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The Business of Sports: Taking Pinoy Pride Global

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“We would not be here without Flash Elorde.”
– ALA Boxing President/CEO Michael Aldeguer during the 15th Elorde Awards

Michael Aldeguer, a second generation Cebuano entrepreneur, is the President and CEO of Antonio Lopez Aldeguer (ALA) Boxing Group. From its humble beginnings of being a gym for out-of-school teenagers to the biggest Asian boxing promotion, the success of ALA can be attributed to the passion of Michael Aldeguer for the sport he holds dear to his heart.

Where it all began

Antonio Aldeguer, the Godfather of Filipino boxing, started a boxing gym that trained kids from low-income households to, hopefully, become amateur or professional boxers. Coming from a successful garments business, this was Antonio’s sort-of corporate social responsibility that blended in his passion for boxing and to help the less fortunate.

The second of three sons, Michael Aldeguer was introduced to boxing by his father during his teenage years. During the 15th Elorde Awards Night last March 25, 2015, he said that the legendary Gabriel “Flash” Elorde was his inspiration of getting into the boxing business. “I knew about Flash when my father told me about him. My father idolized him. He had a lot of posters of him in his room, and I never knew why,” Aldeguer said. “Eventually, the more I knew about Flash, the more I idolized him. We would not be here without him.”

Expanding ALA

Michael Aldeguer being awarded with his 7th Promoter of the Year Awards (From: BoxingNews.com)

Michael Aldeguer being awarded with his 7th Promoter of the Year Awards (From: BoxingNews.com)

Michael Aldeguer wanted to expand the operations of ALA Boxing. He envisioned the brand to not only be a gym but to become a huge media property. However, according to an interview with Inquirer.net [READ: Jay, Michael and Chris Aldeguer: What sets them apart from other entrepreneurs], his father just wanted to do this for the love of the sport. For Michael, however, it would not be sustainable for a non-profit organization to stay in the red for the entirety of its life. He, later on, took over ALA and made it an enterprise just so his father could continue to box more.

Aldeguer started to promote fight cards in the 2000’s. Being a second generation entrepreneur, he was aggressive in setting out goals. But he needed a good partner to help build the brand and broadcast it to the masses. Enter ABS-CBN.

“You have to know, when we first started, it was with ABS-CBN. We needed a medium where we could showcase the Filipino boxer. It was about time that a Filipino organization and a Filipino network to come together and showcase Filipino fighters,” Aldeguer recalled.

But then they needed a catchy title for the show where they would revolve the brand around. “The cards are centered around Filipino fighters then we thought of the name pride. Talagang pride ng mga Filipino so we used the name Pinoy Pride. We pitched it to ABS-CBN and it grew. We make sure we have quality fights, that’s what we wanted to do and it flew.”

With the fall of the syndicated show Blow-by-Blow, Pinoy Pride took over its place as the live spectacle for the loyal fans of the sweet science. As ALA produced more shows each year, they needed to fill-out the cards with boxers. For Aldeguer, he did not just want to produce shows with random boxers. What he envisioned is a card filled with quality fighters in quality match-ups that will leave people speechless during the telecasts. “The fact that there is a chance to grow boxing in the Philippines. And there’s a lot of talent here in the Philippines, not another Manny Pacquiao, but a lot fighters who can fight in the name of the country,” Aldeguer said. “We continue to help in the grassroots development of the sport through our gyms and, eventually, with the right work, they have the chance to be featured in the Pinoy Pride cards,” he added.

Moreover, to provide a deep fight card for the audience, ALA Promotions, the only Asian promotion with tie-ups to two of the biggest boxing promotions in the world: Top Rank and Golden Boy, also fills the card with international talent. These tie-ups have resulted to making each card a must-watch; driving in huge amounts of sponsors and advertisers for every Pinoy Pride card.

Aldeguer, staying true and humble after all the years of success, deflects all the credit to his partners. For him, it’s a group effort and finding the right people: “I have to give credit to ABS-CBN. They played a major role because they are a very huge network. And of course to the fighters, without them there will be no quality fights. People watch because of them. It’s very important to be surrounded with good people, including the organization of ALA. And of course the media, to be honest, it’s a whole team effort.”

Taking ALA Global

Michael Aldeguer being awarded a license to promote in America

Michael Aldeguer being awarded a license to promote in America (from: Boxingnews.com)

Right now, ALA Boxing is a multi-million peso property that is expanding through various forms of media and establishments. Aside from the Pinoy Pride series, the group has built gyms in Cebu and Manila to, not only train fighters, but to also promote boxing as a lifestyle. A business perfected by the Elorde family, as seen in their numerous gyms all over the Philippines. The brand is also producing apparel with the ALA brand emblazed on the gear, a throwback to the Aldeguer’s family business. Both are alternative revenue routes for the Cebuano brand.

ALA Promotions is also the first Asian boxing promotion to have a boxing license to organize a fight card in America. “We just got a license in the US. The first one in Asia to do it. We have three events in California lined-up so that’s the next move. And we have two events in the Middle East as well. We want to bring Pinoy Pride and the quality of events, not just here in the Philippines, but also abroad,” Aldeguer excitedly told us.

The seven-time Elorde Awards Promoter of the Year told us that he is taking Pinoy Pride global because he wants to give the Overseas Filipino Workers, heroes in his eyes, quality fights the local fight fans are enjoying. “We had a successful show in Dubai last September. So we want to do it again and bring joy to the OFW’s. We want to give them another good show again.” Finally, the international shows they will produce will also help in the exposure of the Filipino boxer and Filipino boxing in general to the global market.

Michael Aldeguer is the best example of the modern entrepreneur: passionate, determined, risk-taking. From a philanthropical act to a sporting juggernaut, ALA Boxing has become synonymous to Filipino boxing. Aldeguer has achieved this feat without forgetting the reason why his father started this: to help give the Filipino youth direction through sports.

 

 

Pinoy Pride 31 takes place tomorrow at the Cebu City Waterfront Hotel and Casino with the longest reigning Filipino world champion Donnie Nietes (35-1-4) puts his WBO Light Flyweight Championship on the line against Mexican Francisco Rodriguez Jr. (17-2-1). Here is the full card for tomorrow’s event:

Pinoy Pride 31: Clash of Champions Fight Card
July 11, 2015 – Cebu Waterfront Hotel and Casino, Cebu City


WBO World Light Flyweight Championship: Donnie Nietes vs. Francisco Rodriguez Jr.
Featherweight Bout (10 rounds): Mark Magsayo vs. Rafael Reyes
Minimumweight Bout (8 rounds): Vic Saludar vs. Michael Kaibigan
Featherweight Bout (8 rounds): Roli Gasca vs. Rasmanudin
Lightweight Bout (8 rounds): Elmo Traya vs. Bryan Macamay
Bantamweight Bout (6 rounds): Virgel Vitor vs. Carlo Demecillo
Bantamweight Bout (6 rounds): Raul Yu vs. Ricardo Sueno
Cruiserweight Bout (6 rounds): Jorge Kahwagi vs. Ramon Olivas
Flyweight Bout (4 rounds): Kevin Jake Cataraja vs. Ardi Tefa

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Basketball

Renzo Subido to bring Marinerong Pilipino experience to UST

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When Renzo Subido decided to skip out the University of Santo Tomas Growling Tigers’ UAAP Season 80 campaign, he had only one thing in mind: to improve on his craft. And he was able to do so under coach Koy Banal in the Marinerong Pilipino Skippers.

After the AMA Online Education Titans had a quick end to their campaign during the 2017 Foundation Cup, the 5-foot-9 floor general was immediately picked up by Marinerong Pilipino for the playoffs. Liking his style of play, he was again tapped for the 2018 Aspirants Cup.

And he showed a lot of growth from then, leading the Skippers to a 94-92 victory over fellow contenders Zark’s Jawbreakers. The 21-year-old tallied 20 points, three rebounds, and five assists while knocking down the crucial free throws to seal off the Lyceum-backed team.

“It was a good win for us. We’re happy that we won the game because it’s a good way to start the conference,” beamed Subido. “I’ve played against Lyceum in the past so I had familiarity with how they play.

“It was a good experience for us.”

Expectations are high for Marinerong Pilipino this conference as they are pegged as their blend of veterans and young guns are seen too overwhelming for the rest of the field. Still, Subido knows that it will be a tough climb as the other teams, especially the collegiate-based squads, have familiarity on their side.

“We’re taking it one game at a time but the goal is to win the championship,” he said. “But we know that it’s not going to be easy since we are going up against the top collegiate teams.

“So we’re just going to go all out every game.”

Besides winning the championship, Subido is on a personal mission. Being one of the seniors for the Growling Tigers next season, he hopes to learn to become a better leader for next season.

“I want to become a better leader. I know that everything I can learn this conference, I can bring to UST,” Subido expressed.

“For all I can see, coach Aldin [Ayo] is a guard-oriented coach. So I’m using all the experience I get here in Marinero, I’ll bring it to UST.”

For sure, Subido wants to make up for lost time.

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Basketball

KIA signs Carlo Lastimosa

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After being released by the NLEX Road Warriors during the off-season, gunner Carlo Lastimosa has found a new home.

KIA Picanto team governor Bobby Rosales confirmed to Tiebreaker Times Thursday evening that they have tapped Carlo Lastimosa for the rest of the PBA Philippine Cup campaign.

“Yes,” Rosales confirmed in a text message.

Lastimosa, a two-time All-Star, averaged 8.8 points, 1.4 rebounds, and 1.7 assists in his one-year stay with the Road Warriors. Coach Yeng Guiao cited that NLEX already had too many guards that resulted to Lastimosa’s release.

The product of College of Saint Benilde was drafted as the 20th overall pick in the 2013 Rookie Draft by Barako Bull. A year later, he was traded to the Blackwater Elite for Brian Heruala.

The 27-year-old is set to make his debut on Saturday when the Picanto take on the Rain or Shine Elasto Painters.

The Kia Picanto are in the midst of a 16-game losing streak.

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Basketball

Marinerong Pilipino withstands furious Zark’s rally to open season on high note

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The Marinerong Pilipino Skippers averted a collapse and held off the Zark’s Burger-Lyceum Jawbreakers to come away with the 94-92 thriller to open the 2018 PBA D-League Aspirants’ Cup at Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig.

Losing hold of a 17-point edge, 56-39 with 7:57 left in the third frame, the Skippers survived the furious rally from the Jawbreakers in the clutch as Mike Nzeusseu and CJ Perez missed their three-pointers in the final minute before Rian Ayonayon and Renzo Subido sealed off the win for their side at the charity stripe

Subido topscored for Marinerong Pilipino with 20 points, five assists, and three rebounds, while Ayonayon unleashed 15 markers, three boards, and two dimes in the early battle between the two contenders.

Gab Banal also registered a double-double of 14 points, 14 rebounds, six assists, and four steals against his 10 turnovers in the win, while Papot Paredes got 12 of his 14 markers in the first half to help the Skippers establish control at halftime.

Victorious as Marinerong Pilipino maybe in the marquee matchup, coach Koy Banal refused to brand his side as the undisputed team-to-beat, noting: “This win means nothing. We need to keep on working get better every day because everybody will now prepare for us.”

Banal also lauded top rookie picks Alvin Pasaol and Abu Tratter, who were both fielded in the second half and stepped up to help the Skippers’ cause.

“Those guys have been with us since January 2 lang, and pretty much, medyo nangangapa pa sila sa sistema. But good thing is that they were able to deliver especially when their number were called,” he said.

The Skippers used a huge 12-0 run to end the second quarter to grab a 47-35 halftime lead, which further ballooned to 17, 56-39 in the third quarter.

Jaycee Marcelino paced Zark’s Burger-Lyceum with 20 points, four rebounds, and three assists in the loss, while Perez had 19 markers and five assists.

Earlier, PBA officer-in-charge Willie Marcial and PBA vice chairman Dickie Bachmann of Alaska graced the opening ceremonies, which was made special thanks to league newcomer Mila’s Lechon.

Marinerong Pilipino looks to sustain the momentum it gained in this game when it faces the Akari-Adamson Falcons on Thursday, January 25 at 5:00pm. Zark’s Burgers, on the other hand, takes on the Batangas-EAC Generals on Tuesday, January 23 at 4:00pm.

The Scores:

Marinerong Pilipino 94 – Subido 20, Ayonayon 15, Paredes 14, Banal 14, Robles 10, Tolentino 4, Tratter 4, Pasaol 4, Terso 3, Lopez 2, Inigo 2, Babilonia 2, Toth 0.

Zark’s 92 – Marcelino JC 20, Perez 19, Nzeusseu 18, Ayaay 11, Ibanez 6, Marcelino JV 6, Cinco 5, Tansingco 3, Santos 2, Pretta 2, Marata 0, Liwag 0

Quarterscores: 17-19, 47-34, 69-58, 94-92

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CSJL

Pirates notch first win at struggling Knights’ expense

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After floundering in their first three games, the Lyceum of the Philippines University Pirates broke into the win column after trouncing the Colegio San Juan de Letran Knights, 20-25, 27-25, 25-20, 25-22, at the FilOil Flying V Centre.

The Pirates, after a sluggish start, got the best of their Intramuros neighbors by limiting their miscues in the latter three sets. According to head coach Emil Lontoc, Lyceum needed every bit of momentum they gained in their rousing win in the second set.

“Nabuhayan sila (Pirates) ng loob noong makalusot kami noong second set,” Lontoc said. “Mababa ‘yung nilaro namin nung simula tapos medyo struggle pa din noong sumunod na set. Pero nakabangon din. Crucial ‘yun kasi baka hindi na kami naka-angat kung natalo pa kami noong second set.”

The Pirates delivered three of their four aces in the final set to close the match. They also shored up their reception, finishing at 38 percent, after an atrocious start.

Jhonel Badua topped the Pirates with 19 points while Joeward Presnede added 14.

Lyceum (1-3) takes on the undefeated Arellano University (4-0) on Sunday at the FilOil Flying V Centre.

Paul John Alilio and Bobby Gatdula each provided Letran with 19 points. Christopher Cistina managed 11 markers.

Letran (0-4) aims for their first win against rivals San Beda College (3-1) on Monday.

The Scores

LPU (3) – Badua 19, Presnede 14, Lajara 9, Ilano 7, Samonte 5, Uy 5, Rubio (L)

CSJL (1) – Alilio 19, Gatdula 19, Cistina 11, Almoguerra 3, Ladeon 3, Dizon 2, Domingo 2, Brioso 0, Tumbali 0, Centeno (L), Timbreza (L)

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