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One more time
Batang Red Bull bids for 2002 PBA All-Filipino crown to become powerhouse team
People say the Batang Red Bull Thunder team won the 2nd Conference championship title in the 2002 season of the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) because of their imports. They credit the win to Julius Nwosu, Tony Lang and Sean Lampley (Lampley replaced Lang in the Thunders' finals duel against Talk and Text.) and not to the locals. They may be right because Red Bull has yet to win an All-Filipino Conference championship title since joining the PBA last year.
Coach Yeng Guiao is not disputing those comments. Instead, he's letting the import-less team prove it is now the best by winning the championship crown of the All-Filipino conference, which kicks off on Oct. 20.
"Personally, it's very important to me, so it should be very important to you too because with this also, you're going to have your first All-Filipino Championship," the 43-year-old Guiao told his boys during their practice at the RFM gym in Mandaluyong City.
The Thunders will be riding on the momentum of their domination of the just concluded second conference, which, incidentally, they also won last year.
Guiao and Harp: Powerhouse in the making.
A deeper bench is a plus factor. "The other teams don't have the all-Filipino bench. Tayo meron," Guiao assured.
A strong lineup also gives Guiao's chargers a good chance of winning back-to-back titles. Once again, Davonn Harp, the best player of the 2002 second conference, leads the pack.
Veterans Nelson Asaytono, Noli Locsin, Edmund Reyes, Jay Mendoza and Vince Hizon can pit their experience against their counterparts in other teams.
Young players Junthy Valenzuela, Lordie Tugade, Anton Villoria, Willie Miller, Jimwell Torion and rookie Omar Soc will provide the stamina, the inside plays, power plays and perimeter and rainbow shooting.
Except for Mike Penissi and Rudy Hatfield, who are playing in the Busan Asian Games as of this writing, the Red Bull players revealed how they will help get the next crown.
"We just won a championship so I think a lot of teams will play their best against us so we gotta be ready for them. It's a lot of work that's why we're practicing early to get ready for the conference," Harp said.
The 24-year-old forward Tugade, point guard Torion and forward Valenzuela said they would practice more, put in more weight and concentrate more.
The 27-year-old Villoria said, "As a point guard, i-execute ko pa rin ng maganda ang play namin. Susunod pa rin sa sistema ni coach at saka step up sa depensa at mag-deliver sa big man."
Small forward Reyes, 31, said, "Siguro gawin ko lang iyun role na ibibigay ni coach and stick kami sa sistema niya."
Point guard Miller, 25, said they all need to regain the confidence they have during the tough 2nd conference. "We just have to work for it first para malaman namin kung ano talaga ang chances namin for the third conference. Kaya nag-practice na kami hard kaagad para makuha agad iyun kumpiyansa at iyung dating laro," he said.
Shooting guard Hizon said, "I can contribute on the defense, play good solid defense and on offense of course. I hope to use some of my experience too you know, help the team in any way."
Former Barangay Ginebra and Pop Cola power forward Locsin said, "Hindi naman ako masyado nagagamit pero kailangan handa ka para kahit galing ka sa bench, kaya mo. Kailangan maaasahan ka sa lahat ng oras. Ang tulong ko siguro sa rebound at depensa."
Asaytono said he would be working on the defense and rebounds and learn the playing system of coach Guiao. "Siguro konti na lang para makuha natin ang lahat ng tamang sistema," he said.
The All-Filipino Conference is very short. In the elimination round, each of the 10 teams will clash once. The four lowest teams will be booted out while the rest advance to the next two rounds. The top two teams in the eliminations automatically gets into the semifinal round and will not figure in the quarterfinals, where the remaining four teams will mix it up in a sudden death.
In case there are teams that end up with similar win-loss cards at the end of the elimination round, the quotient system will determine which gets the top two slots and the last slot.
In the quarterfinals, the number three team fights number six, while four and five meet. The survivors advance to the semifinals with the number one team playing against the number four team and number two meeting number three in a best of three affair. The semifinal winners meet in the best-of-five championships.
"So it's really a very short conference. It's just a two-month league so you need to be in great shape. You can't make mistake!" Guiao said.
Harp added that the second conference is going to be difficult because all the tall guys from the RP Team will be back playing for their respective teams.
"I feel a lot of pressure on me; a lot of weight on my shoulder. The team is looking at me now. I got the respect of my teammates. I love my guys and my guys love me. So I'll play hard as I can to do it (win a championship) again for the team," said Harp.Guiao is aware that almost all the teams that won the championship in a particular conference failed the following conference.
"Purefoods won the championship last conference, they failed this conference. The last one, Sta. Lucia won and failed the next conference. We won and we failed the next conference so I'd like to break that cycle now," the coach said.
"We wanna win two straight championship in the same year! That will really establish us as a powerhouse team for next year," he exclaimed.
Basketball champs fans of Sex Bomb Girls
The 2002 PBA Second Conference champions Batang Red Bull Thunder is not only aiming to win again in the All-Filipino Conference. Players of the team also want to keep the phenomenal Sex Bomb Girls as their trophy, este inspiration, well into next year’s PBA season. For your information, the Sex Bomb Girls are the cheerers of the Thunders. They are called the Sexy Bulls. As in, mga toro?
Lordie Tugade revealed his reason for liking and wanting to keep all the 14-member Sex Bomb Girls: “Nakatutuwa naman sila eh. So lahat sila gusto ko…para sa team.”
No, Tugade is not greedy. Willie Miller is too. “Lahat sila kakulitan ko eh kaya gusto ko sila lahat. Lahat ang se-sexy, lahat ang kukulit pero tuwing me games lang kami nagkakakulitan,” Willie said. PBA games, of course!
Anton Villoria likes Diofanny ‘Jopay’ Paguia. Uuuy! “Si Jopay ang gusto ko. (Bakit?) Wala. Natutuwa lang ako sa kanya kase malaki hita nya,” Anton said. No offense, Jopay. Pareho naman kayong malaki ang hita.
Edmund Reyes and Nelson Asaytono are groping in the dark, when it comes to the 14 beautiful and sexy singer-dancers. Why? “Wala akong kilala dun eh pero ok iyun suporta na ibinibigay nila sa team,” said Edmund. Nelson said, “I heard of them pero hindi ko kilala ang bawat isa sa kanila.”
Vince Hizon reunites with his first love
Vicente Paul Nicholas "Vince" Hizon, 31, shooting guard of the Batang Red Bull Thunder team in the PBA, said he wouldn’t let go of his very first love that gave him a sports television career. “My first love talaga was basketball. Basketball has actually brought me to Sports Unlimited and for some time Sports Unlimited would actually hinder my basketball, taking me away from it coz we're shooting six far locations,” Vince the ‘Prince’ said of the sports-oriented TV show he co-hosted with Dian Castillejos-Garcia.
“Basically, I really don't like the direction I was going. It went away from sports. The pure sport that I was thinking has turned into something else. But it's still a good show. It's just that it's not the show that I've signed up for. I decided not to renew my contract,” he said.
I didn't want my first love go and that's for sure. If it were for basketball like I said I would have so many things including Sports Unlimited. So I decided to stick to my guns and you know, cheer you up!”
But the handsome mestizo is thankful for people behind Sports Unlimited for making him a part of the show and the chance to work with Dian.
Now, does anybody still wanna know Vince’s second love?
Jaworski to help poor athletes
Not all PBA players end up as multi-millionaires. Former Toyota Tamaraw player Alex Clariño died of rectal cancer without leaving any money to the loved ones he left behind. His teammate Senator Robert S. Jaworski even paid for his hospital bills. Former Gilbeys Gin cager Teddy Alfereiro and former boxing champion Rolando Navarette, who are as poor as Clarino, also approached Jaworski for financial assistance. Seeing his old colleagues that built the PBA dynasty and other athletes who brought honor to the country in the past neglected, Jaworski vowed to help them cope with their hardships. He is planning to amend and expand the scope of Republic Act (RA) 9064 that grants cash incentives and non-monetary benefits to athletes, coaches and trainers of Olympic Games. He wants that law that he authored to also give cash benefits to players of the Philippine Basketball Association and other sports associations.
Jaworski also authored RA 8757 establishing the Sports Hall of Fame.
Blood-sport on in Saudi schools
"Bloodshed" is in the minds of Black Python martial artists teaching judo and karate to students of the Nour Al-Maaref International School (NIS) in Riyadh. No they are not preparing the kids to defend themselves in case the US war on terrorism spills to the desert kingdom. Black Python chapters in the Central Region conducted the free training dubbed "Kick for a Cause" to raise voluntary donations in any amount from NIS kids and their parents. The donations are for the benefit of the Philippine National Red Cross, which appealed for donations from overseas Filipino groups and individuals. They also donated blood to the Red Cross.
Meanwhile, various sports organizations in the Eastern Region are also helping gather donations for the Red Cross. Participants to the volleyball and basketball tournaments at the Philippine School in Dammam are taking time to donate and collect used clothes, canned goods and cash donations while playing their favorite sports.
Shopping for a gym
Entering a gym is like entering a mall. There are as many things to do in a mall as in a gym. In a gym, there are different fitness classes to enroll in and different fitness programs to choose from.
Contrary to purchasing products off-the-rack in the malls, however, fitness programs in the gym are made-to-order, made to suit the needs and lifestyles of a particular client. And how do you shop for a gym to workout in? Here’s the measure that I use.
1. Accessibility - How long will it take for you to get to the gym? Consider the length of     time you need to travel and the amount of energy you’ll use up. It would be a major     hassle if just getting there alone could tire you out.
2. Equipment - You will be dealing with machines when you workout, so make sure you     pick a place where there are clean and well-maintained equipment. For best results, use     up-to-date machines.
3. Classes - Most gyms offer clients different fitness classes. Pick a gym that offers a     wide array of classes at different times of the day for each day of the week. Aside from     aerobics, which is probably the most basic, there are taebo, yoga, pilates and dance     classes to aid you in working up a sweat.
4. Instructors - They should always be attentive to the client’s needs and also always     ready to help. However, I personally dislike trainers who are over-friendly. I mean, how     can you concentrate on your program when they chat you up? I once heard though     that part of Mariah Carey’s training for her concerts is chatting with her trainer while     she’s running the treadmill. It’s supposed to build endurance and strengthen the     lungs. Could be true but not while lifting weights, please!
5. Locker and shower rooms - What could be better than a nice shower after a grueling     workout?
Luckily for me, I came, I saw and found out that Fitness First in Eastwood, Libis, Quezon City absolutely fits the tab.
It takes me 45 minutes to get to the place though. So I can’t exactly say that it’s accessible. But hey, it’s definitely worth the drive!
Fitness First Eastwood: First class facilities
Since the place is new, there are a lot of machines that exercise different parts of the body. My favorite is the glute and ab machines. I don’t have to bore myself to death doing reps of leg lifts and crunches. And these machines hit the muscle group right on target. You’ll really feel your muscles working!
I’ve been lifting weights for almost four years now. I prefer free weights but I’m learning to love machines now that I get to use new and modern ones in Fitness First.
Classes there are interesting too! There are different types to choose from. Of course they have the basics like aerobics, taebo and yoga. They also offer yoga-like class called pilates. And for those who wanna do both yoga and pilates, the fitness geniuses in Fitness First came up with yogilates. Neat, huh?
There’s also body pump. It’s a combination of aerobic exercise with weight training.
And for those who love to simply groove to the music, they also offer jazz classes!
The instructors are nice and knowledgeable. They’re always ready to help you with the machines and other things you need. The fee for personal or one-on-one training is too expensive though. Well I guess nothing’s always perfect. Anyway, they give free session for your first day so a trainer can write up a program that would lead you to your desired results.
Oh and the locker room and showers are heaven! I’m starting to like taking showers there more than I do in my own bathroom! There are sauna and steam rooms too!
Fitness First have branches in Makati and Alabang, the biggest - 3 floors! But if ever you’re in the Libis area, check it out. And while you’re at it, take advantage of the free drink-all-you-can ice tea and eat-all-you-can banana. :)

Ms. So is a PBA sportscaster and the news anchor of the Milo Sporting World that airs on IBC 13 every Sunday at 3:30 p.m. She co-anchors the weekly radio program In the Zone, every Monday from 8 to 10 a.m. over Sports Radio in the AM band.

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