Kareem Abdul-Jabbar of the Philippines. We’re excited to be part of his development.”

But now that the 7-foot-2 enigma is about to go out west to pursue his NBA dreams, the sports patron vowed that he will continue supporting the 16-year-old.

“Whether nandito si Kai or sa labas ng bansa, our support will continue,” he said during the Chooks-to-Go-hosted sendoff for Sotto.

“Maraming Pilipino ang nangangarap na maglaro sa PBA. Hindi iba si Kai. I can only wish that God will continue to bless Kai and his family in this very tough journey,” the amiable executive continued.

“So Kai, good luck. You are a gift to our country.”

Upon hearing this, the best under-17 center in Asia expressed his utmost gratitude to the company that supported him over the past two years.

“Gusto ko lang magthank you sa Chooks-to-Go tsaka sa lahat ng tumulong. Sobrang happy ko na mapasama sa group na ‘to,” expressed Sotto, who will leave for a two-month US training on Monday, April 1.

“Aasahan niyo sa’kin na gagawin ko best ko.”

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MPBL playoffs: San Juan dumps QC, moves a win away from reaching northern division finals

‘He’s the best 2-way basketball player in the NBA’ – Lowry on Leonard ahead of game 6

BATAAN — It’s been a while since Mac Cardona played in the playoffs, so when he got that opportunity, the former PBA scoring champion made sure he’d put on a show.

Cardona used Tuesday’s series opener against Quezon City as his personal playground when he torched the opposition for 25 points, including 14 in the final period, to carry San Juan to a 94-86 win in the MPBL Datu Cup at the People’s Center.

Cardona ended up an assist away from a double-double performance as he also pulled down nine.

But Cardona’s breakout game is just one of the few things that carried the Big J Sports-backed Knights a win away from reaching the championship round of the northern division of this tournament.

Mike Ayonayon added 17 points on a steady 7-of-11 shooting from the field.

Larry Rodriguez had a double-double performance of 13 points and 13 boards, while frontline partner Larry Muyang chipped in 11 for the Knights, who scored 60 points from inside the shaded area compared to only 42 for the Capitals.

San Juan also outrebounded Quezon City, 64-47.

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Go Pilipinas Go stages pep rally for PH SEA Games hosting

Highlights – Bà Rịa Vũng Tàu vs Vĩnh Long

Members of the national team will join several sporting legends as well as coaches and sports officials on Tuesday when the GoPilipinasGo movement stages pep rally and concert for Team Philippines in the coming Southeast Asian Games.

The program, which starts at 5 p.m., will also serve as grand launch of the GoPilipinasGo movement which was created to help drumbeat the SEA Games as well as the Philippines’ drive for overall championship.

The SEA Games will stage the SEA Games on Nov. 30-Dec. 11, for the fourth time ever.

The GoPilipinasGo Athletes Rallly will be held aptly at the Rizal Memorial Baseball Field which has a rich history being the site of many victories by the national baseball and softball teams through the years.

A stage is set at the left field of the stadium which bore witness to the historic home runs of several baseball greats like Babe Ruth, Charlie Gehringer and Lou Gehrig who once played there.

Among the legends invited to the affair are Lydia de Vega, Elma Muros-Posadas, Bong Coo, Paeng Nepomuceno, Eric Buhain, Onyok Velasco, Roel Velasco, Akiko Thomson-Guevara, Renato Unso, Stephen Fernandez and Bea Lucero.

The SEA Games was held in the country in 1981, 1991 and 2005. And some of the standouts of those editions are also expected to grace the rally.

Entrance is free to the public who will not only see their favourite athletes but also top bands like Johnny Cross, Silver Box and This Band.

Some 500 events from 56 sports will be played in the SEA Games slated in several spots in Luzon including New Clark City in Tarlac which will stage the swimming and track and field competitions.

The Philippines won the overall title only once, in 2005 when the Games was staged in the country for the third time.

Also expected to attend are top officials of the Philippine Olympic Committee, Philippine Southeast Asian Games Organizing Committee and Philippine Sports Commission as well as several other government agencies involved.

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LIVE: MPBL Datu Cup playoffs — Muntinlupa vs. Zamboanga | Batangas vs Imus — updates, scores, results, watch live

‘He’s the best 2-way basketball player in the NBA’ – Lowry on Leonard ahead of game 6

Four teams left. Only two will survive.

Tonight, Batangas City will host a pair of MPBL knockout matches which feature their very own Athletics facing the Imus Bandera, while Zamboanga-Family’s Brand Sardines take on the Muntinlupa Cagers.

Expect the Batangas City Coliseum to erupt in a make or break match for the Athletics, the inaugural staging champions who are looking to win back-to-back titles.

Jeff Viernes (Photo from MPBL)

But their 9 p.m. encounter could also determine whether they could get past the Bandera, who are equally as determined as they are.

The series between Zamboanga and Muntinlupa has been set up into a rubber match as well, as this after the team from the Sardines Capital of the Philippines snatched one from the Cagers in front of a boisterous crowd on Thursday. The two teams will square off at 7 p.m.

Games are live on ABS-CBN Sports+Action, FOX Sports and on the FOX+ app. You can catch live updates of the games here in our live blog.

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NU outlasts LSGH, makes history as first NBTC back-to-back champs

‘He’s the best 2-way basketball player in the NBA’ – Lowry on Leonard ahead of game 6

Nazareth School of National University left no doubt that it is the best high school team in the Philippines as it bested La Salle Green Hills, 95-83, for the second straight year in the Finals of the Chooks-to-Go NBTC League National Finals Sunday at SM Mall of Asia Arena.

The Bullpups got the usual contributions from the UAAP championship-winning core of Carl Tamayo, Terrence Fortea, and Gerry Abadiano to be crowned kings in the national championship for high school.

“Everything na naa-achieve namin, sobrang saya kami,” said head coach Goldwin Monteverde. “Every tournament naman, we really prepare kaya masaya kami for this.”

Monteverde also coaxed the usual total team effort out of his boys as they counted five players in double-digits led by Tamayo who posted a 24-point, 18-rebound double-double en route to being hailed as Finals MVP.

Carl Tamayo (Photo from Chooks-to-Go)

Fortea and Cyril Gonzales also fired 23 and 14 points, respectively, while little-known forward Reyland Torres had his own double-double of 12 points and 16 rebounds.

It was the three-headed monster of Tamayo, Fortea, and Abadiano, though, who connived in the 15-2 run to start the second quarter that turned a tied tally of 21-all to a 36-23 lead for their team.

The Greenies didn’t stop just yet and came as close as five, 57-62, late in the third, but saw Fortea and Tamayo join forces in a 5-1 counter that re-increased National U’s advantage to 67-58.

Inand Fornilos and Joshua David still kept working for LSGH, but their deficit would remain in double-digits for all of the final frame.

“Both teams, maganda yung program, pero ang basketball, ganun talaga. Sometimes, yung breaks ng game, pag napunta sayo, ganun mangyayari,” said Monteverde. “Pero both teams talaga, para sa akin, ang ganda ng takbo ng program.”

Not even the ejection of team captain Abadiano, who by then had 10 points, with under four minutes remaining slowed down National U’s march forward to a repeat of last year’s Finals which also ended with them on top of LSGH, 80-78.

Nazareth School of National University (Photo from Chooks-to-Go)

With those results in back-to-back years, the Bullpups are the first-ever team to string together two championships in a row in the 12-year history of the NBTC Nationals.

For the Greenies, Fornilos showed the way with 20 points, 12 rebounds, and three blocks while David contributed 17 markers, six boards, and two assists.

LSGH, though, missed the contributions of main man Joel Cagulangan who chipped in one point and three assists, but was not at full strength as he continues to recover from an ankle injury.

The championship adds to National U’s individual awards with Fortea and Abadiano in the Mythical Team alongside LSGH’s David, FEU’s RJ Abarrientos, and San Beda’s Rhayyan Amsali.

Another individual awardee is Red Cub Tony Ynot who capped off his breakout campaign by being hailed as the Defensive Player of the Tournament.

The 2019 Chooks-to-Go NBTC League National Finals was backed by Chooks-to-Go, Darlington-Exped Socks, EPSON, Huawei, Freego, Purefoods, Gatorade, Go for Gold, SM, Molten and also presented by 5 Plus and Lighthouse Events.

BOX SCORES

NU (95) — Tamayo 24, Fortea 23, Gonzales 14, Torres 12, Abadiano 10, Quiambao 4, Felicilda 4, Alarcon 4, Dayrit 0, Enriquez 0, Javillonar 0, Vinoya 0.

LSGH (83) — Fornilos 20, David 17, Mosqueda 12, Sangco 11, Calimag 8, Lepalam 6, Palencia 4, Valenzuela 2, Natividad 2, Cagulangan 1, Lao 0.

QUARTER SCORES: 21-22, 50-41, 72-64, 95-83.

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