PLDT, Smart partner with NBA to bring League Pass to subscribers

Gadgets, Sports

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The National Basketball Association (NBA), PLDT Inc. and Smart Communications Inc. (Smart), leading telecommunications and digital services providers, on Thursday announced a new multiyear partnership that will make available select offerings of NBA League Pass, the league’s premium live game subscription service, to more than 62 million subscribers in the Philippines.

PLDT and Smart are now making available select offerings of NBA League Pass to their subscribers, providing fans with access to live and on-demand NBA games online and via mobile devices. The NBA League Pass offerings include Day Pass (Php50), which enables users to watch live games for a 24-hour period. The new offerings can be accessed online and through iOS and Android phones and tablets.

PLDT Home will provide users the option to add the selected NBA League Pass offering into their monthly broadband subscription, while Smart Prepaid and Postpaid customers can purchase the Day Pass by texting NBA50 to 9999. Additionally, PLDT’s broadband and Smart’s mobile subscribers will have access to NBA highlights, game recaps and daily top plays on the official websites of PLDT Home and Smart 360.

“Filipinos have an unparalleled love for basketball, which is why the game has been at the center of our advocacy for sports excellence all over the country,” said PLDT and Smart Senior Vice President and Head of Consumer Business Market Development Oscar A. Reyes, Jr. “Through our groundbreaking partnership with NBA, we look forward to empowering Filipinos with digital experiences that enrich their lifestyle whether at home or on-the-go – through our world-class partners and innovative platforms, powered by the country’s most extensive and robust fixed line and wireless networks.”

“We are excited to work with PLDT and Smart, two companies that share our passion for providing live NBA action and exciting content to our Filipino fans on the devices they use most,” said NBA Philippines Managing Director Carlo Singson. “PLDT and Smart provide the ideal platform for us to broaden our reach in the Philippines and provide more channels to bring the NBA experience to our passionate fans across the country.”

NBA League Pass subscriptions offer fans in more than 200 countries access to a complete season of live NBA games. Subscribers can watch regular-season games, NBA All-Star, NBA Playoffs, The Finals, as well as select preseason and NBA Summer League games live and in high-definition with live stats and multiple viewing options, including the NBA Mobile View, which delivers a closer shot of the action optimized for viewing on the smaller screens of tablets and phones.

Through the partnership, PLDT and Smart will also serve as official partners of NBA 3X Philippines presented by AXA, a 3-on-3 tournament featuring men’s and women’s teams and authentic NBA entertainment, showcasing their products and services at the event.

For more details on PLDT and Smart product offerings, visit http://www.pldthome.com and http://www.smart.com.ph and follow their official Facebook accounts at http://www.facebook.com/PLDTHome and http://www.facebook.com/SmartCommunications.

For all things NBA, fans can visit http://www.nba.com and follow the league on Facebook and Twitter.

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Top performers at National Training Camp named Jr. NBA Philippines 2018 All-Stars

Sports

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After a little over five months and four Regional Selection Camps the 2018 edition of Jr. NBA Philippines presented by Alaska officially had its curtain call over the weekend.

From the thousands who signed up, 74 outstanding campers — the top performers from the Regional Selection Camps held in Bacolod, Baguio, Butuan, Metro Manila and Alaska Power Camp, moved on to the National Training Camp with no less than Sacramento Kings center Willie Cauley-Stein and WNBA legend and Hall of Famer Sheryl Swoopes in attendance who served as mentors and coaches to the young aspirants along with Jr. NBA Coaches Carlos Barroca and Rob Newson, together with Alaska coaches led by PBA Legend Jeffrey Cariaso.

And after a series of intense training at the Gatorade Hoops Center last May 18 and the Don Bosco Technical Institute last May 19, 16 lucky hoopsters were named to the 11th batch of Jr. NBA Philippines All-Stars at the National Training Camp held at the Mall of Asia Music Hall on May 20.

This year’s selection, a well-balanced group chosen from the National Capital Region, Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao, who showcased their skills on the court and exemplified the Jr. NBA core S.T.A.R. Values of Sportsmanship, Teamwork, a positive Attitude, and Respect are:

BOYS ROSTER: 

First Name Last Name Age School
Prince Ray Alao 14 San Beda University
Ethan  Rod Aljan 14 La Salle Greenhills
John Lester Amagan 14 St. Robert’s International Academy of Iloilo
Seven Gagate 14 Chiang Kai Shek
Nathan Jan Jundana 14 Bacolod Tay Tung
Christian Joi Mesias 14 Jose Maria College of Davao
Kim Aaron Tamayo 13 National University
Rhon Khaniel Telles 13 St. Anthony de Carmelli Academy

GIRLS ROSTER: 

First Name Last Name Age School
Madelyn Flores 14 Bukidnon National High School
Gin Kayla Huelar 13 St. La Salle University, Bacolod
Aishe Solis 13 Corpus Christi School in Cagayan De Oro
Pauline

Angelique

Valle 13 Misamis Oriental General Comprehensive High School
Christine

Nichole

Venterez 12 Baguio City National High School
Marielle Vingno 14 Escuela de Sohia of Caloocan Inc.
Amber Esquivel 14 De La Salle Zobel
Kyla Marie Mataga 13 De La Salle Zobel

Alao and Valle were likewise named as this year’s Jr. NBA/Jr. WNBA Most Valuable Players in the Boys and Girls divisions, respectively. Marielle Vingno and Ethan Rod Alian, meanwhile, were selected as Alaska Ambassadors.  Hazel Yambot of Baguio and Mark “Tata” Belangel of Bacolod were chosen as the Coaches of the Year.

Special awards were handed out to Kayla Marie Mataga and Javier Louis Jugo as Gatorade Hustle awardees, Merylle Cuasay and Czarlo Salvador as Panasonic Rising Stars, and Aishe Solis and Kim Aaron Tamayo were named Cloudfone Awesome Players of the Game.

The players’ on-court skills were not the sole focus of the Jr. NBA program. As a longtime partner, Alaska helped put emphasis on the athletes having balanced nutrition to further sharpen their intelligence and emotional quotients.

“Alaska’s long-standing partnership with the NBA for the Jr. NBA/Jr. WNBA program is proof of our commitment in helping shape the youth into being not just good athletes but also as members of society through sports. Like their parents, it is not just their athletic ability we aim to develop but moreso their emotional and mental capacities,” said Blen Fernando, Alaka’s VP for Marketing.

“Being a part of a program such as this is a once in a lifetime experience that I’m sure the campers will bring with them even outside of the basketball court. Learning more about the value of hard work, perseverance, dedication, and passion is something I’m sure they can apply not just in sports but as they embark on other endeavors in the future,” she added.

A once in a lifetime NBA experience trip in Shanghai, China awaits the All-Stars in October as they will be joining their counterparts from Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam in training and friendly competitions before capping their trip by watching live the NBA China Games 2018 featuring the Philadelphia 76ers and the Dallas Mavericks.

For more information about the Alaska Milk Corporation, visit http://www.alaskamilk.com and for live updates follow PlayPH in facebook, Instagram and twitter.

For general information about Jr. NBA presented by Alaska 2018 visit http://www.jrnbaphilippines.com

Premier facility for athletes: Ayala Land opens Vermosa Sports Hub in Cavite

Lifestyle, Sports

The Philippine sports scene climbed a notch higher as Ayala Land Inc.’s Vermosa Sports Hub, the country’s first premier and professionally managed sports facility, recently opened its doors to the public.

Creating the ideal environment for athletes, sports buffs, and fitness junkies who aim to reach the top of their game, Vermosa Sports Hub is equipped with training facilities designed for international sports competitions.

Vermosa Sports Hub is home to groundbreaking features that include an Olympic-size swimming pool equipped with the latest timing system by Omega and the Anti Wave Starting Blocks; and the Philippines’ first 9-lane track oval built in accordance with the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) standards.

For football and field sports enthusiasts, there’s also a standard sized football field with natural grass and a sand sub-base, which makes it an ideal playing surface that is able to divot, or give way, under foot traction. For a sport that involves sliding tackles, this is a prime feature that minimizes the risk of injuries caused by having the player’s get caught by strong traction. The Vermosa Sports Hub will also soon unveil bike lanes, jogging paths, and other outdoor sports facilities.

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To complete the development is a training and fitness club equipped with a sports science laboratory especially suited for athletes who want to take the next step to reach peak performance. To be managed and operated by Sante Health & Fitness, Inc., known as one of the fastest growing global providers of organic health and wellness products and services, the Sante Fitness Lab is a one-stop shop that will include a strength and conditioning fitness facility, sports rehab areas, a dance studio, a spinning class area, bike shop and services, a nutrition and fitness café, VO2 max/lactate testing by using a machine that can test an individuals level of oxygen while training , plus conference and lecture rooms.

To ensure that Vermosa Sports Hub is accessible to the growing market of sports enthusiasts, competitive rate packages and period-based membership passes are being offered by the company. For those who avail their passes until April 2018, they can enjoy a 20% discount.

Facility Rate Hours
Track Oval Php 90 6 hours
50m Lap Pool Php 220 4 hours
Special Passes Rate
Annual VIP Pass Php 5,600
1 Month Unlimited Pool Pass Php, 2,250
3 Months Unlimited Pool Pass Php 5,600
  • Passes purchased until April 2018 will have a 20% discount.
  • All rates are inclusive of 12% VAT.
  • Rates are subject to change without prior notice.

Aside from the sports facilities, other components are also designed to promote healthy and active living. Retail outlets will soon open, and these will include health and sports merchants, providing users of the sports hub easy access to the equipment, accessories, and other sports and fitness essentials they need.

Vermosa Sports Hub is located at Vermosa, Daang Hari Road cor. Vermosa Blvd., Imus, 4103 Cavite. It is situated within the 700 hectares of space in Vermosa, a masterplanned mixed-use estate of Ayala Land Inc., the Vermosa Sports Hub is envisioned to be a complete destination designed specifically to provide an effective and complete training experience for the athletic lifestyle, offering a seamless integration of facilities and sports-related elements.

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Vermosa is currently the fourth largest mixed-use estate of Ayala Land Inc. It will be home to 6,000 households that highlight the diverse living options with the presence of four of ALI’s residential brands – Ayala Land Premier, Alveo, Avida and Amaia.

 Vermosa was coined from two Latin words, Verde and Mossa. “Verde”, meaning green, references the lush environment within the healthy, sustainable, and suburban living concept of the estate. “Mossa,” meaning movement, represents the active elements of the project.  Combined, Vermosa represents a modern suburban community that promotes healthy and active living that stays true to its name.

It’s time to experience world-class sports facilities and amenities. Check out the Vermosa Sports Hub and discover a place where athletes can truly grow.

Kobe’s basketball analysis show on ESPN will premiere in March

Sports

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ESPN announced recently at the Television Critics Association Press Tour (TCA) that the network has teamed up with Kobe Bryant’s studio, Granity Studios, on a new show called Detail – written, produced and hosted by Bryant. The basketball analysis show will premiere in March 2018 on ESPN and will provide insights from one of the greatest players of all time.

In Detail, viewers will experience unparalleled game observations from Bryant as if he were one of the players featured in an ESPN game played the day before. As one of this generation’s leading basketball minds, Bryant will provide a perspective aimed at helping young athletes, players and coaches see the game in a different way.

“Studying game film is how the best get better. It’s the university for a master’s degree in basketball.” said Bryant. “I learned how to study film from the best coaches of all time – Phil Jackson and Tex Winter. Detail provides an opportunity to teach that skill to the next generation on large platform with ESPN.”

Detail will have a 15-episode run and will air during the back half of the 2017-2018 NBA season, concluding with The Finals. The show is aimed at young athletes, current NBA players and coaches looking for deeper analysis of an athlete’s in-game execution.

 

“Having an all-time great like Kobe share the same analysis he offers current players will be a tutorial for elite athletes around the world and the ultimate inside access for viewers,” says Kevin Wildes, ESPN vice president, original content.

This is the third project for Bryant’s Granity Studios and ESPN. During the 2016-2017 NBA season, Bryant partnered with the network for a limited run of Canvas City, which aired on ESPN’s NBA Countdown show. This season, he has provided short packages to the network called MuseCage Basketball Network (MBN). MBN has aired two of its 10-episode commitment this season.

Why Not? A look at Russell Westbrook’s first signature performance shoe

Lifestyle, Sports

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Both Russell Westbrook’s playing and personal style have a unique flare. Behind each, there is balance between a meticulous attention to detail and a no fear attitude. That’s because since high school, both on and off court, Westbrook has followed a simple guiding principle: “If I face a challenge, I run at it — not away from it,” he says.

That outlook is captured by a personal mantra, “Why Not?” It defines how Westbrook plays, how he dresses and now, especially with his first signature performance shoe, the Jordan Why Not Zer0.1, how he shares his story.

“As a kid growing up in LA and standing in line to get other people’s shoes, you become aware of how fortunate you are to get sneakers,” he says. “To be able to sit here now and hold my own shoe is an honor.”

Crafted for the dynamic game and personality of the reigning MVP and fashion king, the Jordan Why Not Zer0.1 is highlighted by its smooth vamp, which, fitting for Westbrook, offers dual purpose. First and foremost, it serves the MVP’s key footwear need: forefoot containment. Westbrook plays high on his toes, always ready to push to the hoop or convert a rebound or steal into a fast break. For this, he needs stability over the sole unit, such that no added movement minimizes response when shifting direction or getting maximum bounce to the rack. Combining his style, specific performance needs and Jordan Brand soul, the end result is a futuristic silhouette that features a fused mesh upper, full-length Zoom Air unit and a compression-molded pylon foam piece engineered for flight.

Behind the scenes, Westbrook works closely with Jordan designers and the Thunder equipment manager, Wilson Taylor, to ensure his feedback is clear and concise. “Russ is a detail-oriented guy. He picked up on every little thing [when testing the shoe],” shares Taylor.

After every wear test, Taylor is responsible for relaying Westbrook’s thoughts back to the Jordan team. “After each test, he’d share some feedback. He’d tell me ‘see if they can do this. See if they can extend the padding here.’ It was a good process,” he says.

That part of the process, the dialing of the fit and feel, is elementary for Westbrook. He wants things comfortable. He wants supreme confidence in his tools, even if it requires getting into the weeds. “The biggest part is the amount of comfort and security the shoe provides,” he says. “It allows me to move and jump at a fast pace, something that I think is very, very important.”

Of course, looking good is important too. That’s where the second element of footwear design, adding personal style, comes into play.

“My favorite part of the design process is storytelling,” says Westbrook. “Being able to tell my story through colorways and at different times during the season is a lot of fun.”

Westbrook debuted a PE version of the Mirror Image colorway on court. This colorway exhibits the pleasure Westbrook derives from sharing a narrative. Its upper is plastered with images referencing a heavily postered room, and shows how sporting icons are celebrated over generations. “Allowing me to have my own shoe is a great opportunity to tell my story, extend my Why Not? motto and explain the whole background behind it,” Westbrook says.

The official global launch colorway, 2-Way, perfectly captures both Westbrook’s game-changing presence on both sides of the court and the design’s eye-catching contrast from smooth vamp to jagged heel. Like Westbrook’s playing and off-court looks, this colorway masterfully balances a “Why Not?” approach to style and performance.

Westbrook expects to get a lot of reactions out of his shoe. “This shoe is futuristic and something that people will take a double look at,” he says.

Why Not?

The Why Not Zer0.1 launches January 15 with limited quantities of the Mirror Image colorway. The 2-Way colorway releases February 15 for $125.

WATCH: Michael Jordan’s inspirational message to Filipino athletes

Food, Sports

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Michael Jordan, basketball legend and Gatorade ambassador addressed millions of Filipino sportsmen and women in a video message that is sure to inspire basketball-loving Filipinos.

In the video, Jordan, the most decorated player to ever grace a basketball hard court, reminded Filipinos that greatness isn’t granted, it is gained, with each triumph earned through hard work, with dues paid for in blood, sweat, and tears.

“I just want to tell you young Pinoy athletes out there to keep training, keep sweating, and keep working towards your goals,” said Jordan in the video clip.

Jordan was one of the most complete basketball players. He excelled on both sides of the court – as potent a scoring machine as he was as pesky a defender.

“In a basketball crazy nation such as ours, Michael Jordan has been a true inspiration to many generations of Filipinos. As Gatorade’s first athlete ambassador, we look to continue his legacy through his unique partnership with our brand,” said Tony Atayde, Pepsico Philippines Marketing Manager for Hydration. “Gatorade’s dominance as the world’s number one sports drink is backed by contemporary sports science and has a long history of fueling sports greatness. And you don’t need to look further than Jordan for an example of that.”

Despite our vertical challenges, Filipinos passion for basketball runs deep. It is much a part of Filipino culture, and while not native to the Philippines, the sport is its most popular and its most loved. And for years, Gatorade has been fueling that love.

“Fuel your performance with the best. I believe this then, and I still believe this now. Nothing hydrates better, nothing beats Gatorade,” Jordan advises the legion of Pinoy athletes.

And everybody knows, when Jordan speaks, you listen.

NBA 2K League unveils logo

Gadgets, Sports

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The NBA 2K League is a professional esports league co-founded by the NBA and Take-Two Interactive Software, Inc.

On Tuesday, the official logo of the NBA 2K League was revealed.

The NBA 2K League logo incorporates the colors and shape of the NBA logo and the font of the NBA 2K logo. Absent is a human silhouette, which speaks to the inclusive nature of the league and the opportunity for any type of player to try out – young or old, male or female, based domestically or abroad.

A basketball was selected as the centerpiece of the design as it represents the common thread between all NBA 2K players.

 

The logos of the 17 teams will be unveiled later this week.

Launching in 2018, the league will feature the best NBA 2K players in the world. Each of the league’s 17 teams will draft gamers to compete as unique characters in 5-on-5 play against the other teams in a mix of regular-season games, tournaments and playoffs.

The league will host tryouts in early 2018, followed by a draft in March and the season tip-off in May.

Gilas veteran Gabe Norwood rewarded with his own Chooks-to-Go store

Food, Sports

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For being a role model both on and off the court, Gilas Pilipinas veteran Gabe Norwood was given his own branch of Chooks-to-Go by Bounty Agro Ventures Incorporated president Ronald Mascariñas on December 5.

Norwood, who was awarded with the first-ever Chooks-to-Go Loyalty Award last November 27, was invited to go to the Bounty headquarters in Ortigas, Pasig by BAVI president Ronald Mascariñas to celebrate the first year of the #ManokNgBayan campaign. Little did he know of the surprise Bounty had for him.

Led by Mascariñas, the staff of Bounty presented the Filipino-American with a Chooks-to-Go branch of his choosing. BAVI does not make franchising of Chooks-to-Go public, only giving it to individuals that have served the company.

“Oh wow! I did not expect any of this,” said Norwood. “This makes me want to work harder to represent the country better.”

Besides Norwood’s tenure to the program, what inclined Mascariñas to reward him is how he has been an excellent role model for Filipinos.

“Ever since he came back home back in 2007, he was always humble and kind to everyone,” the chief booster of the national team said. “That’s why this reward is not really for his years in the program. It’s really for the way he has represented the country both locally and internationally. Gabe is an individual of exemplary character.”

The founder of Chooks-to-Go initially did not want this meeting to be publicized but Bounty Sports head Mel Macasaquit pushed to do so to inspire the Filipino youth.

“Boss Ronald did not want this to go out in public but we have to show the Filipino kids that all good things will go rewarded,” said Macasaquit.

Norwood made his national team debut back in 2007 during the Southeast Asian Games. He was also part of the 2013 and 2015 teams that won silver in the FIBA Asia Championship.

Pru Life UK gears up for the biggest cycling festival with PRUride PH 2018

Events, Sports

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British life insurer Pru Life UK aims to start the new year with a bang with the launch of PRUride PH 2018, expected to be one of the biggest cycling events in the Philippines.

Following the success of PRUride to London in 2016, the 2018 installment is set to gather some of the national team cyclists from the country and across Southeast Asia with two competition legs – January 11 to 14, 2018 at the Subic Bay Freeport Zone in Zambales, and January 21 at McKinley West, Taguig.