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I love to travel, it has always been my passion to go to different places and explore.

In the past, I have traveled a lot in my home country the Philippines visiting places like Baguio, Davao City and Bicol region to name a few.

At the Ocean Park entrance

A few years back, I went out of the country and visited Bangkok Thailand together with some of my close relatives.

This latest travel, however, meant a lot because it was the first time that me and my lovely wife traveled together outside the Philippine soil.

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Team Spoilers posed for a picture after winning the 2011 FBL Cup. (Photo by Segundo "Doddie" Pineda)

Koror, Palau – Championship games were supposed to be a  close fight.

With the top two teams  battling for the coveted crown, the games are expected to be exciting and thrilling, but apparently not in this series.

The Spoilers showed the defending champion Western Union team that they were clearly the better team and are head and shoulders above the rest.

During the past two seasons, Western Union was the best and were hailed back-to-back champs.

However, the moment Team Spoilers decided to re-join the FBA League, there was no denying that the Spoilers came back to bring back their glory days.

In their Best-of-3 series format, the Spoilers dominated Western Union winning Game 1, 101-68 and then completed the series sweep to clinch the title by routing Western Union 117-93 in Game 2.

Indeed a new era has just began.

Aries Echanova was named Rookie of the Year and season MVP, Michael Bombita won Finals MVP honors and was named Best Forward, while Coco Gonzales was awarded the sportsmanship award and Best Guard.

All three players were also named to the Mythical Team together with Western Union’s Erwin Senadre and Emerson Patenia.

Nobody asked me but…

Do you know that Team Spoilers have won 14 straight games at the 2011 FBL Cup?

Also, aside from amassing an impressive 14 straight wins in the FBL Cup, Team Spoilers are also dominating at the 2011 Rudimch Government/Business League tournament where they hold a 9-0 win-loss record beating all their Business League rivals.

(Photo by Segundo 'Doddie' Pineda)

The team now await for the impending cross-over and knockout games at the 2011 Rudimch Cup.

Combining their win totals on both tournaments, Team Spoilers are 23-0 since April 24, 2011.

Nobody asked me either but…

I can’t help but wonder why Western Union and their supporters were somewhat celebrating despite losing 100-93 against the Spoilers.

I no longer play competitive basketball but during my heydays I hate losing.

I take pride in winning, it didn’t matter if it’s backyard basketball, or league basketball, the ultimate goal was to always win the game.

Forgive me for asking this but, have Western Union conceded to the Spoilers?

A lot of people might bash me in the head and say I’m biased but let me get things straight.

I know it’s just one game and the FBL Cup is far from over, but I haven’t seen a team (defending champs no less!) in a jovial mood after taking a critical defeat against a team that could potentially dethrone them as champions.

Have you ever seen Manu Ginobili or Kobe Bryant’s face when their respective teams got beat? (whether if it’s just a regular season game or a playoff game)

If not, you should; because they epitomize what basketball, respect, winning, passion and pride is all about.

If you are happy with your team losing by seven points, something is wrong with you, and someone has to question you’re pride, competitive edge and respect and love for the game of basketball.

Not to boast, but thankfully, Team Spoilers haven’t loss a basketball game in a six-month span.

Here’s to hoping that the trend continues. Go Spoilers Go!

Koror Palau – On FBL Sunday, the top two teams Western Union (15-2) and Team Spoilers (13-3) met for the second time in what could be a preview of the FBL Finals showdown, however, the game did not fit the bill.

(Photos by Segundo 'Doddie' Pineda)

Western Union started the game out strong going on a 5-0 run in the opening minutes but it was short lived.

Michael Bombita went on a personal 7-0 run to put the Spoilers on top 7-5, a lead that his team would never relinquished.

Spoilers’ big man Mark Pagayanan was on early foul trouble but once the Spoilers pushed the button, Western Union didn’t know what hit them and found themselves trailing 36-21 after the first quarter.

In the second quarter, the Spoilers continued to step on the gas and broke the game wide open behind the scoring trio of Bombita, Aries Echanova and Coco Gonzales.

Team Spoilers held a 64-37 lead at half time off a last second put back by Joel Nacionales causing some fans to leave the gym sensing that the game might end up with another blowout victory by the Spoliers.

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Koror, Palau – Team Spoilers had been virtually unstoppable since the Cavalry arrived, they mauled Surangel for their 9th win, and continued on with their winning ways beating the Rangers 83-63 two weeks ago and extended their winning streak to 11 games after dominating the Choppers 108-76 at the 2011 FBL Cup.

As if playing at the Filipino League is not enough basketball for the Spoilers squad, the team joined the Business League to try their strength against teams with Palauan  imports.

So far, the team has been doing great and remained unbeaten after three games in the Business League.

They rolled over the Palau Royals 108-70, on their first game,  routed Palasia 115-66, in their second, and had a tough time dispatching PPR Shark Attack last Thursday 83-69 for their third win as many games.

Their next game will be this coming Tuesday against Mason’s Hardware at 9:00 pm in the Palau National Gymnasium.

Koror, Palau – Two weeks after whipping the Ilocandia Bulls 114-75 in their rematch, Team Spoilers are at it again.

Aries Echanova attempts a 3-pointer while Michael Bombita (#25) and his other teammates looks on. (Photo by Segundo "Doddie" Pineda)

The Spoilers claimed their 9th straight victory on Sunday 131-80 at the expense of Surangel and Sons team.

Team Surangel actually started the game on a 9-4 run and looked convinced that they will finally break the Spoilers’ winning streak.

However, with the energetic play of Coco Gonzales, Michael Bombita and Aries Echanova, the Spoilers went on an 8-0 run on their own to give the Spoilers a 12-9 lead.

The game was actually close during the first half until the Spoilers clamped down on defense and hit their shots from beyond the arc.

Sparked by Mark Pagayanan’s defense of Surangel’s main man, Arnold Undicimo the Spoilers went on to their trapping defense while scoring at will on the offensive end.

Pagayanan blocked Undicimo twice in one possession and continued to alter Surangel’s shots throughout the game. Michael Garcia was his usual self grabbing rebounds and making the little plays for the team.

Echanova and Marvic Ngchar exploded on offense making 3-pointers for team Spoilers while Bombita, Gonzales and RB Dorado make plays for the team.

Because of their imposing lead, the Spoilers managed to use all the active players on the roster including Felix Masaganda who scored four points, Ferdinand Pascual with two and their youngest player Juan Miguel Pineda added six points.

Spoilers veteran play-maker Boy Gopez did not play but will likely see action on the Spoilers’ next game.

Spurs News and updates

With the lockout in place, basketball fans are focusing on hoops being played outside the NBA.

On this site we often discuss and make news about a Filipino Amateur basketball club the Spoilers.

However, if you are a San Antonio Spurs fan, here are some good news.

This site offers a lot of great stuff about the Spurs, from draft picks, free agents, player’s news and many more.

And since it’s summer, a bevy of NBA players from the Spurs will be participating in the Olympic Qualifiers.

Among them are Manu Ginobili of Argentina who crushed Basque Country in an exhibition game.

Tony Parker will play for France, Tiago Splitter for Brazil, Adam Hanga for Hungary, Erazem Lorbek for Slovenia.

In the latest news, Spurs draftee Cory Joseph is also reportedly joining the Canadian national team.

And in case you are interested here is a list of free agent bigs, that the Spurs can pursue once the lockout if lifted.

Not enough? Just visit Spurs World daily for all you’re Spurs needs!

The NBA is set to resume negotiations between owners and the players union on Monday for the first time since the lockout went into place on July 1, but one of the NBA’s biggest stars has negotiations of his own planned for this weekend.

Los Angeles Lakers guard Kobe Bryant will be in the nation’s capital attending the World Football Challenge featuring Manchester United and F.C. Barcelona at FedEx Field on Saturday and the Mia Hamm-Nomar Garciaparra Celebrity Soccer Challenge on Sunday at Kastles Stadium.

Soccer won’t be the only sport on Bryant’s agenda, however, as the 15-year NBA veteran and his representatives will meet with officials from the Turkish basketball club Besiktas on Saturday, according to a Reuters report.

“At the moment there’s a 50 percent chance that Kobe may come to Turkey,” said Seref Yalcin, head of basketball operations for Besiktas, on Tuesday. Yalcin made the comments to reporters in Turkey, according to Reuters. “Everything will be clearer after the meeting on the 30th [of July].”

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As reported by Spurs Nation, the NBA lockout is forcing the league’s players to look for alternate sources of income this summer.

And some appear to be doing quite well, thank you very much.

Three of the league’s biggest stars reportedly made $400,000 apiece for appearances at exhibition games in the Phillipines over the weekend.

SI.com reports that Kobe Bryant, Kevin Durant and Derrick Rose each pocketed the mammoth tax-free checks for playing in exhibition games over the weekend.

The big-money earnings can cut a couple of ways. They are making money after NBA owners have locked them out, making it an “in-your-face statement” to league owners by some of its biggest stars.

But it could also be a devisive element for the players. Some of them will be undergoing financial hardship while the league’s biggest stars will keep rolling in money.  That likely won’t be good for union unity as the lockout continues.

As reported by ABS-CBN News, the Philippine Azkals were visibly disappointed after their 3-0 loss against Kuwait in the 1st leg of their 2nd round World Cup qualifier, and they rued their missed goal opportunities against the tough Kuwaiti team.

“We actually hit the bar several times,” said team manager Dan Palami.

“It’s a very sad story actually, we had 3 very good chances in the 1st half,” said Azkals coach Michael Weiss.

Phil Younghusband nearly scored for the Philippines in the 1st half of the game, but was denied by the Kuwaiti goal keeper.

“We came here with a goal, and we thought we had it,” said defender Jason Sabio. “But we had a couple of unlucky breaks, and we found ourselves down 3-0.”

“In the 2nd half, it was one wave after another, and unfortunately, (they scored) a late goal,” Coach Weiss said.

Weiss said that if the Azkals had managed to avoid the late goal by the Kuwaitis, a 2-0 final score would have been “a fantastic result.”

The Azkals now face an even bigger challenge when they go back to the Philippines for the 2nd leg of the qualifier.

“We have a tougher job back home, but it’s not impossible,” said Palami.

The Azkals will have to defeat Kuwait 4-0 in order to advance to the 3rd round of the World Cup qualifier.

“In Manila, we will give Kuwait a very tough fight,” Weiss promised.

Weiss also welcomed the return of team captain Aly Borromeo and midfielder Stephan Schrock, who were suspended for the 1st leg after incurring 2 yellow cards in the Azkals’ 1st round qualifier against Sri Lanka.

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