The year 2021 will go down in Philippine sports history as the year of Filipino champions. In the recent Tokyo Olympics, weightlifter Hidilyn Diaz brought home the first ever gold medal for the country.
Team Pilipinas also hauled in two silver and one bronze medals – its most successful contingent in over a century. Diaz and boxers Nesthy Petecio, Carlo Paalam and Eumir Marcial showed what true Filipino champions are made of, lifting the spirit of the entire nation during a pandemic and igniting hope for what our young athletes can achieve in the future.
This is exactly the reason why Nestlé continues to build Filipino life champions through sports. Since 1964, Nestlé nourishes the youth with nutritious energy to jump start their own journey to success through the MILO Sports Programs.
It is not surprising that Nestlé has been able to inspire more than 35 million Filipinos to grow with sports and pursue their love for basketball, volleyball, taekwondo, football, swimming, gymnastics, arnis, among others. Look no further with Bea Lucero, Caloy Yulo, Kiefer Ravena, Jamie Lim and Pauline Lopez as some of MILO’s best and most notable athletes.
But sports is not only about competing and getting a podium finish. Former athletes Dr. Micco Sollano and Atty. Madeline Mina proved that champions are not only measured by mere skill, but also by heart and character. Their humble beginnings with Nestlé and MILO Sports programs have been the foundation of their ongoing success. Today, they try to live by these values while pursuing their other passions in life
The fight continues, on and off court
“I was in Grade School when my mom enrolled me in the MILO BEST Center program,” Dr. Sollano shared.
Founded by Coach Nic Jorge, the MILO BEST Center recognizes sports as an integral part of a child’s growth. The aspiring doctor continued to play basketball, competing in the University Athletic Association of the Philippines or UAAP as part of the champion teams of both Ateneo de Manila University and De La Salle University during his college years.
“Sports is a great teacher. I learned about discipline and teamwork. I also gained confidence to face challenges, on and off the court,” he emphasized, adding that the whole experience taught him to never give up. A trait, he admits, helped him while pursuing his medical degree later on.
In 2020, however, Dr. Sollano had to dig deeper and flight like he had never done before. “I was the first medical frontliner to test positive for COVID-19. I knew in my heart that I needed to fight because that is how MILO nurtured me,” he said.
He made sure he won this most challenging personal battle yet. Because for Dr. Sollano, other people were counting on frontliners like him and depending on their team to win the fight against COVID.
Champions are not built overnight
One’s champion journey is never easy. When Atty. Mina’s father enrolled her at 10 years old in MILO Club Gymnastica in Pasig, where Lucero and Yulo also trained, she had to prove to herself that she could do what kids two to four years her junior were already capable of.
“Hindi siya basta-basta. You have to go through the process of training for a particular skill. Because in progressive trainings, especially for gymnastics, everything will get harder and more complex,” Atty. Mina explained.
She committed herself to train both at home and in the gym to improve her somersaults and stick the landing of her vault routine. And when local and international competitions came, all the hard work to be at the highest competitive level was rewarded with medals and loud cheers of “Go, Madel!” from her family and teammates.
But after winning in four competitions, Atty. Mina felt like she wanted to give up. Her dream of becoming a champion gymnast in the Olympics remained just that – a dream.
“It was that time when I felt overfatigue and no longer improving. I had to overcome such frustration, that even though I was no longer competing as a gymnast, I could still do what I love as a member of our cheerleading teams in high school and college.”
She went on to join and win titles with her new teammates at the Pasig Catholic College Pep Squad and San Beda Cheerleading Association.
Struggles, she stressed, are part of the whole journey. “Sometimes being a champion means taking failure in stride, allowing yourself to mourn and picking yourself up again to do better and bounce back higher,” she said. From being a gymnast to becoming a lawyer, Atty. Mina is now focusing her energy by taking part in the speedy administration of justice under the Supreme Court. It is about championing others this time around, she said.
It starts with a champion’s mindset
Nestlé has been championing the health and wellness of Filipino families for 110 years. As Nestlé adapts to the times, Arlene Tan-Bantoto, Senior Vice President and Head of Public Affairs, Sustainability and Communications, said the company has pivoted its MILO Sports program into the MILO Home Court online to continue helping kids stay active and healthy even while at home.
“A champion’s journey starts with fostering a champion’s mindset. As the Kasambuhay of Filipino families, Nestlé is excited to build the next generation of true champions while cheering them on at every stage of their journey.
It may have been five decades since Nestlé launched its first MILO Sports program but the determination, discipline and self-confidence that it has instilled in millions of Filipino youth through sports will, hopefully, prepare them to become champions in life,” Tan-Bantoto said.
Crossovers seek PVL redemption in Invitationals
July 5, 2022 7:01 p.m.
2:30 p.m. – Cignal HD vs Army
5:30 p.m. – Choco Mucho vs Chery Tiggo
From top to near-bottom, Chery Tiggo believes there’s no way to go but up as the Crossovers seek to get over the hump of their Premier Volleyball League Open Conference debacle with another top podium finish in the PVL Invitationals unfolding this weekend.
Sure, Jaja Santiago’s absence told heavily on their unsuccessful title-retention drive but limping to eighth place in a field of nine certainly didn’t speak well of the caliber of the players, who, under then-head coach Aaron Velez, bucked the odds and defanged the fancied Creamline Cool Smashers in a gripping Open finale in bubble setup in faraway Ilocos Norte last year.
But the Crossovers struggled without the 6-5 middle blocker in the recent Open that saw them grope for form at 1-3 in pool play, lose to the Cool Smashers in the quarterfinals and bow to the cellar-dweller BaliPure Water Defenders in the classification round.
The team management felt it was time to do a crossover, tapping coach Clarence Esteban to whip the team back into fighting form, fulfill the team’s goal to rebound and earn at least another crack at the championship.
That’s despite the pressure and challenge not just from the rest of the six other local squads but also from two top-notch foreign teams spicing up the title chase in the second round of the mid-season offering of the league organized by Sports Vision.
“Our lineup is intact since all players have existing contracts. So our focus is on improving their skills and abilities. We want them to play as a team and we will instill the importance of the role of each individual inside the court,” said Esteban, also the man at the helm of UST boys’ volley squad and current coach of Mapua’s women’s team.
“Expect us to give our very best to rebuild and organize the team for us to achieve our goal,” he added.
Chery Tiggo kept assistant coach Brian Esquivel while Yani Fernandez returns after helping steer Foton to the 2015 Superliga Grand Prix title romp. Joining them are trainer Robertly Boto and strength and conditioning coach Kevin Villegas.
Velez is now the team manager.
Meanwhile, the league will have a press conference with social media platform KUMU today (Wednesday) from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. at the Infinity Ballroom of F1 Hotel Manila in Global City, Taguig.
“We knew what we went through the last conference, so we will work hard and will do it step-by-step to be able to perform well this conference,” said ace Dindin Santiago-Manabat.
The veteran power hitter, however, said Jaja Santiago still won’t be around due to her commitment in Japan but the team remains as talent-laden as ever with Mylene Paat, EJ Laure, Jasmine Nabor and Buding Duremdes raring to showcase their wares and the rest of the Crossovers eager to step up and put Chery Tiggo in the conversation again.
“While the team had a disappointing campaign the last time out, we will not disappoint the team management for the trust it has given us to lead and guide this team,” added Esteban, whose wards will be as much tested as the rest as it kicks off its campaign against Choco Mucho, one of the young but tall and talented squads in the league, on Saturday at the Filoil Flying V Centre.
They clash at 5:30 p.m. after the 2:30 p.m. tussle between Cignal HD and Army Black Mamba.
Petro Gazz and PLDT complete the seven local teams with the top four after the single round elims advancing to the next stage that will feature Japan’s Kobe Shinwa Women’s University and Chinese-Taipei’s Taipei King Whales.
Games will be aired live on One Sports (free to Air Ch 41 and Cignal CH 6) and One Sports+ (Cignal Ch 91 SD, Ch 261 HD) with both channels also available on Cignal’s OTT Platform, Cignal Play, with video on demand also available on the platform.
Matches can also be streamed on social media application KUMU and on the league’s official website pvl.ph.
All the games will be played at the San Juan venue except for the July 23 playdate that will feature Creamline against Choco Mucho, set at the SM Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay.
NBA hosts 1st Iconic Shots Challenge in PH
July 4, 2022 1:41 p.m.
The National Basketball Association (NBA) hosted the first “NBA Iconic Shots Challenge” on Saturday, June 25 and Sunday, June 26 at the Mega Fashion Hall activity center, SM Megamall in Mandaluyong City, Philippines.
The NBA Iconic Shots Challenge is an immersive basketball experience for fans to attempt select signature shots from the league’s landmark 75th Anniversary Season, which concluded with the Golden State Warriors winning their fourth NBA championship in eight years and seventh championship overall.
Simulating an authentic NBA arena atmosphere, the challenge took place on a half-court in front of a virtual audience displayed on a curved LED panel.
Each player had 60 seconds to score from five different spots on the court, ranging from four feet to 24 feet, and complete the shooting challenge in the following order: layup, floater, midrange jump shot and three-pointers from the wing and the top of the arc.
Each made basket had a corresponding prize from a selection of premium partner items, NBA Store gift vouchers and official NBA merchandise.
The on-ground activation will also feature a pop-up NBA Store and interactive booths from partners.
The NBA Iconic Shots Challenge is supported by official partners AXA Philippines, Energen Champion and Gatorade and official media partners Cignal, Globe, Smart, and PLDT. Official NBA merchandise are available through the NBA Store and NBAStore.com.ph, the official online NBA Store in the Philippines.
MILO, DepEd celebrate kids’ success thru 1st-ever Palarong Pambahay virtual sports competition
Beloved nutritious beverage brand MILO® Philippines and the Department of Education (DepEd) celebrated the recent success of its inaugural MILO-DepEd Palarong Pambahay.
The joint effort was the first-of-its-kind inter-sport, inter-school virtual competition held on a nationwide scale.
The 2-day live broadcast saw more than 700 participating schools and featured over 2,000 aspiring student athletes who showcased their skills and competed with pride for themselves and their school in front of 1.5 million-plus online viewers.
“It is our great pleasure to partner with MILO® Philippines for the first-ever MILO-DepEd Palarong Pambahay competition. Even though the pandemic has hindered most of our on-ground activities, our organization, as well as coaches, teachers, and parents, have worked tremendously hard to make this event a reality. This is quite a milestone and integral proof that nothing can stop the Filipino champion spirit and our winning culture of Bayanihan,” said DepEd Undersecretary Tonisito M.C. Umali, Esq.
This groundbreaking online sports event opened doors for young athletes who showed their determination as they trained and competed from their homes, as well as their parent coaches who helped guide them along the way to overcome the many challenges of staying indoors.
“Nakita natin ang pagpupursige ng mga atleta at mga magulang na sumali sa Palarong Pambahay, dahil hindi nila hinayaang maging hadlang ang pandemya,” said Carlo Sampan, MILO® Sports Executive.
MILO-DepEd Palarong Pambahay is just the latest of many creative and innovative programs now available from MILO® Philippines designed to provide kids with an outlet to stay physically active and teach them the important values learned from sports such as discipline, respect, and determination.
“Taekwondo helps me build my self-confidence so that I can attain success through hard-work and determination,” said Justin Apura who hails from the University of San Agustin, Iloilo. Apura won gold in Taekwondo and has been competing in local and international competitions since he was 6 years old.
Jennie Villanueva, whose son Marvi Marcelo competed in Athletics, also shared: “Andun yung pag-strive niya na gawin niya yung best niya sa isang bagay para kahit hindi siya manalo, alam niyang nagawa niya yung best niya.”
Faced with a new reality and challenges, MILO® Philippines and DepEd has proven to parents across the country that there are opportunities to adapt and continue their child’s Champion journey at home.
As schools and sports venues start to open up again, MILO® Philippines is excited to welcome back kids to continue to their Champion journeys in the upcoming MILO® Summer Sports Clinics. For more details on how to join, please visit the official MILO® Philippines website.