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Showing posts with label Sports News. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Sports News. Show all posts

Filipina cricketers, mostly OFWs, win 2 silvers in SEA Games

Posted on 20 May 2023 No comments


The team, shortly after their big win in the SEA games

Fresh from winning two silver medals in the 2023 Southeast Asian Games in Cambodia, the  Philippines' first ever women's cricket team, made up mostly by domestic workers in Hong Kong, returned to their work place victorious and reinvigorated.

They flew in on May 17, along with their manager Animesh Kulkarni, the women’s complement from Manila and the men’s national cricket team.

Consul General Raly Tejada sent protocol officer Patrick Lozano to meet the heroic Filipinos at planeside in Hong Kong International Airport upon learning that they won medals for the country in the biennial regional games.

Though happy with the result of their first international outing, team captain Josie Arimas said cricket should be taught at an early age to Filipinas, for an even more formidable result.

A Consulate representative meets the mainly OFW contingent at HK Airport

The national women’s cricket team took pride in its debut appearance in a major international event like the SEA Games.

Skippered by Simran Sirah from Manila, the Philippine women’s T10 squad locked in the country’s first silver medal of the regional meeting by defeating Cambodia 45-44 in the event on opening day on April 29. But they lost to top-ranked Thailand 13-11 in the final on May 16.

On May 10, the Filipinas with Jennifer Alumbro from Hong Kong at the helm, earned a shot at the Sixes gold-medal match by thumping host Cambodia 54-42 at the AZ Group Cricket Oval, but settled for silver in a defeat to Indonesia, 78-25, in the final. 


The Filipinas also competed on May 1 in the gruelling T20 tournament with Arimas as captain, but they proved no match to the pitch veterans Thailand, who won 10-9 with 116 balls remaining.

Ranged against the old-timers, the Filipinas on May 6 suffered a 23-21 defeat to Malaysia, which won 10 wickets with 105 balls left.

Yet their back-to-back silver triumphs were reason to celebrate for the Filipinas, whose freshness and lack of international exposure told on their performance against the veteran sides in the region.


Learning a lesson from the recent Games, Arimas said that starting Filipino girls early in the sport, the country can help the country build a strong team to be reckoned with in international tournaments.

Arimas is also the founder and captain of SCC Divas, the all-Filipina domestic helper side in Hong Kong cricket.

Magkano? Pindutin ito!

“Thailand is the top team in Southeast Asia and ranks 12th in world cricket,” said Arimas shortly after flying back to Hong Kong with her team of fellow workers on Wednesday afternoon. The rest of the team flew back to Manila on the same day.

“As a cricket mentor, I’d like to spread the sport across the country so that the Philippines can build a formidable cricket team that can play strongly against the older teams around the region,” Arimas said.

She said this was the first time that a Philippine cricket team competed in the SEAGames, and the team’s Hong Kong contingent comprised the first Filipina cricketers who formed the SCC Divas side in the SAR’s cricket league back in 2017.


“I think it’s best to start training young girls now to produce a strong Philippine Blue Caps team para sa next SEA Games in Thailand in 2025,” said Arimas, who is now 47 years old. 

In a sport where agility and speed count on the pitch, the Filipinas from Hong Kong who played for the national team may not be in their prime but still managed to produce medals despite being minnows in the sport. 

Arimas said among those who scored were April Saquilon, Jonna Eguid, Alex Smith, Jhon Andreano, Jennifer Alumbro and others who scored 1 or 2 runs.

Pindutin para sa detalye

The captain said the team needs to score big in batting. She said the Filipinas’ more challenging matches were against Thailand, Malaysia, and Indonesia.

Kulkarni, their manager who went with the team to Cambodia, said he was happy with the Filipinas’ performance in their first major tournament outside Hong Kong. But he said more preparations will be needed to hone up the team for the next SEA Games in 2025. 



'Tropa' offers free tennis lessons to OFWs on weekends

Posted on 28 June 2022 No comments

Some of the members pose for a photo after a recent tournament at Cheung Chau Park Tennis Court

A group of Filipino tennis players has opened its doors to OFWs and beginners who want to learn the sport on weekends.

The leaders of Tropa, a non-profit recreational organization registered with the Societies Office of the HK Police Licensing Office, are hoping that the trainees will be ready for a tournament being planned for September.


Also being planned is an invitational Davis Cup-style tournament before the end of the year, which will include local residents, retirees, expatriates and the some of the upcoming Filipino tennis players. 

The new direction has been led by Rey M. Flores, Rolly Pagaduan, Zaldy Cagata, Bhing Pendon, Arlyn Millado and Mai Bayson who make up the club’s executive council. 


Each member’s improvement in form and stroke are guided by Allan Melendez and Victor Pumicpic, chief trainers. 

They and their resident trainers will be offering basic tennis programs on Sundays. 


Melendez said those who want to join can first go to the group’s Facebok page, PinoyTennis Club HongKong (, and send a message so they can be included in the group chat and scheduled in batches of four to eight. 

“From experience, it's not practical to do lessons for one individual for let's say 30 minutes to an hour every Sunday, while there are many other player members coming to the court on Sundays,” he said. 


A small fee will be collected to cover the cost of new balls, court fees and snacks/ refreshment after.  “Normal professional coaching per hour is more or less $600 but our ‘coaches’ will not charge because we are friends with them,” he said. 

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The group plays in various venues, depending on availability of the courts such as Victoria Park in Causeway Bay, the HK Tennis Centre on Wong Nai Chung Gap, the King’s Park Recreation Ground, Bowen Road Tennis Court, Chai Wan Park, or Aberdeen Tennis and Squash Centre. 

Through their chat group. members get updated information on when and where the group has been able to book their games.


“The club has continuously been playing friendly games with local residents and expatriates around the territory,” he added. 

A recent tournament for men, ladies and mixed doubles was held at Cheung Chau Park Tennis Court, with each tandem wearing branded, color matching head and wrist bands plus towels given by a sponsor. 

Paalam gets silver to wrap up Philippines’ Olympic campaign

Posted on 08 August 2021 No comments

By The SUN 

Philippines' pride: Paalam and Pretecio show off their silver medals, and Marcial, his bronze

Boxer Carlo Paalam got his ever prize in his career when he collected the silver medal in the men’s flyweight final in the Tokyo Olympics.


The 23-year-old came close to winning gold, losing by a split decision to Britain’s Galal Yafai despite getting knocked down in the first round of their bout.

His silver gave the Philippines’ its biggest ever medal haul in the 97-year Olympic games.

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Weightlifter Hidilyn Diaz won the country’s first ever gold medal, while boxers Paalam and Nesthy Pretecio in the final of the women’s featherweight division each took silver. Eumir Marcial is going home with the bronze in boxing’s middleweight category.

Pindutin para sa detalye

Despite his heartbreaking loss in the games, Paalam left the ring on high note, hugging Yafai after the verdict was announced, and giving an emotional speech about how far he’d come in life.

Paalam is all smiles as he receives his silver medal at the podium

“This medal, this is the symbol for my life,” said Paalam, his voice cracking. “I was once a scavenger, and this medal is made from discarded gadgets. It was from trash, so I was able to connect it with my life. That’s where the inspiration to get this came from.”


Paalam kept up his determined campaign to win the gold despite being knocked down in the first round. He connected several solid blows on Yafai in the next two rounds, enough to split the vote 4-1 in the Briton’s favor.


Many see his Olympic silver as a sign of bigger things to come for the young Paalam, who was born in Bukidnon before moving to Cagayan de Oro where he helped his father make a living by scavenging.

Tunghayan ang isa na namang kwentong Dream Love

To get to the final round, he knocked out Olympic and world champion Shakhobidin Zoirov of Uzbekistan in the quarterfinal, then booted out by a unanimous decision Japan’s bet Ryomei Tanaka in the semifinal.

Paalam guns for Olympic gold as Marcial settles for bronze

Posted on 05 August 2021 No comments

By The SUN 

Paalam kneels in ecstacy after the judges' unanimous decision was announced

The day has seen more bounty for the Philippines in the Tokyo Olympics after one of its prized boxers, Carlo Paalam, moved closer to winning a gold medal, while another, Eumir Marcial, had to settle for bronze after a heartbreaking loss in the quarter-finals.

Paalam, 23, is now guaranteed of a silver at least after winning by a unanimous decision against hometown bet Ryomei Tanaka in the men’s flyweight semi-finals.


All five judges scored in Paalam’s favor in the bout held earlier today. Four had a uniform score card of 30-27 while one scored it 29-28, all in favor of Paalam.

After the verdict was announced, Paalam knelt and cried, then embraced and kissed his Japanese opponent on the forehead.

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Paalam, a native of Talakag, Bukidnon, is now set for a Saturday showdown for the gold against Galal Yafai of Great Britain.

His coach, Elmer Pamisa, has told reporters he is confident Paalam could win the gold.

“It’s not over yet but we’re confident the well-conditioned Carlo will bring it on in the finals, and bring home our first Olympic gold medal in boxing,” Pamisa said.


If Paalam continues his winning streak, he could deliver the Philippines’ second gold medal in the Olympics after Hidilyn Diaz’s historic win in weightlifting on Jul 26.

Marcial gave it his best shot, but still lost in a split vote

But just hours later, another boxer, Eumir Marcial, had to settle for the bronze after a losing by a split decision to his Ukrainian rival Oleksandr Khyzniak in the men’s middleweight semifinals.

The European champion who has not lost a match in five years, got the nod of three judges, while two voted in favor of Marcial: 29-28, 30-27, 28-29, 29-28, 28-29.


The match was marked by a flurry of punches from both boxers. The Ukrainian came out aggressive in the first round but the 25-year-old Filipino held his own.

By the first and second round Marcial won the nod of three of the judges by the slimmest of margins, but began to lose steam in the third. The judges ultimately gave Khyzhniak the crucial edge to win the bout.

Tunghayan ang isa na namang kwentong Dream Love

The Philippines is now sure to win an unprecedented four medals from the Olympics: Diaz’s gold, silver from another boxer, Nesthy Petecio, and Marcial’s bronze. Win or lose, Paalam is bound to contribute to the country's haul.

The country's best performance to date since the modern Olympics was first held in 1924 were the three bronze medals it won in the 1932 Los Angeles Olympics. 

Including Petecio's hard-won silver, the country has garnered a total of four silvers so far in various years. One in  Tokyo in 1964, a second in Atlanta (1996), and the third in Rio de Janeiro (2016).



SCC Divas bags 2 championships; eyes top division slot

Posted on 03 April 2021 No comments

By Vir B. Lumicao 

Divas players celebrate their victory over Lantau ladies on Mar 28

Filipina team SCC Divas are back-to-back champions in this season’s shortened Hong Kong cricket Women’s Development League and Women’s T20 Division 2 League after winning all their matches in the two campaigns.

Barring a defeat in an upcoming duel for promotion to T20 Division 1, the all-domestic-helper team will be playing in that division next season, said Divas captain Josie Arimas after her team crushed Lantau Ladies to top the Division 2 league on Mar 28.


 “Meron pa kaming laro na last play-off laban sa loser ng Division 1 pero wala pang date. Kung mananalo kami sa game, level up kami sa Division,” said Arimas.

(We’ll have a last play-off against the loser in the Division 1, but we still have no date. If we win the game, we’ll level up to the division.)


She said Divas is lined up to face the bottom dweller in that group for the last slot.

Arimas defends the Divas wicket in their WDL championship match

Divas captured the WDL championship match on Mar 21 with a 28-run victory over the USRC Women’s. Divas scored 253/4 against USRCW’s 225/3 in 16 overs at the Po Kong Village Road Recreation Ground.

Fresh from that win, Divas scored 166/6 in 20 overs for a 101-run hammering of Lantau Ladies, who could only produce 65/10 in 14 overs, as the Filipinas captured the T20 Division 2 championship also at PKVR.

Pindutin para sa detalye


The back-to-back victories gave SCC Divas four consecutive years of unbeaten record in the WDL since joining the league in the 2017-2018 season.

When the 2020-2021 season began last Oct 18, Divas made 234 runs with the loss of 2 wickets to crush HKCC Diamonds, who made 106 runs but lost 8 wickets.

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Divas made a double on Nov 15 with a 288/3 win over KCC Young Maidens, who had 224/4 in a 9am duel. The Filipinas followed through with a 257/6 trashing of Lantau Ladies, who were behind by 64 runs with 193 at the cost of all its 10 wickets.

All league matches were cancelled in January to mid-February due to Covid-19.

Pindutin para sa detalye

When WDL and T20 league matches resumed in late February, Divas reasserted its dominance with a 300/1 win over Lantau Ladies, who made 175/7, in Game 2. Earlier that Sunday, Divas also carved out a 33-run triumph over Craigengower, 261/5 vs 228/3. 

Early on, Divas was cruising to a glorious finish in 2019-2020 with a no-defeat slate when the pandemic played havoc on sports. As a result, the season closed prematurely with no winner announced in the league.



Arimas said the Filipinas felt shortchanged, but they took that in stride as their leading the league is itself a record in Hong Kong women’s cricket.

The Divas repeated their WDL feat in the T20 Division 2 campaign versus Lantau Ladies for championship.

Tunghayan ang isa na namang kwentong 

On Feb 28, Divas overpowered India Club by 194 runs with a 214/2 versus 20/9 to start their campaign in the T20 Division 2. The Filipinas pounded USRCW with 182/5 versus 79/4 on Mar 5 to set up their championhip duel with the Lantau Ladies.

Jennifer Alumbro scored 25 runs and captured 3 wickets to win the season’s Most Valuable Player award. Her teammate Iris Mae Meru scored 54 runs batting.

Lolita Olaquier made 13 runs and took 3 wickets. Christine Joy Lovino had 4 runs and 2 wickets while Romela Osabel added 2 runs and 1 wicket. Jonna Eguid added 8 runs.

The Lantau Ladies only produced 65 runs and lost the T20 duel.

When the game ended, the Divas erupted in cheers as they savored the joy of capturing their second championship in a row.

The year-old SCC Pinay, a spin-off team from the Divas’ 34-player stable, logged spectacular wins in its WDL campaign until they lost their final match, Arimas said.  

“Maganda rin ang performance ng SCC Pinay. Nanalo din sila sa Plate noong intact ang line-up. Pero ipinasok namin ang new players para maka-experience sila sa field, so natalo sila sa final,” she said.

(SCC Pinay also performed well. They also won in the Plate when the line-up was intact. But we deployed new players to give them field experience, so they lost in the final.)

Arimas said the current season ends after the play-off for the T20 Division 1 slot.



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