Mardy Fish defeats Blake in the US Open

Posted by doms | Sunday, August 31, 2008 | | 0 comments »

Mardy Fish advance to the fourth round of the on-going US Open Tennis Championship after upsetting best friend and 9th Seed, James Blake.

The win is bitter sweet for the 26 year old as it came at the expense of a close friend who will also be one of his groomsman on his wedding.

It is quite admirable for him to set aside that momentarily and outplayed his pal in straight sets.

Pleased as Fish was to reach the U.S. Open's fourth round for the first time, he wasn't thrilled that he had to beat Blake to do it.

Fish and Blake are pals. Before heading out on court at Arthur Ashe Stadium for their third-round match, they hung out together in the locker room, watching college football highlights on TV. Next month, Blake will be a groomsman in Fish's wedding.

Setting all of that aside for about two hours, Fish constructed a straight-sets win over the ninth-seeded Blake, who was born in New York and always draws loud support from spectators at Flushing Meadows.

Blake's best showings at Grand Slam tournaments have come at the U.S. Open, where he was a quarterfinalist in 2005 and 2006.

"I never want to see James lose. He is definitely a close friend of mine," Fish told the crowd afterward. "James is obviously an extremely tough out here. It feels like he's got 20,000 friends screaming in my ear."

Fish served for the match at 5-4 in the third set, but he double-faulted twice and got broken.

"I got a little tight there, to be honest," Fish said.

But in the tiebreaker, it was Blake who had problems. He moved out to a 4-2 lead, then missed three consecutive backhands, part of Fish's five-point run to end the match.

- Source, ESPN



It took a hell of a quarter from JV Casio and buzzer-beating game-winning tip from rookie Maui Villanueva for the De La Salle Univeristy Green Archers to beat the University of Santo Tomas Growling Tigers again in the second round of UAAP Season 71 Men's Basketball 81 - 79 yesterday at the Araneta Coliseum.

These two teams who has a history of close games did not disappoint college hoops fan as they added another epic and memorable game to their rivalry.

JV Casio displayed a spectacular offensive assault in the fourth quarter to almost single-handedly bring the Archers to victory despite playing without head coach Franz Pumaren who is currently out of the country helping the RP Youth Team overseas.

Last season's MVP Jervy Cruz tried to match the efforts of Casio but an exciting turn of events that included two tip-ins in the waning seconds proved to be the decider with La Salle prevailing to strengthen their position for the twice to beat advantage and at the same time dealing a serious blow to UST's final four aspirations.

A slow start from both teams saw DLSU taking the first quarter 15 - 13 highlighted by an alley-oop jam of Maierhoffer. UST opened with a 13 - 4 run to take a seven-point lead four minutes into the second period. DLSU countered with 9 - 0 to retake the lead. The half ended with UST taking a two-point lead 36 - 34.

La Salle took a 51 - 43 lead behind Casio and Barua. It would have been bigger if not for many missed free throws mostly by Maierhoffer. The score was 54 - 47 after the third.

When the final period came, Casio caught fire for La Salle while Cruz carried UST inside. Casio scored 10 straight points while Cruz answered with 13 as La Salle has a slim 66 - 65 lead halfway to the quarter.

Mirza's basket tied the game at 67 - 67 before Casio scored 8 out of the next 10 La Salle points as they erected a 18 - 71 lead with only a minute left.

Left for dead, the Tigers almost pulled off a comeback in what may be the most hear-stopping turn of events of the elimination round as seldom-used Vargas scored 5 crucial points to tie the game, 79 all with just 5 seconds left.

But the Tigers' defense allowed Revilla to dribble the length of the court and attempt a good shot that paved the way for Maui Villanueva's game-winning tip-in.

The loss dropped the Tigers to 5 - 7 in the standings and imperiled their chances of advancing to the final four. They now need to sweep their next two games and hope that UE lose its remaining games to have at least a play-off for the last final four slot.

DLSU's win meanwhile kept them abreast with FEU at 9 - 3 and contend for the twice-to-beat incentive.


2008 UAAP Result: FEU gets back at NU

Posted by doms | Thursday, August 28, 2008 | | 0 comments »

The Far Eastern University Tamaraws welcomed the return of Mac Baracael to their lineup by avenging their first round loss to the National University Bulldogs 64 - 60 at the ongoing second round of UAAP Season 71 Men's Basketball at the Araneta Coliseum.

Mark Barroca followed up his career game against DLSU with another superb performance in leadting the Tams to their ninth win and assuring them of a final four berth. He finished with 22 points, 7 rebounds, 5 assist and 2 steals.

The Bulldogs tried to repeat over FEU, giving them a scare, before succumbing to their tenth defeat to join Adamson in the cellar of the team standings.

The Bulldogs started well, leading 20 - 16 after the opening periond behind the 11 points of guard Jahnke.

An 11 - 5 run by the Bulldogs in the second quarter has them enjoying their biggest lead 31 - 21 with 4:21 left in the period. After a time-out, the Tams employed a full court trapping defense that led to five NU turnovers to come out 37 -33 at the halftime break.

The third quarter, the waterloo of NU in this season, started with Asoro picking up his fourth foul, sending him to the bench. But FEU never broke away. Aguilar held the fort to keep FEU in sight, 56 - 48.

NU's defense held the Tams scoreless in more than five minutes in the fourth quarter to take the lead 58 - 56 after a Chris Catamora conversion.

FEU recovered in time, limiting NU to one basket the rest of the way to get win 64 - 60.


Pacquiao - De La Hoya Megafight in December?

Posted by doms | Thursday, August 28, 2008 | , | 0 comments »

*UPDATE* August 30, 2008 - The fight has been confirmed. The two will meet in a non-title welterweight bout on December 6, 2008.

It looks like the Philippines will be treated to an early Christmas treat from its beloved sporting hero, Manny Pacquiao - a December fight with Oscar De La Hoya.

In this article from ESPN, sources said that a match between pound-for-pound king Pacquiao and boxing's biggest draw, Golden Boy Oscar De La Hoya might happen in December 6 this year. Same sources said that a formal announcement will be made tomorrow ( Friday, Manila Time).

Reports abound that camp of Golden Boy has long been negotiating with Team Pacquiao for a megabuck fight this year. The negotiation hit a snag though when Pacquiao disagreed with the proposed 70 - 30 split from the fight's revenues. With both fighters crowd-drawers (De La Hoya slightly ahead), revenues are expected to be millions high. Perhaps the camp of De La Hoya conceded to the 60 - 40 split said to be asked by Team Pacquiao.

De La Hoya has said that his next fight will be his last. Being an astute businessman as he is, fans like me may doubt that proclamation as marketing strategy to draw more interest. Fans will surely want to see him fight for the last time.

Pacquiao, having just dominated David Diaz after moving up in weight , will add more jewel to his illustrious boxing career by fighting De La Hoya. Not to mention, the lucrative paycheck it would add to his coffers.

I thank God that the Philippines have a son like Pacquiao who can bring honor to his country. If the camp of De La Hoya really conceded to the desire of Pacquiao's camp, then Manny has really gone to a place no boxer or sports person I know or read of has gone before.

I have doubts if Manny can pull-off a win but I just hope and pray he would deliver a performance that can make us, Filipinos, be more prouder of him.

Go, Manny!


The last major will be up for grabs as the 2008 US Open Tennis Championship will start today.

I am betting that the winner will be from the top three men in the world standings: Nadal, Federer and Djokovic.

More than the usual pride and prize that comes with winning major championships, these three men have more reasons to be motivated to get this major more than the others.

He is the defending champion here and looking for his fifth straight US Open plum. More than anyone, he needs to win this to salvage a "bad" year based on his lofty standards. I do not know if doing so, will also give him back the no. 1 rating. A win against Nadal will make it doubly special, a proof to his fans and critics that he is not on the decline.

A win here will no doubt capped a dominating season. That would mean three consecutive majors, an Olympic gold medal and the world no. 1 ranking. It would also complete his transformation from "only" a great clay-court specialits to being the best tennis player in the world today.

The year started well for him, winning the Australian open for his first major. Winning the US Open will boost his stature and will mean there will now be three men to watch for in Men's Tennis.

I would never discount the possibility of someone other than them winning it. After all, that is why sports is being played. Upsets do happen.

I just like the winner to be one of them.


Mission Accomplished.

The three-year plan of USA Basketball to recapture Basketball glory came into fruition as Team USA beat a game Spanish side, 118 - 107 to recapture the Gold Medal in the Men's Basketball competition in the Olympics being held in Beijing.

Reigning world champion Spain was bent to make a game of it, - played an inspired and physical game - pushing Team USA to the closest match it ever faced in this Summer spectacle.

In the end, Kobe Bryant, Dwyane Wade and the rest of Team USA, proved too much to handle. Bryant's and Wade's performance stood tall amongst the superstar-laden squad to lead the team to the gold medal victory.

The Spanish team that showed for this gold medal match is far different from the one Team USA clobbered by 37 points. This team came out fighting tooth and nail right at the opening tip.

Watch Team USA's Gold Medal Performance here.

Spain was up 15 - 11 on a Ricky Rubio lay-up with just under six minutes to play in the first quarter. Chris Paul and Dwyane Wade helped the team take the lead 24 - 22 and never looked back, leading by seven after the opening quarter.

Wade was the star of the first half. He had a number of steals that lead to easy layups and scored 21 first half points. Spain battled them relatively even, finishing the half only down by eight points.

The crowd was anticipating a strong second half start from Team USA just like they did in their previous conquest. Instead, it was Spain who came out strong. They opened with a much better defense and a better execution in the offensive end. Juan Carlos Navarro's penetrations closed the gap 71 - 75 with six minutes to go.

But Team USA closed out strong with 20 - 8 run to erect a much comfortable 91 - 80 lead capped off by a Carmelo Anthony trey.

Spain scored nine straight points in the first two minutes of the fourth quarter 91 - 89. After a time-out, Team USA countered with seven straight points of their own to restore a more comfortable lead.

From there, it was tough fight until the end. The lead was five with almost 3 1/2 minutes to go after a Pau Gasol basket, 104 - 99 for Team USA.

Bryant hit a three pointer with the last foul of Rudy Fernandez. Then, put a finger to his lips to silence the pro-Spain crowd before completing the four-point play.

Spain was not yet finished though. Navarro scored again with a leaner and dished off to Jimenez for an open three to threaten for the last time, 108 - 104 with only 2:15 to play.

Wade converted on a three pointer of his own to start a 10 - 4 of Team USA run to take the fight out of Spain.

Though Team USA never dominated the game, the win will feel much sweeter after fiercely fought game.


The University of Santo Tomas Growling Tigers has more bite than the National University Bulldogs as they beat the latter 68 - 58 in the second round of UAAP Season 71 Men's Basketball Competition.

As in past games, the third quarter doomed the Bulldogs after going toe to toe with the Tigers in the first half. The loss formally ends the Bulldogs bid for a final four slot.

The win, meanwhile, gave a big boost to the Tigers campaign to sneak past the Red Warriors for the last final four seat.

In the main game featuring two powerhouse teams, the Far Eastern University Tamaraws held off the De La Salle University Green Archers 83 - 75 to tie their victims for second place in the standings with an 8 - 3 slate.

Mark Barroca played a career game to carry the Tamaraws in the second half inspite of the Archer's surge headed by JV Casio. In that spurt, Casio converted a spectacular fast break and trey to temporarily give the lead to the Archers.

Barroca scored on all parts of the court to lead the Tamaraws and show strong contention for the twice to beat slot in the final four.


Team USA booked its place in the Basketball finals in Beijing Olympics by beating Athens' gold medalist Argentina 101 - 81 to move one win away of redeeming themselves and reclaiming supremacy in the sport.

Argentina's slim hope of an upset was crushed when star player Manu Ginobili re-injured his ankle that hampered his performance in recently concluded NBA playoffs. Even with him, the Argentines had a difficult time keeping instep with the Americans.

Despite losing their captain, the Argentines fought valiantly and hung tough against the star-studded US team. They will play Lithuania for the bronze medal.

Carmelo Anthony and Lebron James, both remnants from the last US Olympic team spearheaded their team's march to the gold medal match. Fittingly, they have redeemed themselves to a better finish this time around, assured of silver and almost a shoo-in for gold.

Earlier, world champion Spain survived LIthuania in the other semifinal 91 - 86. They need to deliver a sublime performance to have any chance against Team USA which obliterated them with a 37 point beating.

I find it unfortunate and upsetting for CS sports/RPN for not airing this live or even on a delayed telecast, opting to show a bronze medal soccer game.


Super Phelps in Beijing Olympics

Posted by doms | Monday, August 18, 2008 | | 0 comments »

Michael Phelps has shown that records are, indeed, made to broken in the Beijing Olympics.

The mighty Michael Phelps swam his way to the annals of Olympic greatness. Much has been said about Michael Phelps from the runup up to this very moment in the Olympics. And there will much more after his tremendous feat.

Michael Phelps won eight gold medals, most in record-breaking fashion, in the Swimming competition of this Summer games in Beijing. He thus broke Spitz record that stood for 36 years and became the winningest Olympian ever, hauling 14 golds in total.


I am disheartened to learn of Federer's loss to James Blake at the Beijing Olympics.

That means one of my wishes in this Summer Games will not be granted. But more than that, I am a bit shocked at the way this year has turned out for Federer.

At the end of 2007, there are a lot of talks of his place in the-greatest-tennis-players discussion This abrupt slide in results fails in comparison to Miami Heat's implosion from champion to one of the worst.

Many, including me, think that Federer is still in his prime. I hope he regains his top form and be able to defend his US Open crown to somehow salvage his campaign this year which are marked by frustratingly big losses.

For starter, I believe he and his doubles partner is still in competition at this Olympics.


The loss that sent a thousand and more sleepless nights to Lebron James and company has finally been avenged at the Beijing Olympics.

This time, the US Basketball squad composed of NBA players and superstars, are more than ready against the Greek hoop warriors. All it took was a a great second quarter to subdue the last team who beat the US in international basketball competition.

This time around, they have Kobe Bryant, a comebacking Dwyane Wade and of course Lebron James to lead the US team another step closer to reclaiming basketball supremacy.

The way the US team played showed they really wanted to beat the Greeks. Now, they can savor some redemption especially those who also belonged to the 2006 team.


The Ateneo De Manila University Blue Eagles and the Far Eastern University Tamaraws repeat over their respective foes yesterday at the Philsports Arena in the second round of eliminations of UAAP Season 71 Men's Basketball.

The Tamaraws did it first over the fading Falcons in the first game 70 - 62. The Falcons found no answer to the firepower of the Tamaraws led by Fernandez and Adolfo.

In the main game, the Blue Eagles solidified their bid for the twice to beat advantage by trouncing the Growling Tigers, 85 - 76.

Team Captain Chris Tiu led the Eagles with a career high 29 points.


Beijing Games is Underway

Posted by doms | Sunday, August 10, 2008 | , | 0 comments »

The much anticipated sporting event in the world is underway in Beijing.

I am looking forward to Filipino athletes who were able to secure olympic berths despite the odds. I pray that they do well. Go, Pinoy!

Another thing that I will really look forward is the Men's Basketball competition. I am a sucker for underdogs that is why I hope Argentina win the gold. But I wouldn't mind if USA regains its supremacy in basketball.

Next to basketball, I would like to watch the Tennis competition. I hope Federer and Nadal can bring their rivalry in the Olympics as well.

Be one with Olympic spirit. Take on the olympic quiz challenge below and win exciting prizes.

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This time around, the University of Santo Tomas Growling Tigers did not need extra time to beat the Adamson University Falcons 97 - 83 in the second round of elimination of UAAP Season 71 Men's Basketball at the Philsports Arena.

A 12 - 2 run in the first allowed the Tigers to a comfortable 21 -10 lead. Jervy Cruz powered his way in the second quarter while the tigers zone defense limited the Falcons production to pad the lead to 44 - 29 by half time.

The third quarter saw a better effort from the Falcons as they were able to run more at the break. The lead was whittled down to five 49 - 44. But the outside sniping of Tigers rookie guard Bautista kept the Falcons at bay. It would have been closer if the Falcons only capitalized on their free throws.

Jervy Cruz dominated in the fourth quarter to lead the Tigers to a repeat over the Falcons. The Tigers improved to an even 4-4 slate while Adamson fell to 2 - 6, putting their final four campaign in peril.

In the main game, the Ateneo de Manila University Blue Eagles relied on their outside shooting to get back at their only-loss tormentors the Far Eastern University Tamaraws, 78 - 74.

The Tamaraws started hot courtesy of Paul Sanga's three pointers to lead after the first quarter 15 - 13. Chris Tiu scored seven points in the second quarter while Jai Reyes beat the halftime buzzer to help the Eagles to a 36 - 33 halftime lead.

Tiu, Salamat and AL Hussaini conspired to keet Ateneo in the lead in the third quarter. Reil Cervantes' basket kept the Tams in the game. Eric Salamat beat the buzzer to give Ateneo a 57 - 51 lead.

The Eagles took a 71 - 61 lead after two free throws from Hussaini. Two consecutive Barroca drives get the Tams closer. Salamat answered back with three to give the Eagles a 74 - 65 lead with less than five minuts in the game.

The Tams last threatened after a 9 - 2 spurt, 76 - 74. After a Hussaini basket, Aldrech Ramos missed two crucial free throws and the Eagles just wasted the clock to notch their seventh win, 78 - 74.


2008 UAAP Result: NU, DLSU get revenge

Posted by doms | Friday, August 08, 2008 | | 0 comments »

The National University Bulldogs opened the second round of eliminations of UAAP Season 71 Men's Basketball by getting back at their first round tormentors, the University of the Philippines Fighting Maroons 72 - 59.

The Bulldogs got big games from guard Jahnke, main man Asoro and good contribution from its supporting cast to win their second game in a row - their first win streak in five seasons.

The Maroons defense failed to stop the Bulldogs inside incursions and Martin Reyes, who led them with their only win this season so far, never got going. The Maroons are on a seven game losing slump.

In the main game, the De La Salle Green Archers got a revenge of their own over the University of the East Red Warriors who beat them last weekend, 70 - 61.

JV Casio led the Archers with with 25 points,


The Ateneo De Manila University Blue Eagles brought back order to the Men's Basketball competition by defeating the University of Santo Tomas Growling Tigers 64 - 57 yesterday at the end of the first round on UAAP season 71.

In a week filled with upsets, the Eagles avoided the same fate of the other formidable contenders by defeating the Tigers who won the 2006 title at their expense.

The Tigers were ahead 54 - 51 after a Mirzah's long two. But Eagles clamped down on defense and a trey from Jai Reyes nailed the coffin for the Tigers' fourth loss.

In the opening game, the National University Bulldogs finally showed bite off its bark in an upset win over the Far Eastern University Tamaraws 69 -61.

The Tamaraws are becoming favorites after two big wins despite losing Mac Baracael. The Bulldogs though showing flashes of brilliance have yet to win a game.

The UAAP Season 71 secound round will prove to be more exciting as all teams have shown they can beat any other team.