MANILA, Philippines — There have been people who delivered the information and offered the highs and lows for Philippine sports activities within the yr that’s about to move.
The guts-breaking stint of Gilas Pilipinas within the FIBA World Cup can be remembered till the following one comes alongside, with hopes of a greater end because the nation co-hosts the 2023 version with Japan and Indonesia.
Additionally making information was powerhouse San Miguel Beer, which received the primary two titles within the PBA season solely to be denied a grand slam. It was a bid that got here to a screeching halt, with punches being thrown throughout group observe, however left its head coach counting their blessings.
The Ateneo Blue Eagles got here alongside to finish an ideal season and nail their third consecutive championship within the UAAP. The Letran Knights weren’t too far behind, making the headlines with their gorgeous season and a primary NCAA crown since 2015.
The Philippine Olympic Committee underwent a management change after boxing chief Ricky Vargas stepped down together with his head held excessive. And, final however not the least, the Philippine males’s volleyball group, which saved the followers screaming through the 30th SEA Video games.
These are simply a few of the tales that made the sports activities web page value taking a look at in 2019.
05 Curler-coaster trip for Gilas
What began on the mistaken foot ended within the glitter of gold for Gilas Pilipinas.
From the hardcourts of faraway Doha, Astana, and the Chinese language cities of Foshan and Beijing to the homey area in Pasay, Gilas Pilipinas had a merry mixture of swishes and airballs in its 2019 worldwide sorties.
Initially of the yr, the Philippine cagers climbed out of a decent repair within the Asian Qualifiers for the FIBA Basketball World Cup by scoring big victories on the highway within the sixth and remaining window of the Continental preliminaries.
For the nation’s second stint within the WC in China final August, Gilas coach Yeng Guiao referred to as on the core of the crew that earned qualification, led by naturalized participant Andray Blatche and June Mar Fajardo.
They performed 4 matches in a coaching camp and mini-tournament in opposition to African groups in Spain for 10 days and declared readiness to face the world.
However in contrast to the 2014 version after they shocked the worldwide scene, the Gilas cagers obtained sound beating from all 5 opponents.
Gilas completed useless final.
Guiao apologized for the group’s dismal displaying and resigned to present the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas a free hand in charting the course for the Gilas program resulting in the following World Cup the Philippines is co-hosting in 2023.
There’s the fast-approaching Southeast Asian Video games to take care of, although. And the SBP referred to as on grand slam champion coach Tim Cone to take the reins.
Cone assembled an all-pro group to showcase the Philippines’ would possibly within the aftermath of the World Cup bust and provides Philippine basketball a brighter year-end triumph at dwelling.
Dwelling as much as expectations, Cone and firm delivered the gold medal closest to the guts of Filipinos at a packed MOA Area, sealing a runaway triumph in opposition to vastly-improved foes led by runner-up Thailand and third-placer Vietnam.
It was the icing on the cake on a stellar four-gold sweep by the Gilas program within the SEAG. Earlier than the PBA squad copped the nation’s 13th straight crown, the Gilas girls broke by way of with its historic SEAG mint. And the week earlier than, Gilas males’s 3×3 composed of Mo Tautuaa, Jason Perkins, Chris Newsome and CJ Perez dominated the inaugural three-a-side occasion, a feat duplicated by their feminine counterparts.
The gold within the males’s aspect got here as anticipated. It was the victory within the girls’s aspect that offered the best thrill.
06 Bambol turns into POC President
The Philippine Olympic Committee elected biking chief and Tagaytay Rep. Abraham “Bambol” Tolentino to the presidency final July 28.
Tolentino grew to become the third POC president in three years, coming after boxing’s Victorico “Ricky” Vargas, and long-time chief govt Jose “Peping” Cojuangco Jr.
Tolentino’s election made it three elected presidents for the POC in a single Olympic cycle – truly a uncommon factor even for a corporation the place management disputes and political maneuverings are a staple.
It’s been solely 16 months for the reason that Olympic physique put in Vargas instead of the long-serving Cojuangco in a court-ordered particular polls in February 2018 when politics took over.
In June, Vargas made an sudden transfer throughout a board assembly. He filed his irrevocable resignation, citing “company obligations” and “household sentiments” because the elements.
Initially, there was a heated debate as as to whether the place of president was vacant or the next-in-line, first vice chairman Joey Romasanta, ought to take over.
However the Worldwide Olympic Committee and Olympic Council of Asia stepped in and paved the way in which for an additional election final July 28 the place Tolentino defeated athletics’ Philip Ella Juico for the presidency by way of a 24-20 rely.
Juico’s runningmate, 74-year-old Steve Hontiveros of handball, received the chairmanship after getting 26 votes in opposition to Tolentino’s guess, Robert Aventajado of taekwondo, who acquired 18.
“Hopefully this election places an finish to the POC squabble,” mentioned the 55-year-old Tolentino, who will serve out the rest of Vargas’ time period till November 2020.
“And because the saying goes, let’s put aside variations and transfer ahead, Allow us to be united and deal with the SEA Video games in addition to Para Video games and Olympics subsequent yr,” he mentioned upon his election.
07 SMB counts its blessings
San Miguel Beer brewed a grand plan within the PBA’s 44th season – win the grand slam.
Bannered by five-time MVP June Mar Fajardo, the Beermen touched issues off with a fifth consecutive Philippine Cup title.
Then coach Leo Austria and his rampaging fees led by former NBA participant Chris McCullough annexed the Commissioner’s Cup on the expense of Discuss N Textual content, and moved one crown away from the franchise’s second grand slam.
However blissful hour didn’t final.
As they hunted for remaining piece within the Governors’ Cup, issues turned bitter for the SMB squad.
Dez Wells, the explosive import, suffered an ankle harm of their eighth sport of the elims, and SMB was compelled to fly in former NBA participant John Holland.
Wells was positioned on the harm listing, and was getting set to rejoin the group when a simmering rift with SMB locals exploded right into a scuffle throughout one observe.
Administration let go of Wells and suspended the locals within the battle, Arwind Santos, Ronald Tubid and Kelly Nabong indefinitely.
It was an adversity that Austria and his fees did not finally overcome. The Beermen kissed their hat-trick bid goodbye after they bowed to twice-to-beat No. four Barangay Ginebra within the quarterfinals. It was 2017 yet again because the Gin Kings thwarted their treble plans.
“However I’m pleased with what we achieved – two championships this season and eight championships the final 5 years. So we now have to rely our blessings,” mentioned Austria.
08 Blue Eagles’good season
The opposition was swept away.
Ateneo did simply that within the 82nd UAAP season, carving out the league’s first 16-game sweep on its technique to a 3rd straight title.
The Eagles insisted it wasn’t straightforward and that the mission wasn’t achieved in a single day.
Led by the grasp tactician Tab Baldwin, the “16 Eagles” are Thirdy Ravena, Isaac Go, Angelo Kouame, Matt Nieto, Mike Nieto, Adrian Wong, SJ Belangel, Will Navarro, Gian Mamuyac, BJ Andrade, Tyler Tio, Paat Maagdenberg, Jason Credo, Geo Chiu, Troy Mallilin and Matthew Daves.
They flew excessive all season lengthy and authored a sweep the league has by no means seen for the reason that nice UST group of Aric del Rosario in 1993 accomplished a 14-Zero season sweep.
Ateneo went so far as Singapore, Greece and Australia to gear up for the right season.
By finishing a 14-Zero sweep within the elims, they gained an automated ticket to the finals the place in addition they scored a 2-Zero romp of the Tigers.
“The 16-Zero season is de facto one thing that we dreamed about. We didn’t discuss lots about it as a result of we by no means wished to set that as a aim. However I do know that the gamers significantly dream about it and it’s a dream season to undergo unblemished,” mentioned Baldwin.
He mentioned it was a humbling expertise.
“They’re (Eagles) a lot greater than basketball gamers. However for me, it made me a greater individual. It humbles me. It’s very humbling when these males sacrifice their ego. They sacrifice their,” mentioned Baldwin.
Sure, it was no straightforward feat.
09 In Shining Armor, Knights prevail
The Letran Knights stole the highlight by popping out of nowhere to rule the 95th NCAA basketball match.
The Muralla-based dribblers beat the favored San Beda Pink Lions in three epic video games to nail its 18th championship and deny the latter a 23rd crown.
And Letran did it with an all-Filipino roster headed by the valiant Jerrick Balanza, who dished out a efficiency to recollect.
It was a becoming climax for the Knights, who spoiled the Lions’ undefeated run of 18 video games within the elimination spherical.
It was a bitter tablet to swallow for the Lions, who appeared unbeatable till they had been pitted in opposition to a group so hungry for a title.
For coach Bonnie Tan, it was his first NCAA title. It shouldn’t be his final.
10 Pinoy Spikers finish drought
Whereas girls’s volleyball will proceed to get pleasure from company assist, mileage and the likes regardless of its failed bid to medal within the SEA Video games, males’s volley will lastly get the acceptance and therapy it deserves – any more.
Saved out of the highlight within the native volley panorama for years, the nationwide males’s spikers did the unthinkable by dethroning powerhouse and many-time champion Thailand within the semifinals, guaranteeing the nation’s first silver medal within the SEA Video games in 42 years.
Although they fell in need of the gold, bowing to the taller, extra skilled Indonesian aspect, the Pinoy spikers proved that given the appropriate program, together with coaching and publicity, no volley mission is not possible this aspect of the world.
“We’re actually hoping our coaching would proceed. It’s essential for us as a result of we simply began this system,” mentioned nationwide coach Dante Alinsunurin.
It was the primary silver medal for the nation for the reason that 1977 SEA Video games in Kuala Lumpur.