Dadiangas Torpedoes rule SarBay swim again, break own record

The Dadiangas Torpedoes team 1 from nearby tuna capital General Santos City again asserted their supremacy at sea by crossing first the finish line of this year’s 15-kilometer swim relay competition Friday (May 24) and breaking their own record.

This time the Torpoedos team 1 clocked-in at 2:34:21, followed by Lady Pipay Team from Kamanga, Maasim (2:52:24) and Captain Rajik Kudarat (2:56:27) in the most grueling sport of Sarangani Bay Festival, the biggest beach party in Mindanao.

The swim started in Maasim and landed in Glan.

It was in 2007 that the Torpedoes set their first championship record of 2:50:15.

Team leader Nikita Dacera said the race this year was “easier compared to last time. Smoother ‘yung seas ngayon, hindi masyadong maalon and hindi ganun kainit kasi may cloud cover.”

“The risk,” he said, “aside from makainom ka ng tubig, is nothing.”

Asked on their game plan, Dacera humbly replied “we just swim our best, followed the spotter and communication between the teammates. Kasi kung hindi, mawawala kami. Kailangan namin ‘yung cooperation at teamwork.”

With the 2-minute swim switching requirement, the team executed about 15 relays.

Dacera said he also experienced joining open-sea competitions in Cebu and sometimes in international races but according to him Sarangani’s swim across-the-bay is “more fun kasi meron ng teammates. Kasi if we compare it with others, mag-isa ka lang. Here we have camaraderie at merong teammates na magcheer-on sa iyo. I would recommend it to other swimmers na magsali din dito.”

Torpoedos team coach Hurry Dacera said the team trained everyday whole year round. “But the senior guys, they just got back from Manila so the training that they got was not really solid. They just trained a couple of months.”

Two of the team members are studying at Ateneo de Manila and University of the Philippines while the rest are high school students in General Santos City.

The coach said the competition this year was “more relaxed, more organized and we have a very, very good boatman.”

He said, “this is a real challenge and it’s also a lot of fun. Compared to other competitions, this is more enjoyable.”

“In my opinion,” he said, “the risk is very low. It’s safe if you know what you are doing and I don’t recommend it to swimmers who are really not fit but I would consider it as low risk.”

He pointed out “it’s still a strenuous competition and you’re going to have to swim sometimes over big waves or against the current. After all it is a 15-kilometer swim so it is really strenuous as well.”

There are other open-water swim races like 5-kilometer and 10-kilometer laps but Sarangani’s swim-across-the-bay “is the longest in the country.”

Event organizer Nimrod Butil said unexpected teams got to excel this time except for the Torpoedos who have been the consistent champion. This is their 6th win here.

There are supposedly a total of 10 teams to join this year but Butil reported a team from Marbel which also has been consistent in second place was not able to make it as two of its teammates are still in Hongkong.

Sultan team ranked 4th place (3:00:22) while Torpedoes team 3 (3:02:06), Torpedoes team 2 (3:10:39), Kidapawan Swim team (3:32:47), Kamanga team (3:36:58) and Tri Generals team (3:50:10), ranked 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th and 9th respectively.

48-year old Joy Co, the oldest in the race, said joining the swim-across-the-bay “feels great. I never thought that I would be able to do this. Another life achievement. We enjoyed the race.”

He said there are many competitive ways to enjoy the bay. “It is good. The bay is more majestic if you are swimming in the bay than just riding in the boat. You get a deeper view when you’re swimming out there to enjoy at the middle of the bay.”

Eleven year-old Alyssa Damasco from Kabacan, Cotabato was the youngest swimmer. She said the swim was “mahirapan kung sa part ko pero masaya.” She started to learn swimming at nine and has been joining pool competitions. This is her first time to join an open-ocean swim race.(Bev Paoyon)


Palawan’s Santos posts rare tennis sweep

Alexie Santos knocked off three rivals, including two top seeds, to sweep three titles in the Palawan Pawnshop age-group tennis circuit presented by Babolat at the Mactan Island Lawn and Airbase Tennis Courts in Cebu over the weekend.

Santos, one of the rising stars from talent-rich Puerto Princesa, Palawan, toppled Zethley Alferez, 6-1, 6-2, to cop the girls’ 14-and-under crown then repeated over the same No. 1 rival, 6-1, 6-3, to annex the 16-and-U diadem last Saturday.

She kept the momentum of those twin victories and humbled top seed Jana Pagers, 6-3, 6-2, to snatch the premier 18-and-U plum and complete a rare three-title sweep in the tournament sponsored by Palawan Pawnshop, headed by COO Bobby Castro, and Technosports president Guillermo Nocom,

The wins came after Santos, 13, bagged the 14- and 16-and-U titles in the first of two Group 2 tournaments held in Cebu at the Consolacion Tennis Courts last week, validating her claim as one of the most talented and rising players in the ranks.

Sebastian Mosqueda, meanwhile, scored a repeat of his own sweep of two plums last week as the top Cagayan de Oro bet trounced Julian Dayrit twice, 6-1, 3-6, 6-2, in the 16-and-U finals and 6-3, 6-1 in the 18-and-U class of the event, part of the nationwide circuit sanctioned by the Philippine Tennis Association.

Fifth ranked Clyde Laquio scored a 6-0, 4-1 (ret.) win over Jabs Barcenas to pocket the boys’ 14-and-U crown while second seed Christian Unto upended No. 1 Diego Dayrit, 6-2, 6-0, to claim the boys’ 12-and-U plum.

Shyryn Salazar bounced back from a first set setback to beat Bliss Bayking, 3-6, 6-2, 6-2, and annex the girls’ 12-and-U title while Diego Dayrit played true to form and ruled the 10-unisex category with a 6-2, 6-1 romp over Sebastian Santos.(pr)

Lady Bulldogs roar back at Eagles, force ‘rubber’

Shakey's V-League in action

Dindin Santiago soars for a kill against Ateneo’s Marge Tejada during Game Two of their title series in the Shakey’s V-League Season 10 First Conference at the MOA Arena.

National University got back at Ateneo – in grand fashion, scoring a vengeful 26-24, 25-23, 25-22 victory to force a sudden death for the coveted Shakey’s V-League Season 10 First Conference crown before a big Sunday crowd at the MOA Arena in Pasay City.

The Lady Bulldogs held off the rallying Lady Eagles in the opening set, fought back to snatch the second frame then dominated their three-peat seeking rivlas in the third to silence the pre-dominantly Ateneo crowd and clinch the victory that sent the best-of-three series to a winner-take-all affair.

The rubber match will be played June 2 at the Philsports Arena in Pasig City, which will also be shown live starting at 1 p.m. on GMA News TV Channel 11, according to the organizing Sports Vision.

UST likewise forced a deciding Game Three in their own series for third with Adamson, hacking out a 24-26, 25-17, 25-20, 25-17, earlier.

“They played relaxed and confident after playing tight in our Game One loss,” said NU mentor Edjet Mabbayad in Filipino.

The Lady Eagles, who scored a surprise 25-15, 25-22, 25-23 win in the series’ opener last Thursday, threatened to extend the match in the fourth set when they fought back from nine points down in the third to close within 22-24.

But the Lady Bulldogs came out of the crucial huddle an organized lot with Rubie de Leon, doing what she does best, setting up Carmina Aganon from behind for the vicious kill that pierced through Ateneo’s defense, the ball bouncing off in the center that ended the one-hour, 26-minute encounter.

The Lady Bulldogs finally shook off the championship jitters so evident in their Game One loss with tournament best attacker Myla Pablo and MVP and best scorer Dindin Santiago combining in offense and the 6-4 Jaja Santiago and De Leon providing the stonewall defense that foiled a number of Ateneo attacks all throughout.

“In Game One, I was a little nervous to tell you all honestly so I’m glad to play my game and help my team to victory,” said the 6-2 Dindin Santiago, 19.

Pablo topscored for NU with 15 hits, including 13 kills, while Dindin Santiago unloaded 12 spikes and Aganon finished with eight markers. Jaja Santiago, Aiko Urdas and De Leon wound up with seven points apiece.

Alyssa Valdez came back from a six-point Game One performance while playing limited minutes with a 17-hit production but failed to rally the Lady Eagles, who struggled with their reception and offense in the face of the Lady Bulldogs’ solid net defense.

Thai import Jeng Bualee, acquired to bolster Ateneo’s frontline rotation, made 15 hits and Amy Ahomiro added seven points but Rachel Ann Daquis struggled with just four markers and Fille Cainglet failed to hit her stride and ended up with three hits.

Finally imposing their will on the net, the Lady Bulldogs pooled 45 spikes as against Ateneo’s 37 and came through with 10 blocks, doubling their rivals’ output.(pr)

Towering 6-4 Jaja Santiago goes for a spike against Ateneo’s Jeng Bualee during Game Two of their title series in the Shakey’s V-League Season 10 First Conference at the MOA Arena.
Towering 6-4 Jaja Santiago goes for a spike against Ateneo’s Jeng Bualee during Game Two of their title series in the Shakey’s V-League Season 10 First Conference at the MOA Arena.

Que turns 4-stroke deficit to 4-stroke win over Davao’s Lascuna


Angelo Que (right) studies the line of his putt as Dabawenyo Tony Lascuna putts for birdie from pin-high length on No. 9 during the final round of the P2.5 million ICTSI Orchard Golf Championship.

Angelo Que pulled off one of the most stirring comebacks on the ICTSI Philippine Golf Tour, closing out with a brilliant 10-under 62 to turn a four-stroke deficit into a four-shot victory over Dabawenyo Tony Lascuna in the ICTSI Orchard Golf Championship at the Player Course in Dasmarinas, Cavite yesterday.

Needing to dish out a flawless round to overhaul a big lead and stop the country’s reigning No. 1 from annexing a second straight championship, Que did just that – plus more, coming up with a bogey-free pair of 31s to annex the crown in his first appearance on the local circuit since finishing joint sixth at ICTSI Wack Wack Championship last December.

“It was a flawless round, my best score so far,” said Que, who pocketed the top P450,000 purse from the P2.5 million pot put up by International Container Terminal Services, Inc.

His explosive windup gave the three-time Asian Tour winner and former Philippine Open champion a 72-hole total of 268, turning a big deficit into an even bigger victory – four strokes clear off Lascuna, who struggled to finish a 70 and a 272 worth P320,000.

Que’s 62, however, was not considered a new course record since it was made under preferred lies rules.

Que moved within one with a 31 at the turn on a three-birdie string from No. 7, forced a tie on the 10th after Lascuna fumbled with a bogey and matched his rival’s birdie on No. 12 to stay even at 16-under.

“The turning point for me was on No. 12 which we both birdied. I knew I can take him (Lascuna) head-on since I kept hitting birdies all day,” said Que, who surged ahead for good with another birdie on No. 13th.

As Lascuna fell by two with another bogey on the 15th, Que went for the kill with birdies on Nos. 16 and 18.

“I struggled with my putting at the frontside. While he kept on making birdies, I missed a couple of birdie putts from close range,” rued Lascuna, who built a four-shot cushion with a second straight 66Friday but lost his momentum and poise in the face of Que’s blazing finish in scorching heat. He made two bogeys against two birdies at the back for a 70.

Que’s 20-under total also bested Miguel Tabuena’s previous best of 12-under 276 when he dominated the ICTSI Sherwood Hills Classic last March.

Carl Santos-Ocampo, the third man in the championship flight, held his ground and shot a two-under 70 to finish third at 10-under 278 and took home P210,000 while Juvic Pagunsan made a 69 and salvaged joint fourth at 280 with Jay Bayron, who also had a 69, and Richard Sinfuego, who carded a 70. Each got P118,333.

Bayron also rallied from five shots down to edge Tabuena on the second playoff hole to snatch the ICTSI John Hay Championship last month.

Japanese Tomokazu Yoshinaga sizzled with a seven-under 65 and came out of nowhere to finish solo seventh at 285 worth P80,000 while Tabuena settled for a second 72 and wound up eighth at 284 and received P70,000 in the tournament organized by Pilipinas Golf Tournaments, Inc.

Toru Nakajima shot a 69 and ended up joint ninth with Mars Pucay, who made a 73, and Michael Bibat, who struggled with a 74, at 285. Each got P52,333.

Other backers of the event were Nike Golf, Empire Golf and Sports Shop, Mizuno, Titleist, Srixon, Foot Joy, Callaway, Pacsports, Custom Clubmakers, Cleveland Golf and Sharp with Balls, Studio 23, and Inquirer Golf as media partners.(pr)


Ardina edges Superal, cops LPGT crown

Dottie Ardina outgunned former amateur teammates Princess Superal and Cyna Rodriguez in a thrilling backside shootout to close out with a fiery 31 and a bogey-free seven-under 65, nipping Superal by one to claim the inaugural ICTSI Philippine Ladies Tour crown at The Country Club in Canlubang, recently.

Ardina bucked the wind and went on a birdie-binge at the back, hitting three straight from No. 12 to seize a one-stroke edge over Superal then rolled in a pressure-packed birdie putt from 20 feet to match her rival’s stirring birdie feat from 25 feet and preserve her lead.

She made a routine par on the 18th then watched Superal flub a playoff-clinching birdie putt from eight feet to complete her come-from-behind victory in the 54-hole championship which kicked off the first-ever Phl ladies pro circuit sponsored by ICTSI.

The win, worth P100,000, likewise marked Ardina’s pro debut with the former Junior World champion and winner of a number of local and international titles finishing with a nine-under 207.

“It was sort of a perfect finish – solid driving and steady putting,” said Ardina. “But I still needed to come up with that long birdie putt on the 17th to keep my lead as Princess also played a superb game.”

Ardina’s victory also saved the day – and the tournament – for the pros as the amateurs took the next three spots and six of the top 10 with Superal, now the spearhead of the ICTSI ladies amateur team, firing a 66 for runner-up honors at 208.

“I saw the line of my putt on the 18th and I just wanted my ball to go through that line. But I came up short with my allowance,” said Superal.

Two-day leader Rodriguez faded in their backside duel and ended up with a 70 and dropped to solo third with a 211 while Miya Legaspi struggled with a 73 and wound up solo fourth at 215 in the event organized by Pilipinas Golf Tournaments, Inc. and backed by Gatorade, Sharp and Custom Clubmakers.

Jayvie Agojo, who also turned pro in this tournament, rallied at the back with a 34 for a 70 and finished fifth while amateurs Pauline del Rosario and Sam Bruce shot 70 and 71, respectively, to tie Lovelynn Guioguio, who carded a 74, at sixth at 221.

Anya Tanpinco turned in a 76 for ninth at 227 while Sofia Chabon, another amateur from the ICTSI stable, also sputtered with a 76 for 10th at 229.

Former Phl Ladies Open champions Heidi Chua and Mary Grace Estuesta wound up 18th and 23rd, respectively, with the former shooting a 77-237 and the latter carding an 85-244.

Ardina actually trailed Superal and Rodriguez by one at the turn but after matching Superal’s birdie on the 10th, she strung up three straight birdies from No. 12 inside five feet to surge past her rivals.

But Superal stayed within one with a birdie on the 14th then rolled in a long birdie putt on the 17th that failed to shake off Ardina, who knocked down her own birdie putt to stay a shot clear of the field.(pr)

Cyna hangs tough; Ardina, Superal make move


Cyna Rodriguez went on a roller-coaster finish coming off a rain-delayed round, salvaging an even par 72 and clinging to a one-shot lead over a charging Dottie Ardina and Princess Superal and Miya Legapsi in the second round of the ICTSI Ladies Philippine Golf Tour in Canlubang yesterday.

Rodriguez made two birdies against two bogeys in the last six holes when play was resumed after a 20-minute delay due to heavy rain and lightning, but her 72 proved enough to keep her on top with a 36-hole haul of three-under 141.

But the 2010 Philippine Ladies Open champion will need more than guts, luck and steady putting to hold off her fancied final round rivals and make history as the first amateur winner of the first-ever ladies pro tour sponsored by ICTSI.

“I’m happy to maintain my lead but I have to improve on my putting tomorrow (today),” said Rodriguez, who chipped in for birdie on No. 1 but shanked her approach shot on the par-4 No, 7 and wound up with a double-bogey after twice lipping out for par and bogey.

She also flubbed a six-footer for par on the tough final hole and missed taking a two-shot cushion in the final round of the 54-hole championship organized by Pilipinas Golf Tournaments, Inc.

Ardina, who needed an eagle on No. 14 to save a 72 in the first round, made a late charge of three birdies in the first five holes at the back, but missed catching Rodriguez at helm with a missed-green bogey on No. 15. Still, her two-under 70 and a 142 kept her on track for a grand pro debut in the P500,000 tournament backed by Gatorade, Sharp and Custom Clubmakers.

“No luck in putting, there were good rolls but the putts didn’t go in,” rued Ardina, who hit four birdies, including a tap-in on No. 14 after her eagle putt from eight feet lipped out.

But Superal, another amateur out to upstage the pros in this kickoff leg of the five-stage circuit organized by Pilipinas Golf Tournaments, Inc., rebounded strong from an opening 73 with the day’s best score of three-under 69, tying Ardina and completing a blockbuster final group today.

“I have to lessen putting mistakes to get a chance (for the title),” said Superal, who gunned down five birdies inside seventh feet but mishit her drive on No. 7 and went out of regulation on the 18th for her two bogeys.

Legaspi also totaled a 142, ramming in a clutch birdie on No. 14 and making a run of pars as the 14-year-old amateur likewise stayed in the hunt with a gutsy 72. She, however, will join Jayvie Agojo and Lovelynn Guioguio in the second-to-last group.

After a sterling 70, Agojo lost her touch and skied to a 76, dropping to 146, five shots behind Rodriguez, while Guioguio matched par 72 for a 147.

Amateur Sam Bruce carded a 76 and dropped to 150 in a tie with Sarah Ababa, who shot a second 75 for a 150, while Harmie Constantino, another amateur, hobbled with a 77 for a 151 in a tie with ICTSI amateur Pauline del Rosario, who made a 76, and Anya Tanpinco, who limped home with an 80.

Mary Grace Estuesta recovered with a 77 after an 82 but remained way behind at 159, the same score by amateur Annika Cedo, who shot  a78, while Heidi Chua struggled with an 82 after a 77 and dropped to 160 in a tie with Lina de Guzman, who made a second straight 80.

“I’m happy with my first day 82 considering I haven’t been playing competitive golf in a while,” said Estuesta, a former three-time Philippine Ladies Open champion.(pr)


PBA-Accel POTW: L.A. Tenorio

THEY don’t call LA Tenorio “Showtime” for nothing.

The heady point guard was unanimously chosen as the Accel-PBA Press Corps Player of the Week after consistently stepping up when needed, enabling Barangay Ginebra to overcome the odds against a very formidable foe and advance to the PBA Commissioner’s Cup Finals.
In back-to-back wins over Talk N Text in the week that was, Tenorio averaged 22.0 points, 7.0 rebounds and 6.5 assists, propping the Kings’ charge from a 1-2 deficit in the best-of-five semifinals duel which only three teams have previously come back from in league history.
What makes Tenorio’s performances more noteworthy is the fact he dished those off despite a sore right elbow and being under the weather at times.
“The last two games talagang naka-focus ako,” said the 28-year-old. “I motivated myself in a lot of ways para lang talaga makatulong ako sa team na manalo. Kasi wala pa akong nilalarong maganda sa semis. Hindi ko iniisip na may injury ako o may sakit, basta focus ako to get Games 4 and 5.
“S’werte naman and God is good talaga dahil he gave me strength and wisdom nitong last two games. Credit also to my teammates and coaching staff sa tiwalang ibinigay nila sa akin. Kaya I want to share this citation with my team.”
Ginebra coach Alfrancis Chua said Tenorio picking up the cudgels for the team that is sorely missing the services of injured reigning MVP Mark Caguioa is astounding in itself. 
“Siya talaga ang nagdadala ng team. Parang siya ang naging heart and soul ng team nu’ng mawala si Mark,” said the pony-tailed strategist. 
“Ang maganda nito, nire-respeto siya ng mga teammates niya at siya din ganu’n. At Iba talaga ang kinikilos niya, especially kapag crucial na.”
Tenorio showcased that most in the deciding match last Sunday, when he scored 12 of his teamhigh 28 points in the fourth quarter to prop Ginebra’s stand against repeated fightbacks by TNT and into a 111-103 victory.
In what would be his best game yet in the team which acquired him from Alaska only before the season started, Tenorio also finished with six rebounds and five assists despite being in foul trouble from the third quarter on.
Tenorio already gave a glimpse of what was to come right in Game 4, when he notched 16 points, eight rebounds and as many assists for a 104-101 nail-biter of a win that tied the Cebuana Lhuillier-sponsored series at two games apiece.
Prior to that game, Tenorio was averaging just 8.6 points, 3.0 rebounds and 3.6 assists, and those were jacked only by his 10, 4 and 5 in an 80-98 game 3 loss last Wednesday.
Those victories gave Ginebra the right to face Tenorio’s former team in the best-of-five title duel starting Wednesday and Chua can’t help but make another pitch for the man also dubbed “The Lieutenant.”
“Malaking plus talaga iyung may LA ka sa team,” said Chua. “Kaya nga para sa akin hindi lang siya pang-Player of the Week. Pang-Best Player of the Conference siya.”(pr)