SkyCable, after the World Cup, continues to score

As we long suspected, Floyd Mayweather, Jr. is a coward. He agreed to fight Manny Pacquiao last March 13—then retreated. He asked for a 14-days-before-the-fight drug test—which Manny agreed to—and now he’s backpedaled. What more does he want? I know. Simply, he doesn’t want to quarrel MP. The likes of Juan Manuel Marquez, minuscule in size and low-batt on power, he combats. But with our P4P No.1, he capitulates.

THE OPEN. First day, Rory McIlroy shoots a record-equaling nine-under-par 63 at the British Open. The next day, he fires an 80. This 17-stroke-difference was the worst gap for a first-round leader at a major in 20 years (when Mike Donald shot 64 and 82 at the 1990 Masters). Was it McIlroy’s fault? Not exactly. It was because of “the winds of change.”

Last Friday night, I watched The Open (isn’t the schedule perfect for us?) on SkyCable’s channel 32. The breeze swirled like Basyang. “It was brutal out there.. Probably the windiest conditions I’ve ever played in,” said Steve Marino. Added Tiger Woods, “It was certainly one of the toughest days I’ve ever faced.”

To me, the English are some of the most distinguished and aristocratic of men. At this British Open, celebrating its 150th  year, the tournament is simply called, “THE OPEN.” Same with its tennis counterpart, Wimbledon. Its name: THE CHAMPIONSHIPS. Located in Scotland, the links course of St. Andrews is dubbed “the home of golf,” while Wimbledon is considered the world’s oldest tennis tournament.

SKYCABLE. While we castigated the cable TV monopoly when it discontinued Solar Sports a few years back, now we applaud SkyCable. I’ve said this before and I’ll repeat it once more: the 31-day, 64-game programming of the South African World Cup was one of the best TV coverages I’ve watched. Not only were the schedules favorable to us in the Philippines, but all games were broadcast live with excellent English commentary. Plus, replays were shown—and are still ongoing—nonstop.

Now, here’s even better news, relayed to me by John Cheu, my fellow member with the Brotherhood of Christian Businessmen and Professionals (BCBP). For an additional P105/month, SkyCable subscribers can avail of eight new channels: History, Biography, Fox News, Asian Food, ETC, Al Jazeera, 2nd Avenue and—yes!—Solar Sports. This is their new shift to digital broadcasting. But, here’s the caveat: For now, only Banilad, Lahug, Ma. Luisa, Beverly Hills and a few areas are ready.

SAN MIGUEL CORP. In behalf of the Sportswriters Association of Cebu (SAC), I’d like to thank Manuel M. Moreno, SMC Asst. Vice President and Plant Operations Manager, and Girlie Garces, SMC Corporate Communications head, for the P50,000 donation to SAC. Those who visited the SMC office last Thursday to receive the check were Mike Limpag (Sun.Star sports editor), Caecent Magsumbol of The Freeman and CDN’s Dale Rosal.

NINOS. As explained by Rommel Manlosa in yesterday’s piece, the M. Lhuillier Kwarta Padala-Cebu Niños won their 29th straight basketball game. “The longest winning streak of a semi-professional ball club in the country in recent memory,” wrote Rommel. This is remarkable! Playing in the Cebu City leg named “Tournament of the Philippines,” the Raul Alcoseba-coached squad beat Misamis, 78-70. This dominance is testament to the unrelenting standard set by Coach Yayoy and team owner Michel Lhuillier. Theirs is a culture of winning—and not succumbing to complacency. Said Councilor Alcoseba: “They can beat us anywhere, anytime, but not in our home. Not here, in front of our supporters.” M. Lhuillier’s winning formula: Competitive drive + Cebuano pride = Champions.

BIRDIES. From The Scottish Sun: “Five stunning blonde models – hired by a bookies chain – turned up in tiger-print T-shirts in a bid to attract his eye. One of the sexy cubs purred: ‘We haven’t been able to keep our eyes off the Tiger!’ But Woods, 34, was only interested in birdies of the one-under-par kind. And he shot six of them in a first round of 67.”

John Pages

By John Pages

I've been a sports columnist since 1994. First, in The Freeman newspaper under "Tennis Is My Game." Then, starting in 2003, with Sun.Star Cebu under the name "Match Point." Happy reading!

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