MANILA, JUNE 13, 2007
(STAR) By Abac Cordero - If it’s already Vancouver for Manny Pacquiao’s next fight, then it’s the General Motors Place, which can accommodate as many as 19,000 fans, as the perfect venue.

Although there’s no official announcement yet coming from fight promoter Top Rank, it was reported in the Internet yesterday that Vancouver would host Pacquiao’s next fight on Oct. 6.

There are close to 140,000 Filipinos residing in Vancouver, and the excitement started to build up the moment CTV Vancouver reportedly announced on air the date and venue of the fight.

Businessman Geoffrey Hughes is behind Vancouver’s bid to host Pacquiao’s next fight, regardless on who’s going to fight the Filipino superstar.

Humberto Soto of Mexico, who knocked out the younger Bobby Pacquiao in New York last Saturday, looms as the next opponent of the Filipino sensation.

Meanwhile, Pacquiao will take the hot seat in Los Angeles tomorrow in a court-mandated deposition concerning the case between giant promotional outfits Golden Boy and Top Rank.

Williams not turning back on RP five By Nelson Beltran Wednesday, June 13, 2007

(STAR) Kelly Williams clarified yesterday he’s only taking a short break and he’s more than willing to play for the RP team in the FIBA Asia Olympic qualifier in Tokushima, Japan in July 28-Aug. 5.

“I just want to take couple of weeks off since it had been a long season (in the PBA). Afterwards I’ll be back and hopefully they would still consider me for the national team,” said Williams, adding he’s too tired to join the Nationals in their Belgrade training trip.

The prized Fil-Am player stressed it would be a big honor to help the RP team’s cause and he’s looking forward to play in the Jones Cup and in the Tokushima joust.

The Nationals will compete in the Jones Cup in Taiwan in the first week of July.

“Kelly is the workhorse of the team and he’s really tired. He wants just a two-week rest, after which he’s glad to join the RP team,” said Sta. Lucia governor Buddy Encarnado.

“I had relayed the matter to commissioner Noli Eala even before the national team left for Belgrade,” Encarnado added.

Williams has been the heart and soul of Sta. Lucia’s campaign, making him among the top contenders for the season’s Rookie of the Year and Most Valuable Player plums although the Realtors failed to get past the wildcard round.

Apparently, there was some miscommunication between the Fil-Am and the RP team coaching staff which felt Williams was not keen on joining the Nationals since he has gone to US for a holiday.

RP team coach Chot Reyes has said he badly needs a player like Williams, a big man who can run and defend the perimeter.

Aside from Williams, Reyes also named former George Mason U Patriot Gabe Norwood as new addition to the RP team. Norwood, flying from Virginia, should be with the Nationals now in Belgrade.

Reyes is hopeful the Nationals would be a much tougher team when they come back from Belgrade.

“The Nationals are being criticized for not having the smarts and toughness of the likes of Tembong Melencio, Robert Jaworski, Johnny Revilla and Ed Ocampo,” said commissioner Eala.

“We’re smaller, so we have to use our heads. We have to be tough and refuse to back down. Hopefully, when they come back, they’re a much tougher team,” Eala added.

Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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