Sports

Reyes gets his birthday wish as complete Gilas 12 attend practice

Photo: Chot Reyes. (File photo from AFP)


Desperate to have a full lineup in his national team practices, Gilas Pilipinas coach Chot Reyes’ birthday wish was finally been granted when all the players named in the 2017 Fiba Asia Cup and 2017 Southeast Asian Games rosters showed up Monday at Meralco Gym.
Absent for the past sessions, Calvin Abueva made his long awaited return, much to the delight of the outspoken mentor who turns 54 on Tuesday.
“Got an early bday wish granted – our 1st complete practice!” he posted on his Twitter account with an accompanying video of the team doing the drills.

Also present for the session were Fiba Asia-bound players June Mar Fajardo, Jayson Castro, Terrence Romeo, Gabe Norwood, Japeth Aguilar, Jio Jalalon, Matthew Wright, Roger Pogoy, Raymond Almazan, Christian Standhardinger, and Carl Cruz.
Practice player Ed Daquioag was also in attendance.
The cadet-laden SEA Games crew also made their presence felt, with Kiefer Ravena, Ray Parks, Kobe Paras, Raymar Jose, Mike Tolomia, Almond Vosotros, Von Pessumal all present.
Mac Belo rounded out the set for the evening sessions.
Curiously, PBA commissioner Chito Narvasa also paid the national team a visit. /atm

 

Mayweather-McGregor is a stale act already

Image: This July 13, 2017, photo shows Floyd Mayweather Jr., left, and Conor McGregor, of Ireland, facing each other for photos during a news conference at Barclays Center in New York. So far fans aren’t exactly storming the box office to buy tickets for Mayweather Jr.’s fight next month with McGregor. A check online Saturday, July 29, 2017 revealed hundreds _ even thousands _ of seats still available from Ticketmaster at the T-Mobile arena for the Aug. 26 fight. There are so many open seats that fans with enough room left on their credit cards can buy six tickets together in 162 different spots throughout the arena. AP


LAS VEGAS, United States — There’s a reason tons of good seats remain for what was supposed to be the year’s hottest ticket.
Actually, there are two reasons the hype bubble surrounding the fight between Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Conor McGregor has been punctured, at least a bit.
In their quest to extract every dollar possible, promoters wildly miscalculated their audience. This isn’t boxing, with an established wealthy fan base willing to pay thousands of dollars as they did for Mayweather’s 2015 fight with Manny Pacquiao.

The 20-something UFC fans that are driving this promotion for the most part don’t have 10 grand to blow on a pair of seats. They’ll have to be content to sit in front of the television with a few friends, cheering on McGregor from the couch instead of inside the arena.
The other reason might be that the con job that is Mayweather and McGregor has been exposed. And, in a revealing twist, it was done by the fighters themselves.
The drama has already played out, almost before it really got started. The act is tired, as anyone who saw the media tour or watched the first “All Access” episode on Showtime can attest.
See Floyd play with his money. Watch Conor model fur coats and boast that his net worth will quadruple.
Listen as they scream profanities at each other, then try not to laugh at the inside joke they share as they face off for photographers.
It’s all a big tease, a fantasyland built on dreams and hopes. It’s as phony as the $100 million check that Mayweather likes to wave around when the truth is he can’t even afford to pay his taxes without selling some of his assets.
That’s enough to sell it to home viewers at $99.95 apiece. It’s entertainment, much like Wrestlemania, and a good excuse to get a few friends together for a party.
But it’s a little tougher to justify $15,000 (plus $1,292.81 in service fees) for two seats in Section 4, Row S of the T-Mobile arena that are so far from ringside you’ll need to spend another $100 for a pair of binoculars to see the action.

The bottom line is that there’s no there there. This is more reality show than fight, and the reality is that it’s such an awful mismatch that Nevada boxing regulators should be ashamed of themselves for even sanctioning it.
But Mayweather is starved for cash, and doesn’t mind making a fool of himself to replenish his bank account. The boxer who likes to wear hats proclaiming himself “TBE'” (The Best Ever) is so desperate to sell this fight that he’s promoting it by suggesting he’s not that good anymore.
“That’s what makes this fight so entertaining,” Mayweather said on the All Access show. “I’m not the Mayweather of the past.”
He’s right, because the Mayweather of the past was at least mildly interesting. But the money act is as dated as the check from the Pacquiao fight that Mayweather seems to have trouble cashing.
Gone are the days when he and 50 Cent used to toss around stacks of bills, then head out in the Bugatti to the strip clubs to throw dollar bills at dancers. The Big Boy mansion doesn’t seem so big anymore, and there are only so many times you can watch Mayweather sitting in his private jet.
The same holds true for McGregor. His fur coats seem nice enough — though it’s hard to be sure the one he wore at the media tour stop in New York was really made of polar bear — and he’s thrown out a few genuinely funny lines.
But it mostly feels forced, like the UFC star has been rehearsing too long. Yes, it’s easy to mock Mayweather for allegedly not being able to read, but 50 Cent delivered the same material years ago after he and Mayweather had a nasty split.
Indeed, by the time the tour hit New York the trash talk was stale. Aside from the F-bombs thrown out like red meat to the eager crowd, there wasn’t anything that screamed “Buy me!” about the fight.
And to think there are three more All Access episodes remaining. That’s about three too many for this one-trick pony.
Still, the bottom line is that McGregor’s true believers really believe. They’re putting money on their man despite the fact he has no chance — other than something truly bizarre happening — inside the ring. They may not be able to afford seats in the arena but they will buy the pay-per-view in numbers that rival the 4.6 million sold for Mayweather-Pacquiao.
Expanding that outside the core of fans driving this fight will be more difficult, though, as shown by the resistance to the insanely inflated ticket prices.
Proof, perhaps, that even a freak show is worth only so much. CBB

 

Abueva slot hangs

Photo:Calvin Abueva showed up at Alaska and Gilas Pilipinas’ practices on Monday but still stands to be fined heavily by his mother PBA ballclub for missing more than a week in practice without informing the coaching staff or management.
Citing “family matters,” Abueva, before working out with the Aces, talked to coach Alex Compton and team manager Dickie Bachmann.
He also apologized to his teammates, whom he left hanging in a game against Star over the weekend.
Alaska is reeling from three straight defeats in the Governors’ Cup elimination round and the Aces don’t need distractions of this sort as they try to end the season on a high note and salvage their tournament with eight games left in their schedule.
But talking to team members will not spare Abueva from being fined heavily as he violated team policy by not informing anyone of his absence.
“We will talk about it,” Bachmann told the Inquirer when asked what kind of penalties Abueva will be facing from the team.
“Definitely, he violated team rules and we are very strict with those at Alaska.”
Bachmann also said “The Beast” will meet with team owner Wilfred Steven Uytengsu on Tuesday.
“We’re here to guide him and all of our players, actually, with whatever problems they are having—whether that is about basketball or family,” Bachmann said.
Bachmann said Abueva assured them that he was going to attend the practice of Gilas, which is preparing for the Fiba Asia Championship scheduled in Lebanon from Aug. 8 to 20.
Showing up on Monday night would save his spot in the national five and possibly give coach Chot Reyes the benefit of a full roster at practice with just over a week remaining for the regional showcase.
Abueva, who saw action for Gilas in the Southeast Asia Basketball Association (Seaba) championship in Manila three months ago, is seen as a vital cog in the squad because of his versatility. He can play big despite his size and defend against smaller players because of his speed.

On Sunday night, Reyes issued an ultimatum to Abueva that he would be dropped from the team if he fails to show up on Monday for practice.

 

CPA adds women's section

The Association of Professional Cyclists (CPA) announced this week that it has added a women's chapter at the latest meeting of its Board of Directors.

Former Italian pro racer Alessandra Cappellotto, the 1997 road world champion, will lead the section, which will focus on improving business aspects for female racers.

"The women riders need support to see the respect of their essential rights in terms of insurance, security, employment contracts and retirement," Cappellotto said in a CPA press release. "There is so much to do and we believe that through the CPA it will be easier to achieve our goals and give the women's cycling a better future."

There has been talk of the CPA adding a women's section since ex-pro Iris Slappendel was invited to speak at the union's meeting in February.

"The CPA say they want to support a women's cycling union," Slappendel said to Cyclingnews earlier this year. "We are making a plan - women have so many different issues from the men. Legal assistance, good insurance, education about rights and resources. It's more important than minimum wage, I think. [Women] want a really professional team, not some crazy manager/director/mechanic/someone's boyfriend who runs everything."

CPA President Gianni Bugno supported the idea from the beginning, and urged all CPA members to provide women racers with the necessary support in their respective countries.

"I believe that our federative model is the best solution to meet the territorial needs and bring them to an institutional level through the CPA, the same way as for the male athletes," Bugno said. "We realised that even the male professional riders are looking for some better conditions for their female colleagues and we will do everything possible to make this happen."

Fil-Brit boxer John Marvin aiming for SEA Games gold

Fil-Brit boxer John Marvin with the Philippine national boxing team. (Photo courtesy of @johnmarvin9424 on Twitter)
Standing at 6'1, Filipino-Britsh John Marvin looks like he'll fit in quite will among the towers of Gilas Pilipinas.

When the Southeast Asian Games kick off in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia this coming August however, Marvin won't be putting his sneakers on.

Instead, he'll be lacing up his boots, wrapping his hands, and putting on some boxing gloves.

That's right, the Isle of Wight, England-born Marvin will be flying the Philippine flag inside the squared circle.

“As soon as I heard there's an 81-kg spot for the Southeast Asian Games for the Philippines, it just fell at the right time for me,” Marvin said, via ABS-CBN News' Dennis Gasgonia. “It's something I've always wanted to do, so I jumped into the opportunity for something so big,”

The 24-year old Marvin, who's also ranked as a Lance Corporal in the British Army, began throwing hands at the age of 17, saying that boxing was the only thing he got into as a kid.

And while he's seen his fair share of competition back in Europe, the half-Kapampangan slugger says he's never competed at the SEA Games level before.

“I was a semifinalist in the nationals back in the amateur Boxing Association of England, did a lot of boxing events in Scotland, there's lots of various ones," Marvin said. "But nowhere as big as the Southeast Asian Games,”

National team head coach Boy Velasco had nothing but praise for the SEA Games bet, who'll be competing at light-heavyweight, a division that isn't common to Filipinos.

“Sa tangkad niya, maganda iyong hubog ng katawan niya. Panlaban talaga at mabilis din naman,”

For Marvin, his objective at the upcoming games is clear and simple: win.

“I'm going to aim for the gold . . . nothing less."

The 2017 Southeast Asian Games kick of on August 19th in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Keep it here for more SEA Games news and updates.

H/T: ABS-CBN News

British coach visits Gilas practice, shares tips

Photo: British tactician Tem Lewis who once handled Thailand. | Contributed Photo/Joaqui Flores
MANILA, Philippines — At Gilas’ first practice for the FIBA Asia Cup, the team had a guest—a familiar face, one who has sat on the opposite of the Philippines’ bench.

Tim Lewis, who served as the mentor of the Thailand national team in the SEABA hostilities last May, shared strategies to the team Thursday night at the Upper Deck gym in Pasig City.

“It’s a very loose situation, so there’s no contract. It’s just that I’m glad to help out,” Lewis, a former NBA Development League assistant coach, said.

“It’s a casual basis. I mean, I’ve come over as a guest to Josh (Reyes)—be around him, talk about basketball,” the British tactician said. “[Chot] offered me the opportunity to just—I thought I would come to watch the practices and then you know, they gave me an opportunity to be on the floor.”

“It’s just an opportunity to coach basketball somewhere else in the world. I appreciate them giving me the opportunity,” he furthered.

Lewis is in town for a partnership with TNT KaTropa, according to Reyes.

“So since he asked if he could come to practice. We said sure, on the condition that that there are some stuff that we want to also put into our defense. That’s why he’s here,” he explained.

Lewis picked up the cudgels from Josh midway the night and shared some defensive schemes to the fifth iteration of the Gilas squad.

“Just some different defensive concepts and things like that,” the mentor said when about the tactics. “Then coach will take it away and then decide whether or not that what he wants to do.”

Asked about his assessment of the lineup, Lewis noted that it’s too early to give one. But on the other hand, he is ecstatic over the firepower that this crew flaunts.

“It’s hard to see in just a practice environment. But I mean, you got so many tools here, weapons. So much depth at each spot. And the way that you play is at an up-tempo style of basketball cause you’ve adopted because of the size or the lack of size at times,” he said.

“I think it’s exciting times for PH basketball. And you’re never scared to bring in these younger guys, too,” he offered. “It’s impressive. It’s a well-oiled machine. It’s a really good job done by you guys.”

Gilas Pilipinas will be heading to Beirut, Lebanon for the tournament slated from August 8-20.

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