Thursday, September 29, 2011

3 of 3 Pinoy Boxers enter the 2nd round of the 2011 AIBA World Boxing Championships

So far so good for the Filipino boxers who are competing in the 2011 AIBA Amateur Boxing World Championships. Mark Anthony Barriga, Rey Saludar, and Joan Tipon hurdled there first round battles to be one step closer to their dream of going to the 2012 London Olympics. The boxers need to finish in the Top 10 of their weight category to grab the desired olympic berth.

Days after seeing the olympic dream of our basketball players, our boxers are trying their best to show the country that they are our biggest hopes for olympic glory. The country has never won a gold medal in the olympics. Our closest chance was with our Boxer Mansueto "Onyok" Velasco who bagged a silver in the Atlanta Olympics.

With a good support from the private sector, the Amateur Boxing Association of the Philippines is sending 6 pugilists to fight in the World Boxing Championships in Baku, Azerbaijan. The tournament serves as the first qualifiers for the 2012 games.

The competition is stiff but I believe that 1 or 2 could sneak in to the Olympics after this tournament. Many of our boxers still lack international exposure and this tournament could serve them well in the future. ABAP should make sure that our boxers join major tournaments by AIBA. We do not have any boxers that are seeded by the world championships. Our boxers are still our biggest hope for an olympic medal and we should continue to support and pray for their victory.

Good luck to all our athletes!!!

Tipon sneaks past Argentinian
Rey Saludar wins a thriller
Barriga starts PHL boxer's campaign with a win

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Ateneo one game away from 4-peat

49-31. That is the scoring margin of Ateneo over FEU in the second half of Game 1 of the 2011 senior's basketball finals of the UAAP. The game shows the ability of Coach Norman Black to adjust him game plan after a very close first half. The momentum actually started earlier when Ateneo have dug deep to recover from an early 16-26 deficit to tie the game at 33-all at halftime.

In the second half, the game was still tied at 43-all when suddenly Ateneo make a big push to end the quarter with a 60-49 lead. Nico Salva scored 8 points in that 17-6 quarter-ending run. Salva finished with 24 points from a perfect 8 for 8 from the field and 8 for 8 from the line. With the 11 point lead, Ateneo just have to hold on for the win but instead of just taking it easy, the Eagles went in for the kill. They outscored the Tams 22-15 in the final quarter.

The Blue Eagles are showing the killer instinct that made them the 3-time defending champion. They furiously harassed the Tamaraws until the final buzzer sounded. Ateneo had a magical 60% shooting in the field compared to FEU's 40%. They were aggressive as usual as they made 20 free throws compared to FEU's 3.

Game 2 might be different. The law of averages might catch on Eagles. The Tamaraws though need answers. They need to go to the line more often. They were out hustled and only Terence Romeo deserve some praise after the game. FEU is the best jump shooting team in the UAAP but they cannot rely on the perimeter game for 40 minutes and expect to win against Ateneo.

Big adjustments are in store and Game 2 will be very interesting. Good luck to both teams.

Related links:

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Fiba Asia Championships: Smart Gilas stuns Japan

Hahaha. I just have to laugh since I read several posters from different Filipino forums that the Smart-Gilas cannot keep up with the gritty Hapons. You are all wrong. Just a few hours ago we gave Japan a reality check. They are good but not as good as our very own Gilas. No wonder why FIBA Asia deputy secretary general Hagop Khajirian is so scared of the Philippines. Seeing how the Gilas dismantle Jordan   and Japan would definitely give him some nightmares. It will be poetic justice if the one that eliminates Lebanon in the Olympic qualifiers would be our very own Smart Gilas.

The Philippines is now a marked team. Teams on the other group would like to avoid the Pinoys like a plague. The Gilas though should not be not complacent. They still have to beat Syria for a favorable ranking in their group. Coach Rajko Toroman should keep the squad sharp in the bigger battles ahead.

Some key stats on observations in the Philippines vs. Japan game:

  1. Aguilar and Baracael incurred a DNP (Did not play) - Coach's decision. Kelly Williams has solidified his hold of the No.4 spot. In 28 minutes of play, Kelly had 12 points from an amazing 6 of 8 shooting clip. Aguilar and Baracael should take notes from this PBA star.
  2. Inside Dominance of the Philippines. Despite benching Aguilar and Baracael plus Asi's 3 minute cameo appearance. The Pilipinas Smart-Gilas outscored Japan inside 52-20 and they had 19 second-chance points against Japan's 8. The Gilas had 44-31 rebound edge. The game somehow exposed Japan's kinks in their armor. Marcus Douthit, Williams, Marcio Lassiter and company shot 56% in 2 point range. They limited Japan to a measly 39% shooting (just 41% in the 2 point area).
  3. 3-Point shooting and perimeter defense need improvement. The Gilas were just 5/15 in the 3 point region. Alapag though was stellar with a 3/5 clip. The rest shot only 2/10. Japan made 12 3's at a 36% rate. Joji Takeuchi is really good at 4/8. Kenta was 3/5 and the other Takeucho was 2/3. The Gilas should not let teams shoot at will outside. There was also an instance late in the game when Chris Tiu fouled a 3pt shooter. It's time for Gilas to learn from this game to prevent a repeat how Korea broke our hearts in an Asian Games semifinals. I don't like to see the likes of Tiu and Lassiter crying ala Hontiveros and Racela. 
  4. FT shooting will be a major factor. One of the major reasons why the Japanese lost is that they only made 16/28 free throws while the Gilas only missed 5 of 17 shots. As the games get tougher, fouls will be more frequent and the Pinoys should maintain a 70% clip at the minimum.
  5. Never say die attitude. I like the way the Gilas fight back from double digit deficits and eventually win. They are like becoming a Ginebra San Miguel when it comes to come backs. They have to avoid lulls in offense like when they allowed Japan to make a 15 to nothing run against them. They also have to develop a killer instinct to finish off an opponent and never give them a way back into the game.
Congratulations Gilas! The blog will continue to root for you! I believe...!

Sunday, September 18, 2011

FEU overcame twice to beat handicap to beat Adamson

The 2011 Far Eastern University (FEU) Tamaraws basketball squad has shown that the team can be a team of destiny. After overcoming early season injuries of captain JR Cawaling, and Cameroonian's Hippolyte Noundou and Christian Sentcheu, the Tams were able to clinch the No.3 seed on the last day of the eliminations. 

In the Final 4, they faced an Adamson Falcons squad that is fresh from spoiling Ateneo's perfect season. The Tams beat the Falcons in the first match 59-49 to set up a do or die Sunday with the soaring Falcons. The do or die game was a potential classic as the Tamaraws started to get hot behind the hands of freshman Mike Tolomia. The Tams got their biggest lead at 70-59 in the 4th period, only to allow the No.2 seeds to comeback behing the sizzling play of Jerick CaƱada and several turnovers. The Falcons were able to being down the lead to 3 but in the end the Tam's experience made them win and clinch the finals spot against the Ateneo Blue Eagles.

It was a very enjoyable game and I felt sorry for the Falcons who were the more consistent team throughout the season. It was really disappointing but Coach Leo and his wards should be proud what they accomplished this season.

For the Tamaraws, the battle for redemption starts on Saturday. After losing to the Eagles last year, they surely would want to get their first title after 6 years by denying the dreaded Ateneo Blue Eagles. They have yet to beat the Eagles this season as they were routed in the first round and they failed to hold on to a 6 point lead with less than 2 minutes in their second encounter. It is exciting to see if Coach Bert Flores can formulate a game plan against the 14-1 Ateneo. 

Today, the Tams were showing the crowd Cawiling, Noundou, and Sentcheu in uniform. It may be just be for psywar against Falcons but if they are indeed ready to play, then can surely reset the game plan that Norman Black is preparing for them. This year's finals is surely one of the most interesting in recent years. 

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Reaksyon: UP Pep Squad repeats as UAAP Cheerdance Champ

The Pep Squad has been UP's redeemer in the televised UAAP Competition. As the Men's basketball team once again finished dead last, the UP Pep Squad is doing the opposite. For the second straight year, UP won the most popular collegiate cheerdance competition in the country. The squad also got the Group stunts plum and a UP cheer dancer was voted the "2011 Samsung Stunner".

In other sports, the feat is called a hat trick or a grand slam. The trifecta that UP Pep squad scored in the afternoon of September 17, 2011 will be hard to duplicate. It was definitely the Fighting Maroons day of the UAAP Season 74.

The routine of the UP Pep Squad was Madonna-inspired with the cheer dancers wearing a blonde wig or bleaching their hair blonde. Kirk Long could probably fit in with them. The routine was clean and crisp and there were no major mistakes. Indeed, if you compare the other routines, UP's a cut above.

I am sure that the other schools would think that they deserve a better rank. FEU fell to 3rd place this year while UST's Salinggawi Dance Troupe was out of the podium at 4th. Well, I really agree with the judges with this one. UAAP picked really good judges. The judges were really experts in the cheer dance and performance arts fields.

UP deserved the victory and if only UP has the same kind of training and recruitment for their basketball squad, they could have been playing in the Final 4. For UP alums, normalcy was restored after this recent win. Today and this week, UP rules. UP earned their bragging rights. The euphoria could last for a week before UAAP crowns the 2011 basketball champs.

While we can still brag, all I can say is UP Rules! UP FIGHT!!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Reaksyon: Germany wins 2011 World Cup of Pool

The cinderella run of Thailand is over and the hot streak of German Ralf Souquet continues. After defying the seedings in the tournament in 4 games, Team Thailand of Nitiwat Kanjanasri & Kobkit Palajin succumbed to the German pair of Ralf Souquet and Thorsten Hohmann, 10-4. Germany is the first European team to win the World Cup of Pool.

I really wanted to see Thailand win against the Germans especially after the Souquet-Hohmann tandem embarrassed Bata and Django in front of a big audience yesterday. It was too much to ask I guess as the surprising Thais have upset 4 straight opponents to be a finalist. The law of averages has finally caught up although I really have to give credit to the superb form of the Germans. If there are more big money tournaments here in the Philippines, most likely Souquet would apply for dual citizenship. 

Ralf Souquet is on fire. A week after winning $20,000 in the World Pool Masters, he now has to split the $60,000 prize with Hohmann. He has earned $50,000 in less than 2 weeks. Not bad for a pool player. If we convert it, that is over 2 Million pesos. I hope he spend a lot of it here, to help the economy. ;)

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Reaksyon: Pinoy Pride 8 Results; Melindo still undefeated

The results of the Pinoy Pride 8 are out, the Philippines won 2 of the 3 featured bouts.

The ALA promotions put up a very exciting fight card last night.  Milan Melindo is proving to be one of the most exciting ALA fighters at the moment. With 25 wins and no defeats, "El Metodico" is one of the country's best hopes for a world title. As hick name suggests, he was methodical in breaking down the defenses put up by the overweight Francisco "Chiquita" Rosas. In my opinion, he is 2 to 3 fights away from a world title belt. 

Another potential world contender has arose from Bacolod in Genesis Servania who beat defeated  many-time World title contender Gerson Guerrero. If handled well, this boy can go far. 

The 2 great wins somehow softened the impact of the loss of 19 year old prospect Jason Pagara to Rosbel “Lobito” Montoya. It was the second loss of the busy fighter from the ALA stable.

It is very good of the ALA promotions to keep boxing alive and relevant in Cebu. Without promotions like this, we will not be able to discover the Elordes, Penalosas, and Pacquiaos in our midst. Boxing is a cruel but for many, it is the light at the end of the tunnel. It is their way out of poverty. It is their great equalizer. It is a saying that education is the great equalizer but for them they earn it not in the classroom but in the boxing ring. It is time to give credit to people who give these boys from the barrios a chance in life. Who knows one of the boys in the fight will be a future international boxing sensation just like Manny Pacquiao.

Reaksyon: Ateneo loses - Perfection Denied!!!

For 13 straight games, Ateneo was unbeatable. Just one more win, they would have swept the 14-game elimination round and waited for an opponent in the finals where they would have enjoyed a thrice to beat advantage.

For 29 straight games against the Ateneo Blue Eagles, the Adamson Falcons always fall short of winning. 29 games is equal to 14 UAAP seasons. Many current players of the Falcons were still in elementary school since Adamson last won against Ateneo. Another loss would have extended the streak to 30 and will make it virtually impossible for the Falcons to win the UAAP title this year.

On the afternoon of September 10, 2011, perfection  was denied. Ateneo stumbled across a very determined Adamson 5. It was close at first but in the second half, if you did not know, you might think that it was Adamson that seeking perfection. The match 62-46 in favor of Adamson.

The implication of this win is the traditional Final 4. Ateneo and Adamson will have a twice to beat advantage of over FEU and UST. Should both teams hurdle their semifinal assignments then the Season 74 Championship series will be called "The Battle of the Angry Birds".

I am sure that Coach Norman and the rest of the Blue Eagles would want the game back. I am sure that the Ateneo faithful will just call the game an aberration. A blemish of an otherwise perfect season. Some experts might even say that the loss is good for the school and league. Yeah, the dream season is not over but whose dream is it gonna be?


Ateneo perfect no more (caloysports)
Are Refs favoring Ateneo? (Pinoy sports satire)

Friday, September 9, 2011

2011 PartyPoker.Net World Cup of Pool Quarterfinal Preview

The quarterfinal pairings for the 2011 World Cup of Pool has been set and all 8 teams have a good shot in bagging this year’s crown. Here are the previews for each match-up:

Sweden vs. Korea
Previous opponents:
Sweden: vs. (16) Indonesia 8-7; vs. Switzerland 8-6
Korea: vs. (8) Spain 8-5; vs. (9) Japan 8-6
Marcus Chamat & Thomas Mehtala (Sweden) faces a similarly streaking Lee Gun Jae & Hwang Yong of Korea. Both teams were not ranked high in this tournament but 3 seeds have been eliminated by the 2 pairings. Among the four, Chamat is the most accomplished individually while the 3 others are not as known yet outside their respective countries. This pairing will be the dubbed as the battle of the underdogs. With the form that both teams are playing expect to see a close match.
Prediction: Sweden 9 – Korea 5

(5) Philippines B vs. (4) Germany
Previous opponents:
Philippines B: vs. Kuwait 8-4; vs. India 8-5
Germany: vs. Australia 8-0; vs. Malaysia 8-3
This is one of the most anticipated quarterfinal match-ups. Efren Reyes and Francisco Bustamante face Ralf Souquet & Thorsten Hohmann. The Philippines Team B won the World Cup in 2009. They are probably one of the oldest teams in the entire competition. Souquet, who recently won the World Pool Masters at the same venue as the World Cup of Pool, banners Germany. It will be hard to pick the winner of this match but Bata and Django might have some sort of home court advantage. One can expect a very close match full of lead changes.
Prediction: Philippines B 9 – Germany 7

Thailand vs. (11) Poland
Previous opponents:
Thailand: vs. (14) Holland 8-4; vs. Estonia 8-4
Poland: vs. Vietnam 8-0; vs. Singapore 8-3
Thailand’s Nitiwat Kanjanasri-Kobkit Palajin pairing is one of the biggest surprises in the tournament as they beat European teams Estonia and Holland with a similar 8-4 scores. They face a Polish team represented by Karol Skowerski & Radoslaw Babica. Poland has defeated 2 straight Southeast Asian teams. Whose streak will continue?
Prediction: Thailand 6 – Poland 9

(7) Taiwan vs. (2) Philippines A
Previous opponents:
Taiwan: vs. Russia 8-4; vs. (10) Italy 8-7
Philippines A: vs. Austria 8-2; vs. (15) Canada 8-6
The other big match of the day will be between Dennis Orcollo & Ronnie Alcano of the Philippines and Ko Pin-yi & Ko Ping-chun of Chinese-Taipei. Orcullo is currently the World No.1 ranked pool player. Alcano is a former world 9-ball champ. 22 year old Ko Pin-yi is the recent winner of the Guiness World Series of Pool while 15 year old brother is a recent Japan Open runner-up. This match can certainly go either way.
Prediction: Taiwan 8 – Philippines A 9


Thursday, September 8, 2011

Statz: NFL Opener; GB 42 - NO 34

Green Bay Packers (GB)   21   7   7    7      42  
New Orleans Saints (NO)   7  10  10   7      34

QB Stats:
Aaron Rodgers, GB 27/35 312 yards 3 TDs 132.1 QB Rating
Drew Brees, NO 32/49 419 yards 3 TDs 112.5 QB Rating

Top Receivers:
Devery Henderson, NO 6 receptions 100 yds 1TD
Greg Jennings, GB 7 rec 89 yds 1TD
Marques Colston, NO 6 rec 81 yds
Jordy Nelson, GB 6 rec 77 yds 1TD
Darren Sproles, NO 7 rec 75yds 

Top Rushers:
James Starks, GB 57 yards 1 TD
Mark Ingram, NO 40 yards

S Morgan Burnett, GB 14 tackles (7 solo) 
LB Desmond Bishop, GB 12 tackles (8 solo)
S Roman Harper, NO 9 tackles (7 solo) .5 sacks, 1 QB hit

DE Jarious Wynn, GB 1
LB Erik Walden, GB 1
LB Jonathan Casillas, NO 1

Kick Returns: 
WR Randall Cobb, GB 2 KR 135 yrds 1 TD
RB Darren Sproles, NO 2 KR 76 yards

Punt Returns: 
RB Sproles, NO 2 PR 92 yards 1TD

The game was obviously a pass happy game and the Rodgers-led Packers came out on top of this one. I expect that Brees and Rodgers will be the 2 of the best QBs statistics-wise. If they continue their pace they might end up passing over 5000 yards in a season. For fantasy owners, the WRs of both teams will really have a good season as usual. 

With one game down, I expect so many great games this weekend.

2011 NFL Season Opens (caloysports)

Reaksyon: World Cup of Pool first 3 days

The first round of the 2011 World Cup of Pool has finished and many of the seeded teams fell to lesser known pairings. 1st seed China, 3rd seed England, 6th seed USA, and 8th seed Spain are all out of the competition pitting the best tandems representing the best billiard playing countries in the world.

What are the lessons so far that we can learn from the 2011 World Cup of Pool?

1. Seed do not matter - In a race to 8 pool, everybody has a chance. Anything can happen to change the momentum of the game. A missed break, a scratch, or a simple miscalculation can be the difference between winning or losing. The first round shows that the talent level of teams are very close to each other. 

2. Home court advantage - The annual event is currently held at the Block at SM City North Edsa and so far the 2 Filipino teams are winning. Playing in front of your crowd may bring added pressure to some but  to Reyes and company so far the crowd support is inspiring them to win.

3. Anything can happen - The format the tournament is really good and we have seen many teams rally from deficits. So far, there were only 2 8-0 routs so far.

The 2011 World Cup of Pool is indeed a wonderful tournament to follow. We do not know who will eventually win the competition and it has one of the most unique formats in a billiard tournament. The Filipino teams have been doing well in this tournament in the past and the teams are most likely to go far in this year's edition. Here's to wishing that there will be an All-Filipino finals!!!

Related Links:

About this blog!

A sports fan always love to react what happens in the world of sports. A sports fans usually thinks they have better ideas than players, writers, coaches or team management. This blog is all about the rants, reactions, and silly ideas by a normal sports fan from Cebu.

Good luck to me and long live the Monday morning quarterbacks!!!