Classic match: Alaska topples San Miguel in UNTV Cup PBA Legends face-off

Marje Pelayo   •   July 9, 2019   •   4200

MANILA, Philippines — Fans went wild at Smart Araneta Coliseum on Monday (July 8) as the Milkmen served the Beermen their first taste of defeat at the conclusion of UNTV Cup Off PBA Legends off-season games.

Even the Legends themselves were amazed to feel their old aggressive self coming back to life just like the good old days as they hit the hardcourt.

“Believe it or not, iyong intensity noong nasa dulo (the intensity through the end of the game) it felt like the 90s again,” exclaimed Alaska’s Jojo “Mr. Clutchman” Lastimosa.

“So it was just like going back in time for the times. We were here 20 years ago, 25 years ago, the feeling was the same although a bit slower but the competition was there, the intensity was there,” he said.

“Sa totoo lang na-miss ko din talaga (Honestly, I missed [playing] so much),” said Kiko Adriano of San Miguel.

“The last time I played siguro 2008. Ito talaga ang ano ng player, iyong pride (This is the pride of a player) although medyo lack kami duon sa players pero up to the last na oras talagang laban pa rin (though we lack players but up to the last hour we continued fighting),” he said.

Basketball fans couldn’t sit still as they watch and shout to the breathtaking exchanges of double and triple shots, minute after minute of the game.

Indeed, a classic match they missed for decades.

Marlon Pangan is from a family of Ginebra die-hard fans. He made sure to witness the comeback of his idol Bal David into the hardcourt as he flaunted an old jersey of David like it was his ‘lucky charm.’

“Since 1994, inabutan ko talaga yung kalakasan nila (Since 1994, I’ve seen them when they were at the peak of their career) – Bal David, Marlo Aquino, Noli Locsin. Natutuwa ako kasi nandito kami. Hanggang ngayon, sinusuportahan pa rin namin mga games nila (I am happy that until now, we’re still here, supporting their games),” he said.

Alaska supporter Jeon Yantada goes all-out for his idol Willie “The Thriller” Miller.

“Parang bumagal na siya lumaki na pero yung tira niya sa labas parang (Stephen) Curry. Hindi naman nagbabago (He seemed to have slowed down a bit but his shots were like Stephen Curry’s. Nothing changed),” the Alaska die-hard fan said.

“Nanonood ako ng PBA kapag may San Miguel fight lang. Nag-cheer ako even pumusta ko sa kanila (I watch PBA only when San Miguel fights. I cheered for them and even placed a bet on them),” said Allan Bernales of his favorite team San Miguel.

It was an intense one hour inside the Big Dome as Alaska Aces hit the hardcourt with a vengeance against the strong San Miguel Beermen who defeated them in February during the Return of the Rivals benefit game with only seven points, 96-83.

The Beermen started strong in the first quarter, leading the ball game with two points, 21-19.

But the Milkmen was also up for the win and led the second quarter with a three-point advantage, 37-34, thanks to Willie “the Thriller” Miller’s 10 points contribution.

San Miguel again dominated the third quarter with an 8-point lead after Chris Calaguio fired four three-point shots, 60-52.

At the beginning of the fourth quarter, the “Flying A” Johnny Abarrientos displayed his ‘deadly crossover moves’, pushing Alaska closer to lead, 70-68.

There was non-stop intensity as John Ferriols added a free throw and Eddie Laure jumped for two.

The Milkmen finally scored ahead of the Beermen, 71-70 as both teams went neck and neck, scoring tied twice at 71 and 72.

At the final one minute and 42 seconds, the Beermen had the chance to win the game when Kiko Adriano stole the ball and attempted a shot but missed.

At 1:03, Miller fired a three-point shot but Allan Caidic couldn’t just watch so “the Triggerman” delivered his ‘shooting touch’ of three, bringing the score to a third tie at 75.

The last 46 seconds of the ball game brought out the best of both teams.

Abarrientos ended the showdown with a final lay up during the remaining 12 seconds, securing Alaska’s championship title, 77-75, while fans singing “Wala pa ring tatalo sa Alaska!” (Nothing can beat Alaska!)

Battle for 3rd: Ginebra vs. Purefoods

Crowd-favorite Ginebra and Purefoods battle for the third place prior to the championship game.

The Gin Kings toppled the Hotdogs in February during the Return of the Rivals benefit game, 97-89.

But it was a complete turn-around as the Hotdogs emerged victorious after defeating the Gin Kings and secured the third spot in the PBA Legends Face Off, 98-75.

Six players from Purefoods contributed double-digit scores – Roger Yap (20); Alvin Patrimonio (16); Tony Boy Espinosa (14); Glenn Capacio (13); Dwight Lago (10) and Jerry Codinera (10).

Meanwhile, leading Ginebra with high scores were Bennett Palad (16); Mike Orquillas (14); and Bal David (11).

The Legends have nothing but praises to the one-of-a-kind charity basketball game organized by UNTV president and CEO Kuya Daniel Razon in cooperation with the PBA Legends Foundation chaired by former Crispa star Atoy Co.

“Congratulations to everybody. Siyempre giving back to the fans din ito, (Of course, this is also giving back to the fans,)” exclaimed Alvin ‘the Captain’ Patrimonio.

“Natutuwa ako sa mga fans kasi grabe yung cheers nila sa amin (I’m amazed with the way the fans cheered for us, so lively),“ he said.

“Congratulations to UNTV for making this event possible. We were very, very thankful hindi lang doon sa mga Legends na naglalaro kundi sa purpose nito (not only to the Legends who played but for the purpose of this game) – to help the Legends,” thanked Purefoods Bong ‘The Raven’ Ravena.

“Aside for the win this is for all the fans. Makabalik man lang kami sa kanila kahit maliit na kasayahan. Malaking bagay sa amin iyon (To give back to them and to be able to make them happy, that means a lot to us),” he added.

“Sana tuloy-tuloy pa at marami pang (ganitong) event (I hope for more of this event in the future). Thank you and all the best. More power Kuya Daniel and sa UNTV,” concluded Ginebra’s Bal ‘The Flash’ David.

The host UNTV has given the four teams P2-M which they donated to the PBA Legends Foundation. – with details from Bernard Dadis

UNTV Cup has donated P50-M to beneficiaries in the past 7 seasons

Aileen Cerrudo   •   September 11, 2019

For the children of soldiers who died in duty.

For the rescued street children.

For patients suffering from cancer.

For the victims of calamities and disasters.

These are just some of the beneficiaries of UNTV Cup.

Since the league started in July 2013 and up to its seventh season, UNTV Cup has already donated a total of P50,250,000 cash prize to the beneficiaries of all the competing teams.

For the players from all the government agencies, it was never about the glory. They are prepared to give their all for their chosen charity.

“Punto for punto talagang masarap sa pakiramdam as a player na naglalaro, (As a player, each point feels fulfilling)”—Reneboy Banzali from the Government Service Insurance System (GSIS) Furies

“Naglalaro ka na nakakatulong pa tayo sa mga beneficiary natin. So enjoy lang kami, makatulong, (We are helping our beneficiaries by playing. So we are just enjoying)“—Malacañang Head Coach Raffy Ginzalez

“Nagpapasalamat nga kami sa kanila lalo na kay Brother Eli. Sa pamamagitan niya ang daming natutulungan, pati na iyong team namin. So nagiging instrument kami makatulong din sa ibang tao, (We are thankful to Brother Eli. Through him, we are helping a lot even our team. So we also become instruments to help others)“—National Housing Authority (NHA) Builders Head Coach Benett Palad

“Kami po, kasama lahat ng players and of course kasama ang management ng PhilHealth ay patuloy na sumusuporta sa magandang adhikain ni Brother Eli and ni Kuya Daniel na hindi lang ma-showcase iyong mga talento ng ating mga public servants kundi makatulong din sa ating mga beneficiaries, (On behalf of all the players and, of course, the PhilHealth management, we will continue to support the good advocacy of Brother Eli and Kuya Daniel of not just showing the talents of our public servants but also to help our beneficiaries)“—Philippine Health Insurance (PhilHealth) Plus Head Coach Delio Aseron II

UNTV Cup is also helping former professional basketball players through the PBA Legends Foundation.

For the 8th season of UNTV Cup, over P10 million is allotted for the beneficiaries of the 12 competing teams.—AAC (with reports from Bernard Dadis)

Sports and Public Service, the right mix for UNTV Cup Season 8

Aileen Cerrudo   •   September 10, 2019

Despite the heavy rain, Michael de Guzman did not miss his chance to watch the opening of UNTV Cup Season 8 at the Mall of Asia (MOA) Arena on Monday (September 9).

Not only was he excited to watch the first match between the AFP Cavaliers and the PITC Global Traders, he was able to reactivate his membership with Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHeath).

“Okay nga iyong pagkakataon na ito dahil na-enjoy ko na ang panonood, nakakuha pa ako ng kailangan ko sa Philhealth, (This is a good opportunity because I was able to enjoy the game and at the same time work on what I need from PhilHealth),” he said.

Different public service booths like the Social Security System (SSS), Pag-IBIG booth, and PhilHealth were available for everyone as part of the opening of UNTV Cup Season 8.

Meanwhile the whole family of basketball fan, Edgar Santiago, arrived at MOA around 3:00 p.m. which was four hours before the official opening of the series.

Edgar and his family have been supporting UNTV since season 1 and they never miss an opportunity to watch some of the games.

“Alam naman natin ang proceeds ay para sa mga soldiers, mga POW [prisoner of war], mga nasaktan, mga pamilya na hindi halos masuportahan ng ating gobyerno, (We know the proceeds will go to the soldiers, prisoners of war, injured individuals and families that our government can no longer support),” he said.

Fans never stopped cheering once the first match started.

“Ang saya-saya ng laban at tsaka ang galing-galing talaga ng AFP, (It’s really fun and the AFP is a good team)” according to one of AFP’s fans Whisky Villanueva.

Brother Eli Soriano and Kuya Daniel Razon are grateful to God and the fans for their full support.

“Ito po ay patuloy naming gingawa sa tulong ng mga Members of the Church of GOD International kaya natutuwa kami na nakakatulong kami one way or the other even without lifting a finger (We continue to do this with the help of the Members of the Church of GOD International so we are happy to help in one way or the other without lifting a finger),” according to Brother Eli.

“Ang satin lang po alam natin ang dahilan kung bakit tayo nandito, ang gusto natin una sa lahat ay makatulong sa ating mga kapuwa tao na nangangailangan, (We know why we are here. First of all, we want to help our fellowmen in need)” Kuya Daniel said.—AAC (with reports from Aiko Miguel)

Hong Kong leader says she would ‘quit’ if she could; fears her ability to resolve crisis now ‘very limited’

Robie de Guzman   •   September 3, 2019

Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam

Embattled Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam said she has caused “unforgivable havoc” by igniting the political crisis engulfing the city and would quit if she had a choice, according to an audio recording of remarks she made last week to a group of business people.

At the closed-door meeting, Lam told the group that she now has “very limited” room to resolve the crisis because the unrest has become a national security and sovereignty issue for China amid rising tensions with the United States.

“If I have a choice,” she said, speaking in English, “the first thing is to quit, having made a deep apology.”

Lam’s dramatic and at times anguished remarks offer the clearest view yet into the thinking of the Chinese leadership as it navigates the unrest in Hong Kong, the biggest political crisis to grip the country since the Tiananmen Square protests of 1989.

Hong Kong has been convulsed by sometimes violent protests and mass demonstrations since June, in response to a proposed law by Lam’s administration that would allow people suspected of crimes on the mainland to be extradited to face trial in Chinese courts.

The law has been shelved, but Lam has been unable to end the upheaval. Protesters have expanded their demands to include complete withdrawal of the proposal, a concession her administration has so far refused. Large demonstrations wracked the city again over the weekend.

Lam suggested that Beijing had not yet reached a turning point. She said Beijing had not imposed any deadline for ending the crisis ahead of National Day celebrations scheduled for October 1.

And she said China had “absolutely no plan” to deploy People’s Liberation Army troops on Hong Kong streets.

World leaders have been closely watching whether China will send in the military to quell the protests, as it did a generation ago in the bloody Tiananmen crackdown in Beijing.

Lam noted, however, that she had few options once an issue had been elevated “to a national level,” a reference to the leadership in Beijing, “to a sort of sovereignty and security level, let alone in the midst of this sort of unprecedented tension between the two big economies in the world.”

In such a situation, she added, “the room, the political room for the chief executive who, unfortunately, has to serve two masters by constitution, that is the central people’s government and the people of Hong Kong, that political room for maneuvering is very, very, very limited.”

Three people who attended the meeting confirmed that Lam had made the comments in a talk that lasted about half an hour. A 24-minute recording of her remarks was reviewed by Reuters.

The meeting was one of a number of “closed-door sessions” that Lam said she has been doing “with people from all walks of life” in Hong Kong.

China’s Hong Kong and Macau Affairs Office, a high-level agency under China’s cabinet, the State Council, did not respond to questions submitted by Reuters. China’s State Council Information Office did not immediately respond to questions from Reuters. (Reuters)

(Production: Hyunyoung Yi)

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