AMA, Hapee Get Key Wins

Jay-R Taganas celebrates with Dexter Maiquez, the keys to AMA's cardiac win.  (photo courtesy of Dante Peralta)

Jay-R Taganas celebrates with Dexter Maiquez, the keys to AMA’s cardiac win. (photo courtesy of Dante Peralta)

2015 Foundation Cup

QUEZON CITY – Jay-R Taganas hit a 13-foot jumper from the free throw circle with two seconds left to lift the AMA University Titans over the Tanduay Light Rhum Masters, 76-74, at the 2015 PBA D-League Foundation Cup at the Jesus Christ Saves Global Outreach Gym (JCSGO) Thursday afternoon (March 30). The much-improved Titans rose to 2-1 and a share of Second Place with the idle KeraMix Mixers.

Taganas received a perfect inbound pass from Jarelan Tampus for the winner plus a foul from Raymond Ilagan. The bonus free throw was missed thus allowing the Rhum Masters one final heave from the backcourt that missed by a mile.

“I was open because they focused defending our shooters at the perimeter,” explained Taganas. For his part, Coach Mark Herrera praised his burly forward: “We trust him to deliver and all the hard work he puts in practice is paying off.”

For a while, the game had the markings of a laugher as Tanduay Light raced to a 27-11 lead after the opening period behind the combined 16 points of Aljon Mariano and Jason Escueta. Waking up from their scoreless first period, starters Taganas and Dexter Maiquez presided over the Titans’ slow but sure rally, eventually holding the upper hand entering the final period, 58-56.

Aside from hitting the marginal basket, Taganas topped the Titans with 17 points and 11 rebounds. Maiquez backed him with 14 points and 10 rebounds.

Roi Sumang paced Tanduay Light with 13 markers. Mariano and Escueta both ended up with 11 points each as the Rhum Masters dropped to 1-2.

In the main game, the Hapee Fresh Fighters tallied a confidence-boosting annihilation of the LiverMarin Guardians, 74-50. The win allowed Hapee to even its card at 1-1 and ease the sting of their opening game defeat to Jumbo Plastic, 61-64, last March 23.

The Guardians had no answer for Troy Rosario, who was a one-man wrecking crew for the Fresh Fighters. By halftime, Rosario had already notched 16 markers as Hapee led comfortably, 36-25.

“We still have a lot to work on after only six practices as a complete team,” said Coach Ronnie Magsanoc. “Our defense served us well and our offense followed.”

True enough the Fresh Fighters further tightened the defense in the third canto by limiting LiverMarin to a measly seven points while scoring 20 of their own. Coach Magsanoc had the luxury of fielding his role players and they still stretched the margin to its biggest late in the fourth period, 70-44.

Rosario led all scorers with 20, nine rebounds and two steals. Hapee’s balanced attack was shown as the trio of Earl Scottie Thompson, Chris Newsome and Mark Romero all banged in 11 points each.

No Guardian submitted twin figures. Jovit de la Cruz could only cough up eight points followed by Nicole Bangga with seven as LiverMarin absorbed its third loss in as many games.

The PBA D-League will take a break for the Holy Week and resume play on April 6, 2015 (Monday) with a doubleheader at the San Juan Arena. Jumbo Plastic faces KeraMix at 1:00 PM followed immediately by CaféFrance against Cagayan Valley at 3:00 PM.

How They Scored:

First Game

AMA (76) – Taganas 17, Maiquez 14, Tampus 11, Martinez 11, Arellano 9, Sison 8, Terso 3, King 3, Angeles 0.

TANDUAY LIGHT (74) – Sumang 13, Escueta 11, Mariano 11, Jumao-as 9, Ilagan 6, Mandani 5, Santos 4, Belencion 4, Foronda 3, Tagarda 2, Cenal 2, Rono 2, de la Paz 2, Eriobu 0.

Period Scores: 11-27, 37-39, 58-56, 76-74.

Second Game

HAPEE (74) – Rosario 20, Thompson 11, Newsome 11, Romero 11, Bringas 8, Long 6, Villahermosa 3, Lopez 2, Hayes 2, Gamboa 0, Gabo 0, Elorde 0.

LIVERMARIN (50) – de la Cruz 8, Bangga 7, Balucanag 6, Ignacio 5, de Vera 5, Ortuoste 5, Guinto 4, Mag-isa 4, Fabian 2, Calisaan 2, Rios 1, Laude 1, Costelo 0, Santos 0.

Period Scores: 23-14, 36-25, 56-32, 74-50.

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adidas Florist City For Spring 2015

Shoes for (L-R) John Wall and Damian Lillard get a makeover for Spring.

Shoes for (L-R) John Wall and Damian Lillard get a makeover for Spring.

SPRINGTIME IS now happening in the United States as the flowers begin to bloom after the cold winter season. There is no spring season in the Philippines but basketball fans can join in the festivities with the release of the adidas Florist City Collection featuring the signature shoes of All-Star guards Damian Lillard of the Portland Trail Blazers and John Wall of the Washington Wizards.

Both shoes will be richly embellished with designs and colors based on their respective home city’s spring celebrations. All of the shoes’ safety, comfort and performance-enhancing features have been retained.

Portland, Oregon is known as the “City of Roses” with the Blazers’ home court named the Rose Garden from 1995 until 2013. The D Lillard 1 will have a rose colorway with rose graphics on the tongue and aglets.

Tourists and residents of Washington, DC look forward to the annual blooming of the cherry blossoms with a national festival held every April. The J Wall 1 is in white with cherry blossoms printed on the tongue and other strategic areas of the shoe.

A very limited quantity of these special sneakers will be shipped to the Philippines to be offered initially at adidas Trinoma on March 29, 2015 (Sunday) at exactly 4:00 PM. After that, shoe fans can check out the NBA Store in Glorietta and 2600 Basketball in Baguio City by April.

For more information, like and follow the official adidas social media accounts on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Use the hash tags #DLillard1 and #JWall1.

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MP Hotel Finally Wins; Cebuana 3-0

Rey Nambatac (13) is mobbed by his teammates after hitting the winning shot.  (photo courtesy of Dante Peralta)

Rey Nambatac (13) is mobbed by his teammates after hitting the winning shot. (photo courtesy of Dante Peralta)

2015 Foundation Cup

QUEZON CITY – Rey Nambatac hit a corner triple at the buzzer to lift the MP Hotel Warriors over the Cagayan Valley Rising Suns, 107-106, at the PBA D-League Foundation Cup Thursday (March 26) at the Jesus Christ Saves Global Outreach (JCSGO) Gym. In the first game the Cebuana Lhuillier Gems stayed spotless by toppling the KeraMix Mixers in a meeting of tournament leaders, 95-88.

With three seconds to go, Jason Melano could only connect on the second of his two free throws to stretch the Suns’ lead, 106-104. Out of timeouts, Coach Louie Gonzalez signaled new recruit Rocky Acidre to bring down the ball, quickly passing it to Jan Colina at the top of their free throw circle who then spotted the open Nambatac for the game winner.

The last and only other time MP Hotel went home the winner was way back on October 30, 2014 against Wang’s Basketball, 87-70, their second game in the last Aspirants Cup. The team then lost their next nine games plus the first two games of the current Foundation Cup for a combined 11-game losing skid.

It was a gallant fight back for the Warriors from as high as 16 points down in the third period, 54-70. Jopher Custodio, Bong Quinto, Ping Masaglang and Nambatac took turns in trimming their deficit to a basket entering the final canto, 80-82.

Their patience finally paid off with Quinto and Custodio hitting back-to-back field goals to tie the game for the last time at the 1:20 mark, 103-103. Melano would counter with a basket of his own and the Warriors could only cringe as Quinto split his charities to trail by a hair, 104-105, thus forcing them to foul Melano in a gambit that paid off.

“The team entered into a partnership with Letran so we can help each other,” said Coach Gonzalez. “The young players from Letran did well today and this is a good sign for the future of the team.”

Custodio showed the way for the Warriors with 27 points and 10 rebounds. Quinto followed with 19 points, five rebounds and four assists.

Melano, Michael Mabulac and Abel Galliguez paced the Rising Suns with 21 markers each. Melano also hauled 14 rebounds to go with four steals as the Rising Suns leveled their win-loss card at 1-1.

Moala Tautuaa was unstoppable anew in the low post for 24 points and 10 rebounds.  (photo courtesy of Dante Peralta)

Moala Tautuaa was unstoppable anew in the low post for 24 points and 10 rebounds. (photo courtesy of Dante Peralta)

The expected slam bang encounter between two undefeated teams fizzled out as the Gems jumped the gun on the Mixers to easily take the first period and never looked back, 23-11. Moala Tautuaa set the tone early with 11 points in the first and Simon Enciso came off the bench to pump in 15 points in the second for a commanding 55-25 Gems edge at halftime.

Still, the Mixers gave it their best effort behind Keith Agovida, Jiovani Jalalon, Marte Gil and Jamil Gabawan to close in late in the fourth period, 80-90. However, Paul Zamar hit a triple to snuff the Mixers’ further rally aspirations, 93-80.

Gems coach David Zamar was not satisfied with their third win in a row and called out his players for their inconsistent second half that allowed KeraMix to get back in the contest. “We need to have convincing victories and we must not take any of our opponents lightly,” said Coach Zamar.

Tautuaa and Enciso topped the Gems with 24 points each. Tautuaa also grabbed 10 rebounds and issued five assists while Enciso sank an impressive seven three-point shots from nine attempts.

Agovida submitted 11 of his team-best 19 points in the fourth period on top of five rebounds and two assists. Jalalon was next with 14 points but went scoreless in the fourth period.

How They Scored:

First Game

CEBUANA LHUILLIER (95) – Enciso 24, Tautuaa 24, Zamar 13, A. Mangahas 11, Torres 8, Acibar 6, Corpuz 5, Vosotros 4, Marata 0, J. Mangahas 0, Bautista 0, Lopez 0, Sarangay 0.

KERAMIX (88) – Agovida 19, Jalalon 14, Gil 10, Saitanan 10, Gabawan 7, DiGregorio 7, Viernes 6, Parala 6, Canta 5, Bartolo 2, Ruaya 2, Sinco 0, Jamito 0, Robles 0.

Period Scores: 23-11, 55-25, 85-58, 95-88.

Second Game

MP HOTEL (107) – Custodio 27, Quinto 19, Nambatac 17, Acidre 16, Masaglang 12, Calvo 6, Mendoza 6, Colina 2, Escosio 2, Magat 0, Luib 0.

CAGAYAN VALLEY (106) – Melano 21, Mabulac 21, Galliguez 21, Celada 14, Trollano 13, Austria 7, Tayongtong 4, Rogado 3, Dilay 2, Flores 0, Santos 0, Arquero 0.

Period Scores: 17-26, 42-48, 80-82, 107-106.

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CafeFrance, Jumbo Get First Wins

Noble performance for JM Noble with 15 points on three triples.  (photo courtesy of Dante Peralta)

Noble performance for JM Noble with 15 points on three triples. (photo courtesy of Dante Peralta)

2015 Foundation Cup

QUEZON CITY – The CaféFrance Bakers barged into the win column with a resounding 68-62 thumping of the Tanduay Light Rhum Masters Monday (March 23) in continuing action from the 2015 PBA D-League Foundation Cup at the Jesus Christ Saves Global Outreach (JCSGO) Gym. Later in the day, Aspirants Cup titlist Hapee Fresh Fighters started its campaign on the wrong foot allowing the Jumbo Plastic Linoleum Giants to escape with the victory, 64-61.

JM Noble and Joseph Sedurifa hit back to back triples to give the Bakers their biggest lead with less than a minute to go in the third period, 52-37. As the Rhum Masters started to rally, Roi Sumang had to leave the game for good after rolling his ankle with still 4:18 in the balance.

Unfazed, Aljon Mariano and JP Belencion continued their fight back with Mariano scoring a basket to threaten with 1:42 remaining, 62-65.

The Bakers then committed a 24-second shot clock violation but the Rhum Masters could not capitalize. Alvin Abundo then hit a coldblooded triple with 10 seconds to go for the final tally and snuff out Tanduay Light’s chances.

“It was a lucky shot and Alvin saved the day,” said Coach Edgar Macaraya. “After making the semifinals for the first time in the Aspirants Cup, the team is resolved to go all out to better the feat.”

Starting slow and falling after one period, 7-14, the Bakers began the second canto with a 14-0 blast anchored on Noble and birthday celebrant Rodrigue Ebondo to take the lead for good, 21-13. The duo continued their hot plays to stretch the halftime score to 32-23.

CaféFrance now leveled its win-loss card at 1-1 after dropping their first game against Cebuana Lhuillier by the slimmest of margins, 85-86. Tanduay Light also saw its card go to 1-1.

Maverick Ahanmisi made 12 of his game-high 16 points in the second half to go with eight rebounds and four assists. Noble followed with 15 point, eight in the pivotal second period.

Mariano was the top man for Tanduay Light with 22 points and nine rebounds. No other Rhum Master scored in double figures with Sumang submitting nine markers and five assists.

Their partnership with San Beda College terminated before the start of the tournament forced the Fresh Fighters to bring in six new players but had to rely extensively on their old hands. However, their suddenly shallower bench began to show and Aspirants Cup Best Player Ray Parks continued to be bothered by the shoulder injury that took him out of the title game.

Hapee enjoyed the lead for the last time in the second period, 22-17, before the Giants went on a 16-0 tear starring Juami Tiongson and MacLean Sabellina from which the Fresh Fighters never recovered, 33-22. Jumbo Plastic did a good job of protecting their lead despite the constant threats from Hapee.

Compounding the Fresh Fighters’ woes was their poor free throw shooting in the fourth period wherein they missed a combined six gift shots. Earl Scottie Thompson scored to cut their deficit to a point with 43 ticks to play, 61-62.

The Giants bungled their next possession to give Hapee a golden chance with Thompson droving strong to the goal only to see his drop pass intercepted thus forcing Chris Newsome to foul Jaymo Eguilos who made two free throws and stretch their lead to three and six seconds to go, 64-61. With no more timeouts to call, Thompson then hurriedly launched a prayer from midcourt that went nowhere.

“I told the players that this is the best time to beat Hapee,” said Coach Stevenson Tiu. “They are a champion team but they have many new players.”

Tiongson and Glenn Khobuntin paced the Giants with 14 points each. Jumbo Plastic thus joined the Bakers, Rhum Masters and the idle AMA University Titans in a four-way logjam at 1-1.

Thompson, the hero of Hapee’s Aspirants Cup title-clinching game, continued his stellar play with 17 points and six rebounds. Newsome was next with 12 points, seven rebounds and four assists.

“We will just have to work harder in order to get better,” said Coach Ronnie Magsanoc. In the Aspirants Cup, the Fresh Fighters won their first 10 assignments before sustaining their only loss (to Cagayan Valley, 77-80) at the end of the elimination round and then regrouped to win all their four playoff games and the championship in their maiden appearance.

How They Scored:

First Game

CAFÉFRANCE (68) – Ahanmisi 16, Noble 15, Ebondo 9, Sedurifa 7, Galanza 6, Abundo 5, Jeruta 4, Miranda 2, Andrada 2, Batino 2, de Leon 0, Cortes 0.

TANDUAY LIGHT (62) – Mariano 22, Sumang 9, Belencion 8, Jumao-as 6, Foronda 6, Eriobu 4, Santos 2, Ilagan 2, de la Paz 2, Tagarda 1, Mandani 0, Cenal 0, Escueta 0, Rono 0.

Period Scores: 13-7, 32-23, 52-43, 68-62.

Second Game

JUMBO PLASTIC (64) – Tiongson 14, Khobuntin 14, Villamor 8, Sabellina 6, Eguilos 6, Paniamogan 6, Rosales 4, Purdy 3, Avillanoza 3, Perez 0, Petillos 0.

HAPEE (61) – Thompson 17, Newsome 12, Romero 8, Elorde 7, Rosario 7, Hayes 6, Gamboa 2, Parks 1, Villahermosa 1, Long 0, Bringas 0.

Period Scores: 11-14, 33-26, 53-43, 64-61.

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NatGeo Marathon Returns

EDR Poster     THE COUNTRY’S premier pro-environment running event, the National Geographic Earth Day Run, returns for a sixth installment on April 26, 2015 (Sunday) at the SM Mall of Asia grounds in Pasay City. Organizers are projecting the biggest race ever with over 20,000 participants.

In a major twist this year, a second leg will be held in Baguio City on May 24, 2015. An additional 5,000 runners are expected to sign up for the second leg.

For the second year in a row, a full marathon will be held in the Metro Manila leg. Both legs will have 21, 10 and five-kilometer categories.

Registration fees are PHP 1,500.00 for the full marathon, PHP 950.00 for 21 kilometers and PHP 750.00 for 10 kilometers. The five-kilometer race is set at PHP 650.00 for Metro Manila and PHP 500.00 for Baguio City.

The race kit includes an event singlet and race bib with timing chip. After the race, all marathon and 21-kilometer finishers will be awarded medals and finisher shirts while loot bags await all participants.

Registration has now begun at SM Aura in Taguig City up to April 19, 2015 or when supplies run out. Online registration is also ongoing at www.runrio.com/natgeorun2015.

This year’s NatGeo Earth Day Run hopes to raise money to fund a solar powered lighting and electrification project in Mindoro for the benefit of the Tawbuid Mangyan tribe as well as the forest rangers in the area. This is a continuing project of the World Wildlife Fund for Nature (WWF).

The WWF projects will definitely go a long way in the development of the Mangyans. Meanwhile, the forest rangers play a big role in the protection of the critically endangered Tamaraw.

Now a staple of the summer running calendar thanks to its longevity, the NatGeo Earth Day Run is the ideal venue for the running community to make known its pro-environment stand. A healthy environment goes hand in hand with a healthy population so register now!

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KeraMix, Cebuana Go 2-0

Jeff Alvin Viernes can hit it any day, just like his 12-point performance to lead KeraMix to the victory.  (photo courtesy of Dante Peralta)

Jeff Alvin Viernes can hit it any day, just like his 12-point performance to lead KeraMix to the victory. (photo courtesy of Dante Peralta)

2015 Foundation Cup

PASIG CITY – The KeraMix Mixers and Cebuana Lhuillier Gems continued their good starts to the 2015 PBA D-League Foundation Cup by easily roaring to their second wins in as many games and a share of the league leadership Thursday (March 19) at the Ynares Sports Arena. The day’s action also saw a gender barrier broken and a 39-year old record equaled.

The Mixers handed newcomer LiverMarin its second straight loss, 89-71, a fitting gift to their head coach Carlos Garcia who celebrated his birthday. Prior to that, the Gems were merciless in their 118-78 devastation of the winless MP Hotel Warriors.

From the game’s final deadlock at 6-6, the Mixers went on a 10-0 run behind Keith Agovida and Jiovani Jalalon to grab the lead for good. The Guardians made a few counterattacks to threaten, 13-16, Agovida and Jalalon quickly answered by leading a 12-0 burst to end the first period, 28-13.

Jalalon though would leave the game for good after a hard fall just before the halftime break. While he managed to walk on his own power, Coach Carlos Garcia opted to preserve his prized recruit as the Mixers began to pull away.

Guards Jeff Alvin Viernes, Luigi Sinco and Marte Gil made up for Jalalon’s absence by bombing away from long range. Sinco managed to give the Mixers their biggest lead via a triple to open the fourth period, 72-50.

“We had a good start today,” said Coach Garcia. “The players are now accepting and following the system and I thank our guards for finishing the job.”

Sinco and Viernes paced KeraMix with 12 points each. Despite playing only nine minutes, Jalalon had nine points, the same output produced by Agovida.

Jamil Ortuoste, who played for the Mixers in the last Aspirants Cup when the team was known as Racal Motors, topped the Guardians with 18 points, five rebounds and two steals. Jovit de la Cruz followed with 14 points and seven rebounds.

The Mixers-Guardians tussle marked the historic debut of Jane Umana as the first female to officiate a PBA D-League game. Umana is one of several female members of the referees pool.

The Gems’ starting unit proved too much as they outscored the Warriors to easily take the first period, 30-13. It was all-Cebuana hence as they were never challenged.

Jackson Corpuz led the way for the Gems with 26 points, nine rebounds and four steals. Norbert Torres and Almond Vosotros backed him up with 15 markers each.

Jopher Custodio topped the Warriors with 17 points but was held scoreless in the fourth period. Jan Colina and Rey Nambatac supported him with 12 points each.

In the first game, the debuting Cagayan Valley Rising Suns warded off the late challenge of the AMA University, 75-70. The Suns nearly squandered their 13-point lead in the fourth canto, 64-51, as Titan Marcy Arellano found his range and star in a 17-8 burst to threaten with 3:13 to play, 68-72.

Scoreless through the first three periods, Abel Galliguez connected when it mattered most with a dagger triple to stretch the Rising Suns’ lead to seven entering the final two minutes, 75-68. That proved to be enough as both sides traded misses and botched plays as time was not on AMA’s side.

Galliguez scored all of his team-best 16 points in the fourth period, on top of five rebounds and six assists as he engaged Arellano in a shootout. Andrian Celada added 12 points and seven rebounds.

Arellano finished with 25 points, including 14 in the final period plus five steals. Joseph Terso was next with 11 points while Jay-R Taganas scored only 10 points but hauled 29 rebounds in a no-relief job to equal the PBA record held by Marcelo Simbulan of Seven-Up set during the league’s inaugural season in 1975.

How They Scored:

First Game

CAGAYAN VALLEY (75) – Galliguez 16, Celada 12, Mabulac 11, Trollano 9, Tayongtong 9, Santos 7, Melano 6, Flores 3, Arquero 2, Rogado 0, Dilay 0, Sanchez 0, Salamat 0.

AMA (70) – Arellano 25, Terso 11, Taganas 10, King 7, Maiquez 6, Martinez 6, Tampus 3, Sison 2.

Period Scores: 14-13, 37-35, 55-48, 75-70.

Second Game

CEBUANA LHUILLIER (118) – Corpuz 26, Torres 15, Vosotros 15, Enciso 14, Tautuaa 11, A. Mangahas 9, Zamar 9, Acibar 5, Marata 3, J. Mangahas 3, Bautista 3, Sarangay 3, Acosta 2, Lopez 0.

MP HOTEL (78) – Custodio 17, Colina 12, Nambatac 12, Escosio 9, Mendoza 8, Pacquiao 5, Calvo 4, Luib 3, Yaya 2, Quinto 2, Magat 2, de la Pena 2, Yusop 0.

Period Scores: 30-13, 60-38, 87-58, 118-78.

Third Game

KERAMIX (89) – Sinco 12, Viernes 12, Agovida 9, Jalalon 9, Gabawan 8, Gil 8, Robles 8, DiGregorio 7, Jamito 5, Ruaya 5, Saitanan 4, Ibay 2, Canta 0.

LIVERMARIN (71) – Ortuoste 18, de la Cruz 14, Ignacio 10, Laude 10, Bangga 5, Fabian 4, Calisaan 3, de Vera 3, Balucanag 2, Mag-isa 2, Costelo 0, Rios 0, Santos 0.

Period Scores: 28-13, 45-39, 69-50, 89-71.

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Filipinos Wow LA Marathon

Mary Joy Tabal and Rafael Poliquit show Pinoy Pride at the LA Marathon.

Mary Joy Tabal and Rafael Poliquit show Pinoy Pride at the LA Marathon.

#BuildChampions

LOS ANGELES – The Philippines’ Rafael Poliquit and Mary Joy Tabal put the country on the world running map by submitting very impressive performances in the Asics Los Angeles Marathon last Sunday (March 15). The official Filipino delegates and reigning MILO Marathon King and Queen matched strides with the 26,000-strong field that included elite runners from all across the United States and 55 other countries.

Poliquit of Tagum City and the Philippine Air Force clocked 2:36:09 to finish 27th overall in the Men’s Division. Tabal, the current MILO Marathon record holder from Cebu City checked in at 2:51:17 which was also good for 27th overall in the Women’s Division.

Since the first timers were not classified along with the elite runners, both Poliquit and Tabal had to start in later waves 10 minutes after the first starting gun thus forcing them to play catch up. Still, Poliquit’s effort was enough to top the Men’s 25-29 age group while Tabal was the runner-up in the Women’s 25-29.

Kenya’s Daniel Kiprop Limo took the overall championship at 2:10:36. He was followed almost two minutes later by countryman Lani Rutto (2:12:43) who edged out Jared Ward of Utah (2:12:56) in a close battle for runner-up honors.

It was a sweep for Kenya as Ogla Jerono Kimaiyo was crowned the fastest woman at 2:34:10 but not before an intense three-cornered sprint to the finish. Coming in 22 ticks behind at Second Place was Natalya Puchkova of Russia (2:34:32) while Third Place went to Blake Russell of California (2:34:57).

The 42.195-kilometer race started at Dodgers Stadium and passed through downtown LA onwards to famous places like Hollywood and Beverly Hills. The finish line was at Santa Monica with a breathtaking view of the Pacific Ocean as a backdrop.

This marks the second year in a row that the champions of the National MILO Marathon were sent to an overseas race as part of their prize. In 2014, Tabal and Eduardo “Vertek” Buenavista competed at the Schneider Electric Marathon de Paris.

Accompanying the pair was MILO Marathon race director Coach Rio de la Cruz. This time, the team opted to arrive early in Los Angeles to acclimatize and it paid dividends.

MILO’s Andrew Q. Neri was quick to congratulate the duo. “We are delighted to have provided them the platform to showcase their athletic excellence amongst the world’s best runners,” he said.

The 39th season of the MILO Marathon will open this June with the first of several regional qualifying races. For sure, another foreign trip is in the works for National champions that will be determined on December 6 in Angeles City, Pampanga marking the first time the grand finale will be held outside of Metro Manila.

MILO will continue its advocacy of donating brand new athletic shoes to poor but deserving public schoolchildren. Over 200,000 runners are expected to sign up for the various MILO Marathon races with each runner donating a portion of the registration fees to the cause.

For more information on the coming MILO Marathon season, visit www.milo.com.ph. Follow MILO’s official social media accounts on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

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