Sports & Automotive –
Pinoy fighters wow in Asia’s martial arts event ‘Iron Will’

Two Pinoy prides have emerged as winners at the recently held ONE: IRON WILL, Asia’s largest martial arts event.

Through global sports media provider ONE Championship, the most-awaited martial arts championship happened in Bangkok, Thailand late March.

At the co-main event, Jeremy “The Jaguar” Miado of the Philippines showed his determination to win the battle through a wild exchange of punches.

With his prowess, Miado successfully knocked out former world champion Dejdamrong Sor Amnuaysirichoke in the first round.

In the female atomweights segment, Angelie Sabanal of the Philippines did not disappoint to showcase her expertise despite ending the bout with a unanimous decision from the three judges.

Even as a newcomer in the industry, the Filipina managed to stay on the game against Thai rising star Rika Ishige.

She showcased her pinpoint accurate striking early on, peppering Ishige with stinging kicks and stiff punches. Although Ishige boldly traded strikes with the Filipina kickboxer from bell to bell, the latter pulled away in the final round, landing the more telling blows.

ONE Championship said the martial arts industry continues to witness a pool of talented and determined fighters across the Asian region.

Duterte vows to continue support for Filipino athletes

President Rodrigo Duterte believes the annual multi-sport event in the country could hasten the Filipino youth to leading the Philippines.

In the opening ceremonies of the Palarong Pambansa 2018, the President stressed this could further unleash the potentials of youth-athletes.

“More than just a showcase of the Filipino youth’s talents and skills in the field of sports, the Palarong Pambansa serves as a training ground for future leaders and national builders whose values and principles are founded on perseverance, discipline, teamwork, integrity, and love of country,” he said in his speech.

Duterte stressed his administration will continue to support the needs of Filipino athletes.

“The government remains steadfast in promoting physical education, encouraging sports programs and supporting athletes, especially as they compete in international events,” he said.

Meanwhile, Lydia De Vega-Mercado was given the Palarong Pambansa Lifetime Achievement Award during the opening rites. Her daughter Steph, who is set to make a pro volleyball return via expansion club Petro Gazz in the upcoming PVL Reinforced Conference, accepted the award on her behalf.

The President showed his support to the participants as he graced the Palarong Pambansa 2018 at the Quirino Stadium in Vigan, Ilocos Sur on April 15.

PH-led group to host 2023 FIBA World Cup, tops highlights in Asia’s basketball industry

2017 witnessed the festive moments of basketball fanatics from the region as the Philippine-led Asian consortium successfully secured the right to host the most awaited International Basketball Federation (FIBA) World Cup in 2023.

Philippines, along with Japan and Indonesia, braved the bidding held last year against Argentina and Uruguay that also offer to host the major sports event.

This was a sweet victory for the Philippines after it lost two years ago to China for the 2019 FIBA World Cup.

Despite the fact that the games would be played in three nations, Philippines will host most of the major games, allowing the huge basketball fan base in the country to witness the event.

Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas, who led the consortium, is targeting to bring the FIBA finals to the 55, 000-seat Philippine Arena as it seeks to break the attendance record of 35, 000 from the 1954 World Cup final between the US and Brazil at Rio de Janeiro.

Meanwhile, the FIBA started the inaugural window of the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2019 Asian Qualifiers in preparation for the 2019 tournament. It said to have allowed its 16 matches to be held in 14 different venues across the region from November 23 to 27.

The Philippines appeared victorious as it won two matches, beating Japan and Chinese Taipei.

Australia also defeated Japan and Chinese during the inaugural window, a few months after its debut in the FIBA Asia Cup in Lebanon.

Moreover, the recently held Asia Cup had recorded notable moments for the Asia basketball in 2017.

One of these was the return of Syrian basketball team to the Asia Cup after missing two editions. The Syria fought hard in both Asia Cup and Qualifiers, which resulted in two matches won over the India.

Also, Lebanon’s ‘tiger’ Fadi El Khatib bid goodbye in the Asia Cup. The 37-year-old legend continued to lead his team, registering 25.9 points per game in his last international tournament.

Still, the fact that Philippines won the World Cup hosting rights, after years of drought for FIBA hosting, tops all the highlights happened in the region’s basketball industry.