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.
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.
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?
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.”
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?
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?
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.
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?
November of last year, a group of Cebuanos flew to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia to watch Rafael Nadal against Richard Gasquet in an exhibition match (and, two days later, Roger Federer and Pete Sampras). Here are some photos…