April 8, 2022 9:34 p.m.
ANTIPOLO – Jema Galanza took some of the spotlight from Tots Carlos’ crowning night, keying a decisive Creamline run in the fourth set as the Cool Smashers pounded out a 25-18, 15-25, 25-23, 25-16 victory over the Petro Gazz Angels to nail the Premier Volleyball League Open Conference crown before a jampacked crowd at the Ynares Center here Friday night.
Galanza sprayed three key points in varying fashions, helping Creamline break away from a tight 10-9 game and into a 17-11 lead then Alyssa Valdez did what she does best, closing out their rivals with her vaunted power blasts and an ace before Jia de Guzman and Celine Domingo capped their romp on a quick play.
As De Guzman fell on the floor and the Cool Smashers whooped it up before a raucous crowd of over 7,000, confetti rained down the court, marking the return of the Cool Smashers to the volley throne at the very venue where they left with heads bowed after falling to the Angels in the 2019 Reinforced Conference finals.
“It’s worth all the sacrifices after we came up short the first time out,” said Galanza, referring to their setback to the Chery TIggo Crossovers in the league’s pro inaugurals in Ilocos Norte last August where they won the series opener but dropped the next two.
Galanza finished with 17 points, all on attacks.
“It’s all mental toughness and the strategies that we made,” said Valdez, whose own three-point binge late in the frame put the team at match point. She went on to bag the Finals MVP honors, her first in PVL era, following a top-scoring 20-point effort she laced with three blocks.
The one-hour, 41-minute victory thus completed the crowd favorites’ eight-game sweep of the tournament, including a three-game romp in the group prelims, a lopsided win over PLDT in the quarters and a two-game domination of sister team Choco Mucho in the Final Four.
They needed four sets and a lot of patience and breaks before squeezing out a 25-16, 23-25, 25-12, 32-30 victory over the plucky Angels in Game One of the best-of-three finals at the MOA Arena in Pasay last Wednesday.
The title sweep likewise made up for the team’s failed bid to become the first winner of the league’s pro tournament. But they toughened up during the off-season, keeping the team intact while adding a player or two to further bolster their drive in the tournament that had to be compacted into a four-week tourney to give way for the national team’s preparation for next month’s Southeast Asian Games in Hanoi, the core of which are mainstays of the league.
The championship was Creamline’s fourth in six straight finals appearances, including three in the league’s centerpiece event. But it wasn’t all offense for the Cool Smashers, who came through with two blocks off Nicole Tiamzon to preserve their commanding lead in the clutch with Domingo producing five blocks.
Cignal HD, meanwhile, clinched third place honors after getting back at Choco Mucho, 25-18, 27-25, 22-25, 25-17, earlier as the HD Spikers edged the Flying Titans, 185-181, in the tiebreak.
Choco Mucho beat Cignal, also in four, 25-17, 25-21, 21-25, 25-22, in Game One at the MOA Arena last Wednesday.
Carlos earlier took the MVP title after a sustained power-packed performance in the compressed tournament where she normed 20.67 points before the finals. Other top performers were Cignal’s Ces Molina and Gretchel Soltones of Petro Gazz as best outside spikers; Rosely Doria and Ria Meneses, both of Cignal as best middle blockers; Cignal’s Gel Cayuna as best setter; and Dawn Macandili of F2 Logistics as best libero.
Carlos, the former UP stalwart, also bagged the best opposite spiker honors.
“I’m grateful to my teammates and the team management for their support. I’m so happy to win the MVP honors,” said Carlos, who finished with 16 points.
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.
Niantic, NBA, NBPA team up for NBA All-World
June 29, 2022 7:31 p.m.
NEW YORK — Niantic announced a partnership with the National Basketball Association and the National Basketball Players Association to create an original augmented reality mobile game: NBA All-World.
NBA All-World is a first-of-its-kind game that will place NBA fans into the real-world metaverse.
NBA All-World is a free-to-play officially licensed geolocation basketball game where players can find, challenge, and compete against today’s NBA ballers in their neighborhoods, then recruit them to their team before proving themselves on the court.
“NBA All-World represents an industry first in sports games, as an original, real-world AR game that will appeal to casual and core NBA fans alike,” said Marcus Matthews, Senior Producer at Niantic.
“We’re creating and designing a game that empowers players to represent where they’re from and showcase the culture of their neighborhood.”
“Through our partnership with Niantic, NBA All-World will provide fans across the globe the opportunity to fully immerse themselves into the energy and excitement of the NBA,” said Matt Holt, Head of Consumer Products at the NBA.
“Evident in the name of the game itself, we look forward to engaging with our fans around the world through this captivating experience.”
“NBA-All World gives us the opportunity to bring NBA players into Niantic’s real-world metaverse, opening up paths for fans to interact with them in a new way,” said Josh Goodstadt, EVP of Licensing for THINK450, the innovation engine of the NBPA.
“Niantic has proven experience building games that encourage engagement in local communities, and having our players integrated into NBA All-World adds to that immersion.”
Additionally, NBA All-World will embrace the fashion of the NBA, with users having the ability to outfit players in the game with custom apparel.
Players can sign-up to be notified when NBA All-World is available in their country by visiting NBAAll-World.com.
Those who sign up will be able to experience an exclusive All-World AR web experience and be the first to be notified about securing their codename for global launch.