Mall of Asia
July 16, 2013
Amid the barrage of sports news that hit us the past few weeks, my pregnant wife and I decided to shrug it off and instead watched this move titled Pacific Rim. No, its not about Rafe Bartholomew’s book about the country’s passion for basketball. The one Rafe wrote was actually titled Pacific Rims. This one is actually about gigantic robots called Jaegers defending humanity by battling collosal monsters from the depths of the ocean called Kaiju. It was a nice movie that my wife and I enjoyed. But the best part was when Ron Pearlman, the biggest star in the movie but making only a cameo appearance, was torn apart by a baby Kaiju he thought was DEAD. Pearlman was wrong and ended up DEAD himself. What a movie.
Again, I ignored the news. Until I came to the media center at the Rizal Memorial Coliseum where the best sportswriters write and file their stories and hang out a bit and debate about Junmar Fajardo’s bleeding scrotum and it happened. We end up still clueless on that plague for mankind’s precious jewels. Interestingly, as Sportsmaryosep was writing this, Manila Bulletin and Tempo’s veteran sportswriter, Clyde Mariano, celebrated his 68th birthday. We’re all happy because he’s still in the Binggo numbers. He treated the guys with Pancit Bihon, Lumpiang Shanghai, tuna sandwich and bottles of bottles of coke.
After eating everything possible, Sportsmaryosep decided to write about it and in the tradition of Dave Letterman, we’ll be having our top 10 newsbreakers of the past couple of weeks. And here it goes:
10. San Beda losing to Lyceum
This is big news because the Lions have never lost to the Pirates before. San Beda is of course the reigning three-peat champion and title-holder of six of the last seven NCAA cage seasons. Yes, it happened last June 24, not necessarily in the last two weeks that I’ve mentioned. And for those who still mind, the Lions, No. 1 last year, lost, 66-70, to the Pirates, the cellar-dwellers last season.
9. Magnificent 12
Or Dirty Dozen to some newspapers who reported that naturalized center Marcus Douthit, Talk N’ Text’s Jimmy Alapag, Jayson Castro, Ranidel De Ocampo and Larry Fonacier, Rain or Shine’s Jeff Chan and Gabe Norwood, Ginebra’s LA Tenorio and Japeth Aguilar, GlobalPort’s Gary David, San Mig Coffee forward Marc Pingris and Petron’s rookie June Mar Fajardo will make the Gilas Pilipinas team that is on a mission to make the FIBA-Worlds. The FIBA-Asia Championship is set Aug. 1 to 11 at the MOA Arena and Ninoy Aquino Stadium.
8. Lebanon’s suspension
So the Lebanese were suspended and will be replaced by United Arab Emirates, which took the spot after Iraq begged off. Of course, this is big news to our Gilas boys because it will be one problem less for us. We will miss the prolific Fadi El Khatib and his high scoring game though.
7. Kiefer Ravena
Since Ravena suffered the severest of ankle sprains, everyone is in a guessing game on whether or not he will play. No one believed Sportsmaryosep when we predicted Kiefer will play despite the injury. I even bet my house that he’ll play. No one took it seriously. But lo and behold he played in the first game, only to aggrevate the injury and sit out the next two games. He went on to play in their fourth game and you probably know what happened.
6. Ateneo wins first game
With Ravena finally suiting up, the Eagles booked their first game. Its big news because, one, Ateneo is the reigning five-peat titlist, and two, no one will crack a joke anymore about University of the Philippines, its Katipunan neighbor, being level with the former. Unless UP nails its first win and tie Ateneo again.
5. Super Sumang’s shot of UAAP Season 76
Roi Sumang’s game-winning four-point play that propelled University of the East to a 71-67 triumph over National U is now entrenched as one of the biggest shots, if not the biggest shot, in the history of the league. Perhaps, only San Beda guard Baser Amer’s overtime-forcing triple from the other end last year can match it.
4. Roger Gorayeb opting out of Ateneo
The multi-titled coach first broke the news to, yes, Sportsmaryosep. Only, it came out first with The Philippine Star. He said he’s taking a break to concentrate on his San Sebastian team in the NCAA. Under Gorayeb’s guidance, the Ateneo women’s volleyball team has gained the respect that it deserved. It willl be a big loss for the Lady Eagles. But worry not, Gorayeb hinted of a possible comeback if not next year, two years from now.
3. Anderson “The Spider” Silva losing
Oh. This got to hurt. After staying unbeaten in the last seven years and becoming mixed martial arts’ best pound for pound fighter, The Spider fell to fast emerging Chris Weidman in UFC 162. They’ll have a re-match though at the end of the year. But the pound for pound king can not be re-claimed because its in the hands of Jon “Bones” Jones now. But I’m sure Mark “The Filipino Wrecking Machine” Munoz had other things in mind, right?
2. Alfrancis Chua resigns as Brgy. Ginebra coach
Snow Badua of spin.ph broke the news FIRST. And we all fell into a state of shock. Why would a coach who lifted the Kings from the ashes to second place last PBA conference, resign? Reports indicate Chualay, as every sportswriter fondly calls him, was fed up from the continuous coaching and player changes in the team and quit. Buried under the shocking news was Rudy Hatfield announcing his retirement the same day. Robert “Sonny” Jaworski, Sr., anyone?
1. LeBron James coming to Manila
Like the Gorayeb story, Sportsmaryosep Twitted and wrote the news FIRST. Only, it came out at philstar.com, nba.com Philippines and The Philippine Star. And yes, King James is flying to Manila on July 23. Nike made it happen. If you haven’t lined up at the Nike Park in Bonifacio Global City, you probably didn’t get tickets. But you still have time to camp out there because they’ll be distributing a max of two tickets per person on Wednesday, July 17, at 12 a.m. Or you may buy the tickets of those enterprising fans who queued early in the black market where it is expected to be priced starting at P1,500 each. Or you could just scratch your balls on the comforts of your couch while watching San Antonio Spurs championship games re-runs at home.
Follow Sportsmaryosep on Twitter: @JoeySVillar
(Photos courtesy NCAA.org.ph, Filoil Flying V, Alfrancis Chua, LeBron James and Shakey’s V-League)