CHECK out this video report from Reuters.
October 2007 Archives
CHECK out this teaser video of the 2007 World Pool Championship that will be held at the Araneta Coliseum in Quezon City, Philippines from Nov. 3-11, 2007. Video provided by Raya Sports, a partner of INQUIRER.net.
By Dennis U. Eroa Inquirer CHICAGO, Illinois--Joan Tipon’s Olympic dream will have to wait for now. The reigning Asian Games bantamweight champion started cold and lost to archrival Worapoj Petchkoom of Thailand, 13-5, at the start of the International Amateur Boxing Association World Boxing Championships here Tuesday. The foxy Thai, who lost to the Filipino in the 2006 Doha Asiad finals, was in complete command after taking a 3-0 lead at the end of a boring, action-less first round as Tipon boxed without his usual flair and confidence. A handful of Filipino supporters including Philippine Sports Commission chair William Ramirez and 1970 Asian Games gold medalist Ricardo Fortaleza at the University of Illinois-Chicago Pavilion tried to rouse Tipon with lusty cheering to no avail. In a later match, light-welterweight Delfin Boholst bowed to China’s Mai Sun Qiong, 38-15, capping the Filipinos’ forgettable opening day campaign. “Well, that’s boxing,” said Ramirez. “It’s not the end of the world for him and the rest of the national boxing team.” The national boxers are shooting for tickets to Beijing 2008 in this Olympic-qualifying tournament. Tipon, who lost in the preliminaries of the national open back home, will shoot anew for an Olympic slot next year in Asian qualifiers. Fortaleza said that Tipon failed to sustain his attack in the later rounds. “The Thai likes to clinch and Joan wasn’t really able to press the action,” said Fortaleza, who also hit the “biased” scoring of the judges. “Terrible. The Thai didn’t even throw a punch, yet he was getting the scores,” said Fortaleza. The Thai, scoring mostly to the body, opened a 9-5 lead at the end of the third round then wisely danced and stayed away from trouble by clinching. National head coach Pat Gaspi acknowledged the loss. “That’s not the true Tipon,” said Gaspi. “Now we have to concentrate on our remaining boxers.” It was an observation echoed by deputy coach Ronald Chavez. “Joan never had the opportunity to find his range. The body blows hurt although some looked dubious.” After the draw held earlier at the Palmer House Hilton, event organizers shuffled the schedule. Tipon wasn’t scheduled to box Tuesday and learned of the new schedule only after the draw. Next up for the RP-PLDT-Smart boxing team is featherweight Charly Suarez, who will be tested by Mongolian veteran Zorigbaatar Enkhzarig Wednesday. Suarez is a rookie in the World Championships like Tipon, Delfin Boholst, lightweight Genebert Basadre and welterweight Willie Lopez. Flyweight Violito Payla fights Andrew Selby of Wales on Oct. 25, the same day that Basadre battles Bulgarian favorite Kolev Ognyan and Lopez debuts versus Velibor Vedic.
By Inquirer MANILA, Philippines--The Philippines bagged 12 gold medals, including four in the senior division, in the recent 8th ASEAN Taekwondo Federation Championships held in Ba Ria-Vung Tau, Vietnam. Bantamweights Jeffrey Figueroa and Esther Marie Singson, lightweight Brix Darmo Ramos and welterweight Ernesto Juan Mendoza III led the winners in the two-day tournament. The Smart/Petron team also won 9 silvers and 17 bronzes. James Martin Luzuriaga and Christine Rose Virtudazon won the junior poomse silver and bronze medals, respectively, and then combined to take the bronze in pair poomse. The other gold medalists: Juniors -- Sydney Darryl Crispino, fin; Jyra Marie Lizardo, fly; James Martin Luzuriaga, fly; Karla Jane Alava, feather; Gerry del Rosario, welter; Dennis Resaba, light middle; Kirstie Elaine Alora, middle; and Christine Rose Virtudazo, light heavy. The silver medalists: Seniors -- Billy Joel Corral, fin; Carlos V, fly; Manuel Rivero Jr., light; Marlon Avenido, welter; Igon Ducay, middle; and Ma. Criselda Roxas, middle. Juniors -- Gyie Michael Genoso, bantam; Mark Reynald Dizon, light; and Ronald Golding Jr., welter. The bronze winners: Seniors -- Gerrielyn Aranzanso, fin; Loraine Lorelie Catalan, fly; Emmanuel Alivio, bantam; Veronica Domingo, welter; Katherine Ann Bunyi, heavy; and Michael Alejandrino, heavy. Juniors -- Kirn Aldrin Ammay, fly; R-jay del Rosario, bantam; Mira Taculog, bantam; Kathleen Estrabo, bantam; Marigold Taculog, feather; Nicole Mapilisan, feather; Allen Roy Unson, light; Mary Joannina Langit, welter; Marifi Violeta Gadit, welter; Alexander Alivio, light middle; and Emron Mae Golding, light middle.
By Tim Collings Agence France-Presse SAO PAULO, Brazil--Kimi Raikkonen won the 2007 Formula One drivers world championship here Sunday for Ferrari when he produced a flawless run to victory in the Brazilian Grand Prix. The 'ice-man' from Finland drove superbly to grab the 15th win of his career and his sixth this year ahead of his Ferrari team-mate and local hero Felipe Massa. Defending double drivers world champion Fernando Alonso of Spain finished third in his McLaren and ended up sharing second place in the drivers' title race with his team-mate Lewis Hamilton. The luckless 22-year-old British rookie, who began the day four points ahead of Alonso and seven in front of Raikkonen, lost ground at the start, falling back from second to fourth on the opening lap and then plummeting to 18th on lap seven when he suffered gearbox problems. But he stormed back to finish in seventh place and score two points when he needed at least two more to make history by being the first rookie to lift the title. German-born Nico Rosberg, the son of the original flying Finn Keke Rosberg, came fourth for Williams ahead of Poland's Robert Kubica and German Nick Heidfelt in the two BMW Saubers. The drivers title race ended with Raikkonen on 110 points and Alonso and Hamilton both on 109 at the end of the first three-way title battle for 21 years. There was drama from the start when Brazilian Felipe Massa pulled clear from his ninth pole position into the lead followed by Ferrari teammate Raikkonen, in the process squeezing Hamilton out of the way. The move of the two Ferraris meant that Hamilton was held up behind them and this allowed Alonso through to take third place as they battled down through the Senna S bend. The crowd went wild at seeing Massa lead but it all went sadly wrong for Hamilton as he was forced off the circuit on the opening lap and after running across a green painted run-off area he rejoined down in eighth place. It looked almost impossible for him to fight back as he ran behind the leading group, but he worked his way back up to seventh before being hit by a gear selection problem. His car slowed alarmingly for British fans and he slipped down to 18th place and a long way from not only the points, but possibly the world title. At the front Massa sped clear followed by Raikkonen whilst there was carnage elsewhere with Italian Giancarlo Fisichella in his Renault rejoining from an off track excursion only to he driven into from behind by Sakon Yamamoto of Japan in a spiker. Hamilton somehow solved his problems and regained his speed as he pushed his way through the field, rising from 18th to 11th with some supreme passing moves and fast driving. The leaders began to dive into the pits to stop for fresh tires and fuel after lap 20, Massa leading the way ahead of Raikkonen who led the race for a lap until he also pitted one lap later. This left the defending champion Alonso out in front for a lap but he also pitted and after the first round of stops the field reassembled with Massa leading Raikkonen and then Alonso at the front. Hamilton pitted after 22 laps and rejoined in 14th place from where he fought tigerishly to make up places, passing Brazilian Rubens Barrichello with a sweeping and aggressive dive through the Senna S bends on lap 28. This hoisted Hamilton into 12th place but he was 50 seconds behind the leader Massa who was running two seconds ahead of Raikkonen with Alonso down in third 19 seconds adrift. On lap 30, there was more drama when Kazuki Nakajima in his BMW came into the pits and crashed into his own team of mechanics, two of whom were sent flying and appeared to be slightly injured. Hamilton, with great verve and concentration, was up to ninth by lap 33, just one place outside the points positions and chasing hard to haul in time on fellow-Briton David Coulthard who was running in eighth place. By then, Poland's Robert Kubica had passed Alonso at the end of the straight and soon after this Hamilton pitted again for hard tires from ninth after 36 laps. In 36 degrees heat by lap 40, Hamilton had been lapped by the two leading Ferraris who were in stunning form and more than a minute ahead of Alonso who recovered third after the pit stops. The Ferraris were in a world of their own, running just seven-tenths of a second apart as the mathematics and probabilities occupied all the spectators wondering about the outcome of the world title race. After 47 laps, Hamitlon was up to eighth but he needed to finish fifth if the positions remained unchanged ahead of him -- a massively-demanding target. When Ferrari pitted again, Massa came in first after 50 laps and Raikkonen stayed out three laps before pitting to push himself into a position where, when he rejoined, he was 1.9 seconds ahead of his team-mate. This put him in line to win and collect the title unless Alonso, who also pitted, could claw his way into one of the top two positions, which proved beyond the Spaniard. Raikkonen, with the scent of glory in his nostrils, then pulled clear by three seconds from Massa, the Finn going on to claim a famous victory.
By Inquirer MANILA, Philippines--Ronnie Alcano missed a chance to make pool history Saturday. Shane Van Boening took the measure of the dual world champion Alcano for the second time in as many days, 13-10, and bagged the 32nd US Open crown Saturday night in Chesapeake, Virginia. The loss prevented the 34-year-old Alcano from becoming the first player to reign supreme in the World Pool Championship, World 8-Ball Championship and US Open at the same time. The 24-year-old Van Boening, who sent Alcano to the losers’ bracket Friday, grabbed $50,000 and a spot on Team USA in the Mosconi Cup. Alcano settled for $25,000. The two are expected to meet again and play key roles for their respective teams in the Kabayan World 9-Ball Challenge: Philippines vs Rest of the World on Nov. 12-13 in Calapan City, Oriental Mindoro. “It’s very disappointing,” said Alcano in Filipino during a telephone conversation with Bugsy Promotions manager Perry Mariano. Alcano led by two after eight racks, 5-3, when he sued for time. After the breather, Alcano never holed a ball in his last six breaks. “I’ve been breaking well the whole tournament,” he said. “I don’t know why I suddenly ran out of luck on my break.” Alcano also requested for a change of referee, but his bad spell continued. Alcano was untouchable heading to the finals, routing his three opponents in the one-loss bracket to set up a rematch with Van Boening. He beat Louis Ulrich, 11-3, Ralf Souquet, 11-3 and Tomoki Mikari, 11-5. Rumors of conspiracy to doom the chances of Filipino players started to circulate even before the tournament started. Six marquee players from the Philippines, including Efren “Bata” Reyes and Francisco “Django” Bustamante, were bunched in the same group. Marlon Bernardino, Contributor
By Marlon Bernardino Inquirer MANILA, Philippines--Filipino Ronato Alcano stayed on course for a historic achievement in the 32nd US Open at the Chesapeake Convention Center in Chesapeake, Virginia, late Friday. Unshaken by a loss in his previous outing, Alcano raced to a 10-0 lead and went on to post an 11-3 victory over Louis Ulrich, moving within three wins of becoming the first player ever to reign in the World Pool Championship, World 8-Ball Championship and US Open at the same time. He won the world 9-ball title last year and the world 8-ball crown early this year. The lanky Alcano was untouchable in his first six matches, beating among others compatriots Efren “Bata” Reyes, Jose “Amang” Parica and Warren Kiamco along the way. But Alcano, Bugsy Promotion’s top player crashed against Shane Van Boening, 4-11, derailing his bid for an automatic shot at the hot seat. Alcano will next face the winner between countryman Ramil Gallego and German Ralf Souquet in a match going on at presstime. After losing to Markus Juva in the first round, Gallego rebounded mightily by posting 11 straight victories that also moved him three wins shy of an improbable title conquest. His last prey was former US Open champion Corey Deuel, 11-7. The Japan-based Gallego counts countrymen Reyes, Parica, Francisco “Django” Bustamante and Fil-Canadian Edwin Montal among his victims here. Gallego also beat former world champion Thorsten Hohmann and heavyweight Mike Davis. “It’s one of the most amazing runs I’ve ever seen in billiards,” said Philippine billiard godfather Aristeo “Putch” Puyat. “Bebeng’s endurance is unbelievable and he’s winning over top caliber players.”
By Marc Anthony Reyes Inquirer MANILA, Philippines--Bowling Hall of Famer Bong Coo thinks the dwindling international wins by Filipinos is due to lack of mental toughness. “We see that our players lack mental toughness -- the abilities are there but not the staying power,” said Coo. “We tend to take the lead in competitions but fade later on. That’s why our gold medals are getting fewer.” To revive the killer instinct of the bowlers, Coo, the Philippine Bowling Congress secretary general, announced that a coach who will train them for mental toughness has been hired for the coming Southeast Asian Games campaign in December. The four-time world champion and five-time Asian Games gold winner said the PBC has tapped the services of sports psychologist Marissa Adviento of Ateneo de Manila University to psyche up the 12-man team that will defend the overall title in Thailand. “In practice we are good, but somehow, especially in team competition where every game counts, we need more improvement,” she said. “We must know how to perform under pressure. Hopefully in two months time we can achieve that.” Coo said the Filipino keglers hope to duplicate if not surpass the four gold medals they won two years ago in the Philippines.
By Marc Anthony Reyes Inquirer MANILA, Philippines--The country has a strong chance at the women’s beach volleyball gold if the Southeast Asian Games were to be held today. Tony Boy Liao, manager of the Fil-Am tandem of Heidi Ilustre and Diane Pascua, made this bold claim Wednesday, noting that the bronze medalists of the 2005 SEAG are now in “top shape.” “If the SEA Games is held today, there’s a strong chance we can win the (beach volley) gold medal,” said Liao. “And I’m not discounting the fact that the SEA Games will be held in Thailand.” Liao added that Ilustre and Pascua have climbed to 41st in the world rankings after joining the World Tour starting early this year. Currently training in Los Angeles, the two are scheduled to come home on Oct. 28 on their way to the Phuket leg of the World Tour on the 29th and the Hong Kong stop on Nov. 5. They still have one more leg before the Dec. 6-16 SEAG. Thailand captured the gold and silver medals during the 2005 edition held in Bacolod City. The homegrown pair of Michelle Carolino and Michelle Laborte, who are set to compete in Malaysia for a tune-up event, will be the other SEAG women’s team. Mowrey Chad and Parley Tupaz and Christian Tuyay and Rhovyl Verayo are the men’s beach volley bets.
By Inquirer MANILA, Philippines--The World Boxing Council has issued another call for super featherweight champion Juan Manuel Marquez of Mexico to defend his title against Filipino star Manny Pacquiao in his next fight. Marquez is slated to defend his title against Rocky Juarez on Nov. 3, and should he come out victorious, WBC president Jose Sulaiman wants him to stake his 130-lb title against Pacquiao. If Juarez pulls off an upset, Sulaiman said he would also be mandated to defend against the Filipino boxing icon. Sulaiman told Boxingscene in an interview that he believes that Marquez and Pacquiao are willing to fight each other again despite failed efforts to bring both fighters together in the ring. “If he (Manny) declines for a third time, then I think he doesn’t want to fight Marquez, and we have to go our way,” noted Sulaiman. Sulaiman said the Marquez-Pacquiao rematch should be held in the first quarter of 2008 “because there are no other television dates for the rest of the year, and they cannot do without the television, because it’s a big money fight. So I believe that’s going to be a great opportunity at the beginning of the year.” The WBC had also ordered Marquez to fight Pacquiao in a mandatory defense after his dethronement of Marco Antonio Barrera early in the year. But the Marquez and Pacquiao camps couldn’t agree on the purse and the Filipino ended up fighting Barrera again and winning their rematch by unanimous decision last Oct. 7. Marquez came back from three knockdowns in the first round to forge a draw with Pacquiao in his defense of the World Boxing Association-International Boxing Federation featherweight title in 2004. Meanwhile, Sulaiman also announced that after the WBC Convention in Manila, the WBC is going to hold two separate tributes to acknowledge the brilliant careers of Erik Morales and Barrera. For Morales, the plan is to hold the celebration in his hometown of Tijuana in Mexico. Barrera wants it either in Mexico City or Guadalajara, which is his current home. The WBC has made it a point not to hold both affairs in one venue owing to the bad blood between the two boxing legends. “If they don’t like each other, and there is so much controversy between them, I believe that it would be cynicism if we do the ceremony for both at the same time. So definitely the events will be separate,” explained Sulaiman. Salven L. Lagumbay, Contributor
By INQUIRER.net MANILA, Philippines--International boxing champion Manny Pacquiao broke his silence on allegations he had an affair with actress Ara Mina. Pacquiao told GMA-7's “Showbiz Central” on Sunday that his relationship with the actress was strictly professional and never went beyond the set. “Magkaibigan lang kami at saka may movie kami. Almost finished na yung movie. Nasa 70 percent na kami. Alam mo na pagka-ganoon, may mga intri-intriga,” Manny said in the interview. Ara had appealed to Manny to finally put an end to the speculations and come out to clarify the issue. “Sana yung mga involved na tao magsalita na rin. Linisin lang yung pangalan ko. I explained myself already. That's it. Tapos na 'yon,”Ara said in a separate “Showbiz Central” interview. “I'm not mad at him. I'm not mad at his wife. Kilalanin muna nila ako bago ako pagbintangan ng kung sino man diyan,” Ara added. Manny thanked his wife, Jinkee, for understanding the situation. “Pasalamat naman ako sa asawa ko na talagang mahaba yung pag-pasensiya niya at naiintindihan niya,” Manny said. He also denied reports he had gone out on dates with Ara. “Hindi naman (nag-de-date o lumalabas). Sa shooting kami, nagsasama kami lagi dahil siyempre kukunan kami.” Manny also debunked reports he had given a multi-million peso house to Ara as a gift. “Hindi ko alam yan,” he said.
By Inquirer LONATO, ITALY--Young karting ace Jean Stefano Marcelo overcame a bent chassis and a start far down the final grid to finish 10th in a field of 96 in the 2007 ROK World Cup at the South Garda Karting Track over the weekend. The 14-year-old Filipino thus became the first Southeast Asian to land in the top 10 of the ROK Senior class in the world’s toughest karting competition. Marcelo completed the final 20-lap race in 15 minutes and 15.747 seconds, highlighting his rally with a best lap time of 44.847 seconds which threatened the 44.811 seconds posted by eventual champion Emanuele Pagani of Italy. “I gave it my best and we’re quite proud to prove that Filipinos are among the best karters in the world,” said Marcelo, a shoo-in for the Philippines’ Karter of the Year award. The 96 participants were broken down into four groups in the elimination races with Marcelo ending up as the 14th qualifier from a grid of 32 karters in the first heat. In the 32-man second heat, Marcelo was chasing the leaders in ninth place when he was bumped from behind with two laps to go and lost control. He wound up 16th. That finish pulled him down to the repechage races where only the top six secured spots in the semifinals. But Marcelo was up to the challenge and ruled the race by 4.2 seconds in front of a huge gallery that included the legendary Formula One champ Michael Schumacher. Marcelo started 29th in the semifinals and, despite bending his chassis after hitting a barrier as he averted a collision, moved up to secure 18th place in the pre-final race. The Marcelo Racing crew salvaged what was left with the kart and Stefano worked his way up to 10th, passing Nicholas Toner of Russia and Adamek Frantiser of the Czech Republic in the final lap.
By Inquirer CEBU CITY--Here’s Manny Pacquiao’s reply to lightweight king Juan Diaz’s challenge: “If the price is right,” said the Filipino ring icon. The retort came after Diaz unified three lightweight titles in his bout against Julio Diaz Sunday in Chicago when the latter failed to answer the bell in the ninth round. Juan Diaz added the International Boxing Federation lightweight title to his World Boxing Association and World Boxing Organization crowns, leaving just the World Boxing Council version of his division as the only missing jewel to his collection. Another Diaz, David, holds the WBC lightweight diadem, but Juan Diaz made it clear as to who his camp wants next. “We want (Manny) Pacquiao,” promoter Don King said. Pacquiao announced plans to ascend to the 135-pound ranks after a clinical 12-round dismantling of Mexican Marco Antonio Barrera in a super featherweight bout early this month. Pacquiao, however, had earlier said he wanted to face David Diaz before stepping back into the super featherweight ranks to challenge 130-pound king Juan Manual Marquez. But Juan Diaz feels he should be the one to induct the Filipino into the lightweight ranks. “I think it’s time for him to step up and fight a young Mexican,” the Mexican-American Juan Diaz said of Pacquiao. Juan Diaz’s bout against Julio Diaz ended just as the bell to start the round rang. Julio Diaz’s brother, Joel, a cornerman, told the referee to stop it, bringing a fight that Juan Diaz (33-0) had dominated to a sudden conclusion. “I thought he was going to box me more, but he came to fight,” Juan Diaz said after defending the WBA title for the seventh time. Reports from Salven Lagumbay, Contributor; Associated Press and Agence France-Presse
By Inquirer MANILA, Philippines--A day after securing the second of three grandmaster norms he needs to become a full-fledged GM, Wesley So lost his match against Indian International Master Abhijeet Gupta in the 10th round Saturday of the World Juniors and Girls Chess Championships at the T. Petrosian Chess House in Yerevan, Armenia. The 14-year-old from Bacoor, Cavite, resigned after 38 moves of a Sicilian Defense, Ritzer Rauzer Attack, and fell out of contention with just three rounds left in the tournament. The loss was the third for So, who also has five victories and two draws. The standings: 7.5 points -- GM Wang Hao (China), GM Ivan Popov (Russia), IM Grigoryan Avetik (Armenia); 7.0 -- GM Ahmed Adly (Egypt), GM Georg Meier (Germany), GM Dmitry Andreikin (Russia), IM Abhijeet Gupta (India); 6.5 -- GM Arman Pashikian (Armenia), GM Daniel Stellwagen (Netherlands), GM Victor Laznicka (Czech Republic), IM Marcus Ragger (Austria), IM Davit Jojua (Georgia),Viacheslav Kulakov (Russia); 6.0 -- IM Wesley So (Philippines),GM Maxim Rodshtein (Israel), GM Parimarjan Negi (India), GM David Howell (England), GM Gawain Jones (England), IM Daan Brandenburg (Netherlands), IM Evgeny Romanov (Russia), IM Gogineni Rohit (India), IM Gopal Narayanan (India), IM Fidel Corrales (Cuba), IM Tamas Banusz (Hungrary), IM Hrant Melkumyan (US). Report from Marlon Bernardino, Contributor
By June Navarro Inquirer MANILA, Philippines--Loaded with talent on paper, Magnolia translated that fearsome reputation into a more concrete form Sunday night. Danny Seigle and Dondon Hontiveros presided over the Beverage Masters’ high-octane offense that dazzled the Air21 Express, 121-112, at the start of the 2007-2008 Smart-PBA Philippine Cup at the Araneta Coliseum in Quezon City. Firing a game-high 28 points, Seigle conspired with Hontiveros in a third-quarter onslaught that transformed a double-digit deficit to an imposing lead the Express couldn’t overturn. Hontiveros pumped in 12 of his 15 points in that span, including the game-tying free throws at 67 and the go-ahead three-point play after ramming against rookie Doug Kramer. The rampaging Express train, which built a 65-55 lead, finally got derailed as Hontiveros and Seigle took over. “They were shooting the lights out and hurting us in transition,” said Magnolia coach Siot Tanquingcen. “As one of the most athletic teams in the league, Air21 is really hard to contain with its flexible lineup.” Nino Canaleta sizzled with a career-high 32 points for the Express while Arwind Santos added 21 in the highest scoring season-opener since Presto beat Swift, 120-118, during the 1992 season. League rules have been altered to favor the offensive team, making the game faster and exciting. “We have to deal with it. Everybody plays under the same rules so I see no problem with it,” said Tanquingcen. What might be a big problem, however, was how to balance the minutes of Siot’s talent-laden roster on the floor. Aside from Seigle and Hontiveros, Enrico Villanueva, Larry Fonacier, Lordy Tugade and Danny Ildefonso also finished in double figures.
By Virginie Montet Agence France-Presse WASHINGTON--He sleeps on a bench, but he is king of chess during the day at Washington's Dupont Circle, where he dazzles beginners and masters alike with his winning moves on the park's stone chessboards. Tom Murphy, 49, makes what little money he has from teaching his prodigious knowledge of the game to passersby for a few dollars. "He has the title of expert in chess. This is the second highest American title; above him are master. So it means he is quite good," said Washington's Chess Center director David Mehler. A former math and science major and a celebrity among amateurs, Murphy has made the Dupont Circle public square America's most prestigious chess park after New York's fabled Washington Square, according to some chess lovers. "The mathematical equation has always been fascinating to me, then when you add the camaraderie, the ambiance, the open air, it's almost irresistible," said Murphy, peering over a park chessboard that draws players from all walks of life -- students, doctors, lawyers, drunkards. Garrulous and brilliant, Murphy, grew up in North Carolina and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, two well known chess centers, and specializes in a lightning version of chess known as "blitz." In this accelerated version of the ancient game, players are allowed five minutes for all their moves, and the game ends within 10 minutes. "The appeal of blitz is that, maybe in two or five minutes, I may put together a work of art that might last a lifetime," Murphy said in his inimitable style of explaining chess basics. The game, he said, consists of "few guiding principles: king safety, fight for the center, give every piece a job". "At blitz he is a very strong player. He has a very fast mind and he sees combinations very quickly. He calculates very quickly," said Mehler, who has been teaching the board game to underprivileged children for 15 years. Murphy has won several chess tournaments and finished 15th in the 2005 world blitz championship. He's not always down and out, but his addiction to booze often lands him on the street. "The pursuit of the ego versus the pursuit of the spirit are in conflict sometimes," he explained. "I enjoy alcohol a little too much." He attends Alcoholic Anonymous meetings and admits: "When I don't drink my chess is better." Murphy aims to get better at chess and rise to the title of master. "I would dearly love to go on and make my master's rating because through that I get a credibility to increase my teaching fee," he said. "There is an upcoming tournament on Thanksgiving (November 22) in Philadelphia. That's looking promising." For now, the homeless chess teacher charges $20 to $30 an hour and will match his wits with any rival for two to five dollars per game. "Grand masters are teaching 100 or 200 bucks [dollars] an hour, masters can get at least 50, that's not bad," he said.
By Beth Celis Inquirer MANILA, Philippines--Typical of this so-called cyber age, the discovery of Filipino-American national player Vicky Brick from the University of Maryland, a Division I US NCAA squad, came through the Internet. And SBP executive director Patrick Gregorio was the one who tracked her down. “I was searching the US NCAA website one day, in an effort to find a Fil-Am talent for our ladies national team, when I came across Vicky’s photo,” Pato recounted. “I guess it was pure intuition, because Vicky’s name didn’t sound Filipino and neither did she look like one. But I got curious and read through her bio-data. When I got to the item that said her favorite dish was pancit canton, it was like hitting the jackpot. I knew she must have had some Filipino blood in her,” related Pato, who struck another coincidence when he found out what Vicky’s middle name is. Gregorio. * * * More than Pato, ladies national team coach Fritz Gaston is happy that Vicky was discovered. “Her presence has raised the team’s level of play. She is definitely an invaluable addition,” Fritz said. On Friday Vicky leaves with the ladies’ team for Phuket, Thailand where it will compete in the Seaba qualifier for the FIBA-Asia Women’s championship. Personally, I’m glad that many people are now taking care of our ladies’ team. There’s Jean Henri Lhuillier of Cebuana Lhuillier, Cynthia Tiu of Discovery Suites, Marivic del Pilar of Victory Liner, and Alex Wang of PRC Couriers. * * * Last Monday, Jean Henri hosted a sendoff dinner at the California Pizza Kitchen for the women’s team. It was on the same night amateur basketball’s godfather Mikee Romero also tendered a sendoff party at the Kamayan-Saisaki on Edsa for the men’s basketball team, which left for Korea Wednesday to play a series of tune-up games. It was the first time the lineup of the men’s team was introduced to the PBL ballclubs. In addition to the regular Harbour Centre squad, Mikee said the national squad was going to play in the next PBL conference. I was surprised to see former PBA player Alex Crisano in the national team lineup. Alex kept telling everybody -- except me I guess -- that he is now a reformed Christian.
By Musong R. Castillo Inquirer Game Sunday (Araneta Coliseum) 4:30 p.m. -- Opening Ceremonies 6:30 p.m. -- Air21 vs Magnolia MANILA, Philippines--Robert Jaworski’s much-anticipated return to the Philippine Basketball Association is not about to happen -- at least for the coming Philippine Cup that opens Sunday. The one-time MVP, many-time champion player and winner of four PBA titles as a player-coach has told Air21 team manager Lito Alvarez to let Bo Perasol handle the team as he takes care of personal business matters in the United States. “He told me to have coach Bo continue handling the team because he (Perasol) is a good coach,” Alvarez said. “He will just have to take care of some business matters in the States and that we will talk formally once he returns.” The Express collide with the Magnolia Beverage Masters, which took over from the San Miguel Beermen, in the lone opening game at 6:30 p.m. at the Araneta Coliseum. Air21 had offered Jaworski a perfect vehicle to return to the PBA but the former Senator has yet to formally accept the coaching job. Part of Air21’s offer is a lot of business opportunities for Jaworski with the company, which, according to a source interviewed by the Philippine Daily Inquirer a couple of weeks back, could amount to millions of pesos. “I just told him that any time he wants to handle the team, the job is his,” Alvarez added. Incidentally, Alvarez said that he is seriously weighing a proposal from Talk ‘N Text to part with one of its centers in exchange for two Express forwards coming from among Arwind Santos, KG Canaleta and Ranidel de Ocampo. But any trade involving Santos could include a few repercussions because the cager is currently facing a bigamy suit. The sophomore forward received a fatherly advice from PBA officer-in-charge Renauld “Sonny” Barrios on Tuesday, but that doesn’t mean the promising cager is off the hook. Santos was advised by Barrios to settle the issue out of court and avoid a morality issue that already cost the job of commissioner Noli Eala a couple of months back. “Right now, it’s not an apples to apples case,” Barrios told the Inquirer over the phone in explaining why his office is not treating the Santos case the way the league did on Eala’s situation. “Until proven guilty (of bigamy), Arwind’s case is entirely different than that of ex-commissioner Eala,” Barrios added. “But if it is ruled with finality (by the Supreme Court) then that’s a different story.” Santos is facing two lawsuits from Karyn Maye Umayon -- bigamy and lack of child support. “The father in me told Arwind to immediately continue supporting his child,” Barrios added.
UNDEFEATED mixed martial arts fighter Filipino-American Brandon "The Truth" Vera takes on former Ultimate Fighting Championship heavyweight kingpin Tim Sylvia at UFC 77: Hostile Territory. Check out this trailer provided by our partner, Solar Sports. For more videos from INQUIRER.net and our partners, visit iVDO.
CHECK out what Solar Sports has in store for you this October. Video provided by Solar Sports, a partner of INQUIRER.net. For more videos from INQUIRER.net and our partners, visit iVDO.
By Recah Trinidad Inquirer LAS VEGAS--Manny Pacquiao, who on Saturday (Sunday in Manila) earned his spurs as a finesse fighter, declared after a thanksgiving Mass here Monday he was not yet moving up to the 135-pound lightweight class. Pacquiao likewise clarified that his proposed duel with World Boxing Council 130-lb. champion Juan Manuel Marquez was still on. “No, hindi,” Pacquiao told team insider Hermie Rivera, who tried to confirm reports emanating from Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino that the Filipino boxing star planned to turn full lightweight after his ordeal with the weighing scales before his second conquest of Marco Antonio Barrera Saturday night (Sunday morning in Manila) here. Even Pacquiao’s lovely wife, Jinkee, who must have favored the move to go one division up, said there was nothing definite about the plan. “Puwede kong labanan si Marquez, maski (I can fight Marquez even at) 130 or 135 pounds,” Pacquiao said. Team Pacquiao headed from here to Los Angeles in a convoy of cars Monday afternoon. He will meet with Top Rank big boss Bob Arum before flying for home Wednesday. He’s expected in Manila Friday morning. A host of other possibilities, including a bout against World Boxing Association super featherweight champion Edwin Valero in Macau, arose Monday. It was also suggested Pacquiao could next clash with the winner of the world lightweight championship between Juan and Julio Diaz. Meanwhile, what obviously got overlooked by bloodthirsty fight fans at Mandalay was the elevation of Pacquiao as a finesse fighter based on his smooth control against Barrera, who mainly tried to move away and survive. The fight did not develop into a full-scale battle due to the refusal of Barrera to slug it out with Pacquiao. Pacquiao, after landing big shots which he failed to sustain in rounds four and five, went all out in the 11th round and caught his Mexican foe with a lethal combination to the head. Visibly shaken, Barrera let off a hefty right cross off a clinch, hitting Pacquiao flush on the face. The fight was halted as referee Tony Weeks slapped a point deduction. The fight lasted the full 12-round route. Pacquiao celebrated his second conquest of Barrera at the Planet Hollywood in Las Vegas. If they asked him, trainer Freddie Roach would have declared the big celebration was for the elevation of Pacquiao into a finesse fighter, as evidenced by the smooth control displayed against the backpedalling Barrera.
By Recah Trinidad Inquirer LAS VEGAS--Manny Pacquiao, landing sporadic big shots but failing to follow up, carved out a unanimous decision victory over Mexican Marco Antonio Barrera, who later announced his retirement at the Mandalay Bay Resort Casino here (Sunday in Manila). The wily Mexican, shaken by a thunderclap combination, threw a dirty right cross off a clinch late in the 11th round, a foul blow that visibly saved him from a crushing onslaught. Referee Tony Weeks called an instant halt to the most furious, suspenseful moment in the 12-round bout and slapped a point deduction against Barrera, who wisely used the break to clear his head and steady himself up. There were no knockdowns and, although it was not the exact final outcome expected by Filipinos in the 10,000-strong crowd, the points verdict would prove inevitable after the combatants, showing respect for each other, overemphasized on defense, clean and otherwise. Pacquiao, who fought like a true gentleman, was often on top of the action and managed to catch Barrera with hefty shots from either hand. But the battle-scarred Mexican rode on guile and experience to make good his vow of putting up an entirely different stand from the one he had when Pacquiao stopped him in their first encounter four years ago. By a plain look, Barrera managed to win only three rounds in the contest which he succeeded in preventing from turning into a full-scale slug-out also by warding off attacks with his left jab and repeatedly moving away from the ever-charging Pacquiao. Judges Jerry Roth and Glenn Trowbridge scored it an identical 118-109 for Pacquiao, while Tom Schreck scored it 115-112, also for Pacquiao. This writer saw Pacquiao the winner, 117-110. Visibly pleased with what he had achieved, if not with his desperate escape act in the 11th round, Barrera formally announced he was putting the curtains down on his 17-year ring career that saw him win titles in three divisions, a feat that has ensured him enrollment in the boxing Hall of Fame. Barrera blamed himself for being carried away and getting caught in wild exchanges a few times, thus betraying his plan to merely finish with his pride intact. “I should’ve not stayed in those exchanges, I should’ve boxed more,” he explained in the post-fight press conference at the media room that teemed with people, including his wife and charming kids. “In the later rounds, my corner was telling me I have to go after him but it was very, very hard because he had such a strong defense, it was very hard to break through,” Barrera added. Pacquiao returned the compliment and said his preparation and training helped him go the distance. “He is still a good fighter, so I had to be careful throughout the fight,” Pacquiao explained from the podium which he shared with Barrera. Pacquiao said he was not worried about the fight going to the scorecards. “I tried to give people a good show and I hope people liked this fight,” he said. Pacquiao said he was satisfied with the win, although this was not clearly the case with most Filipinos in the audience. There was the overriding belief that Pacquiao, at his peak, would have run over the retirement-bound Barrera in their second encounter in four years. If there was a man truly fulfilled in this fight, it was trainer Freddie Roach who was very pleased to announce that Pacquiao, after Sunday’s fight, had evolved into a well-rounded warrior. Roach said Pacquiao, a feared slasher, had shown tremendous improvement in defense. “Manny boxed well and showed good footwork, which was what we worked at. Manny cut him off and moved him to the right, which was a beautiful thing,” he said. While Barrera made his formal exit from the ring, Pacquiao said he was planning to move up in weight, a result of his having to wrestle frantically with the scales after he barely made the 130-lb limit for his second and last super featherweight fight with Barrera. Before the fight, the Barrera camp had claimed it had a total of four fight plots ready for Pacquiao who, on the other hand, was given strict orders to go for an early knockout. All these strategies did not materialize. Of course, the greatest result of the bout was the sudden bonding that saw Pacquiao bunched with Barrera and his beautiful kids, a newfound friendship that was recorded in photographs and a mutual vow that the two excellent fighters, the bitterest of rivals, never will fight each other again.
By Recah Trinidad Inquirer LAS VEGAS--The great Sugar Ray Leonard said he would not be surprised if Manny Pacquiao, whom he admires, wins inside six rounds. “He’s a tremendous puncher, with great speed and boundless stamina,” said Leonard, who was part of the main cast in Thursday’s press conference. He said he’s amazed at Pacquiao’s work ethic that includes endless labors resulting in undiminished power until the final bell. * * * But, hey, better watch out, Leonard warned, his famous marble eyes lighting up. Slower but sharper could also make a world of difference, he tried to explain. “One big shot could turn a fight around, just one big shot,” he said slowly and clearly. Sugar Ray, of course, knew whereof he spoke. He was obviously referring to that classic light heavyweight fight of his against Danny Lelonde in 1988. * * * Leonard, bloodied and beaten, was hopelessly behind on points. Everything had turned sour for the sleek, sweet-punching Sugar. Everybody had given up on him. But, in a rare, magical moment close to the end, he saw a rare opening. Sugar Ray’s dull, lightless eyes suddenly widened, cleared and brightened. He summoned all the pent-up power and, in one great heave, snapped a spear of a right that landed with the deathly snap of a baseball bat on Lelonde’s uncovered face. The victim tipped over like a log. * * * The referee, as could only be expected, no longer saw it fit to proceed with the required knockout toll. Not that Sugar Ray hoped this would happen in the Pacquiao-Barrera encounter on Saturday here. He admired Pacquiao so much he could only wish the best things for him. “But he must remain focused,” Leonard, in a fatigue shirt, carrying a blue back-pack like an ordinary stranger, continued. “The thing for Pacquiao is to follow his fight plan, no matter what. Forget about television, don’t mind the crowd, do your job.” * * * No, he didn’t come exactly to offer advice. He was part of a subsidiary promotion that was tied up with the Pacquiao-Barrera card. Of course, Leonard did not hide the fact that he, too, has become interested about the Philippines because of Pacquiao. “I really want to go there,” he said as Filipino fans, one after another, clawed for a picture with him. It came to a point when the over-excited fans were already climbing on his back. * * * “You mean only 12 hours, one plane ride to the Philippines,” Sugar Ray wondered smiling. “Just one plane ride.” “What about the weather?” “Tropical, wet and dry.” “You mean there’s no winter?” “No, only sun and rain.” * * * Anyway, Sugar Ray had to be warned, in return, that he might not find time to enjoy his projected trip to the Philippines. “Look at these fans now all monkeying on your back?” “What about?” he asked again. “There would be millions of them all over there.” “No problem, I’d love it that way, but did you say there’s no winter out there.” “No, but we’ve the finest summers in the world.” “What do you mean?” “We have the greatest sea resorts, corals, unforgettable days in the sun, endless white-sand beaches, some smooth as talcum powder.” “Oh, shucks. Forget it.” End of conversation.
CHECK out the Manny Pacquiao-Marco Antonio Barrera "Will to Win" trailer provided by Solar Sports. Solar Sports is airing the bout live on October 7, 2007.
By June Navarro Inquirer MANILA, Philippines--Somebody has just put the Philippines in the practical shooting world map. Grace Tan bagged the ladies’ open crown in the European Intercontinental Handgun Championship held recently in Cheval Blanc, France, besting reigning world ladies champion Gabriele Kraushofer of Austria. A two-time silver medalist in the world championships for practical shooting, Tan collected 1,353 points while Kraushofer had 1,314. The Austrian bet, who captured the 2005 World Shoot Championships in Ecuador, was followed by Czech Republic’s Lenka Herejsi who put together 1,309 points for the bronze medal. “I was in good shape during the entire tournament,” said the 30-year-old Tan, also a silver medalist in the 1996 (Brazil) and 1999 (Cebu City) editions of the World Shoot, highly regarded as the Olympics of practical shooting. “It was probably the result of all the difficulties I’ve been through while training for this event,” Tan added. With more than a thousand snipers from 50 countries participating, the European Intercontinental Handgun Championship is held every two years, or one year before the world championships. Tan, who used a nine-millimeter STI custom-made gun, said the event would provide her ample experience in time for the World Shoot XIV in Bali, Indonesia, in September next year.
By Salven Lagumbay, Dong Secuya Inquirer CEBU CITY--Unheralded Negrense Donnie Nietes won by unanimous decision over previously undefeated Pornsawan Kratingdaenggym of Thailand to capture the World Boxing Organization minimumweight crown at the Waterfront Cebu Hotel Sunday night and give the Philippines its fourth world title this year. Nietes, from Murcia, Negros Occidental, raised his record to 22 wins and one defeat with 13 knockouts while handing Cebuâs famed ALA Boxing Gym of Antonio L. Aldeguer its maiden world crown. The judges saw it 116-110, 115-111 and 114-113, all for Nietes. Boxing beautifully and showing excellent defensive skills, Nietes sent Porsawan (20-1-0, 15 KOs) to the canvas with a body and head combination, capped by a right straight to the jaw, midway in the fourth round. The Thai charged back and won the fifth round, but Nietes won several of the remaining rounds through effective counter punching. Pornsawan was deducted a point in the 10th round by referee Raul Caiz for low blows. Meanwhile, a Thai revealed that Porsawan indeed used âChai Che Chew,â better known as ammonia, during the fight. Trainer Juanito Ablaca confiscated the small bottle containing ammonia from Porsawanâs corner after the fight. Games and Amusement Board physician Jose Unabia said the post-fight urine test he did on Pornsawan was positive for ephedrine, a regulated substance, that could have been triggered by the use of ammonia. WBO Asia Pacific chair Leon Panoncillo has issued a statement saying that ammonia is not allowed in any fight, adding he will confer with the WBO on what step to take next. Undercard results Rising star AJ âBazookaâ Banal knocked down Mexican super flyweight champ Esau Gaona on the way to a first-round victory to capture the WBO Asia Pacific Youth super flyweight title. Robert Allanic successfully defended his WBO Asia-Pacific bantamweight crown over Song In-suk of Korea via an 11th round TKO. Rocky Fuentes beat Danilo Lerio over 12 rounds to keep his Philippine flyweight title. Super featherweight James Bacon, fighting in his second pro fight, sent Roldan Sayson of Cagayan de Oro to the stretchers via a 3rd round TKO. Nietes thus joined the exclusive group of reigning Filipino world champs Florante Condes (minimumweight, IBF), Nonito Donaire Jr. (flyweight, IBF, IBO) and Gerry PeÃ±alosa (bantamweight, WBO).
By Recah Trinidad Inquirer LOS ANGELES--Hotly favored Manny Pacquiao prepared to shift to war mode Sunday, a full week before his big battle in Las Vegas, but the Sportsbook here registered a considerable dip in his bet approval rating. Pacquiao’s windy workman’s hair is set to be trimmed Monday, the goatee he had grown in training shaven, but there were contrasting speculations on why the enormous odds favoring him to repeat over Marco Barrera slid. From a whopping minus-350, it’s down to minus-290, meaning you’d need to wager $290 for a possible return of only $100. Barrera, on the other hand, is plus-230, a $100 bet yielding $230. One guess on why adventurous fight fans, including Mexicans, have opted to suddenly pull their bet on the Pacman were well-founded reports on his defensive lapses, as shown in his sparring. Twenty-one-year-old Daniel Cervantes, an alternate in the 2004 Mexico Olympic team, banged it up again with Pacquiao Sunday and repeated his earlier claim that the RP boxing superhero was not exactly untouchable. “I got him again several times, but today is my best day so far,” claimed the good-looking fighter with a 10-0 record. Cervantes, who finished his chore pretty fired-up, said he felt Pacquiao even got mad at one point when he tagged him with good head shots. Pacquiao, who has totalled more than 130 rounds of sparring, closes the drill with a final session Monday. Another guess on why Pacquiao has lost bet backing was the incisive primer shown by HBO after the classic Taylor-Pavlik championship bout from Atlantic City Sunday. There was a portion in the primer that had Freddie Roach flatly denying Pacquiao’s claim that his sudden departure from here to train in Cebu early last month, was pre-planned. What, however, stood out in the presentation were the distractions Pacquiao had to undergo, a total opposite of Barrera’s placid training in Guadalajara. Pacquiao was to hear mass Sunday and receive departure blessings at the Christ the King church off Rossmore here, a kilometer from Wild Card. He got a merry, if sometimes wild, send-off from adoring fans at the end of his workout Sunday. “We did it only twice,” Roach later told the Philippine Daily Inquirer of the special crushing combination -- a spear and slash -- which they have been trying to perfect and use as the main weapon against Barrera. There was hardly an alarm inside Team Pacquiao over the shift of betting preferences, as specified in the website bodog.com.
By Jasmine W. Payo Inquirer GAMES THURSDAY (Araneta Coliseum) 3 p.m. -- Univ. of the East vs La Salle (Game 1, best-of-three Finals) MANILA, Philippines--It was the biggest winning margin in the rivalry that more than lived up to its hype this season. And the win also turned out to be the biggest of them all. De La Salle University ended its rare five-game saga with arch rival Ateneo de Manila University on top as the Green Archers turned back the Blue Eagles, 65-60, Sunday to clinch the last UAAP Finals berth in front of a 23,000-strong sellout crowd at the Araneta Coliseum in Quezon City. “This is the only time that two is greater than three,” said La Salle coach Franz Pumaren. “They beat us three times (this season), but we beat them when it counted the most.” La Salle senior guard Cholo Villanueva found the seams in the Ateneo defense, drilling in nine of his 13 points in the fourth quarter to keep the Archers in control. “This is the ‘welcome back’ party for us,” said Villanueva, referring to the Archers’ impressive return to the Finals after serving a one-year suspension last season. “Coach Franz said to just control the tempo of the game, make good stops and convert it into offense. It was all about controlling the tempo of the game.” But a more arduous road lies ahead as the Archers face the undefeated University of the East Warriors in the best-of-three championship series. Game 1 will kick off at 3 p.m. on Thursday at the Araneta Coliseum. The title duel has its own interesting sidebar as Franz squares off with younger brother and UE mentor Dindo Pumaren. “It’s a long overdue series with Dindo,” said Franz after nailing the second title slot in front of 23,319 fans, the biggest crowd ever recorded in Philippine basketball history. Offense failed the Eagles at crunch time as the Eagles shot an abysmal 20 percent -- 2 out of 10 field goal attempts -- in the fourth quarter. But they stayed in the game by scoring 12 of their 17 markers in the final quarter from the foul line. Pumaren said the Archers made sure to tighten their defensive screws in the closing minutes. “This is one game where we really responded well playing defensively,” he said. “The players tend to relax, but the players made sure that no way are we going to relax this time. We played smart down the stretch.” The Archers took off early in the fourth quarter with a pair of Villanueva lay-ups sandwiching a TY Tang triple for the biggest lead of the game, 55-46, with 5:30 minutes left. Eric Salamat ended the Ateneo drought with a three-point play, but Villanueva responded 33 seconds later with a triple on top of the key to push the gap back to nine, 58-49. The Eagles came up with one last gasp as rookie center Nonoy Baclao surprisingly nailed a triple to trim the margin by a basket, 62-60, with 13.6 seconds left. But the rally proved futile as JV Casio and Rico Maierhofer converted three of their four foul shots to cushion the Archers’ lead in the last 11 seconds. “There’s nothing to be ashamed of,” said Ateneo coach Norman Black, who emerged from the dugout more than an hour after the game. “As far as I can remember, you guys didn’t even give us a chance to reach this far.” Outside the coliseum, scalpers also had a field day with patron tickets going ridiculously high at P6, 000 apiece.