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.
Satisfy your cravings with these best-selling Nanyang drinks
September 15, 2023 3:30 p.m.
Nanyang isn’t only known for its Laksa Prawn, Cheesy Chicken Chop Noodles and Singapore’s best selling Hainanese Chicken Rice and Kopi.
It also has several best-selling drinks to whet your appetite and satisfy your sweet tooth, such as Iced Teh Melaka, Kopi Jelly Milk Tea, Milo Dinosaur and Kopi O.
Head over to your nearest Nanyang branches nationwide.
USA back on top; Germany takes Top 3 spot in FIBA World Ranking
September 15, 2023 1:28 p.m.
MIES (Switzerland) – The recent completion of the prestigious FIBA Basketball World Cup 2023 has produced some eye-catching positive climbs in the latest FIBA World Ranking Men, presented by Nike.
USA reclaim pole position with 786.6 points after benefiting from their consistency at major tournaments over the last three summers. Finishing in fourth place at the FIBA Basketball World Cup where they outperformed former number one nation Spain, their run to the Semi-Finals came off the back of winning an Olympic title at Tokyo in 2021 and also taking bronze at the FIBA AmeriCup 2022.
Recently crowned FIBA Basketball World Cup 2023 champions Germany have another slice of history to enjoy as they step into the top three of the rankings for the very first time after moving up a massive eight places and onto 759.7 points. Their stunning success made all the more incredible because of the fact they made the journey to the top step of the podium without tasting defeat.
Canada also have another reason to celebrate too, with their maiden FIBA Basketball World Cup medal fueling an even bigger rise of nine spots. They now occupy sixth position with 745.5 points.
Serbia performed in outstanding fashion to make the title game and their second-placed finish gave their fans something to be proud of. Those supporters can also now enjoy and reflect on their country being a top five nation again as they move up a place and into fifth position on 755.6 points.
Meanwhile, when it comes to the scale and impact of climbing the rankings in the upper echelon, nobody can match Latvia. They have rocketed up a staggering 22 places and into the top 10 after their heroic underdog displays which ensured they took fifth place at the FIBA Basketball World Cup. They now sit in 8th position on 743.7 points.
There were many other teams who impressed at the flagship event, including Brazil who recorded three wins in five games and moves up a place into 12th in the rankings on 660.5 points. The Americas region can also boast a nice move upwards of five places into 16th for Puerto Rico on 611.1 points, while Dominican Republic rise six spots into 18th place on 561.9 points.
There were also notable improvements for Georgia who move up 10 positions and into 23rd on 465.9 points, Japan jump 11 spots to 26th on 432.2 points and Lebanon claim an uplift of 16 places into 28th on 423.3.
One nation that truly made everyone sit up and take notice at the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2023 were first-timers South Sudan. They made history by beating China to claim a first win at the event, then pushing on to beat the Philippines and Angola. This has resulted in a sensational climb of 32 spots in the rankings. They now find themselves in 31st place with 375.5 points.
For more information about the method used in the calculation of the FIBA World Ranking Men, please refer to the “How It Works” section.
Click here to view the full FIBA World Ranking Men, presented by Nike.