Celebrating Active And Healthy Lifestyle Through the 21st Alaska Football Cup


21st-alaska-football-cupFootball, like any other sport, teaches values such as sportsmanship, hard work, determination and discipline, that children can live up to when they come of age. Complemented with proper nutrition, children develop their social skills, self confidence and their personality, which allow them to better mingle with, excel in school and in sports, and achieve the “winning form”.

Annually, Alaska Milk holds the most anticipated football tournament in the country through the Alaska Football Cup. This year, the 21st Alaska Football Cup held on November 26-27, at the Alabang Country Club engaged 4,800 athletes from all corners of the country, comprising 320 football teams and officiated by at least 168 game officials in 28 football fields – all in one venue!

“This marks another monumental event for Alaska Milk. We have 320 teams and a total of 4,800 football players together in one venue, all united by their love for football. It is with great pride that we witness how the Alaska Nutrition. Action. Champion. program has engaged young athletes into this kind of culture, and hey live by the values inherent in sports,” shared Mr. Wilfred Uytengsu, President and CEO, Alaska Milk Corporation.21st-alaska-football-cup-girls

Truly, the players’ passion for football is deeply rooted within themselves, that even the inclement weather didn’t budge any of them. Children played like pros. The adults showcased their best skills. And the youngest ones chased and kicked the ball just like those in the football field next to theirs. It was certainly more than just a day in the pre-school. They may not have understood the competition aspect of the game, but I can tell some of them already exhibited the makings of a football champion.

Each game played was intense as skills and strategies blended well together. Loud cheers emanated from parents and supporters with each goal, when it’s a good pass, and even when it’s a miss, giving two-day tournament a festive atmosphere. From the elimination games to the finals, everyone showed they have what it takes to be champions. The energy was overflowing. It was relentless.

21st-alaska-football-cup-goal

Sportsmanship is one of the values sports, such as football, teaches.

Sportsmanship is one of the values sports, such as football, teaches.

But just like other tournaments, teams lose and teams win. And no matter how much the players put in in every game, there can only be one winner. Whilst losing is not really easy to deal with, sports has taught the children at such a very young age the value of sportsmanship, such that at the end of each game, winning or losing, players gave each other the high fives.

More than winning or losing the game, football is a perfect vehicle to raise awareness that proper nutrition and active lifestyle is healthy for the growing up kids. And Alaska Milk’s Nutrition. Action. Champion. campaign has successfully championed this through its various sports program.

Advertisements

Unleashing the Champions: The 2016 Jr. NBA – WNBA Philippines All Star Team


From thousands of male and female young cagers 10 to 14 years old, 50 boys and 24 girls have secured their slot at the the 2016 Jr. NBA – WNBA Philippines presented by Alaska National Training Camp held at Don Bosco Technical Institute, Makati, on April 23 – 24, and culminated at SM Mall of Asia Arena Music Hall on April 24, 2016.

All 74 of them went through a series of rigid training to master the fundamental skills of basketball handling from dribbling to passing, left hand and right hand lay up, shooting and getting better in their footwork under the guidance of Jr. NBA – WNBA Philippines coaches. Team scrimmages were incorporated in their daily training routines to put their skills into action.

I have shortlisted 11 campers whom I believe will make it to Top 20. Nine of them made it to Top 20. After the final scrimmage, four of them made it to the elite roster of 2016 Jr. NBA Philippines All Star Team.

To further enhance their exposure in the team sport, the participants were bundled into six groups named after NBA Teams – Chicago Bulls, Denver Nuggets, Memphis Grizzlies, LA Lakers, Boston Celtics and Orlando Magic. And like the Marauder’s Map in the Harry Potter movie, the groupings allowed the coaches to see more of the participants as they revealed themselves which as spelled out by the program’s STAR values – Sportsmanship, Teamwork, A positive Attitude and Respect.

During the three-day camp, the participants are so privileged as 2-time WNBA Champion and 6-time WNBA All Star Taj McWilliams – Franklin and 2011 NBA Draft 28th overall pick Norris Cole of New Orleans Pelicans join the coaching of the three-day camp. These champions were hands-on in their coaching as they were seen correcting a player’s stance or form at any time during the drills.

The morning of April 24th was a bit emotional when Coach Craig announced the top 20 boys who will advance to play for the final scrimmage, taking them a step closer to their goal.

I’m not that good in the sport, but having covered the Jr. NBA Philippines program since 2013, I have somehow developed an eye as to who has the “game”. Hence, I have shortlisted 11 campers from the boys who will make the cut in the top 20. Out of 11, nine of them have made it.

The Champions

They played with their hearts. They played their best. They showed what a champion should be. Their excellent skills have loudly spoken. They wowed the crowed with their performance on court. And they impressed the coaches even more off court! Now, it can be told.

From a pool of 50 boys and 24 girls, ten boys and five girls have been named the 2016 Jr. NBA Philippines and Jr. WNBA Philippines All Stars, respectively, at the conclusion of the three-day 2016 Jr. NBA – WNBA presented by Alaska National Training Camp held at SM Mall of Asia Music Hall on April 24, 2016.

Whilst I feel a bit sad for those I was rooting for who didn’t make it, I’d like to congratulate the five girls and ten boys who rightfully deserved a spot in the All Star team. And four from my shortlisted campers made it to this elite roster. Here they are…

2016 Jr. NBA-WNBA All Stars and Coaches of the Year with Ms. Blen Fernando, Mr. Carlo Singson, Coach Jeff Cariaso, Coach Craig Brown, WNBA Legend Taj McWilliams-Franklin, NBA Star Norris Cole and E-Cow.

2016 Jr. NBA-WNBA All Stars and Coaches of the Year with Ms. Blen Fernando, Mr. Carlo Singson, Coach Jeff Cariaso, Coach Craig Brown, WNBA Legend Taj McWilliams-Franklin, NBA Star Norris Cole and E-Cow.

Top 5 Jr. WNBA Philippine All Stars

1.Darlene Regasio (Cebu)
2.Florence Jill Talas (Cebu)
3.Ma. Cecilia Quilendrino (Manila)
4.Rozie Amatong (Davao)
5.Aloha Marie Betanio (Davao).

Top 10 Jr. NBA Philippine All Stars

1.Julian Alfonso Hugo (Alaska Power Camp)
2.Fritz Felix Valencia (Bacolod)
3.Harold Alarcon (Bacolod)
4.Isaiah Miguel Blanco (Alaska Power Camp)
5.Ric Ozner Gatuz (Baguio)
6.Andrei Philip Lechoncito (Manila)
7.Tracy Carl Dadang (Cebu)
8.Jearico Nunez (Manila)
9.Miguel Rey Luis Tan (Manila)
10.Kai Zachary Sotto (Manila)

Special Awards were also given to the participants who excelled during the camp.
  • Jr. WNBA Philippines Rising Star: Carly Monreal (RSC Manila)
    Jr. NBA Philippines Rising Star: Victorino III Torres (Alaska Power Camp)
  • Jr. WNBA Philippines Hustle Award: Kate Buenaventura (RSC Davao)
    Jr. NBA Philippines Hustle Award: Jericho Ross Paglinawan (RSC Manila)
  • Jr. WNBA Philippines All Star Player of the Game: Aloha Marie Betanio (RSC Davao)
    Jr. NBA Philippines All Star Player of the Game: Tracy Carl Dadang (RSC Cebu)
  • Jr. WNBA Philippines Sportsmanship Award: Imee Claire Matas (RSC Davao)
    Jr. NBA Philippines Sportsmaship Award: Alfonso Candari (RSC Davao)
  • Jr. WNBA Philippines Alaska Ambassador: Rozie Amatong (RSC Davao)
    Jr. NBA Philippines Alaska Ambassador: Julian Alfonso Hugo (Alaska Power Camp)
  • Jr. WNBA Philippines MVP: Florence Jill Talas (RSC Cebu)
    Jr. NBA Philippines MVP: Kai Zachary Sotto (RSC Manila)
  • Jr. WNBA Coach of the Year: Arayi Ewon, Magis Academy (Pasig City)
    Jr. NBA Coach of the Year: Eligino Chollo, Ateneo de Davao University (College Unit)
A Parent’s Insights
Jr. NBA Philippines All Star with (from left) Mom Betty Tan, Dad Ryan Tan and Grandmother Susan Tan.

Jr. NBA Philippines All Star with (from left) Mom Betty Tan, Dad Ryan Tan and Grandmother Susan Tan.

Parents play a very vital role on the success of the child. And how does the support come from them? Mrs. Betty Tan, mom to Jr. NBA Philippines All Star Miguel Tan, shares that “my husband and I share the load. I do the motivation part, he does the technical part. Whenever he teaches Miguel anything and everything about the basics and the foundations of basketball, I tell him “You have to do your part and work hard.”

“We’re so happy because in four year’s time since he started playing basketball, he has gone a long way,” she added.

Asked if there’s an agreement that Miguel needs to excel in academics so he can play basketball, Mrs. Tan replied that there’s no pressure coming from them. “What we tell him to do is do his best. We advise him that if there are breaks during class hours, he will do his assignments and he will study because he doesn’t have much time anymore. And he has games on weekends.”

“Being a student athlete is very hard. You have to juggle a lot of things. He has school. His practice is everyday until 7pm. Xavier School is very strict when it comes to that one. You cannot be a varsity if you have failing grades. So, he has to make use of the free time he has during school hours.”

“Yeah, there’s an understanding between him and us that he needs to balance well in school and in sports.”

On nutrition, surprisingly, “Miguel does drink Alaska, but the Slim one. His diet includes more protein and less carbohydrate,” Mrs. Tan revealed.

Words from Jr. NBA-WNBA Coaches

Just for making it to the National Training Camp makes any participant a champion in his own right because not everyone has the opportunity to be part of it. The invaluable experience and lessons learned are something that no one can take away from them. It’s up to them to make use of the skills they acquired to become better players and individuals.

Before wrapping up the three-day camp, Jr. NBA – WNBA Head Coach Craig Brown addressed all the participants of the 2016 Jr. NBA – WNBA National Training Camp.

“It’s great to see you that you have selected to participate in the NTC this weekend. You all are winners. Out of the numbers of participants who participated in the Jr. NBA, to see yourselves here, you should be very very proud of what you have accomplished,” said Coach Craig.

Two-time WNBA Champion and 6-time WNBA All Star Taj McWilliams -Franklin joined this year’s program as one of the coaches. Albeit brief, certainly, there’s so much that the participants have learned from her as she was a very hands on coach. And she had a very heart-warming message to all the young cagers in the league.

Two-time WNBA Champion and 6-time WNBA All Star Taj McWilliams -Franklin was very hands-on as a coach. Here, she's leading the morning warm up during the National Training Camp.

Two-time WNBA Champion and 6-time WNBA All Star Taj McWilliams -Franklin was very hands-on as a coach. Here, she’s leading the morning warm up during the National Training Camp.

“I had an amazing time with you young men and women, and I hope there’s something, at least one thing that I said or did, makes you continue on this journey and that’s what basketball is. It’s a great journey.”

“Ladies and gentlemen, no matter what happens, this isn’t the end of the journey. It is the beginning of something great within your lives whether you get picked or not, always remember this time. Keep it with you and let it push you to greatness. There is nothing greater than failing. Failure pushes you to be the best you can be. Take this as a learning opportunity.”

“And I thank you from the bottom of my heart for allowing me to spend this weekend with you.”

####

My warmest CONGRATULATIONS to all the young boys and girls who have become part of the 2016 season of Jr. NBA – WNBA Philippines presented by Alaska.

Sam Borlain and Wacky Baniqued Lead the Pack of Alaska Ironkids Champions


Months of training led to the most anticipated triathlon event for the young triathletes. On March 5, 2016, some 126 junior triathletes gathered for the first installment of the Alaska Ironkids triathlon held at the Wow! Recreation and Activity Center in Subic.

The early morning was abuzz as young triathletes checked in their bikes and geared up for their respective race distances, whilst a few seemed to be unmindful that they were actually racing that morning. Race Director Ani de Loen – Brown made sure that participants  were familiar with their race route briefing each wave prior to the swim start. 15 times Ironman champion Belinda Granger joined in the event as part of the Sunrise Team that staged the Alaska Ironkids. Aside from giving tips and sharing her experiences as a professional triathlete, she later on gave the participants a hand as they came off from the swim leg.

Alaska Ironkids Champions in the 13-14 AG: Sam Borlain and Wacky Baniqued

Alaska Ironkids Champions in the 13-14 AG: Sam Borlain and Wacky Baniqued

The race kicked off with the first wave of participants in the 13 to 14 year old group, followed by the 11 to 12 years old, 9 to 10 years old, and the final wave 6 to 8 years old in the Race category. Apart from the competitive ones, Alaska Ironkids also gave priority to newbies in the multisport through the Play category.

Marcus Faytaren led the boys in the swim leg of the race and came out of the water first. Sam Borlain led the girls and came out of the water with a wide gap. The race went on as the participants transitioned to the bike leg. It was a pretty close competition among the boys led by JB Sarmiento; Josh Ramos came in a few seconds behind and Wacky Baniqued on the third spot. Marcus Faytaren landed in the fourth spot. Sam Borlain firmly maintained her lead in the bike leg down to the run leg and soon caught up with the boys in the run leg.

Not having a team to train with months prior to the race day, Wacky Baniqued never lost his focus. He did what he’s best at and finished off the 400 metre swim, 12 kilometre bike and the 3 kilometre run in 43 minutes 8 seconds. JB Sarmiento came in 44 seconds behind in 43 minutes and 54 seconds. Josh Ramos, who’s racing in his second Alaska Ironkids triathlon, remarkably finished third in 44 minutes and 16 seconds.

Sam Borlain never broke despite some misfortunes that beset her in the bike leg – both her bike’s brakes and bike shoes were locked when they’re supposed to be unlocked. Sam finished with a breeze in 47 minutes and 52 seconds. Jana Macalalad leveled up her game with a second spot finish in 50 minutes and 1 second. Pia Suarez trailed in the third spot with a finish time of 51 minutes and 57 seconds.

15x Ironman Champion Belinda Granger sharing her experiences as a professional triathlete and giving tips to future champions at the Alaska Ironkids triathlon held in Subic on March 5, 2016.

15x Ironman Champion Belinda Granger sharing her experiences as a professional triathlete and giving tips to future champions at the Alaska Ironkids triathlon held in Subic on March 5, 2016.

It’s a great opening year for the 11-year old Zedrick James Borja, who topped the boys 11 to 12 years old category with a finish time of 37 minutes and 16 seconds. In 2015, he tied with Jose Maria Tayag in fourth place in the 9 to 10 boys category. Coming in at the second place is Eric Almendral who finished in 39 minutes and 54 seconds; Johann Carlos closed the roster with an 11 second gap finishing the race in 40 minutes and 5 seconds.

Tara Borlain once more proved to be invincible as she flawlessly took home another championship title for herself. Tara had her share of misfortune in the bike leg when she almost crashed at the bike mounting area because her rear wheel was unlocked. As a true athlete, she never faltered. She crossed the finish line in 35 minutes and 6 seconds. That’s a full minute and a half ahead of Micaella Barlin, who came in second with a time of 36 minutes and 36 seconds. Allison Ann Noble from the Bull Shark Triteam of Ilocos placed third with a time of 36 minutes and 54 seconds. The 11 to 12 years old race category consisted of 300 metre swim, 9 kilometre bike and 2 kilometre run.

Alaska Ironkids Triathlon finishers: Keesha Toledana, Francyn Elbenco, Anika Toquilar, Johann Manubay and Neil Nazarro.

Alaska Ironkids Triathlon finishers: Keesha Toledana, Francyn Elbenco, Anika Toquilar, Johann Manubay and Neil Nazarro.

Claiming the same spot in last year’s Alaska Ironkids Triathlon Subic, Mark Grist finished the 200 metre swim, 6 kilometre bike and 1.5 kilometre run in 25 minutes and 48 seconds, bringing home another championship trophy. Juan Miguel Tayag and Michael Gabriel Lozada filled in the second place and third place, respectively, with a finish time of 26 minutes and 41 seconds.

Kira Ellis dominated the girls crossing the finish line in 27 minutes and 25 seconds. Ana Maria Mempin came in second with a time of 28 minutes and 54 seconds. A consistent podiumer, Justicia Mariearl Tan added one more trophy in her collection when she finished in 30 minutes and 46 minutes.

You may say that they’re too young to race yet. Watching them behind those A-boards as they wait for their swim start, I can tell you no, they’re not. Who are we talking about here? I’m referring to the youngest of the participants in the race, the 6 to 8 year olds, who made 100 metre swim, 3 kilometre bike and 1 kilometre run.

Connor Hodges made a strong finish in 17 minutes and 15 seconds, topping all the boys. Gabriel Gaw came in second and finally Ythnmathw Orellana, both with a time of 17 minutes and 46 seconds.

Top three girls in 6-8 AG: Franchezka Borlain, Zurielle Kenzie Galo and Kyle Enielle Toledana with IM Pro Champion Caroline Steffen during the awarding ceremony.

Alaska Ironkids Top three girls in 6-8 AG: Franchezka Borlain, Zurielle Kenzie Galo and Kyle Enielle Toledana with IM Pro Champion Caroline Steffen during the awarding ceremony.

Franchezka Borlain makes a name for herself by championing among the girsl in the 6 to 8 year old group, finishing with a time of 16 minutes and 54 seconds. Zurielle Kenzie Galo filled the second spot as she crossed the finish line at 18 minutes and 48 seconds after the swim start. Kyle Enielle Toledana placed third with a time of 20 minutes and 25 seconds.

And to further inspire the winners and the participants, Ironman Pro triathletes like Dimity Lee Duke, Craig Alexander, Sam Betten, Katy Duffield, Caroline Steffen among others  joined in during the awarding ceremony. Winners in all of the age group categories earn a free entry to the Alaska Ironkids Triathlon to be held in Cebu in August this year.

On top of bringing home a championship title, Wacky Baniqued and Tara Borlain also each won a pair Newton shoes for recording the fastest run split in boys and girls division, respectively.

Triathlon Brings Families Together

For years now, Alaska Ironkids has become the venue for children who embrace healthy and active lifestyle through sports. And for the past four years since I started covering the Alaska Ironkids, I have seen so many young triathletes and their families come to the event.

Both the Aquathlon and Triathlon races have become a weekend bonding for triathlon teams and their families. Notably, the Borlains – Dad Ringo, Tita Carol with Sam, Tara and Chezka, make these races as part of their weekend getaway.

Jet and Lou Ann Ramos drove all the way from the highlands of Baguio with their three sons Josh, Dash and Arrow to Subic for the Alaska Ironkids, who each participated in the 13 to 14, 11 to 12 and 6 to 8 years old age group category, respectively.

Tayag Twins - Juan Miguel and Jose Maria, with Mom, Dad and younger brother.

Tayag Twins – Juan Miguel and Jose Maria, with Mom, Dad and younger brother at the Alaska Ironkids Triathlon held in Subic on March 5, 2016.

Triathletes and families of Team TriClark have always been visible in every Alaska Ironkids race. JB Sarmiento’s parents have always lent him the support he needs that enabled him to perform better in each race. The Tayag Twins – Juan Miguel and Jose Maria, have always their mom Connie and Dad Abe in tow each time they race. This time, they tag along their younger brother at the race venue!

During weekends and holidays, they go out for a swim, bike or run with their families or team mates. Their active engagement in these activities promote a healthier lifestyle which inspires more people to get into sports.

Nowadays, a significant number of triathlon teams and individual participants register for the races. Races that instill the values of discipline, hard work, determination and sportsmanship. Races that teach the importance of good nutrition. Races that develop them to be better individuals and athletes. Races that mold them become champions in life.

For more on Alaska Ironkids results, please visit www.ironkidsphil.com.
For more information on Alaska Sports program, visit www.alaskamilk.com.ph.
For updates, follow @AlaskaPlayPH on Instagram, @PlayPH on Twitter.

Jr.NBA and Jr.WNBA Presented by Alaska search for best basketball players’ starts in Baguio


The Jr.NBA and Jr.WNBA Presented by Alaska starts its search for the best basketball players in the country when it holds its first Regional Selection Camp at the Benguet State University, Baguio on Feb. 20 and 21.

Boys and girls may join the search for the ten best boy and five best girl basketball players who will become members of the Jr.NBA and Jr.WNBA All-Star team. There is also a search for the boys and girls coaches who will handle the two teams.

Participants of the Jr. NBA-WNBA Philippines presented by Alaska engage in a scrimmage during the Regional Selection Camp held at Benguet State University on February 20-21, 2016.

Participants of the Jr. NBA-WNBA Philippines presented by Alaska engage in a scrimmage during the Regional Selection Camp held at Benguet State University on February 20-21, 2016.

The All-Star Team will travel on an overseas for their NBA experience trip together with fellow Jr. NBA All-Stars from Thailand, Malaysia, Vietnam and Indonesia. The 2015 Jr. NBA All-Stars traveled to China to watch the NBA Global Games in Shenzhen featuring the Charlotte Hornets and the L.A. Clippers.

The Jr. NBA and Jr. WNBA Presented by Alaska is free and open to boys and girls ages 10 to 14 years old (born 2002 to 2006). Interested parties may register at the venue in Benguet State University in Baguio or online through http://www.jrnba.asia/philippines.

The Jr. NBA and Jr. WNBA Presented by Alaska is one of Alaska Milk’s programs that shape, train, challenge and inspire children to achieve their dreams and aspirations in life.

“These holistic programs train children to be confident, disciplined and hardworking because Alaska Milk Corporation aims to prepare them to be winners in life in the future. This year’s program includes new locations such as Batangas, Catanduanes and Cavite to reach more children and coaches and discover the best basketball players across the country,” said Blen Fernando, Marketing Director.

The 2011 National Nutrition Survey conducted by the Food and Nutrition Research Institute (FNRI) revealed that three out of ten children aged 5-10 years were underweight while eight out of one hundred children of the same age were overweight, making malnutrition and obesity two of the most pressing nutritional problems in the Philippines today.

Alaska does it share in developing young athletes to become champions in life by instilling in them the importance of good nourishment for them to achieve their goals.

The Jr.NBA and Jr.WNBA presented by Alaska is under Alaska Milk’s Nutrition.Action.Champion program. It helps address the issue of overweight and undernourished Filipino children with the promotion of proper nutrition and active lifestyle through sports and outdoor play.

This year’s program started with the tip-off at Don Bosco Technical Institute Makati last Jan. 23. School clinics, that teach the fundamentals of basketball, will run in April with stops in Bukidnon, Butuan, Cagayan de Oro, Dagupan, Davao, Iloilo, Metro Manila and Puerto Princesa. New locations include Batangas, Catanduanes and Cavite.

Other than Baguio there will also be Regional Selection Camps in Davao (Feb. 27-28), Cebu (March 5-6) and Metro Manila (April 9-10). The top 50 boys and 24 girls from the Regional Selection Camps will advance to the final selection stage in the National Training Camp in Manila on April 22-24.
NBA and WNBA players or legends will attend the National Training Camp to help train and inspire the finalists. The program will culminate with the selection of ten Jr. NBA and five Jr. WNBA All-Stars.

More than 36,000 players and 2,700 coaches have participated in the program since it started in the Philippines in 2007. During the 2015-16 season, the Jr. NBA and Jr. WNBA program will reach more than 6.5 million youth in 32 countries.

The Jr. NBA and Jr. WNBA is the league’s global youth basketball participation program for boys and girls which teaches the fundamental skills as well as the core values of the game at the grassroots level in an effort to help grow and improve the youth basketball experience for players, coaches and parents.

For general information about Jr. NBA and Jr. WNBA Philippines presented by Alaska please visit www.jrnba.asia/philippines, www.alaskamilk.com, and www.alaskapowercamp.com/basketball. For live updates log on to www.playph.com follow us on FB, IG and Twitter @playph #jrnba #jrwnba.

%d bloggers like this: