(This photo and all the photos below from www.rolandgarros.com)
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.”
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.
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.
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.