(STAR) Tommy Manotoc failed to sustain his fine start and stumbled with a three-over par 75 yesterday, dropping to a share of the individual lead with a charging Bill Bell of New Zealand in the second round of the 2007 Asia-Pacific Senior Amateur Golf Championship yesterday at Mt. Malarayat in Lipa City, Batangas.

Manotoc, whose birdie windup netted him a 72 and a two-shot lead at the start of the 54-hole championship Wednesday, never recovered from a three-over card at the front, mixing one birdie with a bogey and a slew of pars at the back for a 39-36 card.

He had a 147 then watched Bell bogey Nos. 16 and 17 to remain on top heading into the final 18 holes of the tournament sponsored by the Philippine Airlines, Pagcor, Dept. of Tourism and Hanjin Heavy Industries.

Bell, four down after 18 holes and four flights ahead of Manotoc’s group, tied the 57-year-old Filipino shotmaker with a birdie on No. 14 then gained a two-shot swing on the par-3 15th on a birdie-bogey exchange. But the Kiwi bet dropped two strokes on the next two holes, enabling Manotoc to regain a share of the lead.

RP Team I, however, blew a three-shot in team competition despite Iggy Clavecilla’s two-over 74 card as Korea sizzled with a 145 on Jun Kee Lee’s 72 and Young Eung Park’s 73 to surge ahead with a 295.

Lee and Park also shared third place in the individual competition with 148s while Iggy Clavecilla carded a 74 to tie last year’s champion Rodney Baltrop (75) of Australia in fifth with a 149.

The hosts slid to second with a 149 for a 296 but remain in the hunt for a sweep of both the individual and team titles in the event conducted by the National Golf Association of the Phils. (NGAP).

Marquez tired of Pacman excuses By Abac Cordero Friday, November 23, 2007

Juan Manuel Marquez is getting tired chasing Manny Pacquiao.

“He’s coming up with many excuses for not wanting to fight me,” said the reigning WBC super-featherweight champion from Mexico as he continues to dare Pacquiao into fighting him by March next year.

Pacquiao, the “People’s Champion” in the 130-lb division, is torn choosing between Marquez and WBC lightweight champion David Diaz as his next opponent although he said the decision will come in the next few days.

Pacquiao was in Cebu City yesterday with his family, and is scheduled to fly to the United States today for a crucial meeting with his promoter, Bob Arum, and an ad pictorial with one of his major sponsors, Nike.

On the long 12-hour flight to the US, Pacquiao will have the chance to ponder his next move. Will he go Arum’s way in going for Diaz and the lightweight crown, or his trainer Freddie Roach’s corner going a rematch with Marquez.

Marquez’ recent chat with might help.

“He knows I’m the only man who can beat him. I’ll destroy him,” Marquez, who turns 34 in January, said.

“First of all, he complains about the weight class and I compromise to face him as high as the lightweight division, then he comments that the money was an issue, and I responded that wasn’t a problem, I’m willing to take a pay cut to please the fans.

“Pacquiao also commented that he’d rather challenge for the lightweight title. All this is an indication that he’s really scared and doesn’t want any part of me,” added Marquez, who retained the title just recently by beating Rocky Juarez.

“What’s wrong with Pacquiao?” he asked.

The Mexican gladiator, who survived three first-round knockdowns to salvage a controversial draw with the Filipino in 2004, said he finds it disappointing for a fighter like Pacquiao to be running away.

“I always said that the Filipino fighters are similar to the Mexicans with their never-say-die attitude, but now Manny [Pacquiao] has disappointed me and will disappoint all his fans around the world,” he said.

Pacquiao has repeatedly said that he’s not running away from Marquez, and that he can fight the reigning 130-lb champion anytime, anywhere.

But still, there’s something that’s keeping the rematch from taking place.

“I have millions of Mexican fight fans that think I’m his worse nightmare. Be a man!!! We both know that we have a score to settle,” said Marquez, now practically begging for a fight with Pacquiao.

Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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