Flying Titans soar to PVL finale

MANILA, Philippines — NLEX gets an extra motivation in its skid-stopping bid tonight as Asi Taulava is poised to set a new PBA record and newly-acquired Robert Bolick up for his debut.

The Road Warriors (2-5) activated the 50-year-old Taulava and former NorthPort star Bolick yesterday ahead of their Commissioner’s Cup showdown with TNT (2-3) in the 8 p.m. main game at the PhilSports Arena.

Taulava’s deployment will enable him to play on his 24th season in the league, breaking the tie with the legendary Robert Jaworski at 23. This serves as a sweetener for the jersey retirement ceremony NLEX has set for “The Rock” at halftime.

“The activation for the Wednesday game signifies a special moment for the NLEX Road Warriors and the entire PBA community as they witness Taulava’s unparalleled dedication to the sport,” the team said yesterday.

The Road Warriors are equally excited to unleash Bolick after apparently striking a deal quickly upon acquiring his rights from the Batang Pier this week.

“In addition to Taulava, the NLEX Road Warriors will also see the debut of newly-acquired guard Robert Bolick, adding further excitement to the team’s roster,” the squad said.

This marks Bolick’s PBA comeback after his short stint with Fukushima in the Japanese B. League.

The Frankie Lim-coached crew also recalled Hesed Gabo to active duty following the departure of Don Trollano and Kris Rosales in the Bolick deal.

Like NLEX, the Tropang Giga led by Rondae Hollis-Jefferson and Calvin Oftana are bent to wheel back on track after consecutive losses to Meralco and NorthPort.

The same stop-the-bleeding objective, meanwhile, is carried by Converge (0-6) and Terrafirma (2-4), which tangle in the 4 p.m. curtain-raiser.

MANILA, Ph ilippines — Meralco broke a long drought in the PBA 3×3 as it topped Leg 1 of the Season 3 Third Conference via a 15-13 finals verdict over MCFASolver yesterday at the Ayala Malls Glorietta.

The Bolts seized a 13-8 cushion then fended off the late rally of the Tech Centrale to reign supreme for the first time since conquering Leg 3 in the opening conference of Season 2.

Alfred Batino (five points), Jeff Manday (five), Reymar Caduyac (three) and Joseph Sedurifa (two) delivered big-time as Meralco reestablished itself following heartbreaking runner-up finishes in two previous finals appearances this season and a close call versus TNT in the battle for the Second Conference crown.

“Finally, we’re here. Salamat sa Diyos,” said Sedurifa after Meralco ended four conferences of futility. “Credit to the coaches and the staff, trinabaho nila talaga ito, especially coach Pat (Fran), and my teammates.”

Meralco banked P100,000 and 100 Tour points for this feat, which hiked its overall collection to five leg wins since 2021.

MCFASolver’s Bran don Ramirez (six), TH Tumalip (three), Yutien Andrada (two) and Louie Vigil (two) fell short in adding a followup to their maiden triumph in Leg 4 in the previous conference and settled for P50,000.

Meanwhile, Cavitex joined the podium finishers after beating Purefoods for third, 21-18. The Braves’ Jorey Napoles (seven), Tonino Gonzaga (six), Philip Paniamogan (four) and Ken Ighalo (four) earned P30,000.

MANILA, Philippines — The spotlight will be on national athletes when the Department of Tourism-backed Pinoy Strong 100 goes full blast next year.

The sports reality TV show, hosted by celebrity Mixed Martial Arts fighter Mark Striegl, aims to determine the strongest Filipino from all walks of life, regardless of age, gender or social status.

“Pinoy Strong 100 is not just about showcasing physical strength. It also aims to highlight the cultural heritage and the best of the Philippines’ islands and destinations,” said co-producer Allan Majadillas of One-Of-A-Kind Asia.

Striegl, Allan Majadillas and wife Christine discussed the show during yesterday’s PSA Forum at the VIP Lounge of the Rizal Memorial Sports Complex. The forum is supported by the PSC, POC, Pagcor, San Miguel Corp. and Milo.

The first selection event was held over the weekend at the Sky Ranch in Tagaytay City in coordination with the Philippine Olympic Committee featuring national athletes from various National Sports Associations.

Athletes from the Philippine Canoe Kayak Federation (PCKDF) emerged as the top finishers in the tryouts with Jobert Penaranda and Ojay Fuentes making it a 1-2 finish for the national paddlers while Mylene Matias of Kurash came in third. Placing fourth was Roger Kenneth Masbate, also from PCKDF.

The succeeding selections, which will be opened to the public, will be held in Cebu and at BGC in Taguig in January to complete the 100 participants in the one-of-a-kind reality TV show.

The top 100 qualifiers will be brought to different tourism destinations in Zamboanga, Boracay, Tagaytay and Legazpi in Bicol, among others, to undergo challenges to determine the strongest Filipino, or Filipina, for the show’s first season.

MANILA, Philippines — The dream Creamline and Choco Mucho Premier Volleyball League All-Filipino Conference finale is on.

And Sisi Rondina and the Flying Titans made sure it’s happening in repulsing the pesky Cignal HD Spikers, 25-20, 23-25, 26-24, 25-23, last night in the deciding Game 3 of their heated semis duel at the PhilSports Arena.

The energetic and power-spiking Rondina provided the ammos with 21 points and Deanna Wong the glue with 21 excellent sets that sealed Choco Mucho’s 2-1 series win over Cignal and a best-of-three championship showdown with elder sister Creamline unfurling tomorrow at the MOA Arena.

It was also extra special for the franchise as it sealed a historic finals appearance and a breakthrough podium finish regardless of the result of its highly anticipated match with the league’s most titled club in Creamline.

“We’re really grateful nakapasok sa semis, hindi lang naman ako pati buong team,” said an emotional Wong. “Hindi lang top four ang goal namin, step by step championship and hopefully we reach our goal.”

Their win over Cignal healed all the heartaches caused by failed attempts after failed attempts to make it to the podium.

And the teary-eyed Wong didn’t miss the chance of thanking the people who kept the faith.

“Gusto ko lang pasalamatan ang buong Choco Mucho community, manalo man o matalo andyan pa rin kayo sa amin, para sa inyo ito,” she said.

For Rondina, who could potentially snare the MVP award with her season-long brilliance, it was pure hard work.

“Yung mindset na paulit ulit ko sinasabi na tiyaga, trabaho at paniniwala sa kakakayanan namin,” said Rondina.

Vannie Gandler and Ces Molina tried to will Cignal to victory by unloading 20 and 19 hits, respectively, but they just didn’t have an answer to the Wong-Rondina pair.

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