Monday, July 30, 2012

Italian to test Barriga

ABAP-PLDT's Mark Anthony Barriga, one of the
 Philippines'medal hope in the London Olympic 
Games, took on 7-foot Los Angeles Lakers 
center Pau Gasol at the Olympic Village 
dining hall to get this photo match-up. 
(Photo by Ed Picson)

LONDON—Sweat dripping off his face after a workout, Mark Anthony Barriga of Team Philippines smiled at his coach and gave him a fist-bump as he prepared to head to his room next door, a picture of a young fighter ready to take on anyone at any day.

‘’Look at him, he’s happy and in good shape,’’ said coach Roel Velasco in Filipino, nodding approvingly at the end of his boxer’s one-hour training inside an empty room ahead of his opening bout on Tuesday in the 30th Olympic Games.

At around 2:30 on Tuesday, at the 10,000-seat Excel arena east of the city, the 19-year-old Barriga takes on Italian Manuel Cappai in a light-flyweight bout as he kicks off his campaign in search of the ultimate prize in his craft.

‘’I’m ready, sir,’’ said Barriga, a towel on one hand and a gift from a countryman on the other as he about to leave.’’I’ve trained for almost two years and I must say I’m ready’’.

Barriga, considered the smallest Filipino fighter to grace the lightest of the 10 divisions at 5-foot flat, will give away six inches in height when he climbs the ring to face the Italian whom his coach said moves, fights and depends like defending champion Zou Shiming of China.

Lifter Diaz, shooter Rosario get going today | Inquirer Sports

Lifter Diaz, shooter Rosario get going today | Inquirer Sports:

'via Blog this'

LONDON—Lifter Hidilyn Diaz and skeet shooter Brian Rosario step into the Olympic spotlight Monday hoping to steal the thunder from the big guns in their respective sport at the 2012 London Games here.

Rosario, who made it to these Games as a wild card pick of the international shooting federation, plunges into action first as he joins 35 other skeet specialists at 9 a.m. (4 p.m. Manila time) in the competition at Britain’s historic Royal Artillery Barracks in Woolwich.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Banayag, Agravante top Manila elims of 36th National MILO Marathon

Two-time champion and MILO Marathon national record holder Jho-An Banayag ruled the 42-k women’s division, as Jason Agravante dominated the men's division, Sunday in the record-breaking Metro Manila Leg of the 36th National MILO Marathon at the Mall of Asia (MOA) grounds in Pasay City, organizers said on Sunday through a press release.

Nestle Philippines officials expressed elation over the heavy turnout of 38,429 runners who participated in the prestigious event, which shattered last year's 35,000 turnout, despite heavy downpour on Sunday due to a typhoon.

Moment of truth for Lacuna

LONDON - In high spirit and ready to plunge into the waters of the sweeping wave-like swimming center inside the Olympic Park, the Philippines’Jessie Lacuna takes his baptism of fire when he sees action in the 200-meter freestyle on Sunday in the 30th Olympic Games.

The 18-year-old Lacuna, instructed by coach Pinky Brosas to “swim his pace and make the most out of it”, competes in the second of six heats at around 10:30 a.m. against Mario Montoy of Costa Rica, Sebastian Madico of Peru, Radovan Siljevski of Serbia, Matias Koski of Finland and Raul Martinez Colomer of Puerto Rico.

His qualifying time is 1 minute and 52.23 seconds in the only event he’s allowed to compete in being a qualifier under the √úniversality rule of the world swimming body, which is about as fast as that of his five rivals in the heat.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Pinoy swimmers promise not to be awed

LONDON--The Philippines’ Jessie Lacuna and Jasmine Alkhaldi don’t see themselves getting reduced to star-struck fans when they swim against the likes of Americans Ryan Lochte and Nathalie Coughlin and Germany’s Britta Steffen in the 30th Olympic Games.

On instructions of former Olympian Pinky Brosas, the two young, first-time Olympians will ‘’swim their pace and make the most out of it’’ when they compete in the heats of their respective events that’s teeming with superstars .

The 18-year-old Lacuna swims in one of the heats in the 200-meter freestyle on Sunday, with competing against Lochte is a possibility and his chances of advancing to the semifinals look terribly bad.

Marestella Torres, ready for action

Marrestela Torres
LONDON—In her own words and in the eyes of a coach,veteran Marestella Torres will do a lot better this time.

‘’Handang handa na po ako,”said Torres, giggling as she bumped into two Team Philippines officials on her way to the training venue just a short ride away from the Olympic Village.

Indeed, she looks good, in top shape and ready to make up for her forgettable showing four years ago in Beijing where she finished only 34th out of 41 long jumpers with a paltry effort of 6.17 meters.

That the Marestella today doesn’t look like the Marestella four years ago didn’t come unnoticed to a Filipino coach from another sport.

‘’Marestella’s more focused now. She’s a great athlete. I’m sure she’s okay than when she was in Beijing. Look at her ,’’ said swimming mentor Pinky Brosas in a tribute to the girl who has been the face of local athletics for some time now.

Archers Javier, Cabral disappoint mentor

LONDON - This was not the round that matters, but the results showed the two Team Philippines archers will most likely go home singing the blues in the 30th Olympic Games.

In a performance that left their Korean coach shaking his head in dissapointment, Mark Javier and Rachelle Cabral fared poorly in the ranking round on Friday and found themselves batttling superior opponents in the head-to-head, round- of- 32 action scheduled on Monday at the Lord’s Cricket ground.

The 31-year-old Cabral, one of three two-time Olympian in the 11-member PH squad, finished 55th in a starting field of 64 and drew rated Brady Ellison of the United States as rival with 649 points in the 70-meter, 72-arrow competitions.

Also a big letdown was Cabral, an Olympic rookie who wound up 48th in the 64-woman cast with a 627 total. She will meet Russian Ksenia Perova, a big gun in the sport who landed ninth with 659 points.

It’s not the end of the world for the two Filipino archers,though. But if their showings in the round held to determine who plays who in the knockout round, their demise will just be a matter of time.

Barriga faces Italian in first round

LONDON—Although light-flyweight Mark Barriga was singing ‘’I’ll Do My Crying In The Rain’’ as he emerged from his room, he remains a picture of one who’s certainly not going to let Team Philippines cry when he climbs the ring next week in the 30th Olympic Games.

In his initial appearance in the biggest sports stage of all, the 19-year-old Barriga will fight Manuel Cappai, a young Italian champion who moves and fights like defending champion and top seed Zou Shiming of China.

But definitely he’s not as good as the Chinese ring wonder in the eyes of the coach Roel Velasco.

‘’Parang si Zou kung maglaro. Suntok, takbo, suntok, takbo . Counter-puncher. Pero hindi kasinggaling ni Zou. Kaya yung Italian,,’’ said coach Roel Velasco after watching Cappai’s most recent bout in the YouTube.

Boxer Mark Anthony Barriga

Mark Anthony Barriga
LONDON—They call him Pacquiao or Little Pacman by fellow Olympians and countrymen while deep in training in Cardiff, Wales.

When Barriga and his coach, Roel Velasco, left that little city for London , his countrymen wished him the best of luck and prayed he’d be as do a Manny Pacquiao while inside the ring as he competes in the 30th Olympic Games starting July 31.

‘’Pacquiao o Little Pacman ang tawag sa akin,’’ said Barriga, dwarfed by towering foreign players going in and heading out of the huge dining hall where he took a breakfast in the company of Velasco and amateur boxing official Ed Picson on Wednesday after a workout.

Velasco and Picson said the pint-sized boxer who’s seeing action in the light-flyweight division won the hearts of Cardiff-based Filipinos and the respect of fellow boxers in the course of his 19-day training in Wales because of his style, exuberance and dedication to training.

Trackster Rene Herrera on his chances

LONDON (July 25, 2012) - Rene Herrera doesn’t mind telling him that his chance in the 5,000-meter run is as grey as the London weather in springtime.

Actually, the reed-thin Herrera will be the first to say that it’s mission impossible for him when he makes his Olympics debut on August 8.

‘’Mabigat talaga,mabigat,’’ said Herrera, smiling as he left in a hurry to board a car that would take him and other Filipino athletes , coaches and officials to a dinner tendered byTeam Philippines supporter Bank of Philippine Islands on Tuesday.

Don’t blame him for that since Herrera is just being honest about his chances, given that his event is teeming with tough runners from African countries led by Kenya, the home of great long distance runners.

BMX rider Danny Caluag

LONDON (July 24) - BMX rider Danny Caluag went practically everywhere building up for the 30th Olympic Games, mindful of the tough challenge ahead and the big expectations of a nation desperately wanting to end a humiliating run of defeats in the biggest sports stage of all.

“Yes I am aware of it (Filipinos expecting him to land a medal). It’s a big challenge for me,’’ said Caluag when told that he’s the closest thing to a podium finish among the 11 Filipino athletes seeing action in the London Games.

Accompanied by long-time partner and mechanic Stephanie, Caluag hit town onTuesday morning after a 12-hour trip from Los Angeles, looking as if he could get on his $3,000 Speedco bike anytime and take on anyone at any place.

No predictions for archers Mark Javier, Rachel Ann

LONDON (July 23, 2012) - Between them, archers Mark Javier and Rachel Ann Cabral have fired around 1,900 arrows since arriving here last week as they hit the closing stage of their training for the 30th Olympic Games.

The number of arrows fired from their imported, expensive bows tells of how serious, how determined Javier and Cabral are in their quest to make good in the biggest stage of all.

But although they left nothing to chance in their buildup under a dependable South Korean coach, both Javier and Cabral refused to predict about what lies ahead.
‘’It’s hard to predict. Let’s just wait for the competitions to begin,” Javier politely answered, before joining the rest of his teammates for the bus ride to the Philippine embassy for a dinner with the ambassador.

Like Javier, Cabral also begged off to tell what the future holds for her, except saying they will give their best shots from the moment they fire their first arrows.

‘’I’ll do my best. That’s for sure,” Cabral said.

Hidilyn Diaz

Hidilyn Diaz (Photo from PhilStar)
LONDON (July 24, 2012) - Weighlifter Hidilyn Diaz strode into the dining hall with a smile on her face and the looks of one ready to embrace the huge challenge ahead as she makes her second foray into the world’s biggest sports gathering a few days from now.

Over a late lunch with coach Tony Agustin and two Team Philippines officials, Diaz talked lengthily of her experience in the three-week training camp leading to the 30th Olympic Games as well as the gains which she hopes will do her good when the battles begin.

According to Diaz, the camp gave her the big chance to adjust to the typical London blend of rain and sunshine and the environment, things which brought her worries deep in the training camp.

Tomohiko Hoshina

Tomohiko Hosina (photo from Malaya)
LONDON (July 23, 2912) - Nearing the tailend of a morning run around the Athletes Village , judoka Tomohiko Hoshina slowed down to wave and smile at a group of Japanese athletes heading out of the huge dining hall.

The Filipino-Japanese athlete did the same to anyone he met as he made his way to the unit where he stays after a 40-minute jog, something that’s endearing him to his teammates in the Philippine team to the 30th Olympic Games here.

That’s Hoshina – friendly, accomodating and exuding youthful exuberance.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

adidas King of the Road 2012 now open for registration

Now on its 14th year, adidas invites runners to join this year’s ‘King of the Road’ (KOTR) on September 30 at the Bonifacio Global City, Taguig. 

This year’s race will have three categories – 5K, 10K and 16.8K. For the 16.8K distance, there are two sub categories – the ‘Closed’ category for Filipino nationals and the ‘Open’ category for all nationalities, organizers said on Wednesday during the press launching.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Sermona eyes win over foreign runners in 36th MILO Marathon national finals

Dizu (left) and Sermona on the podium
after winning the Angeles leg of the
36th MILO Marathon.
Rains and gusty wind failed to stop former MILO Marathon King Julius Sermona and Merdeliza Dizu from topping the fourth leg of the 36th National MILO Marathon held Sunday in Angeles City, organizers said in press release.

Sermona, a former member of the Philippine National Team, defied the heavy downpour and posted a time of one hour, 12 minutes and two seconds to lead several other runners qualify for the National Finals set on December 9 at the Mall of Asia grounds in Pasay City. 

“I focused on endurance training, road running, a once-a-week work out, and hard training,” said 34-year-old Sermona whose personal best in the full marathon was  2:21:53 which he posted in the 30th MILO Marathon National Finals in 2006.

“For the finals, I plan to increase the volume and intensity of my routine. I plan to run a few short-distance divisional races and add about 5 to 10-k to my training as well.”

Friday, July 20, 2012

Outrun yourselves in the Rexona Run 2012

Get ready to outrun yourself at the Rexona Run 2012 happening on August 12 at the SM Mall of Asia grounds.  A part of the Runrio Series, this year’s edition is bigger, with a new category, more prizes and exciting features that will bring running to a higher level.

Registration is ongoing until July 29 at Riovana stores in Bonifacio Global City and Katipunan, and Toby’s branches in Trinoma and SM Mall of Asia.  Online registrations are also accepted at from now until 12 midnight of July 22.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Kadayawan Phoenix 'I Recycle' Run

Registrations for the Kadayawan Phoenix 'I Recycle" Run is now open at Phoenix Acacia, Phoenix Damosa, Davao City Water District Bajada Office and Duaw Davao Office, organizers said in its website.

Those who are planning to participate must immediately sign up for the race because only 2,000 registrants will be given the limited edition of the race t-shirt.

Organizers said that the race will start and end at the Open Parking C of SM Davao.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Buenavista eyeing the MILO National title anew

Buenavista on track to winning a fourth MILO
Marathon title?
Three-time National MILO Marathon King and current record holder Eduardo Buenavista won the 3rd Leg of the 36th MILO Marathon held Sunday in Tarlac City, organizers said in a press release.

The 34-year-old Buenavista of Sto. Nino, South Cotabato dominated the men’s 21-k category in one hour, 13 minutes and 29 seconds to earn a spot in the national finals and pocket the  P10,000 elimination leg top purse. 

The two-time Olympian was about six hundred meters ahead over second pursuer Nelson Rombosa who clocked in at 1:24:58, followed by Gavino Lopez at 1:26:46.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Davao hosts Salomon Xtrail Pilipinas 2012

THE Davao leg of the Salomon Xtrail Pilipinas will be held on August 25 at 6:30 a.m. in Davao City, organizers said during the Weekly SCOOP at  the Royal Mandaya Hotel recently.

"It is a 3-hour adventure activity with the participants having to run from road to trail then jump, crawl, climb, walk and smile the terrain of the trail," said race management organizer Dax Ang.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Timex Run Davao 2012

THE prestigious Timex Run will have its own edition in Davao City on August 26 in an out-and-back course at Roxas Avenue (near Ateneo de Davao University), according to a report posted in the Davao SCOOP Chapter Facebook page.

Based on the report written by Davao-based sports journalist Lito delos Reyes, the event was formally launched last Monday at the Grand Regal Hotel by local race coordinator Kenneth Sai of Vantage Sports Promotions.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Maningkil, Cardona win Dagupan leg of 2012 MILO Marathon

Wilson Maningkil and Lany

DAGUPAN City, July 8, 2012: Wilson Maningkil topped the men’s division while Lany Cardona ruled the women’s category Sunday in the 21-k second leg of the 36th National Milo Marathon held in Dagupan City, organizers said through a press release.

Maningkil dominated the course with a time of 1:15:28, leading the second batch of qualifiers in the men’s division. “I’ve been training two hours everyday. Our real aspiration for training so hard is to defeat the Kenyans,” he said.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Dance Marathon coming this August

I am not sure if this is the first dance marathon in the country, but this one will surely be an out-of-the-box experience for those who are into competitive dancing.

According to organizers, the dance marathon will be staged like a marathon with all the gears like bibs and even a gun start.

You can check the website here for more information regarding the event, which according to organizers will be held at the Venice Piazza at McKinley Hill.

It is a dance marathon for a cause, according to organizers, because proceeds from the event will go directly to the Lifeline Foundation Support Team, Inc., a non-governmental organization (NGO) "dedicated to the relief of the oppressed and the empowering of the victim-minded."

Those who are interested can register online here

Friday, July 6, 2012

A more challenging Rexona Run 2012

Prepare to push yourself to the limits when Rexona Run 2012 unfolds on August 12 at the SM Mall of Asia grounds.  Presented by Rexona Men, the much-anticipated event promises to raise the bar even higher, organizers said in a recent press launching of the event.

With a new category, more prizes and exciting features that will surely test the mettle of even the most seasoned runners. 

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Caltex Delo Kadayawan Half Marathon

THE Caltex Delo Kadayawan Half Marathon is set on August 19, Sunday at 5 a.m. in an out-and-back course at the Ecoland West Avenue near SM City Davao, organizers revealed during the SCOOP forum in Davao.

The categories are the 3K, 5K, 10K and 21K while the registration fees are P250 (3K), P300 (5K), P300 (10K) and P550 (21K) inclusive of a singlet, race bib, finisher's certificate and snacks.

"All registered runners will also get discount coupons for our fuel and lubricants," said Aldrin Laruscain of Chevron Phils. at the SCOOP at the Royal Mandaya Hotel last Tuesday.

The registration has already started from 1:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the Adidas in Gaisano Mall of Davao.

"This is part of this year's Kadayawan Festival and we're expecting at least more than 1,500 runners," said Ezer Marin also of Chevron Phils.

Race director Kenneth Sai of Vantage Sports Promotion, on the other hand, said that the turning point of the 21K route is at the Davao Crocodile Park in Ma-a.
All 21K finishers will each receive a medal with a cut off time of three hours only.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Sore, Martes dominate MILO Marathon's Baguio leg

Sore and Martes raised their trophies after dominating
the opening leg of the 36th MILO Marathon edition.

Hernanie Sore and former MILO marathon queen Cristabel Martes dominated their respective categories during the  opening leg of the 36th National MILO Marathon on Sunday in Baguio City.

According to a press release from the organizers, the 30-year-old Sore finished the Baguio qualifying leg with a time of 1:14:59, topping the treacherous 21-kilometer uphill and downhill course in the men’s category, while the 32-year-old Martes finished with a clocking of 1:34:46 in winning the women’s division.

According to Martes, she has been joining running clinics to prepare for the 36th MILO Marathon hoping to reach the national finals. Similarly, Sore had been conditioning himself for the 42-kilometer distance run.