By Mike Sy INQUIRER.net LAST weekend, I took a trip to Macau with my family and, on a rainy Sunday, when I was supposed to travel with them by ferry to Hong Kong, I was prevented from leaving by Macau immigration because I could not show them my stamped departure card (unfortunately, my wife misplaced it) and also forgot to bring my valid passport (my wife accidentally brought an expired one and left the valid one at our hotel). After telling them to go ahead without me (yipee!), I checked my city map to see how to get to the Macau Grand Prix Museum. I was happy to find that it was just a short five-minute walk from my hotel. The museum, which opened in 1993 to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Macau Grand Prix, is an avid racing fan's dream with various car and motorcycle displays, pictures and other memorabilia. There is also an F1 simulator to test your skills in a Formula 1 car. The grand prix itself was a stepping stone for many racing drivers, and it was amazing to see how many of the famous names from Formula 1 and MotoGP began their fledgling careers by competing in the Macau Grand Prix. The list included Michael and Ralf Schumacher, Takuma Sato, David Coulthard, Mikka Hakkinen, Ayrton Senna and Jenson Button to name a few. From MotoGP, I saw the name of former world champion Kevin Schwantz. On prominent display in the museum, and one that I had to see, was the car of Arsenio "Dodgie" Laurel, a Filipino, and the first driver to win the Macau Grand Prix in succession. I was proud to see his car (a Lotus F22 Ford FJ) on display with the Philippine flag on its side. Before leaving the museum, I had to try the F1 simulator and see what it feels like to be in a cramped race car. After fitting my chubby frame into the tight confines of the tub, I raced a 2002 F1 McLaren racecar in the simulated Mugello circuit and achieved a best lap time of 1 m 58.932 s. Overall, the Macau Grand Prix Museum is very interesting and a must-see for race fans, both young and old. After purchasing a Macau Grand Prix souvenir cap from the museum store, I smiled as I left the museum thinking to myself how different things would have been for me if I had left for a trip to Hong Kong on a ferry boat.
June 2007 Archives
By Roy Luarca Inquirer MANILA, Philippines--Filipino boxing icon Manny “Pacman” Pacquiao arrived Monday from a vacation in the United States and reiterated his desire to avenge the loss of his brother Bobby to Mexican Humberto Soto in New York recently. “It’s going to be a beautiful fight; Soto is also good,” said Pacquiao, who was accompanied by wife Jingkee and sons Emmanuel Jr. and Michael Stephen. Manny received his award as Fighter of the Year from the Boxing Writers Association of America on June 8, and then gave his deposition in the case filed by Golden Boy Promotions against Top Rank in Los Angeles. Nothing definite has come out of the promotional tug-of-war.
I HAVE been following intently the careers of our Filipino racecar drivers, in the hope that one day, a Filipino will be able to reach the pinnacle of motor racing which is Formula One. More than 10 years ago, we had a Filipino driver named Jovy Marcelo who became the first Filipino to race in the Indy 500 after winning the Toyota Atlantic Championship. Unfortunately, his life was cut short by an accident during practice in 1992. Now, we have Tyson Sy trying to blaze a trail in the Star Mazda championship, a competitive open wheel driver development series that produced current Torro Rosso F1 driver Scott Speed and IRL driver Marco Andretti. In the Champ Car Grand Prix of Portland last June 9, Tyson Sy finished sixth out of a field of 30 young racers, 11.003 seconds off the lead car after qualifying an excellent sixth the day before. I hope Tyson would continue with his good performance in this series, and I look forward to the day when a Filipino driver would stand on the top step of the podium in F1.
IT'S funny, my friends and I were just talking about this a few nights ago while drinking at Taberna Ocho and talking about our favorite Ultimate Fighting Championship fighters and matches. OK, we were talking about pro wrestling as well 'coz we've been fans since back during the days when World Wrestling Entertainment was still called the World Wrestling Federation, but let's talk about real sports here, heh :) Anyway, we were talking about how mixed martial arts is becoming more and more mainstream, and wondering whether it would one day be as popular as boxing itself. I even pointed out that because of some of the shenanigans going on with some boxing promoters, MMA might end up being more respectable, more real. Now check out this Miami Herald article about Floyd Mayweather Jr. calling out the former UFC light-heavyweight champion, Chuck Liddell. Yup, The Iceman himself, one of my favorite MMA fighters.
'UFC ain't [nothing],'' Mayweather said before his May 5 victory over Oscar De La Hoya, which earned him the World Boxing Council super-welterweight title. ``It ain't but a fad.'' Liddell countered: ``I think it was a sign of the times when a boxing show is taking shots at us to try to sell more pay-per-views. To promote their fight, they're bringing us up. A couple of years back, they wouldn't even mention us. Now they're talking about us. Floyd even said afterward that he was doing it just to pump up the fight.'' To the dismay of boxing purists, the UFC has displayed staying power. The Las Vegas-based company, which will hold a fight Tuesday night at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Hollywood, boasts pay-per-view sales that put it in a three-way battle for supremacy with boxing and the scripted World Wrestling Entertainment.Recently, controversial boxer Tommy Morrison, a former world heavyweight champion, made his MMA debut. Here's an excerpt from the San Jose Mercury News story:
CAMP VERDE, Ariz.—Former heavyweight champion Tommy Morrison won his MMA debut but lost the crowd Saturday night. Fighting in a cage on a clear night in the desert, Morrison knocked out John Stover (7-2) at 2:08 of the first round. Boos rained down as a panting Morrison raised his hand after breaking Stover's nose with a straight right. Although the unsanctioned bout was fought on an MMA card at Cliff Castle Casino, it had little of the rough-and-tumble associated with the sport, and that may have stoked the ire of the crowd estimated at 2,500. Stover said he originally agreed to the bout despite a stipulation against grappling, a big disadvantage for the 340-pound Stover, who outweighed Morrison by 125 pounds. But an hour before the fight, Stover said he was told he would not be allowed to strike Morrison with his knees or feet.And here's Ringside Report weighing in on Morrison's MMA debut:
Fortunately for the sport of boxing, Tommy Morrison moved on to ultimate fighting to do his best to inflict damage on that sport. Yes, when it comes to Tommy “The Duke,” one has to grasp at straws to find an upside. The latest bad news regarding Morrison’s disputed HIV status comes from his former agent, Randy Lang. Lang now confesses that Morrison has always been HIV positive, that he has been treated for the disease with standard medication, and that he and his representatives have committed fraud in pursuit of boxing licensure. This set of assertions, from a member of Morrison’s camp, confirms what has been suspected or assumed all along by people who understand HIV infection and understand the mechanisms by which most state boxing commissions strive to protect the health of fighters. And the loopholes though which Morrison has attempted to squirm.How about you, are you a fan of MMA? And do you believe it could one day be more popular than boxing?
By Andrew Fagan Agence France-Presse MONTREAL--Lewis Hamilton dedicated his maiden Formula One race victory to his father Anthony on Sunday after cruising to an assured, cool and measured triumph in the Canadian Grand Prix. The 22-year-old British rookie, the most successful newcomer in the sport's history, said he felt "fantastic" and "on a different planet" after emerging clear of his rivals following a crash-hit and incident-filled 70-lap contest at the Gilles Villeneuve circuit. He even said that driving around and keeping his concentration during the four periods in which he was leading while following a Safety Car was "boring." Hamilton said: "It has been a fantastic day for me and my family -- this is history. To come here for my first visit to Canada and to win -- it has been just a fantastic feeling and this season already we have had six podiums. "I felt that I have been ready for this win now for quite some time and for me it was just a matter of when and where. The team gave me the best car and it was great. I had no problems at all during the race. "A few Safety Cars were there, but that's all -- they made it a little bit boring at some points. But as soon as we got going again, it was exciting again. Yesterday I was over the moon, yes, to get pole. But today, this is definitely on a different planet for me." Hamilton's father Anthony has looked after his career for the last 15 years and at one time held down three jobs in order to help fund his son's burgeoning career. He could hardly have expected this sort of return from his first six races in Formula One as the young rookie wrote another amazing chapter in his heroic, if brief, and unprecedented motor racing history when he won the Canadian Grand Prix. The first man of Afro-Caribbean descent to race a Formula One car claimed his maiden victory with a superb, assured drive through the carnage of a dramatic, wild and incident-filled Canadian Grand Prix. Hamilton, 22, in his McLaren Mercedes-Benz, took full advantage of the first pole position of his career to grab his first win in only his sixth race at the highest level in typically composed and perfectly-focused fashion. No wonder sports writers all over the world are predicting a phenomenal career for the youngster from Stevenage in Hertfordshire, England, and also dubbing him as F1's answer to golf's black superstar Tiger Woods. Hamilton's superb win lifted him eight points clear of Spaniard Fernando Alonso and 15 ahead of Brazilian Felipe Massa of Ferrari. In the constructors' championship, McLaren lead now with 88 points to Ferrari's 60. "He deserved it and I am proud and very happy for him, for Lewis," said the McLaren team chief Ron Dennis afterwards, brushing aside all controversy following last month's Monaco Grand Prix where Hamilton was ordered to finish second behind team-mate Fernando Alonso. "He won it fair and square and drove superbly. We came to win, but we like to see both cars do well and today it was not Fernando's day. Once there had been the first Safety Car intervention, it was not going to be possible for him." But the race was overshadowed by a series of massive accidents and unexpected incidents as the Safety Car was deployed four times. Poland's Robert Kubica survived a massive high-speed accident with just a broken leg in his BMW Sauber car and two top drivers were disqualified and two others penalized for infringements. The two men black-flagged and disqualified were Ferrari's Brazilian world title challenger Felipe Massa and Renault's Italian Giancarlo Fisichella, both for exiting the pit-lane under red flags. The two penalized for pitting were defending double drivers world champion Alonso, Hamilton's team-mate at McLaren, and German-born Nico Rosberg of Williams, both for pitting when the pit-lane was closed during the first Safety Car period. All of this drama left experts praising the integrity of the Formula One cars, following Kubica's 300 kph crash, and predicting that Hamilton is a future Formula One champion in the making. Hamilton has reeled off a series of astonishing results in his first six races - third in Australia followed by four seconds in Malaysia, Bahrain, Spain and Monaco and then this stunning victory. His win here on Sunday was overwhelming evidence of his class in a race that saw German Nick Heidfeld finish second for Sauber BMW ahead of Austrian Alex Wurz in a Williams. Finland's Heikki Kovalainen was fourth for Renault, compatriot Kimi Raikkonen fifth for Ferrari and Japan's Takuma Sato sixth for Super Aguri. This left Alonso, after a desperate race riddled with problems and off-track excursions, to finish seventh ahead of under-pressure German Ralf Schumacher in a Toyota. Kubica was reported to be stable and conscious, despite breaking his leg in a horrifying accident that saw his car smash into a wall, barrel-roll across the circuit and then rebound off a steel barrier. He was lifted out of the car and taken to the circuit medical centre from where he was later air-lifted to hospital.
THE CLEVELAND Cavaliers gamely tried to carve out a come-from-behind victory with a big fourth-quarter run, but in the end their efforts just weren't good enough as the San Antonio Spurs won 103-92 to take a commanding 2-0 lead in the National Basketball Association finals. The question now is: Do the Cavs still have what it takes to make a comeback? Or will the Spurs' championship experience just be too much for them? Could the Spurs score a sweep? And if you were the Cavs, what adjustments would you make to get back in this series?
By Jim Slater Agence France-Presse SAN ANTONIO, Texas--Tony Parker and Tim Duncan sparked the San Antonio Spurs past Cleveland 85-76 here Thursday in the opener of the National Basketball Association Finals, humbling LeBron James in the process. Parker scored 27 points while Duncan, a three-time NBA Finals Most Valuable Player, scored 24 points and grabbed 13 rebounds to give the Spurs the lead in the best-of-seven championship series that continues here Sunday. James, the flamboyant 22-year-old playmaker who lifted the Cavaliers into their first NBA Finals, made only 4-of-16 shots for 14 points, giving away six turnovers as San Antonio's defense frustrated and contained him all night. French guard Parker produced the best NBA Finals game in his third trip to the series, adding seven assists for a Spurs team seeking its fourth title in nine years after crowns in 1999, 2003 and 2005. James missed his first eight shots, finally connecting on a driving layup 4:45 into the third quarter. His only first-half points came on four free throws but the Spurs only managed to seize a 40-35 half-time lead. San Antonio's lead still was only 49-43 midway into the third quarter when the Spurs caught fire, going on an 18-6 run that ended with San Antonio ahead 67-49 on Robert Horry's 3-pointer to open the fourth quarter. Ginobili had six points and Duncan scored four in the critical stretch. James sank a pair of 3-pointers to ignite a 13-4 Cleveland run, pulling the Cavaliers within 78-69 on Sasha Pavlovic's reverse layup with 2:48 to play. Ginobili sank two free throws and Daniel Gibson answered with a 3-pointer for Cleveland, but James missed a 3-pointer and Duncan added a slam dunk to give the Spurs an 82-72 edge with 54 seconds to play, sealing the triumph. Ginobili added 16 points and eight rebounds for San Antonio. Daniel Gibson led Cleveland with 16 points while James and Drew Gooden had 14 points and Sasha Pavlovic added 13. The Spurs outscored Cleveland 18-5 off turnovers. Defense dominated the first half, which ended with a Ginobili 3-pointer giving the Spurs a five-point edge. Duncan scored 14 first-half points, grabbed six rebounds and blocked four shots. Parker had 12 points and five assists. James scored his only first-half points on four free throws, gave the ball away twice and had a shot swatted aside by Duncan. The Spurs, who led 20-15 after the first quarter, went 7:06 without a basket, going 0-for-6 as the Cavaliers went on a 10-2 run to open the second quarter, seizing their first lead on Pavlovic's basket 5:00 into the period. Parker ignited a rally with a baseline driving layup, a basket off his own missed free throw and a superb pass to Francisco Elson for a fast break layup.
WHO are you rooting for in the National Basketball Association finals? And why do you think your team will win? As for me, I'm a Dallas Mavericks fan so olats na hehe :) I was a big Chicago Bulls fan during the Michael Jordan years. Not yet that devoted to the Mavs, but they've been my fave team for the past few, frustrating years. Anyway, I know the San Antonio Spurs are favored to win but I'm rooting for the Cleveland Cavaliers, led by LeBron James. Oh, and here's an interesting fact about this NBA finals: it will involve a record nine non-US players. Will King James pull it off? We'll see.
WHAT a tragedy! Here's an excerpt from Marc Anthony Reyes' article for the Philippine Daily Inquirer:
"He is a big loss to the national team," said Gus Sta. Maria, director of national coaches of the Philippine Volleyball Federation. "He's tall and talented, the best player we had in the team."
PVF secretary general Otie Camangian said they would seek the help of the Philippine Sports Commission and the Philippine Olympic Committee in extending assistance to Borlagdatan's family. PVF head Pete Mendonza denounced the killings and urged the authorities to put the suspects immediately behind bars. Borlagdatan, 22, was a graduating Criminology student at the De La Salle University-Dasmariñas.
SO, does Kobe Bryant want the Los Angeles Lakers to trade him or not? Almost as if he's channeling Hamlet ("Kobe or not Kobe?" heh), Kobe first pleaded with the LA Lakers to trade him, then apparently changed his mind, and then... well, does anybody really know what he's thinking now? Anyway, this near-meltdown in public has a bunch of NBA teams dreaming of what it would be like to have Kobe suit up for them, but do you think he's worth it? Or will he turn out to be a nightmare for whichever team gets him? OK, as a disclaimer, I've never been a fan of Kobe (it's Air Jordan all the way, baby) but that doesn't mean I won't give him his due. Kobe's one of the best players in the league today; heck, some say he's numero uno. But what about his attitude? It's bad enough the LA Lakers dynasty ended because of his differences with Shaq. Here's an interesting article by Todd Boyd for ESPN that talks about how Kobe must feel about year after year without a championship ring:
If you're Kobe Bean Bryant, how does it feel to sit at home with the NBA Finals going on and for the third straight year you are not a part of the festivities? It must be the loneliest feeling in the world. For anyone who comes across as self-important as Kobe has over the 11 years that he has been in the NBA, this must be something akin to dying a slow, tedious death. Life has to be pretty miserable for Black Mamba right now. It was bad enough that he had to watch his former nemesis, Shaq, and his T-Mobile sidekick, D-Wade, take the crown a year ago. This year Kobe has had to witness -- no pun intended -- the crowning of King James, the true heir apparent to the Jordan throne and a cat whose Nike contract just so happens to dwarf that of his own. As a wise man once said, it's hard out here for a pimp. No doubt. Kobe's self-indulgence was on full display recently when he publicly flip-flopped all over the place, demanding a trade, then recanting, only to end up making even less sense than when he first started this attention-grabbing stunt. Too bad Dr. Melfi is about to be off the air. This man needs professional help. Or at least a hug.Meanwhile, here's Mike Sielski weighing in for phillyBurbs.com on "Just what does Kobe deserve?"
In his public pleas last week for the Los Angeles Lakers to trade him, to send him to another team where he'll be surrounded by better talent, Kobe Bryant fell back into a familiar posture for so many superstar athletes. Bryant, Allen Iverson, Barry Sanders - they all think they're entitled to championships, when they're not. Look, Bryant is the best basketball player on the planet. No one in the NBA possesses the same combination of offensive skills and defensive ability, though LeBron James is getting awfully close. But if Bryant's first concern had been adding to the Lakers' three straight titles from 2000-02, instead of stepping out of Shaquille O'Neal's shadow, he wouldn't have contributed to the chaos that ultimately destroyed a dynasty.How about you, what do you think should Kobe do? And what should the LA Lakers do?
POOR Manny. He's made us proud time and again with his incredible exploits inside the boxing ring, but his ill-fated decision to enter the political arena resulted in a humiliating defeat. What's worse, if this information from a reader of Philippine Daily Inquirer columnist Recah Trinidad is true, Pacquiao lost the election and a lot of his own money because he was "knocked out" by his own general campaign manager. Here's an excerpt from Recah's column piece:
Reader Renato Ramones Reyes, who gave his address at 10 Magsaysay Avenue, Gen. Santos City, threw most of the blame on Pacquiao’s general campaign manager whom he described as an irresponsible, greedy, incompetent hanger-on who took advantage of Pacquiao’s sincerity and innocence: * * * We reprint the handwritten letter in its original form: Dear Sir, Binabasa ko yong column mo “Bare Eye” lalo na kung si Manny Pacquiao ang subject matter mo. Hindi totoo na si Darlene at si GMA ang nag-knockout kay Manny. Maybe kung sa points 20 percent lang. Ang malaking dahilan ng pagkatalo ni Manny ay ang kanyang General Campaign Manager (GCM), na incompetent, tamad, lasengo, womanizer, sugarol, sabungero, at marami pang iba.
SHOULD the Philippine Basketball Association have allowed this deal to proceed? And now that the controversial Romel Adducul-Enrico Villanueva trade has some board members from other teams up in arms, what should the PBA do? Well, the PBA board will be tackling in a special meeting Thursday the Restricted Trading List (RTL) rule that the Romel-Rico deal allegedly violated. Here's an excerpt from Musong R. Castillo's story for the Philippine Daily Inquirer:
Saying that “we’ve been through bigger problems than this,” chairman Ricky Vargas of Talk ‘N Text Sunday expressed confidence that all tensions will die down and that matters will be resolved in the meeting. “The gentlemen of the board will be able to sit down and discuss things,” Vargas told a select group of scribes before their game against San Miguel Beer at the Araneta Coliseum. “I granted the request for a (special) board meeting to clarify certain issues. “And the issue here is the RTL, not the trade which I think is just a consequence,” he added. Buddy Encarnado of Sta. Lucia Realty and Joaqui Trillo of Alaska voiced out their displeasure on Friday regarding the Villanueva-Adducul swap, which they thought violated the RTL the very first time it was supposed to be implemented.