Record field vies in Southern Classic

Action in the 2013 Southern Classic Baseball and Softball inter-school tournament resumes on Oct. 12-13 with the third leg dubbed as the Nuvali Southern Classic with 54 teams from around 154 schools and five community teams clashing for top honors at Nuvali Field in Sta. Rosa, Laguna.
Organized by the Junior Baseball Softball Foundation of the Phils. (JBSFP) and the Alabang Baseball and Softball Club (ABSC), the annual event features various baseball and softball school teams in Metro Manila and Southern Luzon with this year’s staging drawing a record field.
It kicked off last Sept. 14-15 with the Cherifer Southern Classic at Alabang Country Club and Rizal Memorial Baseball Stadium with the second leg, also dubbed the Cherifer Southern Classic being played this weekend at Alabang Country Club, Greenfieldin Sta. Rosa, Laguna and at Rizal Memorial.
The championship leg – the Acer Southern Classic – will be held Oct. 19-20, also at Nuvali Field.
Events on tap are Coach Pitch (8-under), Minors Boys (10-under), Major Boys (12-under), Junior Boys (14-under), Senior Boys (18-under), Major Girls (12-under), Senior Girls (18-under) and the Open division.
De La Salle-Zobel, PAREF Southridge School, Bayanan Elem. School, La Salle-Canlubang, PAREF Woodrose School and De La Salle Lipa head the cast that also includes La Salle Antipolo, La Salle Greenhills, UP, DLSU, Ateneo, National U, Assumption Antipolo, Miriam College, Alabang Tigers, Smokey Mountain, Makati Mavericks, City of Pasig and the Philippine Habagat.
The ABSC put up the tournament to provide the Alabang and Muntilupa communities a youth baseball and softball program for kids aged 5-18 and develop their fundamental skills and create a fun and enjoyable baseball and softball experience for children. For details, log on to www.absc.ph.
Backers of the tournament are the Philippine Transmarine Carriers, Inc., International Container Terminal Services, Inc., Gatorade, Krispy Kreme, Cherifer, Acer, Max’s, Gigawatt Power, Inc., Splash, Jamba Juice, Lifeline Rescue, Constellation Travels, Inc., Petrolift, Inc., Alaska, CDO Bibbo Cheesedog, Chowking, Equilibrium Intertrade Corp.,  Foton, Green Icon, Inc., Jollibee, McDonalds, Red Ribbon, San Marino, San Miguel Corp., Shakey’s, Uratex, Vivere Hotel, Wilson, Nuvali, Fox and Solar Sports, Star Sports, GNTV, Greenfield Development Corp., Nuvoland Philippines, Inc. and Robinsons Land Corp.(pr)

Lighting of Olympic flame sparks start of Sochi 2014 Olympic Torch Relay

PRESS RELEASE

Lighting of Olympic flame sparks start of Sochi 2014 Olympic Torch Relay

With 132 days to go until the Opening Ceremony of the Sochi 2014 Olympic Games, the Olympic flame was lit today in Ancient Olympia, Greece, during a ceremony organised by the Hellenic Olympic Committee (HOC).

The lighting marks the symbolic start of the Olympic Torch Relay, which will see the flame cover over 65,000 kilometres and all 83 regions of Russia, as well as travelling to within an hour of an estimated 90 per cent of the Russian population before reaching the Olympic Stadium in Sochi on 7 February for the Opening Ceremony.

International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Thomas Bach, making his first official trip in his capacity as IOC President, delivered a speech in the presence of the President of the Hellenic Republic, Karolos Papoulias, IOC member in Greece Lambis Nikolaou, IOC honorary member, King Constantine, Hellenic Olympic Committee President Spyros Kapralos, and a delegation from Russia that included IOC members Vitaly Smirnov, Shamil Tarpischev and Alexander Zhukov, the Mayor of Sochi, Anatoly Pakhomov, and the CEO of the Organising Committee for the XXII Olympic Winter Games in Sochi, Dmitry Chernyshenko.

“The flame lit today by the Greek sun takes on the responsibility for a peaceful celebration here and now; the torches will carry it into the Olympic future,” said President Bach. “Thus the Olympic Torch Relay will be a messenger for the Olympic values of excellence, friendship and respect without any form of discrimination. In the coming months, this message will reach and inspire people from all walks of life. The goal and culmination of this journey will be the Olympic Stadium in Sochi. There, the Olympic flame will remind all the athletes, participants and spectators of our Olympic values.”

Using the sun’s rays and a parabolic mirror, the flame was lit by a high priestess at the Temple of Hera. The priestess then used the flame to ignite the torch of the first runner of the Relay, 18-year-old Greek Alpine skier Giannis Antoniou.

The Olympic flame will make a seven-day journey across Greece, travelling through 27 municipalities before arriving in the Panathenaic Stadium in Athens, site of the first modern Olympic Games in 1896, on 5 October for the official Olympic Flame Handover Ceremony. On 6 October, the flame will be flown to Moscow, where the Olympic Torch Relay – presented by Coca-Cola, Ingosstrakh and Russian Railways – will begin its 123-day journey around Russia. About 14,000 torchbearers are expected to carry the torch.

About the Sochi 2014 Olympic Games
The Sochi 2014 Olympic Games will be held from 7 to 23 February 2014. Approximately 2,800 athletes from more than 80 countries will compete in 7 sports, comprising 98 medal events. Approximately 12,000 media personnel and broadcasters will deliver the Games to a global audience in the billions. For further information, please visit the Sochi 2014 website. (pr)

Cagayan Province edges Smart-Maynilad, Army repulses gutsy Air Force

Aiza Maizo and Angeli Tabaquero came through in the decider as Cagayan Province edged Smart-Maynilad, 25-21, 22-25, 25-19, 17-25, 15-13, to extend its amazing run to 10 in the quarterfinal round of the Shakey’s V-League Season 10 Open Conference at The Arena in San Juan City last night.
Maizo and Tabaquero scored on kills to shatter the 13-all count and seal the Rising Suns’ one-hour, 52-minute victory to delight of a season-best 3,000-plus crowd.
“We know it’s going to be a tough game, good thing we delivered in the end,” said Cagayan coach Nes Pamilar in Filipino, whose wards thus repeated over the Net Spikers, whom they swept in the elims.
Thai reinforcement Kannika Thipachot led Cagayan with 22 hits, including 20 kills, while Tabaquero and Maizo finished with 13 and 11 points, respectively.
Ateneo standout Alyssa Valdez unloaded 22 hits while Thai import Lithawat Kesinee and Gretchel Soltones added 15 and 12 points for the Net Spikers, who controlled the first half of the fifth set, 8-7, and rallied from 11-13 to send the match into a thrilling finish.
The Rising Suns thus denied the Net Spikers an outright entry to the Final Four as the latter absorbed their fourth loss against six wins.
Earlier, Army squandered a two-set lead and needed to scramble in the decider to repulse a gutsy Air Force side, 25-22, 25-21, 21-25, 19-25, 15-13, and stay within sight of Cagayan Province in the quarterfinal round.
The Army Women leaned on former UAAP MVP and UST standout Mary Jean Balse, Jovelyn Gonzaga and Rachel Anne Daquis in the crunch to thwart the upset bid of their PAF counterparts for their ninth win against a loss, keeping them on track for the No. 1 spot in the Final Four.
They remained just behind unbeaten Cagayan Province (10-0) heading to the last three playdates in the carryover quarters phase of the tournament sponsored by Shakey’s.

Balse, relegated to the background majority of their campaign, provided the experience and poise in a nerve-wracking decider, winding up with 24 hits and topscoring for the team for the first time with a superb performance she spiked with 20 kills and three aces.(pr)

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Army stalwarts (from left) Rachel Anne Daquis, Davao del Norte native Mary Jean Balse and Cristina Salak celebrate a crucial hit against the Air Force side.

Davao’s Lascuna seeks to firm up OOM lead at Splendido

Dabawenyo Tony Lascuna gears up for a tough outing against the cream of the local pro crop as he zeroes in on the second straight Order of Merit crown when the ICTSI Philippine Golf Tour resumes with the 12th leg at Splendido next week.

From a mere P40,000 lead in winnings over erstwhile frontrunner Miguel Tabuena after the circuit’s 10th leg at ICTSI Tagaytay Midlands Challenge, Lascuna went P222,000 ahead following his repeat win at ICTSI Manila Southwoods over Tabuena and fellow Dabawenyo Jhonnel Ababa early this month.
“It was a good win (Southwoods), giving me a good lead in the OOM race. But there are still four legs left and anything can happen,” said Lascuna as he primes up for the P1 million ICTSI Splendido Classic on Oct. 9-11.
With two victories and four runner-up finishes, Lascuna has racked P1,682,332 in earnings with Tabuena, who rallied to finish joint second at Southwoods, piling up P1,456,527.
Dabawenyo Elmer Salvador, a repeat winner at Aboitiz Invitational who also had three second place efforts, is in third with P1,087,776 with Angelo Que, who ruled the Orchard Invitational, staying at fourth with P1,036,276 in winnings.
But with four legs left on the 15-stage circuit put up by International Container Terminal Services, Inc. and organized by Pilipinas Golf Tournaments, Inc., the battle for the OOM crown remains wide-open.
After Splendido, the circuit will go to Riviera in Silang, Cavite for the ICTSI Riviera Classic on Oct. 16-19, another four-day, P2.5 million event offering a top purse of P450,000.
Canlubang will host the penultimate leg on Nov. 6-8 for the ICTSI Canlubang Golf Invitational before the tour winds up again at Wack Wack on Nov. 20-23 for the ICTSI Wack Wack Championship.
Meanwhile, Carl Santos-Ocampo, a runaway winner at Midlands, moved up to No. 5 with P837,068 followed by John Hay leg winner Jay Bayron (P822,370), Ababa (721,238), Del Monte and Pueblo de Oro back-to-back winner Frankie Minoza (623,936), Palos Verdes champion Michael Bibat (P507,004) and Edward Reyes (P452,474) in that order.

Other backers of the event were Nike Golf, Srixon, Custom Clubmakers, Pacsports, Cleveland Golf, Callaway, Ping, Mizuno, Empire Golf and Sports Shop, FootJoy, Titleist, Sharp, BMW and Gergia Energy Foods.(pr)

Sultan Kudarat bets shine in Palawan netfest

Unranked Vince EJ Tugade and Caryn Bless Guarde of Sultan Kudarat came away with a pair of straight-set victories each to dominate the Palawan Pawnshop-Palawan Express Pera Padala presented by Babolat tennis tournament at the City Court Tennis Club in Gen. Santos City yesterday.
The 11-year-old Tugade upended second seed Merwin Estrellado, 4-2, 4-0, in the quarters, held off Jeff Alquiza, 5-4(4), 4-2, in the semis then mastered No. 4 Alfred Directo, 6-3, 6-1, in the finals to cop the boys’ 14-and-under title in the 18th leg of the nationwide circuit put up by Palawan Pawnshop and Babolat.
Tugade earlier downed the top seeded Directo, 4-0, 4-1, in the semis then blasted No. 2 Nicole Gorospe, 6-0, 6-1, to bag the 12-and-U diadem in the event hosted by CCTC, headed by its president Dr. Mario Dideles.
Guarde, 11, matched Tugade’s two-title romp by ruling the girls’ 14- and 12-and-U classes, beating April Bentillo twice, 6-4, 6-2, and 6-1, 6-2, respectively.
Sharyl delos Santos also scored a twin-kill, trouncing Shaira Rivera twice, 6-2, 6-1, and 6-4, 6-2, to cop the girls’ 18- and 16-and-U plums, respectively, while No. 4 Jeric delos Santos topped the boys’ 18-and-U category with a 6-3, 6-0 win over Abubakar Pendiwata.
Unseeded Ralph Diama also pulled off a big surprise, taking the boys’ 16-and-U crown with a 6-0, 6-2 win over Lyle Ibali while top seed April Minet Bentillo rolled past Angelica Novis, 6-3, 6-2, to cop the 10-unisex diadem.
“This series of nationwide age-group tournaments is part of Palawan Pawnshop’s commitment to give our young players, especially from the countryside, a venue where they could hone their talent and skills,” said Palawan Pawnshop COO Bobby Castro.

Meanwhile, the tournament, sanctioned by Philta headed by president and Paranaque Mayor Edwin Olivarez, resumes Sept. 27-30 in Koronadala City. For details, contact Philta referee Bobby Mangunay at 0915-4046464.(pr)

Cagayan, Army seek Shakey’s V-L semis

Unbeaten Cagayan Province and second-running Army try to make it two-in-row over Air Force and Meralco, respectively, and formalize their stint in the Final Four of the Shakey’s V-League Season 10 Open Conference at The Arena in San Juan City today (Tuesday).
The Rising Suns whisked off the Air Women in four in their face-off last Aug. 23, kicking off a run of lopsided victories en route to sweeping the eight-team, single round elims. But Cagayan is coming off a 12-day break although its core saw action for the national team in the recent Asian Championships.
Air Force, meanwhile, dropped a four-set setback to Smart-Maynilad at the start of the quarters phase last Sunday and is hard-pressed to bounce back in a bid to shore up its own semis drive in the season-ending conference of the league sponsored by Shakey’s.
Gametime is at 2 p.m. with Cagayan eyeing to stretch its win run to eight and firm up its bid for the No. 1 spot heading to the Final Four of the tournament backed by MIiasa and Accel.
But Army is just behind with a 7-1 card, launching its quarters campaign with a 25-13, 25-23, 25-22 victory over Phl National Police last Sunday. The Army Women swept the Power Spikers in the elims and are expected to re-assert their mastery to stay within striking distance of the Rising Suns.
Like Air Force, Meralco also needs a victory to remain in the semis hunt with the Power Spikers in fifth with a 3-4 card, behind Air Force and Smart-Maynilad’s identical 5-3 cards. PNP is way down in sixth with a 2-6 slate.
Meanwhile, the PNP-Army match last Sunday will be shown on GMA News TV Channel 11 today (Tuesday) starting at 1 p.m. with the Smart-Air Force duel to be aired tomorrow, according to the organizing Sports Vision.
Cagayan coach Nestor Pamilar is expected to lean again on the power-hitting troika of Thai Kannika Thipachot, Angeli Tabaquero and Aiza Maizo as the Rising Suns go for a repeat over the Air Women, who also boast of hitters Judy Ann Caballejo, Joy Cases and Maika Ortiz.
The Army-Meralco duel at 4 p.m. also promises to be an explosive match with Jovelyn Gonzaga, Mary Jean Balse, Nene Bautista, Michelle Carolino and Joanne Bunag and setter Cristina Salak going up against a Meralco side headed by Chinese guest player and the league’s leading spiker Coco Wang and backed by top blocker Maureen Ouano, Fille Cainglet, Maica Morada, Stephanie Mercado, ivy Remulla and playmaker April Jose and top digger and receiver Jennelyn Reyes.(pr)

Army Women foil Lady Tams, boost record

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Army’s Rachel Anne Daquis rams in a spike against FEU’s Mary Palma and Gyzelle Sy during their Shakey’s V-League Open Conference encounter yesterday.(pr photo)
Army turned back a rallying Far Eastern U side and carved out a 25-15, 25-17, 24-26, 25-20 victory to stay closer to Cagayan Province at the close of the single round elims of the Shakey’s V-League Season 10 Open Conference at The Arena in San Juan yesterday.
Rachel Daquis sat out the first set but still topscored for the Army Women with 16 hits, including 14 kills, while Jovelyn Gonzaga added 12 markers while taking a break in the third when the Tams struck to force an extra set.
Bernadeth Pons and Mary Palma combined for 31 hits for FEU, which, however, lost steam while trying to send the match into a five-set affair.
The win hiked Army’s record to 6-1 which it will carry into the next phase beginning tomorrow (Sunday) while FEU closed out its stint with seven losses but with renewed confidence as it heads to the UAAP volley wars.
Cagayan Province heads the quarters cast with a 7-0 mark.
The star-studded Army Women uncorked a 62-spike game in the one-hour, 49-minute encounter, 22 more than their rivals while coming up with nine blocks as against the Lady Tams’ 4.
The Army Women appeared headed for another quick straight-set victory that marked their campaign in the elims but ended up stunned when the Lady Tams put on a strong stand to snatch the third set.
Shaken, Army put its act together in the fourth but needed to toughen up at endgame to frustrate the Morayta-based squad.
Army mentor Rico de Guzman rued his team’s complacency that gave FEU the upperhand and confidence.
“The team just relaxed, I’m disappointed,” said de Guzman.

Meanwhile, the Army-FEU match will be shown on GMA News TV Channel 11 today (Saturday) starting at 1 p.m. while the PNP-Navy clash, still being played at presstime, will be telecast on Monday, according to the organizing Sports Vision.(pr)