PH has new Merlion team; Bagatsing racefest a huge success

THE Alab Pilipinas team pulled out of the Merlion Cup 2017 because of a conflicting schedule, said the event organizers, and were replaced by a different team.

The Merlion Cup, to be held in Singapore on Sept. 20 to 24 at the OCBC Arena, is organized by the Basketball Association of Singapore and features the top teams from around the region.

The Philippines will now be represented by the NLEX-SCTEX team with former Philippine Basketball Association star player Jojo Lastimosa as their head coach.

Comprising the team are players from the PBA’s NLEX Road Warriors and PBA D-League’s Cignal HD Hawkeyes. The Road Warriors were recently promoted to join the PBA after winning the D-League a record six times, while the Hawkeyes are the current top team in the D-League.

Because the change of team is fairly recent, there is no announcement yet that I know of regarding the roster of players that will be sent to Singapore next month.

The Filipino contingent will face Indonesia D-League’s Satria Muda Pertamina Jakarta, the Singapore Slingers, Adelaide 36ers, Jeonju KCC Egis, Taiwan’s Yulon Luxgen Dinos, and the defending champion Shanghai Sharks.

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Congratulations to the Bagatsing Family on yet another successful staging of the annual Mayor Ramon D. Bagatsing Racing Festival!

Held last weekend (Sep. 2-3) at San Lazaro Leisure Park, the event drew high-profile sponsors for each race as well as celebrity guests. The guest of honor was Indian Ambassador Jaideep Mazumdar.

On Saturday, Diamond’s Best won the 1,500-meter Fundador Cup (Division I). 2nd Niccole Girl, 3rd Guatemala, 4th Niccole Angel.

On Sunday, More or Less won the Solaire Resort and Casino Cup (Div. II).

Malaya took the Philracom Cup (Div. I) in a photo finish against Messi (2nd), 3rd Blue Berry, 4th Manalig Ka. Time: 1:52.4 (10’-24’-25’-24’-27’), distance 1,750 meters.

The Resorts World Manila Challenge of Champions Cup, which pitted the 2016 set against the 2017 lineup, was won by Bite My Dust. 2nd Underwood, 3rd Adios Reality, 4th Pinagtipunan. Time: 1:51.8 (10-23-24’-26’-27’), distance 1,750 meters.

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Also on Sunday, the 1,300-meter Philracom 1st leg Juvenile Fillies and Colts race was won by El Debarge. 2nd The Barrister, 3rd Probinsiyano, 4th Hot to Trot. Time: 1:22.6 (7-23-24-28’).

This being a race for 2YO, it was perhaps unavoidable that several of the competitors got entangled amongst themselves. RG Fernandez, rider of Hot to Trot, restrained his mount at the tres-octavo (3/8 mile mark), claming that he almost fell off after El Debarge (with JA Guce) tried to veer out, though Guce was able control his mount.

Meanwhile, Golden Velvet (JB Cordova) raced wide during the course of the race, in fear, claimed the rider, of JB Hernandez’s mount Aphrodisiac. The Manila Jockey Club Board of Stewards issued verbal warnings on El Debarge and Golden Velvet, instructing their respective trainers to better train their horses.

These incidents are all par for the course with juveniles, who are still under training. it’ll be interesting to see how they straighten out and learn to race properly with time and experience.

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Sunday sales exceeded P40.6 million for the 13-race day. That amount plus the P28.7 million earned on Saturday makes this the highest-grossing racing weekend so far this year.

Record-breaking sales are a usual accomplishment of the Bagatsing racefest, which owes its success to careful planning, well-handicapped races, and a plethora of corporate sponsors that assure horseowners of hefty prizes. 

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Blue Berry won the Aug 27. Philippine Racing Commission 7th leg Import/Local Challenge at Metro Turf Race Course. Daiquiri Lass placed second despite swerving out at the start of the race. 3rd Messi, 4th Hot and Spicy. Time 1:50.2 (13’-22’-23’-23’-27’), distance 1,800 meters.

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Topics: Alab Pilipinas team , Merlion Cup 2017
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