MANILA, JULY 25, 2008
(STAR) By Abac Cordero - The Pumaren brothers, coach Franz of La Salle and coach Dindo of University of the East, picked up lopsided wins yesterday in the 71st UAAP season at the Philsports Arena.

La Salle was first to score, handling Adamson with ease, 76-61, before UE caught University of the Philippines in its worst form this year and ran away with an 87-58 win.

It was the fourth straight victory for La Salle since losing its opening game against arch-rival Ateneo. With its steady climb, La Salle is at 4-1, just behind Ateneo’s 4-0 slate.

“We just made sure that our mindset was to really play hard because we know they are capable of beating any other school here,” said Franz after the victory.

Just a few days ago, Adamson scored the biggest shocker so far this year when it brought down the favored UE squad, 66-64, behind Paul Gonzalgo’s three-pointer.

“After their game against UE, we came prepared for whatever they might throw against us. We’re getting our rhythm. The players are now accepting their respective roles now,” said Franz.

JV Casio once again led La Salle to victory with 19 points.

“He should start calling himself ‘Steady JV.’ He’s the glue of this team. He keeps us together,” said Franz of the defending champions’ main man.

Later on, the Warriors stepped into the court hoping to put their losing game against the Falcons behind. They did, and the result was a huge 29-point victory.

“In our last four games we didn’t have the aggressiveness. Now we showed what UE basketball is. So, we had to start strong and we caught UP by surprise,” said Dindo.

The Warriors worked on their noted press in posting an early 27-12 lead that ballooned to 36-13, 44-13 and 46-20.

Early in the fourth, UE more than doubled UP’s output at 71-33. And shortly after, the Warriors enjoyed their biggest lead of the game at 81-41.

Pacman must be at his best vs Oscar By Abac Cordero Friday, July 25, 2008

Manny Pacquiao vowed to be in his best shape ever if and when he gets to fight Oscar dela Hoya in December.

“If it’s Oscar I’m fighting, training should be at least eight weeks. Even 12 or 13 weeks or three months,” said the boxing superstar Wednesday.

Pacquiao knows too well that a fight with the Golden Boy should be his biggest fight ever in terms of magnitude and purse.

“That’s why I need to be in my best possible shape. Even better than when I fought (Marco Antonio) Barrera the first time,” he said.

Pacquiao, at 29 and after 52 fights (47-3-2), is not getting any younger, and fights as big as Dela Hoya is what he’s looking at right now.

“That’s the fight I want although there’s (Edwin) Valero and Humberto (Soto). But I want Dela Hoya,” he told a group of scribes.

Pacquiao believes that he was at his best when he fought Barrera in November of 2003, and knocked out the Mexican hero in 11 rounds.

But against Dela Hoya, the undisputed king of pay-per-view, Pacquiao said anything less than two months of training won’t be enough.

“I need to be in my best shape ever. He’s taller and bigger. But If I’m in my best shape I think I can handle him,” the Pinoy icon said.

Dela Hoya said his Dec. 6 fight at MGM, whether it’s against Pacquiao, Miguel Cotto, Antonio Margarito, Sergio Mora or Felix Trinidad, will definitely be his last.

Negotiations are ongoing, according to Pacquiao, who flies to the US on July 28 to meet his promoter, Bob Arum, and trainer, Freddie Roach.

He was supposed to leave last night with his legal counsel Jeng Gacal and business manager Eric Pineda but had to call it off.

Pacquiao was invited by President Arroyo to grace her State of the Nation Address on the 27th, and he felt he has to be there.

He is scheduled to be back in Manila in the first week of August so he can fly to Beijing as flag-bearer of the RP Team for the Aug. 8 Olympic opener.

“Bob negotiates but I need to be there, too. I have the final say. I trust them, Bob and Freddie, because they wouldn’t put me in harms’ way.”

Pacquiao said the negotiations will center on the weight to be disputed and of course how the huge pie would be divided between both camps.

“I can face him at 147 pounds. If he agrees at 147 then we can fight. And with the purse, it should be equal,” he said.

Pacquiao, however, did not really say whether the equality means a “fift-fifty” share of all the profits.

“As long as he’s happy and I’m happy it’s okay. Besides, we will both work hard for this fight. Both camps should be happy,” he said.

Reports said Pacquiao could earn something close to $20 million if he fights Dela Hoya, but the boxer refused to confirm this.

“As long as we’re happy, I can fight him.”

Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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