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

DUTERTE HIKES UP PH OLYMPIANS ALLOWANCE FROM $1K TO $3K
[RELATED: Gold medals in Rio are barely gold at all. Here's why]


JULY 18 -President Rodrigo Duterte joins the Philippine delegation to the 2016 Olympic Games as they pose with a clenched fist before members of the media during a courtesy call, Monday afternoon. | Office of the President via Twitter
President Rodrigo Duterte has showed another gesture to the sporting realm, personally leading the send-off of the Filipino contingent for next month's Olympic Games. Sporting an identical jacket, Duterte promised a $3,000 allowance for the athletes – an increase from the usual $1,000 – during a courtesy call at the Malacanang Palace, Monday. Converted, the stipend amounts P140,158.50. Coaches, on the other hand, were guaranteed of a $5,000 or P233,597.50. Comprising the Philippine delegation to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil are Eric Shawn Cray (men's 400M hurdles), Mary Joy Tabal (women's marathon), Marestella Torres (long jump), Charly Suarez (men's boxing), Rogen Ladon (men's boxing), Miguel Tabuena (golf), Ian Lariba (women's table tennis), Kirstie Alora (women's tae kwon do), Hidilyn Diaz and Nestor Colonia (weightlifting). READ MORE...RELATED, Gold medals in Rio are barely gold at all. Here's why...

ALSO: Rody names Uy adviser on sports


JULY 19 -Dennis Uy
Phoenix Petroleum president and chief executive officer Dennis Uy is another PBA personality to serve in President Duterte’s administration after his appointment as presidential adviser on sports.
Uy, team owner of the Phoenix Fuel Masters, had his first appearance as government sports official in the sendoff ceremony for Rio Olympic-bound Philippine athletes in Malacañang Palace yesterday. “We take pride and honor on the appointment of one of our team owners to such position giving him the opportunity to further push the development of sports for the youth,” said PBA commissioner Chito Narvasa. “It speaks highly of Mr. Dennis Uy and his commitment to sports,” Narvasa added. “It was hard to pass upon an opportunity to help in the vision of the President for sports and our athletes,” said Uy. “More than anything else, it is for love of country, support for our athletes and upliftment of our sports programs.” Earlier, GlobalPort team owner Mikee Romero and Mahindra team manager Eric Pineda won seats in Congress as the top two nominees of party list 1-Pacman. Another PBA personality, four-time PBA MVP awardee Ramon Fernandez, was appointed to the five-man board of the Philippine Sports Commission. Fernandez serves as one of four commissioners under returning PSC chairman Butch Ramirez. READ MORE...

ALSO Arum: Pacquiao booked to fight Nov. 5 in Las Vegas


JULY 21 -Manny Pacquiao fighting Floyd Mayweather Jr. | File
MANILA, Philippines – Top Rank Inc. chief Bob Arum has confirmed that Manny Pacquiao will fight again on November 5 in Las Vegas. The STAR’s Abac Cordero spoke to Arum, who said he has booked the Thomas and Mack Center at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas for Pacquiao’s comeback fight. Arum says, "Yes." @PhilippineStar 9:44 PM - 19 Jul 2016 6 6 Retweets 1 1 like No opponent has been mentioned yet, although Arum said the winner of the light welterweight clash between Terence Crawford and Viktor Postol this Sunday will be the frontrunner. Jessie Vargas, another Top Rank fighter, is also on the shortlist. Pacquiao previously said he will prioritize his Senate duties over boxing. THE FULL REPORT. READ TWEET...

ALSO By Bill Velasco: The grand plan


JULY 23 -This writer received several animated messages from readers of The STAR in response to our column on Sen. Manny Pacquiao’s decision to get back into the ring. Some were questioning why, to them, it appeared this writer was defending or, at the very least, condoning his decision. A few were asking if there were any rules or laws preventing him from fighting again, and a few were vehemently against it. Overall, the tone was that the issue merits more discussion.
Firstly, as a former Senate correspondent, I understand that there are really no rules preventing an elected senator from pursuing his or her previous profession, more so if it was already in existence long before they sought public office. It is almost unheard of for a congressman or senator to drop all sources of livelihood once elected, unless it may somehow prevent the fulfillment of their duties as an elected official. In fact, it is often the reverse. If an elected official is appointed to the Cabinet, for example, he or she must leave the chamber, as when Sen. Teofisto Guingona was named vice-president. We have had senators who still work even when physically absent due to illness or imprisonment. We have also had senators who were physically absent during crucial committee votes, so as not to incriminate a member of the same political party. Absence is also a card to be played. Some senators travel with the President, particularly when foreign investment is concerned. Some are absent from sessions when there is a calamity in their home province. There are always valid reasons to miss sessions. But as the saying goes, all excuses are equal. It’s not so much the actual fighting that has the potential to disrupt Sen. Pacquiao’s duties in the Senate so much as the training, which takes months of singular focus. We can’t assume that he will be too tired to attend Senate sessions while he is training, but we can wonder if his mind will be on the matters being discussed. If he is given chairmanship of any committees, he has the latitude to schedule hearings at his convenience. Most of the work of legislation is research and communication with constituencies, which is not necessarily something the senator needs to be physically present to do. In other words, there is a way to get the work done even when he is not around for short periods of time. READ MORE...

ALSO: Crawford-Postol winner could top Pacquiao sweepstakes
[RELATED; Crawford dominates Postol, makes case for Pacquiao fight]


JULY 23 -Terence Crawford and Viktor Postol face off after the official weigh-in ceremony. | Top Rank photo
LAS VEGAS — It's a fight few people will see, which says nothing about the talents of Terence Crawford and Viktor Postol. Both are 140-pound champions. Both have been in 28 pro fights and won every one of them. And both could be in line for a nice payday against Manny Pacquiao should they win Saturday night. That would ordinarily make their super lightweight showdown a fight boxing fans don't want to miss. This being boxing, though, a lot of fans figure to do just that. A fight that should expose two talented fighters to a bigger audience won't get wide notice because fans will have to pay $49.95 to see it. Promoter Bob Arum couldn't sell it to HBO, so it will be on pay-per-view and even Arum doesn't expect many people to buy it. The crowd at the MGM Grand doesn't figure to be very big, either, though both fighters view this fight as their biggest yet. "If I'm going to solidify my position as the new face of boxing it starts by unifying the 140-pound division," Crawford said. The lack of attention aside, the fight could help Crawford do just. A win could get him a match with Pacquiao, who has set a Nov. 5 date for his return but has yet to select an opponent. Postol could be that opponent, too, and he already has some experience against Pacquiao, sparring with him in the Philippines and at trainer Freddie Roach's gym in Hollywood. Postol is coming off an upset stoppage of Lucas Matthysse that gave him a piece of the 140-pound title, and Roach is hoping for big things from the native of Ukraine who now lives in Los Angeles. READ MORE...RELATED,
Crawford dominates Postol, makes case for Pacquiao fight...


READ FULL MEDIA REPORTS HERE:

Duterte hikes PH Olympians’ allowance from $1K to $3K


President Rodrigo Duterte joins the Philippine delegation to the 2016 Olympic Games as they pose with a clenched fist before members of the media during a courtesy call, Monday afternoon. | Office of the President via Twitter

MANILA, JULY 25, 2016 (PHILSTAR)  By Denison Rey A. Dalupang July 18, 2016 - 4:00pm - President Rodrigo Duterte has showed another gesture to the sporting realm, personally leading the send-off of the Filipino contingent for next month's Olympic Games.

Sporting an identical jacket, Duterte promised a $3,000 allowance for the athletes – an increase from the usual $1,000 – during a courtesy call at the Malacanang Palace, Monday. Converted, the stipend amounts P140,158.50.

Coaches, on the other hand, were guaranteed of a $5,000 or P233,597.50.

Comprising the Philippine delegation to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil are Eric Shawn Cray (men's 400M hurdles), Mary Joy Tabal (women's marathon), Marestella Torres (long jump), Charly Suarez (men's boxing), Rogen Ladon (men's boxing), Miguel Tabuena (golf), Ian Lariba (women's table tennis), Kirstie Alora (women's tae kwon do), Hidilyn Diaz and Nestor Colonia (weightlifting).

READ MORE...

Torres is the most experienced in the bunch, having been able to attend two Olympic Games prior this year's iteration.

Duterte even jested to give the athletes an island if they emerge victorious from the games.

The quadrennial event is one of the biggest multi-sporting event. It draws inspiration from the Olympic Games held in the ancient city of Olympia in Greece.

This year's Olympics will kick off Friday, August 5 and will wrap up on Sunday, August 21.

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

RELATED FROM PHILSTAR

Gold medals in Rio are barely gold at all. Here's why By Tim Reynolds (Associated Press) | Updated July 21, 2016 - 2:50pm 23 268 googleplus0 0


A Rio 2016 Olympic gold medal is displayed at the Olympic Park Wednesday, July 20, 2016, in Rio de Janeiro (Thursday in Manila). There's no such thing as a gold medal, not at these upcoming Rio Olympics, and really, not ever. Second-place finishers get silver medals and oddly enough, so do the winners, albeit theirs are plated in a tiny amount of gold. The medals are largely made with recycled materials. | AP Photo/David J. Phillip

Gold medals are the ultimate prize in Olympic sport.

They're also a misnomer.

There's no such thing as a "gold" medal, not at these upcoming Rio Olympics — and really, not ever. Second-place finishers get silver medals and oddly enough, so do the winners, albeit theirs are plated in a tiny amount of gold.

That factoid caught even some of those who were put in charge of making the 5,000 or so medals needed for these Rio Games by surprise.

"Our operators and some of our developers had the same question," said Victor Hugo Berbert, who managed the medal-making process and was part of a team of about 100 people at the Brazilian Mint who were part of the project. "We can produce medals out of pure gold. But we know how expensive they are. So gold medals ... are not exactly pure gold."

They're barely gold at all.

The medals given to champions at these Olympics will weigh just over a pound, so to make them entirely from gold would have cost about $23,500 in material, each. By taking the silver medals and then plating them in a tiny amount of Brazilian gold, the actual value of the metal inside those metals is about $600.

Not that the athletes will mind.

"The gold medal," hockey legend Wayne Gretzky famously said at the Salt Lake Olympics in 2002 when he was executive director of the gold-winning Canadian team, "is everything."

Though there are a number of exceptions, it's not uncommon for the medal-making process to fall to the host country's national mint. That was the case this year, with Berbert saying it took about two years for the entire process to play itself out — starting with discussions on design with the host organizing committee, sketches, ideas, budgeting and ultimately approval from the International Olympic Committee.

The medals for the Olympics are done. Work is ongoing on the medals for the Paralympics, which follow in Brazil later this summer.

"We needed to develop the whole concept of the medal. We worked a lot with the committee about the art, about the design, about the materials," Berbert said. "We tried to catch what they wanted to show in a Olympic medal and we took our experience, our know-how in producing medals and turn that into what they want. The art came from the committee, but our team needed to sculpt them."

The gold is certified to have a certain amount of purity and is considered very high quality. The silver and "bronze" medals (and by the way, they're not really bronze) are largely made from recycled materials, which is a source of pride for the team that Berbert represents. Sustainability, he said, was an important goal for the team.

The silver for both the first- and second-place medals was culled in part from mirrors and plates. The bronze medals are made in part from the same copper that goes into Brazilian coin, so the mint had plenty of that to use in the Olympic project. About 40 percent of what was needed was already on hand when the process started.

Even some of the plastic used in the ribbons that will be attached to the medals is recycled.

"It's something we dreamed of," Berbert said. "When they called us, we adored the project. We really wanted to do this thing."

The other obvious advantage of using the mint to make the medals is security. And every precaution is being taken to ensure that nothing goes wrong now.

The mint will store the medals and basically deliver them to the organizing committee on a day-to-day basis — the medals that will be awarded on a given day will be kept safe as can be until needed.

"We have special dates with the committee where they want them delivered," Berbert said. "There are logistics on how to transfer them to them ... until then, we keep the medals in a safe room. But all the Olympic medals are packaged now, identified by the event and competition, all organized and ready to be delivered."

Ready to be won, too.


PHILSTAR

Rody names Uy adviser on sports By Nelson Beltran (The Philippine Star) | Updated July 19, 2016 - 12:00am 0 0 googleplus0 0


Dennis Uy

MANILA, Philippines - Phoenix Petroleum president and chief executive officer Dennis Uy is another PBA personality to serve in President Duterte’s administration after his appointment as presidential adviser on sports.

Uy, team owner of the Phoenix Fuel Masters, had his first appearance as government sports official in the sendoff ceremony for Rio Olympic-bound Philippine athletes in Malacañang Palace yesterday.

“We take pride and honor on the appointment of one of our team owners to such position giving him the opportunity to further push the development of sports for the youth,” said PBA commissioner Chito Narvasa.

“It speaks highly of Mr. Dennis Uy and his commitment to sports,” Narvasa added.

“It was hard to pass upon an opportunity to help in the vision of the President for sports and our athletes,” said Uy. “More than anything else, it is for love of country, support for our athletes and upliftment of our sports programs.”

Earlier, GlobalPort team owner Mikee Romero and Mahindra team manager Eric Pineda won seats in Congress as the top two nominees of party list 1-Pacman.

Another PBA personality, four-time PBA MVP awardee Ramon Fernandez, was appointed to the five-man board of the Philippine Sports Commission.

Fernandez serves as one of four commissioners under returning PSC chairman Butch Ramirez.

READ MORE...

Uy is a Davaoeño and sports patron who supported the Junior NBA and WNBA Philippines, muay thai and car racing, among others.

The 43-year-old sportsman/businessman is a graduate of La Salle.

Meanwhile, Barangay Ginebra is bringing in St. John’s Red Storm Justin Brownlee as the Gin Kings await the recovery of Paul Harris from a fractured right thumb suffered in the Ginebra-GlobalPort match Saturday at the MOA Arena in Pasay City.

Brownlee, a former Maine Red Claw, San Diego Surf and Erie BayHawk in the NBA D-League, is expected to arrive Thursday in time for the Ginebra-Alaska tussle Sunday.

“Paul will be out of action for four weeks and will be placed on the injured reserve list,” said Ginebra coach Tim Cone.

Harris, a champion import with Tropang TNT, suffered an open wound fracture right in his first game with the Gin Kings. Despite Harris’ exit, the Gin Kings prevailed, 93-84.


PHILSTAR

Arum: Pacquiao to fight Nov. 5 in Las Vegas (philstar.com) | Updated July 20, 2016 - 2:14pm 31 650 googleplus1 0


Manny Pacquiao fighting Floyd Mayweather Jr. | File

MANILA, Philippines – Top Rank Inc. chief Bob Arum has confirmed that Manny Pacquiao will fight again on November 5 in Las Vegas.

The STAR’s Abac Cordero spoke to Arum, who said he has booked the Thomas and Mack Center at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas for Pacquiao’s comeback fight.


Follow @abaccordero @abaccordero Just got off the phone with Bob Arum. Asked if @MannyPacquiaoTR has agreed to a Nov 5 return to boxing, Arum says, "Yes." @PhilippineStar 9:44 PM - 19 Jul 2016 6 6 Retweets 1 1 like Follow @abaccordero @abaccordero Just got off the phone with Bob Arum. Asked if @MannyPacquiaoTR has agreed to a Nov 5 return to boxing,

Arum says, "Yes." @PhilippineStar 9:44 PM - 19 Jul 2016 6 6 Retweets 1 1 like No opponent has been mentioned yet, although Arum said the winner of the light welterweight clash between Terence Crawford and Viktor Postol this Sunday will be the frontrunner.

Jessie Vargas, another Top Rank fighter, is also on the shortlist.

Pacquiao previously said he will prioritize his Senate duties over boxing.


PHILSTAR

The grand plan THE GAME OF MY LIFE By Bill Velasco (The Philippine Star) | Updated July 23, 2016 - 12:00am 0 1 googleplus0 0

This writer received several animated messages from readers of The STAR in response to our column on Sen. Manny Pacquiao’s decision to get back into the ring. Some were questioning why, to them, it appeared this writer was defending or, at the very least, condoning his decision.

A few were asking if there were any rules or laws preventing him from fighting again, and a few were vehemently against it. Overall, the tone was that the issue merits more discussion.

Firstly, as a former Senate correspondent, I understand that there are really no rules preventing an elected senator from pursuing his or her previous profession, more so if it was already in existence long before they sought public office. It is almost unheard of for a congressman or senator to drop all sources of livelihood once elected, unless it may somehow prevent the fulfillment of their duties as an elected official.

In fact, it is often the reverse. If an elected official is appointed to the Cabinet, for example, he or she must leave the chamber, as when Sen. Teofisto Guingona was named vice-president.

We have had senators who still work even when physically absent due to illness or imprisonment. We have also had senators who were physically absent during crucial committee votes, so as not to incriminate a member of the same political party.

Absence is also a card to be played. Some senators travel with the President, particularly when foreign investment is concerned. Some are absent from sessions when there is a calamity in their home province. There are always valid reasons to miss sessions. But as the saying goes, all excuses are equal.

It’s not so much the actual fighting that has the potential to disrupt Sen. Pacquiao’s duties in the Senate so much as the training, which takes months of singular focus. We can’t assume that he will be too tired to attend Senate sessions while he is training, but we can wonder if his mind will be on the matters being discussed.

If he is given chairmanship of any committees, he has the latitude to schedule hearings at his convenience. Most of the work of legislation is research and communication with constituencies, which is not necessarily something the senator needs to be physically present to do. In other words, there is a way to get the work done even when he is not around for short periods of time.

READ MORE...

The question is this: if Sen. Pacquiao decides to train for his next fight near the Senate, what quality of training will he have?

He will be within reach of the media, fans and onlookers. He will be approached by people seeking his help. He will be sought out by hangers-on and those who want his endorsement for whatever purpose suits them. He will be an easy target for anyone wanting an interview or selling anything. It will also be a security risk. Unless he is allowed an extended leave, he will have to train within driving distance of the Senate, which is never advisable for a professional athlete of his stature.

Another potential problem will be if any of his fellow senators takes exception to prolonged absences.

If that happens, it will be harder to gather votes necessary to pass his pet bills. So long as that upset remains, Pacquiao will have to work around that disgruntled colleague, which is never easy given all the back-scratching in the legislature. You spend much of your time crafting laws which you feel will help the country, only to face the possibility of being defeated on the Senate floor by another senator who has an axe to grind against you.

But let’s look at the big picture.

Even before the May elections, this writer predicted that Sen. Pacquiao would fight again, at least twice more. As things stand, that prediction may even be an underestimation.

Consider the plan for Pacquiao to run for president in 2022, which is an open secret of sorts. His fights are exempted from Comelec bans as being of national interest. Strategically, it would be to his advantage to keep fighting as close as possible to 2022, or find another way to keep his public awareness very high. But nothing would really compare to the buzz generated by a high-stakes prizefight.

Whatever Pacquiao decides, the general public often has a short memory about these things. People will forget about the few weeks of work that he missed at the Senate if he scores a big win in the ring. Though it sounds crass, it may appear that the Senate is a stepping stone to the highest office in the land.

And there is no better way for him to stay the nation’s hero as loudly as possible than by fighting as long as possible.


PHILSTAR

Crawford-Postol winner could top Pacquiao sweepstakes By Tim Dahlberg (Associated Press) | Updated July 23, 2016 - 2:06pm 2 0 googleplus0 0


Terence Crawford and Viktor Postol face off after the official weigh-in ceremony. | Top Rank photo

LAS VEGAS — It's a fight few people will see, which says nothing about the talents of Terence Crawford and Viktor Postol.

Both are 140-pound champions. Both have been in 28 pro fights and won every one of them.

And both could be in line for a nice payday against Manny Pacquiao should they win Saturday night.

That would ordinarily make their super lightweight showdown a fight boxing fans don't want to miss. This being boxing, though, a lot of fans figure to do just that.

A fight that should expose two talented fighters to a bigger audience won't get wide notice because fans will have to pay $49.95 to see it. Promoter Bob Arum couldn't sell it to HBO, so it will be on pay-per-view and even Arum doesn't expect many people to buy it.

The crowd at the MGM Grand doesn't figure to be very big, either, though both fighters view this fight as their biggest yet.

"If I'm going to solidify my position as the new face of boxing it starts by unifying the 140-pound division," Crawford said.

The lack of attention aside, the fight could help Crawford do just. A win could get him a match with Pacquiao, who has set a Nov. 5 date for his return but has yet to select an opponent.

Postol could be that opponent, too, and he already has some experience against Pacquiao, sparring with him in the Philippines and at trainer Freddie Roach's gym in Hollywood.

Postol is coming off an upset stoppage of Lucas Matthysse that gave him a piece of the 140-pound title, and Roach is hoping for big things from the native of Ukraine who now lives in Los Angeles.

READ MORE...

"When someone like Viktor comes in daily and gives you everything in the gym you cannot help but root for him," Roach said. "I was so happy for him when he knocked out Matthysse to win the world title. I have been in the game a long time but the night Viktor became world champion was one of the greatest victories of my training career."

Postol, whose wife gave birth to twins this week while he was away training, wasn't on anyone's radar until he scored a knockout win over Selcut Aydin in May 2014. That fight moved him into a mandatory contender position, eventually bringing on a fight for the vacant title against Matthysse.

Matthysse, a feared puncher, was the favorite but Postol used his size and reach to outbox him before finally stopping him in the 10th round last October to raise his record to 28-0 with 12 knockouts.

Crawford is also 28-0, and a budding star. The Nebraska fighter has both power and the ability to switch from conventional to southpaw styles at will, a tactic that has frustrated his recent opponents.

Still, he's relatively unknown outside of avid boxing fans, something that could change if he beats Postol and is given a shot against Pacquiao. Crawford will face a taller fighter with more reach in Postol, something he said doesn't bother him.

"I've been short for 28 years and I haven't been stopped yet," he said. "Postol is nothing to me. He's just another guy that I'm fighting."

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

RELATED FROM PHILSTAR

Crawford dominates Postol, makes case for Pacquiao fight By Dino Maragay (philstar.com) | Updated July 24, 2016 - 12:21pm 14 223 googleplus1 0


Viktor Postol, left, is hit by Terence Crawford during WBC-WBO junior welterweight unification title bout in Las Vegas on Saturday, July 23, 2016. | AP Photo/Chase Stevens

MANILA, Philippines – Terence made a strong case for himself for a megabuck showdown with Manny Pacquiao, defeating Viktor Postol in a lopsided fight on Sunday to unify the WBC and WBO super lightweight titles at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.

Crawford scored two knockdowns in the fifth round and continued to hurt Postol with timely left straights throughout the fight.

He won with one-sided scores of 118-107 (twice) and 117-108. More importantly, he positioned himself for a possible crack at Pacquiao, who reportedly plans to return to the ring in November.

The Omaha, Nebraska-based fighter displayed superior movement, which, combined with his speed and southpaw stance, frustrated Postol throughout the bout.

Crawford used every inch of the ring to stay away from Postol and beat him to the punch.

"I watched him [Postol] and they said he had the best jab in the game – in the division. I proved different today," he said after the fight.

Crawford was so far ahead in the 12th round that he put his arms down at his side at one point, taunting Postol.

Both fighters came into the bout with titles and records of 28-0. But Crawford was clearly the best technical fighter, despite giving away significant height and reach advantage to the Ukrainian.

"He [Crawford] was too fast. It surprised me," said Postol, who interestingly had Pacquiao’s longtime trainer Freddie Roach in his corner Sunday.

Additionally, Postol served as a sparring partner for Pacquiao when the Filipino prepared for his clash with Chris Algieri in 2014.

Roach, for his part, liked what he saw in Crawford.

"He was just too fast for us. I'm impressed with his talent," said Roach.

Top Rank chief Bob Arum earlier said the winner of the bout is a strong candidate for Pacquiao, who will reportedly fight again on November 5, also in Las Vegas.

Crawford’s twin WBC and WBO belts should be appealing enough for the Filipino icon, who will be setting aside his duties as Philippine senator should he decide to return to boxing. – With report from AP


Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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