MANILA, AUGUST 13, 2011 (INQUIRER) By Beth Celis - Organizers of the World Pool Masters, the biggest and most important tournament in the sport where the Philippines’ Dennis Orcollo is the defending champion, have plans of inviting Manny Pacquiao and Juan Manuel Marquez to the finals of the event which will be held here on Sept. 3 to 5. Both Pacquiao and Marquez are known billiards afficionados.

The World Pool Masters will coincide with the Pacquiao-Marquez World Press Tour, which kicks off in Manila on Sept. 3 and will take the two world boxing champions to New York, Los Angeles and Mexico. Speaking of the Trilogy Tour, I was informed that the second day of the activities here will have a religious flavor.

That’s because Sept. 4 is a Sunday and being Catholics both, Pacquiao and Marquez will hear Mass and receive communion together in a Manila church.

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On the first day of the promo tour, the protagonists will attend a press conference where local and international media are expected to attend. From there, the fighters will proceed to the Quirino Grandstand for the program proper, which will include cultural entertainment indigenous to the Philippines and Mexico, among others. The atmosphere at the venue is expected to be colorful, festive and upbeat. Marquez is reportedly bringing an authentic mariachi band to perform during the program.

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Unlike the previous years when national track and field president Go Teng Kok celebrated his birthday in grand fashion at his Rizal Memorial office on Adriatico Street in Manila—he would invite all the people in the building to his day-long party, or if they couldn’t come, would send platefuls of lechon and pancit canton to their offices—he observed his birthday this year without much fanfare. “I invited only my players, coaches and two secretary generals to dinner at a seaside restaurant along Macapagal Avenue,” Go said. “Surprisingly, we had so much fun.” So what was his wish when he blew out all the 68 candles on his huge, orange chiffon birthday cake last July 30? More gold medals in this year’s Southeast Asian Games? Go said he expected nine gold medals in Indonesia, give or take another medal or two. At this stage, Go told scribes, who were with him recently at the Hermes Sports Bar owned by Perry Mariano on West Avenue, that he’s not yet ready to reveal the names of the athletes who will compete in the SEA Games.

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“My wish is to get the International Olympic Committee to investigate the anomalies commited by POC officials which I have unearthed and which I have listed down in a four-page letter I am sending to Mr. Jacques Rogge [ president of the Internatioanl Olympic Committee],” Go said. The list, Go said, includes charges of plunder filed against POC officials with the Office of the Ombudsman. Go said the IOC’s Philippine representative, Frank Elizalde, had warned him that Rogge will not give the letter even a second look and that, in all probability, will pass it on to him (Frank) for dispensation, “because this is an internal matter.” Nonetheless, Go is determined to send the letter to Rogge, regardless of any action the IOC president might take. “I am sending the letter this Thursday,” he said.

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During the same media gathering at Hermes, Snow Badua of NBN-4 disclosed that Air2l will be presenting its two teams to the public possibly by next week, Next season, Bert Lina’s daughter Sheila will be directly involved with one of the teams, Snow said, possibly the original Air21 team, which could be renamed to Barako Bull. Snow said we will probably know by next week, the complete lineups of each team. In Huddle Beth Celis


MANILA — Pound-for-pound king Manny Pacquiao is confident he will face Floyd Mayweather Jr. sometime next year—even if the latest condition set by the undefeated American looks like yet another reason to dodge the Filipino ring icon.

“I will fight Mayweather next year,” said the Sarangani congressman, who plans to fight two or three more times before hanging up his gloves.

Pacquiao made the statement in an interview with the Inquirer and Australia’s KO Boxing television host and promoter Peter Maniatis at the Sofitel Hotel on Thursday evening.

Pacquiao, who was special guest and inducting officer at a Manila Rotary Club District 101 event where Liza Elorde was installed as president, is confident his promoter, Top Rank chief bob Arum, can successfully negotiate an eagerly awaited megabuck fight between two of the sport’s biggest stars.

Previous negotiations had collapsed over the insistence of the Mayweather camp on random, Olympic-style drug protocols.

But Pacquiao and Arum have now made public statements that they will agree to the tests demanded by the Mayweather camp, eliminating what has been the only stumbling block to the fight.

Or so, Team Pacquiao thought.

Arum, however, revealed that Team Mayweather has set yet another condition for the fight to push through.

“Mayweather’s crazy father (Floyd Sr.) says ‘yes’ but he (Pacquiao) is not allowed to train in the Philippines. This is bizarre,” Arum said.

“We are certainly not the impediment for that fight to happen,” Arum had earlier told the Inquirer. “We will do whatever we can to make that fight happen. But you can’t chase this guy because if you do, you’ll accomplish nothing.”

Pacquiao could be done with the sport in the next two years and has set his sights on concentrating on his duties as a congressman.

Pacquiao said he expects another difficult fight in his trilogy with Juan Manuel Marquez on Nov. 12 in Las Vegas.

Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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