PH grandmaster-elect back in UAE for a 9-day tourney

The Philippines may soon have another chess grand master (GM) in the coming days. Haridas Pascua, 24, one the most promising young Filipino talents who holds the title of international master (IM), is back in the UAE to compete with more than 100 chess masters from 39 countries in the first ever Sharjah Masters International Chess Championship slated from March 22 to 31.

After the Sharjah tourney, Pascua will take part in the Dubai Open Chess Tournament at the Dubai Chess and Culture Club, where two other Filipino grandmaster prospects, IM Oliver Dimakiling and IM Kim Steven Yap, are also expected.

The University of Baguio graduate is hoping to earn 25 points in the overall finish of the tourney to bag the much-coveted grandmaster title. Pascua is currently ranked 16th among the active chess players in the Philippines with an ELO rating of 2,440.

“Once I reach the rating of 25, I will automatically be declared grand master. That is my aim for competing in this tournament aside from hoping to bag the cash prize of $15,000,” said Pascua in an exclusive phone interview with The Filipino Times.
Once he gets the GM title, Pascua, who works as a part-time online chess trainer based in Malaysia, will then aim for higher ground in the Philippine chess arena.
“Just like my other contemporaries in the field of chess, I also want to become the top player in the Philippines. That’s where my focus is at the moment. Since I am still young, settling down and having a family is not in my priority list yet,” said Pascua.
The young champ is accompanied by his father Gilbert Pascua, who also doubles as his coach-mentor, for the nine-day event.
Pascua’s visit is supported by the UAE-based Filipino Chess Players League (FCPL) who has backed him up in his participation in the previous tournaments in the UAE.

Photo Caption
Grandmaster-elect Haridas Pascua, 24, (3rd from L) along with supporters and sponsors.
(L-R) Joey Tiberio Philippine Airlines Sales Manager; Albert Fernando Travelwings.com Chief Operating Officer; Haridas Pascua Philippine Grand Master; Gilbert Pascua Father & Coach; Rajiv Bhatacharjee Travelwings.com Head of Business Development; Russell Gonzalez Travelwings.com, Non Air Product Development; and William Penaredondo Travelwings.com Community Manager.

Destroyers destroy UGS, 78-68

The tenacious Destroyers just wouldn’t say die, coming from behind to outgun UGS who dominated much of the game but were caught resting on their laurels in the comfort zone on judgment day.

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The Destroyers won, 78-68 – but not without a hard fought struggle on the court from first and second frames, which were highlighted by a tit-for-tat exchange of field goals, to the last second.
The boys of UGS got the upper hand toward the end of the first half, leading by 10 points as they rained treys on the stunned Destroyers who recoiled in the third frame to execute a fastbreak play to narrow the gap.
Fourth frame came and with an eight-point lead, the UGS felt overly comfy – something that the Destroyers saw and took to their advantage as they inched their way slowly but surely to victory. Action was during the recent fourth season showdown at Jazzville Inter-emirates tournament. (Jojo Dass)

Cruzaders defeats Next Gen, 58-55 at U17

These boys are young but they play like pros! Next Gen ruled the first half but the Cruzaders wouldn’t take it sitting on the bench, narrowing the gap with six minutes remaining in the second quarter and giving Next Gen a pounding of three-pointers in the third to maintain a hairline margin.

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Next Gen regrouped in the fourth frame to rain treys and tie the score – but as luck would have it, a Cruzader maneuver in the last two minutes brought the favour to their side to end the game, 58-55. The recent showdown was held at the Jumeirah Baccalaureate School.

Kalilintad frustrates Gen San to bag FMBT title

Kalilintad frustrated the boys of Gen San to clinch the coveted championship title at the recently concluded third Season of the Filipino Muslim Basketball Tournament (FMBT) organized by the Maranao Community in UAE (MARCOM).
FilClub Officials, Chairperson Engr. Tata Dayot and Vice Chair Ericson Reyes
This season of the FMBT League was participated in by 12 teams representing the major Filipino Muslim tribes including the converts, or “Balik Islam” expatriates with the aim to foster unity and camaraderie among them through sports.

The event was well attended by most of the fans of every team and members of various Muslim groups that enlightened the crowd and inspired the players with a much intense play. Maranao cultural dance performances like Kapamalo malong and Pakiring made the night cooler as an ice breaker.

The event was also graced by the presence of Engr. Tata Dayot, chairperson of the Filipino Clubs in Dubai and Northern Emirates as well as the group’s vice chair, Ericson Reyes.

It was an initiative by the Marcom group with Roy Tamano, as the FMBT overall chairman for seasons 1 to 3, assisted by the League Commissioner Shaharullah Wattari Tahir and Dep. Commissioner Jamel Pangandaman as well as with support of the Marcom committee officials and active members led by its President Jalil Paudac.

The championship game and awarding ceremony was held at Al Shaab Sports Complex, Sharjah, UAE on Friday, March 10, 2017, exactly four months when the tournament kicked off.

Underdog Banayad Boys frustrates Spartans in cliffhanger knockout match, 55-50

Standing at sixth place in their bracket Banayad Boys were the underdog in the recent match against Spartans who was ranking third. But this did not deter them to play good ball and frustrate their opponent with a five-point victory at the first season of the Samahang Basketbolista sa Umaga tourney.

The game took off on quite an exciting note as both teams played tough defense, considering that winner enters the semis.

And so as the gods and the spirits would have it, Spartans broke first blood but Banayad Boys (smooth boys in Filipino) indeed it smooth with more defense and a dynamic team work to finish the first frame at 12-8 to their advantage.

As the boys started heating up in the second quarter, so did the crowd – with the Spartans closing the second half by a mere three point lead, 21-19

Third frame was when the action got to the boiling point with the Banayad Boys’ Baste (#20) and Lingat (#15) doing a scathing defense enabling Estolero (#21), Maghirang (#15) and the best player of the game, Rico (#18) to rain treys to bury the Spartans 39-31.

“Never say die!” brought the Spartans into the game on to the fourth quarter, doing an 8-0 run to tie the score at 39. But as luck would have it, Banayad Boys saw an opening and put in a two-pointer field goal – which as it would turn out, was however, not enough: the Spartans have broken loose and was letting out a spectacular show of their own even clinching the lead at 43-42.

Pushed to the wall, Banayad Boys called a time-out to break the Spartans’ momentum with five minutes remaining and returned with a better defense to win the match, 55-50.

Banayad Boys will meet Batangas Angas in the semis. (JD)

Volcanoes dominate Doha rugby tilt

The Philippine National Men's Rugby Sevens Team, the

Volcanoes, bested 10 other countries to win the top prize in the

recent Asian Rugby Sevens Trophy competition in Doha, Qatar.

Coming out of the first day on top of their pool with dominant

wins versus Nepal and Qatar, the Volcanoes started day two of

the competition by defeating Iran 42 to 0 in the Quarter Final to

set up a Semi-Final battle with SEA Games rivals, Singapore,

according to a dispatch from the team’s Facebook page.

A strong start had Singapore leading the match 10 – 7, but the

Volcanoes kept their composure and produced try by Vincent

Amar Young on the final play, ending the match at 12-10. The

narrow win pushed the Philippines into the Grand Final against

Thailand, which had also yet to drop a game in the competition,

the report added.

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“In the Final, the Globe Ph Volcanoes wasted no time and

produced a rapid series of tries which gave them a commanding

29 points to 0 lead at halftime. Thailand attempted a comeback

in the second half, but only managed one try and conversion

before the Philippines finished them off with a final two tries

ending the match 41 – 7,” it said. 

Team Capt. Daniel Bembo Matthews was awarded Most

Valuable Player, while Timothy Bweheni was proclaimed Man of

the Match.

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"It was a real team effort to win this tournament. The players put

in the hard yards and really played for each other. This win was

for all our supporters, we appreciate all the support we have

received," Matthews was quoted as saying.

With this win, the Philippines gains entry back into the Asian

Sevens Series (A7S) which is the Rugby Sevens competition

among top tier teams in Asia such as Japan, Hong Kong and

Korea. The A7S will be played  through September and October

in Hong Kong, Korea and Sri Lanka. 

The Globe Ph Volcanoes will compete next month at the

Singapore SEA 7s on April 14 and 15.

ONE lightweight world champ set to defend title

ONE lightweight world champion Eduard Folayang of Team Lakay is all set to defend his gold plated strap for the first time against Malaysian contender Ev Ting on April 21 at Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City.

Folayang, 33, defied the odds when he halted Japanese mixed martial arts legend Shinya Aoki in November to capture the lightweight title, reported GMA News.

The Pinoy fighter reportedly feels that the his victory over Aoki was the highlight of his career, and is now focused on successfully defending the belt at home.

“Winning the title against a legend like Shinya Aoki will forever hold a special place of distinction in my career, but it is only the first step in establishing my legacy,” Folayang was quoted as saying.

“Before champions were recognized as greats and legends of the sport, every single one of them faced contenders that challenged their prowess as champions. In April, I will have the opportunity to prove why I hold the coveted title.”

Ting, on the other hand, is currently riding an impressive four-fight win streak and holds notable wins over Filipino fighters such as Honorio Banario, Eric and Edward Kelly, the report said.

And while the-27-year-old challenger has nothing but praises for Folayang, he reportedly made it clear that he’s coming to the Philippines to take the title.

“I have worked tirelessly to be where I am now. It has finally paid off because I will get an opportunity to vie for a world title. It’s every mixed martial artist’s dream to become a champion.

This is my chance to fulfill that dream,” Ting was quoted as saying by GMA News.

“Eduard Folayang is a great champion and is admired by many Filipinos, but he has what I want. I’m coming to Manila to get it from him and bring it home to Malaysia.”

LOOK: Pacquiao, Khan reach deal for April 23 fight

UAE likely to host Pacquiao-Khan bout on April 23

Filipino boxing icon Manny Pacquiao and British star Amir Khan have agreed to face off in an April 23 bout, which is most likely to take place in the UAE

Pacquiao tweeted on Sunday that both teams have agreed to a deal, calling it the fight that fans wanted, reported ABS-CBN News.
Khan also reportedly announced the “super fight” to his followers.

Khan was the landslide winner in a poll ran by Pacquiao through his Twitter account, wherein the “Pacman” asked his fans who they wanted him to fight next, the report said.

Neither fighter named a venue for the fight; Pacquiao’s adviser, Michael Koncz, said last week that it will be held either in Dubai or Abu Dhabi, said the news portal

UAE to host Manny’s fight in April

Michael Koncz (far left) making the announcement at a press conference’ with him are officials of Al Afaq Tourism.

The next Manny Pacquiao fight will be held in the UAE which will also showcase a world title fight and three UAE fighters, said Michael Koncz, Pacquiao adviser.

“We did execute an agreement. 100 percent, the fight will happen here,” Koncz told a press conference in Abu Dhabi.

He said Australian Jeff Horn could most probably be Manny’s opponent.

He said full details of the fight, which has been slated for April 22, will be announced in the next few days.

The agreement to hold the fight in the UAE was reached with Al Afaq Tourism.

Cristine Real Estate brings home the bacon!

The guts to secure the finals cup in a 2-0 commanding lead in the series belonged to the much formidable team, Cristine Real Estate, winning against Agilas Team, 77-68 to bring home the bacon.
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Agilas was led by Poks Pangan, the lone scoring gun of the team who tried his very best to regain status and cut the lead to two points with his 8-0 running shots at 3:45 minutes remaining in the fourth frame.

Three consecutive errors converted to six points in favor of Cristine Real Estate sealed the run of the day. Poy Alday was awarded Finals MVP, as he scored 16 points and directed the team to keep calm down and play basketball good.
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Kenneth Salazar meanwhile bagged the Best Player of the Conference award.

Thunderbulls, meantime, captured second runner-up, winning against Al Wahda Warriors by a razor cut in a heavily intense game, 66-65. Renato Cruz was the best player of the game with his hot shooting explosion of 27 points, and five treys in the arch.