Saturday, September 29, 2012

Final Four Preview Snippets

On UST - NU (UST with twice-to-beat edge)

1. Karim Abdul vs Emmanuel John Mbe. Great Gatorade duel in the making. Both players invaluable for their offensive output in the low post.

2. Kevin Ferrer's defense on Rayray Parks. The UAAP MVP will be a handful, and the former Tiger Cub will be UST's first option to try to stop him from stuffing the stat sheet.

3. NU PG play. Endgame execution is key, and that means both Alolino and Rono need to keep things steady.

On Ateneo-La Salle (Ateneo with twice-to-beat edge)

1. Archer big consistency. Norbert Torres and Arnold Van Opstal were huge in the fourth quarter in the playoff game against the Bringas brothers, Escoto and Hargrove. They'll need to be at par with that against Ateneo, if not, then Yutien Andrada, Papot Paredes and Jovet Mendoza need to step up.

2. Perimeter shooting. La Salle won't be shooting that bad again from there, right? Vosotros, Revilla and Teng can't be atrocious for two straight game. Ateneo is not known to shoot well from distance as well.

3. Ryan Buenafe. He lives for these kind of moments. Against La Salle, in the postseason, when the chips are down..

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

2012 PBA Philippine Cup rosters

This was posted by the PBA as of September 25. You might see some interesting quirks on this list.

Air21 Express

Coach: Franz Pumaren
Assistants: Tonichi Yturri, Jack Santiago, Cholo Villanueva, Dan Rose, Joshua Villapando


2 - John Wilson
3 - Bitoy Omolon
4 - Yousef Taha
5 - Eric Salamat
7 - Nonoy Baclao
9 - KG Canaleta
10 - Simon Atkins
11 - Ogie Menor
12 - Mark Isip
14 - Renren Ritualo
19 - Wynne Arboleda
24 - Rob Reyes
31 - James Sena

Meralco Bolts

Coach: Ryan Gregorio
Assistants: Jong Uichico, Ronnie Magsanoc, Boyet Fernandez, Patrick Fran, Xavier Nunag


1 - Clifford Hodge
3 - Sol Mercado
4 - Jay-R Reyes
6 - Chris Ross
8 - Ronjay Buenafe
11 - Paul Artadi
14 - Mac-mac Cardona
15 - Gilbert Bulawan
16 - Mark Borboran
21 - Reynel Hugnatan
23 - Kelly Nabong
34 - Carlo Sharma
80 - Sunday Salvacion

Reserve / Injured:

9 - Yousef AlJamal
13 - Chris Timberlake

Petron Blaze Boosters

Coach: Olsen Racela
Consultant: Rajko Toroman
Assistants: Gee Abanilla, Biboy Ravanes, Pido Jarencio, Bobby Parks, Jorge Gallent


2 - Dennis Miranda
3 - Chris Lutz
4 - Dorian Pena
5 - Alex Cabagnot
10 - Danny Ildefonso
11 - Jojo Duncil
13 - Marcio Lassiter
18 - Joseph Yeo
20 - Alex Mallari
22 - JuneMar Fajardo
23 - Jaw Washington
24 - Magi Sison
26 - Chico Lanete
29 - Arwynd Santos

Reserved / Injured:

? - Hans Thiele
? - Paolo Hubalde

Barangay Ginebra San Miguel

Coach: Siot Tanquingcen
Consultant: Alfrancis Chua
Assistants: Allan Caidic, Art dela Cruz, Juno Sauler, Freddie Abuda


2 - Billy Mamaril
5 - LA Tenorio
10 - Rico Maierhofer
11 - Mike Cortez
13 - Jayjay Helterbrand
18 - Allein Maliksi
21 - Kerby Raymundo
23 - Elmer Espiritu
27 - Willy Wilson
32 - Keith Jensen
33 - Dylan Ababou
34 - Chris Ellis
47 - Mark Caguioa
99 - Rudy Hatfield

San Mig Coffee Mixers

Coach: Tim Cone
Assistants: Coy Banal, Richard del Rosario, Jeff Cariaso, Johnny Abarrientos


2 - Wesley Gonzales
3 - Jonas Villanueva
4 - Rafi Reavis
8 - Peter June Simon
9 - JC Intal
10 - Jewel Ponferrada
14 - Andy Barroca
15 - Mark Pingris
17 - Aldrech Ramos
18 - James Yap
19 - Gerwin Gaco
22 - Chris Pacana
38 - Joe Devance
95 - Yancy de Ocampo

Alaska Aces

Coach: Luigi Trillo
Assistants: Dickie Bachmann, Topex Robinson, Monch Gavieres, Franco Atienza, Alex Compton, Louie Alas


0 - Nic Belasco
1 - Sam Eman
3 - Cyrus Baguio
4 - Raphy Reyes
7 - Sonny Thoss
10 - Mac Baracael
21 - Paolo Bugia
24 - Brandon Cablay
25 - Dondon Hontiveros
27 - Gabby Espinas
31 - RJ Jazul
35 - Tony dela Cruz
42 - Jvee Casio
65 - Eddie Laure

Reserve / Injured:

9 - Nino Gelig

Barako Bull Energy Cola

Coach: Junel Baculi
Assistants: Bong Ramos, Leo Pujante, Jonas Mendoza


1 - Celino Cruz
2 - Josh Urbiztondo
5 - Lester Alvarez
10 - Reil Cervantes
12 - Dave Marcelo
13 - Roger Yap
14 - Leo Najorda
17 - Jason Ballesteros
18 - Doug Kramer
21 - Sean Anthony
23 - Enrico Villanueva
42 - Danny Seigle
71 - Ronald Tubid
88 - Mick Pennisi

Reserve / Injured:

3 - Woody Co
6 - Emman Monfort

Global Port Batang Pier

Coach: Glenn Capacio
Assistants: Ricky Dandan, John Cardel, Louie Gonzales, Charles Tiu


0 - AJ Mandani
1 - Jason Deutchman
2 - Rabeh Al-Hussaini
4 - Rudy Lingganay
5 - Jondan Salvador
7 - Rey Guevarra
9 - Marvin Cruz
10 - Rommel Adducul
11 - Willie Miller
14 - Mark Yee
20 - Gary David
22 - Josh Vanlandingham
24 - Vic Manuel
33 - Angel Raymundo

Reserve / Injured:

34 - Will Antonio
43 - Alex Crisano

Rain or Shine Elastopainters

Coach: Yeng Guiao
Assistants: Caloy Garcia, Roehl Nadurata, Mike Buendia, Jay Legacion, Matt Makalintal, Ricky Umayam


1 - Jonathan Uyloan
3 - Paul Lee
5 - Larry Rodriguez
6 - Jireh Ibanes
10 - Gabe Norwood
11 - Ty Tang
16 - Jeff Chan
17 - Chris Tiu
18 - Ryan Arana
20 - Jervy Cruz
21 - Chito Jaime
30 - Beau Belga
33 - Ronnie Matias
48 - JR Quinahan

Talk N Text Tropang Texters

Coach: Nash Racela
Consultant: Norman Black
Assistants: Sandy Arespacochaga, Gene Afable, Jamike Jarin, Josh Reyes


3 - Jimmy Alapag
4 - Harvey Carey
6 - Bambam Gamalinda
10 - Ryan Reyes
12 - Larry Fonacier
16 - Pamboy Raymundo
17 - Jayson Castro
18 - Gilbert Lao
20 - Jared Dillinger
21 - Kelly Williams
33 - Ranidel Ocampo
34 - Ali Peek
40 - Rich Alvarez
51 - Aaron Aban

Encapsulating the UAAP - Week 11

Rankings after the week's games:

Ateneo - Nothing to worry about (yet), the drama is off the court and Coach Norman Black made sure of it.
UST - Thanking the Bulldogs for getting them the twice-to-beat. Repayment will be ushering them out the door.
NU - Last 8 points of NU had the MVP's imprints on it.
La Salle - Are these Archers ready to step up when the chips are on the line?
FEU - Bert coaching for his job now?
Adamson - *slow claps* for Eric Camson, who should deserve all-UAAP nods.
UE - Imagine Boyzie with an offseason with this ragtag bunch, and add the hidden stash.
UP - Will Manny Dandan earn the chance to rebuild the Maroons while they determine if the Prodigal Son will be there next year.

What lies ahead:


Wednesday @ Mall of Asia Arena: 4 P.M. De La Salle University vs Far Eastern University
Saturday @ SMART-Araneta Coliseum: 12 P.M. University of Santo Tomas vs National University / 4 P.M. Ateneo de Manila University vs De La Salle-Far Eastern University playoff winner.


 Wednesday @ Mall of Asia Arena: 12 NN. Ateneo de Manila University vs National University



Sunday, September 23, 2012

Azkals Statement on PFPC Roster

In light of the recent articles reflecting on Phil and James Younghusband being left off the PFPC roster, this came out. Read on.



Only 2 months remain until the Azkals compete anew in the Suzuki Cup, a biennial football tournament organized by the Asean Football Federation. The Suzuki Cup is very significant for the Philippines. It was the 2010 edition of the Cup that started the resurgence of football in our country; it’s key to why our local football leagues are now bigger and better, and why many more kids have taken up the sport. The Suzuki Cup also drastically changed the lives of our national players: from being virtual unknowns in 2010, the Azkals are now recognized as local sports icons, peace ambassadors and even product endorsers!

But while we feel excited and optimistic about the tournament, we must also manage our expectations. The 2012 Suzuki Cup will be more difficult since we are not coming in as a surprise team anymore. Also, despite the renewed work on our grassroots training program, the Philippines is still a greenhorn compared to our ASEAN neighbors.

All the same, we refuse to let these difficulties stop us from training better and working harder as a team. We still aim to win and not just participate in the Suzuki Cup. As we enter a more rigorous phase of preparations for the tournament, the PFF has lined up a series of games and training camps that will culminate in a friendly versus Singapore in November.

Given this grueling schedule and the demands it will entail from the team, we have asked the players to give their unequivocal commitment to participate fully in the preparations. Having greatly benefited from Suzuki Cup 2010, we expect our players to work harder than ever this year. Unfortunately, not everyone in the team could assure us of this; a few have already signified their unavailability for some crucial activities leading up to the tournament. While this is admittedly a setback in our plans, we understand that family obligations and club/work commitments sometimes take precedence. The coaching staff will instead make adjustments in the game plan and in the roster of players, starting from the PHILIPPINE FOOTBALL PEACE CUP.

As we get ready to play for flag and country, we rely on our athletes, football officials and supporters to come together again for the beautiful game.

On Leaving Out Phil and James

Credit to the owner of the Photo

Right now, there is much ado about this particular article. The information was released when nothing else was on and rightfully enough, it got everyone's attention.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Philippine Football Peace Cup Reminders

Some reminders for those who will be watching the Philippine Football Peace Cup (PFPC) with much interest.

Prohibited List of Items

The Philippine Football Federation would also like to remind fans that the items listed below are not allowed inside the Rizal Memorial Stadium in the duration of the PFPC:

- Food and drink (may be purchased inside Control Access Areas)
- Cigarettes and lighters
- Professional still and video cameras with lens greater than the kit variety (18-55mm)
- Laser pens and pointers
- Weapons and/or sharp objects
- Candles, fireworks, any other type of pyrotechnic
- Glass bottles, PET bottles, cans, hard plastic containers
- Posters/banners/signage with any political slogan or advertising without the express written permission of FIFA and its local organizing committee
- Large back packs and waist packs
- Alcoholic beverages
- Illegal drugs
- Large chains, spike bracelets, wallet chains, metal belt buckles
- Balloons
- Chairs
- Pregnant women should sign a waiver prior to entry
- Parents of children below 12 years old should sign a waiver prior to entry

It is the original plan to have the former Long Teng Cup be held in Rizal Memorial. When the PSC-PFF MOA was signed, one of the plans was to convert the stadium's grass field into an artificial one. Since that would make RMS unavailable, the move was to have the competition be held at the Panaad Stadium in Bacolod. Now that there is an impasse on the plan to convert the pitch, RMS became available again, thus the move back to the original plan. Unfortunately, this already took place with some eager individuals already booking their flights down south for the occasion.

As such, the PFF has made a gesture of good will by offering free tickets for the PFPC.

Fans who cancelled a round trip ticket to Bacolod City no earlier than September 26 should email Mr. Richard Joson, PPF Head of Marketing and Communications, at or to avail of this promo.

Please include a scanned copy of the cancelled ticket to Bacolod in the email and, once a date and time have been agreed for the collection of tickets, please bring a valid ID with photo to the PFF office. The PFF office is located at 27 Danny Floro Street, corner of Captain Henry P. Javier Street, 1600 Pasig City.

Alternatively after confirming with PFF via email, you can pick up the tickets on the day of the game from Rizal Memorial Stadium itself.  The tickets will give fans entrance to all matches in the VIP sections of the stadium.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Champions League Preview - Part II

Group E: Chelsea FC, Juventus, Nordsjælland, Shaktar Donetsk

The reigning Champions League winners remade themselves after winning the title under Roberto di Matteo's stewardship, adding a youth infusion in Eden Hazard, Victor Moses and Oscar (all just 21) and 23 year-old Marko Marin, while casting away familiar faces like Didier Drogba, Michael Essien and Salomon Kalou. The move has reaped rewards for the Blues, who are leading the Premiership by themselves. Even with the new additions, they still have their trusty cast of leaders in Frank Lampard and John Terry, while Fernando Torres hopes to finally become what Roman Abramovich paid him to be.

The Bianconeri had a virtually flawless season in Italy, winning the Scudetto and suffering its only loss in the Coppa Italia Final against Napoli. That form continued in the early stages of this season, sharing the Serie A lead with Napoli and Lazio as each team has won their three respective matches. The core of the Azzurri forms the nucleus of Juve, led by its captain Gigi Buffon and panenka expert Andrea Pirlo.

Danish champions Nordsjælland make their Champions League debut, and is expected to finish at the bottom considering the talent on the other teams that are with them in the group. They will rely on Michael Parkhurst and Jores Okore on their backline to hold the fort and withstand the different attacking fronts out there. Currently third in the Superliga, behind København and AaB, they will rely on the likes of Soren Christensen, Nikolai Stokholm and Andreas Laudrup (yes, he is the son of Michael Laudrup), as well as the scoring prowess of Joshua John to pester the opposition.

Ukranian champions Shakhtar have opened up a six-point lead in the Ukranian Premier League, thanks in part to the goal scoring prowess of their Armenian international Henrikh Mkhitaryan. He has a dozen goals in nine matches. He had thirteen all season last year. Mircea Lucescu's team also has a heavy Brazillian flavor, employing no less than eight of them, plus Edu who plays for Croatia but came from Rio. His captain in the national team, Darijo Srna shepherds the way in the back line. 

Group F: FC BATE Borisov, FC Bayern München, LOSC Lille, Valencia CF

Perceived to be the weakest team in the group, the Belarussians have their old reliables from last year's Champions League campaign returning to attempt another run. They only made one major addition during the recent transfer window, that being former Arsenal and Barcelona midfielder Aleksandr Hleb. They maintain a slim lead in league action.

The Bavarians under Josef Heynckes managed to secure a runner-up treble last season, losing out to BVB on the Bundesliga and the DFB Pokal, while in the Champions League final at the home Allianz Stadium, they capitulated at the penalty spot in dramatic fashion. Bayern won't have Mario Gomez up front for the early part of the season, but they snapped up Mario Mandžukić and old reliable Claudio Pizarro to make up for his absence. They also splurged on Spanish international Javi Martinez, spending $52.1 million to secure him from Basque side Atheltic Bilbao. Otherwise, the core remains intact for the current Bundesliga co-leaders, led by German captain Bastian Schweinsteiger and French captain Franck Ribery.

The deposed French champions Lille relied on Joe Cole and Eden Hazard last year in the Champions League. Both have since departed, leaving Rudi Garcia with a challenging task ahead. To make up for Eden's loss, they snapped up Salomon Kalou to provide some offense and are relying on Dmitri Payet, Marvin Martin and Rio Mavuba and Túlio de Melo to supply the goals. They have struggled somewhat, as they are mid-table in Ligue 1 with six points to their name.

Like Real Madrid, whom they faced to kick off La Liga, Los Che started off sluggish, with only five points in four matches. Their first match in the group stage will evoke old memories for manager Mauricio Pellegrino. He was on the pitch as a player when they faced Bayern in 2001 for the Champions League final. Valencia would like to improve on last year's European campaign, now bolstered with Aly Cissokho and João Pereira at the back, a primed set of midfielders, led by Andres Guardado, Fernando Gago and Alberto Costa, and up front by Spanish international Roberto Soldado. 

Group G: Celtic FC, FC Barcelona, FC Spartak Moskva, SL Benfica

The Scottish giants haven't run away with the SPL title just yet, considering they have been the huge favorites, now that their perennial rivals Rangers have plummeted all the way down to Scotland's Division Three.  A good omen perhaps the currently 5th place team is that they have made the last 16 each time they are drawn with Benfica in a group. Neil Lennon still has the likes of Gary Hooper, Kris Commons and Georgios Samaras around, but the team has a youthful vibe to it, led by 18 year-old Anthony Watt.

The Catalan giants have seized the oppotunity with the current struggles of Real Madrid, opening an eight-point gap between the two rivals in La Liga. Even with a new regime under Tito Vilanova, the scheme remains the same, with the talismanic powers of Messi, Xavi, Iniesta and the comebacking David Villa. Jordi Alba has seamlessly made the adjustment since the move from Valencia to join most of his teammates with the Spanish national team.

For Unai Emery, facing off against the Blaugrana is a familiar task, having to deal with that problem as Valencia's manager previously. Now currently tending to Spartak, Unai will probably rely on similar tactics another Russian team pulled on Barca at the Nou Camp, as Rubin Kazan managed to pull out a win there way back in 2009. The RPL's runners-up from last season are currently tied for sixth as of the moment, with Aiden McGeady, Diniyar Bilyaletdinov and Kim Källström patrolling the midfield. They will however need their strikeforce to score goals if they have any chance of progressing. That puts the onus on the likes of Welliton, Emmanuel Emenike and Artem Dzyuba to put it into the net.

Benfica will be without its captain Luisao for two months due to a physical altercation with an official, to add to the personnel losses with the transfers of Javi Garcia, Axel Witsel and Javier Saviola. In spite of the departures, they are currently sharing the lead in the Primeira Liga with veterans like Oscar Cardozo and Pablo Aimar teaming up with youngsters Rodrigo Moreno, Ola John and Eduardo Salvio. 

Group H: CFR 1907 Cluj, Galatasaray AŞ, Manchester United FC, SC Braga

The Romanians are currently sixth in Liga I and are looking for means to improve on their history of finishing at the bottom of the group for the past few years. Ioan Andone is heavy on the Portuguese flavor, with around 7 of them with the team, most of them getting heavy playing time. A few of those players have roots with SC Braga, interestingly.

Galatasaray have a bunch of players who have played big time top-flight football, so they won't be undaunted with the task of having to deal with the Red Devils at Old Trafford to kick off their campaign. From goalkeeping (Fernando Muslera) to defense (Emmanuel Eboue) to midfield (Hamit Alintop, Felipe Melo) and up front (Johan Elmander, Milan Baroš) Fatih Terim has some guys who can handle the bright lights and the big stage. The Süper Lig leaders also have a couple of offensive threats in Umut Bulut and Burak Yilmaz up front.

The Premiership runners-up were embarrased to have missed out on the knockout stage last year, having to go through the Europa campaign last season. Sir Alex Ferguson has reloaded in the offseason with Robin van Persie and Shinji Kagawa amongst other additions, and with Paul Scholes and Nemanja Vidic now healthier and available, there is no excuse for them to replicate their disappointment last season.

Unlike the other two Portuguese teams, SC Braga is currently just outside the periphery of European qualification in this early part of the season in the Primeira Liga. José Peseiro's men are looking at the other open slot for qualification in the knockout phase as their goal. They will need to find someone who can score for them, since they lost their main goal-scoring option to a transfer to Benfica (Lima). The pressure is on the likes of Eder, Ruben Amorim and Rúben Micael to provide the offensive oomph that will be necessary to advance to the next round.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

The 2012 UFL Cup opening roster

The UFL Cup is already underway (although no play has commenced due to match postponements as a result of pitch unplayability). Fans have been anticipating who will be playing for the Division I clubs, as most teams have not publicly revealed their lineups until today. Interest is high given the influx of players flocking here.

The rosters of Division I teams, who have earned byes into the next stage of the UFL Cup (the draw involving them will be later this month, if I remember correctly), are to be revealed after the jump. If  you don't find your favorite player, either he's in Division II or wait until the January transfer window pops up, or something like that.

He IS The Special One

Delight. Glee. Amazement. Utter joy.

Champions League Preview Part I

Group A: GNK Dinamo Zagreb (CRO), Dynamo Kyiv (UKR), Paris Saint-Germain (FRA), Porto (POR)

PSG is expected to lord over this group, backed by the financial clout of its Qatari owners, although it has not really expressed itself in league form. They have, however, bounced back with consecutive wins to move them to a tie at fourth place. Zlatan Ibrahimovic has been the man for the Parisians, scoring five of their six goals in Ligue 1.

FC Porto are currently sharing the league with rivals Benfica in the Primeira Liga, having to cope with the recent departure of last year's leading scorer, Hulk, to fellow Champions League participants Zenit. They have gotten by with Luis Oscar Gonzalez and Jackson Martinez holding thing down up front, though.

Dynamo Kyiv are tied for second behind Shaktar Donetsk in top-flight Ukrainian football, behind the goal-scoring prowess of Brown Ideye and new signing Niko Kranjčar. They are expected to give a good fight for the other remaining eligible spot for the knockout stage.

Dinamo Zagreb is pretty much expected to finish last in this group, but they would like to improve from last year's performance, where they allowed a record-high 22 goals during the 6 matches in the group stage. They are leading the 1. HNL, scoring a league-high 20 goals and allowing the second-fewest. 

Group B: Arsenal, Montpellier HSC, Olympiakos Piraeus, Schalke 04

The Gunners have bucked from their slow start with a couple of rousing victories, moving them up to fourth in the Premiership. The pressure is on for Oliver Giroud to make an impact, with the Matchday 1 featuring a trip back to the team he helped lift the Ligue 1 title. The other key signings have been of great help so far, with Podolski and Cazorla finally breaking the scoring drought of Wenger's crew. Thanks to Thomas Vermaelen, the drop-off on leadership from Robin van Persie's departure has been minimal, at best.

Meanwhile, if the Gunners have managed to overcome their key loss, Montpellier has struggled out of the gate. They are only one point adrift of the relegation zone, and only secured just one win in their five Ligue 1 matches. They'll need their African combo of John Utaka, Younes Belhanda and Souleymane Camara to assert themselves and get things going.

Olympiakos kicked off their Super League campaign with three straight victories, and the Reds will look to keep things going with Rafik Djebbour maintaining his hot streak. The Algerian has scored four goals in three league matches. They also have former Manchester United keeper Roy Carroll tending their nets.

Schalke is a couple of points behind the leaders in the Bundesliga, bunched up with a couple of teams. The loss of Raul has been adequately filled by the likes of Klaas-Jan Huntelaar. Their strength lies in midfield with the likes of Jermaine Jones, Ibrahim Afellay and Julian Draxler holding things down, as well as having Kyriakos Papadopoulos holding the fort on the back line. 

Group C: Anderlecht, AC Milan, Málaga CF, FK Zenit St. Petersburg

Belgian champions Anderlecht would like to end their Italian woes by attempting to secure their first victory after 14 unsuccessful tries against Serie A opposition against AC Milan in Matchday 1. The Jupiler League winners are currently tied for second behind Club Brugge, but they are doing this with one of their key offensive threats missing.

AC Milan are the favorites to take this group, but based on their current form, that may not be the case for the Rossoneri. They only have one win in Serie A, and that was thanks to Giampaolo Pazzini hat trick against Bologna. Anything other than a win at the San Siro against Anderlecht would ratchet up panic buttons on Massimiliano Allegri.

Champions League debutants Málaga CF might just get themselves shellshocked with the competition they might just get themselves into, especially since they conducted a massive sell-off of their star players before the start of the season. Last year saw Borussia Dortmund struggle and finish last in their group, and this might be applicable to them. They will rely on their defensive toughness, something reflected in only allowing a league-low two goals in La Liga and solo second behind the Catalan giants FC Barcelona. Manuel Pellegrini will rely on his savvy veterans for stability.

Zenit may only be fourth in the Russian Premier League, but the leaders are only three points ahead of them. They also have cooled down from a sizzling start, with only one win in their last four league fixtures. They did however, infused themselves with additional talent with some acquisitions before the transfer window closed, namely Hulk and Axel Witsel. Having the two youngsters will probably raise the expectations for Luciano Spalletti. They already have a some talent on hand with Alexander Kerzhakov and Viktor Faizulin. 

Group D: Ajax Amsterdam, Borussia Dortmund, Manchester City FC, Real Madrid CF

Welcome to the acclaimed "Group of Death," featuring the Dutch, German, English and Spanish champions, respectively.

The Dutch champions would like to get themselves into the knockout stage, something that has not happened for while given the profile of their league. They are already in solo third, trailing Twente and Vitesse in the Ere Divisie, but Frank de Boer has a group of young guys to go to with, from Siem de Jong to Christian Eriksen. To emphasize on their youth (they have a well-known pipeline of academy talent), they only have one guy over 30 years of age.

The German back-to-back champions would like to improve on last year, where they finished at the bottom of their group. They are currently chasing fellow Champions League participants Bayern München and surprise co-leaders Eintracht Frankfurt on top of the Bundesliga, and that's with the departure of Shinji Kagawa to the Premiership. New acquisition Marco Reus has already scored for BVB, with German and Polish internationals providing great chemistry for Jurgen Klopp.

The blue side of Manchester won the Premiership in dramatic fashion last season, but the man who made that happen (Sergio Agüero) is still recovering from an injury and might be doubtful for Matchday 1, leaving either Edin Džeko or a freshly recovering Mario Balotelli to partner up with Carlos Tevez. They still have oodles of talent, from Nasri and Silva in midfield to the Toure brothers and of course, Kompany and Kolarov at the back. 

Los Blancos have stumbled in their defense of the La Liga title, most recently a 1-0 defeat at Sevilla that had José Mourinho publicly criticizing the team's performance and, if you ask Sami Khedira, deservedly so. Cristiano Ronaldo and Gonzalo Higuaín have scored all five league goals for Madrid, a number that should go up in the next few fixtures. Tension is high at the Santiago Bernabeu for this clash of titans.

Interesting tidbit with the Mancini - Mourinho coaching duel is that both men have led Inter Milan to greatness in Italy and Europe. In fact, Mourinho succeeded Mancini at Inter when he left for City in 2008.

How much does baseball love Chipper?

c/o NY Times

The farewell tour for Chipper Jones is ongoing and almost coming to a close, and baseball has been grateful to have this lifer represent the game with class and grace. How much does the game love him? Let them count the ways...

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

The Jaworski Inforgraphic

With the PBA coming in a couple of weeks, might as well bring up this cool infographic on the Living Legend. (h/t to Mico Halili's blog)

Mabuhay ka, Jawo.

Rivals United

Rivalries oftentimes, if not every single time bring out the best and the worst on people. As someone who is familiar with having to deal with things like this, it is refreshing that there are moments where you have the opportunity to chuck away the rivalry for a better cause.

Blog Outsourcing - September 17, 2012 edition

The alma mater just finished its regular season with a win and a 12-2 record, sealing the 1st spot after 14 games.

It was a solid one, too.


Now we wait for our Final Four opponent.

Here forth is the Storify after the jump.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Encapsulating the UAAP - Week 10

Credit to the owner of the photo.

Rankings after the week's games:

Ateneo - Finishes the regular season on the roost.
La Salle - All they need is to win, and they'll be in.
UST -Obviously, those who want to push for UST clearly need to reread FIBA rules. Still, it was a damn close game.
FEU - They get Mike Tolomia back, but is Arvie Bringas done?
NU - Needs to prove that the board room result was not in vain.
Adamson - Shooting the lights out, now they look to shoot for a spoiler role.
UE - Will Boyzie fulfill the destiny of creating mayhem? They have the toughest part, needing to beat UST.
UP - For a team with 8 graduating players, snagging one win is a really really disappointing thing.

What lies ahead:


Thursday @ Mall of Asia Arena: 2 P.M. University of Santo Tomas vs University of the East / 4 P.M. Adamson vs De La Salle University
Sunday @ SMART-Araneta Coliseum: 4 P.M. Far Eastern University vs National University


Sunday @ SMART-Araneta Coliseum: 9:30 A.M. Far Eastern University vs National University


Wednesday @ Fil-Oil Flying V Arena: 10:15 A.M. Adamson University vs Ateneo de Manila / 12 NN National University vs University of the East / 1:45 P.M. University of the Philippines Integrated School vs University of Santo Tomas / 3:30 P.M. De La Salle - Zobel vs Far Eastern University
Sunday @ Fil-Oil Flying V Arena: 10:15 A.M. University of the East vs Adamson University / 12 NN National University vs Far Eastern University / 1:45 P.M. Ateneo de Manila vs University of Santo Tomas / 3:30 P.M. De La Salle - Zobel vs University of the Philippines Intergrated School

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Calendaring Sports Arguments

This is just funny. Thanks to ESPNW's Amanda Rykoff for tweeting this photo.

In the Philippines, it will most likely be basketball, with college taking precedence from June to October, then the PBA on the other months, with the NBA sharing the load when it is on.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Welcome to the ACC, Notre Dame

The Atlantic Coast Conference has decided on adding a new member. And it is a bombshell.

The hallowed University of Notre Dame is now officially its 15th member, once its exit from the Big East is arranged. They will be involved in all ACC sports save for football. The Fighting Irish will retain its independent status, but they will be playing 5 games against conference schools.

Their 2012 football schedule sees them facing off against current ACC members Miami (FL), Boston College and Wake Forest. Soon-to-be ACC member Pitt is also part of their schedule this year, and will be the only one from the conference in 2013.

College realignment is back at it again. And John Swofford swipes another one. The Big East and Big Ten, both of whom share strong ties with the Irish, get screwed out. In fact, once it is formalized, a third of the teams from the expanded ACC will be from the Big East (Miami (FL), Virginia Tech, Boston College, Syracuse, Pittsburgh).

Full statement from the ACC after the jump.

White Mamba Retrospective

Recently, Brian Scalabrine announced his retirement from the NBA and move to the commentary booth of the Boston Celtics.

On its YouTube channel, the NBA, probably one of the best with regards to its use of social media, decided to honor the former Net, Celtic and Bull with a little tribute package.

It won't be long before the legendary 12th Man icon gets the Bobblehead treatment.

Boyzie and UE

It's amazing how a change of coaching sparks something out of nothing.

With a season virtually lost, the university had their coach "kicked upstairs" so to speak. They then turn to someone named "Alamat" (or Legend) to see if they can turn things around. He's done that in the past, in fact. And he has seen how things have gone since his regime (his son was on the team the past few years).

If you notice on the clip, too, it's amazing how the players recognize the moment and decided to seize it.

They earned that win, if only for that segment. That speaks of one's heart and will to succeed.

Encapsulating the UAAP - Week 9

Credit to owner of photo
Rankings after the week's games:

Ateneo - Get well soon, JP Erram. See you next season on the court.
FEU - Shook off the boardroom drama by downing a Warrior. 
UST - A chance at finishing on top is in sight, with the Ateneo devoid a big as the Cardiac Cats' biggest test left.
NU - They got their wish off the court. They'll have to, however, do their thing on the court.
La Salle - Chew on Almond and feed the Bear. That might be the recipe to tame a Tamaraw. 
UE - Imagine if Boyzie Zamar was coaching this team since the start of the season. 
Adamson - It's not Eric Camson's fault. That's what JP Erram said. He torched the champs for 26. 
UP - Consolation for the Maroons? 9/22 is only a couple of weeks away. 

What lies ahead:


Thursday @ PSC-PhilSports Arena: 2 P.M. University of the Philippines vs Far Eastern University / 4 P.M. National University vs Ateneo de Manila
Saturday @ Mall of Asia Arena: 2 P.M. University of the East vs Adamson / 4 P.M. University of Santo Tomas vs Ateneo de Manila
Sunday @ Mall of Asia Arena: 2 P.M. National University vs University of the Philippines / 4 P.M. De La Salle University vs Far Eastern University
Next Thursday @ Mall of Asia Arena: 2 P.M. University of Santo Tomas vs University of the East / 4 P.M. Adamson vs De La Salle University
Next Sunday @ SMART-Araneta Coliseum: 4 P.M. Far Eastern University vs National University


Wednesday @ Fil-Oil Flying V Arena: 12 NN Far Eastern University vs University of the East / 1:45 P.M. University of Santo Tomas vs De La Salle University / 3:30 P.M. University of the Philippines vs National University / 5:15 P.M. Ateneo de Manila vs Adamson University
Sunday @ Mall of Asia Arena: 8:30 AM University of the East vs University of the Philippines / 10:15 A.M. National University vs De La Salle University / @ FIl-Oil Flying V Arena: 3:30 P.M. Ateneo de Manila vs University of Santo Tomas / 5:15 P.M. Far Eastern University vs Adamson University


Wednesday @ Fil-Oil Flying V Arena: 8:30 A.M. Far Eastern University vs University of the Philippines Integrated School / 10:15 AM University of the East vs Ateneo de Manila
Thursday @ PSC-PhilSports Arena: 8:30 A.M. Adamson University vs University of Santo Tomas / 10:15 A.M. National University vs De La Salle - Zobel
Sunday @ FIl-Oil Flying V Arena: 8:30 A.M. University of the East vs University of Santo Tomas / 10:15 A.M. Far Eastern University vs Adamson University / 3:30 P.M. Ateneo de Manila vs De La Salle - Zobel / 5:15 P.M. University of the Philippines Integrated School vs National University
Next Wednesday @ Fil-Oil Flying V Arena: 10:15 A.M. Adamson University vs Ateneo de Manila / 12 NN National University vs University of the East / 1:45 P.M. University of the Philippines Integrated School vs University of Santo Tomas / 3:30 P.M. De La Salle - Zobel vs Far Eastern University
Next Sunday @ Fil-Oil Flying V Arena: 10:15 A.M. University of the East vs Adamson University / 12 NN National University vs Far Eastern University / 1:45 P.M. Ateneo de Manila vs University of Santo Tomas / 3:30 P.M. De La Salle - Zobel vs University of Santo Tomas

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Philippine Football Peace Cup

To commemorate the National Peace Consciousness Month, the Philippine Football Federation has changed the name of what used to be the Long Teng Cup to the Philippine Football Peace Cup.

To be conducted on September 25-29 at the Rizal Memorial Football Stadium, four nations gather together to play football and promote the concept of peace. It also fits as the culminating activity to end the month after having the 1 Goal For Peace campaign to kick it off.

Joining the Philippines in this small tournament are Chinese-Taipei, Macau and Guam.

Ticket prices per day are pegged at P500 (VIP center grandstand); P300 (regular grandstand); P50 (bleachers).  Fans can also purchase a Golden Ticket at P1,000, which entitles holder to a VIP grandstand seat for all the 6 games over the three game dates.  A student discount of 50% - subject to presentation of School ID when the ticket is purchased by the student at a Ticketworld outlet – will also be available and is valid only for non-VIP seats.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Blog Outsourcing - September 10, 2012 edition

Welcome to the latest edition of The Morning After.

I am sure you had your fill of football. You missed it like heck. You love it like your significant other. May this be the beginning of something great.

Here forth is the Storify I did for this week after the jump.

Friday, September 7, 2012

On the FEU-NU ending and its aftermath

Credit to whoever took this photo.
There is more drama in the UAAP, thanks to this sequence.

The ruling on the field is that the shot counted. A few days later...
“Because of the pieces of evidences/statements/video used in the deliberation were inconclusive and unclear and most of the points brought up showed that time had expired before the ball was fully released, the UAAP Board unanimously upheld the appeal of NU for a replay of the game that is scheduled on Sept. 23, 2012” - Henry Atayde (DLSU), Member of the UAAP Technical Committee
NU’s Junel Baculi, a member of the technical committee, inhibited himself from the meeting, for obvious reasons.

Here is the video again, to refresh yourself.

To put things in perspective: Nothing has changed. NU still has the tougher close-out schedule. They still have La Salle and Ateneo on tap (on consecutive playdates to boot), with a UP team that wants to give its 8 graduating players a winning send-off. Now tack on that FEU game. From the looks of things, a 9-5 record might be the win-loss standing being toted by the 4th place team, whoever that will be.

I said that the NU appeal has merit, but I have questions with regards to the decision on replaying the whole game. Ideally, they should have both teams play the OT on either of the two playdates that have both teams on it: September 13 or 16.

Then again, this would have been avoided had RR passed it quickly to a wide-open Anthony Hargrove on that helter-skelter sequence.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

NCAA Collegiate Basketball action on AkTV Gaining Viewership momentum

I find it interesting how AkTV is handling the NCAA this season vis-a-vis with the UAAP. Now we have a set of data available to the public, thanks to Sports 5.

According to their press release, which bases it from Nielsen TV Audience Measurement,the NCAA has garnered a 13% lead over the UAAP with regards to absolute numbers of viewers in the overall national urban scale.

The June 23 to August 18 data illustrate that on their 4 PM to 8 PM time slot, the NCAA averages almost 200,000 viewers. Data also illustrates that in Mega Manila, the NCAA averages 120,000 viewers compared to the UAAP's 77,000 viewers, a 56% lead.

Based on Nielsen TV Audience Measurement, the 88th season of the oldest collegiate league in the country has garnered a 13% lead over UAAP in terms of absolute numbers of viewers in the overall national urban scale. According to data gathered from June 23 to August 18, NCAA was generating an average viewership of close to 200,000 in its primetime slot of 4pm to 8pm. In Mega Manila alone, the NCAA managed to obtain a 56% lead generating an average of 120,000 viewers against the 77,000 average viewers over the other collegiate league.

For specific games, the 1st round meeting between San Beda against Perpetual Help Dalta System was the NCAA's highest viewed game, with 374,296 NUTAM. You probably remember that game because of this.

In comparison, the NCAA's Opening Day game between Letran and San Sebastian registered 297,460 NUTAM.

Sports5's sports manager Vitto Lazatin is happy with the early fruits of the NCAA-AkTV partnership, noting that "The outstanding ratings for this year’s NCAA college basketball tournament prove that more and more sports fans are getting involved in the exciting league action. We only treat this happy development as a challenge to keep delivering the best in college sports through our partnership with the NCAA."

It is important to note that if you checked out PhilStar's Joey Villar's timeline when he received this info, he was fielding tweets from his followers. One of them noted that how come it is mostly the UAAP that is trending on social media.

1 Goal For Peace

Photo c/o author

In 2004, the administration under then-President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo enacted Proclamation No. 675, which decrees the month of September as the National Peace Consciousness Month. This is an opportunity to educate all Filipinos on peace and the peace process.

In the nine years that the Peace Month has been established, the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP) has been tasked to lead the observance of the event. For this year's edition, the sport of football will be kicking off, literally, the activities for the Month of Peace.

On Sunday at the PhilSports Complex, members of the Philippine national football teams, with the help of some members of the Armed Forces, who branches participate in the United Football League, conducted a football clinic to children. This is in collaboration between the PFF and the OPAPP, who announced previously that our footballers, specifically the Azkals, are deemed as "Ambassadors of Peace" for their role in building peace and solidarity as role models for all Filipinos.

The football clinic, dubbed as 1 Goal For Peace, is one of the final activities for the senior national football teams before they depart for an ASEAN country this month. The Azkals are scheduled to face three ASEAN countries in friendlies, while the Malidtas are scheduled to participate in the 2012 AFF Women's Championships in Vietnam. Members of the under-19 national team, dubbed as the Teen Azkals, also helped in teaching the children. In addition to the clinic, there was a peace fair held at the venue.

Encapsulating the UAAP - Week 8


Rankings after the week's games:

Ateneo - Stamping its class. Clearly getting ready to prime themselves for the stretch run. Starting Ryan was masterstroke.
FEU - Really embarrassing performance by the Tamaraws against the champions.
UST - The schedule lightens up now. Time to take advantage.
La Salle - Joshua Webb only has one win in twelve Ateneo-La Salle meetings in the UAAP. 
NU - Virtual knock-out game beckons against La Salle.
Adamson - Jericho Cruz is sensational. Watch out next year.
UE - Sumang-to-Javier drive and dish. Run to perfection. Boyzie Zamar has some tools to work with. 
UP - That was truly an agonizing loss. The community is starving for a victory. The fight continues.

What lies ahead:

Thursday @ Mall of Asia Arena - 2 P.M. Ateneo de Manila vs University of the East / 4 P.M. De La Salle University vs University of the Philippines

Saturday @ Mall of Asia Arena - 2 P.M. University of the Philippines vs University of Santo Tomas / 4 P.M. University of the East vs Far Eastern University

Sunday @ Mall of Asia Arena - 2 P.M. Ateneo de Manila vs Adamson / 4 P.M. De La Salle University vs National University

Other basketball games scheduled:


Sunday @ Fil-Oil Flying V Arena - 12 NN University of the East vs De La Salle University / 1:45 P.M. University of Santo Tomas vs Far Eastern University / 3:30 P.M. National University vs Ateneo de Manila / 5:15 P.M. Adamson vs University of the Philippines


Thursday @ Mall of Asia Arena - 8:30 A.M. University of Santo Tomas vs National University / 10:15 A.M. Ateneo de Manila vs Far Eastern University

Sunday @ Mall of Asia Arena - 8:30 AM Ateneo de Manila vs University of the Philippines Integrated School / 10:15 A.M. Adamson vs National University / @ FIl-Oil Flying V Arena - 8:30 A.M. Far Eastern University vs University of the East / 10:15 A.M. University of Santo Tomas vs De La Salle - Zobel

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Kaya FC Reunion Match Scheduled

It all started with a brainstorming session involving Chris Hagedorn, Armand del Rosario and Rick Olivares, where an idea popped up. The suggestion of having the current iteration of Kaya FC go up against its fabled alumni. From a simple idea, it will now be a reality as the Kaya FC Reunion match.

The exhibition match will take place on September 9 at the BGC Field, with the kick-off for this match being set at 8 P.M. It will be free admission, so fans can flock to the venue. In fact, the organizers are encouraging the fans to attend to "tailgate" for the occasion. In addition, Kaya FC will also be selling merchandise at the venue, as well as showcasing the proud championship history of the club.

According to Armand, when you are a part of Kaya FC, you will always be a part of the team, that you will always be a part of the Kaya family. That is something that Kale Alvarez wants to foster with the club, having been a former player back in 2006, to currently being its 4th-ever head coach since the team's establishment in 1996. That is something that Coach Kale wants to imbibe on the new signings.

One of those new signings was in the same building when the press conference took place was Antonio Ugarte. The Fil-Am forward / midfielder just signed his contract with the team on the same day. He has already made an impact as an integral part of the team that won the Kia Cup last Sunday at the ACC football grounds.

In facing the alumni, they get to meet such legends like Rudy del Rosario and Rely San Agustin, and also some of the best footballers plying their trade in the country, like the El-Habbib brothers of Global FC and Tating Pasilan of Green Archers United - Globe. There is no official complete list of participants from the alumni, but it is expected that they will be give their best effort against the team that finished second in the United Football League.