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Cool Smashers barge into PVL finals

April 4, 2022 12:44 p.m.

ITS will and character tested, Creamline took Choco Mucho’s challenge to heart, battling back from a set down and pounding out a 23-25, 25-19, 25-18, 25-15 victory to clinch the first championship berth in the Premier Volleyball League Open Conference in Pasay Sunday.

The big crowd were back at the MOA Arena and so were the Cool Smashers in the finals as the 2018-19 champions came away with two decisive scoring runs in the last two sets, the first shattering a 15-all count with a six-point roll and the other breaking a 7-all game with a seven-point binge for a pair of breakaway romps.

Creamline, which failed to make it three-in-a-row in the league’s centerpiece event after losing to Chery Tiggo in Ilocos Norte last August, awaits the winner in the other semifinal duel pitting Cignal HD and Petro Gazz.

Game One of the Finals will start Wednesday, also at the MOA Arena.

A victory by Petro Gazz will set a knockout match for the other finals berth today (Monday).
Creamline also subdued Choco Mucho in four, 25-18, 17-25, 25-19, 25-11, in Game One at the Filoil Flying V Arena in San Juan last Friday.

While the Flying Titans surprised the Cool Smashers with their solid net defense in the opening set that saw them produce seven blocks against their rivals’ one, the latter went to their vaunted power game, raining Choco Mucho with 62 attacks points, 26 more than their sister team.

“We’re thankful that we were able to recover from our first set loss. We came up short but the team’s maturity and chemistry are there. We only have to play our game,” said Creamline coach Sherwin Meneses.

And play they did.

The high-flying, jump-serving Tots Carlos stood at the forefront of Creamline’s offense with 23 points, including 19 attacks, while Jema Galanza unloaded 16 attacks and finished with 18 points and skipper Alyssa Valdez backed them up with a solid 17-hit effort.

Pangs Panaga added 10 points, making her presence felt at the end of the fourth set where she pumped in back-to-back attacks that likewise exposed the Flying Titans’ inability to respond to the Cool Smashers’ quick plays.

“We really trained hard and studied Choco Mucho’s play,” said Galanza, named the best player of the game that actually produced a lot of heroes for the Cool Smashers, who drew inspiration from and lived through the roars of the crowd all game to mark their return to the Open finals for the fourth straight year.

It was a sorry setback for the young Flying Titans, who had appeared headed to extending the series with an impressive win in the opening set. But they slowed down in net defense in the next two, scoring just two in the second and had zero blocks in the third.

Kat Tolentino finished with 14 points while Des Cheng scored 13 points, the last two kept the team in the hunt at 14-20 and 15-22. But the Cool Smashers pulled away again on those Panaga’s hits and Valdez did what she does best, closing out their rivals with a power hit that pierced through Bea de Leon’s stretched-out arms.

De Leon made nine points in a three-set stint while Aduke Ogunsanya and Cherry Nunag added six points apiece for the Flying Titans, who scored 23 points off the Cool Smashers’ unforced errors but yielded 10 aces.Stung by the Flying Titans’ strong start, the Cool Smashers drew level with an imposing win in the second set then broke away from a tight game midway in the third frame.

Fully regaining their confidence, not to mention the momentum, the crowd favorites squandered an early 6-1 lead in the fourth but like in the previous set, they broke a 7-all count with a decisive seven-point run on their way to completing a sweep of the Flying Titans.

Choco Mucho also had a fair share of the cheers and screams, particularly when the Flying Titans stymied the dreaded Creamline attacking game with solid blocking in the opening set and in the fourth when they rallied from 7-14 down to within 12-14 on a five-point roll capped by Isa Molde’s back-to-back hits.

But the heavy-handed Cool Smashers came out of the huddle an organized lot, firing away hits after hits behind Carlos, Valdez and Galanza on their way to posting another 21-14 cushion that proved to be too big a deficit for the Flying Titans to overcome.

NEWS

URCC 81: Decades of Success happens Dec. 6 in Okada

November 27, 2022 7:22 p.m.

THE Universal Reality Combat Championship will celebrate two decades of greatness titled the “Decades of Success” in a fight night on December 6, featuring the country’s best mixed martial artists at the Okada Manila in Parañaque City. 

Three years since the last time they held their last main event, URCC founding president Alvin Aguilar announced the coming URCC 81 will definitely be a night to remember with events like the 3 Versus 3, MMA fight and the bare-knuckle bouts.

“Our first main event in three years will definitely be an unforgettable night in mixed martial arts. We have a lot of good fighters and everyone is very excited,” Aguilar said. 

The last time URCC held a main event — Retribution— was in November 2019, at the same venue. Despite the pandemic, URCC didn’t stop as it held three fight nights when the government finally allowed contact sports. 

In celebrating URCC’s main event return, Aguilar will be having Team Philippines of Sugar Ray “Mammoth” Estroso, Caloy “Bad Boy” Baduria and Boss Bullet Manliclic taking up against South Koreans Jeong Minhun, Choi Wontae and Jeon Youngjun in an exciting 3 versus 3 event.

“We have to go up against other Asian countries before we start expanding. So we meet Korea then later on China again and then we will invite people from Russia and the USA. This is the fourth time we will be holding this 3 versus 3 fight,” Aguilar said, who also expects the other events to live up to the hype.

A URCC welterweight interim championship is also set between Filipino Arvin Chan and American Will Chope as the other highlight of the main event presented by Okada Manila and sponsored by Winzir.

URCC Global Chairman Arnold Vegafria said the promotions have been evolving since 2002, becoming a household name in the local mixed martial arts industry, where it discovered great MMA fighters and promoted quality fights abroad. 

For inquiries about tickets sale, go to www.urcc.online and download app https://apps.wix.com/place-invites/join-lp/b4e05b90-55a0-40a8-8fac-17ccf4a2c074?ref=pre_banner_top which is available for iOS and Google.

Other MMA undercard bouts feature Dunlee Stewart facing John Tirona in a 170 lbs bout, followed by Gester Maglaque meeting Mariano Jones in an 185 lbs bout; Kimbert Alintozon battling Junie Kimayong (125 lbs); Rhyle Lugo clashing against Alex Aballe (145 lbs) and Eros Baluyot taking on MJ Abrillo (125 lbs). 

For the thrilling bare-knuckle competitions, Damsa Abrenica collides with Joseph “King Pinoy” Cabral, while Dondon Serrano squares off with Sherwin Niro and Denzel Dimaguila fights Mark Jalaron.  

Details of the fight and future fight cards are available to download at https://apps.wix.com/place-invites/join-lp/b4e05b90-55a0-40a8-8fac-17ccf4a2c074?ref=pre_banner_top, which is available for iOS and Google.

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BingoPlus Foundation’s FutureSmart Scholarship Program 2022 funds 10 IT scholars

Nov. 21, 2022 12:51 p.m.

BingoPlus Foundation Inc., the corporate arm of leisure entertainment brand BingoPlus, has made education one of its causes to support with a PhP6 million scholarship granted to iACADEMY under its FutureSmart Scholarship 2022 Program. 

Officers of the Foundation signed an agreement with representatives of iACADEMY to sponsor ten students last November 2 at the head office of Leisure & Resorts World Corporation (LRWC) at Tektite Building in Pasig. 

With its specialization in the field of information technology, iACADEMY was seen as the perfect partner school for BP Foundation as it aligns well with the Foundation’s vision to create IT-competent professionals in the future. BingoPlus Foundation firmly believes that education and technology are important components of nation-building and has thus prioritized the FutureSmart Scholarship 2022 Program as one of its top Corporate Social Responsibility initiatives of the year. 

Through the scholarship, the Foundation aims to address some challenges faced by the education sector to provide more and better educational opportunities to the younger generation and thus leave its footprint in the building of a better society. 

LRWC President Andy Tsui said, “We wish to inspire the younger generation and make their dreams come true.” 

“We are truly honored to welcome iACADEMY as a new partner, and we’re grateful to be given the opportunity to contribute to keeping students on the path towards a brighter future,” said Jasper Vicencio, President of BingoPlus and Trustee of BingoPlus Foundation Inc.

The FutureSmart Scholarship 2022 Program will be launched in the current school year of iACADEMY. 

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NEWS

Game on! SM Christmas Village is back—and bigger than ever

November 17, 2022 3:50 p.m.

We’re calling it: Christmas 2022 is going to be one for the books. 

The past two years saw Filipinos dialing down on the holiday celebrations as we exercised caution against the spread of the COVID-19 virus. It’s no easy feat, too, given that our Pasko is easily the biggest event of the year. The good—no, aweSM—news? This 2022, SM is set to give you a Christmas comeback like no other with the return of the SM Christmas Village, now on its second year!

In case you didn’t know: SM Supermalls is the very first mall in the Philippines to venture into the metaverse, giving you the first mobile brand rewards app that provides customers with fun and exciting ways to score amazing deals, earn free shopping money, and win wow-worthy prizes—anytime, anywhere!

And here’s proof of just how amazing it is: The pilot run of the ChristmaSaya Village in 2021 recently won four accolades at this year’s Vega Awards, earning nods for outstanding innovation in the digital and virtual realm. Wowza!

Enter the Mall-tiverse
Here’s how it works: To join, a user simply has to register for an account online via smmetaverse.world. Once registered, you gain access to the virtual SM Christmas Village, where you can explore different zones, interact with other players, and collect virtual coins to unlock exclusive shopping vouchers and earn raffle entries. And just like at SM Supermalls nationwide, #YoureAlwaysWelcomeHere

Excited for supercharged virtual fun? Here’s a quick look at what’s in store for you this year:

  • Bigger rewards, bigger prizes 

If you loved last year’s vouchers, you’re in for even better rewards this time. SM has partnered with more of your favorite brands to give you exclusive shopping discounts and deals (a total of ₱2M worth of vouchers are up for grabs!) and is set to give away a whopping ₱1M worth of raffle prizes. Plus, one lucky winner will drive home the ultimate Christmas gift: a brand new Suzuki S-Presso!

  • An expansive game world awaits
    Your gaming experience gets a level up with improved game designs and an exciting game world featuring new areas to explore—from shopping and dining zones to entertainment zones—like you’re really at an SM Supermall! Experience augmented reality malling, e-meet friends, and play fun games to earn virtual coins. Before that, have fun customizing your own avatar down to the hair, outfit, and accessories (shopping bag, included), so you can create a character that’s uniquely you. 
  • Enjoy fresh in-game features
    Get your family members in on the Christmas fever with the multiplayer option and stay connected while you play with the new chat and video-calling features. (Looking at you, social butterflies!) Be on the lookout for pop-ups, too, featuring special brand deets and surprise deals with every visit.
  • Earn shopping money every day

The more virtual coins you collect in-app, the more “shopping money” you get, which you can use to redeem vouchers from your favorite brands. Once you’ve claimed your vouchers virtually, you can use them at participating SM Mall branches nationwide—to pay for your Christmas shopping, dining, and more! You can also use your coins to unlock raffle entries and win one of the 20 major prizes at the end of the year. 

Some tips! 

  • Visit the village every day to earn more coins faster.
  • Excited to shop? You can spend your coins as soon as you earn them, but it pays to be patient, too. By accumulating your coins first, you’ll be able to redeem bigger rewards later on!
  • Make sure to explore all the zones and keep an eye out for hidden treasures and bonuses. 

A Christmas to remember

With restrictions easing up and COVID-19 vaccination rates at an encouraging high, this year’s holiday season surely is shaping up to be one to look forward to. If you’re jonesing for some real-life Christmas fun, though, you won’t be disappointed when you take a break from the metaverse and make your way to your favorite SM Supermalls instead! From the light shows and holiday centerpieces to all sorts of Christmas attractions, all things merry and bright await you and the whole family—and it all starts now! Check out all the holiday happenings here and have a #HappyChristmasAtSM!

The #SMChristmasVillage2022 will run from October 28, 2022 to January 5, 2023. Voucher redemption will be until January 31, 2023.

To stay updated on all things SM, follow SM Supermalls on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. SM implements strict #SafeMallingAtSM protocols nationwide and offers convenient shopping options via the SM Malls Online app, The SM Store, and ShopSM. (You can read more here.) For updates on mall hours and entry guidelines, click here

Hop into our mall-tiverse and score ₱3M worth of vouchers and prizes!
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