Showing posts with label Sports. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Sports. Show all posts

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Is the Philippines raising the next Football Hero like Paulino Alcántara?


Paulino Alcántara vs Leonel Messi
Filipino Football Hero Paulino Alcántara's record in football remain unbroken by Lionel Messi more appearances. Photo: Pinterest.com

When will the Philippines find their new Paulino Alcántara?

When will the Philippines find their new Paulino Alcántara? The half-Filipino, half Spanish football hero that set records at FC Barcelona that only Lionel Messi can break.

The Iloilo-born net breaker set goal scoring record in FC Barcelona with 369 goals in 357 games that stood for many years before he was overtaken by Leonel Messi on 16 March 2014.

His record as the youngest player to ever score for FC Barcelona in an official match at the age of 15 is still yet to be broken.

With the influx of half Filipinos in the Philippine National teams, and the newly formed Profesional Football League (PFL), there is a feeling that Alcántara will be found. However, the truth is that the new Alcantara will not be found abroad.

At this period of time, world-class Filipinos playing abroad will surely not be ready to represent the motherland because of the competitive edge and of course the financial reward they will have playing oversea.

David Alaba, for example, is a world-class player currently playing for Bayern Munich and Austria National Team. He holds Austria’s record as the youngest player to play for their senior national team, debuting for them in 2009 as a 17-year-old. His mother is a Filipina while his father is a Nigerian.

 Paulino Alcántara's Ful name, Birth Date, Place
Filipino Football Hero Paulino Alcántara's Ful name, Birth Date, Place and career. Photo: Soccergaming.com

The Philippines for sure will find the new Alcantara at home as football authorities have started to pay more attention to youth development.

The two summer youth football leagues (YFL and NCR) are over but were there new possible Alcántara scouted for the country’s development center during this period?

I read on Four Four Two about Shane Clemente, a young talented Filipino footballer who has already experienced Wembley and Old Trafford at the age of 12 saying:

“I want to play at FC Barcelona because that’s where Alcantara played” ” “He was known for breaking the net and I’m going to be known for breaking the net and the goalpost”.

This is one of the many talented young players at home that should be in the development center under the watchful eye of the Philippines Football Federation and I look forward to meeting this young talent to discuss how far he has gone with his football development. Read more at ROAR

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Philippines remain unbeaten on Day 3 of SEABA Championship 2017

12 Phuoc Thang Le (VIE) - Myanmar v Vietnam, 2017 SEABA Men Championship (PHI), Manila - Smart Araneta Coliseum
12 Phuoc Thang Le (VIE) - Myanmar v Vietnam, 2017 SEABA Men Championship (PHI), Manila - Smart Araneta Coliseum, Manila(Philippines), 14 May 2017

SEABA CHAMPIONSHIP 2017 RESULTS:

  • Indonesia beat Thailand, 60-59
  • Vietnam beat Myanmar, 77-44
  • Philippines beat Malaysia, 106-51

MANILA (SEABA Championship 2017) - Indonesia had to scrape by Thailand even as Vietnam and the Philippines routed their respective foes during Day 3 at the SEABA Championship 2017 in Manila.

The day's opening game proved to be a down-the-wire thriller, but it eventually went Indonesia's way as they outlasted Thailand, 60-59. In a game that featured multiple ties and lead changes, it was Mario Wuysang who came up huge in the endgame to hit the marginal basket. This happened after Sorot Sunthonsiri gave Thailand their last taste of the lead, 59-58. Moments after, Wuysang brought the ball to the left corner and drilled the game-winning bucket. In the game's final sequence, Indonesia forced Thai playmaker Nattakarn Muangboon into a crucial turnover that all but sealed their fate.

The loss wasted a big game from Chitchai Ananti, who scored 24 points and grabbed 5 rebounds. Indonesia, meanwhile, were led by Sandy Kurniawan, who hit 5 three-pointers on his way to 17 points. He got ample support from Dodo Sitepu, who registered 9 points, 6 rebounds and 1 blocked shot. The Indons moved up to 3-0, while the Thais absorbed their first defeat of the tournament.

In the second game, Vietnam notched their first win of the competition at Myanmar's expense, 77-44. Nguyen Van Hung dazzled for the victors with 22 points on 11-of-18 field goal shooting, while Tran Vu Linh added 18 points. Vietnam dominated the interior in this contest, winning the rebound battle, 53-35, and outscoring Myanmar around the basket, 60-24.

Myanmar led very briefly at the start of the game, but once Vietnam got into a groove, they never let go of the advantage. Aung Wana paced Myanmar with 21 points on the back of 2 three-pointers.

To close out the evening, the Philippines recorded another lopsided result, routing Malaysia, 106-51. Malaysia actually scored the first two points of the game, but it was all Gilas Pilipinas after that. The home team built a 19-point lead after the first quarter and never looked back.

VIDEO: Philippines vs Malaysia

Malaysia just had no answer for the Filipinos' superior size and skill. The winners were +21 in rebounding and +13 in assists. Gilas Pilipinas also forced 18 Malaysia turnovers, which they turned into 19 points. Andray Blatche and Troy Rosario each scored 13 points for the Philippines, while Terrence Romeo and Matthew Wright added a dozen points apiece as their team moves into a tie for first place with Indonesia at 3-0.

Most of coach Goh Cheng Huat's wards had a very challenging time trying to score against the bigger Filipinos. Heng Yee Tong and Ting Chun Hong led the losing side with 12 and 10 points respectively. Malaysia drop to the bottom of the team standings with zero wins in three games.

Gilas Pilipinas will take a breather on Day 4 before they return to action on Day 5 opposite Thailand, who take on Myanmar tomorrow. Neighbors Singapore and Malaysia play each other in the second game of Day 4 right before Indonesia are tested by Vietnam in the nightcap. read more at FIBA

Thursday, September 24, 2015

2015 FIBA Asia: Gilas Pilipinas rebounds, mauls Hong Kong for first win by 51

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Jayson Castro (William) led the Philippines with 21 points, five rebounds, and two assists. - Photo from FIBA File

A frustrated Gilas Pilipinas bares its teeth and bites down hard on Hong Kong for a strong recovery from a tough loss in the 2015 FIBA Asia Championship

Gilas dusts off loss, mauls Hong Kong by 51

MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – A different Gilas Pilipinas showed up on Thursday morning, September 24 than had been on display the day before. And they sent quite a strong message to the rest of the competition.

The 2013 FIBA Asia silver medalists vented out their frustrations from an embarrassing opening day defeat to Palestine as the 69th ranked Hong Kong was the unfortunate victim of a 101-50 decimation in the 2015 FIBA Asia Championship at the Changsha Social Work College Gymnasium in Changsha, China.

Jayson Castro, or Jayson William in international play, showed why he is considered Asia's top point guard, exploding for 21 points, 5 rebounds, two assists. He also was 5-of-6 from three-point land. The speedy Castro was firing on all cylinders as he provided not only offensive ammunition but also stability and leadership in orchestrating Gilas' sets.

Andray Blatche followed up his 21-point outing vs Palestine with a 17-point, 8-rebound performance, while Dondon Hontiveros, after going one-of-6 from downtown in the previous game, found his shooting touch and went 4-of-6 from long range against Hong Kong for 14 points to go with 8 rebounds.

Terrence Romeo added 11 points on 3-of-11 triples to go with 5 rebounds, two assists and a steal. Ranidel De Ocampo chipped 10 points and 7 rebounds.

The Philippine national men's basketball team, ranked 31 in the world by FIBA, bared its teeth and bit down hard on Hong Kong from the get-go as they raced to a 20-2 lead out of the gates thanks to Castro's taking over early on.

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TAKEOVER. Jayson Castro, known internationally as Jayson William, stabilizes, leads, and orchestrates Gilas Pilipinas on both ends of the floor from start to finish as the Philippines makes mince meat of Hong Kong. Photo from FIBA

And although Hong Kong, which easily dispatched Kuwait on opening day, found their stride late in the first period, and were backed by the small crowd at the venue, the Philippines refused to be slayed once again and outscored their foes 23-7 in the second period to take a 51-22 halftime lead they would never relent.

The statement game continued in the third even as cheers echoed through the arena for every made Hong Kong shot as Gilas entered the fourth period armed with an 83-38 advantage.

The Philippines' defense was sticky. They clogged the paint and made sure they had active hands and feet all throughout. Unlike the first game, Gilas found the mark from the outside with a 41.2% 3-point shooting clip as opposed to 23% versus Palestine.

After the horrible loss to Palestine, head coach Tab Baldwin dared his players to do more.

"I got nothing for rebounds. That's on you," he said after explaining some adjustments for the Hong Kong game, as shown on a TV5 report.

"If we have to discuss that issue again then I won't be interested in putting my hand in the circle again with you guys. And you guys shouldn't be interested in that too. Fair enough?"

Watch the Video of 2015 FIBA Asia Championship: Gilas Pilipinas vs Hong Kong

"Let's have integrity. Let's do what Filipino basketball players have been doing for years – let's play with puso (heart)," he added.

The team, clearly disappointed during that huddle in practice, responded nicely as they out-rebounded Hong Kong, 62-38. The Palestinians had the edge a day before, 53-58.

Gilas also remembered to move the ball around again and look for the open man as they registered 16 assists, compared to just 8 against Palestine.

They were much more aggressive, too, being smarter with their shot selection. Instead of mostly chucking three-pointers barely 24 hours earlier, Gilas took it strong to the hoop and went 17-of-28 from the line. While that free throw shooting still needs work, they limited Hong Kong to just 5-of-8 from the stripe.

Turnovers were also decreased from 15 to 10.

Siu Win Chang and Duncan Reid led Hongkong with 13 and 11 points, respectively.

Gilas will round up Group B play with Kuwait on Friday, September 25. The team has no room for a loss through to the second round after dropping the Palestine game. – Rappler.com

Sunday, September 6, 2015

Gilas Pilipinas whips Chinese Taipei-B, finishes 2nd in Jones Cup

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image: Inquirer

TAIPEI – Gilas Pilipinas, as expected, rampaged past Chinese Taipei B, 96-67, and secured first runner-up honors at the close of the 2015 Jones Cup invitational basketball tournament at the Xinchuang Gymnasium here Sunday (September 6, 2015).

The Nationals pulled away early and preserved a commanding lead to the finish to end up with a 6-2 win-loss record, a game behind Iran at 7-1.

Gilas Pilipinas pulled off earlier wins over Taipei A (77-69), Spartak-Primorye of Russia (85-71), Japan (75-60), the Wellington Saints of New Zealand (92-88) and USA Select-Overtake (78-74), and suffered losses against South Korea (70-82) and Iran (65-74).

Ahead of the Gilas-Taipei B tiff, Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas president Manny V. Pangilinan prodded the Nationals to finish strong, thanking them for the patriotism they stirred on their proud showing here.

“Best of luck Gilas on your last game. Team has generated a lot of goodwill here,” Pangilinan posted on his Twitter account @iamMVP.

“I’m surprised myself at the level of keen interest, and support, as well as a strong sense of patriotism you guys have stirred,” he also said. “Let’s finish strong today; make this country stand taller and prouder. Cheers. Puso!”

The Nationals obliged, capping a performance that coach Tab Baldwin considered “a big step for FIBA Asia.”

“With all the circumstances, I’m pleased with the second-place finish. It’s respectable,” said Baldwin. “It’s not really want you want, but we take the most of it. And there are many positives.”

“Like Iran, Japan and korea, we came here to get better for FIBA Asia. It’s a very difficult format playing eight games in eight days. I think there were positives out of that, but we suffered fatigue and injuries. Importantly, we’ll take the positives from our Jones Cup experience,” he added.

Without a doubt, the Nationals got improvements in so many aspects, putting some of these in display in their lopsided win over Taipei B.

Gary David took his turn to lead the way with a game-high 22 points spiked by two three-pointers while Jayson Castro, Ranidel de Ocampo and Moala Tautuaa contributed double-digit outputs as the Nationals rolled past the young Taiwanese squad for a fifth podium finish here in the last 11 years.

Tautuaa and Calvin Abueva delivered 12 and eight points, respectively, playing their eighth game in eight days here. The two were the only Gilas players who played here without a day’s rest.

Abueva finally got a rest after hurting his back on a bad fall six minutes and 17 seconds into the game.

Subbing for Abueva, Troy Rosario nailed the two gift shots as Gilas seized the lead at 22-21 before eventually pulling away en route to the win and the second-place finish coming after Gilas II’s title run here in 2012.

It’s Team Phl’s eighth podium finish overall in the Jones Cup after four title conquests and three third-place finishes.

Iran recaptured the Jones Cup crown with a 7-1 record, its lone defeat coming at the hands of the Americans when the Iranians rested 7-foot-2 behemoth Hamed Haddadi.

Haddadi threw his weight against the Filipinos, but Baldwin can count on Andray Blatche to match up with the Iranian giant on their rematch in FIBA Asia.

The 6-foot-10 NBA veteran was to arrive here Sunday night and is to rejoin Gilas in practice in Manila starting Wednesday.

Blatche and the entire pool will have three practice days before plunging back into action in the MVP Cup on Friday to Sunday at the Smart Araneta Coliseum. (SB)

The scores:

Gilas 96 – David 22, Castro 15, Tautuaa 12, De Ocampo 10, Abueva 8, Intal 7, Ramos 7, Thoss 6, Rosario 6, Ganuelas-Rosser 3, Norwood 0, Taulava 0.

Taipei B 67 – Chien 18, Hsiao 14, Lin 9, Lee 9, Huang 8, Lee 3, Liu2, Lin CW 2, Chen 2, Chou 0, Cheng 0, Chien 0.

Quarterscores: 24-21, 50-32, 82-52, 96-67 - INQUIRER

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Jones Cup 2015: Gilas Pilipinas beats Japan 75-60 ahead of Iran clash

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Jones Cup: Gilas routs Japan, 75-60

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines) — Gilas Pilipinas pulled away early in the fourth quarter to rout Japan, 75-60, in the 37th William Jones Cup on Wednesday (September 2) at the Xinzhuang Stadium in Taipei.

After a tight first three quarters, Gilas fired at will from the three-point area and clamped down on defense to break free in the payoff period.

During that stretch, newcomer Moala Tautuaa scored back-to-back throwdowns followed by five three-pointers from veterans Jayson Castro, Gary David, Ranidel de Ocampo, and Gabe Norwood to bury Japan for good.

Rising star Terrence Romeo led Gilas anew with 16 points. Castro, De Ocampo, and Tautuaa added 10 apiece.

The Filipinos, who led by as much as 17 points during the spirited surge, now hold a 3-1 win-loss card with the win, improving their chances of topping the tourney they ruled in 2012.

A hurdle on their road to the championship, however, is Iran, which is currently atop the leaderboards with a 4-1 record. Gilas is tied with Chinese Taipei (Blue) and Russia at No. 2.

The Philippines will face Iran, which is coming off a blowout loss to Team USA which are spearheaded by former Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) imports (September 3) at 1 p.m.- CNN

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Lakers News: Jordan Clarkson Will Not Play For The Philippines

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Jordan Clarkson, a Filipino-American professional basketball player who currently plays for the Los Angeles Lakers. image: turner.com

There’s been a lot of talk over the summer about second-year guard Jordan Clarkson, a Filipino-American professional basketball player who currently plays for the Los Angeles Lakers of the National Basketball Association for potentially playing for the Philippines' national team. Clarkson has expressed an interest in representing his country, but didn’t want it interfering with his commitment to the Los Angeles Lakers.

According to The Philippine Star, Clarkson will not be playing for the national team at this point in time because of his current commitment:

            "In an email to US-based Philstar.com contributor Homer Sayson, Mike Clarkson, Jordan’s father, cited timing as a factor in his son’s decision to pass on the  chance to don the           country’s colors, emphasizing Jordan’s  current commitment  with the Lakers in the NBA. Jordan is in town and has  started working out with the nationals."

Clarkson was initially put on the 24-man preliminary roster for the Filipino squad after being deemed eligible as a natural-born player earlier this month, via Naveen Ganglani of Rappler:

            "The state of the Philippine national basketball team took an unexpected turn on  Monday, August 24, when it was revealed that Los Angeles Lakers guard Jordan  Clarkson actually       acquired a Philippine passport before turning 16-years-old, making him eligible to suit up for Gilas Pilipinas."

Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas Director Sonny Barrios told Rappler on Monday in a phone call that reports of Clarkson’s eligibility to play as a “natural born” Filipino player were true.

With Clarkson not playing for the Philippines in international competition this summer, the up-and-comer will get back to focusing on being ready for training camp with the Lakers. The NBA preseason won’t get underway for the Lakers until Oct. 4 against the Utah Jazz in Honolulu, Hawaii. Training camp should get started during the final week of September.

Clarkson will join D’Angelo Russell and Julius Randle as the focal point on a talented young squad with a lot of prove during the upcoming season. Kobe Bryant will lead the pack as usual along with veterans newcomers Lou Williams, Brandon Bass and Roy Hibbert.- Lakers Nation

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Gilas Pilipinas Philippines' National Basketball team pool announced

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Jayson Castro, Ranidel de Ocampo, Terrence Romeo, and Calvin Abueva are four of the 16 PBA players part of the Gilas Pilipinas pool.

Gilas Pilipinas pool announced

Jayson Castro, Ranidel de Ocampo, Terrence Romeo, and Calvin Abueva are four of the 16 PBA players part of the Gilas Pilipinas pool.

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines) — The national team pool was finally announced.

A list of 16 players from the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) were named part of the Gilas Pilipinas pool that will compete in the FIBA Asia Championship in China from September 23 to October 3, according to a post on the PBA's official Twitter account Monday (August 3).

The players Baldwin requested from the PBA are:

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Earlier reports said that Tenorio (health concerns), Fajardo (injury), and Pingris (personal matters) won't likely be part of the Gilas pool but the three remained on Baldwin's PBA wishlist.

Baldwin had expressed that the pool is a "working list."

Naturalized Filipino Andray Blatche, who suited up for Gilas in the FIBA World Cup last year, was not part of the list but is expected to be included in the final lineup.

Also missing is Troy Rosario, a Gilas Cadet and one of the top prospects in the upcoming PBA draft.

The journey before FIBA Asia

Baldwin, whose only goal is “to win the gold,” earlier stated that the pool will embark possibly to Turkey or Lithuania for a three-week training camp.

The national team is also slated to compete in a four-nation tournament in Manila in September as part of their preparation for the biennial tournament.

The other participating teams, aside from the Philippines, are New Zealand, Lebanon, and Chinese Taipei.

The competition

The winner of the FIBA Asia Championship will qualify for the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

The silver and bronze medalists, meanwhile, will have to go through the FIBA World Olympic Qualifying Tournament.

The Philippines is bracketed in Group B with Palestine, Kuwait, and East Asian champion (Hong Kong or Mongolia).

Defending champion Iran was put in Group A with Japan, Malaysia, and the South Asia qualifier, while Group C will make up of Korea, Jordan, Singapore, and China.

Chinese Taipei, Lebanon, Qatar, and Kazakhstan are in Group D. - CNN Philippines

Philippine karate team brings home 4 golds from Thailand Open

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MEDALLISTS. Members of the Philippine team proudly show their medals. Photo courtesy of Reymund Lee Reyes

PH team reaps medals at Thailand Karate Open

The Philippine karatekas, who competed against 600 athletes from 30 other countries, win a total of 4 gold, 8 silver, and 12 bronze medals

PH TEAM. The 50-member delegations pulls off a good performance at the Thailand Karate Open held in Bangkok from July 26-30, 2015. Photo courtesy of Reymund Lee Reyes

MANILA, Philippines – Philippine karatekas reaped medals at the Thailand Karate Open Championship held from July 26 to 30 at the Huamark Indoor Stadium in Bangkok, Thailand.

The Philippine karatekas, who competed against 600 athletes from 30 other countries, won a total of 4 gold, 8 silver, and 12 bronze medals.

David Lay of the Karate Development Art and Sports (KDA) said that the competition provided a good exposure for the young atheletes.

It was only the Philippines' second participation in the competition after 2007."Going to play abroad is always educational for these kids. They get a lot of benefits, learning experiences and at the same time, at a tender age, they are given the opportunity to play for the country, one way to teach patriotism to them," Lay said.

The delegation was led by Alejandro Enrico Vasquez, with team manager Raymund Lee Reyes. The head coaches are Ali Parvinfar and David Lay, and the delegation's referees, Rommel Raymund, Jonnie Ocular and Ramon Franco.

The 50-member delegation was composed of karatekas from the Philippine Karate-do Team (Typhoons), KDA, Wado-ryu Club, Japan Shotokan Karate Association, Ryo Shotokan Karate Club, Philippine Karatedo Traditional and Sports Association, Maharlika Karate-do Kai of the Philippines International, and the Advocacy for the Strengthening of Karatedo.

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PH TEAM. The 50-member delegations pulls off a good performance at the Thailand Karate Open held in Bangkok from July 26-30, 2015. Photo courtesy of Reymund Lee Reyes

The medalists are the following:

Gold

·         Chole Bernadette Limson

·         Lance Gabriel Villafane

·         Jaspher Fontillas

·         Mae Soriano

Silver

·         Chole Bernadette Limson

·         Marvin Pinpin

·         Jaime Villegas

·         Czarina Napa

·         Mark Andrei Barrientos

·         Randy Padua

·         Narayana Mesina

·         OJ delos Santos

Bronze

·         John Enrico Vasquez

·         Ivanna Cablao

·         Timothy Yu

·         Lopez River

·         Gian Valencia

·         Chris Kawaen

·         Joco Vasquez

·         Gilbert Arellano

·         Angeligue Aguilar

·         Alexis Nunez

·         Rita Cuadra

·         Joanna Ylanan

source :Rappler.com

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Philippine Azkals would take full advantage of three more home games to match in FIFA World Cup qualifier

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The Philippine Azkals have scored the maximum six points from two matches. image: spin.ph

Azkals play 3 more home matches in FIFA World Cup qualifier

MANILA, Philippines -- The Philippine national football team is scheduled to play only three more games in the country in the ongoing qualifiers for the 2018 FIFA World Cup as the rest of its matches will be held outside the Philippines.

“Let’s take advantage of the hometown matches by watching the Azkals play in person. The Azkals will be playing for the country’s honor. The fans’ support will count a lot,” Team Manager Dan Palami said.

The next Azkals game is scheduled on September 8 against a tough Uzbekistan squad at the spanking Philippine Sports Stadium in Bocaue, Bulacan.

Kickoff time is at 8 p.m.

Palami said playing before a home crowd will be motivating for the Azkals, especially if the players see the all-out support of fans turning up in droves for the games.

“We are fortunate to see our Azkals playing more home games, unlike in the 2011 qualifiers where they had only two home games,” he said.

For the ongoing World Cup qualifiers, the Azkals were lined up to play four games in the Philippines -- with the first game already held last June 11 against Bahrain at the Philippine Sports Stadium -- and another four games outside the country under a round robin format. The first home away game of the Azkals happened last June 17 in Doha, Qatar, when it trounced Yemen, 2-0.

After the September 8 game against Uzbekistan, the next Azkals matches in the country are on November 12, 2015, against Yemen and on March 29 next year against the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (North Korea), both at the Philippine Sports Stadium.

The rest of the Azkals games scheduled outside of the country are on October 8, 2015, against the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea in Pyongyang; on October 13, 2015, against Bahrain in Manama, and on March 24 next year against Uzbekistan in Tashkent.

There are eight groups with five teams each. The top team in each group plus the four second-best teams to be determined by goal difference across all groups will advance to the next round. The Philippines, Uzbekistan, People’s Republic of Korea, Bahrain, and Yemen are in Group H.

The 12 teams will compete in the 2016 qualifiers, which will determine the final group for the World Cup in 2018 to be held in Russia. The 12 teams will also automatically qualify for the 2019 Asian Cup.

“Our ultimate goal is to play in the World Cup, the most followed sporting event worldwide and which is every nation’s dream,” Palami said.

Tickets for the Azkals vs. Uzbekistan game to be held at the Philippine Sports Stadium on September 8, 2015 are now available at www.ticketworld.com.ph.  Tickets are at P531.80 for Price Zone 1, P331.14 for Price Zone 2 and P125.40 for Price Zone 3. - Philstar

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Philippines will host Southeast Asian Games in 2019

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The opening ceremony of the 2005 SEA Games in the Philippines, where the Philippines finished number one overall. File Photo by Joel Nito/AFP

Philippines set to host 2019 SEA Games

The biennial regional meet returns to the Philippines for the first time since 2005

MANILA, Philippines – The Philippines has agreed to host the 2019 Southeast Asian Games, the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) announced.

Brunei previously pulled out of hosting the 2019 Games due to lack of venues and preparation time.

PSC said it will maximize existing facilities it used when the Philippines last hosted in 2005 and will touch base with the management of Mall of Asia (MOA) and Iglesia Ni Cristo for use of the MOA Arena and the Philippine Arena.

PSC Chairman Richie Garcia reportedly said he doesn't think the budget "will be that big" as they also plan on using the Subic Freeport for water sports. He said most of the events will be held in Metro Manila.

The MOA Arena is constantly used for local sporting events such as the UAAP, NCAA and PBA, but it also hosted the 2013 FIBA Asia Championship, the 2013 NBA Global Games and the 2015 UFC Fight Night Manila.

The Philippine Arena is a multi-purpose indoor arena opened in 2014 and is owned by Iglesia Ni Cristo. It has a capacity of 55,000 and is located in Santa Maria, Bulacan.

Within the same vicinity is also a 25,000-seater Philippine Sports Stadium that hosted the national men's football team Philippine Azkals's World Cup Qualifiers match against Bahrain. (IN PHOTOS: A glimpse inside the Philippine Sports Stadium)

The Philippines last hosted the regional games in 2005 where it won its first overall championship. The country's performance in the biennial meet has since plummeted with the Philippines suffering its worst ever finish at 7th in the 2013 edition in Myanmar.

The Philippines improved its standing to 6th this year as Singapore hosted but still equaled its gold medal haul of 29 from 2013.

Malasya is set to host the 2017 SEA Games.

2019 could be a big year for Philippine sports if it also manages to snag the hosting rights to the FIBA Basketball World Cup to be held in the same year.

The final bid for the World Cup hosting will take place on August 7. – Rappler.com

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Philippine Azkals Football Team reach highest ever FIFA ranking

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Philippine Azkals National Football Team - image:Philstar.com/File

Azkals ascend in FIFA rankings

The Philippine Azkals got on Thursday their highest FIFA rankings so far at 124.

The Azkals that was ranked 137th in the world last month, climbed 13 notches following their success in the joint World Cup and Asian Cup qualifiers.

Consequently, the Philippines remained the No.1 team in the Southeast Asian region and No.17 in the continental rankings. The Azkals will continue their journey to the World Cup on September 8 when they face Uzbekistan in a home game at the Philippine Sports Stadium.

Meanwhile, Newbie Azkal Luke Woodland might be the possible answer to the team’s center back problem according to veteran defender Rob Gier.

“I do see him as a central midfielder in the future but in the meantime having more competition for places in all areas of the team can only be good for the development of the squad,” Gier said on Woodland in an interview with The Manila Times.

Woodland, who is currently searching for a club after being released by long-time team Bolton Wanderers FC, last played for Oldham Athletic FC on a one-month loan agreement with his mother club.

At the young age of 19, Woodland is a seasoned competitor having represented England in youth level international tourneys.

Gier believes that Woodland, standing six-foot tall fits perfectly in the back-line.

“Seeing his size and physique in person, it was obvious that he could also be an asset at the back,” Gier said.

He added that Woodland could also fill-up a defense position.

“Center back has been a position we have struggled to find any real depth so learning that Luke is capable of play there is a big positive,” he said.

Having three natural center backs, Gier, Juani Guirado and Amani Aguinaldo, it is crucial for the Azkals to put a competent man in the center back position.

After being barred to play in the first game against Bahrain because of eligibility issues, Woodland is now cleared to play for the Philippines.

He was part of coach Thomas Dooley’s new 3-5-2 formation used by the Azkals in their second game against Yemen.

“He dealt with the disappointment of missing out on the first game very professionally and produced a solid display against Yemen,” Gier said.  - The Manila Times

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Philippines Azkals 2014 Fifa World Cup Asian Qualifiers win versus Kuwait for 2-1

If you think the Philippine Azkals is over in the first half, then the team make a magic after they strive to win the game over the Mighty Kuwait for 2-1 score in favor of the Philippines Azkals.

In a  90-minute encounter, it was the experience and poise of Kuwait that prevailed as Al Azraq, despite playing with 10 men in the second half, still found their way to wipe out Phl’s one-goal edge and steal a 2-1 win last night in the 2014 Fifa World Cup Asian Qualifiers Second Round at the Rizal Memorial Stadium.

Together with the 3-0 verdict they posted in Kuwait last Saturday, Al Azraq won the two-game series on goal aggregate, 5-1, to earn a berth in the third round and dash the Azkals’ World Cup hopes at least for now.

“This game and the previous game show how bitter and hard football can be,” said Azkals coach Michael Weiss, who’s still a picture of optimism despite failing to scale the Everest-like challenge of Kuwait, the 10-time Gulf champions.

“A team like us that’s been fighting so bravely in the last six months, and even back to the Suzuki Cup last year, can be punished so severely. That’s a hard lesson to learn and take,” he added.

Fuelled by the enthusiastic crowd at the historic venue, the Azkals drew first blood and went into the break ahead, 1-0, enjoying the prospect of pulling a W over the mighty Al Azraq.

Fil-German Stephan Schrock, suspended in the first leg, was all over the place in his return to action. Schrock sent the leather home from 20 yards in the third minute of added time in the first half, setting off pandemonium all around the venue as tunes of Pinoy Ako and Impossible blared.

The Azkals got an added advantage in the 58th when Fahad Al Ebrahim was sent off for a hard tackle on Chieffy Caligdong.

But the personnel disadvantage inside did not dampen Kuwait a little.

Yousef Naser knocked down the equalizer on a long-range shot at the 61st, silencing the Filipino crowd which was then in the mood for celebration.

Al Azraq put the dagger on the stunned Filipinos in the 85th when Waleed Jumah knocked it down on a through ball that had goalkeeper Neil Etheridge rushing out.

“I think the team can take this defeat. We had to take it fairly and also acknowledge that we went up against a tough opponent,” Weiss said. “(Kuwait) Coach Goran (Tufegdzic) sees his team going all the way through the World Cup this year.”

Al Azraq advanced to the third round where Japan, Australia, South Korea, Bahrain and North Korea have been seeded, along with 14 other winners of Round 2.

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