LeBron James interacts with Jimmy Alapag’s son Ian Maximus during the Strive for Greatness tour. INQUIRER PHOTO/ Sherwin VardeleonLeBron James has returned to the Philippines for the third time on Saturday and in the eyes of Philippine basketball icon Jimmy Alapag, this speaks volumes for the NBA superstar’s appreciation for this country.“The fact that he came here to Manila to share some brief moments with everyone here at home…I think he understands how passionate we are about the game of basketball,” said Alapag Saturday at Mall of Asia Arena as James wrapped up another showcase before Filipino fans.ADVERTISEMENT Britain’s Prince Harry and Meghan Markle to give up royal titles Bishop Baylon encourages faithful in Albay to help Taal evacuees Filipinos turn Taal Volcano ash, plastic trash into bricks PLAY LIST 01:40Filipinos turn Taal Volcano ash, plastic trash into bricks01:32Taal Volcano watch: Island fissures steaming, lake water receding02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite Police seize P68-M worth of ‘shabu’ in Pasay It would’ve been James’ fourth tour in the country had his “Battle the Doubt Night” show in 2016 pushed through.But much like his in two previous visits, James once shared the floor with up-and-coming stars and national team members in a brief exhibition game for the “Strive for Greatness” show.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSEnd of his agony? SC rules in favor of Espinosa, orders promoter heirs to pay boxing legendSPORTSRedemption is sweet for Ginebra, Scottie ThompsonSPORTSMayweather beats Pacquiao, Canelo for ‘Fighter of the Decade’Alapag, one of the key Gilas players in the last decade, showed he can still duke it out in the parquet floor—against one of the best NBA players ever no less—even a year into retirement.Saturday night was extra special, though, as he got to play again with his batch’s Gilas Pilipinas squad that include Ranidel de Ocampo and LA Tenorio, among others. Hotdog’s Dennis Garcia dies National Historical team rescues Amorsolos, artifacts from Taal Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Search on for 5 Indonesians snatched anew in Lahad Datu ‘Putting in work, believing in yourself’ still keys to LeBron James’ success “What made it more special was being with my Gilas brothers because you know these guys are family for life,” said Alapag.But he also got to bring his real family with him to the bench to meet the King.His eldest child Ian Maximus, who has the same second name as LeBron’s youngest son Bryce, even got to keep LeBron’s arms sleeves.“My son will have to grow into it because it’s a little big right now and I’m just glad my kids could be here to experience it with me,” said Alapag.RELATED VIDEOADVERTISEMENT Britain’s Prince Harry and Meghan Markle to give up royal titles Marcosian mode: Duterte threatens to arrest water execs ‘one night’ MOST READ OSG plea to revoke ABS-CBN franchise ‘a duplicitous move’ – Lacson Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next LATEST STORIES View comments
Top 32 teams identifiedOrganisers of the highly popular “Keep Your Five Alive” Futsal Competition have released the fixtures for the first three nights of action, at the National Gymnasium.The tournament, now in its sixth year, has grown in status and provides fans with the level of excitement and skill that are synonymous with the shorter format of the sport.Kevin Adonis, whose idea it was to create the tournament six years ago, said the event is unlike any other played in Guyana where a team’s chances of progressing in the competition depends entirely on its ability to ‘keep its five players alive’, meaning if you lose a game there isn’t a second opportunity to ‘stay alive’.“The concept is one that I like it allows a team only one opportunity to play for the prizes and because of this all the teams come well prepared to play at a high level and so the fans are the real winners,” Adonis said.According to the organiser, because this is the sixth edition, he is hoping to increase the total prize monies and perhaps even add some incentives for outstanding individual performances.This, he however, indicated will depend on the support the tournament receives from the corporate community.“I am working hard to make this possible and the first prize I have in mind is $600,000 which simply means that $100,000 is being allotted for each year that the tournament has been in existence.”Adonis disclosed that 32 of the best teams in the country have been invited including defending champions West Front Road ‘Gold is Money’ and losing finalist Future Stars.Among some of the other teams making the shortlist are Sparta Boss, Bent Street, Leopold Street and most of the zone champions of the Guinness ‘Greatest of the Streets’ Competition.Teams will be represented from Georgetown, Linden, Berbice, West and East Demerara and the East Coast of Demerara, making it a true reflection of wide participation and the current standing of the competition.The tournament kicks off on Saturday, July 7, at the National Gymnasium, with five matches scheduled to be played.On opening night action, Rhythm Stars (Mocha) tackles recently-crowned Berbice Guinness champions Trafalgar and this encounter will be followed by the clash between Agricola and Broad Street.Kingston, the square off against Swag Entertainment out of Linden, before another Mining Community team NK Ballers take on Sophia.In the final game of the night, Leopold Street play host to East Coast Melanie Damishana.The fixtures for the next two playing days are seen below.On Thursday, July 12, Buxton Diamond engage West Demerara Showstoppers, while the young Uprising team from the East Coast go up against Linden’s Silver Bullets.ESPN then collide with East Coast BV, before Ann’s Grove and North East La Penitence take to the court.The rejuvenated Tiger Bay unit then faces California Square, before Sparta Boss and Tucville bring the curtains down for the evening.On Saturday, July 14, Albouystown and Upsetters get things going, before Future Stars and Alpha Warriors square off.Back Circle then tackles Kitty Hustlers, before Linden’s Dave and Celena All Stars go up against Bent Street.The reigning champs West Front Road then close the night with a clash against Alexander Village.The launch of the competition will be done on a date to be announced.