Sports

ONE: Aoki ‘really good’ opponent for Askren’s swan song

That’s why Askren did not hesitate to take on the the former ONE Lightweight World Champion for his swan song on Friday in the ONE: Immortal Pursuit at Singapore Indoor Stadium.

“Shinya is a really good final opponent. Obviously, he is a legend of the sport, and he is a really big challenge on the ground, which is where I like to compete, personally. I am excited for this bout,” said Askren of the ONE Weltwerweight clash.
The former Beijing Olympian is looking to walk away from the sport with a spotless record, but that’s going to be easier said than done against of the best mixed martial artists in Asia.
But that challenge of going out with a victory against a legend like Aoki, who touts an impressive resume of submission victories earning him the monicker of “Tobikan Judan,” is what drew the American fighter to the World Championship bout.
“He is a grappler and has a great skill set that I respect, so I think it will be a great battle,” Askren said of Aoki, who is his teammate at EVOLVE MMA.

Expect the 33-year-old Askren, an outstanding wrestler in his college days, to take the fight to the ground, where he has earned a living through his undefeated eight-year career as pro.
“I said from day one that I am the best in the world at what I do, and this is what I am going to do every single time. I have been saying that since I started in 2009, and I believe it more strongly than ever because I have proved it 17 times now, and I am pumped to prove it again,” he stated.
“He’s going to stick around until I put him out.”

Back to academics for triumphant Lions

Red Lions coach Boyet Fernandez gets a victory lift after the Lions completed a sweep of the Lyceum Pirates to keep the NCAA cage crown Thursday at the Smart Araneta Coliseum. Joey Mendoza
MANILA, Philippines — The morning after San Beda pulled off a sweep in reverse over Lyceum to keep the NCAA men’s basketball crown, coach Boyet Fernandez exhorted his players to shift their focus to the other “championship” – academics.

With the exam week set in the first week of December in Mendiola, Fernandez stressed the need for his wards to double their effort and try to catch up in their respective classes.

“My next order of battle is checking on the players on how they are doing on their studies because we’ve been focusing on basketball the last three weeks,” said Fernandez a day after steering the Lions to their ninth crown in the last 11 seasons and a league-best 21st overall with a 2-0 sweep of their best-of-three series with the Pirates.

A registered nurse, Fernandez said academics, like basketball, would be the other “championship” his players should be striving for.

“We all know that you can’t play basketball forever and I want my players to have a life in case they stop playing,” said Fernandez.

In fact, the Lions, according to Fernandez, might skip the PBA D-League in January to give his players more time to focus on their studies, also a requirement for a player to be included in the team pool.

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“It’s a possibility because in the NCAA, you have to pass the second semester to get to play next season and if they couldn’t pass it, they couldn’t play,” said Fernandez. “But it will depend on boss MVP (Manny V. Pangilinan) if he wants us to play.”

In case they get to participate in the D-League, Fernandez wants to field in a school-based team so he could synchronize it with the Lions’ training and academic schedules.

He also expressed his concerns over fellow NCAA schools like LPU, Jose Rizal, St. Benilde and Perpetual Help that are going to field in teams in the D-League.

“I just don’t want to be left behind. Also, Bolick and (Javee) Mocon improved a lot by playing in the D-League,” he said.

San Beda is also scheduled to see action in the Champions’ League, a tournament among the country’s collegiate champions, which will be revived next year.

“It will be a good tournament for us,” he said.

But after besting the elims in the just- concluded NCAA Finals, Fernandez said it would be better for his wards to concentrate first on their upcoming exam before going back to the drawing board.

NU lords over UAAP taekwondo, wins first men’s title, defends women’s crown

DOUBLE CHAMPIONSHIP. The National University taekwondo team takes the top spot of the podium in both the men's and women's divisions. Photo by Delfin Dioquino/Rappler 

MANILA, Philippines – The tides have turned in UAAP taekwondo as the National University reigned supreme in both men’s and women’s divisions this Season 80 at the Blue Eagle Gym in the Ateneo de Manila University from November 15-17. 

Both teams went undefeated in the tournament as the men’s squad nabbed its first UAAP title while the women’s team defended the crown it won last year. 

 

“History, hindi ako makapaniwala until now dahil napakalakas ng mga teams na natalo namin, especially UST,” said NU coach Jeffrey Figueroa. 

(History, I still cannot believe because we defeated strong teams, especially UST.) 

UP had its best finish in recent years in the men’s division by bagging silver while 4-peat-seeking UST slipped to third place. 

Ateneo landed second place in women’s play while UP clinched 3rd, leaving perennial podium-winners UST at 4th place. 

NU’s Arven Alcantara and Rheza Aragon were named Most Valuable Players in their respective divisions. – Rappler.com

 
 

San Beda sweeps LPU to retain NCAA crown

Wikicommons file
The San Beda Red Lions clinched their second straight NCAA championship after sweeping the LPU Pirates in the best-of-three finals on Thursday at SMART-Araneta Coliseum.

The Red Lions defeated the Pirates in Game Two, 92-82, to successfully defend their title and hoist their 21st basketball crown, the most in league history.

Robert Bolick scored 18 points, nine of which came in the pivotal fourth quarter where he knocked down crucial baskets to deliver the victory to San Beda.

Donald Tankoua registered 17 points and 17 rebounds in the title-clinching game to earn Finals MVP honors. He averaged 22 points and 18.5 rebounds in the series.

The Red Lions ended the game on a 19-6 run, with Bolick knocking down the dagger triple with 50 seconds left to take the fight out of the Pirates.

League MVP CJ Perez tallied 22 points and four rebounds but couldn’t lift LPU to even a single win in the finals. The Pirates had swept all of the 18 games in the elimination round before going winless in the title series.

Kia trades LA Revilla to Phoenix after blasting Picanto’s controversial trade

The Kia Picanto has decided to part ways with top guard LA Revilla who earlier questioned the team’s decision to give away the No.1 pick in this year’s draft.

The Picanto sent Revilla to the Phoenix Fuel Masters in exchange for rookie Jayson Grimaldo and a 2018 second-round draft pick.

The deal was first reported by Gerry Ramos of Spin.ph on Wednesday.

In an interview with Nelson Beltran of Philippine Star, team executive Bobby Rosales expressed “disappointment” with Revilla, whom he regarded as the “face of Kia”, after the guard posted a tweet blasting the Picanto for giving up the No.1 pick to powerhouse San Miguel Beermen in a controversial trade.

Revilla’s tweet, which has been taken down, read: “Kung magpapalusot man lang sana ginandahan niyo na ang rason. Hindi talaga eh. Bagsak kayo sigurado kung may lie detector.”

In the deal, Kia received three seldom-used SMB players and a future pick. The Beermen used the No.1 pick to nab Filipino-German center Chrsitian Standhardinger in this year’s draft.

Kia defended the head-scratching trade, deeming it as necessary in its shift to an “unconventional and positionless” style of play.

Revilla, who made the All-Star last year, averaged 6.5 points, 3.6 boards and 5.1 assists in his last conference with Kia.

5 surfers emerge victorious in Lanuza Surfing Festival

Photo by Michael Eijansantos
LANUZA, Surigao Del Sur– Neil Sanchez (Baler), Mark Aguila (Baler), Daisy Valdez (La Union), Nilbie Blancada (Siargao) and Gabriel Lerog (Siargao) came out victorious in the 15th Lanuza Surfing Festival, the second leg of the Philippine Surfing Championship Tour.

Sanchez, 19, from Baler claimed the Men’s Shortboard title in a 30-minute duel against current PSCT rank 1 Philmar Alipayo. Sanchez built his momentum all week by practicing and observing the best possible position in Doot Poktoy where the waves were consistent, giving him the advantage to execute his arsenal of vertical snaps and aerials.

Sanchez scored seven during the early minutes of the finals when he landed two 360 aerials on a single wave which gave him a good headstart. He then went after another high scoring wave and landed another 360 aerial. The judges rewarded Sanchez an 8.0 score which sealed his victory over Alipayo.

“Sa umpisa palang binigay ko na ‘yung best ko. Nakalamang ako ng malaking puntos kasi maganda ‘yung bigay ng mga alon. ‘Yung gitna lang ‘yung talagang pinuwestuhan ko kahit na alam ko mawawala ‘yung priority kasi hindi dun ‘yung peak ng alon pero kasi maganda ‘yung wall dun sa may gitna. Noong na-perfect ko ‘yung pag-land sa dalawang aerial, sobrang saya ko. Doon palang nagkaroon na ko ng kumpyansa na may chance ako manalo,” Sanchez said.

PSCT Siargao leg Champion and current #1 Philmar Alipayo gave epic exchanges of maneuvers with Sanchez. Alipayo needed an 8.35 score to take the lead but failed to land his aerials to get the scores he needed to advance.

In the Men’s Longboard Division, Mark Aguila from Baler outscored Loynex Ruina, who took the second place, as well as Benito Nerida and Jeff Dela Torre, both from La Union, for third place.

Aguila showcased his classic longboarding style and was able to execute hang fives and hang tens flawlessly. Aguila posted an 8.0 score during the early minutes, the highest average score in his division.

In the Women’s Longboard Division, Daisy Valdez retained her crown as the undisputed longboard champion in Lanuza for years and rose above Maricel Pajares as well as Ikit and Aping Agudo from Siargao. Daisy managed to use her knowledge and experience of the surf spot, having competed in Lanuza for many years.

The Women’s Shortboard Division was dominated by Nilbie Blancada and claimed her victory against Dianne Nogalo, Jolina Uriarte and Pinky Alipayo, all from Siargao. The young wahines did not hold back against the multi-awarded 2016 Asian Champion, which in return became a learning experience for them, having Blancada as their main surfing inspiration.

The Grommets (16 & under) put up a great battle. Siargao power grom Gabriel Lerog took the early lead with snaps and cutbacks, claiming his best wave score of 6.25. Christian Araquel took the second place followed by Aram Laudes and John Nogalo for the equal third.

At 14 years of age, Lerog is considered to be one of the most promising surf athletes from Siargao. He got qualified to compete at this year’s WSL Qualifying Series in Siargao last month. From there, he adapted quickly and showed a lot of improvements in his surfing skills.

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