The top sports stories sports article 2020 philippines of 2020
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The top sports stories sports article 2020 philippines of 2020
SORSOGON BUBBLE – another bubble set-up which unfortunately, ended badly. Coach Aldin Ayo and the University of Santo Tomas varsity team quietly slipped into Capuy, Sorsogon sometime in June for a supposed training camp that was not allowed under a strict government-declared state of public emergency due to the pandemic. The secret training, held at the vast property of the UST coach complete with a basketball gym, later leaked out after former UAAP juniors MVP CJ Cansino revealed its existence following his removal from the team. From there, the ‘Sorsogon Bubble’ burst. Cansino and several UST players decided to leave the school, while Ayo, a two-time college champion coach, tendered his resignation after a similar move done by Fr. Jannel Abogado, the school’s director of Institute of Physical Education and Athletics . The UAAP Board later imposed an indefinite ban on the former UST mentor from all league-related activities. But the 43-year-old mentor managed to redeem himself after the office of Sorsogon governor Chiz Escudero and the Philippine National Police of Sorsogon exonerated him from any wrongdoing and said in a formal report that the whole team went to the province not to train but for the purpose of agricultural and livelihood training. By the final quarter of the year, Ayo, a three-term councilor of Sorsogon, was back doing what he loves most when he was tapped to call the shots for the Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas 3x3 team seeing action in FIBA tournaments. PBA RESTARTS SEASON IN A BUBBLE – Asia’s pioneering pro league was only a game into its 45th season when the outbreak of COVID-19 in the country forced it to suspend the Philippine Cup indefinitely. It waited for weeks and months on what course of action to take, to the point of considering totally cancelling the entire season. But it dared to resume the season in a bubble set-up inspired no less by the NBA. At a cost of P65 million and the only one in Asia to mount such an undertaking, the league found Clark in Pampanga the perfect site to hold the remainder of the Philippine Cup. For the next 72 days, a delegation of close to 500 including all 12 teams of 25 personnel each, stayed inside the bubble that was not lacking in challenges, both mentally and physically. But led by Commissioner Willie Marcial and with guidance provided by team owners, the PBA board, and various government agencies, the league managed to pull off what was initially thought improbable. A total of 85 games were played, with Barangay Ginebra emerging as the ‘bubble champion’ after beating TnT Tropang Giga in the finals. The PBA has since become the prototype for other leagues to follow. The pandemic, no doubt, inflicted local sports a severe beating in perhaps one of the most challenging times for Filipinos athletes in the last 75 years. YUKA SASO MAKES BUZZ IN PRO DEBUT – the Filipina lady golfer was quick to make heads turn when she finally turned pro in 2020. Saso introduced herself in the Japan LPGA by way of back-to-back victories in the NEC Karuizawa Championship and the Nitori Ladies Golf Tournament, respectively. The 19-year-old Filipina of Japanese descent then capped the year with a strong 13th-place finish in the US Open in her first crack at a major LPGA championship. The impressive showing had the double gold medalist of the 2018 Asian Games skyrocketing to No. 45 in the world rankings and amassing a total of P50 million in earnings to cap her rookie season. TOKYO OLYMPICS POSTPONED – in what many sports officials considered as the best ever chance for Filipinos to finally clinch a long-sought Olympic gold medal suddenly went down the drain when the International Olympic Committee and the Tokyo 2020 Organizing Committee decided to reschedule the Summer Games for next year. Pole vaulter EJ Obiena, gymnast Caloy Yulo, and boxers Irish Magno and Eumir Marcial already punched their respective tickets to the Tokyo Games when the announcement was made. Several more were expected to follow suit such as Hidilyn Diaz, Nesthy Petecio, Margielyn Didal, Yuka Saso, among others, but were now left hanging following the cancellation of the various Olympic qualifiers one after the other. The training of Yulo, Obiena, Diaz, and even Marcial overseas momentarily came to a halt and only resumed in the latter part of the year. The new Olympic date is July 21 to August 8, but there’s no guarantee yet if the Games will push through with the pandemic still very much around. PH SPORTS SHUTDOWN DUE TO PANDEMIC – Not since World War II has Philippine sports been brought to its knees by a catastrophe as deadly as the COVID-19 pandemic. Institutions as deep-rooted as the NCAA and UAAP proved vulnerable as everyone was to the virus, while established organizations such as the PBA, Asia’s first ever play-for-pay league, weren't spared either as it was forced to shut its operations for more than half a year. Government agencies such as the Philippine Sports Commission were also severely affected and had to tighten their belts and cut by half all allowances provided to national athletes under their care. A lot of events and tournaments too, both local and international, scheduled for the year had to be cancelled — from the annual Palarong Pambansa, a window of the FIBA Asia Cup qualifiers, Olympic qualifying meets, all the way to the country’s supposed hosting of the 10th ASEAN Para Games. While sports managed to get back to its feet before the year 2020 came to a close, there was no moment as challenging to Filipino sportsmen as this time of the pandemic. Yet, good or bad, there were stories to tell even in this trying times. TAB BALDWIN TALKS TOUGH – the 62-year-old Baldwin was another coach who found himself in the center of controversy amid the pandemic. No thanks to his frank assessment of everything in Philippine basketball, from PBA officiating and its flawed format, the FIBA’s eligibility rule, to the ‘tactical immaturity’ of local coaches, Baldwin found himself on the defensive when the PBA hierarchy and the Basketball Coaches Association of the Philippines ganged up on him for his controversial remarks. Caught in a corner, Baldwin apologized for the hurt feelings, but stressed he was only ‘taken out of context.’ Despite the apology, the three-time UAAP champion coach of Ateneo was fined P75,000 by the PBA for issuing statements detrimental to the league and suspended for three games as he was part of the TnT Tropang Giga coaching staff. After a week, TnT management decided to remove him from the team. He remains head coach of Ateneo though, and still program director of Gilas Pilipinas despite putting the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas in a rather awkward position following his scathing remarks against FIBA. sports article 2020 philippines CALVIN ABUEVA REINSTATED – in one of the few feel-good stories of 2020, the year saw the PBA return of Calvin Abueva after a 16-month suspension. After completing all the requirements asked of him, including undergoing a series of webinars from the Games and Amusement Board , while inside the bubble, the 32-year-old native of Angeles was finally reinstated by Commissioner Willie Marcial halfway through the eliminations of the Philippine Cup restart. It turned out ‘The Beast’ hardly missed a beat as he made a big difference in the campaign of Phoenix Super LPG. Abueva nearly averaged a triple-double and teamed up with Matthew Wright in carrying the Fuel Masters deep into the playoffs of the all-Filipino conference. They actually fell a win short of making the finals for the first time after blowing a 2-1 lead against Tnt Tropang Giga to lose their best-of-five semis series. But proof he was back a better and reformed player, Abueva finished second behind Ray Parks Jr in the statistical player points race and be in strong contention for the Best Player of the Conference award. ALEX EALA’S STAR ON THE RISE – the rising Filipina netter gave Philippine sports something to cheer about before the pandemic struck. She left her imprint early in 2020 by bagging her maiden grand slam, teaming up with Priska Madelyn Nugroho of Indonesia for the Australian Open girls’ doubles title. Together, they beat the pair of Ziva Falkner and Matilda Mutavdzic in the final. Even the pandemic won’t stop the 15-year-old daughter of former national swimmer Rizza Maniego from scaling new heights. As she turned pro and competed in several tournaments around Spain and Europe, Eala showed new-found confidence during the French Open in October and reached as far as the semifinals before bowing to hometown bet Elsa Jacquemot. But the strong showing had the full scholar of the Rafael Nadal Academy in Mallorca, Spain ending up No. 2 in the ITF girls’ junior ranking by the end of the year. Below is the list, written not necessarily in order of importance. We use cookies to ensure you get the best experience on . By continued use, you agree to our privacy policy and accept our use of such cookies. Find out more here . But 2020, the year, was its exact opposite. HIGHS AND LOWS OF PH BOXING – Filipino boxers had their share of ups and downs during the pandemic. With contact sports initially not allowed, professional bouts in the country took a beating and led to the closure of perhaps the biggest boxing stable in the country – ALA Promotions. The Cebu-based promotions decided to hang up the gloves after 35 years due to the pandemic crisis and the closure of its long-time broadcast partner ABS-CBN. But there were stories that warmed the heart as well. Unheralded Mike Plania stunned unbeaten and World Boxing Organization No. 1 bantamweight contender Joshua Greer by majority decision when boxing made a comeback middle of 2020, Johnriel Casimero was all business in dealing Duke Micah a severe third-round beating to retain his WBO 118-lb. title, while Eumir Marcial passed his pro debut with flying colors with a unanimous decision win over Andrew Whitfield in Los Angeles. But Reymart Gaballo saved the best for last, outpointing heavily-favored Emmanuel Rodriguez of Puerto Rico to win the World Boxing Council interim bantamweight championship. The unbeaten Filipino scored a disputed split decision win to complete the upset. No thanks to the COVID-19 outbreak, just about everything turned out imperfect in the year about to end. GILAS PILIPINAS A WORK IN PROGRESS – After a humbling experience in the FIBA World Cup last year, Gilas Pilipinas began rebuilding its confidence and roster makeup and decided to form a team of PBA players and cadets for the FIBA Asia Cup qualifiers. Mark Dickel called the shots for the team on an interim basis and steered the Filipinos to a 100-70 whipping of Indonesia in Jakarta during the first window that was cut short by the pandemic. By the time the qualifiers resumed under a bubble set-up in Bahrain, Gilas Pilipinas had to make do with an all-cadet team as the entire PBA delegation was simultaneously holding the Philippine Cup restart under a similar bubble in Clark, Pampanga. The Filipino young guns led by Dwight Ramos and four of the PBA special draftees, proved too much for an overmatched Thailand squad, beating their opponents in back-to-back fashion under the guidance of coach Jong Uichico to head into the final window to be held in Clark this February, sporting a clean 3-0 slate. looks back on some of the most memorable, meaningful, and oftentimes, controversial events that took place in the year 2020.
COLLEGE LEAGUES CANCEL SEASONS – the country’s two major college leagues were the ones badly affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. With schools prohibited from conducting face-to-face classes and student-athletes not allowed to train, these could do nothing but to cancel what remained of their seasons. NCAA was the first to call off the remainder of Season 95 following a meeting by the league’s policy board. Sports affected by the move were volleyball, football, beach volleyball, athletics, lawn and soft tennis, and cheerleading. Soon after, the UAAP followed suit and scratched Season 82 altogether which has yet to finish the staging of sports such as volleyball, beach volleyball, football, baseball, softball, athletics, lawn tennis, 3x3 basketball, and streetdance. Not taking a risk with the pandemic still far from over, the UAAP already announced the cancellation of Season 83 as well, although NCAA for its part, is taking a wait-and-see attitude and remains on track to pushing through with Season 96 by middle of 2021. Only the outbreak of World War II prompted both college leagues to cancel their seasons in the past, the NCAA from 1942 to 46 and the UAAP from 1941 to 46. It spared no one, people from all walks of life, young or old, rich or poor, regardless of political belief or religion. People The biggest news, controversies in Philippine sports in 2020 by Gerry Ramos Dec 31, 2020 20/20. In medical terms, it refers to one’s visual acuity and often dubbed as ‘perfect vision. which business is best in future in india