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Efren ‘Bata’ Reyes delights Vietnamese fans at the SEA Games; assured of bronze medal in carom

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At 67, Efren ‘Bata’ Reyes seem to have never lost his touch nor his appeal, as he delighted Vietnamese fans with  a come-from-behind victory in men’s 1-cushion carom at the 31st Southeast Asian Games held at Ha Dong Gymnasium in Hanoi.

Reyes, dubbed the ‘Magician’ in the sports world, and a superstar in his own right, defeated Thailand’s Suriya Suwannasingh, 65-58, to assure himself of a bronze medal in the event.

The Filipino icon was trailing Suwannasingh, 1-13, in the opening innings following several miscalculations. It was almost as if he was headed for an early exit before cutting the lead to four, 22-26, in the 20th inning.

Both players continue to suffer misfires in between sets with a few innings left, but the Pinoy legend eventually pulled it off with a 65-58 to enter the semifinals which will be held on Wednesday.

After the victory, Vietnamese fans who trooped to the gymnasium just to see the ‘Magician’ rejoiced and later surrounded Reyes to ask for autographs and, of course, the mandatory selfie.

They were also joined by some sports officials, television crew and even by Suwannasingh himself to pose for a photo with Reyes.

Other Filipino cue artists who snatched victories from their respective opponents to advance into the next level are Francisco Dela Cruz (men’s 1-cushion carom), Carlo Biado and Johann Chua (9-ball pool singles), Rubilen Amit (women’s 9-ball pool singles) and Jefrey Roda (men’s snooker 6-red category).

As of Monday, May 16, the Philippine is in third place with 30 gold medal hauls, 34 silver and 44 bronze for a total of 108 medals.

Five of the gold medals the Filipinos received came from Carlos Yulo’s triumph in artistic gymnastics. Yulo completed his dominance of the sports with an additional two silvers.

The gold medal tally board is still being led by host Vietnam with a total of 86, followed by second-placer Thailand with 36.

Watch Efren ‘Bata’ Reyes’ game vs. Suwannasingh in a video shared by SARGO BILLIARDS via YouTube:

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Japan nagbukas ng pinakamalaking esports park para i-level up ang kanilang competitive gaming

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Binuksan noong Miyerkules ang pinakamalaking esports park sa Japan na naglalayong makatutulong sa pagpapalago ng bansa na nasa likod ng mga classic na video game gaya ng Super Mario at Zelda upang madaig nito ang China sa competitive gaming.

“Japan’s esports market is growing but still distant compared to overseas. We hope to close the gap,” sabi ni Yasuo Hara, Presidente ng Tokyo Esports Gate, na nag-develop ng Red Tokyo Tower attraction.

Nag-aalok ang parke, na nakalatag sa tatlong palapag sa base ng landmark na Tokyo Tower, ng espasyo para sa kompetisyon sa esports kasama ang pinakabagong motor racing, virtual reality, at mga larong simulator.

Ayon sa ulat, ang mga Japanese gamer ay naging mabagal sa pagsali sa mga esport, at mas pinapaboran ang home-grown role-playing console (RPG) na mga laro tulad ng “Final Fantasy” at “Dragon Quest” at mga mobile title tulad ng “Monster Strike.”

“It’s still Donkey Kong country,” sabi ni Serkan Toto, founder ng consultancy sa industriya ng laro na Kantan Games, na tumutukoy sa klasikong serye ng platforming ng Nintendo.

Ang Nintendo ay may tapat na fanbase sa Japan kaugnay sa Switch device nito habang ang Sony at Microsoft ay nakikipagtunggali sa mga Western market na may  next-generation consoles.

Ang kumpanyang nakabase sa Kyoto ay naglunsad ng mga pangunahing hit multiplayer hits na “Splatoon” at “Smash Bros.” ngunit hindi ito gaanong aktibo sa pagsusulong ng competitive gaming kumpara sa mga kumpanya tulad ng Riot Games, na pag-aari ng Tencent ng China.

Ang pananamlay ng Japanese esports ay kasalungat ng sa South Korea at China, kung saan ang kanilang sigasig ay sumasalamin sa competitive strength ng teams sa multiplayer PC titles gaya ng “League of Legends” mula sa California-based na Riot.

Ang China, kung saan nahirapan ang mga gumagawa ng console na makapasok dahil sa mga mahigpit na regulasyon, ay hahakot sa taong ito ng halos one-third ng kita sa pandaigdigang esports; na ayon sa research firm na Newzoo ay ‘driven primarily by sponsorship’.

Ang paglago ng streaming sa mga platform tulad ng Amazon’s Twitch sa panahon ng COVID-19 pandemya ay nagpapatunay ng tailwind para sa mga esport, na inaasahang humakot ng global revenue na malapit sa $1.38 bilyon sa taong ito, ayon sa pagtataya ng Newzoo.

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Pacman among ‘The Ring’ magazine’s Top 10 boxers in history

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Manny ‘Pacman’ Pacquiao has been included in ‘The Ring’ magazine’s top ten boxers in the sport’s history published on Tuesday, February 15.

Placing ninth overall, the ‘Pambansang Kamao’ is sandwiched between Archie “Old Mongoose” Moore (10th) and Ezzard “Cincinatti Cobra” Charles.

The magazine noted that the Filipino icon ‘cracked their top 10s in four different decades from the 1990s to the 2020s with wins over reigning champions or opponents ranked in the top two of every weight class he competed in from flyweight to welterweight.’

“Pacquiao entered the rankings winning his first major title at age 19 with a come-from-behind knockout of Chatchai Sasakul. While Pacquiao was widely unknown when he received his second title shot against Lehlo Ledwaba at junior featherweight, it’s easy to overlook that he was a fixture in The Ring’s junior featherweight top 10 for almost two years prior to the fight,” said the article written by Cliff Rold.

Rold added that while the Filipino southpaw couldn’t solve the ‘riddle of Mayweather’ in what has been dubbed as the richest fight of all time, several multi-fight rivalries still magnified his greatness.

Mayweather, Pacman’s arch-nemesis, was 6th in the list.

“He topped Tim Bradley in two of their three fights. In nine fights against the Mexican trio of Marco Antonio Barrera, Erik Morales and Juan Manuel Marquez, Pacquiao was an impressive 6-2-1 and rebounded from a devastating knockout loss to Marquez in the last of those fights to add seven more wins over ranked opponents before what appears to be his farewell loss to Yordenis Ugas,” the article read.

 

 

The Ring also considers Pacman as one of the most decorated fighters in history and the highest-finishing southpaw in the list.

Meanwhile, the full Top 10 list are:  Archie Moore (10th), Pacquiao (9th), Ezzard Charles (8th), Willie Pep (7th), Floyd Mayweather (6th), Emile Griffith (5th), Tony Canzoneri (4th), Muhamad Ali (3rd), Joe Louis (2nd), and Sugar Ray Robinson on top.

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Alaska bid farewell to PBA after more than 3 decades

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Alaska Milk Corporation (AMC) has announced its retirement from the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) after more than three decades of illustrious franchise history.

The Uytengsu-led team, Alaska Aces, made the shocking announcement on Wednesday, February 16; surprising die-hard fans of one of the most storied clubs in the PBA.

“We thought long and hard before making this final decision. However, we believe that this will allow us to refocus our resources on providing affordable nutrition for Filipino families,” said a statement from AMC chairman Fred Uytengsu.

Alaska will be leaving behind an impressive legacy, winning 14 PBA championships including the rare grandslam title in 1996 under veteran head coach Tim Cone.

It was also home to some of the most formidable basketball legends like Jojo Lastimosa, Jeffrey Cariaso, Bong Hawkins and MVPs Johnny Abbarientos, Kenneth Duremdes and Willie Miller.

“The Aces franchise will always be very special to me. I had the good fortune of starting this franchise at the age of 24 and learn so much about the team dynamics and building championship teams from players and coaching staff,” Uytengso added.

Uytengsu admitted that the idea of finally leaving the professional league has been lingering for a decade already since Dutch multinational company FrieslandCampina acquired majority stake at AMC.

He’s thankful they have stayed in the PBA for ten years more even after the acquisition; acknowledging that the new company may not hold the same views as AMC does with regards to their basketball club playing in the league.

“When we started the franchise back in 1986, we believed that sports marketing was a very useful and important tool to help build the brand of Alaska. I believe it’s been a very successful tool for us. Everywhere I go, people ask about Alaska, and they ask me about the basketball team,” Uytengsu said.

Looking back to their 35 seasons in the PBA, Alaska thanked all their loyal fans and supporters who stood by their ball club through the years, win or loss.

“May the memory of Alaska Aces, live on forever. Wala pa rin tatalo sa Alaska!” the Milkmen said.

Here’s a documentary of Alaska’s 1996 Grandslam feat:

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