Posted by: cruisec0ntr0l | August 18, 2016

CrossFit MNL introduces Run MNL

Posted by: cruisec0ntr0l | June 14, 2016

And she’s going to the 2016 Rio Olympics!


All’s well, that ends well…marathon wonder girl Mary Joy Tabal has been reinstated by PATAFA, and will now live her dream of representing the country in the most prestigious sporting event in the world.

Here’s a copy of the letter PATAFA has sent to Mary Joy…


I would also like to share the official.statement of PATAFA regarding her reinstatement.


Posted by: cruisec0ntr0l | June 13, 2016



Mary Joy Tabal is keen on living her dream of being an olympian, now in talks with PATAFA. (Photo from Cebu Daily News)


Ms. Mary Joy Tabal has taken another step in her request to be reinstated in the PATAFA national team.
We met with Tabal and her major supporter, Cebu-based Motor Ace Philippines, represented by Messrs Jonel and Chippy Borromeo, both active sports benefactors.

We discussed the direction which Tabal wishes to take with respect to her future as a national athlete bearing in mind the short term, the forthcoming Rio Olympics, and  the medium and long terms, after the Rio Olympics.
In accordance with IOC, POC, IAAF and PATAFA requirements, we sent Tabal to the PSC Sports Science Center , headed by Dr Alex Pineda, for the mandatory, unannounced out-of-competition drug/doping test. Results will be known in 10 calendar days.

Tabal has agreed to comply with all PATAFA rules and regulations, both existing and still to be promulgated, although certain matters remain to be discussed  with regard to where she will train and who her coach shall be.
We will process all that we took up during what was a fruitful discussion and will need a few days to promulgate our final position on her reinstatement .

Thank you…

Here’s to hoping that everything will be settled at the soonest possible time so Mary Joy could buckle down to work and concentrate on her training for the Rio Olympics 2016.

MANILA – She is the unstoppable force who has hailed the most lauded volleyball performances for herself, her Ateneo Lady Eagles team and even her teammates from around the country. With a combination of winning serves, hits and spikes under her belt, multi-award-winning athlete and PLDT HOME Ultera ambassador Alyssa Valdez never fails to unleash her “Phenom” side on court. But what makes her the real MVP is how eager she is to share her talent and passion with the rest of the Philippine volleyball community.

She kicked off her post-collegiate volleyball career with the Alyssa Valdez Skills Camp dedicated to young athletes who are looking to improve their skills and dedication to the sport. After four cities and two weeks of intense volleyball training and exhibition games, her exciting project drew to a close recently through an all-star game at De La Salle, Dasmariñas.

“What an impressive list of feats Alyssa carries! We are so proud of her commitment to the sport she loves, not only for herself, but also for those who look up to her,” PLDT VP and HOME Marketing Director Gary Dujali said. “With the Alyssa Valdez Skills Camp, she was able to inspire more young athletes to be like her—really go all out on court. We are happy to have her as part of the PLDT HOME Ultera family as she shares the same values of promoting sports excellence and also maintaining strong connections with her family, which she is able to perfectly balance with her volleyball career.”

“The past few weeks have been challenging but completely rewarding,” Valdez shared. “I was able to see how much the volleyball community has grown and how much talent Filipinos have. I was thrilled to help some of them on their path to volleyball success. I am very grateful to brands like PLDT HOME Ultera for sharing a love for volleyball and helping make activities like this possible.”

The culminating event brought together the season’s top campers to play alongside the Volley Friends and mentors such as John Vic De Guzman, Mylene Paat, Shaya Adorador, EJ Laure, May Luna, and Valdez herself in an ultra-fun all-star game, which had the participants’ families cheering on them.

“Sobrang nagpapasalamat ako na nakilala ko si Alyssa sa Skills Camp,” shared one of the Skills Camp participants. “Madami siyang naturong skills sa akin at siya talaga ang nag-inspire sa akin na galingan pa sa volleyball. Ipinakita niya sa amin ang tamang ugali sa paglalaro at itinuro niya na dapat mahalin talaga namin ito. Sana maging kasing-galing din niya ako!”

The Alyssa Valdez Skills Camp ran from May 5 to May 22 in Laguna, Cubao, Batangas and Cainta and was supported by PLDT HOME Ultera as part of itsongoing mission to promote volleyball to young athletes at the grassroots level. More than supporting sports development, Ultera continues its main goal to make broadband connection accessible to more Filipinos. Now that the Skills Camp is over, Valdez will be joining PLDT HOME Ultera Install Patrol, a nationwide tour which brings ultra-fast LTE connection to more homes with its new Plan 699, the most affordable home broadband plan.

PLDT HOME Ultera offers PLDT HOME’s most affordable LTE broadband with the all-new Plan 699! Log on to for more ultra-fun offers.


Multi-awarded-athlete and PLDT HOME Ultera ambassador Alyssa Valdez


The season’s top campers came together at the culminating event at Dasmarinas, Cavite for an ultra-fun all-star game with their camp mentors and Volley Friends.


Alyssa Valdez, together with her Volley Friends, inspired more young athletes to become excellent at their sport and bring more pride to Philippine volleyball.



The running community recently celebrated the success of Mary Joy Tabal hitting the Olympic standard for marathon. Joy ran a 2:43:30-hour marathon time at the 2016 Scotiabank Ottawa Marathon, beating the 2:45-hour standard for her to join the Olympics. While the running community celebrates, there are mixed feelings inside the Philippine Athletics Track and Field Association (PATAFA).

PATAFA is the national  HYPERLINK “” \o “Sport governing body” governing body for  HYPERLINK “” \o “Athletics (sport)” athletics sports such as  HYPERLINK “” \o “Track and field” track and field,  HYPERLINK “” \o “Road running” road running,  HYPERLINK “” \o “Cross country running” cross country running, and  HYPERLINK “” \o “Race walking” race walking in the  HYPERLINK “” \o “Philippines” Philippines. It provides guidance and support to select athletes to perform their best and represent the country.  PATAFA has a rich history of coaching, even enroling the help of athletes like the legendary Dick Beardsley to help with training its athletes.

PATAFA is responsible for selecting the official track and field delegation of the Philippines to the Olympics. But it has a sad history with Mary Joy Tabal.

In October 2014, Mary Joy Tabal, along with other standout athletes, was recommended by the coaching staff to be included in the national team. Four months later in February 2015, PATAFA communicated Tabal’s official inclusion to national team. This means that she is now part of the privileged few who would receive coaching so that she can represent the country in milestone events like the SEA Games and the Olympics.

Part of PATAFA’s responsibilities would be to keep national athletes at theirS best.  It means helping them make choices on training, including the races to run. This is very important for long distance events like the marathon.  In elite athletics, marathoners should not take part in more than two marathon races within a span of 12 months. Based on scientific studies, participation in a marathon taxes the body tremendously down to the cellular level.

From a layman’s standpoint, Elites may just appear as running effortlessly at a constant pace for 42KM. But inside the body of the elite marathoner running an average pace of 3:45min/KM is a totally different story. Running a marathon at this pace imposes a huge demand on the different physiological systems of the body.  It strains the bones and joints, muscles, tendons, ligaments, blood vessels, to the extent that challenges the maximal limit of the athlete’s body.

PATAFA takes care of its long distance athletes that is why these physiological facts are explained to the athletes in detail. It is also why PATAFA requires agreement to rules and regulations that come with being part of the National team. This includes consistently informing PATAFA of athletic activities that may potentially hinder performance in offical events where the country is represented.

Joy Tabal was a special case. Because of her talent, she was granted certain exceptions. For example, while other athletes were required to relocate to the Philsports training camp and be supervised by duly designated national coaches, Joy was allowed to be based in Cebu. She received special treatment upon her request.  It was an assumption that her personal coach would be able to provide guidance, but with inputs from PATAFA.

Slowly, these exceptions, became a source of alarm to PATAFA.  Tabal began racing without discretion; meaning, she runs and wins events but with a long term negative impact on her legs. 

Prior to her inclusion into the national team, Tabal won the December 2014 Milo Marathon Finals. Apart from the cash prize she, she and the male marathon champion Rafael Poliquit were awarded an all expense paid entry to the 2015 Los Angeles (LA) Marathon.  They were, of course, advised by the PATAFA leadership to forego the LA Marathon trip as it would impact their training for the forthcoming 2015 SEA Games. Participating too soon in a race would also adversely affect their long term athletic performance. Aside from this, PATAFA had already developed a two-year program for both of them to reach their optimum potential as marathoners with the 2016 Olympics as the ultimate goal. This meant being selective with their races, to give the Philippines the best opportunity during the Olympic games.

Unfortunately, both advice and explanation went unheeded.  Both Tabal and Poliquit raced the LA Marathon without sanction from PATAFA. Upon their return from the US, they were asked to submit a letter of explanation why they have disregarded the express advise of PATAFA.

Immediately, Poliquit drew up a letter of apology, citing error in judgment for his non-compliance and promised to abide with the NSA directives and regulations from then on. Poliquit’s case was then resolved and closed. Tabal’s case had a different twist.

Instead of writing a letter of apology, or explanation at the very least, Tabal wrote a lengthy letter of justification for her decision.  She cited that Milo pressured her to join the LA Marathon as part of her “contractual” obligation in winning the Milo Marathon.  PATAFA sought the side of Milo; the latter denied that it ever pressured Tabal to run the LA Marathon. They maintained that the LA Marathon participation was actually a privilege for the Milo Marathon winners, and not an obligation. In short, it was up to the winners to take that privilege. They were disappointed that Tabal lied.

But the racing continued.  Even after the LA Marathon, Tabal went on joining local races, with 21K as minimum distances. She continued to disregard her obligation as a National Team member, disheartening teammates who abided by the PATAFA guidelines, and lowered her chances of peak performance at the 2015 SEA Games where she was to represent the country. 

While disappointed, PATAFA retained their belief in Tabal. Some officers saw Tabal’s potential and the missed opportunity if she won’t be able to compete in the SEA Games.  With insistent prodding, Tabal submitted an apology message so that she can compete. Instead of writing a formal apology letter, she sent a short casual text message to PATAFA President Philip Juico.

Juico, in his genuineness, never took slight and believed in Tabal’s apology over SMS. He took it as an indication of Tabal’s sincerity. Tabal then competed in the SEA Games and as predicted, ran very poorly with a time of 3:15 hours. Her time was estimated to be at least 20 minutes better had she listened to the PATAFA and kept her commitment as a National Team athlete.

Right after the SEA Games, PATAFA learned that Tabal was again joining a string of local long distance races. This included a triathlon event that would severely impact the long term plans for the Olympics. PATAFA leadership was very unhappy with Tabal’s decisions, and what they discovered to be her unmanageable and prideful attitude. They directed her to submit a letter of explanation for the unsanctioned activities and for continuing to disregard her responsibilities as a National Athlete.

Tabal responded on August 13, 2015: a 3-page, impeccably written, legalese sounding resignation letter. Saddened by the loss of potential, PATAFA President Philip Juico accepted her resignation.

All the while, as she continued winning races, Tabal remains a hero.  She is fast and strong, and there was never a mention of how she conducts herself outside of the races. She is portrayed as a hero.  In fact, a Cinderella who trains on her own and blossoms into a winner in all the events she joins.

This is the reason why PATAFA is having such a conflicted time with Joy’s qualification to the Olympic Standard.  Achieving the standard is an eligibility to be included in the competition; it is not an outright prerogative.  In order to join the Olympics, Tabal first needed to make herself be part of the national team and commit herself to the team and to the body that governs the team.  But she was unwilling to make that commitment and in fact, voluntarily resigned from the National Team in 2015.

Everyone immediately presumes Tabal’s inclusion into the Philippine Olympic team.  But that presumption is tantamount to penalizing all national team members who have toiled under the challenging conditions of being a national athlete and remained faithful to the sport and the association. After all of what Tabal has demonstrated to PATAFA, it is now a difficult decision to endorse her as a representative of the Philippines, selected to mirror the ideals and attitudes of the country.

This decision matters because Tabal will never win the Olympics.  Her participation is a matter of pride for the Philippines, and supposedly a personal honor for her.

Tabal’s qualifying time is 2:43 hours. She is far from the Women’s leading time of 2:19 hours, while the top 23rd women marathoner clocked in at 2:27 hours. “Team B” qualifiers for the US Team is 2:45 hours. By extrapolation, Tabal’s time will put her outside the top 100. If ever she makes it in the Olympics, right before she steps into the starting line, she’s already guaranteed to land on the tail end of the race. Also, by refusing to listen to PATAFA guidance, Tabal is sure to have destroyed her legs for the Olympics.  She has run two hard marathons in the span of one month in order to qualify. In all practical consideration, her participation will not even be felt by her competitors.

Tabal’s participation in the Olympics was never about her winning it.  She was to be groomed as the representation of the Filipino athlete. Talented, driven, and passionate about the sport. PATAFA knows that she will never win, but does she truly deserve to represent the sport?

The cost of her participation will be shouldered by taxpayers, and it is PATAFA’s choice to send her or not.  Sadly, it now seems like asking Filipinos to chip in to fund a millennial who wants to prove an egotistical point.  That an athlete can be undisciplined and disrespectful, so long as a qualifying time is met.  People are celebrating, but what are they truly celebrating? It is PATAFA’s opinion that perhaps, with more maturity and humility, Mary Joy Tabal can represent the country for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

1.       October 2014, Tabal recommended by coaching staff to be included in PATAFA national team
2.       December 2014, Tabal wins the 2014 Milo Marathon Finals (among Filipino competitors). It turns out that part of her prize, aside from the cash, was the privilege/option to compete in the 2015 Los Angeles (LA) Marathon in April 2015.
3.       Upon learning of that trip, PATAFA advises Tabal not to compete in LA because of great possibility of negative impact on SEA Games in June 2015 and, Olympics in 2016. In fact, PATAFA was preparing a two-year special training program for her with funds from PSC and the private sector . Overseas coaches like world class runner from the States, Dick Beardsley strongly advised her to refrain from running more than two marathons a year: an advice repeated by other experts and physiologists and adopted by PATAFA as its guideline.
4.       Four months later, or about February 2015, PATAFA communicated Tabal’s official inclusion to the national team. Tabal granted Special Permission to be based and train in Cebu after some discussions with PATAFA. It was hoped that her personal coach (not accredited by PATAFA) would guide her with inputs from PATAFA. She was therefore granted exceptions which later became a source of alarm for PATAFA
5.       The advice to Tabal, now a requirement she was already part of the national team, went unheeded and she competed in LA because “she was forced by MILO”, a claim MILO later denies saying it was just an option granted to Tabal (and the male runner Rafael Poliquit).
6.       Even after LA, Tabal went on joining local (mainly Cebu) races because of “commitment to sponsors”, with 21 K as minimum distances. She continued to disregard her obligation as a National Team member disheartening and demoralizing teammates who religiously followed PATAFA guidelines
7.       After insistent prodding, Tabal apologized to PATAFA President Philip Ella Juico, BY TEXT. Juico accepted the apology.
8.       June 2015, Tabal wins silver medal in SEA Games with a poor time of 3:15, probably 20 minutes slower than what it would have been had she listened to PATAFA to refrain from running too often
9.       Right after the SEA Games, PATAFA learned (Tabal was not even providing PATAFA with a schedule of her activities) Tabal was joining a string of local long distance races including the triathlon which could severely affect the training program drawn up by PATAFA for her
10.   PATAFA directed her to submit a letter of explanation for the unsanctioned activities and her continued insubordination
11.   On August 13, 2015, Tabal submitted a three-page, impeccably written, legalese-sounding resignation letter.
12.   Juico, upon quick consultation with PATAFA executive committee and coaches, immediately accepted her letter
13.   On May 29, 2016, Tabal reportedly meets the lowered qualifying standard of 2:45 (to accommodate more participants to create more impact on TV and on Olympic sponsors.
14.   NOTE: Tabal’s 2:43 is far from the women’s leading time of 2:19 while the top 23rd marathoner clocked 2:27. It’s likely that Tabal’s time will put her outside the top 100, if she makes it to the Olympics.

This is PATAFA’s press statement regarding this issue, wishing Mary Joy Tabal and her camp would air their side soon and I hope that everything could still be ironed out. Photo grabbed from

Posted by: cruisec0ntr0l | May 27, 2016

World Vision Run 2016: Run for Health and Nutrition


"When you run for World Vision, you're not just running for your own health, but for children."


Running is arguably one of the most popular sports today — and the most preferred fitness exercise by Filipinos. It boasts of many health benefits, promotes healthy lifestyle, prolongs life and in some cases, may even save lives. 

World Vision Run is an annual charity event that promotes healthy lifestyle through running, while also raising funds to help secure a better future for thousands of Filipino children. When you run for World Vision, you’re not just running for your own health, but for children. 

Malnutrition is still one of the leading health problems among Filipino children. The National Nutrition Survey shows that 2 out of 10 children under 5 are malnourished. Meanwhile, 10 million children die before their 5th birthday every year due to preventable diseases. 

For almost 60 years in the Philippines, World Vision has taken huge strides to ensure that Filipino children enjoy the fullness of life they deserve. Proceeds from this charity event will be used to fund nutrition interventions in areas where chronic malnutrition is most prevalent. 

Now on its 5th year, World Vision Run offers a bigger and more fun-filled activities the whole family will enjoy. The event is happening on June 26, 2016 at the Blue Bay Walk in Pasay City. Race categories include 3k, 5k, 10k 21k, and a 500-meter dash for kids. The event is co-presented by Run Rio, Inc. 


June 26, 2016, 3:30 AM – 9:30 AM
Blue Bay Walk, Pasay City

World Vision Run 2016

ONLINE: April 18 to June 12 at
IN-STORE: May 16 to June 19









Option 1


Option 2




Kindly check for updated race routes.


• Race Kits may run out before last day of registraGon, therefore registration may end earlier than announced deadline.
• Tech Shirt size and color availability will be on a first come first serve basis. A timing device will be used by all participants during the race.
• Parents or guardians who want to accompany their child needs to register for the 3k category


For more information about World Vision Run 2016 and registration details,, like World Vision Run’s official Facebook page.

Posted by: cruisec0ntr0l | April 21, 2016

Test the feel of the Newton V5


Last week, we were invited by Newton Running PH to test the feel of the Newton V5. Runners asked to try out the latest shoe from Newton so we could test and feel the difference of the shoe’s patent technology. It’s not a “love at first sight” type of shoe…you have to adjust and get used to landing on your forefoot to fully understand and benefit from it.


I really can’t say much about the shoe since I was only able to use it for a short run, but with current AsPac CTiM70.3 Subic Bay champ Craig “Crowie” Alexander attesting to the shoe’s great performance, so if you are willing to shift to “natural running”, this shoe is definitely a must try.

The following are infos and specs about the Newton V5.









The Newton V5 is now available at all Runnr stores, you can also follow them in IG at @newtonrunningph and @runnrph.


Last weekend, more than a thousand boys and girls trooped to the Don Bosco Technical Institute in Makati City for the Manila Regional Selection Camp for the JrNBA and JrWNBA, where talented basketball players who’ll stand out will advance and join other players from around the country for the National Training Camp to be held 22-24 April 2016 at Don Bosco and Mall of Asia Music Hall.


Day 1 was the usual elimination day where all aspirants go through a series of “tests”…each one aching to put on a show to impress the coaches, to earn a ticket to the next round where the try outs would be more intense.


Notable among those who made it to the next round is Kai Zachary Sotto, who at only 13years old, already stands 6’9″ tall. Though still a bit lanky, this boy is indeed a project. He is the son of former pro baller Ervin Sotto, who i’m sure is excited to see his son excel (if not dominate) in the sport.


40 boys and 24 girls were divided into teams wherein they will be pitted against each other in a series of scrimmages to see who among them would stand out.

At the end of the day, 8 girls and 16 boys made the cut and will advance to the National Training camp this weekend.

*photo courtesy of Jamil Buergo

Girls: (8)
Dianne Camille Nolasco
Lalaine Gonzales
Carly Monreal
Lindsey Nacional
Magda Lioui Flores
Ma Cecilia Quilenderino
Princess Marie Villarin
Jonalyn Bongalos

Boys: (16)
Mark Glenn Gabon
Luis Gabriel Aguila
Anjelo Raphael Argente
Jhondhel Austria
Jearico Nunez
Kai Zachary Sotto
Andrei Philip Lechoncito
Mark Nicole Lucban
Reich Randell Villegas
Prince Junnell De Belen
Pauloh Villarin
Patrick Lance Inting
Jericho Ross Paglinawan
Miguel Rey Luis Tan
Devon Dein Diez 
Russel Ducanes


For general information about Jr. NBA and Jr. WNBA Philippines presented by Alaska please visit,, and  For live updates log on to  HYPERLINK “” follow us on FB, IG and Twitter @playph #jrnba #jrwnba.



The Jr.NBA and Jr.WNBA Presented by Alaska continues its search for the best basketball players in the country when it holds its last Regional Selection Camp at the Don Bosco Institute, Makati on April 9 and 10.
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 boy and girl coaches who will handle the two teams.
The All-Star Team will travel 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.
It 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 Don Bosco Institute in Makati or online through    
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. 

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 in the same venue 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 Manila, the Regional Selection Camps were also held at Davao City, Cebu City and Baguio City.  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,, and  For live updates log on to  HYPERLINK “” follow us on FB, IG and Twitter @playph #jrnba #jrwnba.



Athletics National Open Attracts Top Athletes

Anticipation for the 2016 Ayala Philippine National Open Invitational Athletics Championships is reaching fever-pitch. Over 1,000 athletes have already signed up for the annual athletics meet organized by the PATAFA.
This year’s version of the National open is unique in many ways. First, this year’s championships year marks the forging of a long-term partnership between Ayala Corporation and the PATAFA, after long hours of comprehensive discussions. Hence, the 2016 edition is billed the Ayala Philippine National Open-Invitational Athletics Championships. In addition, this year’s National Open returns to the Philippine capital, the hub of athletics in the country. The three-day scorching, live, action-packed competition will be held on April 7, 8, and 9 in PhilSports (formerly ULTRA) in Pasig. It will be open to the public.
The competition will kick off at daybreak on April 7 then culminate on April 9 by 5:00pm. On each day, competitions will start at 6 AM and then have a 6-hour mid-day break and resume at 4 P.M. to end at 8 P.M. The six-hour break is to give the competitors and technical officials a respite from the extreme summer heat and to follow international conventional practice
The 2016 Open is anticipated to be a tightly contested championships as the July 11 deadline for the submission of Olympic qualifiers draws near. The championships will showcase the athletic prowess of current members of the national athletics team pitted against the best of the best across the archipelago. This year, expected to provide tough competition are over 1,000 up-and-coming and powerhouse track and field athletes all over the Philippines plus invited young and top-notch athletes from neighboring Asian countries such as South Korea, Malaysia (expected to field teams from Peninsular Malaysia and Sabah), Singapore, Hong Kong, Guam, Brjunei and Mongolia. The Philippines will, on the other hand, field entries from the national team, the national training pool and collegiate leagues like the UAAP, NCAA, SCUAA.
Interest will also be focused on Fil-American standouts from the national team and a new batch of crack Fil-heritage athletes, who have served notice of their desire to participate in the three-day event as part of their plan to join the national team. As members of the national team they will have a shot at competing in the 2016 Rio Olympics and succeeding competitions like the 2017 SEA Games in Malaysia, the 2018 Asian Games in Indonesia, the 2019 SEA Games in the Philippines and the 2020 Olympics in Japan.
Leading the Fil-Am charge are Rio Olympics qualifier Eric Cray who will see action in the 100m and 400m Hurdles and currently ranks 38th in the world; Caleb Stuart, the 2015 Southeast Asian Games Hammer Throw record holder; and, Donovant Arriola, bronze medalist in Long Jump in the Singapore SEA Games. A returnee to the Open is Brandon Thomas who has joined Eric Cray as the latter’s training partner in Texas. Thomas, who competed in the 2015 National Open in Sta Cruz, Laguna, can run a time good enough to qualify for the 7th Asian Indoor Championship in Doha, Qatar, and hopefully, the World indoors (in Eugene, Oregon). Thomas will compete in the 100 and 200 meter runs.
Hopes are high that a good number of Philippine athletes, with its formidable squad of young and experienced home grown and overseas-trained athletes, will spring surprises in delivering record setting performances in this year’s Open.
A host of crack tracksters from across Asia and the Pacific are expected to mount stiff opposition to the Philippine athletes. Worth anticipating are the performances of Lee Gyu Hyeong and Kim So Yeon from South Korea, and Shanti Pereira of Singapore for the sprints, and Muhd Mat Hasan, Rayzam Wan Sofian, and Raja Azhar of Malaysia in the hurdles event.

Who to watch out for in the 2016 APNOIAC
Aside from Cray and Stuart, local athletics stalwarts may spring some sizzling athletics performances in the upcoming championships. Marestella Torres, at 35, and probably maybe one of the oldest contenders in the competition, is still expected to perform creditably. Torres holds both the RP and SEA Games records in Long Jump at 6.71m. She will compete in the same event on April 7 in pursuit of a Rio Olympics slot. This may also be her swansong to top-level athletics.
At the other end of the age spectrum is Ernest John (EJ) Obiena, one of the youngest members of Team Pilipinas Athletics. EJ, at 20 years old, now holds the distinction of setting the year’s best in Southeast Asia for Pole Vault with a record of 5.60m, 10cm short of the 5.70m Olympic qualifying mark. EJ recently barged into the top 100 pole vaulters in global tanking. He is expected to meet strong opposition from his Thai nemesis in the 2015 SEA Games. Also worth anticipating is Christopher Ulboc, reprising his 3000m Steeplechase SEA Games winning run. In a dramatic fashion, Ulboc pulled off a last minute finishing kick in his bread-and-butter event to cop the fifth gold medal for the Philippines in the Singapore SEA Games last year. Ulboc competes in the 3000m Steeplechase on April 8.

The 2016 Ayala Philippine National Open-Invitational Athletics Championships is title-sponsored by the Ayala Corporation, co-presented by Milo Nutri-up and the PATAFA supported in part by the Philippine Sports Commission and the IAAF with major sponsors Foton Philippines, PCSO, Summit Natural Drinking Water, Appeton, Asics Watch, L TimeStudio, and media partners Business Mirror, Business Mirror Health & Fitness Magazine, and the official radio station Mellow 94.7.

Daily schedule of events:





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