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EJ Obiena surpasses Asian record, snags gold in Austria meet

Obiena’s record-breaking 5.93-meter jump surpassed the 5.92-meter Asian record of Kazakhstan’s Igor Potapovich in 1988.

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Photo courtesy of Johanna Geron/Reuters

Thomasian pole vaulter Ernest John Obiena breaks the 1988 Asian record, and went with a gold finish at the 2021 Golden Roof Challenge in Austria on Saturday, September 11 (Sunday, September 12, Manila Time).

Obiena’s record-breaking 5.93-meter jump surpassed the 5.92-meter Asian record of Kazakhstan’s Igor Potapovich in 1988.

Obiena was assured of bagging the gold medal as his opponent bowed out at the height of 5.80 meters.

Still, the Thomasian pole vaulter was eager to clear 5.93 meters.

Obiena successfully vaulted over the 5.93-meter mark in his last attempt, leaving a mark in the Asian Pole vaulting history.

The Filipino pole vaulter also surpassed his own national record of 5.91m which he set in the Paris Diamond League last August 28.

USA’s Matt Ludwig settled for silver, while Turkish native Ersu Sasma finished bronze.

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Basketball

Chabi Yo bids UST goodbye, signs with Spanish team

Chabi Yo admitted that the pandemic ultimately affected his decision to go semi-pro in Europe.

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Christine Annmarie Tapawan/TomasinoWeb

UAAP Season 82 most valuable player Soulemane Chabi Yo parts ways with UST as he heads to Europe to play for a division 4 team in Spain.

The 6-foot-6 Beninese center will forego his final playing year for the University which is currently aimed to be held by mid-February of 2022.

“We are grateful for his playing years with UST and we wish him nothing but the best in his international basketball career,” Growling Tigers coach Jinino Manansala told TomasinoWeb.

Chabi Yo admitted that the pandemic ultimately affected his decision to go semi-pro in Europe.

“My plan was to finish my playing years in UST before leaving but since COVID came, that destroyed all the plans of everyone,” he wrote to coach Manansala.

When Chabi Yo told UST and its coaching staff about his decision, he mentioned that the time has come to pursue his personal goals.

“I already turn[ed] down so many offers each year but this time I decided to grab the opportunity. I still have a lot of things to improve. I wish I could stay but I also have my personal dreams and goals to achieve,” he added.

Chabi Yo dominated the UAAP during his one-and-done year, bagging the MVP title with 16.9 points per game and a league-best 14.7 rebounds per game. 

The 25-year-old big man was vital to UST’s finals run in 2019 as he led UST to a second-place finish, the University’s best placing since 2015.

With Chabi Yo’s departure, 6-foot-8 Senegal native and former NU Bulldog Adama Faye will serve as the University’s foreign student-athlete come UAAP Season 84.

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E-Sports

Thomasian esports CEO partners with Blacklist after PH CODM Champs victory

“Through this kind of platform, you can most likely meet your future business partners and friends so never limit yourself and always aim to go for greater things,” Gloria said.

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Thomasian CEO of Team Ultimate EPro Matt Gloria. Photo courtesy of Matt Gloria’s Facebook page

Renowned gaming organization Blacklist International is set to enter the world of Call of Duty: Mobile (CODM) after partnering with the new kings of Philippine CODM, Team Ultimate EPro.

18-year-old Thomasian psychology student and CEO of Team Ultimate EPro Matt Gloria made the partnership possible. As one of the youngest CEOs in the country’s gaming industry, he aims to break barriers in the PH esports arena.

Team Ultimate EPro will compete as Blacklist International Ultimate in the upcoming CODM World Championship 2021 — Garena Finals.

As a young adult, Gloria admitted that being a CEO and a student at the same time is not easy.

“I was able to learn how to balance everything right now and I guess it all became worth it despite the hardships I faced,” Gloria said in an exclusive interview with TomasinoWeb.

Gloria managed to maneuver his life as a CEO and as a student by making countless sacrifices to juggle his responsibilities.

“During my first year at UST, I had a hard time balancing my academic life and my life as an esports team owner due to the conflict in schedules. I admit that I missed some of my classes due to nightly meetings,” he added

Achieving three major events in just a couple of months, Gloria admitted that it was not an easy task for him to handle. But his vision of uplifting the PH esports community made it all possible.

“I believe that it takes a brave soul to take risky decisions and it showed. Team Ultimate won a collegiate event hosted by Fight Esports a few months ago for UST,” the young CEO said.

After sponsoring small teams that won local tournaments, Gloria trusted the process to mark his squad’s footprint in the local esports industry.

Placing first runner-up in the Philippine Pro Gaming League last December 2020, Gloria aggressively did everything in his power to bring in championship-caliber players that could help Team Ultimate EPro.

“I was being looked down on during the past few months and they would question the way I manage due to my aggressive offers on players and my aggressive buyouts from other organizations,” he said.

Gloria also acknowledged that his achievements would not be possible without the help of his management; they took things one step at a time, even without the guarantee of success in the path they are taking.

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“I’ll be honest, I thought doors closed on me already but it’s never about just that one door. It’s either you quit, find another door, or do everything to get in,” the esports team owner added.

Ultimate EPro climbed its way from the lower bracket to represent the Philippines in the CODM World Championship 2021 — Garena Finals.

Not only did they receive P330,000 as prize money, but they also left their mark on the local CODM scene, as they defeated the former Kings of Philippine CODM, Smart Omega Esports, or more popularly known as NRX Jeremiah 29:11

“The twice-to-beat advantage of Smart Omega was one of the things that intimidated us but the boys pushed through with everything they got,” Gloria said.

According to Gloria, it was this triumph in the National Championships that caught Blacklist International’s attention.

“Blacklist International saw the potential of my players and decided to give them a shot to represent their org as Blacklist International Ultimate,” he added.

With the achievement, a six month co-sponsorship from Blacklist resulted. Gloria also hopes that his team’s continuous success would leave a lasting impact on the Thomasian esports community.

“I encourage all the Thomasians out there to go outside of their comfort zone,” he added

Gloria also reminded the Thomasian community to explore new games and opportunities, meet new people, and most importantly, have fun.

“Through this kind of platform, you can most likely meet your future business partners and friends so never limit yourself and always aim to go for greater things,” he said.

Ultimate EPro is composed of team captain John Benedict “Jaben” Julio, Railey “Yobabs” Abrenica, Gian “Yato” Socao, Martin “Tin” Yap, Neil “Flex” Perez, and Aj “Eiji” Agbing.

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E-Sports

#SoloGrind: PH esports is full of potential, but lacks government support

While organizations such as Mineski and TNC have laid the groundwork for the Philippine esports community, the lack of government support has affected the ability of local gamers to maximize their full potential.

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Photo courtesy of Bren Esports’ Facebook page

What could have been one of the most significant achievements in Philippine esports history turned into a heartbreaker that the esports community may endure for a long time.

Riot Games announced that Bren Esports, the top-seeded team in Southeast Asia’s VALORANT Champions Tour, could not secure their visas for the Stage 3 Masters event to be held in Berlin from September 10 to September 19.

“Unfortunately, with tightening travel restrictions around the world due to changing COVID-19 developments, we were unable to secure the necessary travel visas for Bren Esports, the number one seeded team from Southeast Asia,” Head of Competitive Operations for VALORANT Esports Alex Francois said in the statement.

The esports scene in the Philippines has boomed, and it continues to do so as Filipino gamers have earned their way to go international.

In 2017, the Games and Amusement Board (GAB) announced that pro gamers are considered athletes and will also get necessary government support.

Bren Esports was an inch away from possibly giving the biggest achievement for the PH first-person shooter (FPS) esports scene. Yet, the GAB officials seemed to have failed in giving the promised support for the top-seeded team that could have allowed them to procure the necessary visa and travel requirements for the competition.

Teletigers Valorant team manager John Louis Lagazo admitted that he was furious at this unfortunate event.

“Para sa PH FPS scene ‘yan ‘yong pinakamalaking achievement nila, pero hindi nila ginawan ng paraan para tanggapin ‘yong visa and [asikasuhin] ‘yong schedule na nandoon na sila dapat kahapon sa Berlin. Hindi nila ginawan ng paraan,” Lagazo said in an exclusive interview with TomasinoWeb.

Even with the drive of Bren to represent and establish a reputation for the Philippines in the field of esports, there are things out of their control.

‘Yung unfortunate events lang na nangyari sa Bren ay it is just [out] of their control. And, if halimbawa, tumagal and ganito pa rin ‘yong mangyayari, I think PH esports will not bloom at all,” Lagazo added.

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The rollercoaster of events came as no surprise to him due to the past experiences of other esports teams such as Execration and TNC’s DOTA 2 teams when they also had a hard time procuring their visas for the Internationals 6 tournament.

If unforeseen circumstances like this Bren mishap continue to happen, then the Philippines will be left in the dust with the rest of the world’s competition for future international e-sports events.

“It will have no impact, it will just remain the same. ‘Pag patuloy na nangyayari ‘yon na hindi tayo makapagdala ng players outside, nothing will happen,” the Teletigers’ Valorant team manager said.

While organizations such as Mineski and TNC have laid the groundwork for the Philippine esports community, the lack of government support has affected the ability of local gamers to maximize their full potential.

“Like what I said, If hindi sila makakapagdala ng players playing international tournaments then nothing will happen,” he added.

Bren’s Valorant team is composed of Jessie “JessieVash” Cuyco, Jayvee “Dubstep” Paguirigan, Jim “Borkum” Timbreza, Kevin “Dispenser” Te, and Riley “Witz” Go.

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