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Obiena secures podium finishes in two pre-Olympic meets

The UST alumnus is set to compete in one more competition before he dons the Philippine colors in the 2021 Tokyo Olympics.

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Ernest John Obiena broke national records during the Irena Szewinska Memorial Bydgoszcz Cup in Poland last June 30. Screenshot from the tournament livestream courtesy of World Athletics' Youtube Channel.

Ernest John Obiena steamrolls his way to the Tokyo Olympics as he wins gold in the Taby Stavhoppsgala Meet, silver in the Irena Szewinska Memorial Bydgoszcz Cup, and placed fourth in the Diamond League.

Event by event, the Filipino pole vaulter did not let his mother nation down as he claims gold in the 2021 Taby Stavhoppsgala street pole vault tournament, where he cleared 5.80 meters over 2016 Rio Olympics Gold Medalist Thiago Braz on Friday, July 2.

Braz settled for silver while American Andrew Irwin walked away with bronze. All three podium finishers vaulted 5.80 meters, but Obiena bags gold by committing the fewest mistakes known as countback.

Meanwhile, Obiena ended the month of June earning a silver medal in the Irena Szewinska Memorial Bydgoszcz Cup

He beat his previous world record of 5.85 meters, which he notched at the Jump & Fly meet in Mössingen, Germany, earlier this June.

American Chris Nilsen topped the tournament with a gold medal finish of 5.92 meters, while Poland’s homegrown product Piotr Lisek finished third as he cleared 5.82 meters in two attempts. 

The 25-year-old Olympian was .10 seconds shy of a podium finish in the Diamond League as he secured fourth place with a leap of 5.82 meters. He was set to secure a spot in the top three but was eliminated after failing all three attempts at 5.92 meters.

The UST alumnus is set to compete in one more competition before he dons the Philippine colors in the 2021 Tokyo Olympics, as he eyes to nab the first Olympic gold medal in Philippine history.

 

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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.

READ  Buzzer Beater Shot Downed UST

‘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.

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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Obiena, nakapag-uwi ng silver sa Paris Diamond League

Pinatunayan ng Pilipinong pole vaulter na isa siya sa pinakamagaling at mainam na manlalaro sa buong mundo matapos maitawid ang taas na 5.91 metro sa unang subok lamang.

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Obiena sa Paris Diamond League Men’s Pole Vault (Kuha ni Benoit Tessier/Reuters)

Ipinamalas muli ng Tomasinong pole vaulter na si Ernest John Obiena ang kanyang galing matapos makapagtala ng panibagong Philippine record. Nasungkit niya ang silver na medalya sa Paris Diamond League noong ika-28 ng Agosto.

Bigo man si Obiena na maiuwi ang medalya sa nakaraang  2020 Tokyo Olympics, pinatunayan ng Pilipinong pole vaulter na isa siya sa pinakamagaling at mainam na manlalaro sa buong mundo matapos maitawid ang taas na 5.91 metro sa unang subok lamang.  Hawak pa rin ni Obiena ang national record sa larangan ng pole vault sa bansa nang malagpasan niya ang kanyang sariling record sa taas na 5.87 na metro. 

READ  Higit pa sa medalya: Obiena ipinakilala ang larong pole vault sa Pilipinas

Subalit, ang taas na 5.96 na metro ang sumubok sa kakayahan at galing ng Olympian. Pagkatapos niyang makakamit ng dalawang foul, bigo si Obiena na maitawid ang 6.01 na metro sa kanyang huling talon. 

Kalahok din sa liga ang kampeon sa 2020 Tokyo Olympics na si Arnold Duplantis ng Sweden kung saan naiuwi niya ang gintong medalya pagkatapos malundag ang taas na 6.01 na metro. Si Chris Nilsen ng Amerika ang nakapag-uwi ng tansong medalya pagkatapos makatalon sa taas na 5.81 na metro.

Malaki ang tinaas ni Obiena sa standings ng Diamond League dahil sa pagkapanalo niya kung saan nagtapos siya bilang pangatlo mula sa 15 na manlalaro.

Muling lalaban si Obiena sa panibagong leg ng Diamond League na gaganapin sa Belgium sa darating na Biyernes, ika-3 ng Setyembre. Kapag nakapagtala siya ng mataas na talon dito, maganda ang magiging posisyon niya para sa finals ng Diamond League na magaganap sa ika-8 hanggang sa ika-9 ng Setyembre.

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Tubong Iloilo na si Apostol, bagong miyembro ng UST women’s volleyball team

Pinili ni Apostol ang volleyball program ng University of Santo Tomas dahil naniniwala siya na ang unibersidad ay isa sa mga pinakamagaling sa bansa.

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Bagong miyembro ng UST Women’s Volleyball Team na si Elisha Juliene Apostol (gitna) kasama sina coach Emilio “Kung Fu” Reyes (kaliwa) at si coach Christian Fernandez (kanan). Litrato mula sa Facebook page ni Elisha Julien Apostol.

Isang middle blocker at 5-foot-nine na Ilongga ang nakatakdang sumali sa koponan ng UST Golden Tigresses. 

Bago pa man ang pandemiya, namataan na ni UST Golden Tigresses head coach Emilio “Kung Fu” Reyes ang galing ni Elisha Juliene Apostol noong nagkaroon ng tryouts ang Tigresses sa Cebu noong 2019. 

Pinili ni Apostol ang volleyball program ng University of Santo Tomas dahil naniniwala siya na ang unibersidad ay isa sa mga pinakamagaling sa bansa. 

“I chose UST because of its high quality education and it is well known to have one of the best volleyball programs in the country,” sabi ni Apostol sa isang panayam sa TomasinoWeb.

Siya rin ay may tiwala sa coaching staff ng UST at handa siya sa kahit anong posisyon na ibibigay sa kanya. 

“If ever my coach wanted to convert me to another position, I will adapt to that change and be flexible anytime,” ani ni Apostol.

Kahit pa na may pandemiya, iginiit ng Ilongga na sabik na rin siyang makapag-ensayo muli sa loob ng court at makilala ang kanyang teammates.  

“I am looking forward [to] the success of the team which is to achieve our goal of winning,” dagdag niya. 

Para kay Apostol, isang karangalan at prehibiliyo ang makapaglaro para sa UST. Nais niya rin dito ilaan ang kanyang pagpapabuti bilang isang mag-aaral at manlalaro. 

Igniit din ng manlalaro na hindi biro maging student-athlete lalo na sa panahon ng pandemya kung saan kailangan niya magkaroon ng disiplina sa kanyang oras. 

“As a student-athlete, I foresee to have conflicts with my time both in sports and academics,” sabi ni Apostol.

Ngunit, naniniwala siya sa kanyang kakayahan na kaya niyang lagpasan ito sapagkat mayroon siyang tiwala sa kanyang sarili.

Ang 18 taong manlalaro ay mula sa Sacred Heart School-Ateneo De Cebu kung saan nanalo na siya sa iba’t ibang patimpalak sa larangan ng volleyball mapa inter-school o regional na kompetisyon.

Kasalukuyan na sumasailalim sa mga virtual trainings at programs ng UST si Apostol ngayon. 

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