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Senator Pia Cayetano: Creating leaders through sports



Senator Pia Cayetano has been a staunch advocate for youth development through sports during her three-term stay as senator.

Through the years, Senator Cayetano has delved into various anomalies and questionable decision-making by certain National Sports Associations and local leagues. Being an athlete herself, she knows the trials and sacrifice an athlete experiences during their career, that is why the senator has authored and co-authored bills that have defended the rights of athletes; including the recent act that protected student-athletes from residency and commercialization, and the establishment of a unified Philippine Amateur Sports Training Center, to help in the development of the Filipino athlete.

During the PFF Women’s Invitational Cup 2015 group draw held at the PFF House of Football in Pasig City, Tiebreaker Times had a chance to talk with the honorable senator about the state of Philippine sports. The senator said that during her three terms in the upper house, she has been a huge proponent for sports development in the country. “Sports in general, I stand quite a bit; including the recent [UAAP’s] residency rule and the investigations that we had. Through my initiative we have been able to push for certain feats that, otherwise, we would not have been in the SEA Games. Unfortunately, it’s not seeded enough, as some NSA’s are really messed up,” she said.

She pointed out that she does not see eye-to-eye with the PSC and the POC. “Definitely, I have said that the PSC and POC don’t do their job well. You know me, it’s my last year as a senator, and I’m very careful when I take sides. I don’t take a side just to criticize. The PSC and the POC are way overdue for being responsible for the mismanagement of Philippine sports.”

She cited that the Philippine team’s performance in the 2015 Southeast Asian Games as a prime example of how these organizations have failed to enhance the capabilities of our local athletes. “The showing in the past SEA Games is more than proof that it is screwed up. I am not to judge just by one event or one international competition; I’m very fair. I mean, if we are in a period of rebuilding grassroot development, wala naman problema; it’s just a season of poor performance. Season after season after season, tumanda na ang mga youth wala namang nagbago. It just gets worse. So ano ‘yung mga figures, the data, the performance?,” she said with frustration.

For Cayetano, the Philippine Football Federation is one of the NSA’s that have done a commendable job in athlete development. “The PFF is a model for other NSA’s. I have been very vocal about my indifference with the PSC and other NSA’s; about how they are not doing a good job with the sports development in the country. The PFF really has a model that can be emulated by other NSA’s.” She further added that she finds no need to intervene with the PFF, as they have done their job well.

The Philippine Football Federation, under the guidance of President Nonong Araneta, has developed a strong football program that unified all the football associations in the country. Furthermore, they have consistently sent athletes abroad to gain international experience.

Senator Cayetano’s love for football can be attributed to her daughters’ playing the sport. “My heart is in football, and I have two daughters in it,” the senator said about her support for women’s football. In addition, she added, “having watched the recent Women’s World Cup, I have been a firm believer that we should focus on sports that we have a genetic inclination towards to, that is not height intensive [‘Although as I said before that my first love is volleyball’].

Moreover, as a female leader, she feels that she can do so much more in creating more opportunities for woman athletes in the country even after her political career is over. “I see my role, as a woman leader, to always look for venues and opportunities for women to advance. I feel that sports is an untapped opportunity. Yes, there are programs, but I feel with my involvement, I can do so much more to increase those opportunities,” the senator said about her plans on further growing the activity in women’s sports in the country. She further added that she has had the Pinay in Action program that has helped cultivate women leaders and athletes. “I, for a long time, had my Pinay in Action advocacy to help out. It stands for women in action particularly in sports, but really, just women having more opportunities to make a difference for themselves and for the country. I really feel that football can be a building goal for many many young kids.”

Just like her colleague Senator, Sonny Angara, Senator Pia Cayetano is hoping that the next president of the republic will consider sports as a priority. “I don’t think the President [Aquino] considers sports as a priority. I always look forward to the next term, in a sense that, I would love to have a president who really sees sports as necessary for nation-building.”

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Composed Ceres-Negros expels Shan United in shootout victory



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2017 AFC ASEAN Zone Champions Ceres-Negros banked on their poise and composure from the spot as they knocked out Myanmar’s Shan United via a 4-3 penalty shootout (1-1 after extra time) triumph, Tuesday evening at the Thuwunna Stadium in Yangon, Myanmar.

The Negrenses punched their ticket to Brisbane, Australia after emerging the better spotkick takers. Four Busmen were on target, while two of their Shan Warriors counterparts fluffed their lines.

The two domestic champions were inseparable after 120 minutes, with the hosts holding their own against the Philippine champions. Ceres-Negros looked the more dominant of the two teams. However, they couldn’t make the advantage count where it mattered, as they failed to breach the sturdy Shan United defense inside the first two regulation halves.

The visitors were visibly more comfortable in the first half, but with the scores staying level at the break, the less-fancied Myanmar champions eventually found their footing in the encounter. While there were several half-chances from either side to open the scoring, both defenses remained defiant en route to unwanted extra time.

“It was a tough game. We weren’t ready to play 120 minutes because we only had four training sessions before the game but everytime we wear this jersey, we represent Ceres, we represent Bacolod, we represent the Philippines, so we have to give our best,” Ceres’ defender Carli de Murga elaborated to the Inquirer after the match. The Asian Football season has yet to start, and with both teams not too busy with pre-season preparations, rust and fatigue in a demanding affair were evident.

Come extra time, Ceres-Negros took the initiative when Stephan Schröck’s deflected effort went past the helpless Thiha Si Thu just three minutes into the first half.

Nonetheless, the hosts refused to go down without a fight, and their resilience was rewarded later in the opening half. Substitute Patrick Asare found the back of the net to restore parity in Yangon.

Another 15 minutes of goalless action took place in the second half as both teams looked more cautious, perhaps with the collective aim of avoiding a costly error or two. Among all the chances, Schröck’s in the 114th minute may have proved to be the closest to changing the scores, as his attempt shaved the post.

Shan United took to the spot first, where Asare made his penalty attempt count. Nay Lin Tun also made his, but not before teammate Chizoba smashed his attempt over Toni Doblas’ goal.

While the hosts squandered a shot, the visitors remained calm in front of a hostile Myanmar crowd. De Murga, Schröck and Mike Ott nailed their turns, with Marañon also not missing a vital kick from 12 yards.

It set up William Biassi Nyakwe, the man credited with the own goal when he deflected Schröck’s opener, with the chance to prolong his team’s campaign in the AFC Champions League. Unfortunately for him, he couldn’t atone for his earlier mistake, as his attempt soared high and wide — much to the delight of the visiting team from Bacolod, the Philippines.

The reward for Ceres-Negros is a trip to Queensland, Australia, where they will seek to do one better than compatriots Global-Cebu. The 2016 Philippine champions also played against the Brisbane Roar, who dealt them a staggering 6-0 hammering this time last year. The match will be held at the Suncorp Stadium on January 23.

As for Shan United, a spot in the AFC Cup Group Stage awaits them and they may not have seen the last of Ceres-Negros just yet. If the Negrenses lose to either Brisbane Roar or Tianjin Quanjian, they will be reacquainted with the Burmese champions in Group F.

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Abu Tratter plans to work his way to 2023 by continuing to do ‘the dirty work’



Abu Tratter may have missed the jersey-giving ceremony that the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas held for the 23 for 2023 cadets last Monday but he made sure to help out when the current batch needed him the most.

After helping the Marinerong Pilipino Skippers win the Sinulog Cup in Cebu a week ago, the 6-foot-7 Filipino-American did not hesitate to heed Gilas’ call, as they were undermanned for their second session in preparation for the 2019 FIBA World Cup Asian Qualifiers.

“I think it’s just an honor to put on this jersey, to be able to represent our country, to possibly represent our country in the future. It’s an honor,” shared the Laguna-native.

The 25-year old, who just celebrated his birthday last January 9, admitted that he was in awe of the talent inside the Meralco Gym. Like a fan, he wanted to take a few photo ops with the senior team’s Gabe Norwood and June Mar Fajardo.

“Actually, at first I was just shocked to see June Mar and Gabe, just to be able to be in the midst of them,” gushed the former DLSU Green Archer, who will suit-up for Marinerong Pilipino in the D-League. “I even asked them for a picture, and hopefully they’ll still give me one.

“It’s just humbling, definitely.”

However, the work has only began for Tratter. With five years to go until the 2023 FIBA World Cup, the two-time UAAP champion plans to continue to do what he does best — be the same scrapper that he is and hopefully catch the eye of Gilas’ brass.

“I think just doing the dirty work, of course. Giving whatever the team needs, rebound or any steals, any thing a dirty player would need to pick up on,” he said.

“That’s how it is, garbage into gold. Get anything, sweep up anything and try to put it back.”

Moreover, he will continue answering the call when Gilas needs him, as he himself is learning a lot from being surrounded by the country’s topflight cagers.

“Whenever I can. I want to be able to absorb all the information coming from here and hopefully apply it in the D-League and hopefully apply it on future practices, future games.”

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2018 FIBA 3X3 World Cup

Terrence Romeo invited to join Pilipinas 3×3 for World Cup



Stronger than ever

Scoring sensation Terrence Romeo has been invited by the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas to join the Philippine team in the upcoming FIBA 3X3 World Cup, according to Philippine Star columnist Quinito Henson.

Romeo, who is currently out due to a right knee injury, has been in rehabilitation and is expected to miss the entire Philippine Cup campaign of the Globalport Batang Pier and the second window of the 2019 FIBA World Cup Asian Qualifiers.

“Baka sa second conference na ko makabalik kasi talagang gusto ko malakas ako pagbalik ko,” the 25-year-old shared during Chooks-to-Go Live last January 2.

SBP Executive Director Sonny Barrios personally met with the 6-foot guard, inviting him to be part of the Philippine team.

Romeo has plenty of 3×3 basketball experience under his belt.

Back in 2014, Romeo was part of the Manila West 3×3 team during the Manila Masters. He was adjudged as the tournament Most Valuable Player.

The 2018 3X3 World Cup will take place from June 8-12 at the Philippine Arena in Bocaue, Bulacan.

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Red Spikers extinguish Blazers for second win



Shaking off a forgettable outing against the Perpetual Help Altas last January 11, the San Beda College Red Spikers vented their ire on defending champions College of Saint Benilde Blazers in four sets, 25-15, 25-16, 23-25, 26-24, and claimed their second win of the season, Friday afternoon at the FilOil Flying V Centre.

“Sabi ng coaches kalimutan na yung talo,” shared captain Lorenze Santos of what transpired after that match.

So, in this game, the San Beda team poured on what they worked hard for to regain momentum. “Binuhos po namin lahat ng ginawa namin sa training [ngayon].”

After tight starts in all the first two sets, the Mendiola-based side pulled away to register the seemingly insurmountable 2-0 lead.

Nonetheless, summoning the heart of a champion and led by seniors Isaah Arda and Jethro Orian, the reigning champions pulled off gritty runs to snag the third set and making a tussle of the fourth.

Ultimately, Adrian Viray virtually ended the match with a vicious serve, which the Blazers failed to convert.

The prolific outside hitter finished with 17 points, 11 coming from attacks and five off blocks. Former skipper Mark Encino also registered 17 markers.

The Red Spikers (2-1) will face the Mapua University, also at 2-1, on Friday, January 19.

Orian was such a presence at the net, ending up with 20 points for the Taft-based squad.

The defending champions Blazers (2-1) will try to bounce back later that day against San Sebastian College (0-3).

The Scores:

SBC 3 – Viray 17, Enciso 17, Santos 11, Patenio 7, Amagan 7, Desuyo 3, Zabala 0, Genobaten 0, Manliclic 0, Casin L.

CSB 1 – Orian 20, Arda 18, Bacani 6, Basilan 4, Bautista 4, Magsino 2, Martinez 0, Garcia 0, San Miguel 0, Saldavia 0, Dy L.

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