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SEAG-bound team hones up in ‘Bingo’ Open

The 2016 Bingo Bonanza National Open Badminton Tournament slated next week will not only be a showcase of the country’s top players and rising stars but also serves as part of the national team’s buildup for next year’s Southeast Asian Games in Malaysia. National team head coach Paulus Firman expects the country’s elite players to dominate the P1.5-million championship set Oct. 17-23 at the CW Home Depot Ortigas and SM Megamall. He added the tournament is also part of the national team players’ exposure for next year’s SEA Games in Kuala Lumpur where he hopes the Filipinos will finally contend for a medal against some of the world’s top players. “I think we have a very good chance of at least competing for a bronze in the men’s doubles,” said Firman. “But everything …

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October declared ‘Volley Month’

With the country’s hosting of the 2016 FIVB Women’s Club World Championship, President Rodrigo Duterte has been proclaiming October as a Volleyball Month. Mr. Duterte signed on Tuesday Proclamation No. 80 and ordered to shift national attention to the staging of this prestigious tournament starting on Tuesday next week at the Mall of Asia Arena, where the PSL F2 Logistics Manila team will compete against the best club teams from Turkey, Switzerland, Brazil, Italy, Japan and Thailand. It is the first time in two decades that a Chief Executive declared a volleyball month, and it will serve as a morale booster to the world-class event organized by the Philippine Superliga (PSL) and Eventcourt with TV5, Petron, Asics, BMW and F2 Logistics as official sponsors, Diamond Hotel as official residence and Turkish Airlines …

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Valdez foiled by ex-teammates

Alyssa Valdez and her former teammates at Ateneo have a special relationship – they treat each other like members of one big family. Despite their bonding, they were all business when they clashed against each other late Wednesday in the Shakey’s V-League Season 13 Reinforced Conference with Valdez now playing for newcomer Bureau of Customs, while her ex-Ateneo teammates were playing for BaliPure. The BaliPure Water Defenders harbored no ill-feeling towards Valdez, but they played with more fire and passion that they prevailed over Valdez’s Customs, 26-24, 25-21, 25-21 at the Philsports Arena in Pasig City. Imports Kaylee Manns and Katie Morrell provided big help but the one that helped BaliPure secure the win was the familiarity of the past and present Ateneo players’ with the moves of their idol. That’s mainly the reason …

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Army tossers trip Generika

RC Cola Army made its presence felt as it hacked out a 25-17, 23-25, 25-15, 25-19 victory over Generika Tuesday night in the 2016 Asics Philippine Superliga Grand Prix presented by PLDT Home Ultera at The Arena in San Juan City. The Lady Troopers banked on the experience of former Most Valuable Player Jovelyn Gonzaga to beat the hard-fighting Generika squad. Gonzaga proved she’s still one of the country’s dependable open hitters by scoring 14 points highlighted by 12 kills. Gonzaga also stepped up in the non-scoring department by posting 19 digs. Hailie Ripley was equally impressive for the Lady Troopers by contributing 13 points with four blocks and two aces, while former University of Perpetual Help standout Royse Tubino posted 11 attacks for 12 points. American reinforcement Kierra Holst, an open hitter who campaigned …

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Valdez goes up against former teammates today

Games Today (Philsports Arena, Pasig City) 12:30 p.m. – 100 Plus vs IEM (men’s) 4 p.m. – Laoag vs Air Force (women’s) 6 p.m. – BaliPure vs Customs (women’s) Alyssa Valdez will probably find herself in an awkward position when her team, Bureau of Customs, faces BaliPure in today’s Shakey’s V-League Reinforced Conference game at the Philsports Arena in Pasig City. But mostly, she said, it’s going to be fun. Across the net are familiar faces, and not only that, they are mostly her friends since BaliPure will have her former teammates in Ateneo as core. “It’s going to be fun and challenging at the same time, kasi syempre, we know each other on and off the court,” said Valdez, who led her team past Laoag last week, scoring 39 points in their 18-25, 27-25, 21-25, 25-21, …

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North Koreans expose Azkals’ fragile defense

The poor defensive strategy of the Philippine Azkals was again exposed after absorbing a 3-1 loss to the North Koreans in an international match at the rain-soaked Rizal Memorial Stadium. The Azkals conceded two scores early in the first half, gave up a third minutes after the restart before netting a consolation goal courtesy of substitute Iain Ramsay to suffer the same fate as in Friday’s match to Bahrain where the Filipinos also fell short with the same scoreline. By ending the international window with consecutive losses, concerns over the Azkals form grew with over a month remaining before the country hosts the AFF Suzuki Cup at the Philippine Sports Stadium in Bocaue, Bulacan. The Azkals are bracketed alongside defending champion Thailand, 2012 winner Singapore and Indonesia. Coach Thomas Dooley admitted their form would …

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Petron eyes 2nd PSL win

Games Today (The Arena, San Juan City) 5 p.m. – Petron vs F2 Logistics 7 p.m. – Generika vs RC Cola-Army   Former champion Petron aims for its second straight win when it clashes with F2 Logistics today in the 2016 Asics Philippine Superliga Grand Prix presented by PLDT Home Ultera today at The Arena in San Juan City. The Tri-Activ Spikers, winners of the 2014 Grand Prix crown, battle the Cargo Movers at 5 p.m. hoping to follow up their 25-18, 25-23, 25-14 opening-day victory over the Generika Lifesavers over the weekend. Petron Coach Shaq Delos Santos refused to be swayed by their breezy win the last time, saying there still a lot of work to do to become a title contender. “It’s still too early to say that we are already title contenders because we need …

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Azkals face North Korea in friendly

Game Today (Rizal Memorial Stadium) 8 p.m. – Philippines vs North Korea The Philippine Azkals try to regain their bearing after losing to Bahrain when they face North Korea tonight in an international friendly at the Rizal Memorial Stadium. Three days removed from a 3-1 loss to Bahrain, the Azkals want nothing more than a much-improved showing against the fancied North Koreans in their 8 p.m. showdown. It will be the meeting between both nations since March when the Azkals stunned North Korea, 3-2, at the same pitch in the World Cup/Asian Cup qualifiers. But expect the Azkals to play a much-difficult encounter this time, especially with their defending being suspect in the loss to the Bahrainis. The Azkals conceded the game’s first two goals before giving up a third in the second half injury time. That has …

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UST goes for 4th Shakey’s win

Games Today (Philsports Arena, Pasig City) 12:30 p.m. – Air Force vs Cignal (men’s) 4 p.m. – Pocari vs Coast Guard (women’s) 6 p.m. – UP vs UST (women’s) The rejuvenated University of Santo Tomas Tigresses try to keep their clean record intact when they tangle with the  dangerous University of the Philippines Lady Maroons today in the Shakey’s V-League Season 13 Reinforced Conference at the Philsports Arena in Pasig City. The battle of two collegiate teams is set at 6 p.m. with the Tigresses eager to extend their winning run to four games after their impressive 21-25, 25-21, 25-23, 25-13 victory over the more experienced BaliPure Water Defenders last Saturday. Ej Laure, who exploded with 23 points against BaliPure, is once again expected to lead UST’s charge along with Carla Sandoval, skipper Pam Lastimosa and Ria …

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Cubs on the cusp after win over Giants

Chicago — Pitchers Kyle Hendricks and Travis Wood produced on the mound and at the plate Saturday to propel the Chicago Cubs to a 5-2 victory over the San Francisco Giants and a commanding lead in their Major League Baseball playoff series. The Cubs, in search of their first World Series win in more than a century, lead the best-of-five National League Division Series 2-0 and will try to book their spot in the NL Championship Series in game three in San Francisco on Monday. Wood, who took over on the mound after starter Hendricks was hit on the forearm by a line drive off the bat of Angel Pagan in the fourth inning, earned the victory – and also became the first relief pitcher since 1924 to belt a home run …

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