Can Durant and Westbrook do a Bradley?

Don’t believe Bob Arum. Not when he says that his first preference is Pacquiao vs. Marquez Part 4. That’s absurd. There’s unfinished and unsettled Las Vegas business. We want a rematch. Didn’t a huge majority conclude, non-Filipinos included, that our Pinoy won? This controversy has to be settled. Not in the trial court. And, hopefully, not again using the judges’ ball pens.

But why, I ask, isn’t Bob Arum trumpeting a Part 2? Five letters: Money. If Timothy Bradley’s ego bloats and he asks for $15.5 million, for example, then that’s bloated. Arum wants to temper Bradley’s excitement. Its called negotiating tactics. Publicly, he’s saying, “Part 2 is not guaranteed!” but, I’m sure, in talks with the congressman’s camp, that’s the goal.

Don’t you think Manny The Renewed Christian wants justice? And so, in the end of all this posturing, let’s expect another Pacquiao-Bradley (or shall it now be “Bradley-Pacquiao?”). Also, don’t be surprised if my earlier prediction holds true: This November will be Manny’s last hurrah. His legs will turn 34 on December 17 and, having been adjudged as the world’s 2nd highest sports money-earner in 2011 (beating the recently-beaten Tiger Woods), he has more than enough billions to buy Sarangani Bay.

The 3 Rs to watch: Rematch. Revenge. Retire.

MIAMI. It’s been nine long years. Each NBA season, the league’s best ballplayer has dreamed of winning the prize.

LeBron James has everything in life: Three times, “Mr. Basketball” in high school in Ohio. The 1st Round overall NBA pick. Rookie of the Year honors. Three-time MVP awardee. He has two young boys: LeBron James, Jr, age 7, and Bryce Maximus, 5 years old. Endorsements with McDonald’s, Sprite, Nike. He has everything but—

Will it all change tomorrow? Will June 21, 2012 (U.S. time) be that day when the planets (aka “floating balls in space”) realign? When the long-named King will be crowned with a Ring? Yes. Yes. Yes.

In tomorrow’s Game 5, expect thunder and fire to collide. Who’ll win? Abangan. But this one’s for sure: Tomorrow will be the most anticipated game of the abbreviated season.

For one, the Heat will do all they can to burn, sizzle and cook the Thunder. If Miami loses, the momentum shifts. If they lose, they travel. They get to board that plane with all their XL-size baggage. They don’t want that. They want to stay home. To celebrate on their turf. And where better to party than with the presence of your family, right? But for Oklahoma, it’s a near-death experience. And we know what happens when one is near-dying; that ER-bound individual will be extra motivated to stay alive.

Will OKC stay alive? No. Also, like most I’ve talked to, I want Miami to win. LeBron deserves the gold. Plus, isn’t there a Filipino mentor there whom we want to smile his winning smile? One who’s been subjected to unimaginable pressure, especially last season? Go, Erik!

But, like what we’ve seen with Pacquiao, anything can happen on the ring or the parquet floor. An Oklahoma Game 5 win will change everything. For OKC, it’s these famous words: One. Game. At. A. Time.

IRONMAN 70.3. Only 44 days are left before the grandest sporting event this 2012 starts at the Shangri-La in Mactan.

This fight between Camsur and Cebu? On who has the largest number of tourists? Wait for the figures after this year and, no doubt, a substantial drop awaits Camsur. Why? Because the Ironman 70.3 in Camarines Sur—there from 2009 to 2011—was their Super Bowl/Wimbledon/World Cup of an event. It was their No.1 crowd-drawer. Was.

Because Cebu—thanks to Mactan’s open-sea beachfront and our abundance of hotels and our international MCIAA and our central/tourist-friendly setting—has snatched the Ironman from Camsur.

XTERRA in Liloan, Ironman 70.3 in Lapu-Lapu City. These are two of the most sought-after triathlon events in our archipelago. No wonder hundreds of runners have been pedaling bikes; swimmers now strut running shoes; bikers don Speedo trunks. Everybody’s Tri’ing.

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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