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

LOOK INFOGRAPHICS: PINOY OLYMPIC MEDAL HOPEFULS DOWN TO 3
[RELATED: Alora blows bid for bronze as PH ends Rio campaign]


AUGUST 16 -File Photo Team Philippines is not done yet in the Rio Olympics. And Eric Cray is proving just that. Aside from the runner, we still have two athletes still in contention. Here's a rough guide to their playdates: (INFOGRAPH BELOW) Eric Cray makes semis of men’s 400m hurdles in Rio RIO DE JANEIRO – Eric Cray of the Philippines took the first step toward a crack at the medal when he qualified for the semis of the men’s 400m hurdles in the 2016 Rio Olympics. Cray, born in Olongapo City but now living in Texas, finished third in heat No. 4 with a time of 49.05 seconds at the Olympic Stadium here, not enough to beat his personal best of 48.98. READ MORE...RELATED, Alora blows bid for bronze as PH ends Rio campaign...

ALSO: 20 years since Atlanta, Philippines still looking for elusive Olympic medal


AUGUST 4 -Atlanta in 1996 was a high year for the Philippines in the Olympics. Onyok Velasco was on the verge of bringing the highest Olympic honor to the Philippines, but ultimately came up short.His Bulgarian rival Daniel Petrov instead took the gold in a controversial match that saw the Philippines’ best chance for Olympic gold dissipate into Georgia mist. After Velasco’s silver finish, the Philippines’ medal haul is at nine, two silvers and seven bronzes. It’s been two full decades in the Philippines’ quest for an Olympic medal, and it’s been four Olympiads of futility for the Filipinos. Bronze age The Filipinos first qualified in the Olympics during 1924 Great Britain Summer Games but it would take another four years before swimmer Teofilo Yldefonso got the country’s first bronze in the 1928 Amsterdam Olympics. The Filipinos had its most successful Games in 1932 in Los Angeles, taking home three bronze medals.Yldefonso once again scored a bronze in the Men’s 200-meter breaststroke, the same event he won in Amsterdam. Simeon Toribio and Jose Villanueva were the other bronze medallists in the 1932 Summer Games taking stepping in the podiums of the Men’s high jump and Men’s bantamweight boxing events. Miguel White upped the Philippines’ medal tally to five, all bronze medals, in the 1936 Berlin Games when he placed third in the 400-meter hurdles. Berlin also saw the Philippines’ early dominance in basketball when it finished 5th—the highest finish by an Asian country in the Olympics. The drought The Philippines will experience its longest medal drought in the Olympics, 28 years to be exact, when it failed to snatch a single hardware in five Olympiads. READ MORE...

ALSO 2016 OLYMPICS - WATCH: Here's how Filipina weightlifter Hidilyn Diaz earned silver in Rio ending 20 year draught


AUGUST 8 -
SILVER LIFTER. Hidilyn Diaz made the most of her third trip to the Olympics, earning a silver medal. Photo by Nic Bothma/EPA
Hidilyn Diaz lifts a combined 200kg in the snatch and clean and jerk to earn a silver medal in the women's 53kg weightlifting competition MANILA, Philippines - First Philippine Olympic medal since 1996. First Filipina to earn a medal. Third silver medal in Philippine history. Hidilyn Diaz, welcome to the record books. (PROFILE: Rio 2016: Hidilyn Diaz) Filipina Hidilyn Diaz earned silver in the at the Rio Olympics in her third trip to the Olympiad, lifting 88kg in her snatch attempt and 112kg in the clean and jerk for a combined lift of 200kg in the early morning hours of Monday, August 8 in the Philippines, good for second place. (READ: Weightlifter Hidilyn Diaz nabs silver, PH's first Olympic medal in 20 years) The 25-year-old Diaz of Zamboanga City is now the first Filipino athlete to earn a medal since 1996, when Mansueto "Onyok" Velasco earned silver in the light flyweight boxing competition in Atlanta, USA. – Rappler.com FULL REPORT

ALSO: Alora (taekwondo jin) last PH Olympic bet standing as Cray, Torres-Sunang fall


AUUST 17 -Kirstie Elaine Alora, Eric Cray and Marestella Torres-Sunang
RIO DE JANEIRO – The Philippines suffered twin defeats in athletics Tuesday (Wednesday morning Manila time) with Eric Cray failing to get past the semis of the men’s 400m hurdles and Marestella Torres Sunang unable to advance in the women’s long jump at the Nilton Santos Stadium here. Cray, who made it to the semis by clocking 49.05 seconds in his heat the other night, ran a little slower this time at 49.37. He finished seventh among eight runners in his heat and 17th among 24 semifinalists. The top eight made it to Thursday’s finals. Sunang, who’s in her last Olympics, said she hurt her hips during warmup and had a best jump of 6.22 meters, on her first attempt. It was off her personal best of 6.72 meters, which he established at the Kazakhstan Open last month. With Cray and Sunang out of contention and flying home on August 19, only taekwondo jin Kirstie Elaine Alora is the only Philippine bet still in contention. The 26-year-old Alora, who’s been here in Rio since July 23, will see action in the women’s +67 kg on August 20, against the 2008 Beijing Olympics gold medalist from Mexico, Maria Espinoza. Alora is confident she can handle Espinoza, also a bronze medalist in the 2012 London Olympics. If the Filipina succeeds against the Mexican, she boosts her chances of making it to the medal rounds. READ MORE...

ALSO: Enforcers dump Elite; Pacquiao shoots trey
[RELATED TRIBUTE TO COACH DALUPAN: Baby Dalupan, in his own words]


AUGUST 22 -Coach Baby Dalupan’s former players Atoy Co, Allan Caidic, Alvin Patrimonio and PBA commissioner Chito Narvasa press the final buzzer in his honor before the Ginebra-Rain or Shine game as members of the Dalupan family look on.
Manny Pacquiao finally converted a shot from beyond the arc in pro basketball, embellishing Mahindra’s wire-to-wire domination of Blackwater in a 97-88 victory that enhanced the Enforcers’ playoff aspiration in the PBA Governors Cup at the Smart Araneta Coliseum last night. Barangay Ginebra sprang back strong from a double-overtime loss to San Miguel Beer, ripping Rain or Shine, 101-87, to stay in equal footing with Mahindra later in the night. Justin Brownlee sizzled with 31 points, 13 rebounds, seven assists and six steals as against Dior Lowhorn’s measly 10 markers and eight boards – a big disparity in the performance of the imports that proved to be a huge boost as the Kings closed in on a Final Eight passage. Pacquiao earlier knocked in a charity off a foul by Bam Gamalinda before unleashing a three-pointer – contested by Kyle Pascual – that swished through the net late in the second quarter to the delight of the crowd. It was a personal breakthrough for Pacquiao who spiked Mahindra’s recovery from a two-game slump and brought the Enforcers back in strong contention for a first PBA playoff appearance. “The goal is not just to make the playoffs but to win the championship,” Pacquiao later said. READ MORE..., RELATED, TRIBUTE TO COACH DALUPAN: Baby Dalupan, in his own words...


READ FULL MEDIA REPORTS HERE:

LOOK: Pinoy Olympic medal hopefuls down to 3


File Photo

RIO DE JENAIRO, AUGUST 15, 2016 (PHILSTAR) Updated August 16, 2016 - Team Philippines is not done yet in the Rio Olympics.

And Eric Cray is proving just that. Aside from the runner, we still have two athletes still in contention.

Here's a rough guide to their playdates:

Eric Cray makes semis of men’s 400m hurdles in Rio By Abac Cordero (philstar.com) | Updated August 16, 2016 - 6:47am 35 110 googleplus0 0


Eric Cray in this file photo.

RIO DE JANEIRO – Eric Cray of the Philippines took the first step toward a crack at the medal when he qualified for the semis of the men’s 400m hurdles in the 2016 Rio Olympics.

Cray, born in Olongapo City but now living in Texas, finished third in heat No. 4 with a time of 49.05 seconds at the Olympic Stadium here, not enough to beat his personal best of 48.98.

READ MORE...

But Cray is in the semis scheduled Tuesday. If he surpasses his best time, the 27-year-old Cray can get to the finals on Thursday and hope for a medal.

“That’s the goal – get through the preliminaries,” said Cray.

Keisuke Nozawa of Japan topped the heat in 48.62 followed by Thomas Barr of Ireland at 48.93. For the Japanese it was a personal best, and for the Irish it was a season best.

“Let’s take it step by step. He’s in the semis now and the next goal is to get to the finals,” said Philippine chef-de-mission Jose Romasanta from the stands.

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

RELATED FROM PHILSTAR

Alora blows bid for bronze as PH ends Rio campaign By Abac Cordero (philstar.com) | Updated August 21, 2016 - 1:34pm 5 463 googleplus0 0

Kirstie Elaine Alora. FILE PHOTO RIO DE JANEIRO – The Philippine campaign in the 2016 Rio Olympics came to a close Saturday evening with taekwondo’s Kirstie Elaine Alora breaking down in tears after absorbing two bitter defeats at the Carioca 3 of the Olympic Park here.

Alora, the last Filipino athlete to vie for a medal here, bowed to Olympic champion Maria Espinoza of Mexico, 4-1, in her opening match. Then she blew her chance to salvage at least a bronze when she lost to Wiam Dislam of Morocco. 7-5.

The loss to Espinoza, gold medal winner in the 2008 Beijing Olympics and bronze medalist in London four years ago, left Alora figuring in the repechage (losers round). She needed two wins to get the bronze that but could not get past the first challenge.

Dislam stood 5-foot-11 and was easily three inches taller than Alora. But it didn’t turn out to be a breeze for the flag-bearer of the Moroccan delegation to the 2012 London Olympics. She trailed Alora in the third round, and was down, 5-4, with only 20 seconds left.

Alora lowered her guard and got caught with the equalizer, and then with two more quick points to the body. By the time the final buzzer sounded, the 26-year-old Alora had lost a won match, and kissed her Olympic medal hopes in the +67 kg class goodbye.

Alora was in tears as she spoke to reporters.

Sportshub ( Article MRec ), pagematch: 1, sectionmatch: 1

“Another sad moment because it was my second chance. But I was denied. I think I should continue fighting in this sport because f I won a medal here I might end up saying, ‘This is my last,’” said the heavy 26-year-old after losing to Dislam.

“The Lord has plans for me to continue fighting. I’m happy with the results here but I was not fortunate enough. It’s God’s will. Maybe he wants me to win in the Asian Championships or the World Championships before I become an Olympic champion,” said Alora.

With her loss, the Philippines will close the book on this campaign with a silver medal courtesy of weightlifter Hidilyn Diaz in the women’s 53 kg division. It’s a historic win for Diaz because she became the country’s first female athlete to win a medal in the Olympics.

It was also the country’s first medal in 20 years.

“It was a good historic run. Our gallant thirteen athletes have made our country proud. All went fighting and doing everything they can and they are the best we have,” said chef-de-mission Jose Romasanta.

Up 5-4 lead, she suddenly trailed 7-5 in the closing seconds. She launched a last-ditch effort and could have turned things around. However, a head kick that could have netted her three points did not register on the sensor, allowing Dislam to go on with the win.

Alora’s coach, Roberto “Kitoy” Cruz, raised a challenge. Still, there was nothing to reverse the outcome as Alora’s kick touched Dislam’s head gear instead of the face.

“I really thought Elaine hit the face and not the head gear. That was worth three points. From 5-7 we could have won the fight 8-7. At least, she fought better in the repechage than in her first fight,” said Cruz as he waited for Alora to face reporters.

Cruz said Alora looked better facing a taller opponent like Dislam than Espinoza.

“Kung saan pa mas-matangkad ang kalaban,” said the six-time finweight champion in the SEA Games of Alora, who tried hard against Espinoza but trailed majority of the fight.

The 26-year-old Alora failed to establish her distance against the gold medalist in the 2008 Beijing Olympics and bronze medalist in the 2012 London Olympics.

The Filipina trailed after the first round, 1-0, equalized early in the second but faced a 3-1 deficit entering the third and final round. The Mexican took a 4-1 lead with under a minute left. Alora launched desperate moves in the closing seconds but could not land any solid shot.

Espinoza scored mostly on kicks to the body. Alora said she was wary of the Mexican’s head kicks.

“I could not anticipate what she was going to do to me. Each time she engages, she breaks out quickly. That made it very difficult for me,” said Alora, who still has a chance at the repechage and a crack at the bronze medal if Espinoza goes straight to the finals.

“Nahirapan ako sa stepping niya (I had difficulty with her stepping),” she said.

Espinoza, the top rank, went on to face China’s Shuyin Zheng in the gold medal match. This time, it was the Mexican who did not have the answer to Zheng’s tremendous height advantage, and she lost, 5-1.

Zheng, who stands 6’2”, won her first Olympic gold.

“I am taller so I tried to keep my distance. If she is close to me she is faster than me, so I kept her away. I feel very happy and excited with the win,” said the Chinese fighter.

Bianca Waalkden of Great Britain and Jackie Galloway of the United States, the losing semifinalists, eventually bagged the two bronze medals stakes in the +67 kg division won by a Serbian in 2012.


INQUIRER

20 years since Atlanta, Philippines still looking for elusive Olympic medal By: Bong Lozada @BLozadaINQ INQUIRER.net 04:37 PM August 3rd, 2016


Atlanta in 1996 was a high year for the Philippines in the Olympics.

Onyok Velasco was on the verge of bringing the highest Olympic honor to the Philippines, but ultimately came up short.

His Bulgarian rival Daniel Petrov instead took the gold in a controversial match that saw the Philippines’ best chance for Olympic gold dissipate into Georgia mist.

After Velasco’s silver finish, the Philippines’ medal haul is at nine, two silvers and seven bronzes.

It’s been two full decades in the Philippines’ quest for an Olympic medal, and it’s been four Olympiads of futility for the Filipinos.


1996 Olympic silver medalist Mansueto Velasco drives towards the basket in a recent basketball

Bronze age

The Filipinos first qualified in the Olympics during 1924 Great Britain Summer Games but it would take another four years before swimmer Teofilo Yldefonso got the country’s first bronze in the 1928 Amsterdam Olympics.

The Filipinos had its most successful Games in 1932 in Los Angeles, taking home three bronze medals.
Yldefonso once again scored a bronze in the Men’s 200-meter breaststroke, the same event he won in Amsterdam.

Simeon Toribio and Jose Villanueva were the other bronze medallists in the 1932 Summer Games taking stepping in the podiums of the Men’s high jump and Men’s bantamweight boxing events.

Miguel White upped the Philippines’ medal tally to five, all bronze medals, in the 1936 Berlin Games when he placed third in the 400-meter hurdles.

Berlin also saw the Philippines’ early dominance in basketball when it finished 5th—the highest finish by an Asian country in the Olympics.

The drought

The Philippines will experience its longest medal drought in the Olympics, 28 years to be exact, when it failed to snatch a single hardware in five Olympiads.

READ MORE...

It would’ve been six if the 1944 Summer Games were not cancelled due to World War II.

Anthony Villaueva would end the medal drought for the Philippines in the 1964 Tokyo Olympics—losing in the gold medal match against Soviet Union’s Stanislav Stephaskin 3-2 in the Men’s featherweight boxing final.

In 1948, however, the Philippines made basketball history when the men’s national team became the first ever group to eclipse the century mark in a 102-30 obliteration of Iraq in London.

A second drought

Another drought came for the Philippines in the biggest sporting stage in the world, this time not winning anything for 24 years.

After Villanueva’s silver in 1964, the next medal was courtesy of light flyweight Roel Velasco when he won the bronze in the 1988 Seoul Olympics.

Another boxer, Leopoldo Serantes, would give the Philippines its final bronze medal when he got a podium slot in the light flyweight-boxing event in the 1992 Barcelona Olympics.

In 2012, the Philippines also failed to bag a medal after sending the smallest delegation of 11 athletes to the Games since 1996.

The Philippines has the notoriety of being a tropical paradise but in 1972, the Filipinos sent a delegation in the 1972 Hokkaido Winter Olympics.

In the 1972 Munich Games, the Philippines sent its biggest delegation with 53 athletes and it was in this Summer Games that the Filipinos had its last basketball team with Bogs Adornado, Danny Florencio, and Yoyong Martirez leading the contingent.

Arianne Cerdena first gave the Philippines a gold medal when she topped the competition in the bowling tournament in the 1988 Seoul Olympics, but it was only an award for a demonstration sport.

Pacquiao in Olympics

Manny Pacquiao, undoubtedly the greatest Filipino athlete ever, led the Philippine contingent in the Olympics in Beijing 2008.

He wasn’t part of the delegation that would compete in the amateur showcase but boxing’s only eight-division World champion was the Philippines’ flag-bearer.

Willy Wang also brought home a gold medal in Wushu in that edition of the Olympiad but it didn’t count in the medal tally since Wushu was only a demonstration sport.


RAPPLER.COM

2016 OLYMPICS - WATCH: Here's how Filipina weightlifter Hidilyn Diaz earned silver in Rio Ryan Songalia @ryansongalia Published 4:34 AM, August 08, 2016 Updated 5:03 AM, August 08, 2016
 


SILVER LIFTER. Hidilyn Diaz made the most of her third trip to the Olympics, earning a silver medal. Photo by Nic Bothma/EPA

Hidilyn Diaz lifts a combined 200kg in the snatch and clean and jerk to earn a silver medal in the women's 53kg weightlifting competition

MANILA, Philippines - First Philippine Olympic medal since 1996. First Filipina to earn a medal. Third silver medal in Philippine history.

Hidilyn Diaz, welcome to the record books.

(PROFILE: Rio 2016: Hidilyn Diaz)

Filipina Hidilyn Diaz earned silver in the at the Rio Olympics in her third trip to the Olympiad, lifting 88kg in her snatch attempt and 112kg in the clean and jerk for a combined lift of 200kg in the early morning hours of Monday, August 8 in the Philippines, good for second place.

(READ: Weightlifter Hidilyn Diaz nabs silver, PH's first Olympic medal in 20 years)

The 25-year-old Diaz of Zamboanga City is now the first Filipino athlete to earn a medal since 1996, when Mansueto "Onyok" Velasco earned silver in the light flyweight boxing competition in Atlanta, USA. – Rappler.com


PHILSTAR

Alora last PH Olympic bet standing as Cray, Torres-Sunang fall By Abac Cordero (philstar.com) | Updated August 17, 2016 - 2:59pm 0 23 googleplus0 0


Kirstie Elaine Alora, Eric Cray and Marestella Torres-Sunang

RIO DE JANEIRO – The Philippines suffered twin defeats in athletics Tuesday (Wednesday morning Manila time) with Eric Cray failing to get past the semis of the men’s 400m hurdles and Marestella Torres Sunang unable to advance in the women’s long jump at the Nilton Santos Stadium here.

Cray, who made it to the semis by clocking 49.05 seconds in his heat the other night, ran a little slower this time at 49.37. He finished seventh among eight runners in his heat and 17th among 24 semifinalists. The top eight made it to Thursday’s finals.

Sunang, who’s in her last Olympics, said she hurt her hips during warmup and had a best jump of 6.22 meters, on her first attempt. It was off her personal best of 6.72 meters, which he established at the Kazakhstan Open last month.

With Cray and Sunang out of contention and flying home on August 19, only taekwondo jin Kirstie Elaine Alora is the only Philippine bet still in contention.

The 26-year-old Alora, who’s been here in Rio since July 23, will see action in the women’s +67 kg on August 20, against the 2008 Beijing Olympics gold medalist from Mexico, Maria Espinoza.

Alora is confident she can handle Espinoza, also a bronze medalist in the 2012 London Olympics. If the Filipina succeeds against the Mexican, she boosts her chances of making it to the medal rounds.

READ MORE...

A medal of any color from Alora will give the Philippines its best finish it the Olympics. Ten days ago, weightlifter Hidilyn Diaz won the silver medal in the women’s 63 kg division. It was the first Olympic medal for the Philippines since boxer Mansueto Velasco won the silver in Atlanta in 1996.

“Anything is possible in taekwondo,” said chef-de-mission Jose Romasanta.

The 35-year-old Sunang jumped 6.10 on her second jump and 6.15 on her third and final attempt. She said she hurt herself on her warm-up jump when her feet landed on an uneven portion on the sand that was left unattended by officials.

Cray, who was born in Olongapo but now based in El Paso in Texas, came to Rio carrying a personal best of 48.96 set in Madrid only last June.

From 38 jumpers, a dozen made it to Wednesday’s finals, led by Ivana Spanovic of Serbia (6.87) and followed by Malaika Mihambo of Germany at 6.82 and Reese Brittney of the United States at 6.78. The 12th and last finalist, Jazmin Sawyers of Great Britain, was at 6.53.

Sunang could have made it to the finals without equaling or surpassing her personal best. All she needed to finally make it to the Olympic finals of her event was to do 6.53 or longer. She wound up 28th among 38 entries in women’s long jump.

Cray, who ran on lane No. 7, was doing well until the seventh or eighth hurdle but did not clear the 10th hurdle well. It cost him time and the race, denying the 27-year-old the chance to make it to the finals of his event in his first Olympics.


HONOR FOR HIDILYN 0 BY MANILA TIMES ON AUGUST 18, 2016 NEWS Senate President Aquilino Pimentel 3rd (center) presents Olympic weightlifting silver medalist Hidilyn Diaz (second from left) with a copy of a Senate resolution congratulating her for her performance in the Rio Games. Diaz, who competed in her third straight Olympics, won silver in the women’s weightlifting 53-kilogram division and ended the country’s 20-year medal drought. PHOTO BY BOB DUNGO JR. Senate President Aquilino Pimentel 3rd (center) presents Olympic weightlifting silver medalist Hidilyn Diaz (second from left) with a copy of a Senate resolution congratulating her for her performance in the Rio Games. Diaz, who competed in her third straight Olympics, won silver in the women’s weightlifting 53-kilogram division and ended the country’s 20-year medal drought. PHOTO BY BOB DUNGO JR. ABS-CBN

“It was a crazy race, way fast, pretty fast. I think my first 250 was faster than yesterday. I tried to go some more but since the pace was faster than yesterday it kind of messed me up,” said Cray, not feeling bad at all because he knew he gave his best.

“I think I was in second until about the eighth (hurdle). But the pace was so fast my legs started to give out early. I couldn’t get it together. And then I hit the 10th hurdle really hard and that’s when the Kenyan (Boniface Tumuti) took off on me,” said Cray.

Kerron Clement of the United States will lead the finalists after clocking 48.26 in the semis, followed by Annsert Whyte of Jamaica in 48.32 and Thomas Barr of Ireland in 48.39. All eight finalists ran in the 48s.

Philippine Olympic Committee president Jose Cojuangco watched the athletics action from the VIP stands, along with POC secretary-general Steve Hontiveros and Philippine Track and Field Association director Benjamin “Chippy” Espiritu.

Diaz and nine other athletes have left Rio for their respective homes, including table tennis Ian Lariba, golfer Miguel Tabuena, weightlifter Nestor Colonia, swimmer Jessie Khing Lacuna, marathoner Mary Joy Tabal and boxers Charly Suarez and Rogen Ladon to Manila; judoka Kodo Nakano to Japan; and swimmer Jasmine Alkhaldi to Hawaii.


PHILSTAR

Enforcers dump Elite; Pacquiao shoots trey By Nelson Beltran (The Philippine Star) | Updated August 22, 2016 - 12:00am 0 1 googleplus0 0


Coach Baby Dalupan’s former players Atoy Co, Allan Caidic, Alvin Patrimonio and PBA commissioner Chito Narvasa press the final buzzer in his honor before the Ginebra-Rain or Shine game as members of the Dalupan family look on.

MANILA, Philippines – Manny Pacquiao finally converted a shot from beyond the arc in pro basketball, embellishing Mahindra’s wire-to-wire domination of Blackwater in a 97-88 victory that enhanced the Enforcers’ playoff aspiration in the PBA Governors Cup at the Smart Araneta Coliseum last night.

Barangay Ginebra sprang back strong from a double-overtime loss to San Miguel Beer, ripping Rain or Shine, 101-87, to stay in equal footing with Mahindra later in the night.

Justin Brownlee sizzled with 31 points, 13 rebounds, seven assists and six steals as against Dior Lowhorn’s measly 10 markers and eight boards – a big disparity in the performance of the imports that proved to be a huge boost as the Kings closed in on a Final Eight passage.

Pacquiao earlier knocked in a charity off a foul by Bam Gamalinda before unleashing a three-pointer – contested by Kyle Pascual – that swished through the net late in the second quarter to the delight of the crowd.

It was a personal breakthrough for Pacquiao who spiked Mahindra’s recovery from a two-game slump and brought the Enforcers back in strong contention for a first PBA playoff appearance.

“The goal is not just to make the playoffs but to win the championship,” Pacquiao later said.

READ MORE...

James White powered his way to 23 points and 19 rebounds, Aldrech Ramos and Paolo Taha contributed a combined output of 28 points while LA Revilla issued 10 assists in his return from the injured list as the Enforcers notched a fifth win in seven outings.

“We just worked and focused on what made us 4-0,” said Mahindra coach Chris Gavina.

The Enforcers led from start to finish as they sent the Elite deeper down the cellar at 1-6.

Compounding Blackwater’s woes were the sidelining of import Eric Dawson and veteran playmaker Mike Cortez due to injuries. Cortez sat out the game due to a hamstring pull while Dawson scored only 15 points in 36:03 minutes of action due to a back injury.

The Enforcers were in control when Pacquiao checked in with 3:58 left in the first half to cheers from the fans.

The boxing sensation instantly earned a trip to the line as he drew a foul from Gamalinda after a pick and a hand-off from John Pinto.

Pacquiao made the scoring column as his first shot rattled in. The next was way off.

Towards the end of the opening half, Pacquiao found an opening from the three-point land and knocked it in – his very first in seven tries in eight PBA career games.

“I’ve been shooting from that range in pick-up games. I tried that one and, luckily, it went in,” said Pacquiao.

He was humble enough to admit he’s only getting a chance to play when the Enforcers are enjoying a big lead. “Depende pag natambakan namin ang kalaban,” said Pacquiao on whether he’ll continue to see action in the tourney.

Gavina said Pacquiao’s presence alone was a big boost to the Enforcers.

“The players are inspired today. They’re extra motivated when coach Manny is around,” said Gavina.

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RELATED FROM PHILSTAR

TRIBUTE: Baby Dalupan, in his own words THE GAME OF MY LIFE By Bill Velasco (The Philippine Star) | Updated August 22, 2016 - 12:00am 0 5 googleplus0 0


By Bill Velasco

In tribute to Coach Baby Dalupan, The STAR has gathered exclusive quotes from the Maestro in our interview with him in 2014. When asked why he decided to become a coach early on, he paused and dug up a memory from 80 years ago.

“I was not a stand out player,” he said. “But I easily could understand how to make the players understand.”

Dalupan was also the coach of Crispa in the MICAA, the last team to jump onboard the new Philippine Basketball Association in 1975.

“The reason is we were in a commercial league and we were under the Basketball Association of the Philippines,” he explained. “And what happened is that when they made the national team, they picked out the candidates for the team and they did not allow them to play for their MICAA team. That made the board members of the MICAA angry. They decided that what will happen to our tournament if candidates will not be allowed to play for their team. So what they did was, let’s put up our own professional league so we will not be under the BAP. That’s how it started.”

The existing following of the MICAA gave the new professional league a boost, audience-wise.

“From the commercial league, it brought a lot of fans to see the new professional league here in the Philippines,” Dalupan adds. “And it so happens that the ruling is quite lenient, you know, “no harm, no foul”. And that made the game very exciting. So you can bump each other and there’s no call.”

Even with the rougher style of play back then, and the blending of older commercial players with young college standouts, Coach Baby was able to form cohesive, talented Redmanizer squads that dominated the opposition. He treated his players like his brothers and children, going out with them after games, and giving them advice about life.

“I was able to still discipline the players and, and I was very lucky because, then, I was given the full hand in handling the team.”

Even back then, Dalupan could see how far the PBA was going to grow.

“Basketball is our national sport,” he acknowledged. “It’s very exciting because everybody moves around and especially after having this new ruling that you have to shoot the ball after 24 seconds. It became very exciting and as I said, because you are allowed “no harm, no foul” it became more exciting for the audience to see the players really rally each other very closely.”

Dalupan also cherished being in the PBA Hall of Fame, realizing that his coaching was being appreciated. He also flashed back to opening night in 1977, when Crispa came from behind to defeat Toyota, and both teams figured in a free-for-all in the tunnel to the locker rooms.

“There’s a free-for-all that happened, and both teams were called by the military and they were all given a sermon and players were brought to Fort Bonifacio. They were kept there, so the wives had to bring their things to their husbands, our players. But just one night. It was for both teams, ha. For both teams.”

Looking back, Coach Baby could not suppress his gratitude for God and the school he called home.

“I owe it to my alma mater. I owe it to Ateneo. I owe it to our Lord, because I used to go to Baclaran and make my novena, early part of coaching the varsity team. That really helps me, I believe, that helped me in my successful career as a coach.”


Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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