Monthly Archives: June 2008

25 facts that you likely didn’t know about EDP

1. If you add up all his recent earnings so far, plus put into the equation what he will earn in the next two years or so, Manny Pacquiao is well on his way to becoming “the only billionaire Filipino athlete in history,” as pointed out by renowned boxing writer Salven Lagumbay.

2. Manny’s first boxing hero was Ala Villamor. As a small boy, he would steal the transistor radio from his mom and would listen to the Ala Villamor drama played on the radio. That prompted him to box.

Edito “ALA” Villamor, Boom-Boom Bautista and Jingo Quijano

3. A study made by some amateur officials in Gen. Santos City years back reveals that Manny is the only known Filipino fighter whose heartbeat does not change even after several minutes of strenuous and rigorous activity. The only other fighter known to have this trait was the legendary Salvador Sanchez, touted by many as the greatest Mexican fighter of all time. Continue reading 25 facts that you likely didn’t know about EDP

The Motto of Manny Pacquiao

I will never forget the month of September last year.

Three times, together with my fellow mediamen, we wore blue-and-yellow jerseys to play basketball against a dozen players called “Team Pacquiao.” Against the boxing world champion himself—Pacman—we dribbled and scored baskets twice at the City Sports Club and once at the Cebu Coliseum. On one occasion when I guarded him, I attempted to steal the basketball from Manny as we scrambled for the loose ball and fell to the floor with arms locked. It was scary—but fun for Manny.

Continue reading The Motto of Manny Pacquiao

Time for sports

It is otherwise named, “The International Magazine of Events.” Founded in 1923, each week Time magazine publishes stories ranging from the Iraq War to Barack Obama to the annual “Person of the Year.” This week, with it’s June 20 to July 7 issue, sports fans are lucky.

“Games People Play” is the cover title with the accompanying queries: Who invented chess? Why is polo big in Pakistan? From the ancient city of Ur to modern Africa, from Cornwall to Korea, how sports and games have changed our world.

This issue is a fabulous read! Would you believe, out of the magazine’s 104 pages, a full 60 are devoted to essays, statistics and photos on sports? Continue reading Time for sports

A Celtics fanatic, Dr. Ron remembers Boston

He has traveled to Athens and Shanghai and Las Vegas and Paris and Bangkok and Sydney, but one of the cities that one of Cebu’s top doctors reminisces the most is Boston, Massachusetts.

Dr. Ronald Eullaran, one of the top—if not the leading—rheumatologist in Cebu, recalls his visit: “I was in Boston from Nov. 6 to 11 for our meeting of the American College of Rheumatology. The topics were great but we were more excited to watch the game between the Celtics and Denver Nuggets. I have long been a fan of the Celtics since the era of Larry Bird. Visiting the Garden was one of my dreams. Well, it became true in Nov. 9. The 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 A Celtics fanatic, Dr. Ron remembers Boston

No headline news: These writers love sports

Three nights ago at the Madrid room of the Casino Español, the group of men and women whose stories and scores and scoops you read about each day at these back pages met. Sun.Star Cebu, The Freeman, Cebu Daily News, Sun.Star Superbalita, Banat—each of the five Cebu dailies was represented. The group?

The Sportswriters Association of Cebu (SAC).

Continue reading No headline news: These writers love sports

The twin brother of Michael Jordan

Kobe Bryant fans, sorry, it’s not him. With how KB24 has performed thus far—and how his team’s going to lose the NBA Finals this Wednesday morning—he’s far from being compared to MJ23.

There’s only one man who can be likened to the greatest-ever athlete who stepped foot on earth. He’s of the same color, slightly shorter, of the same muscular build. The only difference? While MJ dribbled and dunked, this superman putts and pars.

Know him? Of course, you do. Because while 96 percent of the populace—in my far-fetched estimate—can’t afford to play golf, 1,000 percent know him.

TW1. Isn’t he amazing? Isn’t he talented beyond anyone, possessing steely nerves unlike anyone, with the perfect swing and the handsome face and the bulky biceps and the Nike red shirt-every-Sunday and the screaming pump-fist unlike anyone?

Yes. There can only be one. Tiger Woods. Continue reading The twin brother of Michael Jordan

Back home, Kobe stars in Hollywood

With chants of “M-V-P! M-V-P!” in the background, Kobe Bean Bryant finally lived up to his top billing as Hollywood’s No. 1 superstar. With 6:55 left in Game 3 and his Los Angeles Lakers trailing the Boston Celtics, 66-68, he stood at the top of the 3-point rainbow, hesitated for a split second, eyed the target, then fired. The orange Spalding ball—swirling on air at the Staples Center—swooshed into the net. Minutes later, with his team quivering on the brink of falling 0-3—an impossible task that no team in NBA history has overcome—Kobe lifted his arms to an 87-81 win. Never mind missing seven of 18 free throws, he scored 10 points in that 4th quarter to finish with 36.

Not known to many, Kobe now moves one point away from taking the fourth spot for the most postseason points in Lakers franchise history. His 3,622 postseason points is one less Elgin Baylor’s and only 79 points away from the No. 3 spot—held by Magic Johnson (3,701 points). The second spot is held by Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (4,070) and the No. 1 rank by Jerry West at 4,457. If the NBA Finals goes back to Boston, look for Kobe to surpass Magic. Continue reading Back home, Kobe stars in Hollywood

No. 2 to Roger, he’s No. 1 against Federer

Only five men in the history of tennis have won all four Grand Slam singles titles: Andre Agassi, Don Budge, Roy Emerson, Rod Laver and Fred Perry. Sad to say, the initials “RF” won’t be scribbled alongside that list.

At least, not yet. Because the way Rafael Nadal embarrassed him at the French Open final, it’s hard to imagine—on clay—the world’s No. 1 beating the world’s No. 2. Ever.

Funny, no? Roger Federer is close to being crowned “The Greatest.” Against almost every player on the ATP Tour, he has a winning record. Against Andy Roddick: it’s 15-2. Against David Ferrer, 8-0. Against Nikolay Davydenko: 12-0. But against Nadal, it’s the opposite: he’s lost 11 of their 17 encounters; 10 of 11 on clay.

The question begs: Can Roger be adjudged as history’s best if he fails to beat Nadal and continues to falter at the French Open? Continue reading No. 2 to Roger, he’s No. 1 against Federer

Roger Federer: French toast or French fried?

(This photo and all the photos below from

Nick Torres, one of Cebu’s top Class-A netters before he shifted to golf, said it best: “I would love to see RF finally win but I’m afraid it’s never gonna happen as long as Rafa is around… eventually, RF’s self-belief will go away as the balls from the other side keep coming back, back, back…”

Graeme Mackinnon, text-messaging from Australia, added: “He (Nadal) is a class above all, no doubt. I don’t think Roger will get his first French title unless Nadal has food poisoning!”

And Jon Wertheim, one of this planet’s best tennis writers, wrote: “(The only way Nadal will lose)… Maybe he’ll get his foot run over by a Vespa.” Continue reading Roger Federer: French toast or French fried?

Yayoy Alcoseba: ‘Kobe…. like Michael Jordan’

Yayoy Alcoseba with Freddie Roach

At 1 p.m. yesterday, with the sound of rubber shoes squeaking against the parquet floor and the noise of shouts echoing and basketballs bouncing in the background, I spoke to a man as legendary to Cebu basketball as Phil Jackson is to the NBA.

He has won more titles in Cebu basketball—and possibly, nationwide—than any other coach in history. As head coach of the M. Lhuillier squad—and top honcho of other ball-clubs throughout his several-decades-long tenure—he has amassed 50, 100, 150, maybe 200 trophies. In four short words: Too Many To Count. Continue reading Yayoy Alcoseba: ‘Kobe…. like Michael Jordan’

In France, the King of Spain reigns

As much as I, together with millions of other unofficial members of the Roger Federer Fans Club — including the two most passionate in Cebu: Sun.Star’s Executive Editor, Michelle So, and this paper’s celebrated Lifestyle columnist, Chinggay Utzurrum — want RF to win the 2008 French Open, there is one monarch who lords over Paris.

And, guess what, he’s celebrating his 22nd birthday today, June 3…

Rafael Nadal, the King of Spain. Continue reading In France, the King of Spain reigns

Are you ready? It’s Celtics vs. Lakers!

(FILE/Branimir Kvartuc/AP)

Since the NBA was founded in June 6, 1946, the two have met 10 times in the NBA Finals. For the first eight encounters—would you believe—the Celtics prevailed against the Lakers.

In 1959, when the teams first met and the Lakers were then called the “Minneapolis Lakers,” the Celtics clobbered their nemesis, 4-0. This domination continued for decades—including the 1984 victory at Boston Garden, 4-3, when Larry Bird bested Magic Johnson and emerged as the series MVP. That’s 8-0 for Boston. Continue reading Are you ready? It’s Celtics vs. Lakers!