71st PAL Interclub fires off in Bacolod on March 1

71st PAL Interclub fires off in Bacolod on March 1

BACOLOD – Marapara and Binitin, old layouts here that vary very much in character but offer the same stern tests of golf, will host the 71st edition of the PAL Senior’s and Men’s Regular Interclub championships starting March 1.

Now known as the Negros Occidental Golf and Country Club and the Bacolod Golf and Country Club, respectively, these two courses will take centerstage as Luisita and Manila Southwoods shoot to extend their respective reigns in the Senior’s and Men’s divisions of the country’s unofficial team golf championship.

And unlike in the past, the Men’s championship will see a Sunday ending this year as tournament organizers have decided to give the field three official practice rounds leading to the opening skirmishes on March 8.

Jaime J. Bautista, the indefatigable president of the country’s flag carrier, is expected to hit the ceremonial drive and signal the start of Senior play on Feb. 26, Monday, at Marapara.

Canlubang is again listed as the chief threat to Luisita even if the multi-titled Tommy Manotoc is again expected to miss play owing to some family commitments in the United States.

The Senior field will also have three days to sample both courses, though early reports have it that the Luisitans have already come over to test both layouts and not leave anything to chance.

Southwoods will come into the event as the heavy favorite, more so because Japanese teenager Yuto Katsuragawa has confirmed that he will return to play for the Carmona-based squad.(pr)


Paul Lee PBAPC Player of the Week

Paul Lee got off to an explosive start in 2018 after steering Magnolia to back-to-back wins in the ongoing PBA Philippine Cup.

Lee captured his first PBA Press Corps Player of the Week award after averaging 17 points, 4.0 assists, 2.0 rebounds and 1.5 blocks this year, leading Magnolia past KIA Picanto, 124-77 and NLEX (105-94), respectively.

The Hotshots opened the brand new year by hammering hapless KIA Picanto, 124-77 last Wednesday with Lee catching fire behind his strong third-quarter offensive.

The six-foot Lee, his left knee injury now a thing of the past after undergoing surgery in the offseason, banged all 13 of his points in the third quarter as Magnolia turned the tables against KIA, which took a two-point edge at halftime.

The 28-year-old “Angas ng Tondo” also made his presence felt in other departments, adding four assists and three blocks.

Four days later, the sweet-shooting Lee upped the ante of his offense, firing 21 points, spiked by four triples in the Hotshots’ domination of the Road Warriors.

Although NLEX rookie Kiefer Ravena won his personal duel against Lee with a PBA career-high 31 points, the former University of the East star made the biggest baskets in the second half as Magnolia improved to 3-1.

Lee scored 12 points in the third canto, a stretch that saw Magnolia assert its dominance, before holding off NLEX’s fourth-quarter stand.

The Magnolia guard beat Alaska’s Calvin Abueva, Vic Manuel and Chris Banchero; GlobalPort guard Stanley Pringle, Blackwater big man JP Erram and Mac Belo, as well as San Miguel’s June Mar Fajardo and Arwind Santos for the weekly citation. (pr)

Team SEA, Phl begin Pradera Ladies 2

LUBAO, Pampanga – Yuka Saso hopes to cap a brilliant two-week display of individual skills with a victory in team play as the Philippines seeks to equalize against Team Southeast Asia in the Pradera Verde Ladies Challenge 2 firing off on Monday, Jan. 15 at the Pradera Golf and Country Club here.
Saso bolstered the hosts’ chances in the novel event by winning a pro tournament and the Philippine Ladies Open the last two weeks with the Fil-Japanese shotmaker brimming with confidence as she leads the team out to avenge a lopsided defeat in last year’s inaugurals of the three-day championship.
“The battle cry is to win the championship. We will give them a very good fight given the depth of the team this year,” said Norman Sto. Domingo, one of Team Phl’s skippers who include Rolly Romero and Daisy Reyes. “We have beefed up our lineup and I’m hoping the girls all play 100 percent in all three days.”
But the visiting squad, led by the top players from Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore and Indonesia, also toughened up its roster to underscore its readiness to duplicate its imposing 19 1/2-10 1/2 romp in the first Pradera Ladies Challenge pitting the country’s leading jungolfers and amateurs against the top players from the neighboring SEA countries.
“Of course, our goal is to retain the crown. We also have new players and we hope they will blend in well with those who played last year,” said Team SEA co-captain Phunampa Pornperapan of Thailand, the other being Jantsonn Kan of Malaysia.
That should guarantee a fierce but friendly duel right in the opening Scramble format in the morning among five teams before play shifts to alternate shot in the afternoon. The two sides will play best ball tomorrow (Tuesday) then back to alternate shot format in the afternoon while the deciding singles (10 matches) will be held Wednesday with the team to score 15.5 points winning the perpetual Pradera Verde Ladies trophy.
Saso didn’t see action last year but with her current form, the 16-year-old star is expected to provide the firepower and spunk to a team composed of PLO runner-up Mikha Fortuna, Harmie Constantino, Nicole Abelar, Tomi Arejola, Sofia Chabon, Bernice Olivarez-Ilas, Kristine Torralba, Kayla Nocum and 13-year-olds Annyka Cayabyab and Laurea Duque.
But Team SEA is upbeat and all primed up for a repeat in the Ryder Cup-style format event, a brainchild of Archen Cayabyab, Lubao Mayor Mylyn Pineda-Cayabyab and Sto. Domingo as part of their effort to help boost the country’s junior and amateur golf program and at the same time foster camaraderie and friendship with the neighboring SEA countries.
“We’re optimistic of our chances. Though Onkanok (Soisuwan) is the only holdover from the Thai group plus two youngsters, our team is keen for competition and we are quite positive of our chances to be champion again,” said Kan.
Soisuwan will be joined by compatriots Kultida Pramphun and Pinkaew Trachentong with Indonesian Michela Tjan and 13-year-olds Pimkwan Chookaew and Phannarai Meesom-us of Thailand and Singapore’s Shannon Tan backstopping the squad that also includes three Malaysian players in Ashley Lau, Audrey Tan and Zulaikah Nurzian with veteran Winnie Ng providing the experience and leadership.(pr)

Atos, Jucutan dominate PPS Angeles netfest

Atos, Jucutan dominate PPS Angeles netfest
Angelyn Atos and Exequiel Jucutan saved their best for last, posting a pair of singles victories each to share the MVP honors in the Palawan Pawnshop-Palawan Express Pera Padala Angeles City leg age-group tennis tournament at the Angeles City Tennis Club in Villa Gloria Subd. in Pampanga last weekend.
The top-seeded Atos lived up to her billing, dropping just two games to reign in the girls’ 12- and 14-and-under classes of the Group I tournament hosted and sponsored by councilor Joseph Ponce and Palawan Pawnshop. The rising Baguio City crushed Tristenn Kitong twice, 6-0, 6-0, and 6-0, 6-2, respectively.
Jucutan turned in a more impressive performance, beating Jundee Magtabog, 6-0, 6-0, in the boys’ 14-U finals then the Manaoag, Pangasinan ace clipped Josh Molina, 6-1, 6-0, to claim the 16-U diadem in the event presented by Slazenger which capped the PPS-PEPP 53-leg nationwide circuit.
Atos and Jucutan actually made it a three-title feat with the former teaming up with Gabrielle Abarquez to rout Angel Alambra and Rymone Moreno, 8-1, for the 18-U doubles plum and the latter partnering with JM Erpelo to whip Gabby Avila and Ranz Cuarto, 8-2, for the 14-U doubles title.
Anna Demyer also came away with two victoreis as the San Fabian, Pangasinan bet trounced Gabrielle Abarquez, 6-0, 6-2, in the girls’1 6-U finals and repulsed Kim Evangelista, 0-6, 6-3, 10-5, in the 16-U championship.
Local bet Jed Labasano held off Charles Torres, 6-1, 7-5, to clinch the boys’ 18-U plum, John Prince Lim from Urdaneta, Pangasinan topped the 10-unisex side with a 4-1, 4-2 romp over Jeremiah Labasano, and JM Erpelo, also of Urdaneta, took the boys’ 12-U title with a 6-0, 6-7(4), 10-4 victory over Thomas Gabuat.
Other doubles winners were Jed Labasano-Andrei Torres, who edged Josh Molina-Charles Torres, 8-5, for the boys’ 18-U crown; Gab Abarquez-Kitong, who nipped Jumia Ehipto-Janice Navalta, 8-7(4), for the girls’ 14-U title; and JP Lim-Kriz Lim, who ripped Jeremiah Labasano-Matthew Tiotuico, 8-1, for the 10-U plum.
Meanwhile, the country’s premier talent-search, backed by the Unified Tennis Philippines, including PPS-PEPP, Cebuana Lhuillier, Wilson, Toby’s, Dunlop, Slazenger and B-Meg, has lined up a 54-stage tour this year, according to PPS-PEPP Sports Program Development director and organizer Bobby Mangunay. For details, call 0915-4046464.(pr)

Barangay Ginebra San Miguel thanksgiving party

BARANGAY GINEBRA SAN MIGUEL ROOKIES Mikey Cabahug and Jett Manuel gamely participate in the games DSC_9435
Barangay Ginebra San Miguel thanksgiving party. Barangay Ginebra San Miguel rookies Mikey Cabahug and Jett Manuel play a game with fans during the team’s thanksgiving party held recently at the Fil-Oil Flying V Centre in San Juan City. The Gin Kings celebrated their championship win in the 2017 PBA Governors’ Cup with their die-hard fans who were also treated to performances by top local bands Itchyworms and Silent Sanctuary. For more updates on Barangay Ginebra San Miguel, check out the official Facebook page of Ginebra San Miguel http://www.facebook.com/barangayginebra or log on to http://www.ginebra.com.ph. (pr photo)

LPGT kicks off 6th season at Ayala Greenfield

The Ladies Philippine Golf Tour launches its new season on Wednesday (Jan. 3) with a stellar field headed by the cream of the country’s pro crop and a number of Thailand aces bracing for a spirited battle for top honors in the ICTSI Ayala Greenfield Ladies Challenge in Calamba, Laguna.

Symetra Tour campaigners Dottie Ardina, Cyna Rodriguez and Princess Superal hope to come out strong coming off a failed bid at South Forbes two weeks ago which the Thais dominated via a 1-2 finish to sweep the last two legs of the 2017 LPGT season.

But the locals are all primed to open the sixth season of the country’s premier ladies circuit sponsored by ICTSI on a winning note with last year’s LPGT Order of Merit winner Pauline del Rosario also raring to rebound from a mediocre showing at South Forbes.

Del Rosario racked up four victories in her rookie campaign in the record 11-leg circuit organized by Pilipinas Golf Tournaments, Inc. but struggled with poor health and form in the last tournament, ending up 10th.

But the 19-year-old rising star is expected to have recovered, ready to slug it out with her fellow fancied Filipinas and a slew of Thais out to extend their domination of the tour backed by Custom Clubmakers, BDO, Meralco, Sharp, KZG, PLDT, Champion, Summit Mineral Water and K&G Golf.

They include former LPGT leg winners Saruttaya Ngam-usawan and Wannasiri Sirisampant with Chonlada Chayanun also eyeing her first win after turning in back-to-back runner-up finishes in the Philippine Ladies Masters and South Forbes.

Others in the Thai fold are Numa Gulyanamitta, Pakpring Duangchan, Chitawadee Duangchan, Hathaikarn Wongwaikijphaisal, Jaruporn P Na Ayuttaya, Ploychompoo Wilairungrueng, Punpaka Phuntumabamrung, Saraporn Chamchoi, Sarinee Thitiratanakorn, Supakchaya Pattaranakrueng, Thanuttra Boonraksasat and Tiranan Yoopan.

Meanwhile, Ayala Greenfield has been spruced up in time for its first hosting of an LPGT tournament with the par-72 layout expected to provide a different kind of challenge for the competing field especially in the presence of the wind.

Others vying in the 54-hole championship are former leg champions Chihiro Ikeda and Sarah Ababa along with Anya Tanpinco, Apple Fudolin, last year’s Luisita stage champion Euna Koh of Korea and South African Madeleen Grosskoph.(pr)

Premier Volleyball League: Serving it right

Premier Volleyball League: Serving it right
With a new name and a wide-reaching television partner in ABS-CBN, the Premier Volleyball League served its inaugural season quite well.
For one, three different champions emerged from what was formerly known as the Shakey’s V-League with Pocari Sweat topping the season-opening Reinforced Conference, BaliPure ruling the Open Conference before National U dominated the Collegiate Conference.
The league also featured the men’s side, the former Spikers’ Turf, with Cignal stamping its class in the first two conferences while Ateneo went all the way in the season-closing Collegiate Conference.
The PVL also threw its full support to the national team with Alyssa Valdez of the Creamline Cool Smashers and the league’s leading men’s players backstopping the country’s campaign.
Creamline, in particular, didn’t think twice in allowing Valdez, who became the first Filipino to play as an import in the Thailand and Chinese Taipei leagues, to suit up for the Nationals that stymied the Cool Smashers’ bid for a potential crack at the championship.
The PVL also cut one of their conferences short to allow its fans to support the country’s campaign in the Southeast Asian Games in Kuala Lumpur last August.
To cap its maiden season, the league held the All-Star Game with proceeds going to charity and launched the “PVL on Tour” to widen its fan base where games were held in Batangas, Cagayan Valley, Iloilo, Bacolod and most recently, in Sta. Rosa, Laguna.
With new teams and key players expected to join next year, the Sports Vision-organized league looks forward not only to a more explosive, exciting 2018 season but also to drawing bigger, wider audience via the PVL livestream.

Just keeping the sports community posted.