Philippines, Sports, television

In 100 Words: FIBA Asia Championship on TV5 and BTV

The 2015 FIBA Asia Championship will be seen on BTV from September 23 to October 3. Gilas Pilipinas games will be simulcast live on TV5 as well. (Logo courtesy of FIBA)

The FIBA Asia Championship will be on two different stations starting tomorrow.

For starters, the rights for every FIBA regional qualifying event (except Africa and Oceania) are currently held by Solar Entertainment’s Basketball TV. The said network has covered the Americas and Eurobasket championships, which were won by Venezuela and Spain respectively, and now it’s the turn of the Asian nations to qualify for the Olympics.

All games of the FIBA Asia Championship will air on BTV. The Gilas Pilipinas games will be simulcast live on TV5, unless they consider covering non-Gilas games on AksyonTV (and to a lesser extent, TV5) as well.

The 2015 FIBA Asia Championship will be held at Changsha-Hunan, China, and will run from September 23 to October 3. Full schedule can be clicked here.

Good luck, Gilas Pilipinas.

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FTT Year 2013 in Review: TV5

Another year is about to end. But before the calendar flips to 2014, here is a look back at the year that was in television and radio. This article will focus on TV5, which enjoyed a slow start before rebounding with a respectable fourth quarter.

The Positives

After it was suspended for a good part of last year because of the you-know-what, T3: Reload rebounded in 2013 with a more toned-down approach, yet maintaining the same ol’ nastiness that the Tulfo brothers constantly address to the bullies and anomalous officials. This year also saw Radyo5 welcome Ben Tulfo and his ‘Bitag sa Radyo’ program after its departure from UNTV, in the process uniting the three brothers on the same umbrella, with Erwin also co-anchoring ‘Punto Asintado’ with Martin Andanar and Raffy hosting ‘Wanted sa Radyo’ with Nina Taduran.

In September, TV5 hired Noel Lorenzana in an effort to overhaul its programming. The end result were three program blocks: ‘Weekend Do It Better’, ‘Everyday All the Way’, and ‘KBO: Karunungan, Balita at Opinyon’. This alternative programming approach would bear fruit by the end of the year, as several of its programs finished among the Top 15 in the Nielsen Media Research ratings. In addition, the network’s willingness to reach out to a younger audience also paid dividends, as programs such as ‘SpinNation’ were among the top trending topics on Twitter.

TV5 also scored big in its sports coverage, with the recent airings of the PBA Commissioner’s Cup and Governors’ Cup Finals, and the Gilas Pilipinas games at the FIBA Asia Championship earning high viewership figures. And to cap off a resurgent finish to the year, TV5 officially christened the new TV5 Media Center in Mandaluyong City.

The Negatives

Under Perci Intalan, TV5 tried to compete against more established powers GMA and ABS-CBN. However, it only resulted in revenue losses. None of TV5’s own teleseryes (‘Kidlat‘, ‘Undercover’, ‘Cassandra: Warrior Angel’, ‘Misibis Bay’, ‘Enchanted Garden‘, ‘Never Say Goodbye’) even made noise in the teleserye wars, and programs such as ‘Jeepney Jackpot’, ‘Kanta Pilipinas‘, ‘Alabang Housewives’ and ‘Boracay Bodies’ were critical failures.

But perhaps the most crucial reason behind the reformat was ‘Wowowillie‘. The noontime show, a symbol of the Intalan era, finally left the airwaves in October after three years, numerous controversies and massive losses. Host Willie Revillame would ‘retire’ shortly afterwards. In addition, TV5 originals ‘Face to Face’ and ‘Talentadong Pinoy‘ were also cancelled; its hosts Amy Perez and Ryan Agoncillo would secure new contracts with ABS-CBN and GMA respectively after departing.

TV5 also encountered numerous problems with its sports coverage. In May, they cut block-time ties with IBC-13, but were urged to stay until the PBA Governors’ Cup eliminations. As a result the NCAA was forced to air its nightly games on AksyonTV; the long-delayed finals was aired on TV5 in the early afternoon. And to cap off, many PBA fans were angered when TV5 decided to air only the ‘marquee’ games of the ongoing Philippine Cup live during weeknights and Saturdays, leaving the signal-deficient AksyonTV to air the rest.

Outlook

The motto for TV5 this 2014 should be ‘There’s nowhere to go but up’. With Noel Lorenzana spearheading the rebuilding project, TV5 will continue its commitment to programs that are favorable to younger and socially active citizens. And as they open the TV5 Media Center, it appears that things are on the upswing.

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Philippines, Sports

In 100 Words: Pinoy Basketball Feeling the Heat

Last night saw San Mig Coffee’s Marc Pingris engage in a fist-fight with Globalport’s Kelly Nabong. Last Sunday witnessed La Salle fan JJ Atayde shout heckling Ateneo head coach Bo Perasol, and then during the prior week three UE players were slapped with suspensions for unsportsmanlike fouls.

It has been a rough week for basketball in the Philippines, especially off the heels of a successful hosting stint in the FIBA Asia Championship. Poor officiating, unnecessary physicality, and fans cursing at players and coaches, have threatened the integrity of the sport. Unless they tone down on these actions, it may be a matter of time before FIBA acts on the matter.

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New Schedules for the PBA, UAAP & NCAA

Sports venues like the Mall of Asia Arena lay quiet during the rampage of the Southwest monsoon caused by Typhoon Maring, as the PBA, UAAP and NCAA cancelled the games played from August 19-22.

The past four days have not been kind to Filipino sports fans. The Southwest monsoon and Typhoon Maring brought heavy rains and floods to Metro Manila, causing school and office cancellations. Sporting events were not spared either.

The NCAA postponed two playdates in the ongoing basketball competitions. Instead the August 19 playdate will be played on August 26, while the August 22 playdate will be played on August 29. The August 26 games will feature junior and senior matches pitting Lyceum of the Philippines against San Sebastian College-Recoletos, and De La Salle-College of St. Benilde against the University of Perpetual Help-DALTA. The August 29 games will pit Emilio Aguinaldo College against Mapua Institute of Technology in both the juniors and seniors. In addition, they rescheduled the badminton, swimming and chess competitions for next week.

The UAAP also postponed its basketball competitions during the week. The seniors games for August 21 would have pitted the University of the Philipppines against the University of the East, and Ateneo de Manila University against the University of Sto. Tomas. Likewise the women’s and juniors matches were postponed. In addition, the opening of beach volleyball and badminton was moved to August 31. It is likely the postponed basketball games will be played during the week after the cheerdance competitions.

The PBA, already scrambling to make up for the long break caused by the FIBA Asia Championships, postponed its August 21 playdates pitting the Alaska Aces against the Talk N’ Text Tropang Texters, and Globalport Batang Pier against Barangay Ginebra San Miguel. Instead the league revised its schedule, adding two Tuesday playdates in addition to the Wednesday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday games to make up for an already compressed conference schedule. The Alaska-Talk N’ Text game was moved to September 6, while the Globalport-Ginebra match was moved to September 20. In addition, no playdates at Antipolo’s Ynares Center were booked, instead some games will be moved to the Cuneta Astrodome, while one playdate will be held at the PhilSports Arena.

During the postponements, Studio 23 and AksyonTV aired reruns of prior games. However, with the improving weather conditions, it is back to normal for the production crews of both networks. And the fans cannot wait to watch their favorite teams play again after a four-day weather delay.

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Proud Run for Gilas Pilipinas

While the Philippines finished with a silver medal, they were assured a trip to the 2014 FIBA Basketball World Cup in Spain.

Over 19,000 spectators, majority of which are Filipinos, filled the Mall of Asia Arena to watch the final of the FIBA Asia Championship. A lot was at stake, the foremost of which is the gold medal and a claim to be the best in Asia. Both the Philippines and Iran were assured a trip to Spain for the 2014 FIBA Basketball World Cup, but they still battled through 40 minutes of intense action in an effort to lay claim as Asia’s best team.

While Gilas Pilipinas fought toe-to-toe with the Iranians, the law of averages eventually caught up with them. Iran was too tall and too skilled to overcome, eventually winning the contest 85-71. Still, the loss did not dampen the Filipino spirit, as it showed throughout the tournament that whatever the Filipinos lacked in ceiling, they made it up with heart, grit and resiliency, traits that made this year’s Gilas Pilipinas team special.

All it took was full support from the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas, the PBA, and the Filipino people, for making this possible. The PBA delayed it’s season-ending Governor’s Cup just to have its national team players practice and breed chemistry in time for the tournament. Though there were some obstacles along the way, Gilas Pilipinas made sure they make the most out of the preparations for the tournament. 

For eight playing days, Gilas Pilipinas fought with some of Asia’s best, and through those battles they somehow found ways to win all the way to the final. The most impressive victory for the nationals came on August 10 against Korea, beating them 86-79 in order to book a trip to the Basketball World Cup. Though a loss to Iran dropped them to a silver finish, it was a marked improvement from their 4th place finish in the 2011 tournament, one credited to the faith, planning and preparation of the players, coaches and management. 

With the successful hosting of the FIBA Asia Championship now in the books, the Filipino basketball scene returns to normal. The NCAA resumes the final few games of the first round today, while the UAAP second round and the PBA Governor’s Cup gets underway on Wednesday. Meanwhile, the next round of planning and preparation for Gilas Pilipinas begins today, this time for the 2014 FIBA Basketball World Cup in Spain. It may be a long shot, but it is possible that the Philippines can finish impressively in the world stage.

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country, Philippines, Sports

The FIBA Asia Championship in Manila

The FIBA Asia Championship will be held in the Philippines for the first time in 40 years, and it will draw a 15-nation field.

For the first time in 40 years, the FIBA Asia Championship will be held in Manila. A majority of the matches will be held on the state-of-the-art Mall of Asia Arena, with Basketball TV as the primary broadcast partner and Sports5 as the secondary. The tournament will be held from August 1-11, with the first three days of the tournament dedicated for the group stage and the remaining eight days are for the knockout stages.

China is the defending champion in the 15-country tourney. Lebanon was stripped of participation from the tournament in the wake of tensions within the country and its basketball federation ; they were also stripped of hosting rights for the same reason. Other strong countries in the tournament are Iran, Jordan, Chinese Taipei, Japan, and Korea. Host Philippines will be a dark horse in the tournament, considering the lack of success the country has had in international competitions.

To give full support to the national team, the PBA elected to delay its season-ending Governors Cup to the second week of August. This will give practice and bonding time for the national team, while giving the league franchises time to strengthen their rosters. The UAAP and NCAA also elected to start their seasons earlier than usual, with a two-week break in order to give way to the FIBA Asia Championship.

All matches involving the Philippine team will be seen on VHF channel TV5. Select other matches will be seen on UHF channel AksyonTV. The entirety of the FIBA Asia Championship will be on cable channel Basketball TV.

The medal winners in the tournament are granted automatic qualification spots for the 2014 FIBA Basketball World Cup in Spain.

To the participating nations in the tournament, best of luck to all.

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