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Alaska Back in Action Against Phoenix



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After almost two weeks, Alaska will return to action in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup as the club takes on Phoenix at the Smart Araneta Coliseum on Friday.

The Aces will battle the Fuel Masters in the 4:15 p.m. game with both teams trying to bounce back from painful defeats.

Alaska fell prey to Meralco on April 8 that eventually saw its 4-0 start snapped.

On the other hand, Phoenix saw a 17-point lead vanish and lost in the end to Rain Or Shine four nights later.

Calvin Abueva, however, is questionable for Friday as he suffered a busted lip during Gilas practice at the Kerry’s Sports Gym in Taguig and was not present during the succeeding training nights back at the Meralco Gym in Pasig and even at the Aces’ practice at the nearby Gatorade Hoops Center in Mandaluyong.

In the nightcap at 7 p.m., GlobalPort looks to build a winning run as it goes up against TNT.

With Terrence Romeo slowly regaining his form following a typhoid fever, the Batang Pier will try to establish a winning streak as they battle the KaTropa, who have won four straight. (PNA)IVAN SALDAJENO

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Nat’l SCUAA Kicks Off in Antique




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The National State Colleges and Universities Athletic Association (SCUAA) formally opened in Antique province with around 7,000 student-athletes and coaches from all over the 17 regions of the country.

In an interview with the Philippine News Agency (PNA), National Youth Commissioner Dino Badilla said this sports event that would reel off until February 24 is a milestone to the history of Antique province and the University of Antique (UA) which for the first time is hosting this event.

“Hosting the National SCUAA is a milestone and pride of Antique,” Badilla said.

He said that other provinces had been hosting the National SCUAA for several times already but that Antique for a very long time had not hosted the national event.

“I am happy to be one of the organizers… to be a part of it,” Badilla said.

For the athletes, Badilla wished them well as they compete in the 21 sports events like archery, athletics, arnis, and badminton starting tomorrow.

“Sana may marami silang makilala na katunggali,” he said.

He also said that hopefully, they would learn more about their sports as they compete and that they would be able to bring home many good memories.

He said that athletes should do their best because not only would their tournaments be seen around the country but even by their family members outside of the country.

He also said that for UA, headed by President Pablo Crespo, they have very good preparations and hopefully more national sports events would be held in the province.

During the opening program, the 2,000 students of UA had their PASUC Unity Dance which was greatly admired by spectators.

Makati Congressman Monsour T. Del Rosario led the lighting of the friendship flames.

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Gilas’ February Pool Finally Complete in Practice




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The Gilas Pilipinas pool to the FIBA World Cup Qualifiers February window is finally in full force.

All the 15 members of the national team pool that will be the basis of the lineup for the games against Australia and Japan on Feb. 22 and 25 respectively showed up during the daily practice at the Meralco Gym in Pasig on Tuesday night.

Twelve of them, Andray Blatche, Gabe Norwood, June Mar Fajardo, Jayson Castro, Calvin Abueva, Allein Maliksi, RR Pogoy, Japeth Aguilar, Matt Wright, Kevin Alas, Carl Cruz, and Jio Jalalon, took part in the practice proper, where they participated in scrimmages with African players led by former Ateneo player Chibueze Ikeh.

Troy Rosario also suited up in practice after a scary fall last week in TNT’s game against Phoenix, but he was limited to shooting drills.

“He’s cleared to practice, but he’s really not cleared to play,” said Coach Chot Reyes. “He’s cleared to do light workouts and shooting drills but not really full contact.”

Kiefer Ravena and Mac Belo also attended the training session, but they were relegated to observers.

Reyes then bared that Ravena called in sick.

Four members of the Gilas Cadets also joined the practice in CJ Perez, Abu Tratter, Arvin Tolentino, and Kenneth Tuffin.

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Antequera Duathlon 2018 Registration Until Feb 28




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If Alicia had a trail run and an off-road bike race in two days, Antequera will do it in one: the Antequera Off-road Duathlon 2018.

Now promoted as a viable sports tourism destination, Bohol is at it again this summer, with another grueling race showcasing Antequera’s trails and immersion into locals in a run-bike run event.

Set at 6:30 AM this March 18, the 5 kilometer (km) run, 25-km bike and 3-km run speeds off in the classic leave no trace race: participants who litter could lose, so they must provide for their race provisions while organizers put up aid stations where participants can refill water bottles or hydration packs.

“We want this with least environmental impact, so participants are advised to pocket their litter and empty them at the aid stations, outside help from non-participants or spectator, like food, hydration, tools, or medical assistance from any person not directly involved in the event in the entire bike course is strictly prohibited,” one of the race organizers, Russel Villas, said.

“Even pacing from a non-competitor or vehicle is not allowed at any time on the bike course, participants may walk their bike if needed, but they can’t complete the bike course without their bikes,” he added.

Participants must complete the entire bike course unassisted, strictly following the designated track and specified as race course, or face disqualification, return to the transition area on the same mountain bike they started as a bike change would be ground for disqualification and immediate ejection from the race.

Open to participants 16 years old and above and who have at least trained or participated in an offroad race, the Antequera Duathlon is still accepting registrations until Feb 28 at Bohol Bike Shop in Tagbilaran.

For individuals, registration is at P600 and relay at P1,200, which includes race kit, finishers medal, jersey, and post-race meal.

Open for three categories, the race accepts 29 years old and below participants, 30 to 39, 40 to 49, and 50 and above for the male category and 35 years old and below and 35 years old and above for females.

On March 18, at exactly 6:30 a.m. of March 18, the race clock officially stops at 1:00 pm of the same day, or 6 and a half hours after gun start,  according to Vice Mayor Simon Leo Jadulco, head of the organizing team.

“Duathletes who are still on the road by the cut-off may still finish the race beyond and still get their finisher’s medal and shirt, but they will not be included in the official list of finishers as the race provides no time extensions,” he added.

As to the offroad bike segment,  organizers said only 26, 27.5, 29 inch wheels mountain and fat bikes are allowed with minimum 1.9 tire size for the race.

Those using a tire size 1.9 below will be disqualified for a podium finish in all categories.

Concerned about safety, organizers also said “riders with bikes that have safety issues will be disqualified.”

With this, racers need to get their bikes checked-in at the transition area on March 17, Antequera Town Center from 3:00 to 5:30 pm, when they can also claim their race kits.

Another bike check-in will and race kit claims is set 4:00 am to 5:30 am on race day and upon mandatory two-hours before check in, race bibs, proper running and biking apparels, hydration bottle and helmets are also presented, personal audio devices, strictly prohibited.

All bikes must be checked-in and mounted on the racks at the transition area by 5:30 a.m. on race day, no extensions or late check-in of bikes are allowed.

Before that, participants may still have full access to their bikes before these are hung in racks at the transition area, which would not be removed until the start of the bike leg.

Race briefing is set on March 17 at 5:30 pm at the transition area and a carbo-loading dinner will be served later.

For Tagbilaran City based-bikers, a truck for bikes will be available only at 3:00 p.m. on March 17, 2018 from Rizal Park of Tagbilaran City, and will ferry the bikes back to Tagbilaran after the race on Sunday, according to duathlon organizers.

Campsites are provided at the plaza or at the Antequera Training Center for overnight stay.

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PH bows to Singapore in Fed Cup




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The Philippines bowed to Singapore, 1-2, in their best-of-three tie of the Fed Cup Asia/Oceania Zone Group 2 competition at the Bahrain Tennis Federation hard courts.

The Philippines and Singapore are now 6-2 in their head-to-head record.Anna Clarice Patrimonio lost to Charmaine Shi Yi Seah, in the first singles, 3-6, 7-6 (2), 1-6; Filipino-German Katharina Lehnert fell to Stefanie Tan, 2-6, 2-6, in the second singles while Marian Jade Capadocia and Khim Iglupas prevailed over Lynelle En Tong Lim and Tammy Tan, 6-1, 6-1, in the doubles.

Stephanie Tan has won 19 matches (13 singles and six doubles) since joining the Fed Cup in 2007. She is currently No. 652 (singles) and No. 695 (doubles) in the world.

Stephanie is now 1-1 against Lehnert, who beat her 3-6, 6-3, 6-4 in the Group 2 play-off in Thailand two years ago.

Seah became a member of the Fed Cup team in 2016. She has played in 10 ties, winning six singles and two doubles matches.

The setback meant the Philippines will remain in Group 2 while Pool B winner Singapore will face Pacific Oceania in the promotional playoff semifinal to determine which teams will be promoted to Group 1 next year. Pacific Oceania, represented by Abigail Tere-Apisah, Carol Youngsuh Lee and Steffie Carruthers, topped Pool C with victories over Iran (3-0), Oman (3-0) and Malaysia (3-0).

The other promotional playoff will feature Uzbekistan bannered by world’s No. 194 singles player Sabina Sharipova, and Indonesia led by Beatrice Gumulya, who is ranked No. 312 in the doubles.

Uzbekistan defeated New Zealand, (3-0) and Lebanon (3-0) in Pool A, while Indonesia downed Pakistan (3-0), Bahrain (3-0) and Sri Lanka (3-0).

Meanwhile, the Philippines will face Oman and New Zealand will meet Pakistan in the playoff for fifth to eight places.

Lebanon will take on Sri Lanka and Malaysia will battle Kyrgyzstan for ninth to 12th places.

Iran, which lost to Pacific Oceania (0-3), Malaysia (0-3) and Oman (1-2), was ranked 13th.

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