Monthly Archives: November 2007

Defeated, UV still the ‘University of Victory’

ALMOST. Just one game shy of carving it’s name in history, just two half-times away from becoming the first provincial team since 1957 to win an RP crown, just four basketball quarters away from arriving home to Cebu and carrying a banner that reads “NATIONAL CHAMPIONS” then driving to a motorcade along Osmena Boulevard amidst a thunderous rain of confetti—the University of the Visayas lost. Continue reading Defeated, UV still the ‘University of Victory’

This Sunday, wake up at 5 a.m. and run!

If you own a pair of jogging shoes, get them washed, ready, laced up. This Sunday, two events are running side-by-side: the M.O.V.E. 5-K Run and the 2nd Seminary Fund Run. But what sets these races apart from the rest is they’re not only about crossing the finish line—they’re runs “for a cause.”

Let me explain. When you join the M.O.V.E. Run to start at 6 a.m. at the Capitol grounds, you’ll be helping not just yourself with exercise—but also those Persons With Disabilities (PWD’s). Continue reading This Sunday, wake up at 5 a.m. and run!

‘Go, Pete!’ scream the fans of Roger

KUALA LUMPUR—I’ve always been a Pete Sampras fan. And so three nights ago, when we watched him clash with Roger Federer in the “Clash of Times” exhibition match here in Malaysia, I cheered for Pistol Pete. Same with seven others in our group: Rene Ven Polinar, Mark Aseniero, Charlie, Mitzi and Jasmin Pages; Dr. Ronnie and Steph Medalle—all Sampras fans.

The ones who rooted for Mr. Federer? From our group of 10? Two ladies who brought a specially-printed, hand-carried-from-Cebu “FEDERER FOREVER” banner: Michelle So and Chinggay Utzurrum.

And so we screamed, “Go, Sampras!” When Pete buried a 217-kph ace, we rose from our seats. When he attacked the net and banged a volley winner, we shook our heads in disbelief at this 36-year-old, half-balding American who’s five years retired. Continue reading ‘Go, Pete!’ scream the fans of Roger

Shook Pete’s hand in Shook

KUALA LUMPUR—Yesterday, when my watch read “3:15,” I knew it was improbable. The exclusive, by-invitation-only Cocktails Party for Roger Federer and Pete Sampras was scheduled at 6 p.m. and, less than three hours shy of that time, I still had not received any confirmation.

But by 3:30 p.m., as I pulled out my mobile phone, my eyes enlarged reading the text message: “Ok I will meet u @ Starhill 530pm. I will pass u the invite then.”

WOW! I couldn’t believe it. We were at the IKEA store, 30 minutes away from the hotel, and I had barely two hours left. Plus, I had a problem: I brought no formal attire. So I rushed to buy a pair of leather shoes, bought a Giordano gray T-shirt, and, just as I was searching to buy a black coat, Dr. Ronnie Medalle phones to say that I can borrow his black jacket. Perfect. And so I ran. Got to Hotel Capitol by 4:15, changed, then sprinted to the venue. Continue reading Shook Pete’s hand in Shook

Nadal and Gasquet: A smash in Malaysia!

KUALA LUMPUR—Richard Gasquet, the eighth best tennis player on this planet, could hardly believe his French eyes. He was standing on the baseline, in control of the point, when he lobbed a high ball above Rafael Nadal’s head. Surely, Gasquet thought, even if Nadal stands an imposing 6-foot-1, there was no way the Spaniard would retrieve the ball. But the three-time French Open champion spun a U-turn and sprinted for the baseline. And, just when the ball was a foot high from landing on the ground, he flicked an in-between-the-legs shot which zoomed across the net—for a winner! And that wasn’t on YouTube. Continue reading Nadal and Gasquet: A smash in Malaysia!

Flying to Malaysia to see Roger and Pete

KUALA LUMPUR—Our Cebu Pacific flight 5J501 left for Manila at 9:10 p.m. last Sunday and landed at the KL Airport at 12:45 a.m. yesterday. The flight was, to borrow Thai Airways’ slogan, as smooth as silk.

From Cebu, on board the plane were myself and my wife Jasmin, top ophthalmologist Dr. Ronnie Medalle and his wife Steph, and Mark Aseniero and his wife Ding. Plus, there was a surprise Cebuano we met at the NAIA departure area: Vince Marc “Mac-Mac” Tabotabo. All of 10 years old, you’ve read the “TABOTABO” name publicized in these sports pages many times. He’s RP’s no.1 tennis player in the 10 and under category. Accompanied by his dad Titus and coach Dodong Ruelan, Mac-Mac (together with Nino and Sally Mae Siso and Jacob Lagman) will join four tennis events here in Malaysia. Continue reading Flying to Malaysia to see Roger and Pete

31st Milo Marathon

Last Sunday morning, my alarm rang at 5:20 in the morning. From our hotel room in Manila, I took a peek outside and saw that the cement roads were wet and the skies were dark and rain was about to fall. I went back to sleep. By 7 a.m., I arose back and wore my running shoes then headed for Rizal Park to run 12 kms. Just a few hours earlier, on the same spot, the 31st Milo Marathon commenced. There were several categories: 42-K, 10-K, 5-K, and 3-K. Thousands of men and women ran. Here are some photos… Continue reading 31st Milo Marathon

In Boston, an avid spectator from Cebu

The Boston Celtics are 8-0. They own the NBA’s best scorecard. Last week, top Cebu rheumatologist Dr. Ronald Eullaran fulfilled his lifelong dream to watch “Larry Bird’s team.” Here’s Dr. Ron Eullaran:

“I was in Boston from Nov. 6 to 11 for our Annual Meeting of the American College of Rheumatology at the new Boston Intl. Convention Center. The topics were great but we were more excited to watch the game between the Boston Celtics and Denver Nuggets. I have long been a fan of the Celtics since the era of Larry Bird. Visiting the Boston Garden is one of my dreams. Well, it became true last Wednesday, Nov. 9. Boston Garden, now named Banknorth Garden, is huge but it wasn’t difficult for me to spot the #33 jersey among the retired numbers that hung from the roof. Continue reading In Boston, an avid spectator from Cebu

Shooting with the Stars

That’s Cecil Mamiit (2nd from the left) when we watched him at the Davis Cup event earlier this year at the Manila Polo Club. Mamiit, in case you didn’t know, is the country’s top bet in tennis. Although he grew up and resides in California, he’s come back home to represent his native Philippines.

Dr. Ronald Eullaran stands at the left-most. Dr. Ronnie Medalle is 2nd from the right and I’m the one at the right-most. I’ll be together with Dr. Medalle, one of Cebu’s top ophthalmologists, next week when we watch the Federer/Sampras and Nadal/Gasquet exhibition matches in Kuala Lumpur. Hope we can pose for a similar photo with those tennis greats named Roger and Pete.

Pete Sampras live? Roger on that!

I’m a tennis fanatic. I’ve walloped forehands and smashed volleys for 21 years. Watched Ivan Lendl and Stefan Edberg “Live at the Araneta Coliseum.” Saw Carlos Moya at the 2003 Thailand Open. I’ve never missed a tennis grand slam watch on Star Sports. Read 112 issues of Tennis magazine and gobbled up autobiographies of John McEnroe and Boris Becker. I am, as I said, a tennis freak. Continue reading Pete Sampras live? Roger on that!

The Sportsman

His name and photo were permanent fixtures of these back pages. He was the chairman of the Cebu City Sports Commission. He shot basketballs, birdied golf holes, flicked his wrist in badminton, swung tennis backhands, and even donned bathing trunks to swim, pedal and run in triathlon.

Sportsman? Check. Politician? Check. Businessman? Cheque. His empire spans not only our city but nationwide. He has outlets and herbal medicine in just about every corner drugstore of our 7,107-island archipelago. And with money, he not only has the luxury of acquiring a sleek, white Jaguar XJ or owning several homes in Cebu, but, best of all, he shares.

During his four-year reign as Cebu sports’ Team Captain, he often turned his right hand backwards to pull out his wallet. He’s generous. Very generous. Athletes, sports teams, tournaments—they always flocked to him and he rarely said “I’m sorry.”

He is—of course you know him—Jonathan Guardo.

Guardo (right) with world boxing champ Nonito Donaire Continue reading The Sportsman

Doctors Peter and Yong

Yesterday (Friday, November 9), our Sun.Star Cebu sports editor Mike Limpag penned an excellent article about the recent New York City Marathon run of doctors Yong Larrazabal (below photo, right) and Peter Mancao. Below is the article, “After New York, doctors eye Boston marathon.”

FOR MOST people, spending thousands of pesos and traveling halfway round the world evokes images of a relaxing vacation—not that of waking up early in the morning to wait in line in the cold mist for five hours just to get the chance to run 42 kilometers for four or five more hours. Continue reading Doctors Peter and Yong

Nonito Donaire

Had dinner last night with the reigning IBF and IBO Flyweight world boxing champion… Nonito “The Filipino Flash” Donaire. Great guy. Really funny. Easy to talk with. No airs. Speaks Bisaya. His dad, Nonito, Sr., is just like the son… another very likeable guy. We were at Mooon Cafe, a Mexican-themed restaurant in Guadalupe, Cebu that my family recently purchased. Enjoy our photos…

The Donaires (seated) with (from left) Atty. Jingo Quijano, John Pages, Mike Limpag, Gerry Malixi, Dong Secuya, Manny Villaruel, Salven Lagumbay and friends Continue reading Nonito Donaire