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Curry talks about his drive to succeed

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In the Manila Leg of the Under Armour Roadshow, Stephen Curry shared his path to greatness as an undersized player, to an underdog point guard in the league and now tasting the penultimate success of being an NBA champion together with his highest individual award, being the Most Valuable Player.

He told the media that his personal short term goal is simple, and that is to retain the title in the 2015-2016 season. Easier said than done, the 6’3” marksman knows that the other 29 teams will try their best to beat and at least give a good battle against his Golden State Warriors.

“It’s going to be a fun battle all year long. A lot of teams are retooling to get better and try to knock us off and we gonna be ready. We feel like we’re still the team to beat and we won’t lose that confidence.”

Regarding about confidence, Curry knows that not all nights would be one of those games wherein he’ll just shoot lights out from any part of the court. As he gave emphasis on improving, he states that no time would be wasted if one could give their all in terms of preparation.

“My confidence is built on preparation. So the time I spend on practicing and perfecting my game, I know I can rely on that no matter what the situation is. Like in Game 2 of the NBA Finals, I shot 5/22 and everybody thought I fell over the face of the earth. I never lost confidence because of how much time I put into it and eventually I found my way back into it.” Curry says.

He played 80 games in the regular season for the Warriors and averaged about 28.3ppg, 6th in the league, while also leading the league in 4.7 triples a match on an efficient 42.2% shooting clip beyond the arc. He believes that the point guard position in the NBA is the toughest right now and he takes no point guard for granted.

Steph says “As a whole, the point guard position is the strongest position in the NBA. There’s so many talented guys. I can’t take a night off cause I might get exposed since there’s so much talent. I know every night I have to be ready whether it’s Chris Paul, Russell Westbrook, or Grevies Vasquez. They’re all in the NBA for a reason.”

Labeled to be an underdog was one thing Curry used as a stepping stone to vastly improve his play on a nightly-basis. It was one of the stories behind one of the Curry One colorways, together with his recognition to his dad, who always supported him in his decisions and in his games. Aside from former NBA veteran Dell Curry, Steph mentioned names that he used as an inspiration in his basketball career.

“My college coach(from Davidsons) Bob McKillop. He was the coach that inspired me to be the best that I can be on and off the court. From a players standpoint, I love to watch Reggie Miller and Steve Nash as those are my favorite players to watch. When I was playing the one or the two(point guard/shooting guard position), I watch them to play each and every game.”

In the long run, he stressed on trying to be cemented as one of the all time greats and retiring as one of the coveted Hall of Famers in the NBA in his statement “I wanna be a hall of famer and be somebody to be remembered for a long long time.”

To do that, he says that he believes in his personal mantra to get better and never listen to stuff that can affect his game. He is also known in his tagline of MMFF or ‘Make my teammates better’, which are embedded in his signature sneakers.

“It’s hard to argue about the year that we had. I never listened to the critics. It’s more all about self-determination and passion to get better and inspiration to get better”.

On October 27(Oct 28 Manila time), they open up their title-defense against Anthony Davis and the New Orleans Pelicans at the Oracle Arena. They would also be having their ring ceremony in commemoration of their 2014-2015 title run before tipoff but Steph knows that it’s a brand new race to the championship and they will be ready for the challenge.

“I’m going to continue to lead my team. It’s going to be a different challenge for us because we never defended an NBA championship before so it’s going to be a new experience. I feel like we have the right guys and right chemistry to handle that attention and pressure.” he mentioned.

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2018 FIBA 3X3 World Cup

Chooks-to-Go President hopes to break PH Arena record come 3×3 World Cup

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Last October 27, 2017, Game Seven of the PBA Governors’ Cup Finals that pitted heated rivals Barangay Ginebra San Miguel and Meralco Bolts saw 54,083 people troop to the Philippine Arena in Bocaue, Bulacan. The attendance broke all records for both the venue and the PBA.

Come June this year, the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas and Chooks-to-Go are hoping that the upcoming 2018 FIBA 3×3 World Cup will surpass that record.

“We look at 3×3 as our best hope, really, to get a medal in the Olympics. Kami naman sa Chooks, we are behind SBP realizing that dream. Kanina pinag-uusapan na, if we’re going to break the record in attendance,” said Bounty Agro Ventures Inc. president Ronald Mascariñas Thursday afternoon during a press conference held at BGC High Street in Taguig.

“I think the question there is not if we’re going to break, but how many more times. Because FIBA should see how passionate the Filipinos are about basketball. That’s a given,” one of the patrons of Gilas Pilipinas added.

Besides the event itself, the local government of Bulacan has pledged to make the week of the tournament filled with activities to celebrate the Philippines’ 120th year of Independence.

For their part, Chooks-to-Go vowed to help out the SBP in organizing the event and in building the team.

“We are throwing our support not to improve on our finish, but we want to help SBP organize, to win the championship — not just to improve our ranking,” Mascariñas shared.

And the experience he and his company gained after backing the Pilipinas 3×3 team during last year’s tournament will only help.

“In past tournaments, we’ve lost some games na maninipis lang talaga,” he recalled about the team that was composed of Kobe Paras, Kiefer Ravena, Jeron Teng, and JR Quinahan that competed in Nantes, France.

“This time around, with five months to go, we need to organize and put in the best team to win the championship.”

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Football

Ilocos United takes leave from PFL

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Another one bites the dust

After months of speculation, Ilocos United formally announced its absence from the Philippines Football League for the 2018 season.
A statement signed by Ilocos Chief Executive Officer Tony Lazaro and posted on the club’s Facebook page broke the big news.

“Unfortunately, after months of negotiation, efforts to attract a new naming sponsor for the Team were unsuccessful,” the statement opened. “Consequently, it has become financially prohibitive to continue participation in the PFL.

“Primarily, the lack of broadcasting exposure in 2017 created an apprehension in the corporate community, cascading into a series of afflictions that has ultimately led to our withdrawal from the competition.”

Ilocos finished last during the inaugural season, tallying 1 win, 6 draws, and 21 losses with a -49 goal differential.

Still, Ilocos gave its thanks to those who supported the club during the inaugural PFL season.

“We are cautiously optimistic of a potential return to the PFL for the 2019 season, whereby secured broadcasting exposure will hopefully lead to higher confidence from potential sponsorship partners.”

While its PFL operations will fold for the time being, Ilocos will continue the grassroots programs it started within the area. ¨In the meantime, the foundation of football development we helped to build in Ilocos will continue, including grassroots initiatives at local schools, women’s futsal, Special Olympics, and, of course, the IUFC Academy.¨

The latest development will be another big blow for the young league. Meralco Manila pulled out of the competition beforehand and now Ilocos´ absence leaves only six teams in the competition.

Now more than ever, something needs to be done by the PFL or even the Philippine Football Federation to ensure the feasibility of the clubs and the league itself for years to come.

Football is a hard sport to build in the Philippines despite its resurgence since 2010. There aren’t a lot of corporate boosters for the sport which is in dire need of a financial push to sustain its growth.

Ilocos´ leave and Meralco´s folding now forces local football´s stakeholders to take a step back and examine the next moves to build the sport.

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Basketball

CJ Perez, Jaycee Marcelino in unison: D-League is a whole other level

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After falling just two games short to cop Lyceum’s first-ever NCAA crown, the Pirates went to the PBA D-League to gain experience. However, in their first foray in the second league, the Lyceans realized that it was a whole different animal.

Going up against the veteran-laden Marinerong Pilipino Skippers, the Zark’s Burgers-backed squad had a slow start as they adjusted to the tougher calls of the league. The Jawbreakers were down by as much as 17 points early in the third frame, 37-54.

“Yung physicality hindi naman ako masyadong nagulat pero sa mental toughness, yung pagod ka na, tapos may babanggga pa sa ‘yo, ang iniisip ko kailangan mas maging tough,” admitted reigning NCAA Most Valuable Player CJ Perez.

“Nangangapa kami nung una lahat kasi first game namin ito, pati dito sa court na ‘to first game din namin,” added Jaycee Marcelino.

It however served as a wake-up call. Adjusting on the fly, Perez and Marcelino rallied the Jawbreakers back — even having multiple attempts to take over the contest late in the game. However, they fell short, 92-94.

“Binalik lang namin yung laro namin dati, pass the ball, hindi yung puro dribble, i-run lang namin yung plays,” shared Marcelino as he and Perez combined to score 16 points in the final frame.

The 21-year-old Marcelino finished with a game-high 20 points on an efficient 7-of-9 shooting to go along with four rebounds, three assists, two steals, and a block while the 24-year-old Perez added 19 points, five assists, two steals, and a block.

With their first game in the bag, the two and the rest of the Jawbreakers now have this experience under their belts. And they plan to put in the work to prove that they belong.

“Sa NC naman kasi puro ka-level namin kalaro namin, dito puro beterano ang naglalaro,” said Marcelino. “Hindi talaga namin masabi na yung ginawa namin sa NC magagawa din namin dito.

“Mageextra work pa kami para masustain namin kung ano kami sa Lyceum.”

“It’s a good experience. Ibang iba pala talaga yung laro ng D-League sa NCAA,” expressed Perez, who is a consensus top three pick for the upcoming PBA Rookie Draft.

“Sobrang grateful kami na nakalaro na rin kami sa D-League.”

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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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