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Relating To Purefoods Star’s Setback ?>

Relating To Purefoods Star’s Setback

Christmas vacation came early for Purefoods Star Hotshots on Thursday. A lot of cage fans are expecting the four-time PBA champions to go for a fifth straight title in the Philippine Cup, but Meralco had other plans. With new coach Norman Black at the forefront, the Bolts’ successfully spoiled the Hotshots’ championship party plans, turning it int vacation plans instead. Mark Barroca talked about how Tuesday night’s painful 12-point defeat to the Bolts showed that they are humans after all.

Secret To NU Bulldogs Coach Eric Altamirano’s Gentle Side ?>

Secret To NU Bulldogs Coach Eric Altamirano’s Gentle Side

Seeing a team of athletes bow their knees in prayer before or after practice is rare these days. But that rarity can be seen nowadays at National University where the Bulldogs are currently being handled by coach Eric Altamirano. Altamirano, a Bible-believing, Bible-reading Christian, has opened his team to some churchmates, who visit the team weekly to share the Bible and how its timeless truth can transform the lives of everyone. (Coach Eric attends Sunday worship service at Victory-Pioneer with…

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Learning From Robert Labagala’s “Second Chance” In The PBA ?>

Learning From Robert Labagala’s “Second Chance” In The PBA

Languishing in obscurity is one of the most dreaded experiences for any PBA player.

Being a sportswriter since 1997, I’ve seen countless basketball players, who made a good name in college, but eventually languished at the far end of the bench.

Worse, some players suffered the unenviable experience of being injured, which eventually led to a premature end to their basketball career.

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Photo Source: Taken from Robert Labagala’s Facebook account

Robert Labagala has spent his first four seasons in the PBA as a third-string point guard.

Drafted 12th overall by Barangay Ginebra in 2010, Labagala had lofty dreams of making a name for himself in the PBA. But his first four years didn’t happen the way he envisioned it.

Instead of spending a good deal of playing time with Ginebra, Labagala had to wait for his name to be called to serve as sub to Ginebra veteran guards Jayjay Helterbrand and Willie Miller in his rookie season.

His next three seasons wasn’t that fruitful as well since he only had career averages of 11.9 minutes, leading to 3.5 points, 1.0 assist and 0.8 rebound in 87 career games.

“Pinagpe-pray ko talaga na magka-chance ako makalaro pa sa PBA kaya masaya ako nung tumawag sa akin si boss Danny (Espiritu) at sinabi sa akin napinapapunta nga daw ako sa Talk ‘N Text,” Labagala shared.

Not too many role players like Labagala get that many chances of making a career “comeback” of sorts.

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Another photo taken from Robert Labagala’s Facebook account – with his wife Marie, along with Ptr Bong and wife Jing Navarro

But Labagala said during the remaining months of his contract with Barako Bull (his team last season), he and his wife Marie have been been praying for an extended PBA career, while religiously doing his own personal workout to keep himself in shape.

In fact, with the help of his friend and pastor Bong Navarro of Victory-Caloocan, they prayed for God’s door of opportunity to open.

So when he got the call-up for Talk ‘N Text last August, Labagala said he was extremely excited to get a chance at not just getting a new lease on career life in the PBA, but even be reunited with coach Jong Uichico, as well as learn from veteran guards Jason Castro, Jimmy Alapag and Ranidel de Ocampo. Uichico was his coach at Ginebra during his rookie year.

Inaantay ko na lang para mag-go (on signing his contract), pero mga August pa, nagne- negotiate na kami ng one year,” explained the 30-year-old former University of the East point guard.

“Doble kayod ako ngayon.”

Labagala has toiled long and hard in his first four seasons in the PBA. Now, he’s got another crack.

I believe every aspiring PBA player and current college player, who are still trying to find his niche in the local basketball world can learn from Labagala’s story – faith in God, a strong support group, who will be there to encourage and pray with you, and of course, hard work.

 

Of Fairy Tale Wedding And An “Ever After” Marriage ?>

Of Fairy Tale Wedding And An “Ever After” Marriage

My wife and I just came from the wedding of our close friends Paul and Venoit this Monday night. The wedding had a “fairy tale” theme, which was held at Fernbrook in Muntinlupa. As we watch the wedding ceremony and enjoy the creative program during reception, I can’t help but think of the fact that a lot of people still wish to have an “ever after” type of marriage in their lifetime. An “ever after” that means riding through the…

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My 30 ‘Radical’ Reasons In Celebrating Victory’s 30th Anniversary ?>

My 30 ‘Radical’ Reasons In Celebrating Victory’s 30th Anniversary

I’ve been part of Victory since 1992, back when I was an incoming senior high school student at Philippine Scholastic Academy. But since being invited to Victory U-Belt, I became part of a high school Victory group, which helped me grow in my newfound faith in Christ. Through the years, I’ve been blessed to be part of a thriving movement that is completely committed to these four words: HONOR GOD and MAKE DISCIPLES. Below are 30 ‘radical’ (and random) reasons…

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Athletes In Action’s Michalski Talks About Victory Beyond The Confines Of A Basketball Court ?>

Athletes In Action’s Michalski Talks About Victory Beyond The Confines Of A Basketball Court

Athletes in Action coach Morris Michalski was bursting with passion during our brief talk, shortly after team AIA routed Blackwater, 114-61 in their tuneup game on Saturday (Aug. 2) at the St. Stephen’s Elementary gymnasium in Tondo, Manila. He had a simple message to all the Filipinos athletes out there (basketball or non-basketball alike) – “Surrender (to God) is the key to victory.” While his team led by Texas Tech guard Todrick Gotcher and Traevon Jackson, son of former NBA…

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Ex-UE Red Warrior Turns ‘Radical’ After Meeting His ‘Father’ ?>

Ex-UE Red Warrior Turns ‘Radical’ After Meeting His ‘Father’

As I watch James Yap and San Mig Super Coffee celebrate only the fifth grand slam championship in the PBA’s 39-year history about three weeks ago, I’m reminded of one player, who was closely associated with the 6-foot-2 Mixers star during his college days at the University of the East. Maybe, today’s UAAP basketball fans may no longer remember him, but I’m talking about JayArr Estrada. JayArr used to be UE’s starting power forward under coach Boycie Zamar from 2001 to…

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A Personal Letter From A Victory-Bulacan ‘Radical’ ?>

A Personal Letter From A Victory-Bulacan ‘Radical’

Just last Thursday, I received a Facebook personal message from my friend King. His letter contained a summarized note of how we met seven years ago, back when he was still a struggling college student/taekwondo jin at Far Eastern University. At that time, I was serving as a LifeBox campus minister/Victory U-Belt pastor. We met for the first time at Victory U-Belt’s youth service one Friday evening, where he was invited by his classmate Avon. King has gone a long…

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Faith Story From A Cancer Victor (Part 2 Of 3) ?>

Faith Story From A Cancer Victor (Part 2 Of 3)

Facing cancer is never easy. Just ask Olive Dantes, who works as an administrative staff at the Arellano University in Legarda, Sampaloc, Manila. Money is the prevailing issue when a debilitating disease like cancer strikes you. In a life and death situation, Olive confessed that all the more, she clung to God’s word. Without money to sustain her operation for cervical cancer, Olive recounted how God responded to her prayer when she started looking for a doctor specializing in cervical…

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