DepEd is late for class

Last Sunday, I wrote about the Palarong Pambansa. I posed the question: Why did they give the first-time hosts — the Province of Antique — only five months to prepare? This April 23, the Palaro will gather 12,000 high school and elementary athletes in one venue. Why was Antique only informed last Nov. 18 that they’d be hosting the country’s largest sports meet? Five short months to prepare the venues, including the new rubberized track oval (which is still being worked-on); the billeting, the transportation, the food…

It turns out, this practice is not only being practiced this 2017. Last year in Albay, when the Palaro was held in April, the hosts were told only six months earlier in October. The formal signing of the MOA was done in January, just three months prior to the gun start. In 2015, the same thing: with the event in Tagum, Davao del Norte (May 3 to 9), they were informed in Dec. 15 — just over four months to prepare. And in 2014, the announcement was made in Oct. 2013 for Laguna to host the games starting May 10, 2014.

“The Palaro is held in April or May,” said Mars G. Alison, a good friend and fellow sportswriter who writes for Rappler. “Maybe DepEd should already be able to make a decision on who will be the next host on the last day of the Palaro for early preparation.”

I agree with Mars. The Department of Education (DepEd) is the lead government agency that handles the Palaro. They have a Selection Committee who gathers to evaluate the various bids. Whether this committee decides six months prior — or two years earlier — it’s the same selection process. Why not decide earlier?

“They (DepEd) should be proactive because the Palaro is their pinnacle event,” added Ms. Alison. “It is a competition among the best of the best student athletes from all the regions. I mean, let’s say they make the host announcement in May, so by June, they can already accept bids for the next host and do inspections and then by the next Palaro, make the announcement. It should be that early if they want to give a chance for small provinces to host. It entails a lot of preparation. Besides, there’s already a pattern as the hosting rotates from Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao.”

Consider San Jose, Antique, the hosts for the Palaro which will start in 17 days. With a population of 35,000, they’re not as large as, say, their Panay neighbors like Kalibo, Iloilo or Roxas.

“I think the problem in Antique will be the billeting,” said Mars Alison, who will be making her fourth Palaro trip later this month. “They are expecting 12,000 delegates from 18 regions. I don’t know if all delegations will be accommodated in schools. There were talks about a tent city. Right now, the temperature is unbearable so I am not sure if this is a good idea.. And, what about the parents? Even the media right now is being referred to home stays. And, how about their water supply? I mean, during the Palaro days, the number of people using water will double. This is a problem that has happened in the past Palaro.”

Coming soon: reply from DepEd.

Palarong Pambansa

The Palarong Pambansa is our National Games. It’s that annual congregation of “the best of the best” in the elementary and high school divisions. Over 10,000 girls and boys representing 18 regions gather to compete in over 20 sports disciplines that range from archery to baseball to sepak takraw to taekwondo.

The Palaro started in 1948. Minus a few years when it was cancelled (in 1972, for example, during Martial Law), this year will be the 60th edition. It will be held three weeks from today (from April 23 to 29) in the Province of Antique.

I recall the two times that my daughter Jana Marie joined. She had to undergo a series of tennis contests to qualify: the unit meet, the district meet, the city meet, the provincial meet, the CVIRAA (regionals), until finally you join the nationals (Palaro). It’s rigorous. In her final year of elementary, we went to Dipolog City and, a few years later in high school, it was the 2014 Palaro hosted by Laguna.

The entire week is a sports carnival: You arise at 5 a.m., compete at 10, watch the 100-meter sprinters in the track oval; you play again at 3 p.m. then converge with thousands of others to mingle, buy souvenirs and eat local delicacies. It’s our Olympics — for elementary and high school athletes.

Why this talk of the Palaro? First, because this is a first for Antique. “We are so happy that after 60 years, Palarong Pambansa will be held in our province,” said Eric Otayde, representing Antique. “It is our chance to show the whole country the best things Antique could offer.”

Second reason: I was born in Iloilo and my wife’s mom, Malu Gayanilo Mendez, comes from Guimbal, a nearby 67 kms. from the main site in San Jose, and she speaks fluent Kinaray-a.

Now, as happy as I am that the venue is in Panay, I’m also anxious for the the municipality of San Jose, the capital of Antique. I’m concerned for San Jose not simply because they’re not as large as, say, Bacolod (the city which has hosted the most Palaro games at five times) or Tacloban (a three-time host), or because it’s Antique’s first — I’m troubled by their lack of preparation time to organize such a massive endeavor.

Given that the Palaro will invite over 10,000 athletes, plus thousands more of coaches, officials, and parents, do you know how much time they were given to prepare?

Five months only! They were told last November 18 and given only five short months to get ready for the nation’s largest sports meet. That’s incredible. More next week..

In hosting mega-events, “apiki ra kaayo”

Decades from today, when the history of Cebu sports is written and immortalized, the name “Edward Hayco” will be one that’s most prominent. As head of the Cebu City Sports Commission for many, many years now, he has produced too-many-to-count accomplishments. World records. International dance meets. Grass-roots programs. No less than the top bigwigs of the Phil. Sports Commission pay homage to the creative strategies of Cebu.

The latest challenge for Ed Hayco and Atty. Ramil Abing, who leads the Cebu Province Sports Commission, is the hosting of the 2017 Phil. National Games or PNG. This is a major effort. Thousands of our archipelago’s best of the best will land in Mactan, kick in Mandaue, bowl at SM, swim in Abellana. The PNG is scheduled this April. This is a highly laudable hosting of the city and province bearing the name of Cebu.

By my question — and this is addressed to the top honchos at the PSC, POC and Dept. of Education (DepEd) — is this: Why such late announcements? Why not give potential hosts three years notice so ample time can be allocated for preparation?

Let’s talk about the Palarong Pambansa. Organized by DepEd, the Palaro started in 1948. That’s 68 years ago. Thanks to my daughter Jana’s participation in tennis, I’ve witnessed two Games: the first in Dipolog and Dapitan when she was in elementary and the second in Laguna when she helped Central Visayas (Region VII) win a couple of medals.

The Palaro is huge. It’s only one week long but every region of this 100-million-strong nation is represented. (Prior to this national meet are the local eliminations: the Unit, City, Provincial and Regional meets. Ours is called the CVIRAA.)

The Palaro, held every summer, involves thousands upon thousands of athletes, volunteers, officials, parents, coaches and government personnel.

Here’s my point: For next year’s 60th edition of the Palarong Pambansa — slated to be held in Antique Province of Panay — you know when the announcement was made?

The Palaro Selection Committee revealed the winning host last November 18. And when will the Palaro be held? This April or May.

This means that, from the time it was announced to the time of the actual event, only five to six months are appropriated for the hosts to prepare. (The exact Palaro date hasn’t even been announced yet!) Unbelievable.

The Palaro selection committee, if my research is correct, received the formal bids only last August, they announced the winning city last month and, voila, 170 days later you get the organize the country’s largest tournament.

In my simple analysis, the host city or province should be given at least three years to prepare. Apart from organizing all the manpower and volunteers, all the billeting requirements, the food catering systems, transportation and logistical needs, the biggest task and the one requiring the longest time is infrastructure. How can one host properly if you don’t give them enough time to plan, design and build? A rubberized oval can’t be constructed by a magician.

Take the Olympics. For the 2020 Tokyo Games, the announcement was made in 2013 — seven years prior to the planet’s largest sports party.

With the 2017 Palaro, three major cities initially joined the bidding: Iloilo, Bacolod and Cebu. One after the other, each Visayan city backed out.

I’m not privy to the reasons why our very own Cebu City opted not to join. I was one of many who voiced support because the only times we hosted were in 1954 and in 1994. You bet, it’s about time!

Maybe the lack of time and preparation (“apiki ra kaayo”) were reasons? And there’s always the unwritten dictum among city mayors that says: Give chance to others. This is not a way to demean the smaller cities but a way for them to receive substantial funds for infrastructure projects (many of which won’t be constructed if not for a large event like the Palaro).

This “apiki” practice has to stop. Let’s hope Manila listens.

Sports in Danao City

Oscar “Boying” Rodriguez is the chairman of the Danao City Sports Commission. I asked him a few days ago if he was happy for Danao to host another major sporting event.

“When Sunrise Events approached me six years ago, they wanted to hold it in Danao,” said Boying of the off-road triathlon race called XTERRA. At that time, he said, Danao was not ready. Considering the hundreds of competitors, foreign athletes and their families who’ll congregate at the site, Danao did not have sufficient resort rooms to house everyone. Plus the venue needed to be at least half-an-hour away from the resort host, Crimson Hotel.

Boying suggested Liloan. Thus, for four years, Liloan hosted XTERRA. “I suggested the swim be at Amara,” he said. “The bike route had to pass by three lighthouses and the run around Papa Kits.”

First with Liloan (2011 to 2014), then with Albay (2015 and 2016), XTERRA is back to where it originally belongs: Danao City.

Thanks to the sports-loving family of the Duranos — Mayor Nito Durano and his son, Congressman Red — XTERRA will host the open-sea swim/mountainbike/trail-run event next year on April 23.

MTB. Danao City is a mecca for mountainbiking competition. Nearly 20 years ago — back in 1997 — Danao organized the 3rd Asian Mountain Bike Championships participated in by 13 Asian countries. Four years later in 2001, it was the 1st South East Asia MTB Championships plus they co-hosted the SEAGames by holding MTB Competition.

And as recently as last year, Danao City co-hosted with Cebu City the Batang Pinoy Cycling, Triathlon, 3X3 Basketball and Softball.

Mr. Rodriguez is the executive director of the Triathlon Association of the Philippines (TRAP). Given his position, he was tasked to organize the Visayas leg of the National Age Group Triathlon (NAGT) series.

“If you remember right, I have held it for many years in Plantation Bay Resort where the likes of Matteo, Justin, Yuan (Chiongbian) and others started their triathlon careers,” he said. “I moved it to Danao because the traffic situation in Mactan was getting worse.”

To add to Danao’s list of events, this year they hosted the National Mountainbike Championships in Danasan Eco-Adventure Park. Also, the Philippines won the bid for the 2018 Asian Mountainbike Championships and three places (Tagaytay, Ilocos, and Danao City) are vying for hosting honors. This will lead to big prize — the South East Asian Games — which the Philippines will be hosting in 2019.

PALARO. I asked Boying about Danao’s chances of bagging the hosting rights for next year’s Palaro.

“We are three to four years away from being ready to host the Palaro,” he said. “Although the other municipalities of the 5th District would be co-hosting, we still lack the facilities. Our stadium, built nearly 15 years ago and where we previously held the CVIRAA, is scheduled to be resurfaced and rehabilitated. We need at least a month of continuous sunny weather to have it resurfaced. The municipality of Carmen, which is also building a track and field oval and an Olympic-size swimming pool, might not be ready in the few months left.”

It was the Danao DepEd Division that bid for the Palaro — without much consulation with the city officials. (Given this pronouncement by Boying, it looks like Iloilo City is a shoo-in as host for the 2017 Palaro,)

As to Danao’s long-term plans for sports, one goal is to build a swimming pool beside the track oval. The Cebu Province has allocated funding but the amount is not enough, said Boying. He’s hopeful, though, that it will be built soon — together with a handful of world-class tennis courts.

“Mayor Nito’s thrust,” he added, “is to have a comprehensive grassroots program for sports. We’re targeting the schools and we hope to excel in sports that bring in the medals: Taekwondo, table tennis, badminton and gymnastics, to name a few.”

In three to four years, said Boying, expect Danao City to make another pitch for the Palarong Pambansa.

When will Cebu host the Palaro again?

It’s been two decades and one year since Cebu City last hosted the Palarong Pambansa. The nation’s premier sports meet that gathers the top elementary and high school athletes under one tournament, the Palaro was last hosted by Cebu 21 summers ago.

Joy Augustus Young was the architect of the 1994 Palaro. Here’s an article I wrote entitled, “Young and restless, his comeback brings joy.” This was dated March 2009.

“The most significant contribution of Joy Young? It happened 15 Aprils ago. Cities like Bacolod (which had the backing of Monico Puentevella), Dumaguete (with the support of now-Governor Emilio Macias II) and several more submitted bids to host the 1994 Palarong Pambansa. As we Cebuanos very well know today—with the all-out support of Mayor Tommy Osmeña and Congressman Raul del Mar (who even helped in the presentation to convince the Palaro decision-makers)—we organized the Palaro, the only time in history that we hosted RP’s largest annual sporting event.

“Joy Young, backed by Mayor Tom, was Cebu City’s team captain. He was our Pat Riley and Phil Jackson. He presided over the meetings. He assigned the venues. He organized the marketing. Planned the billeting of athletes. Studied the events. I should know. Together with my dad Bunny, we ran the tennis event at the now-defunct Cebu Tennis Club where the Cebuanos (led by Jun-Jun Cabrera) emerged champions.

“Out of the ’94 Palaro also emerged the single largest sports infrastructure of this island: the Cebu City Sports Center (CCSC). To ensure that the complex would be RP’s best, then-Councilor Young visited plenty of facilities: the Rizal Memorial Sports Complex and ULTRA; he even flew to Singapore to inspect a world-class track oval there. And because of the painstaking research that was conducted, our Sports Center emerged as the nation’s most productive facility. Athletic meets, football tournaments, PRISAA and CVIRAA events, national track-and-field contests, Earth, Wind & Fire concerts, Z Gorres boxing spectacles and—how can we forget—the Sinulog, are all held at the Abellana grounds.”

Joy Young considers the Palaro as “the proudest moment for all of us in Cebu.” That 1994 hosting achieved many firsts. It was the first Palaro in the country to be professionally-managed by a marketing team.

“After our Palaro, all the succeeding Palaros had sponsors,” Joy said, “though they couldn’t do it the same way we did it.” The previous Palaro hostings relied on the host cities to spend their own government funds. In Cebu, led by the business-minded Young, we involved the private sector.

“The sponsors subsidized much of our expenses, especially the food,” he said. “Whatever money we raised from ticket sales were given to NGOs such as the Boy Scouts, the Abellana HS PTA, TB Pavilion (which purchased a new Xray machine), among others. This was another first.”

Prior to 1994, the athletes and coaches were not given much freebies. “Cebu was also the first Palaro where all the delegates were given free food (3 meals a day) and free drinking water (Nature’s Spring),” said Joy. “To this day, DepEd sports coordinators and coaches who were in Cebu would always say that there’s no better Palaro than our hosting.”

Another “first” for Cebu was moving the schedule from January/February to summertime. “This was significant because nobody believed that it was better,” said Joy. “This was my argument, that Jan./Feb. was a bad time because everybody was busy for the end of the semester and graduation. If we held It in summer, everybody would be free and family members would come along. Again, the rest was history. The Palaro is now more attended because of its summer schedule. Everybody just loved it. With one stroke, we managed to move the Palaro to summer.”

Well done, Joy. Now, the question: When will Cebu do a repeat? Isn’t it embarrassing that a land as illustrious as ours hasn’t hosted again? This May 3 to 9, Tagum City will host the Palaro. Next year, it’s Luzon turn. But for 2017 when the Visayas hosts, I propose we bring the Palaro back to Cebu.

Balamban and Naga

I met Mayor Val Chiong last Wednesday in Naga City. Wearing shorts and wielding a tennis racket, he played doubles. A Class-A tennister who often represented Cebu in the PAL Interclub, Mayor Val plays nightly on the clay courts that he built. When I watched, he and his partner led 7-5 before the opponents won the next game to inch closer to a tiebreak. That’s when Val, armed with a topspin forehand, steady volleys and a forceful smash, attacked the next relentlessly to win the final point. Game, set, match, 8-6.

Naga City is active. In tennis, they’ve produced two national-caliber junior stars in Anday Alferez and Shyne Villareal. Of their two public courts, one was occupied by the adults while the other was reserved for young girls and boys.

Volleyball? A rectangle court sits across. Dozens of spikers and setters volleyed the ball back and forth. Badminton was played nearby, inside four indoor courts. Our most popular game, basketball, stood meters away. An oval, previously a cemented road that was closed to vehicular traffic so joggers can use it, circled this complex beside the boulevard. If I heard it right from the parents of Anday Alferez (Andoy and Nova), a swimming pool might be constructed in the newly-reclaimed land near the boulevard.

Here’s more: lights are for free until 10 p.m. Play all you want, dribble all that you can bounce, lob that shuttlecock, slice that backhand — you pay zero to exercise in Naga City.

“We’ll build a roof to cover the tennis courts,” said Mayor Val when we spoke, him all-sweating and all-smiling after his win. “It will not be as enclosed as Alta Vista but will be open so wind and air will come in.”

A lifelong tennis player, never mind if he had surgery a couple of years back and if his knees are wrapped with injury-preventive bands, Val has brought the game of “commercial” tennis to his city. Since Baseline has closed, the hordes of players there have traveled south to play in Naga. I saw several who came from Mandaue.

If the city is led by an active sportsman, the citizenry will follow the leader.

BALAMBAN. My daughter Jana and I traversed the Transcentral Highway to cross to the Western side of Cebu to watch the CVIRAA.

The “CV” stands for Central Visayas and an estimated 9,000 athletes and coaches from all over Region 7 were in the municipality that’s nicknamed “The Shipbuilding Capital of the Phils.” The regional meet is the final qualifying tournament where the winners will go on to the national event called the Palarong Pambansa (slated this May in Tagum City).

Last Saturday, Jana and I first visited the tennis venue, housed within the property of the Provincial Hospital, to watch the high school girls and boys. (Anday, whom I mentioned above, went on to win the gold in doubles with Beverly Enriquez.)

In the afternoon, we parked inside the church and visited numerous sites. First, we witnessed gymnastics. A line of judges sat on stage to score the girls who, one by one, would perform with a rubberized ball. Daniela de la Pisa, the Palaro’s multi-gold medalist, was there. As expected, she won gold. We also got to meet her mom and coach, Darlene.

Next, we walked towards the Experanza S. Binghay Memorial Sports Complex where the football games were played. A track oval encircled the complex. Though not rubberized in surface (it was anapog), the measurements were standard-size. When we watched, the 4 x 100 meter relay squads were getting ready.

Behind the grandstand was a covered court that housed the Futsal games. Futsal is indoor football played on a basketball court. The shoes don’t have spike soles. We watched the semifinal game between the Cebu City Ninos (represented mostly by players from STC) against Negros Oriental. Futsal is often more exciting than the 11-aside regular game on grass. Coached by my UP Cebu classmate Tirso Rio, himself a football star during our college days, the Cebu City girls would go on to win the gold.

For hosting the CVIRAA, kudos to Mayor Ace Binghay.

Palarong Pambansa

DIPOLOG CITY—It’s called The National Games. In local lingo, Palarong Pambansa. Founded in 1948, it is a yearly sporting event, held each summer at a different city or province, that allows the country’s best elementary and high school students to compete. This 2011, the venue is … “Romeo Jalosjos City.” That’s Dapitan.

How is the Palaro, so far? Having arrived here last Friday afternoon — that’s six long days ago — my reply is both perplexing and unusual: I Don’t Know. Funny as it sounds, because my daughter Jana is competing in the elementary girls tennis category (their team won bronze two days ago and, thus far, she’s won all her three singles matches), we’ve been stuck in one rectangular-shaped venue: the tennis court.

With my daughter Jana and Roland So and his daughter Camille

Jana is joining her first Palaro. We are lucky to be residing in the comfortable guest house of the Montaño family, my mom’s relatives — just a kilometer away from the venue that is the Mibang Tennis Center in Dipolog City. That’s good.

The bad? As I said, we’ve hardly watched the other games. That’s because most of the venues are spread out. The elementary boys football games are in far-flung Barcelona. If you think that’s in Spain, no, that’s way too far away — but it’s still quite a distance: about half an hour or so from Dipolog. Swimming? It’s at the newly-build Sports Complex. For tennis, there are four categories: boys/girls, elementary/high school. All divisions, would you believe, are scattered in four separate venues. This means we have yet to watch the Region VII teammates of Jana. Sad.

One night here three days ago, we found Mike and Betty Veloso in a seaside restaurant in Dapitan. They looked exhausted. Residing in Dipolog, each day they had to shuttle to Dapitan for the practice sessions of their son Sabin… then proceed to Barcelona for their 7 a.m. game.

But we’re not complaining. This is sports. This is the Palaro. This isn’t the Olympics. In fact, even in the most prestigious spectacle of this planet, the Olympic Games, the venues are scattered. (One exception might be next year in London; they’ve tried to contain the venues in nearby areas to ease the mobility for both athletes and spectators.)

Why is the Palaro in Dapitan and Dipolog this 2011? Why was it in San Jose, Tarlac last year? And in Tacloban, Leyte the year before? Why not in mega-cities like Davao or Bacolod or Manila? Valid question. Why was Cebu City’s last hosting in 1994? That was 17 summers ago. Vice Mayor Joy Augustus Young, who helped build the Cebu City Sports Center, provided me the answer months back: To give an opportunity for smaller cities/provinces to build new facilities.

Take Dapitan. Lobbied by Rep. Jalosjos — whom everybody here I interviewed adores and calls a “great leader” — the brand-new Dapitan sports stadium costs P250 million. We visited last Monday. The maroon-colored oval looks stunning. The high-rise bleachers, covered by a giant roof that opens like the wing of a bird, sits back-to-back: one side of the bleachers faces the track oval while the other side overlooks the Olympic-size swimming pool. Clever.

Nimrod Quiñones wrote an excellent piece in The Freeman yesterday on the possibility of a once-every-two years (biennial) Palarong Pambansa — instead of yearly. This makes sense. It’s less expensive. But, I’m sure, plenty will complain: the athletes. This will rob them of a giant tournament to anticipate each May.

My suggestion? To save on cost (remember: a new stadium, like Dapitan’s, cost P250,000,000), why not alternate the hosting between an industrialized city and a smaller one. Next year, I overheard, the Games might be in Albay. Why not Cebu City the year after? Then a smaller one (possibly Dumaguete) in 2014. Then another bigger site, say Cagayan de Oro, in 2015. This would lessen the infrastructure cost but continue the habit of the every-summer Palaro.

For this, I can’t wait – and it’s about time: Palarong Pambansa, Cebu City, 2013. Let’s go for this, Mayor Mike?

Mosley, mostly scared, is just like Money

DIPOLOG CITY–Jasmin, Jana and I, our trio family of Js, are here in the Sardines Capital of the Philippines because Jana, our 12-year-old only child, is representing Region VII in the 54th Palarong Pambansa. She’s playing elementary tennis.

PacMan last Sunday? Yes, we watched. Together with the Cebu tennis team, a dozen of us gathered inside the guest house of the Montaño family–the relatives of my mom and the owners of the famed Montaño Spanish Sardines. Like tens of thousands of other gatherings nationwide, we huddled as one Filipino family to rejoice in the victory of The Great One.

Jana Pages and Janel Dihiansan

Yes. While Jose Rizal, our undisputed national hero, is celebrating his 150th year in nearby Dapitan City, we, too, are celebrating our 21st Century hero who sports the haircut of Jose Rizal (or is it Bruce Lee? or Justin Bieber?).

The fight, as we all agree, was boring. We had gotten used to MP wounding and inflicting blood and swollen eyeballs on Oscar and Margarito and Ricky and Diaz. Two days ago, it was ala Clottey. “He ran and ran,” said Manny. “He felt my power but did not want to stand with me. He wanted to get through 12 rounds. I thought he would fight toe to toe for at least five rounds, and then test our power and stamina. What am I going to do if my opponent does not want to go toe to toe? I’m disappointed for the fans.”

At the very end of the career of this nearly 40-year-old man was a strategy: to preserve his “I’ve-never-been-KOed-before” resume. After the third round, when Manny pummeled him with a left swing, this “Please, Manny, please, no knockout” plea was reinforced. Mosley backpedaled. He avoided Manny like Tommy and Mike would avoid each other. (Mosley landed only 82 of 260 punches; worse than Clottey’s 108 of 399 punches against MP.)

Pacquiao, himself, was unimpressive. He was too conservative. He wanted to win — not, as Bobby Inoferio would term it, by “Hattonizing” Mosley, but — via points. He was not the Mike Tyson we know. Maybe he was fearful of Mosley’s right fist. Maybe he had cramps. (But, seriously, cramps in the fourth round?) Whatever the reason, he wasn’t Thor Manny, whose left arm is a hammer. Some speculate it was overtraining. If we look back at this training camp of MP, it was, as Ariza and Roach would say, “the best training we’ve had.” One extra week was added to the schedule. There were zero distractions. No Krista Ranillo. No Ara Mina. No swimming pool training sessions. No gambling at the Waterfront Hotel’s private room.

Rep. Pacquiao, the now-good boy, wasn’t used to this. He was too clean, too focused. He was even too nice. (Can MP get a little nastier, at least on the ring? Just kidding.) Maybe Manny always needs pre-fight distractions? Ever the multi-tasker, maybe he needs more TV sitcom tapings, more Manila weekend night-outs. Maybe he needs to train, like he did for Barrera in 2007, complete with every-Sunday basketball sessions against our sportswriters group… here in Cebu.

On the more serious note, I like the analysis of CITOM Chairman Jack Jakosalem, a good friend of MP and an astute fan who never fails to watch (and record, in 1080p HD video) all the local boxing gigs. “I know many were disappointed,” said Jack. “But you have to remember that Mosley and Pacman are two of the most experienced boxers. They know that there’s no room for error. They could not be too aggressive because both have great speed and power. Pacquiao realized this when he saw Mosley knock Margarito out in nine rounds while it took him all 12 to get a UD. Mosley saw it when Pacquiao stopped Cotto in the 12th round while he lost to Cotto. At least we are now convinced that Pacquiao is better than Mayweather. Both fought Mosley and Mayweather didn’t dominate even close to the way Pacquiao did.”

I agree. So, I’m sure, do you. Manny vs. Money will end up with our own besting that loud mouth. However scared Floyd is, I am confident that 2012 — an Olympic year — is that moment when M & M will battle. I’ll go and watch the show. I hope Floyd shows up, too.