(STAR) By Abac Cordero - Day after day, Manny Pacquiao continued to impress his chief trainer Freddie Roach as they stepped up the preparations for the big showdown against WBA welterweight champion Miguel Cotto of Puerto Rico.

“Freddie Roach is not only pleased. He’s amazed at how the camp is going,” said Pacquiao’s Canadian adviser, Mike Koncz, yesterday after another impressive workout at the Shape Up Gym in Baguio City.

Some people were let into the gym but under certain restrictions. Due to the infux of fans and media, Team Pacquiao had to close the doors to the gym the other day, but yesterday they were a little generous.

“It was a small crowd and it was a very nice crowd. Training went very well,” said Koncz, adding that Roach, who came in last Tuesday, almost can’t believe what he’s seeing in Pacquiao who’s moving like he’s been at the gym for a month now.

Koncz said no decision yet has been made whether training in the country’s summer capital would run for four weeks or even more. If it goes five weeks, then Pacquiao may skip Los Angeles and head directly to Las Vegas.

“We’re taking it one week at a time. No decision yet,” said Koncz, who earlier discussed the possibility of training five weeks in Baguio, and straight to Las Vegas for the last three weeks before the fight.

“If all goes well, then we’re staying in Baguio and skip Los Angeles totally. Besides we’re gonna lose a couple of days if we leave Baguio after four weeks, train three weeks in LA and do another week in Las Vegas,” he said.

After the first full week of training, Pacquiao takes a rest today. He might run in the morning depending on the weather but will stay away from the gym.

Koncz said Pacquiao has also decided to skip the trip to Manila for him to be at the wake of his former business manager, Rod Nazario, who died three days ago after a yearlong battle with lung cancer.

“The decision was made the other day. For a number of reasons, he decided not to come to Manila anymore, and focus on his training. We’re sure the Nazario family would understand,” said Koncz.

The very bad weather should also keep Pacquiao up in Baguio since it would be quite dangerous for him to take a private plane out or take the five-hour trip by land.

Meanwhile, HBO has announced that the Floyd Mayweather Jr.-Juan Manuel Marquez fight at the MGM Grand last Sunday drew a remarkable pay-per-view sales of one million.

The number exceeded expectations of PPV sales of 600,000 to 700,000 and turned in sales of $52 million. It also meant that Mayweather, who came out of retirement to beat Marquez, remains a very hot commodity.

Pacquiao’s fight with Oscar dela Hoya last December drew 1.25 million buys and the one against Ricky Hatton last May came in with 900,000 hits.

“I am truly humbled by the numbers, and I appreciate all of the sports fans who either came to the fight or bought it on pay-per-view. It felt great to be back in the ring and next time I will be even better,” said Mayweather in an report.

Mayweather still holds of the record PPV sales of 2.44 million buys in his 2005 split decision victory over Dela Hoya, and all these numbers he could use if ever he lands on the negotiating table with Pacquiao next year.

Chot is PBAPC coach of year By Nelson Beltran (The Philippine Star) Updated September 27, 2009 12:00 AM


MANILA, Philippines - Talk n Text coach Chot Reyes takes center stage the Coach of the Year awardee in the 2009 PBA Press Corps Annual Awards set at 7:30 p.m. today at The Alegria of the Waterfront Manila Pavilion.

Reyes, who steered the TnT Tropang Texters to the Philippine Cup championship in his second season with the team, will be the recipient of the prestigious Virgilio

“Baby” Dalupan for the third time in seven years and fourth overall since the initial staging of the PBAPC Awards in 1993.

The award puts Reyes above his peers – Ginebra’s Jong Uichico, Alaska’s Tim Cone and Purefoods’ Ryan Reyes, who each won the Dalupan Trophy twice.

San Miguel Corp. chairman Eduardo “Danding” Cojuangco Jr. is the Executive of the Year winner in the awards rites sponsored by Smart Sports, San Miguel Corp., Coca-Cola and Pagcor Sports. The event is also backed by Burger King, Sta.Lucia Realty, Alaska, Rain or Shine, Barako Bull and Harbour Centre.

Cojuangco is the runaway winner of the award, getting the PBAPC’s votes for the exploits of his teams and his admirable and sportsmanlike position leading to the inclusion of Fil-Am player Gabe Norwood in the pro draft.

Norwood was drafted by Rain or Shine as the top pick and subsequently became the Rookie of the Year.

The versatile Fil-Am player also takes the spotlight in the PBAPC Awards, leading the All-Rookie Team, which includes Jared Dillinger, Sol Mercado, Bonbon Custodio and Larry Rodriguez.

Others to be feted are Wynne Arboleda, Jason Castro, Mike Cortez, Arwind Santos, Jimmy Alapag and Throngy Aldaba.

Santos, winner of the Defensive Player of the Year award in 2008, ended up tied with Alapag as Order of Merit winners in PBAPC’s Player of the Week program. They won the Player of the Week honors thrice each and will share the trophy presented by Accel.

Arboleda is the Best Defensive Player for the second time in the last three years, Castro is Mr. Quality Minutes, Cortez is the Comeback Player of the Year and Aldaba the Referee of the Year.

Dalupan has confirmed his attendance to personally award the Dalupan Trophy to the Coach of the Year. The other awardees will receive elegantly-crafted trophies from Angel Zamora and Sons.

PBA commissioner Sonny Barrios, board chairman Lito Alvarez and other past and present PBA officials are expected to grace the affair to be hosted by veteran sportscasters Ed Picson and Patricia Bermudez-Hizon.

Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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