MANILA, JUNE 25, 2009
(STAR) By Abac Cordero - It seems that Manny Pacquiao, Freddie Roach and Bob Arum are not on the same page.

A day after Pacquiao’s lawyer, Franklin Gacal, said Miguel Cotto should go lower than 144 lb to earn a shot at the Pinoy icon, Roach, the trainer, said he’s fine with 145, and added that he doesn’t even care if the champion from Puerto Rico goes way, way beyond that.

“Arum called me and I told him I don’t have any problems with the fight being at 145 pounds. In fact I don’t care if Cotto wants to weigh 200 pounds,” Roach was quoted in an article that came out of yesterday.

Weeks back it was Roach who said they’d only fight Cotto if he goes down to 142. But the 28-year-old WBO welterweight champion, Arum’s own boxer and personal choice as Pacquiao’s next opponent, said he can’t go lower than 145.

“Baka hindi nag-uusap-usap (Maybe they’re not communicating),” said a Team Pacquiao member in explaining why different statements keep coming up in different interviews with different media outlets.

“It doesn’t matter if it takes place at 145 pounds. That was the weight we had said right from the start. I will go up in weight by eight to 10 pounds (by fight night). We are waiting for confirmation,” Cotto told Mark Vester. “Nothing impresses me. He (Pacquiao) has two arms and so do I. Things in life happen when they have to happen.”

Gacal also said last Monday that Pacquiao would be happy with a 65/35 sharing in his favor, and again just the other day, the three-time Trainer of the Year said Pacquiao should get no less than 70/30 if it’s Cotto.

Still, Arum said everything’s on track. He met with Pacquiao’s emissary, Mike Koncz, in Las Vegas last Sunday, and presented his fight proposal for Pacquiao to review, and hopefully, sign.

“We’re pretty well there. I’ll get it down next week. That’s my goal,” Arum told USA Today.

“If there’s a need to make a counter-proposal, then we will prepare one, but otherwise, it means it’s shoot,” Gacal told scribes in Manila. He also added that Pacquiao wants to fight on Oct. 17 even if Arum said it’s Nov. 14.

“That’s what I want – to fight in October,” said Pacquiao. “They gave me the original date of October 3 and I had it moved to October 17.”

But Arum had moved it to Nov. 14, saying October is the month for the World Series, and that moving the fight one month later would give Cotto ample time to heal the cut he suffered against Josh Clottey two weeks ago.

“We decided we didn’t want to call Manny to discuss it on the phone because Manny tends to be distracted,” Arum also told USA Today.

Kings make it best-of-3


AFTER three gruelling games with Rain or Shine, Ginebra has practically ran out of options.

So it went back to the basics, like leaning on a tested leader and playing some good, solid defense.

Jayjay Helterbrand scattered 17 of his 21 points in the second half and the defending champion Kings held the Elasto Painters to a conference-low output for an 86-70 win last night that evened up their Motolite PBA Fiesta Conference semifinals duel 2-2 at the Araneta Coliseum.

Helterbrand catching fire and providing the spark boosted Ginebra no end as it went on to lead by as much as 66-41 in the third period before fending off all of the Painters’ futile attempts at comebacks the rest of the way, reducing the series to a best-of-three affair.

For coach Jong Uichico, it took a drastic awakening by his charges before they could bounce back from an 88-94 loss in Game 3 last Sunday and avoid the dire consequences of a 1-3 deficit in the best-of-seven affair.

"We now know things won’t be as easy as we thought it would be," he said. "They also know we’ve got to get our acts together because Rain or Shine is really a tough team and they just keep going after you.

"It’s good we were able to survive this game. It would have been very difficult to come back had we lost again."

His team bringing hunger and desire to the table also helped a lot, added Uchico.

"In the first three games parang ganu’n lumalabas, na hungrier sila kaysa sa amin," noted Uichico.

"So I posed the question to my players: ‘What’s going to bring us back into the fight?’ All your X’s and O’s are out. It will just be the will of the player. Who wants it more?"

Ronald Tubid added 14 points before an early ejection and Sunday Salvacion chipped in eight points during Ginebra’s mighty third quarter assault, helping the team make up for David Noel’s 10-point outing. Noel added 10 points and six assists, however.

Jai Lewis had game-highs of 23 points and 15 rebounds, but no other Elasto Painter scored in double figures as the team struggled as a whole.

For a team averaging 72 percent from the stripe in the first three games of the semis, Rain or Shine practically shot itself on the foot by making just 13 of 32 total free throw attempts.

A 28-of-92 shooting (30.4 percent) from the field, a very far cry from their 41 percent semis average also did the Elasto Painters in, offsetting their 62-57 advantage off the boards

Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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