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LOOK: PVL Stars use obscene gesture in photo with Kathryn Bernardo

A viral photo shows several Premier Volleyball League stars making an inappropriate gesture alongside Kapamilya actresses Kathryn Bernardo and Dolly de Leon.
The individuals seen flashing the “dirty finger” include Creamline Cool Smashers’ Bernadeth Pons and Jeanette Panaga, as well as PLDT High Speed Hitters’ Jessie de Leon and Michelle Morente.

Notably, High Speed Hitters veteran Mika Reyes is also in the photo but refrained from making the offensive gesture.

The photo was captured during a block screening for the movie “A Very Good Girl,” hosted at the Cinema 76 Film Society last Thursday.

The “dirty finger” sign was reportedly one of the standout moments in the Star Cinema film, featuring Katryn Bernardo.

According to an ABS-CBN Entertainment article, the film has been characterized as a thrilling revenge story filled with “sass and class.” The official synopsis reads: “After a heartless firing sets off a series of unfortunate events, Philo (Bernardo) devises a meticulous plan for revenge against the retail mogul, Mother Molly (de Leon), with the goal of dismantling her empire and exacting the ultimate payback. This time, there is no room for mercy.”

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Weiss expresses frustration as Azkals draw winnable game against Indonesia

Hans Michael Weiss, the coach of the Philippine national football team, expressed disappointment with the Azkals’ conclusion of the second round in the FIFA World Cup qualifiers against Indonesia.

Weiss considered the match winnable, especially after Patrick Reichelt scored the first goal for the Philippines in the first half.

But the Indonesians battered the nationals’ defensive wall and scored an equalizer in the second half to force a 1-1 draw.

That means the Philippines only gained one point on a loss against Vietnam and a draw against Indonesia.

“I cannot believe after how we invested in the last two games we got one point only. We should have gotten four points. The Vietnam match was supposed to be a draw, and this in the first half, he had to bury the game with so many chances. I mean, how many chances were you supposed to have?” said Weiss.

“So we sit here with a long face, and we’re sad.”

But the German coach gave props to the team for dishing out everything they had against the Indonesians.

“It doesn’t take away the good impression we have for the team. We promised to ourselves we leave everything on the pitch, and that’s what we did,” he said.

Azkals settle for 1-1 draw vs Indonesia

The Philippine national football team held the visiting Indonesian team to a 1-1 draw in the FIFA World Cup qualifiers at the Rizal Memorial Stadium on Tuesday night.

Patrick Reichelt struck the first goal for the Azkals off an assist by Kevin Ingreso in the 22nd minute.

But the Indonesians came out with renewed energy in the second half.

Sadil Ramdani equalized for the visitors off an assist by Ricky Kambuaya in the 70th minute.

In the 90th minute, the Azkals nearly claimed the lead, but Santiago Rublico’s attempt hit the crossbar.

It was a crucial game for the Azkals, who conceded two goals to Vietnam before a 10,000-strong crowd at the same venue on Thursday.

Report: Lionel Messi poised to win his eighth Ballon d’Or award

Argentinean football star Lionel Messi is set to win his eighth Ballon d’Or or Golden Ball award on Monday night (Tuesday, Manila time) in Paris, France.

According to football reporter Fabrizio Romano, the Inter Miami CF star was voted to win what is regarded as football’s most prestigious and valuable individual award.

The Argentinean star benefited from a recent change in Ballon d’Or winner determination, where the award is now based on a player’s record over the last season rather than over the course of the calendar year.

The 36-year-old Messi had a remarkable campaign during the recent season, as he led Argentina to the 2022 FIFA World Cup championship against previous champion France.

Messi also scored 21 goals for French football club Paris Saint-Germain in Ligue 1 before he transferred to Inter Miami in Major League Soccer months ago.

Prior to this year, Messi had previously won the Ballon d’Or award in 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2015, 2019, and 2021.

Torcaso admits things went ‘out of hand’ in Filipinas’ defeat vs Matildas

Coach Mark Torcaso stated that the Filipinas anticipated a challenging match against Australia during their 2024 AFC Women’s Olympic Qualifying Tournament at Australia’s venue.

But they did not expect it to be an 8-0 blowout like what happened over the weekend at a jampacked Optus Stadium.

Sam Kerr and Caitlin Foord each dished out a hat trick for the Matildas, much to the Filipinas’ dismay.

“We knew it was going to be a tough battle, but we didn’t want to just sit in like the last opposition did against them,” said Torcaso.

“So for us, it obviously got out of hand a little bit, but we tried our best to match a good side as much as we possibly could.”

The beating was a huge blow to the Filipinas’ Olympic campaign, as only the top team in each group will advance to the next round of the qualifiers.

It was Australia that surged to the top of Group A with 6 points and a goal difference of +10. The Philippines, meanwhile, fell to second with 3 points and a goal difference of minus-5.

The Filipinas will wrap up their campaign against Iran on Wednesday at the Perth Rectangular Stadium.

Torcaso has nothing to complain about Filipinas’ Asiad performance

Football coach Mark Torcaso considers the Filipinas’ 19th Asian Games women’s football campaign a success despite an 8-1 beatdown in the hands of powerhouse team Japan during the quarterfinals.

It was the first time for the Philippines to reach the quarterfinal level of the quadrennial event in 65 years.

Torcaso said having two wins and two losses is something positive since he has only worked with the Filipinas for a limited time since taking over coach Allen Stajcic’s post.

“This was an amazing opportunity for us to work with the group. We’ve only had maybe four-five training sessions for us to get the results we got; we’re very happy to get two wins and two losses against very good teams,” said Torcaso during an online media availability on Sunday.

“We worked with what we had.”

He also pointed out that having to play against Japan, the reigning Asiad champion and No. 8 in the world, is no easy feat.

“We got to play against good countries and got a feel what it is like to play with the top nations as well,” said Torcaso.

Expectations are high as Filipinas open Asiad campaign vs Hong Kong

The Philippine women’s football team will seek to hurdle its opening game assignment in the 19th Hangzhou Asian Games following an impressive showing in the recent FIFA Women’s World Cup.

The Filipinas will take on a familiar foe in Hong Kong during their first official game under head coach Mark Torcaso, who took over the post left by Alen Stajcic.

Torcaso admitted expectations are high for the nationals after their epic debut in the FIFA Women’s World Cup, where the Philippines were able to topple New Zealand.

“The expectations have been set after their outing in the last few years,” said Torcaso in an online presser with the local media. “It’s a new team for me and our staff. We’re going to spend our time getting to know in this tournament.”

The Filipinas, ranked No. 44 in the world, beat Hong Kong 4-1 last April during the first round of the AFC Women’s Olympic Qualifying Tournament.

But Torcaso preferred the team taking it one game at a time.

“Every game is different; every tournament is different. (Hongkong) might have new players, might have new plays,” he said. “We’ll take each game as it is and be competitive as much as possible.”

The 21-member national roster will be spearheaded by Sarina Bolden, who scored the Filipinas’ historic goal against New Zealand in the World Cup, Hali Long, and Sara Eggesvik.

Other members include Katrina Guillou, Chandler McDaniel, Meryll Serrano, Alisha Del Campo, Olivia McDaniel, Kiara Fontanilla and Inna Palacios, Anicka Castañeda, Kaya Hawkinson, Natalie Oca, Isabella Pasion, Quinley Quezada, Jaclyn Sawicki, Camille Rodriguez, Reina Bonta, Jessika Cowart, Sofia Harrison, and Eva Madarang.

After Hong Kong, the Filipinas will also tackle the Republic of Korea on Monday and Myanmar on Thursday.

See related stories:

Bolden and 12 other World Cup veterans lead Filipinas in Asian Games

Filipinas’ Bugay writes emotional farewell to competitive football

Filipinas now No. 44 in FIFA rankings

Mathelus scores twice, but Philippines falls to Australia in AFC U17 qualifier

The Philippine women’s U-17 national football squad failed to overcome Australia, 6-2, in the 2024 AFC U-17 Women’s Asian Cup qualification tournament on Wednesday night in Vietnam.

Nina Mathelus scored two goals for the Young Filipinas, but these were not enough to upset the Australian squad.

Mathelus drew first blood in the 14th minute and doubled their lead three minutes later against the Aussies.

But the Junior Matildas made adjustments as Grace Kuilamu and Ruby Cuthbert knotted the scores 2-all in the 30th and 42nd minutes, respectively.

After the break, Shelby McMahon pushed Australia ahead with a goal in the 46th minute, and this opened a three-goal scoring spree for the Aussies.

With a loss, the Young Filipinas tumbled to the bottom of Group B without a win and a -4 goal difference. The Young Matildas improved to 3 points and a +4 goal difference.

Lionel Messi makes 2 assists as Inter Miami edges MLS champs Los Angeles FC

Inter Miami CF continued its uprising in the 2023 Major League Soccer after beating reigning champions Los Angeles FC 3-1 on Sunday night (Monday, Manila time) in Los Angeles.

Facundo Farías, Jordi Alba, and Leonardo Campana scored a goal each, while Lionel Messi had two assists as Inter Miami increased its unbeaten run to a club-record 11 matches.

Inter Miami broke the scoreless deadlock in the 14th minute as Farías connected on a sliding shot from just inside the penalty area after a long through ball from midfield by Tomas Aviles.

The lead was doubled in the 51st minute as Alba scored from the center of the penalty area off a long through ball from Messi.

Campana then sealed the victory for Inter Miami when he finished a two-on-one break with a left-footed goal off a Messi pass.

Inter Miami, which bounced back from a scoreless draw against Nashville SC last Wednesday, improved to seven wins, four draws, and 14 losses for 25 points.

Los Angeles, which got a consolation goal from Ryan Hollingshead in the final minute, dropped to 11 wins, seven draws, and eight defeats for 40 points.

See related stories:

Lionel Messi, Inter Miami settle for scoreless draw against Nashville in MLS

Lionel Messi, 3 others convert goals as Inter Miami advances to Leagues Cup finals

Lionel Messi’s return to FC Barcelona a possibility, says his father

Lionel Messi, Inter Miami settle for scoreless draw against Nashville in MLS

Lionel Messi and the Inter Miami CF were held to a scoreless draw by the Nashville CF during their Major League Soccer game on Wednesday night (Thursday, Manila time) at DRV PNK Stadium in Port Lauderdale, Florida.

It was a goalless but yellow card-filled game where a combined six players from both Inter Miami and Nashville were booked by the referees for hard fouls.

Shown the yellow card for Inter Miami were Diego Gómez (45+1), Sergio Busquets (45+2), Robert Taylor (50), and Tomás Avilés (77), while Nashville’s Day McCarthy (59) and Jack Maher (81) were also booked.

This was also the first time that Inter Miami was held to a scoreless draw since the arrival of Messi in late July.

Inter Miami now dropped to six wins, three draws, and 14 losses, while Nashville had an 11-5-9 record.

This was the first encounter between the two teams since their epic Leagues Cup finals encounter two weeks ago, where Inter Miami emerged as the champions after an 11-round penalty kick.

See related stories:

Lionel Messi, 3 others convert goals as Inter Miami advances to Leagues Cup finals

Lionel Messi’s return to FC Barcelona a possibility, says his father

Lionel Messi triumphant in PSG return

Inter Miami secures Leagues Cup title in dramatic 11-round penalty shootout

Inter Miami CF clinched the 2023 Leagues Cup championship after beating Nashville 1-1 (10-9), in an epic finale that reached 11 rounds of penalties on Saturday night (Sunday, Manila time) at the Geodis Park in Nashville, Tennessee.

Goalkeeper Drake Callender was the hero for Inter Miami as he broke the 9-all deadlock in the 11th round with his right-footed penalty kick past Nashville goalie Elliot Panicco.

Callender then returned to the defensive end as he blocked the left-foot penalty-tying attempt of Panicco, sealing the championship for Inter Miami.

Inter Miami took a 1-0 lead in the 23rd minute courtesy of a conversion from Lionel Messi, but Nashville managed to tie the score in the second half via a 57th minute hit by Fafá Ficault.

In the penalties, Inter Miami drilled the first four penalties and had a chance to win it on the fifth hit, but Victor Ulloa missed on his kick, which allowed Nashville to tie the goals at 4-all.

The penalty kicks went on until the 10th round, with the score tied at 9-all, before Callender stepped up for Inter Miami defensively to clinch the championship.

England kicks out host Australia, reaches 1st ever FIFA Women’s World Cup Finals

England displayed its steadiness in the second half to score a 3-1 victory over host Australia in the semifinals of the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup on Wednesday night at the Stadium Australia in Sydney.

Ella Toone set the tone with her first-half conversion before Lauren Hemp and Alessia Russo added one each in the final half as England reached the championship round for the first time.

England were the aggressors in the opening half as they dominated possession until they drew first blood in the 36th minute courtesy of a conversion by Toone from inside the box.

Australia charged back early in the second half as star Sam Kerr connected from outside the box amidst the defense of two England players, much to the delight of the predominant Australian fans in the venue.

The celebration, however, was short-lived for the Australians as Hemp regained the advantage for England in the 71st minute before Russo sealed the win with another connection 15 minutes later.

England will face Spain in the championship game slated for Sunday evening, while Australia will try to salvage the bronze medal against Sweden on Saturday night.

See Related Story:

Olga Carmona’s last-minute goal sends Spain to FIFA Women’s World Cup Finals

Etheridge, Holtmann head 24-man roster for PH friendlies vs Chinese Taipei, Afghanistan

The Philippine Azkals will be taking on Chinese Taipei and Afghanistan in a pair of international friendlies this September.

Spearheading the 24-man roster for the friendly matches are team skipper Neil Etheridge, Gerrit Holtmann, Santiago Rublico, Michael Kempter, John Patrick Strauss, and Jens Rasmussen.

The Azkals will take on Chinese Taipei in a rematch on September 8 at the National Stadium in Kaohsiung. The nationals lost to Chinese Taipei via a 3-2 heartbreaker at home last June.

On September 12, the Azkals will play at the Rizal Memorial Stadium against the Afghans.

The friendly matches will serve as the Azkals’ preparation for the FIFA World Cup 26/AFC Asian Cup 2027 Preliminary Joint Qualifiers in November.

The Philippines is grouped together with Iraq, Vietnam, and the winner of the Indonesia/Brunei Darussalam qualifiers.

The 24-man roster for the Azkals:

ETHERIDGE, Neil Leonard, Birmingham City FC (England)
DEYTO, Patrick Phillip – Chonburi FC (Thailand)
HANSEN, Kevin Ray – Kuala Lumpur City FC (Malaysia)
CURRAN, Jesse Thomas – Ratchaburi FC (Thailand)
SATO, Daisuke – Persib Bandung (Indonesia)
KEMPTER, Michael – Grasshopper Club Zurich (Switzerland)
STRAUSS, John Patrick – FC Hansa Rostock (Germany)
INGRESO, Kevin – Sri Pahang FC (Malaysia)
DE BRUYCKER, Dylan Alain Lucienne – Bhayangkara FC (Indonesia)
HOLTMANN, Gerrit Stephan – Antalyaspor (Turkey)
RUBLICO, Santiago – Atletico de Madrid (Spain)
RONTINI, Christian – Persita Tanjerang (Indonesia)
PORTERIA, Jose Elmer – Kelantan United (Malaysia)
OTT, Manuel – Kedah Darul Aman (Malaysia)
OTT, Mike Rigoberto – PS Barito Putera (Indonesia)
REYES, Sandro Miguel – SpVgg Greuther Furth II (Germany)
AGUINALDO, Amani – Trat FC (Thailand)
REICHELT, Patrick – Kuala Lumpur City FC (Malaysia)
MARAÑON, Bienvenido – Chanthaburi FC (Thailand)
RASMUSSEN, Jens Sebastian – Hobro IK (Denmark)
MARTINEZ DE MURGA, Carlos Alberto – PS Barito Putera (Indonesia)
GROMMEN, Joshua Jake – Khon Kaen United (Thailand)
LINARES, Enrique – PSM Makasaar (Indonesia)
KEKKONEN, Oskari – Lamphun Warriors FC (Thailand)