Time For New Season With Lillard

The D Lillard 2 Dame Time edition meets the opening buzzer for the 2016-2017 NBA season.

The D Lillard 2 Dame Time edition meets the opening buzzer for the 2016-2017 NBA season.

HOW MANY game-winning shots has Damian Lillard made in his young basketball life thus far?  Perhaps none can be more memorable than his triple at the buzzer to lift his Portland Trailblazers over the visiting Houston Rockets, 99-98, in Game Six of the 2014 Western Conference Playoffs opening round.

Behind by two with 0.9 seconds left, Lillard cut through a series of screens to receive the inbound pass from Nicolas Batum and fire the miracle shot that gave the Blazers their first series victory in 14 seasons.  Earlier, Chandler Parsons put the Rockets ahead, 98-96, prompting Coach Terry Stotts to call a quick timeout.

Lillard finished the game with 25 points, six rebounds, three assists and three steals in 43 minutes of action.  In his first playoff appearance, the sophomore guard immediately solidified his reputation as a dependable player in clutch situations.

In line with Lillard’s performance when the team needs him the most, adidas is releasing the D Lillard 2 Dame Time edition. A close look at the shoe’s design reveals a mosaic of what looks like shot clocks.

The shoe is basically red in color with ice accents to symbolize Lillard’s coolness with gold accents on the laces’ tips.  Of course, the standard cushioning and protection features are present.

“I’ve always practiced game-winning shots since I was a kid. My brother and I used to count down the finals seconds, and we wouldn’t leave the hoop until we made it,” said Lillard, who will be entering his fifth NBA season this week. “It’s a routine that’s helped shape my mentality in those final moments of a game. I’ll just point to the watch, and you know what time it is.”

The D Lillard 2 Dame Time edition is now available at adidas stores and major department stores and sporting goods shops.  Suggested retail price is PHP 5,995.00.

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Caburnay, de los Santos Rule MILO-CdeO

#BuildChampions     CAGAYAN DE ORO – Newcomer Keenan Lou Caburnay topped the 40th MILO Marathon Cagayan de Oro regional qualifiers Sunday (October 23) at the Centrio Mall.  Sharing the spotlight was two-time MILO Queen Mary Grace de los Santos who easily grabbed top honors in the distaff side by more than 20 minutes over her closest pursuers.

Caburnay levelled up his game after winning the 10-kilometer side event in last season’s Butuan City qualifiers.  He finished the 21-kilometer course in 1:11:25 to beat out Prince Joey Lee (1:12:27) and Bryan Quiamco (1:14:32).

Meanwhile, de los Santos can now officially shoot for her third MILO crown after ruling the prestigious footrace in 2011 and 2012.  Her time of 1:30:15 was too fast for runner-ups Gilda Velarde (1:51:04) and Reychelle Nave (1:51:16).

A total of 76 men and 4 women earned tickets to the National Finals this December 4 in Iloilo City.  They will try to unseat reigning MILO King Rafael Poliquit and Queen Mary Joy Tabal and a host of foreign challengers for the top prize of PHP 300,00.00 and a chance to represent the Philippines in an international marathon in 2017.

The penultimate leg of the series will be held next Sunday (October 30) in Butuan City.  Runners will have one final chance to qualify when Davao hosts on November 6.

Overseas-based runners who wish to participate in the Nationals must prepare a certification from any AIMS member race held after December 4, 2015 that they have met the minimum times for either the 21-kilometer or 42.195-kilometer distance in their age group.  For more information, log on to http://www.milo.com.ph.

Other Winners: Christian Jude Sandinao and Jeanny Rose Lanzado (10 kilometers), Allan Oman and Jennalyn Taypin (five kilometers) and Stanley Tolentino and Ynah Ybanez (three kilometers).

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Seven NAASCU Alumni In PBA Draft 2016

Ex-Informatics Icon Jiovani Jalalon (right) will lead six other NAASCU alumni in the 2016 PBA Rookie Draft (Nuki Sabio/PBA Images).

Ex-Informatics Icon Jiovani Jalalon (right) will lead six other NAASCU alumni in the 2016 PBA Rookie Draft (Nuki Sabio/PBA Images).

NAASCU on Facebook     SEVEN YOUNG men with roots to the National Athletic Association of Schools, Colleges and Universities have thrown their names into consideration for the coming Philippine Basketball Association Rookie Draft on October 30 (Sunday) at Robinsons Place Manila.  They form part of a 55-strong pool wherein the next batch of pro league superstars will arise.

Among the most prominent of the batch is point guard Jiovani Jalalon, the 2011 Seniors Rookie of the Year with the Informatics Icons before transferring to Arellano University.  Jalalon will be included in the special draft wherein teams will pick from members of the national training pool.

While Jalalon is almost sure of being selected early, the six other NAASCU alumni are hoping their name will be called once the regular draft commences.  Among the aspirants are several who pray that their championship experience will earn the attention of scouts.

Jam Jamito and John Ambulodto were part of the Saint Clare College of Caloocan Saints that won it all in 2012.  The 6’3” well built Jamito once led the league in rebounds and also had solid PBA D-League experience with Racal Motors/Caida Tiles and AMA Online Education.

Ambulodto is getting second looks being one of the taller applicants this season at 6’5”.  He has shown potential in his D-League stints with Racal/Caida.

Another Saint Clare alumnus Jayson Ibay did not win a title while in Caloocan but was part of the back-to-back champion University of Manila Hawks from 2010 to 2011.  Along the way, the 6’3” forward picked up a pair of Mythical Five citations and played in the D-League for Informatics and Racal Motors.

Cedrick Ablaza also cracked the Mythical Five in his stint with the STI College Olympians.  Ablaza is a worker who thrives on playing defense and grabbing rebounds and has played in the D-League for Blackwater and Informatics.

Guard Aaron Jeruta was the 2012 Juniors Division Most Valuable Player while with Centro Escolar University.  He later went on to play a key part in the Scorpions’ dynasty in the Seniors Division from 2013 to 2015 and CafeFrance’s winning the 2015 D-League Foundation Cup.

Rounding out the NAASCU applicants is shooter Al Francis Tamsi, who played one season for the San Sebastian College-Cavite Baycats in 2010.  The team disbanded thereafter prompting Tamsi to transfer to the University of Cebu before finding his way to Far Eastern University and later winning back-to-back D-League crowns with Phoenix Petroleum.

They all hope to follow in the footsteps of former NAASCU Most Valuable Players Chito Jaime of AMA University (2006) and Joseph Sedurifa of CEU (2013) who have made the PBA.  With the NAASCU enjoying unprecedented growth in the recently concluded 16th season, it will not be surprising if more league alumni get to realize their basketball dreams of hitting the big time.

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Battle For Powerman Jersey

Only the fastest team will get to don this jersey at Powerman Philippines 2016.

Only the fastest team will get to wear this jersey at Powerman Philippines 2016.

powermanlogo2     THE COMING Powerman Philippines Duathlon races just got more interesting as the team competition participants will now vie for the prestigious Champions Jersey.  This is in addition to the earlier announced prizes of trophies and gift items from event sponsors.

Basically yellow in color, the jersey is inspired by the same jersey awarded to the overall leader of multiple stage cycling events like the Tour de France.  This is truly a lasting symbol of athletic achievement in the challenging sport that combines long distance running and cycling.

A team must be composed of five individually registered participants of either all-male, all-female or mixed.  The combined times of all team members will be used to determine the overall winners.

Athletes entered in the team competition are also eligible to win in their individual age group categories.  However, professional and elite athletes are disqualified to join the team competition.

Powerman Philippines will stage two events this year starting with the Anytime Fitness Asian Invitational on November 20, 2016 at the SM Mall of Asia in Pasay City.  What follows is the much awaited Maybank World Series on December 4, 2016 at the Clark Freeport Zone that will offer slots to the 2017 Powerman World Championship in Switzerland.

To join the Powerman Philippines team competition, log on to www.powerman.ph.  There is no additional fee required.

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Adalem: Crown True National Champion

Dr. Ernesto Jay Adalem

Dr. Ernesto Jay Adalem

MANILA – Coming on the heels of his Saint Clare College of Caloocan Saints’ championship in the just-concluded 16th National Athletic Association of Schools, Colleges and Universities (NAASCU), league chairperson Dr. Ernesto Jay Adalem is now batting for a tournament that would determine the one true national college champion.  “I have suggested to the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas to revive the National Inter-Collegiate Championship,” said Dr. Adalem.

For many decades, the said tournament sometimes referred to as the National Students was staged by the Basketball Association of the Philippines as the ultimate tournament wherein representatives from all the regions converged in one venue for a weeklong competition in both the college and high school divisions.  With the BAP losing its status as the sole national sports association, the SBP designated the Philippine Collegiate Champions League as the tournament to crown the national champion.

However, the PCCL has been silent since the fiasco last year that saw the declaration of co-champions San Beda College and Far Eastern University after a typhoon forced the cancellation of the semifinal games.  Add to that the other controversies besetting the tournament that include among others the shabby treatment of provincial schools as well as the what is perceived by many as an unfair format that favors the big Metro Manila schools.

“We will only invite champion teams and make it a true battle of the champions,” added Dr. Adalem.  “As a basketball stakeholder and SBP member, NAASCU is willing to take the lead in organizing the games.”

Meanwhile, the champion Saints have no plans of resting and will immediately begin preparations for their title defense next year.  “We are planning to again join tournaments like Got Skills or Father Martin because these offseason tournaments helped us a lot in reaching our goal of winning the NAASCU,” said Coach Jinino Manansala.

Only Jordan Rios and team captain Bong Managuelod are sure of not returning next season after maxing on their eligibility.  Most Valuable Player Aris Dionisio, Mythical Five member Paeng Rebugio and Rookie of the Year Rojay Santos are expected to form a solid young core that will install Saint Clare as a contender for years to come.

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Martes, Nerza Take MILO GenSan

#BuildChampions     GENERAL SANTOS City –Four-time MILO Marathon Queen Cristabel Martes and veteran runner Anthony Nerza were the winners at the resumption of the regional qualifying races for the 40th MILO Marathon at the Oval Plaza Sunday (October 16).  They will join 38 other runners who met the minimum times to earn seats in the National Finals this December 4 in Iloilo.

Martes, who in the recent past would qualify through legs in Luzon, was unchallenged as she won comfortably in 1:26:57 over Monaliza Ambasa (1:32:07) and Criselyn Jaro (1:35:40).  As it stands, all three female podium finishers were the only ones who qualified for Iloilo.

Davao native Nerza, whose claim to fame is emerging as the fastest qualifier of the 2013 season, clocked 1:11:15 as he won his battle with another grizzled competitor in Ireneo Raquin (1:13:13) and Jimboy Lugay (1:13:49).  An inspiring finisher was one-armed Isidro Vildosola, who landed in the overall Top 10 with a time of 1:28:43.

Next week, the MILO Marathon goes to Cagayan de Oro were another banner field is expected.  Two more qualifiers will be held in Butuan on October 30 and Davao on November 6.

Other Winners: Dante Baay and Jenilyn Glama (10 kilometers), Nathaniel Morales and Reanet Joy Llano (five kilometers) and Ronald Donde and Hazel Grace Catalbas (three kilomters).

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Double Championship For Saint Clare!


Saint Clare College of Caloocan, 16th NAASCU Seniors Basketball Champions.

Saint Clare College of Caloocan, 16th NAASCU Seniors Basketball Champions.

NAASCU on Facebook    MAKATI CITY – After four long years, Saint Clare College of Caloocan is back as the champions of the National Athletic Association of Schools, Colleges and Universities (NAASCU) Seniors Division Basketball.  The Saints eked past a very tough Our Lady of Fatima University, 64-62, last October 14 (Friday) at the Makati Coliseum to end their best-of-three series, 2-1.

The result was unknown until the final buzzer as guard Paeng Rebugio lost control of the ball and return possession to the Phoenix with seven seconds remaining.  A perfectly executed play found a wide open Joseph Marquez who fired a triple from the sideline that missed and Rebugio redeeming himself by collaring the defensive rebounds thus triggering a wild celebration among the Saints and their supporters.

“This is a very special championship considering all the challenges the team went through to achieve this,” said a crying Coach Jino Manansala.  “We were laden with rookies, I got thrown out in the do or die Game Three of the semifinals against Lyceum of Subic Bay and we lost Game Two badly yesterday.”

It was a classic to say the least as both varsities entered the final period knotted at 48-48.  Miguel Bryan Cabrera sank a triple to give the Phoenix a 54-50 advantage but this was quickly snuffed by a 12-3 Saints blast anchored on Aris Dionisio, Irven Palencia and capped by Rebugio’s steal and layup for a 62-57 cushion and 1:50 remaining.

Jerome Juanico and Dionisio traded baskets but Juanico suddenly upped the pressure by draining a three-pointer to threaten at the 32-second mark, 62-64. Upon getting the ball back, the top seed Our Lady of Fatima had hoped for one more miracle and they turned to their graduating team captain Marquez who had hoped for the ultimate dramatic ending to his collegiate career but it was not meant to be.

Saint Clare’s punishing defense held their opponents sans a field goal in the second period as they overturned a 15-22 deficit into a 32-30 halftime lead.  Aiming for their first championship since joining the NAASCU in 2009, the Phoenix went to Marquez, Juanico and 6’7” Christophe Essomba to tie the game entering the fourth period.

Rebugio led the Saints with 16 points while Dionisio had another double-double of 12 points and 13 rebounds plus five blocks.  Also hitting big was Jordan Rios who scored the Saints’ first eight points and the basket to open the fourth period for a total of 10 points and Palencia who made five of his seven points in the fourth period.

Cabrera paced the Phoenix with 17 points, five rebounds and two steals followed by Juanico with 15 points and six rebounds.  Marquez and Essomba both had 12 markers with Essomba grabbing 11 rebounds.

Clearly dominating the statistical categories, Dionisio was the hands down choice as the season’s Most Valuable Player while taking home medals for leading the league in rebounds and blocks.  Joining him in the Mythical Five was assists leader Rebugio, Marquez, Carl Michael Lumbao of Lyceum of Subic Bay and Michael Ayonayon of Philippine Christian University.

Von Tambeling of PCU won the Best Scorer medal while Juanico topped the league in steals.  Rojay Santos of Saint Clare was the Rookie of the Year, Coach Manansala the Best Coach, Rommel Gruta the Best Referee with Supervisor of Officials Luisito “Boy” Cruz receiving a special citation from the league.

The rest of the championship roster consists of Michael de Leon, Steve Fongue, Junjie Hallare, Mark Puspus, Godwill Calapine, Normel de los Reyes, Reynaldo de Mesa, Leonardo Esguerra, Macky Perez, Nico Principe, Russel Fuentes and team captain Bong Managuelod, the only remaining player from the 2012 champion team.  The quest for a repeat next year looks promising with only Managuelod and Rios the only players exhausting their eligibility.

Earlier in the day, the Junior Saints set the stage for a double celebration by copping the Juniors Division for players aged 19 years and under at the expense of AMA University, 74-62.  The best of three series ended, 2-1.

How They Scored:

SAINT CLARE (64) – Rebugio 16, Dionisio 12, Rios 10, Palencia 7, Managuelod 6, Fongue 5, Santos 4, Hallare 2, Puspus 2, de Leon 0.

OUR LADY OF FATIMA (62) – Cabrera 17, Juanico 15, Marquez 12, Essomba 12, Datu 4, Bargola 2, Perea 0, Albano 0, Canoy 0, Pedrosa 0, Gozum 0.

Period Scores: 15-22, 32-30, 48-48, 64-62.

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