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ONE Championship releases full Spirit of Champions card

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ONE Championship has announced the complete fight card for ONE: SPIRIT OF CHAMPIONS, which will take place at the Mall of Asia (MOA) Arena in the Philippines on 11 December. The card is headlined by a spectacular showdown between Brandon “The Truth” Vera and Chi Lewis “Chopper” Parry for the inaugural ONE Heavyweight World Championship.

In addition to the main event, five exciting new bouts featuring local and international MMA athletes have been announced. These bouts will include the Lee siblings from Singapore, Angela Lee and her younger brother Christian Lee, who will be making his professional MMA debut. Angela will face Lena Tkhorevska from Poland, while Christian meets Australia’s David Meak. Filipino fighters Geje “Gravity” Eustaquio and Eugene Toquero are also on the card, and will face Yang Jian Bing and Wu Ze respectively. Bruno Pucci returns to the ONE cage to battle Indonesia-based Dutch fighter, Anthony Engelen.

The CEO of ONE Championship, Victor Cui stated, “Manila has always been one of our favourite cities because the support for ONE Championship and MMA is tremendous! We have prepared an amazing lineup of fights for our passionate Filipino fans who are eager to witness our unique brand of world-class MMA. These five additional bouts are guaranteed to satisfy fans hungry for action as we hold nothing back in our spectacular return to the heart of the Philippines.”


ONE Pride of Lions - Angela Lee Natalie Hills - twister

MMA darling Angela “Unstoppable” Lee was victorious in her last fight, executing a rare Twister submission on her opponent at the recently concluded ONE: Pride of Lions show in Singapore. The win established Lee as the queen of submissions in the ONE Championship. Known for being a sweetheart who transforms into a formidable contender in the cage, Angela ends her fights fast, with her first three bouts having ended by first round submission. Angela looks to keep the streak alive when she meets her next opponent, Polish fighter Lena Tkhorevska.

Lena Tkhorevska is one of Poland’s fastest-rising female MMA stars. She makes her ONE Championship debut in Manila and can be described as a versatile fighter, complete with a formidable stand-up and ground game. Tkhorevska owns a knockout and a pair of submission victories as a professional and is set to give her opponent Angela Lee a tough fight in Manila.


 

A Singaporean featherweight prospect by way of Hawaii, USA, Christian Lee will be following in his sister’s footsteps by turning professional inside the ONE Cage. Coming from a family of impressive martial artists, Christian was crowned multiple-time Junior Pankration World Champion with a Purple Belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. He was voted ‘Most Outstanding Athlete’ at the 2013 FILA World Championships after winning five world titles across the disciplines of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, Pankration, MMA, and Submission Grappling. The younger brother of Angela Lee will make his debut against Australian fighter, David Meak.

David Meak is an Australian featherweight mixed martial artist looking for a new beginning inside the ONE Cage. With five professional bouts on his record, Meak is equipped with the experience required to be successful at this level of the sport. He’ll have his hands full though, as he takes on rising young star Christian Lee of Evolve MMA.


 

Team Lakay’s Geje “Gravity” Eustaquio will face Chinese fighter Yang Jian Bing in a surefire fast-paced flyweight bout. After two losses, one against Anatpong Bunrad and the other against Adriano Moraes, Eustaquio is eager to come back better and stronger, and showcase just how much he has improved since. Eustaquio, known for his well-rounded striking game, will need to outwork his opponent to emerge victorious in his home turf and return to his winning ways.

Yang Jian Bing is one of the most promising young flyweights to come out of China. With five victories on his professional record, including three submissions, Yang is a nightmare matchup for anyone in his division. Despite the remarkable success he’s had in grappling, Yang considers striking to be his forte and will look to take the fight straight to Geje Eustaquio of the Philippines.


 

Eugene Toquero is one of the most exciting fighters to come out of Manila. His time inside the ONE Cage has been memorable, as he’s delighted fans with impeccable striking and flashy combinations. The former celebrity MMA trainer recently fell short of victory at ONE: TIGERS OF ASIA when he lost to Riku Shibuya via unanimous decision. Toquero is set to do battle with Wu Ze, who represents a chance for him to get back on track for a title shot in the future.

Chinese flyweight Wu Ze has seven years of mixed martial arts training, with a strong background in Sanda and Wrestling. He became the winner of the ONE Guangzhou Flyweight Tournament Finals when he defeated Yang Jian Bing via split decision. Wu, who is also a parkour and extreme sports enthusiast, has proven to be an exciting fighter just like his next opponent, Eugene Toquero of the Philippines. This bout between two flyweights is definitely one to watch out for.


 

Bruno “Pucci Bull” Pucci from Brazil makes his much-awaited return to the ONE Cage after a year-long break. A first degree Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt and world champion in No Gi, Pucci is famous for finishing all his fights via his favourite submission move, the Rear Naked Choke. Pucci’s winning streak came to a devastating halt when he lost to Major Overall last year at ONE: HONOR & GLORY. He is determined to get back on the right track, this time against Anthony Engelen.

Anthony Engelen is a Dutch fighter who trains full-time in Indonesia. Just like his next opponent, Engelen’s strength lies in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, making this match a potential war of attrition on the ground. Engelen is undefeated in his first three professional fights and his debut with ONE Championship gives him the chance to advance his position in a stacked division.

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Basketball

After getting first D-League experience, Zark’s-Lyceum ready to get loose

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After a hesitant performance in their PBA D-League debut last Thursday that resulted in a loss to the Marinerong Pilipino Skippers, the Zark’s Burger-Lyceum Jawbreakers seemingly caught up with the league’s style of play on Tuesday.

Zark’s-Lyceum displayed their true form and stamped their class all over the Batangas-EAC Generals with a 37-point destruction, 112-75 — so far the biggest winning margin the franchise has ever had in its D-League history.

“Medyo adjusted na kami on everything — the calls and the teams we’re playing against with,” said Zark’s-Lyceum head coach Topex Robinson after the match at Pasig Sports Center. “But the things we want to mind are those things we control.

“We just have to keep on doing what we are doing. It’s more on replenishing na lang on our old ways.”

Robinson’s claim was strongly backed up by the numbers that the Jawbreakers produced.

CJ Perez had 21 points and 10 rebounds. MJ Ayaay produced 15 points and 10 boards, and Mike Nzeusseu delivered 14 markers and 11 boards.

Even the bench made their presence felt in the victory. With guard Jaycee Marcelino spearheading the supporting cast’s charge with 12 markers, the bench contributed a remarkable 56 points to their total output.

Photo by PBA Images

“Ano lang, cinontrol lang namin yung pace kasi yun naman talaga yung laro namin, yung mabilisan,” said the 24-year-old do-it-all forward, who also collected three steals.

“Kailangan talaga mabilisan para ma-execute namin yung mga ginagawa namin.”

This week will be a rough one for the Pirates, as they will play right away this Thursday against the AMA Online Education. And for Perez, he strongly believes that they will be able to carry over their momentum.

“Oo. Nandun pa. Energy talaga yung puhunan namin para makalaro ng maayos.”

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Basketball

Bonbon Batiller shows what he can bring to Letran in D-League debut

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Photo by PBA Images

Tuesday proved to be a double debut for Bonbon Batiller. Aside from beginning his first foray in the PBA D-League, it also marked his debut for the Letran Knights, who are carrying the Wang’s Basketball Couriers franchise.

And the 5-foot-11 guard showed what he can bring to the table. Batiller collected 15 points, five rebounds, and three assists to help the Knights raise the curtains of their campaign with a 93-75 rout of the Batangas-EAC Generals.

“Nagworkout yung pinagpraktisan namin,” said Batiller. “Nagbunga rin yung tinuro samin ni Coach Jeff (Napa) lalo sa depensa. Tsaka siguro sa rebounds — laking lamang namin sa rebound. Nagsipag mga bigs namin.”

But what has him even more satisfied is the warm reception and trust he’s had from the Knights, even if he has spent barely a year with them after transferring from University of the East last 2017.

“Masaya po kasi tinanggap nila ako sa Letran ng buong-buo,” said Batiller, who normed 10.5 points, 3.7 rebounds, 2.5 assists, and 1.6 steals with UE in two years. “Tsaka yung tiwala nila na makakatulong ako sa team nandoon.

“Kaya masaya ako sa pinakita nila sa akin.”

That is why the General Santos native is hard-pressed to prove himself to Letran, saying that he’s all about giving back to the school that gave him another opportunity to resume his young, up-and-coming basketball career.

“Kailangan kong may mapatunayan na deserving ako sa binigay na second chance sa akin ni Letran,” said Batiller, who decided to switch schools partly due to academic reasons.

“Malaki ang utang ko sa Letran.”

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Football

Bienvenido Maranon scores brace as Ceres-Negros eliminates Brisbane Roar

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Photo from the-AFC.com

Philippine club football just achieved its biggest continental result yet

The inaugural Philippines Football League champions Ceres-Negros Football Club eliminated three-time Australian champions Brisbane Roar in the 2018 AFC Champions League’s second preliminary round with a 3-2 stunner, away at the QSAC Stadium in Brisbane.

With the win, the 2017 AFC Cup ASEAN Zonal Champions are set to face Chinese Super League club Tianjin Quanjian next January 30, 2018 at the Haihe Educational Football Stadium in Tianjin, China, to book a seat in the group stages.

Brisbane were the favorites for this tie and it showed, as Ceres started the contest on the back foot. Italian striker Massimo Maccarone handed the home side the lead in the 35th minute when he turned in Brett Holman’s pass.

Maccarone’s goal could have lowered the Busmen’s moral, but Risto Vidakovic’s men took it as a motivation rather than a downer. In fact, Ceres replied in the best way possible when Bienvenido Maranon scored his first goal of the match two minutes from halftime, thanks to a scramble in the Brisbane box.

By all accounts, Ceres had already made Philippine football proud at halftime. By this stage last year, Brisbane had accrued a 4-0 halftime cushion against Global Cebu en route to a 6-0 rout.

Today, though, Brisbane faced tougher resistance at Ceres’ hands. That resistance turned into a full-fledged revolt in the 65th minute when Maranon directed the ball past a helpless Jamie Young to give the Busmen their first taste of the lead.

Maranon’s goal well and truly turned the tide in Ceres’ favor. Brisbane were stunned. The home side are the defending A-League champions, but are currently eighth in the table this season and would soon face elimination from Asia’s premier club competition.

Already up 2-1, the Busmen finally achieved some breathing room in the 75th minute when Omid Nazari scored from close range to give Ceres a two-goal cushion over Brisbane.

Nazari’s goal not only sealed the win for Ceres, it also propelled Philippine football into the big leagues. Not even a late goal from French midfielder Éric Bauthéac could prevent the Busmen’s victory.

After five minutes of stoppage time, Ceres emerged 3-2 winners against Brisbane Roar. Come what may against Tianjin seven days from now, the Busmen have already achieved Philippine football’s biggest result since their own achievement in last season’s AFC Cup.

Who knows? Maybe Ceres can pull off another upset?

Ceres-Negros XI: Doblas (GK), Super, Mike Ott, Ingreso, Maranon, Porteria, Schrock, De Murga (C), Munoz, Nazari, Christaens.

Brisbane Roar XI: Ingham, Bowles, Papadopoulos, Maccarone, Holman, Khalfallah, Oxborrow, McKay (C), Hingert, Young (GK), Franjic.

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EAC

CJ Perez, Zark’s-Lyceum vent ire on Batangas-EAC with 37-point romp

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Photo by PBA Images

CJ Perez and the Zark’s Burger-Lyceum Jawbreakers finally lived up to their hype, as they clobbered the Batangas-EAC Generals to score a 37-point beatdown, 112-75 for their first win, Tuesday at the Pasig Sports Center.

It was an all-out attack from the Jawbreakers, as they beat the Generals to the bite and took control of the game early, with Mike Nzeusseu and Jaycee Marcelino guiding their side to the 48-33 lead at halftime which they would never surrender.

Perez paced Zark’s Burger-Lyceum with 21 points and 10 rebounds, while MJ Ayaay tallied a double-double with his 15 markers, 10 boards, and three assists.

Cameroonian student-athlete Nzeusseu also delivered 14 points, 11 rebounds, and two assists. Marcelino had eight first half points and wound up with 12 off the bench, as the reserves chipped in 56 huge points in the tussle.

Coach Topex Robinson lauded the Jawbreakers for quickly adjusting to the style of the PBA D-League just days after falling to the Marinerong Pilipino, 92-94, back in opening day.

“Medyo adjusted na kami on everything — the calls and the teams were playing against with. But the things we want to mind are those things we control. We just have to keep on doing what we are doing. It’s more on replenishing na lang on our old ways,” he said.

Earvin Mendoza and Cedric de Joya both had 16 points for the Generals in the losing effort.

Zark’s-Lyceum look to continue to roll when they face the AMA Online Education Titans on Thursday, January 25. EAC-Batangas, on the other hand, take on the Gamboa-St. Clare Coffee Lovers on Monday, January 29.

The Scores:

Zark’s-Lyceum 112 — Perez 21, Ayaay 15, Nzeusseu 14, Jc. Marcelino 12, Serrano 10, Baltazar 8, Santos 8, Jv. Marcelino 6, Tansingco 6, Marata 4, Liwag 4, Ibañez 2, Cinco 2, Pretta 0.

Batangas-EAC 75 — E. Mendoza 16, De Joya 16, Tampoc 12, Laude 9, Pate 8, Maguliano 6, Altamirano 5, Diego 3, Garcia 0, Dela Peña 0, Martin 0, J. Mendoza 0, Neri 0.

Quarterscores: 19-14, 48-33, 84-47, 112-75.

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