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By EDDIE G. ALINEA

Special to Philippines Today 

 

WORLD BOXING ICON Manny Pacquiao: In top form for Bradley bout. (Photo by Wendell Rupert Alinea)

 

LOS ANGELES, California  Yes, Filipino boxing great Manny Pacquiao  is raring and ready to fight American Timothy Bradley for the third time two weeks from now. 

 

The Sarangani Congressman has reached his peak 14 days before their showdown on April 9 at the MGM Grand Arena in Las Vegas, , according to his American chief trainer Freddie Roach, confirming similar statements made by two of his assistants three days ago.

 

Assistant trainer Buboy Fernandez announced last Wednesday that the the 37-year-old father of five was ready to fight any day, an assessment  concurred by  fellow assistant Nonoy Neri a day later.

 

"Yeah, they're right," Roach agreed last Thursday after Pacquiao sparred for 12 rounds, his most since flying in here from Manila. "I'm happy to announce to those who are interested to know that we're about to end one of the best camps we had so far."

 

"Manny's already in peak and he's ready to mix it up this early," Roach told this writer Thursday after his prized pupil of 21 years exchanged punches and banged bodies for seven rounds with sparring mate Ghislain Maduma of Canada and 5 rounds with American Lydell Rhodes at the Wild Card Gym. 

 

The same day, the "Fighter of the Decade" underwent a random blood test, his second in two weeks, conducted  by representatives of the Voluntary Anti Doping Agency inside his favorite eatery on the ground floor of the gym owned by Roach.    

 

"Credit should go to Manny for the cooperation he extended the training staff from the time they pitched camp in General Santos City a little less than five weeks ago until moving here in L. A.," the Hall of Fame guru said.  

 

Roach said Pacquiao's early grooming made the job easy for him and the training team in the next week or so before the team drives to Las Vegas for the final chapter of his trilogy with Bradley that started in June 2012 when the then unbeaten prizefighter from Palm Springs, California salvaged a 12-round split decision win, thanks to what Top Rank bossman Bob Arum said was the "Three Bilnd Mice,"  in reference to the judges that worked the fight. 

 

"Easy," Roach explained, means that from time to time, from this day on, the eight-division champion can ask for a rest day if he so wishes like Thursdaymorning when he did away with his roadwork set at the Pan Pacific Park that would have preceded the day's sparring session. 

 

The last two days of the week will be confined, as scheduled, to doing the mittsFriday as well as punching the bag and speed ball. Saturday would be dedicated again to sparring.

 

Like Fernandez and Neri, Roach dismissed the possibility of Pacquiao getting burnt out, saying measures to prevent that from occurring have already been in place. 

 

Pacquiao and his team of more or less 100 people, consisting of family, friends, supporters and employees will drive in a convoy of some 40 vehicles to Las Vegas on April 4. 

 
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By EDDIE G. ALINEA

Special to Philippines Today 

 

WORLD BOXING ICON Manny Pacquiao: In top form for Bradley bout. (Photo by Wendell Rupert Alinea)

 

LOS ANGELES, California  Yes, Filipino boxing great Manny Pacquiao  is raring and ready to fight American Timothy Bradley for the third time two weeks from now. 

 

The Sarangani Congressman has reached his peak 14 days before their showdown on April 9 at the MGM Grand Arena in Las Vegas, , according to his American chief trainer Freddie Roach, confirming similar statements made by two of his assistants three days ago.

 

Assistant trainer Buboy Fernandez announced last Wednesday that the the 37-year-old father of five was ready to fight any day, an assessment  concurred by  fellow assistant Nonoy Neri a day later.

 

"Yeah, they're right," Roach agreed last Thursday after Pacquiao sparred for 12 rounds, his most since flying in here from Manila. "I'm happy to announce to those who are interested to know that we're about to end one of the best camps we had so far."

 

"Manny's already in peak and he's ready to mix it up this early," Roach told this writer Thursday after his prized pupil of 21 years exchanged punches and banged bodies for seven rounds with sparring mate Ghislain Maduma of Canada and 5 rounds with American Lydell Rhodes at the Wild Card Gym. 

 

The same day, the "Fighter of the Decade" underwent a random blood test, his second in two weeks, conducted  by representatives of the Voluntary Anti Doping Agency inside his favorite eatery on the ground floor of the gym owned by Roach.    

 

"Credit should go to Manny for the cooperation he extended the training staff from the time they pitched camp in General Santos City a little less than five weeks ago until moving here in L. A.," the Hall of Fame guru said.  

 

Roach said Pacquiao's early grooming made the job easy for him and the training team in the next week or so before the team drives to Las Vegas for the final chapter of his trilogy with Bradley that started in June 2012 when the then unbeaten prizefighter from Palm Springs, California salvaged a 12-round split decision win, thanks to what Top Rank bossman Bob Arum said was the "Three Bilnd Mice,"  in reference to the judges that worked the fight. 

 

"Easy," Roach explained, means that from time to time, from this day on, the eight-division champion can ask for a rest day if he so wishes like Thursdaymorning when he did away with his roadwork set at the Pan Pacific Park that would have preceded the day's sparring session. 

 

The last two days of the week will be confined, as scheduled, to doing the mittsFriday as well as punching the bag and speed ball. Saturday would be dedicated again to sparring.

 

Like Fernandez and Neri, Roach dismissed the possibility of Pacquiao getting burnt out, saying measures to prevent that from occurring have already been in place. 

 

Pacquiao and his team of more or less 100 people, consisting of family, friends, supporters and employees will drive in a convoy of some 40 vehicles to Las Vegas on April 4. 

 
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By EDDIE G. ALINEA 

Special to Philippines Today

 

WORLD BOXING ICON Manny Pacquiao during his morning workout in Griffith Park in Los Angeles (Wendell Rupert Alinea)

 

LOS ANGELES, California (PhilAmPress) ― There is no stopping the fight of world boxing icon Manny Pacquiao and American champion Timothy Bradley on April 9at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada.

 

This as Pacquiao, a two-term congressman and a strong contender for senator in the May 9 elections in the Philippines, flew to Los Angeles with his team and started to train for the fight ignoring calls for him to postpone his fight as the coverage of the bout might give him undue exposure that could possibly violate the election laws in his country.

 

And in his early days of training, Pacquiao's team asked Bradley to watch out for a sharp fighter in the Filipino who is the only person to own a world record of holding eight division championship belts.

 

Pacquiao has slowly but surely been regaining his punching power that fell 38 of his 65 rivals in a 20-year boxing career.

 

And if the assessment of chief trainer Freddie Roach will hold true, the eight-division champion is only three weeks away from completely recapturing his knockout punch. 

 

"I saw it with my own eyes last Saturday that Manny really still has what it takes to knock out an opponent like he had been doing before," the 56-year-old Hall of Fame guru said Monday during a lull in a scheduled workout at the Wild Card  Gym in the heart of Hollywood here.

 

Roach was referring to the sparring session held before Team Pacquiao left for the United States last Saturday in General Santos City camp where, according to him, the fighting Congressman from Sarangani punished his sparring partners -- Canadian-Congolese Ghislain Maduma and American Lydell Rhodes for 10 rounds with strong combinations that nearly dropped both to the canvas.

 

"Why,  Manny even bloodied Lydell's lip that I had to cut short the skirmish from what was scheduled five rounds to four," Roach told this writer with a wide grin. "I set  a 10-round sparring session and to complete that, I had to make Maduma's five rounds to six."

 

"That was the best 10-round sparring I've seen from Manny in years," the seven-time Trainer of the Year of the Boxing Writers Association of America attested. 

 

After Monday's roadwork at the hilly Griffith Park in the morning and punching the mitts in the afternoon, Pacquiao, likewise, submitted himself to voluntary drug testing with representatives of the Voluntary Anti Doping Agency (VADA) held at his mansion.  

 

The sparring side of the build up program resumes Tuesday with Pacquiao engaging Rhodes,Maduma and possibly Frankie Gomez and Jose Ramirez joining the duo in preparing him for his third showdown with Bradley at the posh MGM Grand Arena.

 

"I'll give him a little rest with only eight rounds of against the four in the next tdhree days of sparring ," Roach bared. "Manny looks like he's still suffering from jet lag and needs some respite after that long trip from Manila." 

 

Next week, Roach, who has been very vocal in his desire that his pupil knocks out Bradley, added that sparring will be for 10 rounds before raising the frequency to 12 rounds a week before proceeding to Las Vegas.  

 
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(Photo from newscentral.ph)

 

MANILA ― The camp of senatorial candidate and Rep. Manny Pacquiao want to push through with his scheduled boxing bout with American boxer Timothy Bradley in Las Vegas, Nevada on April 9.

 

Pacquiao's lawyers, Romulo Macalintal and Antonio Carlos Bautista, noted that the Filipino boxing icon will not get undue political exposure when he fights on April 9.

 

“If the fight lasts the 12-round distance, the maximum media exposure Pacquiao will get is only 36 minutes under the mandatory three-minute per round rule. It could even be less than 36 minutes, say three minutes only or just a few seconds, if the fight ends in the first round,” they said in a five-page letter submitted to the Commission on Elections (Comelec) Law Department.

 

“The law gives all candidates, like Pacquiao, 120-minute TV and 180-minute radio advertisements per station. Assuming without admitting that the fight could be considered as political ads for Pacquiao, then all he will get is 36-minute exposure leaving a remainder of one hour and 24 minutes and two hours and 24 minutes, respectively, to air advertisements in the same TV and radio stations that broadcast said fight. He still has the full 120-minute TV and 180-minute radio time in other television and radio stations, since the airing of political ads is allowed by law on a per station basis,” the letter explained.

 

The lawyers added, “The said 120-minute TV and 180-minute radio time is not only for Pacquiao but for all candidates for national positions, hence, there is obviously no case of undue advantage or undue exposure for Pacquiao as the same rights and privileges are extended by law to all said candidates.”

 

The camp of the Sarangani congressman noted that the letters of senatorial bet Walden Bello and former Senator Rene Saguisag only “asked for advisory opinion” or to advise Pacquiao not to push through with the fight as it might violate Republic Act No. 9006, the Fair Election Law.

 

“Like any other courts or agencies performing quasi-judicial functions do not have the power to issue advisory-opinion since their judicial powers could only be exercised where there exists actual case or controversy,” the letter said.

 

They also cited the case of Velarde vs Social Justice Society (SJS) where the Supreme Court (SC) was asked to rule on whether or not a religious group could indorse a candidate.

 

The SC said that there is no justiciable controversy in the petition filed by SJS, and that their allegations are merely speculative and theoretical.

 

With this, they assured the poll body of Pacquiao’s faithful compliance with all election laws, rules and regulations.

 

“His determination to hold such event, which might be his last time to climb the ring, is not intended to give him undue or unfair advantage but that it has to be done before his youth is gone to give our country and our people the pride and glory they justly deserve which is always foremost in his heart and mind,” they said.

 

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By EDDIE G. ALINEA

Special to Philippines Today

 

BOXING ICON Manny Pacquiao presses his preparations for his April 9 bout with Timothy Bradley in Las Vegas with American coach Freddie Roach. (Photos by Wendell Rupert Alinea)

 

GENERAL SANTOS CITY -- Indeed, Filipino boxing great Manny Pacquiao is one of a kind. 

 

Unmindful of threats to his fighting and political career, the only man to crown himself 10-time champion in eight divisions continued his earnest preparations for the coming third chapter of his trilogy with American Timothy Bradley two months from now at the MGM Grand in the Las Vegas, Nevada.

 

Pacquiao himself assured everyone he is not bothered by the controversies thrown in his direction, aimed at distracting his build up program, particularly his row with members of the LGBT community and the threat of disqualification from seeking a senate seat in the coming elections 

 

"I believe I have said my piece on the same-sex-marriage issue and I have nothing more to say," he simply told media men still asking questions on the matter. "Doon sa disqualification case, I already instructed my lawyers to take care of it."             

 

Last Friday, Day 4 of what is planned as a nine-week run up to that April 9 date with Bradley, Pacquiao really looked unperturbed running and cutting the ring in chasing his mitts-defending trainer Freddie Roach for an energy-taxing 12 rounds that more than amazed his Hall of Fame guru no end. 

 

 

That's besides spending time, too, with plenty of rounds in the double end ball, speed ball, shadow boxing, stressing, skipping rope and floor exercises that made up the two-hour session for the day witnessed by a big crowd cramming inside the MP Wild Card Gym here. 

 

And to think that he also played a full-40-minute game of basketball the night before powering his Team Emmanuel to another triumph in the MP-National Basketball League.       

 

"Well, that's Manny Pacquiao for you. You have to admire his work ethic. You just cannot stop him from doing these things, especially while in training," Roach, himself sweating profusely, exclaimed after the session.

 

The proud son of Dedham, Massachusettss, who will turn 56 on March 5, added, "you have to be amazed, too, with the way he adjusts his time and energy with all the strength-sapping activities"

 

Last Wednesday, Roach, known a "Cucaracha" in his fighting days, granted Pacquiao's request though for a total rest from training, He could not say whether he would schedule a workout Saturday

 

"It depends. If he asks for another respite, I might, again, grant him that," he retorted to a query from this writer. "If ever, I might do away with the mitts and just let him do the lighter side of gym work."

 

"We have to prepare him for the crucial part of our preparations, which starts next week when he would start sparring," he cautioned.

 

For reasons he did not bare, "Master Roach" (that's what the trainer is also called by his students) did not disclose, Lydell Rhodes, his first choice to be the Sarangani Congressman's main sparring mate, won't be coming as earlier announced.


Instead, a pair of dance mates will be coming Sunday or Monday. depending on the completion of their travel documents. 


"Definitely, sparring will start next week."  

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By JOSEPH G. LARIOSA

 

MANNY PACQUIAO in a Foot Locker commercial. (JGL Photo Screengrab from Internet ad)

 

GENERAL SANTOS CITY/CHICAGO (JGL/PhilAmPress) — Philippine boxing icon and congressman Manny Pacquiao is holding sponsorship negotiations with sports apparel companies and other firms in the United States and the Philippines after US giant Nike dropped him over his controversial comments on same-sex couples.

 

"There are several already now in the pipeline. They (the Pacquiao camp) were actually negotiating with some already," Pacquiao business manager Eric Pineda said but did not name the companies.

 

He said they included a "multi-million-dollar" brand that would likely replace Nike as the supplier of Pacquiao's sports gear.

 

Pineda also said no Philippine-based companies had dropped Pacquiao as a commercial endorser despite the furor over his comments.

 

Nike cut ties with the eight-time world champion last week after he made his comments and apologized although many believed he was misquoted and that even the Philippine Catholic church and other religious groups have come to his defense.

 

A spokesperson of Foot Locker based in New York City, meanwhile, confirmed reports in an email to this reporter that the sportswear and footwear retail giant has “no plans to work with” Manny Pacquiao.

 

Mary Signorino said, "Foot Locker worked with Manny Pacquiao briefly and we are no longer in contract with him and have no plans to work with him.As for Foot Locker, Pacquiao shot two Foot Locker commercials in 2014 and 2015. They gained wide popularity in the run-up of the promotion surrounding the Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather Jr. fight that finally took place last May.

 

According to Forbes, Pacquiao income in 2015 totaled $160 million, with $12 million coming from endorsements.


A member of the Philippine House of Representatives, Pacquiao is running for Senate on the May 9, 2016 elections. 


Pacquiao is facing for the third time Tim Bradley on April 9 in MGM Grand, Las Vegas, Nevada. The fight could also be in jeopardy if his critics prevail over complaints that the fight will give Pacquiao an undue advantage in plugging his senatorial candidacy. Critics want Pacquiao to postpone the fight after the May 9 elections.


In a video clip that went viral, Pacquiao said in Filipino, “Have you seen any animal having male-to-male or female-to-female relations? … If you have male-to-male or female-to-female [relationships], then people are worse than animals.”


But Pacquiao followed it up with an “apology,” saying, “I’m sorry for hurting people by comparing homosexuals to animals. Please forgive me for those I’ve hurt.”


Pacquiao said, “I rather obey the Lord’s command than obey the desire of the flesh. I’m not condemning anyone, but I’m just telling the truth of what the Bible says.” 


Aside from Nike and Foot Locker, other products that Pacquiao had endorsed include Wonderful Pistachios, Nestle’s Butterfinger, Hennesy, Hewlett Packard and other products in the Philippines.

 

Pacquiao is the latest athlete dropped by Nike. Others were American cyclist Lance Armstrong and American football running backs Adrian Peterson and Ray Rice and quarterback Michael Vick and South African sprinter Oscar Pistorius. (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. )

 

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(Photo by Wendell Rupert Alinea)

 

GENERAL SANTOS CITY  Enough! The lady considered as the reason why Manny Pacquiao has emerged a global boxing icon has spoken. 

 

"Tama na. I believe he's served his sport too much already so he should really retire and concentrate on serving his people, if he so desires,  without sacrificing everything, his body and, most importantly, his family." Jinkee Pacquiao, eight-division champ's vice governor wife in  Sarangani  Province, told this writer in an exclusive interview Friday night.

 

"Manny has made our entire family happy when he personally announced his retirement after his coming fight (against American Timothy Bradley), " Jinkee disclosed. "I believe him and he should make true that promise for his own good and for our sake, his family." 

 

Jinkee admitted their two daughters -- Princess and Queenie -- had, likewise, agreed of their Dad's finally hanging his gloves and had expressed gladness hearing the good news from the man himself.

 

"Tuwang-tuwa sila on the thoughts that finally, makakasama na nila nang matagal ang Daddy nila," she remarked. "Unlike the past many years when they had the privilege of spending their time with him sparingly."

 

As for sons Jimwell and Michael, Jinkee said she could not say the same. "Masaya din sila. But not the way the two girls are. Mga lalake kasi. Besides, mas matagal-tagal nilang nakasama and Daddy nila than the two girls," she added, saying their fifth child, Baby Israel, is too young to understand the situation.  

 

"It's been 21 years na since he started his boxing career. He's succeeded making the  sports world happy through his exploits atop that ring," Jinkee recalled. "And 17 years na mula nang kami'y ikasal na lagi akong nine-nerbyos tuwing lalaban siya. Worrying whether  he will go home intact or we, having to go to the hospital instead to visit him," she continued. 

 

"That's two decades of absorbing strong punches in 65 fights he's fought. Banging bodies with much, much bigger and stronger opponents. Bugbog bugbog na ang katawan ni Manny," Jinkee noted. "Does he need to wait for the time when he can no longer enjoy the remaining days of his life in retirement?"  

 

"It's been hard to us, to me, his wife, especially, di ba? But we can't do anything. It's his life. Boxing has been his love. Doon nanggagaling ang ikinabubuhay namin" the former beauty queen said. 

 

"Sabi nila, sayang daw yung kikitain  ni Manny kung hihinto na siya pag-boksing.  Pero, it's no longer money as issue here. It's his well-being. Medyo nakaka-angat na naman kami ngayon at siguro naman ay hindi kami maghi-hirap. May nakalaan na para sa future ng mga anak namin," she pointed out.

 

Jinkee said it's, indeed,  been Pacquiao's lifetime obsession to serve humanity, then in the best way he knows -- through boxing. "But now that he has started fulfilling his dream through government service (Pacquiao is serving his second term as congressman of the lone district of Sarangani), matutupad na rin nya yun. "

 

Pacquiao is seeking a seat in the Senate in the coming May 9 national elections. 

 

He is scheduled to face American Timothy Bradley in a 12-round third encounter on April 9 at the MGM Grand Arena in the world's gambling capital in Las Vegas, Nevada. That's 11 months or so following his unanimous decision loss to undefeated and now retired bitter enemy Floyd Mayweather Jr.

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(Photo from Philippine Star)

 

GENERAL SANTOS CITY — World boxing icon Manny Pacquiao is taking very seriously his next fight against world champion Timothy Bradley on April 9 at the MGM Garden Arena in Las Vegas.

 

This can be shown in his daily warm ups and training here before flying back to the US late this month for a more aggressive training for what he billed as “last fight” after which he will hang up his gloves to concentrate on his political career and service to the people.

 

Being his last fight before retirement, Pacquiao said he wants to score a knockout to close his successful boxing career on a high note.

 

This developed as undefeated American world champion Floyd Mayweather disclosed receiving big offer to fight again.

 

Mayweather, however, said he did not bite the offer, saying he has already retired from the ring.

 

"As of right now, I am out completely," Mayweather stressed.

 

Mayweather told BBC he was offered nine figures to fight again.

 

But the American five-division champion hinted he might still stage a comeback.

 

"If I do get the itch to come back, it really won't be for the money but I have to get paid. That's why the nickname is Floyd 'Money' Mayweather," he said.

 

Mayweather, at the same time, denied that negotiations for a rematch against Manny Pacquiao are ongoing, saying that he was never in touch with the eight-division champion’s camp.

 

"Everything that you guys are hearing that Michael Koncz has said and what Bob Arum has said is totally false. Totally false," said Mayweather.

 

"I haven't spoken to Bob Arum, I haven't spoken to Michael Koncz," he added.

 

Part of Pacquiao’s training includes playing basketball.

 

Pacquiao had told PhilAmPress correspondent Lolly Rivera Acosta that he is true to his words that he will retire after his fight against Bradley.

 

But he wants a knockout to close his 21-year boxing career.

 

He said he will retire to concentrate on his political career. A two-term congressman of Sarangani province, Pacquiao is seeking a Senate seat in the May 9 elections and surveys indicated that he is a shoo-in for the post.

 

“It’s not hard to make a decision to make a last fight,” Pacquiao told Rappler. “This is the opportunity I have before I focus on the next hard work in my life.”

 

“I’m not old, I’m still young. I just have to focus on my other job to help the people,” Pacquiao said. (With Eddie G. Alinea/PhilAmPress)

 

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By EDDIE G. ALINEA 

 

(Photo from Philippine Star)

 

MANILA (via PhilAmPress) ― The first thing to know about Carlos Loyzaga, who passed away last week after lingering illness, is that he was for real. He stood 6-foot-3 inches, he had five fingers on each hand, five toes on each foot. He was handsome, dashing owing to the Cuban-Filipino-Spanish blood which flowed in his veins.

 

He played at center but can also play as ably and well as guard and forward. As one who manned the slot, it was not so much his ceiling as his asset, but, his "abilidad," timing, ability to box out the enemies under the boards enabling him to outmaneuver, outposition, outjump his opponents.  

 

He earned the moniker "The Big Difference" during his more than two-decade long career playing basketball because he was big, not only in size but the way he played.  He spelled the difference in many  title victories of the Philippines in the Asian Games and Asian Basketball Confederation tournaments as well as the honors and  respect the country gained in the Olympics and world fronts.

 

Caloy served as cog in the Philippine campaign in the 1954 World Championship held in Rio de Janeiro in Brazil where the country brought home the bronze medal, the highest fashioned out by any Asian country in the biggest basketbhall event outside of the Olympic Games.

 

He even outdid himself in that meet by emerging one of the three top scorers in the entire tournament with an average 16.4 per game next to Uruguay's Oscars Moglia (18.6) and Carl Ridd of Canada (18.2)   

 

Caloy's feat earned for him a slot in the world team along with Kirby Minter of the United States, Moglia, Zenny de Azevedo and Wlamir Marques, both of the host country Brazil, an honor only one other Asian, Yao Ming, would duplicate five decades later.  

 

Reason why many believe that Loyzaga shoud be recognized as "the greatest Filipino and Asian", for that matter, to ever played the game.

 

How good  a player Loyzaga was can be  gauged  when he hang up his no. 41 uniform in 1964 when the Philippines lost its in supremacy in the sport his countrymen love most. The Filipino  basketeers, once the apple of the eyes of Asians, likewise, lost their slots in the Olympic Games where they last saw action five decades earlier.

 

A two-time Olympian, King Caloy powered he Philippines to a ninth place finish in 1952 in Helsinki and seventh, the counry's third highest in Melbourne in 1956.   

 

The first time Loyzaga wore the country's red, white and blue colors at a tender age 21, he led the  Filipino cagers' gold medal triumph in the inaugural staging of the Asian Games in 1951 in New Delhi, the same way he did in the subsequent title defending campaign in 1954 in Manila, 1958 in Tokyo and in 1962 in Jakarta.

 

Before losing the Asiad Crown Jewel, the Philippines, again starring the beanpole product of sandlot basketball in Teresa ni Sampaloc District of Manila, shifted its supremacy in the Asian Basketball Confederation, a regional organization, which, like the Asian Games,  Filipino sports leaders helped establish.

 

Like the Asiad, Caloy and teammates ruled the First ABC right in front of their countrymen in 1960, defended the title the next time around in Taipei in 1963 before relinquishing it in 1965 in Kuala Lumpur. Loyzaga. again, was reponsible for the Philippines' regaining the title in 1967, this time as head coach. He was the assistant coach when the country again won it in 1973 here in Manila.  

 

Caloy's first love, actualy was football, a sport which was his father Joaquin's forte having served many a national teams during the Far Eastern Games, percursor of the now Asian Games from 1913 to 1934.

 

Caloy was 15 when he first learned the rudiments of basketball playing on the courts in Teresa-Valenzuela (Tervalac) where he was spotted by Gabby Fajardo, one of the leading coaches in the collegiate and commercial  leagues, who saw the potentials of the lanky but skinny protege.

 

Fajardo, upon seeing his mestizo discovery, offered the teener a slot in his PRATRA junior squad in the then Manila Industrial-Commercial Athletic Association basketball tournament. Caloy quit schooling at the National  University and accepted Fajardo's offer. That was 1949, the year Loyzaga led PRATRA the MICAA junior diadem in his baptism of fire of sort as a minor leaguer.  

 

The following year, he was already seeing action with the PRATRA senior squad with then more of illustrious Lauro "The Fox"  Mumar, Ignacio "Ning" Ramos and Caddy Tanquintic that Caloy started to spread his wings that soon enough, he caught the attention of no less than coach Fely Fajardo, brother of Gabby and mentor of the San Beda Red Lions in the NCAA. 

 

That opened the gate for the former Tervalac boy to play in the country's collegiate glamour league and at the same time a chance to continue his studies. He was already 20 and in second year high school. He was still in high school, in other words, when he started playing collegiate ball.

 

From there, the rest is history as the old saying goes. From PRATRA, then PRISCO, then San Beda, Caloy extended his wings further until he landed a place in the lineup of the famous Yco Painters, the team he helped in winning 49 straight games in 1956, an awesome streak by any language in any league in any country.

 

He was also at the forefront of the Painters' seven straight title conquest of the National Open at the height their historic rivalry with the equally-famous Ysmael Steel quintet from 1954 to 1960.   

 

When the Philippines copped third place in the 1954 World Championship and Loyzaga earned his place in the Mythical Five, he was named "Athlete of the Year"  by the Philippine Sportswriters Association.

 

Upon his retirement due to recurring knee injury, "King" Caloy was honored by the MICAA during the appreciation day for his "outstanding services to Philippine basketball, in particular, an Philippine sports, in general."

 

In between conquering the different local and international basketball arenas either on the hardcourt as a player or on the bench as tactician, Caloy, then 27, married a beautiful University of Santo Tomas beauty Victoria Cuerva, 18. The union bore a brood of five -- Cachito (Chito), Russo (Joey), Princess, Theresa and Bing.

 

While Caloy emerged the biggest and the brightest star of Philippine  baskeball, he was a big, bouncy, 11-pound boy when her mother Carmen Loyzaga (nee Matute) gave birth to him on August 29, 1930. In fact, it wasn't until after a month following his coming to earth that Carmen saw him for the first time. For failure to bear the strain during delivery, the mother had to survive the battle between life and death.

 

Both father Joaquin and mother Carmen were born in the Philippines of Cuban-Filipinos-Spanish descent.  

 

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By EDDIE G. ALINEA 

 

(Photo from Philippine Star)

 

MANILA (via PhilAmPress) ― The first thing to know about Carlos Loyzaga, who passed away last week after lingering illness, is that he was for real. He stood 6-foot-3 inches, he had five fingers on each hand, five toes on each foot. He was handsome, dashing owing to the Cuban-Filipino-Spanish blood which flowed in his veins.

 

He played at center but can also play as ably and well as guard and forward. As one who manned the slot, it was not so much his ceiling as his asset, but, his "abilidad," timing, ability to box out the enemies under the boards enabling him to outmaneuver, outposition, outjump his opponents.  

 

He earned the moniker "The Big Difference" during his more than two-decade long career playing basketball because he was big, not only in size but the way he played.  He spelled the difference in many  title victories of the Philippines in the Asian Games and Asian Basketball Confederation tournaments as well as the honors and  respect the country gained in the Olympics and world fronts.

 

Caloy served as cog in the Philippine campaign in the 1954 World Championship held in Rio de Janeiro in Brazil where the country brought home the bronze medal, the highest fashioned out by any Asian country in the biggest basketbhall event outside of the Olympic Games.

 

He even outdid himself in that meet by emerging one of the three top scorers in the entire tournament with an average 16.4 per game next to Uruguay's Oscars Moglia (18.6) and Carl Ridd of Canada (18.2)   

 

Caloy's feat earned for him a slot in the world team along with Kirby Minter of the United States, Moglia, Zenny de Azevedo and Wlamir Marques, both of the host country Brazil, an honor only one other Asian, Yao Ming, would duplicate five decades later.  

 

Reason why many believe that Loyzaga shoud be recognized as "the greatest Filipino and Asian", for that matter, to ever played the game.

 

How good  a player Loyzaga was can be  gauged  when he hang up his no. 41 uniform in 1964 when the Philippines lost its in supremacy in the sport his countrymen love most. The Filipino  basketeers, once the apple of the eyes of Asians, likewise, lost their slots in the Olympic Games where they last saw action five decades earlier.

 

A two-time Olympian, King Caloy powered he Philippines to a ninth place finish in 1952 in Helsinki and seventh, the counry's third highest in Melbourne in 1956.   

 

The first time Loyzaga wore the country's red, white and blue colors at a tender age 21, he led the  Filipino cagers' gold medal triumph in the inaugural staging of the Asian Games in 1951 in New Delhi, the same way he did in the subsequent title defending campaign in 1954 in Manila, 1958 in Tokyo and in 1962 in Jakarta.

 

Before losing the Asiad Crown Jewel, the Philippines, again starring the beanpole product of sandlot basketball in Teresa ni Sampaloc District of Manila, shifted its supremacy in the Asian Basketball Confederation, a regional organization, which, like the Asian Games,  Filipino sports leaders helped establish.

 

Like the Asiad, Caloy and teammates ruled the First ABC right in front of their countrymen in 1960, defended the title the next time around in Taipei in 1963 before relinquishing it in 1965 in Kuala Lumpur. Loyzaga. again, was reponsible for the Philippines' regaining the title in 1967, this time as head coach. He was the assistant coach when the country again won it in 1973 here in Manila.  

 

Caloy's first love, actualy was football, a sport which was his father Joaquin's forte having served many a national teams during the Far Eastern Games, percursor of the now Asian Games from 1913 to 1934.

 

Caloy was 15 when he first learned the rudiments of basketball playing on the courts in Teresa-Valenzuela (Tervalac) where he was spotted by Gabby Fajardo, one of the leading coaches in the collegiate and commercial  leagues, who saw the potentials of the lanky but skinny protege.

 

Fajardo, upon seeing his mestizo discovery, offered the teener a slot in his PRATRA junior squad in the then Manila Industrial-Commercial Athletic Association basketball tournament. Caloy quit schooling at the National  University and accepted Fajardo's offer. That was 1949, the year Loyzaga led PRATRA the MICAA junior diadem in his baptism of fire of sort as a minor leaguer.  

 

The following year, he was already seeing action with the PRATRA senior squad with then more of illustrious Lauro "The Fox"  Mumar, Ignacio "Ning" Ramos and Caddy Tanquintic that Caloy started to spread his wings that soon enough, he caught the attention of no less than coach Fely Fajardo, brother of Gabby and mentor of the San Beda Red Lions in the NCAA. 

 

That opened the gate for the former Tervalac boy to play in the country's collegiate glamour league and at the same time a chance to continue his studies. He was already 20 and in second year high school. He was still in high school, in other words, when he started playing collegiate ball.

 

From there, the rest is history as the old saying goes. From PRATRA, then PRISCO, then San Beda, Caloy extended his wings further until he landed a place in the lineup of the famous Yco Painters, the team he helped in winning 49 straight games in 1956, an awesome streak by any language in any league in any country.

 

He was also at the forefront of the Painters' seven straight title conquest of the National Open at the height their historic rivalry with the equally-famous Ysmael Steel quintet from 1954 to 1960.   

 

When the Philippines copped third place in the 1954 World Championship and Loyzaga earned his place in the Mythical Five, he was named "Athlete of the Year"  by the Philippine Sportswriters Association.

 

Upon his retirement due to recurring knee injury, "King" Caloy was honored by the MICAA during the appreciation day for his "outstanding services to Philippine basketball, in particular, an Philippine sports, in general."

 

In between conquering the different local and international basketball arenas either on the hardcourt as a player or on the bench as tactician, Caloy, then 27, married a beautiful University of Santo Tomas beauty Victoria Cuerva, 18. The union bore a brood of five -- Cachito (Chito), Russo (Joey), Princess, Theresa and Bing.

 

While Caloy emerged the biggest and the brightest star of Philippine  baskeball, he was a big, bouncy, 11-pound boy when her mother Carmen Loyzaga (nee Matute) gave birth to him on August 29, 1930. In fact, it wasn't until after a month following his coming to earth that Carmen saw him for the first time. For failure to bear the strain during delivery, the mother had to survive the battle between life and death.

 

Both father Joaquin and mother Carmen were born in the Philippines of Cuban-Filipinos-Spanish descent.  

 

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