• When you're a winner you're always happy, but if you're happy as a loser you'll always be a loser. - Mark Fidrych

    When you're are playing for the national championship, it's not a matter of life or death. Its more important than that. - Duffy Daugherty

    When you're riding, only the race in which you're riding is important. - Bill Shoemaker

    Whenever you get knocked down in the game of life, immediately get up, get better and get going again. - Greg Hickman

    Where I was born and where and how I have lived is unimportant. It is what I have done with where I have been that should be of interest. - Georgia O'Keeffe

    Where you start is not as important as where you finish. - Zig Ziglar

    Whether you be man or woman you will never do anything in this world without courage. It is the greatest quality of the mind next to honor. - James Allen

    Whether you think you can or whether you think you can't, you're right! - Henry Ford

    Who is sure of their own motives can in confidence advance or retreat. - Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe

    Why did I want to win? because I didn't want to lose! - Max Schmelling

Pacquiao’s Last Fight?

The table is set, the pieces are moving, the purses have been calculated and finally the weight has been settled.

On Nov. 14, the man responsible for cleaning up the busy thoroughfares in our country’s streets, allowing pinoys to be “hambog” to wear our pride on our sleeves and getting our military and the MILF and the administration and opposition blocs of Philippine politics to stand on one common ground, will climb the ring once more to face what is supposed to be the toughest test he’ll be taking above the 130lb. levels.

Puerto Rican Pride on the line

Puerto Rican Pride on the line

Manny Pacquiao will take on grizzled Puerto Rico warrior Miguel Cotto in what is shaping up to be the fight of all fights in the vicinity of the 145lb limit.  Previously PacMan declared that he’d never fight above 144lbs while Cotto on the other hand, said it wouldn’t be safe for him to fight below 145lbs.  Heck, any weight wouldn’t be safe for him if it was Pacquiao who’d climb up the ring opposite his side.

Eventually, PacMan agreed to the 145 weight limit.

Pretty lady who pummeled Pacquiao in politics

Pretty lady who pummeled Pacquiao in politics

PacMan reportedly said that this would be his last fight before jumping right into retirement and concentrate on helping the poor people in his province in GenSan.  That’s a milder way of saying he’s going into politics once more, what with 2010 being a National Elections year for the Philippines.  Not the least bit perturbed by his last fray into the world of crocs and controversies (losing to the “young turk in Phil. politics” Darlene Antonino-Custodio in the GenSan Congressional race), PacMan is again throwing his hat into politics.

I have so much respect for PacMan, the Pambansang Kamao, the boxer, who has brought nothing but pride to our country and has almost singlehandedly raised the Filipino standard around the world in recent years with the unstoppable juggernaut he has plowed through the boxing world.  But logic and heart tells me he’s making the wrong move in joining the political bandwagon.  Any guy can tell him he can do more wonders and can help his countrymen more than just becoming a politician.  But unfortunately, the parasites that surround him ARE politicians.  And most often than not, politicians (those greasy types) always feed information that can benefit them more than those whom they share information with.

Hopefully, down the line, Manny will have some sense punched into his head before he loses his sanity and drowns himself in the dirty world of Philippine politics.

THe Arum Smile

THe Arum Smile

The Cotto tiff surely will feed enough moolah into the Pacquiao warchest come 2010.  His last bout featuring the 2-round demolition of Ricky Hatton made not only Pacquiao grin ear-to-ear (with that million dollar smile) but also his promoter, the very outspoken Bob Arum of Top Rank Promotions.  The November bout, I doubt, wouldn’t be any different.

Boxers all over the world are willing to sacrifice life and limb and are even willing to throw in their wives as part of the ante to get a chance to face Pacquiao, who’s obviously shaping up to be top draw when it comes to fight purses around the world.

In Pacquiao’s recent fights, he’s been able to put to bed the careers of three pugilists:  David Diaz (beaten into a bloody pulp but still became a Pacquiao fan), Oscar Dela Hoya (who couldn’t even answer the bell of the next round) and Hatton (who’s trainer even told the world that he thinks its time to hang up the gloves).  I don’t think the next bout will make Cotto think retirement, but sure as hell, he won’t be coming out of this one without his lion’s share of the blacks and the blues.

I just hope this won’t be PacMan’s last.  I firmly believe he still has a year or so left to beat up a few more boxers(Pretty Boy perhaps?).

Will this be his last?  Who knows?

FIBA Asia Championships: Flourish or Flounder?

They said that we dodged the proverbial bullet when we were thrown into the “Group of Hope” in Group B after being fed to the lions in the “Group of Death” a couple years ago with Asian Basketball titans China.

However, with the recent showing that we had in the Jones Cup, I’m beginning to doubt whether our bracketing into the supposed “Group of Hope” would make much of a difference.  Finishing sixth in this supposed “warm-up” stint for the Nationals doesn’t exactly strike fear into the opposition we’ll be facing in Tianjin, China.

Japeth Aguilar - next BIG thing in Philippine Basketball

Japeth Aguilar - next BIG thing in Philippine Basketball

Our Asian neighbors are bigger, faster and are far more deadlier shooters than our cream of the crop PBA warriors.  And man, do they shoot mean trifectas.  After all the years that we’ve been trying to scale the wall back to the apex of basketball dominance in Asia (in the world even, who can ever forget the great and immortal Caloy Loyzaga?), haven’t we learned our lesson that the three-point shot is something we need to develop even more?  We’re obviously at a horrifying disadvantage when it comes to big men (although we have something to thank for, God bless Japeth Aguilar), we still try to concentrate in banging our aged veteran Asi Taulava against our much bigger Asian opponents (who’re obviously giants masquerading as basketball players).

If we’re to make even a slight dent against the confidence of the likes of China and Iran, we need, rather MUST make use of effective and dead-eye shooting beyond the arc.  Since we’re at a disadvantage in the paint, we need to develop the players’ mid-range game.  A little bit more slashing towards the basket and a must in crisp passing also wouldn’t hurt.

Team Pilipinas Chief Tactician - Joseller "Yeng" Guiao

Then again, knowing Yeng Guiao, there’s also a possibility that he intentionally held back the team’s punches during the Jones Cup in order to gauge the readiness and the gameplan of our Asian opponents.  Coach Yeng has been known to employ various methods in scouting his opponents and holding back the team’s potential during that tourney could be one.  That way, when opponents size up our beloved ‘Pinas, they’ll tend to become complacent.  Haaay, if wishes were fishes, then the world would be an ocean full of them.

The Philippines will face lightweight Sri Lanka on August 6 and then will get a another crack at Japan after that heartbreaking loss in the Jones Cup on the 7th.  They will face another powerhouse team in South Korea, the team that doused cold water on our near finals match-up with China in the 2002 Busan Asian Games.  We led by a basket 68-66 in the dying seconds when Lee Sang Min, who missed his last four attempts beyond the arc, plunged an ice-cold dagger in the form of a trifecta straight into every filipino heart around the world as the buzzer sounded to win the game for Korea 69-68, ending our Gold Medal hopes and our chance to face China in the finals.  If I were Congress at that time, I’d immediately pass a resolution declaring Lee Sang Min persona non grata on Philippine soil the next day.

That loss still leaves a bitter taste in my mouth.  Ew.

But still, like what we filipinos really are, we can always hope and pray.  Pray for our National team, pray that we get closer to that top spot in the Asian and World Basketball stage, perched amongst the best there is, pray that our players get to drop their treys when needed most.  A little help from Tita Cory (God bless her soul, thank you so much madame president) from up above can also move mountains.

And that my friends, is my two cents worth about the upcoming FIBA Asian Championships.

Mabuhay ang Pilipinas…

‘Tis the season to get out of retirement

The Greatest There Ever Will Be

The Greatest There Ever Will Be

More than a decade ago and some, the great one, his Airness, said goodbye to his boyhood love of baseball to get back in cozy with the game that shot him to greatness and cemented his legacy as one of the greatest sportsmen this century, basketball.

With two simple words, “I’m back”, Michael Jordan sent shivers up the collective spines of pretenders to the throne of NBA supremacy.  A year later, after a ludicrous and trying period of getting his feet wet again on the basketball court, Jordan led his (OUR) Chicago Bulls to the first championship of the second coming of the Three-Peat.

The Shot that gave them Six

The Shot that gave them Six

He’d retire again after leading what is arguably one of the best teams in NBA history to three consecutive championships.  We thought that’d be the last we’d see of him.  I myself was delighted to have the imprint in my mind that the last shot he took was that 20-foot shot amidst the leech-like defense that Bryon Russell employed on him to give the Bulls an 87-86 lead with 5.2 seconds left.

The tongue was still there though

After a year or so in hiatus, MJ came out of retirement once more to play for the Washington Wizards.  I prefer to leave that messy stint out of my memory banks if only to preserve his moments of greatness in my mind.

Nowadays, when it comes to professional athletes, retirement seems to be going out of style.  After Jordan, a long list of athletes just couldn’t resist the competitive atmosphere that they’ve been exposed to the most part of their lives.

Make a decision Brett!

Make a decision Brett!

In recent months there’ve been a deluge of athletes who simply couldn’t stay put.  There’s Brett Favre in the National Football League, whose “To retire or not to retire” circus is beginning to be more newsworthy in the NFL than the Superbowl.  There’s Pretty Boy Floyd Mayweather Jr., feeling threatened by the fame and fortune of our very own Manny Pacquiao, coming out of retirement to set up a fight with Juan Manuel Marquez mouthing off that he’ll beat PacMan any day, anywhere only to cower at the possibility of facing PacMan in the future.  Of course there’s Lance Armstrong who came out of retirement to place third in the recently concluded Tour de France despite his public feuding with eventual winner and Astana teammate Alberto Contador.

Schumis back.  Whos next?

Schumi's back. Who's next?

And now, after the freak accident that happened to Felipe Massa in the Hungarian GP of Formula One, Michael Schumacher decides to get in the F1 cockpit once more to ride slot alongside Kimi Raikonnen on the Ferrari team in the upcoming 2009 European Grand Prix.

What makes these athletes decide to lace up the shoes, wear the gloves, grab the pigskin, enjoy the smell of burnt rubber once more after leaving behind a very successful legacy of greatness?  The competitiveness in them?  More fame?  More glory?  I guess only they can answer that.  But believe me, as far as I know, getting out of retirement most often than not, only tarnishes the memories that they leave behind their legions of fans.

I wouldn’t be surprised anymore if many more pros follow this trend.  Like I said, ’tis the season to get out of retirement.

My two cents worth on sports

Well, this is it.

Taking my cue from the wife, I’ve decided to put up my very own sports blog.

I may not be a guru or a certified expert in sports but I consider myself a notch better than most people I know when it comes to the subject.

I don’t hide the fact that when it comes to sports, my passion belongs to the game of basketball.  But sometimes I tread the waters of other known sporting activities.  Every time I open the Sunday paper or a news website, instinctively the sports pages automatically piques my immediate interest.

And so my journey begins.

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