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2021 is Golden Year of PH Sports — POC chief Tolentino

December 28, 2021 1:38 p.m.

THE Golden Year of Philippine sports.

Nothing more, nothing less, so said Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) President Rep. Abraham “Bambol” Tolentino of 2021, the year when a strongwoman from faraway Barangay Mampang in Zamboanga City lifted her way to victory and claim for the country its first Olympic gold medal in 22 appearances in the quadrennial Summer Games.

“This is a year of congratulations for all of us—for breaking several milestones in our sports,” Tolentino said. “The perfect description for this year is The Golden Year of Philippine Sports.”

Tolentino was one of the most ecstatic Filipino inside the Tokyo International Forum that fateful July 26 evening when Hidilyn Diaz, appearing in her fourth straight Olympics, won a contest of brute strength—and tactics—by lifting Games records of 127 kgs in the clean and jerk and 224 kgs in total lift that went with her 97 kgs in snatch en route to the women’s -55kgs gold medal of weightlifting.

“The year 2021 saw us attain multiple medals highlighted by that elusive gold in the Tokyo Olympics,” Tolentino said. “The Covid-19 pandemic may have slowed us down, but the ever resilient Filipinos have again proven that we rise against the odds.”

With three medals coming from boxing—silvers from men’s flyweight Carlo Paalam and women’s featherweight Nesthy Petecio and bronze from men’s middleweight Eumir Felix Marcial—the delayed Tokyo Olympics emerged as the best ever for the Philippines since it first attended the Games in 1924 in Paris.

Diaz led a 19-strong Team Philippines in Tokyo with all the athletes, although missing the podium, providee a peek of how medal potential they would become come the 2024 Olympics in Paris.

“Although the rest on Team Philippines didn’t win a medal in Tokyo, their determination and their youth make them strong candidates when we return to the Olympic stage in Paris,” Tolentino said. “Remember, Hidilyn was a young, unassuming and innocent 18-year-old when she competed in her first Olympics in 2008 in Beijing.”

Tokyo, Tolentino said, was the springboard to future successes in the Olympics.

“Yes, the Filipino athlete can win in the Olympics. Yes, we have the capability and we will build on that success,” he said.

The success in Tokyo hiked the Philippines’ overall Olympic haul to one gold, five silver and eight bronze medals, a blessing Tolentino said was well longed for and appreciated.

“This year is marked by a spirit of happiness for the blessings we have received,” he said. “We share these blessings to all athletes and coaches, to all the NSAs [national sports associations] that have contributed and supported their athletes to the best of their abilities and resources.”

Tolentino, also the president of the cycling association, said the successful campaign was a team effort—from the athletes themselves and their coaches and to their NSAs and sponsors.

“This year, golden as it was, we’re also in the spirit of gratitude to all the sponsors, the media and stakeholders who have been in support of our athletes,” he said.

The honor roll included the Philippine Sports Commission, MVP Sports Foundation, San Miguel Corp., AirAsia, Philippine Airlines, Milo, Max’s, Asics, St. Luke’s Medical Center, among others.

“My heartfelt gratitude extends to you and your family, a Blessed 2022 to us all in the sports community,” Tolentino said.

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A star is born: NU Lady Bulldog Belen makes history as UAAP’s 1st Rookie of Year/MVP

June 21, 2022 6:34 p.m.

Mhicaela Belen was hailed as the UAAP Season 84 women’s volleyball tournament Rookie of the Year and Most Valuable Player – making her the first-ever in the league’s long history.

National University’s Belen was just everywhere, leading the league in the service department at 0.47 per set, while also placing second in spiking with a 38.96 success rate, and third in scoring with 203 points in the elimination round.

With her outstanding all-around offensive prowess, she also bagged the 1st Best Outside Hitter as well.

Her defense was top-notch as well, going sixth in reception at a 40.85 efficiency rate while being eighth in digs at 2.38 per set.

Belen also knotted Dzi Gervacio’s record in most service aces in a single match with eighth. She did it against University of the Philippines last June 4.

The undefeated Lady Bulldogs dominated the other individual awards as well with Camilla Lamina and Jen Nierva copping Best Setter and Best Libero plums. Alyssa Solomon won the Best Opposite Spiker award.

Lamina tallied 5.81 excellent sets per set, while Nierva registered a 55.96 receiving percentage and 4.4 digs per set. Solomon had 145 spikes on a 38.98 percent success rate.

De La Salle University’s Thea Gagate emerged as this year’s 1st Best Middle Blocker with 0.6 blocks per set and 30 total blocks, while Lady Bulldog Sheena Toring got the 2nd Best Middle Blocker with an average of 0.47 per set and 22 total blocks.

Ateneo de Manila University’s Faith Nisperos nabbed the 2nd Best Outside Hitter trophy to round out the awardees, delivering 228 total spikes on a 34.86 percent success rate.

All of the student-athletes in the All-UAAP team are products of Nazareth School-National University.

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NBA to refurbish basketball court in Bulacan as part of league’s 75th anniversary celebration

June 17, 2022 8:10 p.m.

The National Basketball Association (NBA) today announced it will dedicate a new NBA Cares Live, Learn or Play center in the Philippines with a basketball court refurbishment at the Enchanted Farm village of Gawad Kalinga Community Development Foundation, Inc. (GK), a local non-profit organization that aims to alleviate poverty through affordable housing and community development programs, in Angat, Bulacan.

The project, which is part of the leaguewide NBA 75th Live, Learn or Play initiative to create and dedicate more than 50 new NBA Cares Live, Learn or Play Centers during the 2021-22 season, will begin this month and the refurbished court will be presented to the GK community in August with a ribbon-cutting ceremony and youth basketball clinic.

“The NBA’s mission is to inspire and connect people everywhere through the power of basketball and create a lasting impact in the communities where we operate,” said NBA Asia Managing Director Ramez Sheikh. 

“The Philippines has been an integral part of the league’s 75-year history, and this initiative with Gawad Kalinga reinforces our commitment to bringing Filipinos together through their shared love of the game.”

NBA Cares is the league’s global social responsibility program that builds on the NBA’s mission of addressing important social issues in the U.S. and around the world.  Internationally, NBA Cares has created more than 357 places where kids and families can live, learn, or play in 40 countries and territories. 

In July 2017, the NBA revamped an indoor court in Santa Mesa, Manila which was part of a regional NBA Cares initiative that refurbished courts across Southeast Asia.

For all the latest NBA news and updates, visit www.nba.com and follow NBA Philippines on Facebook and Twitter

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Newest Reveal in Pokémon series: Pokémon Scarlet, Pokémon Violet coming in November

June 4, 2022 7:02 p.m.

The Pokémon Company is pleased to announce the official release date of Nintendo Switch software titles Pokémon Scarlet and Pokémon Violet on Friday, November 18, 2022. The scheduled release will reveal a new cover art with the legendary Pokémon Koraidon and Miraidon!

Appearing in these new titles, the new legendary Pokémon Koraidon and Miraidon are on each cover. The title logos are embellished with foil stamp-like designs that include Legendary Pokémon motifs. The packages of these games look similar to old book covers that evoke anticipation that a new story lies before you that’s about to begin.

Legendary Pokémon Koraidon and Miraidon

Koraidon is a legendary Pokémon that you can meet in Pokémon Scarlet, while Miraidon is a legendary Pokémon you can meet in Pokémon Violet. These two Pokémon are said to have powers that far surpass those of other Pokémon, however, details about Koraidon and Miraidon are still shrouded in mystery.

The World of the Pokémon has Evolved

Pokémon is a game for all ages and Pokémon Scarlet and Pokémon Violet are the first open-world RPGs in the series. As you enjoy the hallmarks of the series—meeting, teaming up with, battling, training, and trading Pokémon—you’ll also be able to immerse yourself in a newly evolved adventure.

In an unbound adventure spread across an open world, Pokémon Scarlet and Pokémon Violet offer you an open-world experience that only the Pokémon series can deliver—one that is welcoming even to newcomers to the series.

You can experience a new style of adventure in a world where you’re free to explore at your leisure, unhampered by following a story. You will, of course, have to embark on a journey to hone your skills as a Pokémon Trainer, but many more discoveries and stories await you. You will be able to meet a variety of people and Pokémon, and have new adventures in the world of Pokémon the way you want to.

For deeper experience with multiplayer gameplay, Pokémon Scarlet and Pokémon Violet allow multiplayer gameplay with up to four players. Along with series staples, such as trading and battling Pokémon, you will be able to explore the various locations of the region in these games with other players. You can discover new Pokémon and explore unfamiliar areas with your friends and family, opening the door to an adventure more precious and fun than ever!

New Pokémon and Characters to Meet

Three Pokémon from which you’ll choose your first partner have been revealed: Sprigatito, Fuecoco, and Quaxl.  With their unique personalities and abilities in battle, imagine how your own adventures with them might unfold!

Sprigatito is capricious and attention-seeking. It may sulk if it sees its Trainer giving attention to a Pokémon other than itself.

A Kneading Move That Releases a Sweet Aroma

When Sprigatito kneads and rubs with its forepaws, a sweet aroma is released that can mesmerize those around it. This aroma has therapeutic qualities and makes opponents lose their will to battle.

Fur with a Similar Composition to Plants

The composition of its fluffy fur is similar to that of plants, letting it create energy by absorbing sunlight. It adds moisture to its fur by grooming itself, which aids its ability to photosynthesize.

Fuecoco is laid-back and does things at its own pace. It loves to eat, and it will sprint toward any food it finds with a glint in its eye.

Scales That Absorb Heat

External heat is absorbed by the square scales on Fuecoco’s stomach and back, then converted into fire energy. These scales are always warm, and at times they can also grow very hot.

Overflowing Fire Energy

Flickering atop Fuecoco’s head is fire energy that is leaking out from inside the Pokémon’s body. When Fuecoco gets excited, its head spouts more flames.

Quaxly is a serious-mannered Pokémon that will follow in its Trainer’s wake. It’s tidy, and it especially dislikes getting its head dirty.

A Glossy Gel Protects Its Body

Its body is always glossy because the gel secreted by its feathers repels water and grime. The coif on its head is slicked back using a rich, moist cream, and it becomes unkempt when dry.

It Uses Its Strong Legs to Swim Freely

It has strong legs and is able to swim without difficulty even in places with strong currents. In battle, it kicks its opponents swiftly and repeatedly.

Two different professors—their appearance depends on the version of the game

For the first time in the series, one of two different professors will appear in your game depending on the version you choose to play.

In Pokémon Scarlet, you will meet Professor Sada, and in Pokémon Violet, you will meet Professor Turo. Each is carrying out research into certain lore passed down in the region.

Nemona, a powerful Pokémon Trainer

Your friend and rival, Nemona, has a sunny and energetic disposition, and she absolutely loves Pokémon battles. She’s an experienced Pokémon Trainer and serves as a reliable guide for you on your adventures. She has undisputed skill in battle—though it does also seem that she’s not the best at throwing Poké Balls.

In Pokémon Scarlet and Pokémon Violet, Nemona uses three never-before-seen Pokémon waiting to meet you.

Pawmi has electricity-discharging organs on its forepaws. In addition to the electric sacs in its cheeks, Pawmi has electricity-discharging organs on its forepaws. It generates electricity by rubbing its cheeks, then it shocks its opponents by touching them with the pads on its forepaws.

Thick Fur That Stores Electricity

Not only is the fur that covers its body good insulation against the cold, but it also serves the purpose of storing electricity. When it feels uneasy, this cautious Pokémon will begin rubbing its cheeks, preparing itself to discharge an electric shock.

Lechonk is a gourmand with an excellent nose. It  uses its sense of smell to find and eat only the most fragrant wild grass and the richest Berries. As a result of its dining habits, it has come to radiate an aroma resembling herbs that bug Pokémon dislike.

Timid and Fainthearted—but Also Strong

If attacked by an opponent and startled, it will charge forward in a panic. It may appear fat at first glance, but in reality, the Pokémon’s body is mostly muscle built by constantly walking around in search of food.

Smoliv has oil so bitter and astringent it will make you flinch. The oil that comes out of its head has a very strong bitter taste, and it is not suitable for consumption. When startled or attacked, Smoliv will shoot this oil out, slowing its opponent down. It will then seize that moment to run away.

Fine without Eating or Drinking

In the fruit on its head, Smoliv stores oil made from nutrients it gathers through photosynthesis. As a result, it can go for a week without eating or drinking. It prefers dry and sunny climates, and it seems to spend its days sunbathing.

A Pokémon Scarlet and Pokémon Violet Double Pack is set for Release

Moreover, a Double Pack that includes a Pokémon Scarlet game and a Pokémon Violet game will be released on the same day as the individual games.

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