So resumes title hunt vs Israeli GM

     Standings after eight rounds:
     6.5 points — A. Giri (Netherlands)
     5 – W. So (RP), H. Ni (China), E. l Ami (Netherlands)
     4.5 – A. Naiditsch (Germany), P. Harikrishna (India), D. ,Howell (England)
     4 – P. Negi (India)
     3.5 – E. ,Sutovsky (Israel)               
     3 — T. Nyback (Finland), A. Muzychuk (Slovenia), L. Nisipeanu (Romania)
     2.5 – D. Reinderman (Netherlands)    
     2 — V. ,Akobian (USA)
 
GM Wesley So goes for an all-important win against fifth seed GM Emil Sutovsky of Israel as he resumes his title hunt in the 72nd Corus chess tournament at the De Moriaan Community Centre in Wijk Aan Zee, Netherlands Tuesday.
So hopes to make the most of the white against Sutovsky, the last of five players ranked higher than the sixth-seed Filipino champion in the13-round Group B, Category 16 tournament.
After Sutovsky, So, toting a 2656 rating, will be taking on four players rated lower than him in the last four rounds, including GM Tomi Nyback of Finland, GM Anish Giri of the Netherlands, GM David Howell of England  and lone female participant IM Anna Muzychuk of Slovenia.
So is in joint second with Ni Ha of China and Erwin I’ Ami of the Netherlands with 5 points, 1.5 points behind solo leader Giri.
So needs to build momentum against Sutovsky and Nyback in time for his keenly-awaited 11th round match with Giri on Friday.
“He (So) must be able to narrow Giri’s lead to at least one point ahead of their 11th-round showdown,” said National Chess Federation of the Philippines (NCFP) executive/events director Willie Abalos. “It will be interesting to see how Giri will play black against Wesley.”

Davao’s Ikeda lead chase for top honors in 47th Southern Ladies golfest

The SEA Games gold medal winning team of Chihiro Ikeda of Davao City and Dottie Ardina will lead the chase for top honors in the 47th Southern Ladies golf tournament, which fires off Feb. 4 at the Iloilo Golf and Country Club in Sta. Barbara, Iloilo.

Ikeda and Ardina, along with US-based Mia Piccio bested the field regional rivals to capture the team gold in the last SEA Games in Laos with Ikeda completing the romp by winning the individual gold.

Although Ikeda and Ardina were foiled by ICTSI teammate Cyna Rodriguez in the recent Philippine Ladies Amateur Championship, the duo remains the players to beat in the three-day tournament, which will also feature the other top lady golfers from various golf clubs in the country.

Registration ends on Jan. 30 with fee pegged at P2,000, according to the organizing National Golf Association of the Philippines.

For details, contact NGAP at (02) 5179778, fax (02) 706-5926, 0917-560-7074 (Susan Facundo) or email at ngapgolf@hotmail.com or visit http://www.ngapgolf.com, or at IGCC at tel. No. (033) 523-9777 / 523-9779or fax (033) 523-9778.

Alice Andrada, NGAP treasurer and chairperson of the NGAP Ladies Committee, NGAP directors Frankie Locsin and Pablo Soon, Butch Jamerlan, IGCCI club manager, and Maggie Rivera, president of Iloilo Golf Ladies Chapter, will hit the ceremonial drive to kick off the tournament sponsored by the Philippine Sports Commission, WWWExpress-DHL Worldwide Express, DPC Yellow Pages, Hans Brumann Jeweler, Mizuno and Sarabia Manor Hotel.

Meanwhile, Sarabia Manor Hotel is offering big discounts for participants with the Travellers twin rooms pegged at P1,450, inclusive of breakfast for two. The economy twin room is P1,000 without breakfast while the De Luxe twin room is P2,000 with breakfast and P1,800 without breakfast. Events on tap are the individual, team competition and seniors division with the LAM-Am and practice round set on Feb. 3.

 Aside from the centerpiece Championship Flight, other titles to be disputed are Classes A, B, C and D. The seniors division will be for players 55 years old and above. The individual competition will be a 54-hole tournament under the Molave scoring format while the seniors and team event, a four-to-play, three-to-count format, will be played in the first two days over 36 holes using the Stableford scoring system (net of handicap).

Blacks, Reds take playoff advantage

MAYOR RODY-INDAY SARA INTER-MEDIA CAGEFEST

Blacks, Reds take playoff advantage

Games on Sunday, Semifinals

2:00 p.m.—Red vs. White

3:30 p.m.—Black vs. Green

On a day the games turned real serious, the Reds and the Blacks put away crucial tiffs on Sunday and got the win that mattered most.

The Reds uncorked a big windup in the final canto to turn back the hard-fighting Greens, 76-67, and then watched the Blacks escape over a hardluck White team, 74-66, in the other match to seal a twice-to-beat advantage in the playoffs of the Mayor Rody-Inday Sara Inter-Media Basketball Tournament at the Almendras Gym.

The troika of Rico Jones Biliran (Mindanews), Jerry Rentucan (ABS-CBN) and Norly Morata (GMA) conspired with a combined 54-point output to lift the Reds who missed the services of ace guard Terver “Inday Tanini” Quillano. Biliran fired 9 of his team-high 20 points in the crucial fourth quarter including a triple that doused cold water off the rallying Greens.

The Greenies were led by slotman Boom Jerios (GMA) with 23 and Carl Eric “Idol Dagul” Alindao (ABS-CBN). Jon Develos (Mindanao Times) had 9 but the Greens’ efforts in the endgame fell short.

“We fought hard but they really stood tough in the end,” said Romy Sabaldan of Sunstar, team captain of the Greens.

In the second match, the Blacks came back from a seven-point deficit in the first quarter to take the fight away from the Whites who missed around eight fastbreak opportunities in the endgame that could have turned it around.

The Blacks were up 63-62 with 3:14 left but Philip Tumaroy (ABS-CBN) and Belarmino missed two consecutive unmolested fastbreaks. Jun Digamon (GMA) fired a 10-footer to tow the Blacks ahead 65-62. Jet Encila (Sunstar) answered back for the Whites, 64-65, 2:08 left but Allan Abais (ABS-CBN) canned two free throws for a 67-64 cushion. Two more misses by Bennieboy Angchay (ABS-CBN) and Encila sealed the doom for the Whites who will now have to beat the Reds twice to get a finals berth.

The Blacks will meet the Greens with a twice-to-beat edge in the other semifinals set on Sunday.(NJB-City Sports)

GMA Kapuso network to support amateur boxing

GMA Kapuso and ABAP-Davao chapter officials will meet on Monday morning to prepare for the Kapuso Amateur Boxing Tournament in March.

This is another welcome development for the sport as a major television network is backing amateur boxing.

Davao City has produced many outstanding fighters during the time of the late ABAP-Davao president Cornelio “Bing” Reta III.

After his death, we saw the decline of amateur boxing development.

We hope that GMA Davao’s coming in, this will boost the sport where Pinoys excel internationally.

Smart Gilas 5 stuns Egypt, barges into semis

DUBAI – Smart Gilas Pilipinas flashed its resiliency as it battled back
from 15 points down to repulse Al Jazeera of Egypt, 82-78, and barge into the
semifinal round of the 21st Dubai Invitational at the Al Ahli Indoor Stadium
here early Thursday.
Mac Baracael, a 24-year-old pride of Pagbilao, Quezon, sizzled with tournament-high
24 points, including a fallaway jumper in the last two minutes that gave the
Filipinos the lead for good.
Skipper Chris Tiu then took over and drained five of his six free throws
in the last 14.8 seconds to complete the Nationals’ stirring comeback from 15
points down for the victory that set them up against Al Riyadi of Lebanon on
Friday (11 p.m. RP time).
Al Riyadi, backstopped by three American imports and two naturalized
players, turned back Fadi El Khatib and Champville also of Lebanon, 74-67, to
clinch the first semis seat.
“The guys played with a big fighting heart,” said RP’s Serbian
coach Rajko Toroman. “We were up from the start then we were down by 15
points and then rallied back and win the game. It’s amazing what we’re doing in
this tournament. I’m very satisfied and very proud of the players.”
The Filipinos, whose campaign here is sponsored by Smart and backed by
Nike and GMA Pinoy TV, also drew inspiration from more 2,500 OFWs who came to watch
and cheer them.
The taller, heftier Egyptians didn’t force the issue in the shaded lane
as they flaunted their shooting prowess, making eight triples, including three
by Sherif Gunaidi. But the gritty Filipinos switched from man-to-man to zone
defense then back to man-to-man to stifle Al Jazeera’s top gunners.
“They punished us with three-point shooting and it was very
difficult but these things showed the character of the team,” said
Toroman.
“We were coming from 15 points down and I changed from zone to
man-to-man because they put a big guy and we could not control his outside
shot,” he said.
Noli Eala, Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas executive director and head
of the RP delegation, said the team’s semis appearance is already a feat in
itself.
“Egypt was a very tough team, well coached and has good system plus
they were very aggressive. But I think in the end we showed we can match up
with their energy and that’s really the key to victory,” Eala said.
Eala said SBP chief Manny V. Pangilinan congratulated the team through
text and exhorted them to strive for more.
“He (Pangilinan) texted and he’s very happy, very proud of the team
asking the team to continue improving, getting better by the game. If victories
come, if finals will come, it will really be a big blessing,” said Eala.
“But the most important thing is that we continue to improve the
team so that we’ll be ready for the bigger and most important tournaments
ahead,” said Eala.
The game also produced a lot of heroes.
There was Marcio Lassiter, a Fil-Am out of CalState Fullerton who
provided the energy on both offense and defense and the talented backcourt
troika of skipper Chris Tiu, JV Casio and Mark Barroca.
Lassiter pumped in 10 points he spiked with two triples then came
through with a steal and a rebound down the stretch while Tiu, Casio and Barroca
kept the team together with their heady plays.
Jason Ballesteros also had a spectacular game as he played 30 minutes
and finished with seven points and seven rebounds while providing added muscle
underneath as American Jamal Sampson hobbled with an injured left knee.
Tiu had nine points, six assists, two steals and two rebounds.
“It was Mac Baracael who played incredibly. Ballesteros played the
entire second half and I think the entire first quarter and that’s hard banging
bodies with those guys, grabbing the crucial rebounds,” said Tiu.
“Everybody contributed, JV made the big plays. We’re very happy
with this win, I’m proud of the guys,” he added.

Smart Gilas notes: After the win, Baracael was approached by an Egyptian
offering him a juicy contract if he decides to play in Egypt as an import. The
former FEU stalwart, however, politely turned down the offer and reiterated his
100-percent commitment to Smart Gilas…For the first time in the tournament,
the Philippines’ national anthem was played before the game+…GMA Pinoy TV, one
of Smart Gilas’ sponsors, provided the Filipinos with RP flaglets.

The scores:
Smart Gilas 82 – Baracael 24, Barroca 13, Lassiter 10, Tiu 9,
Ballesteros 7, Sampson 4, Casio 9, Aguilar 3, Ababou 3, Cawaling 0
Al Jazeera 78 – Merill 25, Gendy 13, Na’em 12, Mishaal 10, S. Guneidi 9,
R. Guneidi 3, Saled 3, Badr 3, Mahmod 0, Ibrahim 0
Quarterscores: 17-23, 35-44, 58-59, 82-78.(pr)

Tropang Growee supports karate, judo,jiu jitsu tournaments at Gaisano Citimall

TROPANG Growee is supporting three upcoming and exciting martial arts competitions set next month all at the Gaisano Grand Citimall along Ilustre St. this city.

Darren Evangelista, president and CEO of the Evangelista Aquatics and Sports Management Inc. (EASMI) said that the Tropang Growee 3rd Tancontian Judo Championships and Jiu Jitsu Invitational will first be held on February 13, Saturday starting at 10 a.m.

Handling the two-in-one event is 8th time national judo champion Paolo Tancontian of the Tancontian Judo Club in coordination with the Holiday Gym and Spa and Rommel Tan of the Association for the Advancement of Karatedo (AAK).

Tan is handling the Tropang Growee 2010 Interschool Karatedo Age-Group Championships set on Feb. 20 also at Gaisano Grand Citimall featuring more than 100 karatekas from all over Mindanao.

All of the three events are age-group competitions with medals and trophies up for grabs.

The organizers want to discover new and young potentials, which can represent Davao City to the national or international tournaments.

Judo will have 18 categories, while jiu jitsu has 20 and karatedo with 40.

“This is just a start of our plan to hold a Martial Arts Festival in Davao. We want to show our unity from different sports,” said Tan, who is a former national team member.

Evangelista, on the other hand, said his company will also support the summer events in judo and karatedo under the Tropang Growee Sports Program.(pr)

Boxing at the Bay 2-Collision Course

MEDIA ADVISORY * * * *

BOXING AT THE BAY

EVENT ANNOUNCEMENT

PRESS CON

WHAT:         Boxing at the Bay 2 Collision Course

WHO:

Mr. Peter Chan , COO of Solar Entertainment

Brian Viloria

Carlos Tamara

Donnie Nietes

WHEN: 10:45 am | January 20, 2010 | Wednesday

WHERE:      Manila Hotel , Millennium Hall

*

WEIGH-IN

WHAT:         Boxing at the Bay 2 Collision Course (Weigh-In)

WHO:

Brian Viloria

Carlos Tamara

Donnie Nietes

*ALL BOXERS*

WHEN:         8:00 am | January 22, 2010 | Friday

WHERE:      Manila Hotel , Roma Salon

Event details will be announced at the press conference and all media are invited to attend the event.

For more information please contact:

Solar Entertainment  Corporation

DANA ANGELI S. ERRAZO

Press Relations Officer   |   TV Sports Networks

T: +632 813.7000 local 321

F: +632 812.9236

E: dana.errazo@solar-entertainment.com