MANILA, MAY 27, 2009
(STAR) By Abac Cordero - Floyd Mayweather Jr. always has a mouthful to say against his past, present and future opponents.

That includes Manny Pacquiao.

The former pound-for-pound champion, who has decided to come out of retirement to face Juan Manuel Marquez on July 18 in Las Vegas, is being considered as a future opponent for the Filipino megastar.

And this early, the undefeated American told the other day that if and when a fight with Pacquiao happens, there’s no way he could lose the fight.

“I respect Pacquiao... he’s been tremendous lately, but there’s no antidote to beat Floyd Mayweather!” said Mayweather during a break in his press tour for the Marquez fight.

While he acknowledged Pacquiao’s accomplishments, Mayweather feels there’s just no comparison between the undefeated champion against one who had gone down a couple of times.

“I take nothing away from Manny Pacquiao. He’s gone out there and done what he’s had to do as a fighter. I respect him for what he’s done and I respect him in the fight game. He’s one of the premiere top fighters in the game, but I’ve never been defeated,” he said.

Not even Pacquiao, Mayweather believes, has what it takes to beat him.

“Nobody has the antidote to beat Floyd Mayweather. As far as I’m concerned there is an antidote to beat Manny Pacquiao because he’s been out-boxed before. Erik Morales out-boxed Manny Pacquiao a few years ago but people seem to forget that.

“I am not saying I don’t respect what Manny Pacquiao has done lately. He’s been tremendous lately. But I’m talking about a whole career. In my career I turned pro and won a title one year later. One year into my career I was a champion, and I’ve been a champion for a decade. Undefeated. I’ve been on top for so long, and for most of that time Manny Pacquiao wasn’t even mentioned.”

Pacquiao, who won his last four fights in different weight classes, will return to the ring on Oct. 17 against an opponent that is yet to be named. The names being mentioned, unoficially and otherwise, are Mayweather, Marquez, Miguel Cotto, Shane Mosley, Edwin Valero and Julio Cesar Chavez.

But an insider said Team Pacquiao is really going after Mayweather, the biggest fight out there.

Law of probabilities SPORTING CHANCE By Joaquin Henson Updated May 27, 2009 12:00 AM

San Miguel Beer and Barangay Ginebra are safely in the semis as outright qualifiers but what are their chances of making it to the finals of the PBA Fiesta Conference?

Let’s review some historical data.

According to PBA chief statistician Fidel Mangonon, only four outright semis qualifiers failed to advance to the finals in the last 18 conferences, meaning 14 made it or a 77.8 percent rate of success. So the chances of both San Miguel and Ginebra moving on to the finals are extremely high, close to an 80 percent probability. Six of the last eight conference champions were outright semis qualifiers.

Only two non-outright semis qualifiers managed to barge into the finals in the last five conferences – No. 3 Ginebra eventually capturing the 2008 Fiesta Conference title and No. 4 Talk ‘N’ Text finishing second in the 2007 Fiesta Conference.

The outright semis qualifiers that didn’t advance to the finals in the last 18 conferences were No. 2 Red Bull in the 2008 Fiesta Conference (swept by Ginebra in the semis), No. 1 Red Bull in the 2007 Fiesta Conference (lost to Talk ‘N’ Text, 4-2, in the semis), No. 2 Ginebra in the 2005-06 Fiesta Conference (lost to No. 3 Red Bull, 4-3, in the semis) and No. 2 San Miguel Beer in the 2006 Philippine Cup (lost to No. 3 Red Bull, 4-3, in the semis on a Junthy Valenzuela buzzer-beater in an 86-84 decision in Game 7).

Notice that San Miguel and Ginebra were previously eliminated in the semis despite being outright qualifiers – by the same coach Yeng Guiao of Red Bull, now with Burger King. So that bit of history doesn’t bode well for the Beermen and Kings.

The last time San Miguel and Ginebra faced off in the finals was in the 2006-07 Philippine Cup where the Kings recovered from a 0-2 series deficit to win, 4-2. The Beermen were then coached by Chot Reyes, now calling the shots for Talk ‘N’ Text. The Ginebra players who are still wearing Kings uniforms this conference were Jay-Jay Helterbrand, Sunday Salvacion, Ronald Tubid, Eric Menk, Billy Mamaril and Rafi Reavis. For San Miguel, the Beermen then who are still Beermen today were Dondon Hontiveros, Olsen Racela, Dorian Peña, Chris Calaguio, Danny Ildefonso and Wesley Gonzales.

Joseph Uichico made a triumphant debut as Ginebra coach.

If you follow the order of battle, the teams in line to meet San Miguel in the semis are Burger King, Alaska, Sta. Lucia and Coca-Cola while in the Ginebra route are Rain Or Shine, Barako Bull, Purefoods and Talk ‘N’ Text.

The wildcard phase begins today as No. 3 Rain Or Shine, with a twice-to-beat advantage, takes on No. 10 Barako Bull and No. 4 Burger King, also with a twice-to-beat advantage, meets No. 9 Alaska. On Friday, the twinbill features a pair of do-or-dies – No. 5 Sta. Lucia Realty versus No. 8 Coca-Cola and No. 6 Purefoods versus No. 7 Talk ‘N’ Text. If Barako Bull or Alaska or both win today, the clincher or clinchers will be played on Sunday. If Rain Or Shine and Burger King prevail today, the quarterfinals will start on Sunday.

The best-of-three quarterfinal pairings are as follows – Rain Or Shine/Barako Bull winner versus Purefoods/Talk ‘N’ Text winner and Burger King/Alaska winner versus Sta. Lucia/Coca-Cola winner.

To make way for the SEABA Championships in Medan, Indonesia, on June 6-9, the PBA will take a break for a little over a week. The last play date before the Medan tournament is June 3 and the PBA will resume its playoff schedule either on June 12, Friday, or 14, Sunday.

If both quarterfinal series begin this Sunday, they could theoretically end on Wednesday, June 3 with the semis to start either on June 12 or 14.

By the way, PBA operations manager Rickie Santos said yesterday the latest word is only the Philippines, Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore will play in the SEABA Championships. Thailand is not listed as an entry. The top two finishers will represent the Southeast Asian zone in the FIBA-Asia Championships in Tianjin, China, on Aug. 6-16.

In the last PBA conference, the two outright semis qualifiers Alaska and Talk ‘N’ Text advanced to the finals where the Tropang Texters beat the Aces, 4-3.

* * *

SBP executive director Noli Eala announced yesterday that British referee and FIBA official Alan Richardson will arrive here tomorrow as official guest of the SBP Technical Commission. He will work three weeks with the SBP elite referees pool composed of the top Filipino whistle-blowers from different associations. Richardson’s program will include lectures, on-court training and officiating in actual games. He will also conduct three-day clinics every Friday, Saturday and Sunday at the PSC complex in Pasig for three straight weekends starting June 5-7. The sessions will be open to all federation member referees and those who wish to join the SBP.

“The SBP is delighted and grateful to have a respected international instructor involved in our referees development program,” said Eala. “His expertise, experience and knowledge will clearly benefit our local referees in their craft and help the SBP achieve our goals to uplift and standardize the quality of officiating in our country.”

The SBP Technical Commission has created an elite referees pool that is now being used by SBP member leagues such as Liga Pilipinas and Fil-Oil MVP Cup. The pool, which includes nine Filipino FIBA internationally-licensed referees, is slated to be tapped for the coming seasons of the NCAA South and NAASCU.

Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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