PH NAVY SEABEES CLEAN TYPHOON-DAMAGED TACLOBAN ASTRODOME TO BEAM PACQUIAO-RIOS FIGHT

Hoping to lift the spirits of thousands of people left homeless by Typhoon Haiyan, cable operators on yesterday set up TV screens inside a sports stadium, near a church and in other landmarks in the devastated region to broadcast Filipino boxing icon Manny Pacquiao's comeback fight.

ALSO: Comeback kid Pacquiao overwhelms Rios in Macau

Rios would fire away at close range with body blows but Pacquiao would step out and unleash his own offensive thrusts, in the process bringing to mind the way he manhandled big guys like Antonio Margarito, Oscar dela Hoya and Miguel Cotto. Pacquiao poured it on in the ninth and 10 rounds, stalking Rios and landed heavy blows looking for a kill only to ease up the pressure in the last two rounds.

ALSO: Noy thanks world leaders

Aquino placed calls to Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto, Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbot, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and World Bank (WB) president Jim Yong Kim on Friday to express gratitude for the solidarity and assistance they provided to the country.


PH NAVY SEABEES CLEAN TYPHOON-DAMAGED TACLOBAN ASTRODOME TO BEAM PACQUIAO-RIOS FIGHT


Philippine Navy Seabees clean the typhoon-damaged Tacloban Astrodome Saturday, Nov. 23, 2013 to pave the way for Filipino boxer Manny Pacquaio's fight against Brandon Rios of the United States in Macau on Nov. 24, at Tacloban city, Leyte province in central Philippines. Hoping to lift the spirits of thousands of people left homeless by Typhoon Haiyan, cable operators on Saturday set up TV screens inside the astrodome, near a church and in other landmarks in the devastated region to broadcast live boxing icon Pacquiao's comeback fight. (AP Photo/Build Marquez)

TACLOBAN,
NOVEMBER 25, 2013
(PHILSTAR) By Bulilit Marquez - Hoping to lift the spirits of thousands of people left homeless by Typhoon Haiyan, cable operators on yesterday set up TV screens inside a sports stadium, near a church and in other landmarks in the devastated region to broadcast Filipino boxing icon Manny Pacquiao's comeback fight.

Officials said that rooting for Pacquaio in Tacloban and other places ravaged by the typhoon two weeks ago would help inspire survivors as they struggle to pick up the pieces in the aftermath of the destruction that killed more than 5,000 people.

Cable inspector Allan Larano said he and other technicians from the country's largest cable provider, Sky Cable, were setting up a screen at the Tacloban stadium, around which displaced people have taken shelter in tents and inside ground-floor shops.

Much hope in the Philippines is pinned on Pacquiao, who is returning to the ring to fight Brandon Rios in Macau on Sunday. It will be his first fight since his knockout loss to Juan Manuel Marquez last year, following a defeat by decision to Timothy Bradley.

Boxing analyst Ronnie Nathanielz said that Pacquiao has always dedicated his fights to the Philippines, but that Sunday's bout "takes on a special significance because of the devastation."

"His impressive performance will lift the spirit of the people, no matter what," Nathanielz said.

Civil defense chief Eduardo del Rosario said that win or lose, Pacquiao's performance is "a very, very welcome opportunity for us to relax and unite as a people."

"At least we will see the Filipino spirit fighting for our country," he said.

In Tacloban, Pacquiao fan Anatolio Cabalida eagerly awaited the fight. "He's my idol," the 70-year-old said.

Dioscoro Balano said he hoped to be able to watch the fight with a neighbor who has a generator.

"If he wins, it will be a big boost to the morale of the typhoon victims," Balano said.

Army Cpl. Joseph Reyes looked forward to Pacquiao's donating some of his winnings to typhoon victims. Reyes is stationed at the seaside Tacloban airport, whose terminal was among the buildings severely damaged by walls of water.

Larano, the cable inspector, said two other cable television teams were preparing smaller TV screens near a church and the Leyte provincial capitol.

Philippine broadcaster GMA television also will install large screens at the Tacloban city hall and at a park, said network Vice President Rikki Escudero.

"We are very excited that at least we are able to provide that service to the people," Escudero said.

Fierce winds and tsunami-like storm surges from the typhoon turned much of Tacloban into a mass of debris. At least 1,700 people were killed in Tacloban, one of the most devastated cities.

Tacloban is still in ruins and without electricity, though some areas have received running water and shops and gas stations have started reopening.

Pacquiao, one of the world's highest-paid athletes, is the wealthiest member of the Philippine Congress. He represents his southern home province of Sarangani, where his wife, Jinkee, is vice governor. His province was not affected by the typhoon.

Pacquiao has promised to bring aid during a visit to the disaster sites after the fight.

Comeback kid Pacquiao overwhelms Rios in Macau By Lito Tacujan (The Philippine Star) | Updated November 25, 2013 - 12:00am 0 3 googleplus0 0

Tacloban residents erupt in cheers as Manny Pacquiao’s unanimous decision victory over Brandon Rios is announced during a free viewing of the fight at the Tacloban City Astrodome yesterday. VAL RODRIGUEZ MACAU

Redemption. Resurgence. Rebirth.

Eight-time world champion Manny Pacquiao made a tremendous return into the heart of the world prizefight as he pulled off a unanimous decision over a plodding Brandon Rios before 13,101 fans at the Cotai Arena of the Venetian Macao hotel here.

The comeback was complete, though not as compelling and competitive, as Pacquiao returned from the depth of devastating loss to rattle and dazzle Rios with an awesome display of skill and speed for the win he hoped would help ease the collective pain of a nation reeling in the aftermath of a super typhoon.

He fought like a new man brandishing his old lethal arsenal and had Rios, spent from virtually logging thousands of miles chasing the Filipino icon, for the taking, but Pacquiao eased up on his offensive flurries in the last two rounds and Rios lived to tell the tale.

“I kept my promise we will rise again. In purity there’s victory,” said Pacquiao.

“I was beaten by one of the best fighters in the world and his speed and awkwardness made the difference,” said Rios.

Judges Michael Pernick scored it 120-108, Lisa Giampa had it at 119-109 and Manfred Kochler 118-110 all for Pacquiao. The Philippine STAR saw the fight at 120-108 for Pacquiao.

For 12 rounds, Pacquiao dished out his deadly form, fighting on his feet and unloading deadly combinations that had traumatized many an opponent, seizing the initiative early, keeping relentless pressure and simply outgunned and outclassed the game American.

“He did exactly what we had planned to do. He did not knock him out but that’s okay,” said trainer Freddie Roach.

The Filipino champ dictated the tempo of the match throughout, darting in and out of Rios’ reach and drilling rights and lefts that opened a cut below the right eyebrow and bloodied the nose of the man by the middle round.

Rios would fire away at close range with body blows but Pacquiao would step out and unleash his own offensive thrusts, in the process bringing to mind the way he manhandled big guys like Antonio Margarito, Oscar dela Hoya and Miguel Cotto.

Pacquiao poured it on in the ninth and 10 rounds, stalking Rios and landed heavy blows looking for a kill only to ease up the pressure in the last two rounds.

“We could have taken him in the last two rounds but then we’re ahead on points and there’s no need to knock out the guy. Boxing is entertainment, it’s not for hurting people, “ Pacquiao said during the post fight media conference

It was a big hit in this Chinese territory which put accent on blockbuster boxing to promote the place as an emerging gaming capital of Asia, with celebrities like Paris Hilton, David Beckham and Fil-Am singer Jessica Sanchez providing the glitz and glamour. Sanchez earlier sang the national anthem and the Star Spangled Banner.

No sooner had the champ made the decisive win to restore the faith of the predominantly Filipino crowd amid the old chants “Manny, Manny, Manny!” at the venue and millions more back home than he assumed a new role, rallying the fans to help out in the relief work for the victims of typhoon-hit part of the country.

He thanked institutions like ABS-CBN and GMA, those who have donated cash and goods, and promised to be with the victims the following day to extend help in the effort.

He had redeemed himself from the December debacle and touched off a resurgence of hope and inspiration for the victims ravaged by the super typhoon.

He had done more with this impeccable comeback.

“It’s my people’s comeback; my victory is a symbol of my people’s comeback from a national disaster, a national tragedy,” said Pacquiao.

Noy thanks world leaders By Aurea Calica (The Philippine Star) | Updated November 24, 2013 - 12:00am 1 2 googleplus0 0

MANILA, Philippines - President Aquino has thanked world leaders for their aid and assistance to the country in the wake of Super Typhoon Yolanda.

Aquino placed calls to Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto, Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbot, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and World Bank (WB) president Jim Yong Kim on Friday to express gratitude for the solidarity and assistance they provided to the country.

“The President did mention that... he, as well as the Filipino people, are very thankful for all the expressions of solidarity by our neighbors,” deputy presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte said over dzRB.

Valte said Aquino was grateful that foreign countries were quick to offer their help and even gave assurance that “if there’s anything else that we can help you with, we would be very happy to... just say the word.“

“The President was clearly very, very happy and very grateful for all the support that we’ve been receiving,” she said.

Valte said the Philippines felt “it was not alone” and that these countries gave us much hope amid the devastation and loss of lives caused by Yolanda.

The President earlier spoke to US President Barack Obama and British Prime Minister David Cameron, also to thank them for their support.

In a press statement, the WB said they expressed sympathy to the government and the people of the Philippines and offered $480 million in additional financial assistance during the telephone call with the President.

The WB assistance is now close to $1 billion.

“We have been encouraged by the resilience of the Filipino people and the determination shown by President Aquino and his team as they work to recover from a disaster of unprecedented scale,” Kim said.


Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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