RSS

Category Archives: SPORTS

Let’s stop bellyaching; we don’t need Rio

“You don’t play against opponents, you play against the game of basketball.” Bobby Knight

By Alex P. Vidal

NEW YORK CITY — So what’s the big deal if we wound up second to China in the recently-concluded 2015 FIBA Asia Men’s Championship in Changsha City, China on Sept. 23-Oct. 3?
Instead of bellyaching, we must, in fact, jump in jubilation that we reached that far.
Didn’t we know that Gilas Pilipinas’ silver medal tasted like gold?
In the first place, to land in the championship round against mighty China was already a king-sized accomplishment, given the tough field that Gilas was in, let alone campaigning in a hostile territory.
Against the host country, our chances to bag the title were nil.
It would have been a different story if the game was held in Tehran or Nagasaki. Or in Manila.
But our cagers were “fighting for their life” in the capital of Hunan province, a large city with a history dating to the Zhou dynasty (1046–256 B.C.).

HOME COURT

If we can’t lick China somewhere else, we can’t beat them right in their own home court, where the crowd, aside from being rowdy, was violent (they threw empty bottles on the Gilas bench) and definitely wouldn’t go home yielding the FIBA throne on a silver platter to any foreign customer.
That the officiating was bum and horrific wasn’t news at all.
If they wouldn’t cheat, they would be on a hell ride if the Gilas threatened to pull the rug from under them after Gilas’ surprising 5-0 juggernaut in the first quarter.
We don’t need a trip to the 2016 Rio Olympics. Give the ride to the Chinese.
The silver medal finish was a blessing in disguise. In Rio, we will only be eaten alive, humiliated and exposed as Lilliputians.
Our present line-up has no match against Argentina, Brazil, USA, Uruguay, Germany, Italy, Ukraine, Spain, among other global giants.

BATTLE

Let China do the battle for the Asians in Rio.
They are more equipped, financially-prepared, more exposed and with many crack reserves, more battle-scarred, and ready to lock horns with the who’s who in the world of sports politics as an economic behemoth.
We have limited influence and power. We can’t even send a competent representative to lobby for the Fiba hosting. Instead of sending a seasoned negotiator, we sent Manny Pacquiao, who ended up in a photo-op with Yao Ming.
Let’s call spade a spade. Our 12-man roster that walloped Japan twice in as many confrontations: 6-2 Calvin Abueva, 27, 6-11 Andray Blatche, 29, 6-6 Ranidel de Ocampo, 33, 6-5 Matt Ganuelas, 25, 6-2 Dondon Hontiveros, 38, 6-4 J. C. Intal, 31, 6-6 Gabe Norwood, 30, 6-6 Marc Pingris, 33, 5-10 Terrence Romeo, 23, 6-9 Asi Taulava, 42, 6-7 Sonny Thoss, 33 and 5-11 Jayson Castro, 29, will reign supreme in Southeast Asia or Asian Games, for that matter, but not in the World Olympics.
Magpakatotoo tayo, please.

OLYMPICS

Pardon me, but I still maintain that the RP Team that finished 5th in the 1936 Berlin Olympics was still the best, a lot better than Gilas Pilipinas.
And they were all natural-born Filipinos. No naturalized. No imports. We were better than China (tie with Germany at 15th), Italy (7th), Brazil (9th), and France (19th), all powerful teams in this generation.
And who can forget the greatest RP Team-ever assembled that finished third behind the USA and Brazil in the 1954 World Basketball Championship of the International Basketball Federation (Fiba) in Rio de Janeiro composed of Carlos “Caloy” Loyzaga, and Lauro “The Fox” Mumar, Pons Saldaña, Florentino Bautista, Mariano Tolentino, Antonio Genato, Francisco Rabat, Rafael Barredo, Bayani Amador, Ramon Manulat, Nap Flores, and Ben Francisco?

NOTE: A basketball tournament had been contested during the 1904 Olympic Games in St. Louis, but it is usually considered a demonstration, and not a true Olympic event. Thus, the first Olympic Basketball championship took place in 1936. As the inventor of the game, the United States was considered the favorite, although there had been almost no international competitions prior to 1936. In 1935, the first European Championship had been contested, with Latvia winning, Spain second, and Czechoslovakia third. Latvia competed at the 1936 Olympics but did not even survive the second round. There had been South American Championships since 1930, twice won by Uruguay and once by Argentina, prior to the 1936 Olympics.

Advertisements
 
Leave a comment

Posted by on October 4, 2015 in basketball, SPORTS

 

Tags: , , ,

Novak, Anatoli names with no appeal to American fans?

By Alex P. Vidal

NEW YORK CITY — As we leave the Arthur Ashe Stadium in Flushing on a rainy Sunday, we paused for a while and wondered: “Are American fans biased against non-American sounding names of sports icons?”
Or was it because of the political affiliations and backgrounds of Novak Djokovic and Anatoli Karpov why the Yankees apparently have no love lost for them?
In spite of his sterling performance in the 2015 U.S. Open Tennis Championships men’s final against Swiss star Roger Federer on Sunday evening in Flushing Meadows, world ATP No. 1 Djokovic had to cope with occasional boos and shouts from a partisan crowd on several occasions during his service motion.
Although he bundled out world ATP No. 2 Federer, 6-4 5-7 6-4 6-4, the 28-year-old Serb, who now resides in Monaco, could not appease the pro-Federer fans that included celebrities David Beckham, Hugh Jackman, Leonardo DiCaprio and Blake Griffin at the Arthur Ashe Stadium.

GENOCIDE

What many Americans probably think when they hear the word Serbia is the Bosnian Genocide masterminded by Serbian General Radislav Krstic, who played a major role in the Srebrenica massacre, an “ethnic cleansing” that claimed the lives of estimated 100,000 people in 1995.
What some of them don’t know is that Djokovic adheres to Eastern Orthodoxy in the Serbian Orthodox Church and is a member of the “Champions for Peace” club, a group of famous elite athletes committed to serving peace in the world through sport, created by Peace and Sport, a Monaco-based international organization.
The rivalry between Djokovic and Federer, meanwhile, reminds us of the great rivalry between chess’ Garry Kasparov and Anatoli Karpov.
Having met 42 times, Federer and Djokovic are tied 21–21. Many experts have included their rivalry as one of the best rivalries in the Open Era.

COMMUNIST

Karpov was the dependable Soviet Union hero who adhered to Communist ideology, while fellow Soviet and flamboyant Kasparov was part of the new brigade open to change starting under Mickhail Gorbachev.
The two chess super Grand Masters produced more epic wars with future politician Kasparov edging out Karpov in four more encounters from 1985 to 1990 including a drawn FIDE title match in 1987.
It was believed that the rivalry between Kasparov and Karpov led to a big change in world dynamics and ushered in a new era.
It’s probably a coincidence that Roger and Garry are American-sounding names and both darlings of New York sports fans, while Novak and Anatoli sound like perennial Cold War era villain characters.

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on September 14, 2015 in SPORTS, Tennis, U.S. Open

 

Mayweather shows why boxing is called ‘sweet science’

By Alex P. Vidal

LAS VEGAS, Nevada — Instead of ribbing Floyd Myweather Jr. for “running away like a scared rabbit”, we must, in fact, credit him for giving justice to boxing’s billing as the “Sweet Science.”
Daniel Petrov Bojilov exposed our ignorance when we lambasted the five-man jury for awarding the lightflyweight (48-kg) gold to the tall Bulgarian who reduced Mansueto “Onyok” Velasco Jr. into a homunculi during the 1992 Barcelona Summer Olympics.
Like Mayweather Jr., who jabbed and bicycled his way to a 12-round unanimous decision victory against Manny Pacquiao on May 2 at the MGM Grand Arena, Bojilov used science to the fullest to bamboozle the smaller Velasco.
Some of us are again displaying utter ignorance if not lack of understanding why scientific boxers like Bojilov and Mayweather can be dominant when matched against sluggers or brawlers like Velasco and Pacquiao.
Mayweather Jr.’s mastery of the ring was a mixture of science, skills, intelligence, size and reach.
Scientific fighters usually have long legs and a thin frame like Salvador Sanchez, alexis Arguello, Aaron Pryor, Sugar Ray Leonard, Thomas Hearns, Hector Camacho in the lighter division; and Muhammad Ali, Lennox Lewis, Evander Holyfield in the heavy category.
They throw punches like windmills and their movements synchronize with how their brains work while weaving and boobing.
Sicentific fighters maintain springy legs which they use in order to stay away from danger zones.
Mayweather effectively utilized his footwork and crisp jabs to hold Pacquiao at bay and made the Filipino lefty eat the dust.
Scientific fighters look awkward when they avoid head-on collisions but that’s how they are made of; they just can’t dance in the tune of a brawler who demands a slugfest by enforcing their own program of works in the ring.
Scientific fighters flick a jab, display cunningness and a virtuoso of ability meant to confuse and befuddle a brawler.
Brawler Pacquiao wanted to come in on various occasions but hesitated for fear of being zapped by Mayweather’s laser-laced left hook.
Pacquiao lacked activity. His work rate was dismal and timid.
There was no more fire in his belly and Pacquiao’s eyes were no longer emitting volcanic fireballs.
Pacquiao was simply outshuttled, outgunned and outjabbed by a superior fighter who confirmed the dominance and mastery of scientific boxers with amazing amateur background.
Mayweather was a bronze medalist in the 1996 Atlanta Olympics. He fought and swapped tongs and hammer vis-a-vis the best amateur simonpures in Europe, Asia, Africa before he became a prizefighter.
Pacquiao, “Kid Kulafu” in a brief amateur life that was never tested in the national amateur boxing championships or any AIBA-sanctioned tournament, never fought the best Cuban and Bulgarian amateur World Cup champions en route to turning professional in 1995 via a four-round scrapper.
In a nutshell, there’s a whale of difference between a street-fighting slugger and brawler with no fundamentals like Pacquiao, who topples opponents on sheer guts and power, and a smart aleck, Olympic Games-cultivated, tall and fast titan like Mayweather Jr.
In a truest sense of the word, running or showboating is not an act of cowardice. It’s science. It’s brilliancy personified.

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on May 5, 2015 in BOXING, SPORTS

 

Tags: , ,

Rematch in February 2016?

“In boxing, you never know who you’re going to face in the ring.” Manny Pacquiao

By Alex P. Vidal

LOS ANGELES, California — What Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather Jr. haven’t signed yet is the contract for a rematch in February 2016, not the contract for the May 2 welterweight unification fight in Las Vegas, Nevada as reported on the internet recently.

Sources said part of the pre-contract signing agreement for the May 2 Fight of the Century is for Mayweather Jr. to announce the rematch in the event both parties have already signed the rematch contract’s dotted lines.

Thus no report came out since January this year about the possible rematch.

Both Pacquiao and Mayweather Jr. have denied they will face each other in a rematch probably to avoid confusion and to bring focus only on the May 2 event.

Even Top Rank CEO Bob Arum’s mouth is sealed.

No one from the camp of Team Mayweather will confirm the February 2016 rematch pending the result of the first fight to be jointly telecast by HBO and Showtime on a pay-per-view.

LOPSIDED

There can only be no rematch, our sources said, if Mayweather Jr. will trounce Pacquiao in a lopsided contest.

But if Mayweather Jr. will nip the Filipino congressman in a close decision, “a rematch will make sense,” asserted Kevin Lolo of Yahoo Sports.

A rematch maybe possible if Pacquiao will destroy the undefeated reigning WBA/WBC 147-lb titleholder, who hails from Las Vegas.

A week before the titanic tussle in the gambling capital of the world, fightnews.com released a full list of things fans didn’t know about Mayweather Jr. and Pacquiao.

Mayweather, 38, averages over 1,000 sit-ups while Pacquiao, 36, averages 2.500 sit-ups a day during their training camps.

Pacquiao starts his day reading the Bible, while Mayweather Jr.’s morning routine includes brushing his teeth for straight 10 minutes.

HOME

Mayweather Jr. gets a manicure and pedicure at home once a week during training camp, while Pacquiao is followed by some 500 fans on his morning runs in Los Angeles.

Pacquiao eats five meals and consumes 8,000 calories daily to keep his weight and energy up, while Mayweather Jr. eats food cooked and heated up on a stove and in an oven, not in a microwave.

Pacquiao doesn’t drink cold water because he believes it is not healthy. He drinks only hot or room temperature water.

Mayweather orders a glass of hot water when he is out to eat, to let his silverware soak in the glass before using them.

Two heavyweight superstars have picked Pacquiao to win: Mike Tyson and George Foreman, both former world champions and among the most feared KO artists in the world during their prime.

Heavyweight champion Vitali Klitschko, 43, has predicted a victory for Mayweather Jr., who is trained by his father. Floyd Sr.

Former Barcelona Olympics gold medalist and welterweight king Oscar De La Hoya, a victim of both Pacquiao and Mayweather Jr., described Pacquiao as a “difficult fighter” who jumps from one side to another.

ATTACK

He said Mayweather Jr. might allow Pacquiao to attack him from pillar the post and cover his chin and breadbasket with his signature defense.

“Once Pacquiao tires out, Mayweather will launch his counter attack and pocket the round on the way to winning all the rounds,” stressed the Golden Boy, who lost by 8th round TKO to Pacquiao in December 2008.

Miguel Angel Cotto, who lost a decision to Mayweather Jr. and lost by 12th round TKO to Pacquiao, said the Filipino southpaw’s biggest weapon will be Freddie Roach.

Team Pacquiao heads for Las Vegas April 27 (April 28 in the Philippines) from the Hollywood accompanied by a horde of fans, family members, politicians, Philippine entertainers, and journalists on board a caravan that will pass the Mojave Desert in the Nevada.

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on April 26, 2015 in BOXING, SPORTS

 

Tags: , , ,

Only Michael Buffer is like Caesar’s wife on fight night

Yesterday I was lying. Today, I’m telling the truth,” BOB ARUM

By Alex P. Vidal

NOW that the names of ring officials in the Fight of the Century in Las Vegas on May 2 have been revealed, the Doubting Thomases among Filipino fight fans are getting restless and paranoid.

Some have even cast doubts on the officials’ neutrality.

Others have lent credence on the vitriol of Oscar De La Hoya (39-6, 30 KOs) that third man in the ring, Kenny Bayless, may be a pro-Floyd Mayweather Jr. (47-0, 26 KOs).

De La Hoya could be speaking from a personal experience or out of disgust after failing to obtain favors from the popular referee in the past; his opinion, nevertheless, does not transform Bayless into a hooligan.

De La Hoya cited one instance in Mayweather Jr’s fight against Marcos Rene Maidana (35-5, 31 KOs), where Bayless allegedly “had the bad habit of prematurely” separating the fighters even if they weren’t clinching.

This was when Maidana was about to deliver a coup de grace to Mayweather Jr., De La Hoya pointed out, thus instead of hurting the unbeaten WBA/WBC welterweight champion, Mayweather Jr. managed to survive and beat the Argentine customer on points after 12 rounds.

RESIDENTS

Both Mayweather Jr., 38, and Bayless, 63, are residents of Nevada. And both are black (but we don’t believe Bayless will mediate the bout base on race).

Two of the three judges also hail from Nevada:  Burt Clements and Dave Moretti.  Third judge Glenn Feldman is from Connecticut.

All ring officials are Americans like Mayweather Jr. No Filipino or Asian, for that matter, has been assigned as official.

They were all appointed by the Nevada State Athletic Commission, where Bayless had served as inspector for six years before he became a referee.

Bayless is a former Physical Education (P.E) teacher and considers boxing officiating as a serious job.  He cited Pacquiao’s brutal two-round KO of Ricky Hatton (45-3, 32 KOs) as the worst beating in boxing that he has officiated.

As Hatton laid flat on the canvas, his eyes were still open but were rolling and glassy, Bayless recalled. He called it a night.

Bayless, a father of three, considers the Bernard Hopkins (55-7-2, 32 KOs) versus De La Hoya duel on September 18, 2004 as the biggest fight that he has officiated.

It was witnessed by about 200 million people worldwide, he recalled.

CRY 

He cried and considered quitting as ring arbiter more than 10 years ago when one of the fighters in the bout he had officiated in Las Vegas died of head injury, Bayless confessed in an HBO Sports interview last year.

Bayless was not yet involved in big time fights when Filipino referee, Carlos “Sonny” Padilla Jr., 80, was active in Las Vegas in the 70’s and 80’s.

As the ring officials undergo microscopic scrutiny, only Michael “Let’s-Get-Ready-To-Rumble” Buffer is free from doubts and reproach.

Like Caesar’s wife, only Buffer is considered by fans as above suspicion.

After all, he won’t hold any pen to decide the fates of Mayweather Jr. and Manny Pacquiao (57-5-2, 38 KOs).

Buffer is “off limits” in as far as officiating is concerned. His role is only to introduce the protagonists and announce the winner.

But he is also a big Pacman fan. We once asked him who’s the greatest fighter in his opinion after Pacquiao stopped Miguel Angel Cotto (39-4, 32 KOs) in the 12th.

“Manny Pacquiao,” he remarked without any hesitation.

All officials, including, perhaps, Bob Arum, will be under intense scrutiny by fans, except Buffer.

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on April 23, 2015 in SPORTS

 

Tags: , , ,

Pacquiao doesn’t need a KO to defeat Floyd Jr.

“In boxing you create a strategy to beat each new opponent, it’s just like chess.” LENNOX LEWIS

By Alex P. Vidal

THE trick is to win every round.  

Or majority of the 12 rounds.

There should be no room for error; a ring warrior mustn’t lower his guard during a fierce exchange or he’ll end up crossed-eyed and kissing the canvas.

If the triple (WBA/WBC/WBO) 147-pound championship setto goes the distance without any knockout, Manny Pacquiao will need to score at least 115 in the scorecards of two of the three judges to whip Floyd Mayweather Jr.

A fighter who loses 10-9 each in seven rounds and secures 10-9 win in five rounds accumulates 113. 

If the third judge goes against Pacquiao, the Filipino lefty can still escape with a victory via split decision.

If the same judge agrees with his two colleagues and they all award the fight to Pacquiao, the congressman from Saranggani wins by unanimous decision.

If two of the three judges score draw apiece while the third one favors either Mayweather or Pacquiao, the bout will end up as majority draw.

If one judge sees Pacquiao the winner and the other sides with Mayweather, but the third judge submits a draw, the bout will be declared split draw.

SEVEN

Pacquiao (57-5-2, 38 KOs) has to win 10-9 in at least seven rounds even if he will yield the five to Mayweather Jr. (47-0, 26 KOs)–assuming there will be no knockdowns (a knockdown is automatically equivalent to 10-8).

Winning on points is Team Pacquiao’s plan B.

If Mayweather proves to be a hard nut to crack and won’t hit the canvas, he, too, is probably looking to wrap up the victory on points.

This must be Team Mayweather’s plan A.

Mayweather will endeavor to also win every round and halt Pacquiao, if possible.

Each fighter will hanker to score a KO or TKO victory. It’s a prizefighter’s natural instinct.

He smells blood and is always ready to annihilate his rival at all costs.

To win on points, both Mayweather and Pacquiao must focus on the following: 1. Defense 2. Effective hits 3. Ring generalship.

They may need a “blistering start” and “strong finish” but must not suffer serious cuts in the last four stanzas.

FULL

In high level battles, the protagonists need a full tank and second wind to survive 12 rounds.

With the quality of their training and preparations, Pacquiao and Mayweather appear to be ready to chase each other even for 15 rounds, the original distance of world championship bouts, which was reduced to 12 after the 1982 death of Deuk-koo Kim who suffered a brutal 14th-round TKO from Ray “Boom Boom” Mancini for the WBA lightweight title in Las Vegas.

Not known as a risky fighter, Mayweather must have devised a different strategy that will confuse Pacquiao, who expects the black American to fight defensively and stay away from the booby traps they invented in the Wild Card gym.   

A better way to out-shuttle and outmaneuver Mayweather is for Pacquiao to follow him inch by inch so he can’t reload and maneuver a counter punch where Mayweather is more dangerous.

 

 

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on April 22, 2015 in SPORTS

 

Tags: , ,

Beware of heat stroke

“The stroke of death is as a lover’s pinch, which hurts and is desired.” William Shakespeare

By Alex P. Vidal

FEUDING Bacolod politicians, Mayor Monico “Nyok” Puentevella and Rep. Evelio “Bing” Leonardia, are expected to meet again in Las Vegas, Nevada during the Fight of the Century between Manny “Pacman” Pacquiao and Floyd “Money” Mayweather Jr. on May 2.

Both Negros leaders are actually close buddies of the eight-time world titlist who speaks fluent Hiligaynon like them.

Sometime in August 2005, Puentevella visited Pacquiao in his training camp in the house of our friend, international promoter Rex “Wakee” Salud, in Cebu City.

Pacquiao stopped training when he noticed that his friend, who was then “Congressman Puentevella”, was present.  

Pacquiao was then revving up for his September bout against Hector Velasquez in Los Angeles.  

Leonardia has been holding Pacquiao’s WBC belt during introduction since 2008 when Pacquiao eked out a 12-round split decision in a rematch against Juan Manuel Marquez.

When other interested characters (not Puentevella) tried to grab the belt from Leonardia during the Ricky Hatton fight in 2009, the traditional holding of belt has been stopped.

Leonardia was still there in the ring during introduction in Pacquiao’s succeeding fights, but he was already holding the Philippine flag.

Both Leonardia and Puentevella have not displayed any rancor and hostility while they were beside Pacquiao.

-o0o-

Warning to would-be politicians who are now starting to make rounds in the villages amid the searing summer heat in preparations for the 2016 elections: beware of heat stroke.

A 53-year-old tour guide from Guimaras Province, who spent many years in Canada after his retirement as sailor in the 90s, recently died of heat stroke in Iloilo City.

The tour guide, who once dabbled as bodyguard of Senator Miriam Defensor-Santiago when the later was campaigning for president in 1992, wanted to run for a public office in his province next year, thus he frequented various villages to shake the hands of constituents even if humidity was on its alarming heat these past months.

In one of his sorties, he collapsed and didn’t make it to the Western Visayas Medical Center in Mandurriao district, Iloilo City recently.

Who are prone to heat stroke?

According to health experts, they are those who have chronic illnesses like heart disease, obesity, alcoholism, old age, Parkinson’s disease, uncontrolled diabetes, those who use certain medications such as diuretics and antihistamines, and those who use some psychoactive drugs as alcohol and cocaine.

SUNSTROKE

Also known as sunstroke, thermic fever or siriasis, heat stroke occurs when our body’s mechanisms for controlling temperature fail, according to C.Health.

In other words, it’s a life-threatening emergency needing immediate treatment.

“While many people feel sick and faint during heat waves,” it explains, “most of these people are suffering from heat exhaustion, a related condition usually less serious than heat stroke.”

C.Health stresses that the causes of heat stroke is working or exercising in hot conditions or weather without drinking enough fluids.

“You can get heat stroke by not replacing lost fluids over days or weeks, or you can bring it on in a few hours by exercising strenuously on a hot day without drinking plenty of liquids first,” warns C.Health.

Why we need more liquids in the body, especially this summer?

C.Health says liquids help to cool us down by allowing the body to produce sweat.

“However,” it stresses, “liquids are also necessary for bodily functions, such as keeping up blood pressure. You can lose large amounts of body fluid in the form of sweat without noticing any effects, but at a certain point the body will reserve the remaining fluid for vital functions and stop sweating.

“The body’s core temperature then shoots up, and cells start dying. Sweat evaporates more rapidly in dry weather, cooling the body more efficiently than in humid weather.

“When working in humid conditions, the core temperature rises more rapidly. This is why forecasts add a humidity factor or heat index to represent how you will actually feels outdoors.”

HEAVY

Health experts also warn that heavy clothing and some skin conditions can also contribute to the occurrence of heat stroke.

The symptoms of heat stroke are quite different from those of heat exhaustion, C.Health warns further.

A person suffering from heat exhaustion will usually be sweating profusely in an attempt to get rid of excess heat, it explains.

“Someone with heat stroke has stopped sweating, due to a failure in his or her heat control system. High core temperatures damage the internal organs, especially the brain. The fluid loss can also produce dangerously low blood pressure,” C.Health points out.

“Most people who are killed by heat stroke die when their heart stops pumping effectively (circulatory failure). Even people who survive are likely to have permanent brain damage if their core temperature has been over 40.6C (105F) for more than an hour or two.”

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on April 20, 2015 in NEWS!!!NEWS!!!NEWS!!!, SPORTS

 

Tags: , , , , ,