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SPORTS NEWS THE PAST WEEKS
(Mini Reads followed by Full Reports below)

ABAP TO RESPECT PACQUIAO's DECISION ON OLYMPIC STINT


MAY 25 --IN THIS EARLIER PHOTO -BOWING OUT IN STYLE Manny Pacquiao celebrates after beating Timothy Bradley via unanimous decision at MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. REM ZAMORA FOR CAFE PURO Whether Manny Pacquiao opts to come out of early retirement and suit up for the Philippine men’s national boxing team or not, the Association of Boxing Alliances of the Philippines (ABAP) assured it won’t stand in the way of whatever the Filipino ring icon’s decision may be. Pacquiao, who retired following his lopsided win over Timothy Bradley last month, only has several days left to ponder over his decision as the deadline for the submission of entries looms. “Sen. Pacquiao has already given so much pride to the Filipino and our country,” said ABAP president Ricky Vargas in a statement. “We, as a people, are grateful. Just his presence watching our boxers fight in the Rio Olympics is already a great honor and an inspiration to our boxers.”  “Not fighting in the Olympics will not tarnish in any way our respect and admiration for Sen. Pacquiao, although he is so much welcome, of course, if he decides to compete,” said Vargas. “We await his decision.” READ MORE...RELATED, Vargas: We’ll respect Manny’s Rio decision...

ALSO: Baldwin ‘anxious’ over incomplete roster as Olympic q’fiers near


MAY 25 -Gilas head coach Tab Baldwin talks to players during Wednesday’s practice.
Gilas Pilipinas is heading into crunch time and with just more than a month before the Fiba Olympic Qualifying Tournament in July, Tab Baldwin and his players have to work on overdrive.Time is of the essence for Baldwin, but the roster he had on Wednesday is still not complete.READ: Abueva ‘didn’t disappoint’ in Gilas return Foreign reinforcement Andray Blatche has yet to arrive and shooter Jeff Chan is still recovering from a groin injury. “It’s an anxious time when you don’t have all your players,” said Baldwin after their practice at Meralco Gym. “As a coach you’re uncomfortable when you don’t have all the players, it’s an environment that’s not conducive to development.” READ: Knee injury forces Lee out of Gilas five A week ago, the Gilas pool was immediately devoid of two players when center Greg Slaughter and wingman Matt Ganuelas-Rosser were cut due to injury. READ MORE...

ALSO: Arum hopes to see 2nd fight


MAY 20 --ARUM
Last week while presiding over a show in Hong Kong, Hall of Fame promoter Bob Arum relayed his desire to speak to retired boxing champion and newly elected Philippine senator Manny Pacquiao about what is left of his boxing future. Already aware that Pacquiao was on his way to earning a Senate seat, Arum told the Bulletin about the possibility of seeing Pacquiao get it on one more time with Floyd Mayweather. Although Arum made it clear that getting it done will be difficult since both are already retired, the Top Rank chief still sounded hopeful that the two could get the chance to make up for the disappointment of their first meeting. “It would also depend on Manny, who says he is retired,” said Arum, noting as well that for a rematch to take place, Mayweather has to reconsider. But yesterday, there was a major breakthrough when Arum and Al Haymon, the chief adviser of Mayweather settled the $100-million federal anti-trust lawsuit filed by Arum last year. Speaking to ESPN.com, Arum said he is not allowed to provide details about the settlement. READ MORE...RELATED,
Arum ponders future without Pacquiao...

ALSO: PH’s gold dream fades as Pacquiao rules out Rio, prioritizes his 'legislative duties'


MAY 27 -Philippine boxing great Manny Pacquiao (front) jogs along the sports complex in General Santos on the southern island of Mindanao . AFP PHOTO / TED ALJIBEmanny
Boxing legend Manny Pacquiao said Friday he would skip the Rio Olympics even if professionals were allowed to compete, knocking out the Philippines’ best chance of winning its first gold medal. Pacquiao, who was this month elected to his nation’s Senate and harbours dreams of becoming president, said he wanted to instead focus on his political career. “I have decided to prioritise my legislative duty as I owe it to the people who voted for me,” the eight-time world champion and national hero said in a text message to AFP. Pacquiao, 37, had previously said his victory over American Timothy Bradley last month would be the final fight of his career so he could pursue his political ambitions. But Pacquiao never fully closed the door on his boxing career, saying he could be tempted out of retirement for a chance at Olympic glory in August or another mega-bucks fight against arch-rival Floyd Mayweather. In a highly controversial move, the International Boxing Association proposed a few months ago allowing professional boxers to compete at the Rio Games, and will put it to a vote at its congress in Lausanne next week. Pacquiao’s American promoter, Bob Arum, was among the many critics of the plan, saying putting amateurs into the ring against seasoned professionals would be “total madness”. But in anticipation of a successful vote, the International Boxing Association had already invited Pacquiao. Pacquiao did not wade into the controversy on Friday, saying only he wanted to be prepared for his new job as a senator starting on June 30. “So I believe I don’t have enough time to prepare (for the Olympics),” Pacquiao said. READ MORE...

ALSO: Pacquiao says he’s always been for Duterte, but made a promise to suppport UNA, Binay
[Why would we focus on parties? What’s important is for us to focus on change. Let’s just support the new administration and its advocacies for change, Pacquiao said. READ: Pacquiao promises Binay: ‘I won’t leave you, Vice’]


MAY 28 -Senator-elect Manny Pacquiao faces the media before playing a basketball game with the allies of presumptive President-elect Rodrigo Duterte. JULLIANE LOVE DE JESUS/INQUIRER.net Pacman has always been in Digong’s corner.
And Manny Pacquiao’s sticking with losing presidential bet Vice President Jejomar Binay until the end of the campaign was merely his obligation to honor his agreement with the defeated presidential candidate. Or so he says. READ: Amid Duterte’s intention to run, Pacquiao sticks with Binay The boxer, who has been recently proclaimed as a winning senatorial candidate, revealed this on Saturday as he went to this city to meet with Duterte and express his support for the new administration which promises a total overhaul of the government system to supposedly improve the lives of Filipinos. “Noon pa man hanggang ngayon ang suporta ko na kay Digong (Even before, I have always been supportive of Digong),” Pacquiao, wearing a basketball uniform, said when asked if he would join the majority bloc in the Senate in favor of the new administration. Before meeting with Duterte, the new Senator-elect challenged Duterte’s running mate Senator Alan Peter Cayetano to a friendly basketball match at the Almendras Gymnasium in Davao City. Asked what he would discuss with now former Davao City Mayor, Pacquiao said: “‘Yung suporta ko para sa mga advocacies niya para sa pagbabago ng bansa ((I will discuss with him) my support for his advocacies to improve the country’s state).” Unaffected by political butterfly tag Saying that being called a political butterfly does not affect him, Pacquiao, who ran for Senator under the opposition party United Nationalist Alliance (UNA), explained why he decided to stay with the Binay party. READ MORE...WATCH VIDEO...


READ FULL MEDIA REPORTS HERE:

ABAP to respect Pacquiao’s decision on Olympic stint


IN THIS PHOTO -BOWING OUT IN STYLE Manny Pacquiao celebrates after beating Timothy Bradley via unanimous decision at MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. REM ZAMORA FOR CAFE PURO

MANILA, MAY 30, 2016 (INQUIRER) By: Mark Giongco @MGiongcoINQ 07:19 PM May 25th, 2016 - Whether Manny Pacquiao opts to come out of early retirement and suit up for the Philippine men’s national boxing team or not, the Association of Boxing Alliances of the Philippines (ABAP) assured it won’t stand in the way of whatever the Filipino ring icon’s decision may be.

Pacquiao, who retired following his lopsided win over Timothy Bradley last month, only has several days left to ponder over his decision as the deadline for the submission of entries looms.

“Sen. Pacquiao has already given so much pride to the Filipino and our country,” said ABAP president Ricky Vargas in a statement. “We, as a people, are grateful. Just his presence watching our boxers fight in the Rio Olympics is already a great honor and an inspiration to our boxers.”

“Not fighting in the Olympics will not tarnish in any way our respect and admiration for Sen. Pacquiao, although he is so much welcome, of course, if he decides to compete,” said Vargas. “We await his decision.”

READ MORE...

If Pacquiao, the newly-elected senator, chooses to wear the Philippine colors, he can compete in the junior welterweight division but will have to go through the Olympic qualifying tournament in Azerbaijan first.

If he stays retired, Vargas said, the eight-division world champion will still be most welcome to as “prized guest” in the Rio Olympics this August.

“He is most welcome if he does decide,” said Vargas. “If not, we invite him to watch our boxers fight in Rio to inspire and cheer them on.”

Talks of the possibility of Pacquiao representing the country arose after AIBA president Dr. Ching-Kuo Wu invited the former welterweight champion to shoot for the Philippines’ first Olympic gold medal during a visit in Doha for the World Championship last October.

The 37-year-old Pacquiao, who expressed interest, didn’t make any commitments with the May polls his top priority at that time. Speculations had died down before resurfacing after the elections.

“But it’s all up to Manny,” said Picson. “He has until Friday and then we’ll proceed from there.”

----------------------------

RELATED FROM PHILSTAR

Vargas: We’ll respect Manny’s Rio decision (The Philippine Star) | Updated May 26, 2016 - 12:00am 1 13 googleplus0 0


Ricky Vargas and Manny Pacquiao

MANILA, Philippines – The Association of Boxing Alliances of the Philippines (ABAP) will respect whatever decision Filipino boxing icon Manny Pacquiao will arrive at as the deadline looms for the submission of entries to the last Olympic qualifier in Baku, Azerbaijan.

“Sen. Pacquiao has already given so much pride to the Filipino and our country,” said ABAP president Ricky Vargas. “We, as a people, are grateful. Just his presence watching our boxers fight in the Rio Olympics is already a great honor and an inspiration to our boxers.”

“Not fighting in the Olympics will not tarnish in any way our respect and admiration for Sen. Pacquiao, although he is so much welcome, of course, if he decides to compete,” said Vargas. “We await his decision.”

Vargas issued the clarification three days before ABAP forwards its official lineup to the Baku organizers, stressing that either inside the ring or out Pacquiao will be a prized guest in Rio de Janeiro this August.

“He is most welcome if he does decide,” said Vargas. “If not, we invite him to watch our boxers fight in Rio to inspire and cheer them on.”

All these talks of the eight-division world champion joining the Philippine team in Rio as a junior welterweight started after AIBA president Dr. Ching-Kuo Wu invited Pacquiao to gun for the country’s first Olympic gold medal during a visit in Doha for the World Championship last October.

Pacquiao expressed interest but did not commit as he set his sights on winning a Senate seat in the May polls.

ABAP executive director Ed Picson said that although a wildcard pass to Rio isn’t totally discounted, it is most likely Pacquiao, if he decides to compete, will have to go through the Azerbaijan Olympic qualifying tournament.

“But it’s all up to Manny,” said Picson. “He has until Friday and then we’ll proceed from there.”


INQUIRER

Baldwin ‘anxious’ over incomplete roster as Olympic q’fiers near By: Bong Lozada @BLozadaINQ INQUIRER.net 08:39 PM May 25th, 2016


Gilas head coach Tab Baldwin talks to players during Wednesday’s practice.

Gilas Pilipinas is heading into crunch time and with just more than a month before the Fiba Olympic Qualifying Tournament in July, Tab Baldwin and his players have to work on overdrive.

Time is of the essence for Baldwin, but the roster he had on Wednesday is still not complete.

READ: Abueva ‘didn’t disappoint’ in Gilas return

Foreign reinforcement Andray Blatche has yet to arrive and shooter Jeff Chan is still recovering from a groin injury.

“It’s an anxious time when you don’t have all your players,” said Baldwin after their practice at Meralco Gym. “As a coach you’re uncomfortable when you don’t have all the players, it’s an environment that’s not conducive to development.”

READ: Knee injury forces Lee out of Gilas five

A week ago, the Gilas pool was immediately devoid of two players when center Greg Slaughter and wingman Matt Ganuelas-Rosser were cut due to injury.

READ MORE...

Paul Lee was the next to go due to recurring knee problems.

Baldwin, though, is making the most of the players who are giving their all since Gilas Pilipinas resumed practice this month.
READ: Baldwin moves past Gilas’ injury woes: ‘It’s reality’

“The guys are doing their job, I was going to say they’re buying in but it’s more than that,” said Baldwin. “I think they bought in from the beginning, they’re understanding more and more what we want and we’re still just working on offense.”

Baldwin added they will have to start learning both offensive and defensive schemes once Blatche joins the team.

READ: Blatche arrival delayed as Gilas resumes practice Wednesday

Blatche is expected to arrive this week and join the training.

“Until we get Andray in and then we’ll start fleshing out the whole system, defense and offense.”


MANILA BULLETIN

Arum hopes to see 2nd fight by Nick Giongco May 20, 2016 (updated) Share0 Tweet0 Share0 Email0 Share7


ARUM

Last week while presiding over a show in Hong Kong, Hall of Fame promoter Bob Arum relayed his desire to speak to retired boxing champion and newly elected Philippine senator Manny Pacquiao about what is left of his boxing future.

Already aware that Pacquiao was on his way to earning a Senate seat, Arum told the Bulletin about the possibility of seeing Pacquiao get it on one more time with Floyd Mayweather.

Although Arum made it clear that getting it done will be difficult since both are already retired, the Top Rank chief still sounded hopeful that the two could get the chance to make up for the disappointment of their first meeting.

“It would also depend on Manny, who says he is retired,” said Arum, noting as well that for a rematch to take place, Mayweather has to reconsider.

But yesterday, there was a major breakthrough when Arum and Al Haymon, the chief adviser of Mayweather settled the $100-million federal anti-trust lawsuit filed by Arum last year.

Speaking to ESPN.com, Arum said he is not allowed to provide details about the settlement.

READ MORE...

“The stipulation of dismissal was filed in federal court in Los Angeles, and it’s a matter of public record,” said Arum.

“We settled, but the terms of the settlement are confidential, and I’m not going to talk about it. I’d be pissed if they said anything about it, and I am not going to,” he said.

Arum likewise stressed that the settlement was not done to help them arrange a rematch between Pacquiao and Mayweather after their record-shattering $600 million super showdown last year.

Recently, Mayweather has floated the idea of facing MMA star Conor McGregor.

Pacquiao, meanwhile, has declared that his focus now is his new role as a lawmaker.

-------------------------------

RELATED FROM MANILA BULLETIN (FLASHBACK TO APRIL 2016)

Arum ponders future without Pacquiao by Nick Giongco April 13, 2016 Share0 Tweet2 Share2 Email0 Share22

Los Angeles — It was business as usual for Bob Arum in his Top Rank office in Las Vegas on Tuesday as the Hall of Fame promoter attended to other urgent things following the hectic schedule the previous week.

With his star boxer Manny Pacquiao declaring that Saturday night’s rousing victory over Tim Bradley was his final fight, the 84-year-old Arum knows from his half-century of promoting how things are in boxing.

But the retirement of Pacquiao, who was a dominant force over the last 10 years, will be hard to accept, the Filipino, after all, kept the cash register ringing.

Sure, the financial windfall went both ways. Pacquiao attained riches unheard of in Philippine sports history.

The icing on the cake, of course, was the mega fight with Floyd Mayweather Jr. last May where Pacquiao reportedly brought home more than $200 million.

“As far as I’m concerned he’s retired,” said Arum, who began promoting Pacquiao in 2004.

For both Pacquiao and Arum, the river of money has dried up.

“You gotta move on,” Arum said, unsure whether the 37-year-old box-office king will have a change of heart.

“Let me know when he changes his mind,” Arum said, his voice taking a high pitch.

Now that Pacquiao is retired, Arum will focus on the stars on the rise and there is plenty of promise with somebody like Mexican Oscar Valdez, who put on quite a show in the undercard, leading the charge.

But deep in his heart, Arum knows he won’t see another Pacquiao ever again.

Meanwhile, a motorcade is being arranged when Pacquiao arrives in Manila Thursday morning from Los Angeles and it’ll likely be the last assuming he decides to stay retired.

On Friday, Pacquiao will immediately buckle down to work to catch up on his senatorial bid, said the star fighter’s wife Jinkee.

“Simula na ng matinding (campaign) schedule,” said Jinkee, who was joined at the Tom Bradley International lounge by her five kids.


MANILA BULLETIN

PH’s gold dream fades as Pacquiao rules out Rio by AFP May 27, 2016 (updated) Share78 Tweet0 Share1 Email1 Share102


Philippine boxing great Manny Pacquiao (front) jogs along the sports complex in General Santos on the southern island of Mindanao . AFP PHOTO / TED ALJIBEmanny

Manila, Philippines – Boxing legend Manny Pacquiao said Friday he would skip the Rio Olympics even if professionals were allowed to compete, knocking out the Philippines’ best chance of winning its first gold medal.

Pacquiao, who was this month elected to his nation’s Senate and harbours dreams of becoming president, said he wanted to instead focus on his political career.

“I have decided to prioritise my legislative duty as I owe it to the people who voted for me,” the eight-time world champion and national hero said in a text message to AFP.

Pacquiao, 37, had previously said his victory over American Timothy Bradley last month would be the final fight of his career so he could pursue his political ambitions.

But Pacquiao never fully closed the door on his boxing career, saying he could be tempted out of retirement for a chance at Olympic glory in August or another mega-bucks fight against arch-rival Floyd Mayweather.

In a highly controversial move, the International Boxing Association proposed a few months ago allowing professional boxers to compete at the Rio Games, and will put it to a vote at its congress in Lausanne next week.

Pacquiao’s American promoter, Bob Arum, was among the many critics of the plan, saying putting amateurs into the ring against seasoned professionals would be “total madness”.

But in anticipation of a successful vote, the International Boxing Association had already invited Pacquiao.

Pacquiao did not wade into the controversy on Friday, saying only he wanted to be prepared for his new job as a senator starting on June 30.

“So I believe I don’t have enough time to prepare (for the Olympics),” Pacquiao said.

READ MORE...

The Philippines is an Olympics minnow, having only won nine bronze and silver medals since debuting at the 1924 Paris Games. Five of those medals were in boxing.

Pacquiao has never competed in the Olympics, although he was the country’s flag-bearer at the 2008 Beijing Games.

Pacquiao had told sporting officials he hoped to compete in Rio as a way of giving back to the Philippines, Association of Boxing Alliances of the Philippines executive director Ed Picson told AFP.

However, he may have been concerned about criticism over his poor attendance record in Congress, according to Picson. Pacquiao served two three-year stints as a congressman from 2010, but barely turned up to sessions as he pursued his boxing career.

“I expected he might have second thoughts because he received brickbats about being absent in Congress and that’s a fresh wound. It was used against him during the campaign and he’s probably still smarting about it,” Picson said.

Just 11 Filipino athletes have so far qualified for Rio, two of whom are boxers.


INQUIRER

From Binay’s slate, Pacquiao says he’s always been for Duterte By: Julliane Love De Jesus
@JLDejesusINQ INQUIRER.net 03:50 PM May 28th, 2016

DAVAO CITY—Pacman has always been in Digong’s corner.

And Manny Pacquiao’s sticking with losing presidential bet Vice President Jejomar Binay until the end of the campaign was merely his obligation to honor his agreement with the defeated presidential candidate.

Or so he says.

READ: Amid Duterte’s intention to run, Pacquiao sticks with Binay

The boxer, who has been recently proclaimed as a winning senatorial candidate, revealed this on Saturday as he went to this city to meet with Duterte and express his support for the new administration which promises a total overhaul of the government system to supposedly improve the lives of Filipinos.

“Noon pa man hanggang ngayon ang suporta ko na kay Digong (Even before, I have always been supportive of Digong),” Pacquiao, wearing a basketball uniform, said when asked if he would join the majority bloc in the Senate in favor of the new administration.

Before meeting with Duterte, the new Senator-elect challenged Duterte’s running mate Senator Alan Peter Cayetano to a friendly basketball match at the Almendras Gymnasium in Davao City.

Asked what he would discuss with now former Davao City Mayor, Pacquiao said: “‘Yung suporta ko para sa mga advocacies niya para sa pagbabago ng bansa ((I will discuss with him) my support for his advocacies to improve the country’s state).”

Unaffected by political butterfly tag

Saying that being called a political butterfly does not affect him, Pacquiao, who ran for Senator under the opposition party United Nationalist Alliance (UNA), explained why he decided to stay with the Binay party.

READ MORE...

“Eh di lumipat na sana ako noon? Pinakita ko lang sa kanila ‘yung pagiging firm ko sa desisyon ko, na kapag nag-desisyon ka panindigan mo (Then I should have changed allegiances then? I just proved to them that I was firm with my decision, that I was going to stand by my decision),” he said.

READ: Pacquiao promises Binay: ‘I won’t leave you, Vice’

The outgoing Sarangani lawmaker also recalled the time when Duterte was still hesitating to join the presidential derby last year.

Pacquiao said he was one of those who fervently tried to convince the mayor to run for the highest post in the land.

“Bago pa man ang filing, isa ako sa nag-encourage kay Mayor na tumakbo. Up to the last minute, isa ako sa mga nagencourage na tumakbo pero hindi siya tumakbo,” he said.

(Even before the filing, I was one of those who encouraged Mayor to run. Up to the last minute, I was still encouraging him, but he did not file his candidacy.)

 

After Duterte decided not to file a certificate of candidacy before the Commission on Elections (Comelec) in October, Pacquiao said he then spoke with Binay and eventually agreed to join Binay’s senatorial slate.

“After a month, nag-decide siya (Duterte) na tumakbo kaso naka-commit na ako. Nakakahiya naman na magbago ako ng desisyon. ‘Yon talaga ang story. Ang ginagawa ko, pinapakita ko na kapag committed ka na sa isang tao, committed ka na, ‘wag ka nang lumipat,” Pacquiao explained.

(After a month, he decided to run, but I was already committed (to Binay). It would have been embarrassing for me to change my decision. That was the true story. What I did was show that if you are already committed to one person, you cannot change sides.)

In November, Duterte finally decided to run for presidency.

‘Binay supports Duterte too’

Did he have a formal parting of ways with Binay?

Pacquiao answered in the affirmative and added that even Binay is supportive of Duterte and the advocacies of his administration.

It may be recalled that Binay was the last presidential candidate who conceded defeat to Duterte, who won the race by a landslide win.

While Pacquiao reiterated that he was originally affiliated with Duterte’s party PDP-Laban before joining Binay’s United Nationalist Alliance (UNA) party, he said that newly-elected officials should not focus on political parties anymore.

He continued: “Bakit isipin natin ‘yung partido-partido? Ang importante isipin natin ang pagbabago. Suportahan natin ang bagong administrasyon at lahat ng advocacies niya para sa pagbabago.”

(Why would we focus on parties? What’s important is for us to focus on change. Let’s just support the new administration and its advocacies for change.) IDL


Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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