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Obiena leads PH’s most productive day in SEA Games

May 14, 2022 7:23 p.m.

HANOI – Olympian Ernest John Obiena easily retained his pole vault title and the Philippines, in its most productive day yet, also struck gold in triathlon, jiu-jitsu, fencing, and gymnastics Saturday to boost its bid for a top-three finish even as host Vietnam moved out of reach in the 31st edition of the Southeast Asian Games here.

Kim Mangrobang, at 30 still very much competitive, broke away from the pack in the bike leg of the 1.5K swim, 40K bike, and 10K run event and won her third straight SEA Games crown pulling away while Fil-Spanish Fernando Tan Caseres, 26, proved to be a very able successor to compatriot John Leerams “Rambo” Chicano, topping the men’s race in 1:56.57.

The twin victories, which duplicated the two-gold sweep by triathlon in the 2019 Philippine Games, started the ball rolling for the Filipinos, who also got gold medals from jiu-jitsu fighters Meggie Ochoa in the women’s minus 48kg class and Annie Ramirez in the women’s minus 62kg division and fencer Samantha Catantan in the women’s foil event.

As dusk set in, Fil-Am Aleah Finnegan, a former US national team member, led the national team to the gold medal in women’s artistic gymnastics at the Quan Ngura Sports Palace with a score of 184.500. Vietnam settled for the silver with 183.800 while Singapore was third with 182.500 points.

Finnegan also won the all-around silver medal, scoring 48.250 points in four apparatus – balance beam, floor exercise, vault, and uneven bars – with the gold going to Indon Rifda Irfanaluthfi who scored 49.650.

The last time the Philippines won a medal in women’s artistic gymnastics was in the 2001 Kuala Lumpur Games, with Pia Adelle Reyes leading the way.

The seven-gold medal haul raised the country’s total to 12, counting the gold medals retained by kickboxers Gina Iniong-Araos and Jean Claude Saclag after midnight last Friday.

Obiena, one of the world-class stars on the national team funded by the Philippine Sports Commission, found no worthy opposition and handily won the gold with a leap of 5.46 meters at the My Dinh National Stadium, his every leap lapped up by the appreciative crowd.

He tried to set a new Asian mark, raising the bar to 5.94 meters, but failed after three tries although this hardly mattered as he successfully defended his title won in a breakthrough performance in 2019 back home.

“I’m relieved and happy to win the gold. I came here as a favorite and finally delivered. Mission accomplished,” said Obiena, 26, the Asian record holder at 5.93 meters.

Pinoy athletes also added six more silver medals to the mix, two of them courtesy of triathlete Andrew Kim Remolino and wushu practitioner Agatha Wong, along with six more bronze medals for an overall tally of 12-18-17, good for fourth.

With its athletes boosted by hometown fans, Vietnam improved to 34-21-28, with Indonesia a distant second (13-16-4) and Malaysia a fighting third (13-7-20). Thailand was running a close fifth with a 10-13-25 tally.

What started out as a good day, however, ended badly for the Philippines as the Gilas men’s and women’s 3×3 teams failed to retain the crowns won in 2019, depriving the Philippines of at least two more gold medals.

The Gilas women’s team was beaten by Thailand in the semifinals, their 14-21 loss reducing some team members to tears. Thailand eventually won the gold at the expense of Vietnam while Gilas was shut out, losing to Indonesia 10-16 in the battle for third.

The quartet of Janine Pontejos, Afril Bernardino, Clare Castro, and Angelica Surada, who also lost by the same score to the vastly-improved Thai side last Friday, finished with an even 3-3 mark in the eliminations for the No. 4 spot in the semifinals, being ranged anew against the Thais.

The Thais got back at the Filipinas, who defeated them for the gold medal three years ago in the Philippine SEA Games.

The Gilas men’s team of Brandon Ganuelas-Rosser, Jorey Napoles, Marvin Hayes, and Reymar Caduyac lost to Thailand 17-21 in the semifinals and settled for the bronze after beating Indonesia 14-10.

Basketball action takes a one-day break before the start of the 5-on-5 tournament on Monday.

The Gilas Pilipinas men’s squad, backed by a mix of players from the PBA, Japan B. League, and the cadet pool of the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas, arrived here early Saturday morning.

The Gilas Pilipinas women also arrived here, even going to the 3×3 tournament to support their teammates that will also be playing in the 5-on-5 battle.

Remolino of Cebu, 22, retained the silver medal he won in the 2019 Philippine SEA Games by clocking 3:59.16 while Wong, considered the face of wushu after dominating the taijiquan event in the 2017 and 2019 games, lost her grasp on the gold, scoring 9.69 points for the silver. The gold went to Alisya Mellynar of Indonesia, who scored 9.71.

The victory of the women’s gymnastics team came a day after Caloy Yulo won the men’s all-around individual title.

Yulo will be back in action Sunday, competing in the floor exercise finals where he once reigned as world champion; pommel horse and rings. The action starts at 2 p.m.

On Monday, he sees action in the vault, where he is the reigning world champion; parallel bars, and high bar.

NEWS

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.

Mallgoers played through the NBA Iconic Shots Challenge, which allowed participants to test their shooting skills from five different locations on the court. 

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.

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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.

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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.

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