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LA SALLE GREEN ARCHERS SWEEP ATENEO EAGLES TO RETURN AS UAAP CHAMPS 9th TITLE


DECEMBER 8 -De La Salle University's Jeron Teng, during the UAAP Finals Game 2. | Philstar.com/Efigenio Toledo IV
La Salle’s powerhouse Archers validated their pre-season billing as the expected green-eyed ruler of the league, sweeping archrival Ateneo Eagles, 79-72, to return as UAAP LXXIX champions before a huge crowd at the Smart Araneta Coliseum last night. Looking every inch the mean machine that has asserted its might against the opposition all season long, the top seeded squad virtually completed a wire-to-wire title-clinching triumph and complete their 2-0 sweep of the Eagles in their best-of-three series. The Archers led by as many as 14 points and quashed the final uprising of the Blue Eagles with clutch plays from their 1-2 punch – Season MVP Ben Mbala and Finals MVP Jeron Teng, who came up with 28 points, including 19 in the first half – to clinch their first title since 2013 before a roaring crowd of 17,495. READ MORE...

ALSO: As Pacquiao showdown looms, Crawford focused on upcoming fight


DECEMBER 6 -Manny Pacquiao and Terence Crawford.
WBC and WBO super lightweight champion Terence Crawford said he is not pressured to look good against John Molina this Saturday (Sunday in Manila). Even if it means getting a shot at Manny Pacquiao. “No, critics will be there – win, lose or draw. I have zero pressure from the press. Everyone keeps saying I need this or that to get Pacquiao,” Crawford told Bill Green in fightnews.com article. “No, I need to be me. That is what got me here,” he added. READ MORE...

ALSO: Crawford's Trainer says Roach won’t let Pacquiao fight Crawford


DECEMBER 8 - The trainer of rising star Terence Crawford believes that Freddie Roach won’t let Manny Pacquiao go anywhere near the undefeated super lightweight champion. Speaking to boxingscene.com’s Keith Idec, Crawford’s trainer Brian McIntyre recalled that time when Pacquiao’s camp passed up on Crawford and picked a third fight with Timothy Bradley instead. “We really thought we were gonna get that Manny Pacquiao fight,” said McIntyre. “When it didn't go through, I was like, ‘Wow!’ As soon as Terence beat [former Pacquiao sparmate Victor] Postol, the first thing that came out of their mouth was, ‘We're not fighting him,’” he added.
READ MORE...

ALSO: Pacquiao may face Crawford in April


DECEMBER 8 -SCREENGRAB: Bob Arum STILL Wants Pacquiao vs Crawford 11/16 If No Mayweather Rematch! Hall of Fame promoter Bob Arum would like to see how Terence Crawford looks this weekend before deciding if the undefeated American fighter is a mouth-watering opponent for Manny Pacquiao in April next year. “We’ll see how Terence looks this week,” Arum told the Bulletin yesterday afternoon from Auckland, New Zealand, where his promotional outfit Top Rank has a show. Crawford (29-0 with 20 KOs) meets John Molina Jr. in a defense of the world junior-welterweight crown in his hometown of Omaha in Nebraska with a victory boosting his stock as prime candidate for Fighter of the Year (2016) honors. READ MORE...

ALSO: Crawford camp tells Pacquiao: Be man enough


DECEMBER 9 -Manny Pacquiao and Terence Crawford | Top Rank photos
The camp of undefeated WBC and WBO super lightweight champion Terence Crawford called out Manny Pacquiao to step up and accept their challenge. As Crawford heads to his fight with John Molina Jr. this weekend, his trainer Brian McIntyre kept talking about a bigger showdown with Manny Pacquiao, whose ditching of Crawford in favor of Timothy Bradley and Jessie Vargas is still fresh the cornerman's mind. “We keep hearing about a future fight with Manny Pacquiao but there doesn’t seem to be much interest from his team, especially since Freddie Roach got a good look at Terence from [Viktor] Postol’s corner,” said McIntyre. The cornerman was referring to Crawford’s dominant win over Viktor Postol – whom Roach trains and who also served as a sparring partner for Pacquiao – early this year. READ MORE...

ALSO: Tiger Woods returns with mixed bag and a 73
[ALSO, Federer, Serena Williams out of IPTL due to "current economic climate in India."]


DECEMBER 1 -Tiger Woods returned to competitive golf for the first time in 466 days on Thursday at the Hero World Challenge. (Stan Badz/PGA TOUR) NASSAU, Bahamas -- Not only did Tiger Woods return to golf Thursday, he returned to being Tiger. Just not for long. Hardly looking like a player who had not competed in 466 days, Woods ran off three straight birdies with a variety of shots and was tied for the lead in the Hero World Challenge as he approached the turn. Three shots in the bushes, one shot in the water and a few fits of anger sent him toward the bottom of the pack. A pair of double bogeys over the final three holes ruined an otherwise impressive return, and Woods shot 40 on the back nine at Albany Golf Club and had to settle for a 1-over 73. He was in 17th place in the 18-man field. Only Justin Rose had a higher score. READ MORE... ALSO, Federer, Serena Williams out of IPTL due to "current economic climate in India." ...


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La Salle caps near-perfect UAAP season with 9th title; Mean and Green Archers sweep Ateneo Eagles, return as UAAP champs


De La Salle University's Jeron Teng, during the UAAP Finals Game 2. | Philstar.com/Efigenio Toledo IV

MANILA, DECEMBER 12, 2016 (PHILSTAR)  By Olmin Leyba December 8, 2016 - La Salle’s powerhouse Archers validated their pre-season billing as the expected green-eyed ruler of the league, sweeping archrival Ateneo Eagles, 79-72, to return as UAAP LXXIX champions before a huge crowd at the Smart Araneta Coliseum last night.

Looking every inch the mean machine that has asserted its might against the opposition all season long, the top seeded squad virtually completed a wire-to-wire title-clinching triumph and complete their 2-0 sweep of the Eagles in their best-of-three series.

The Archers led by as many as 14 points and quashed the final uprising of the Blue Eagles with clutch plays from their 1-2 punch – Season MVP Ben Mbala and Finals MVP Jeron Teng, who came up with 28 points, including 19 in the first half – to clinch their first title since 2013 before a roaring crowd of 17,495.

READ MORE...

And winning it all at the expense of their bitter nemesis Blue Eagles made the feat even the more special and sweeter for the Green Archers.


La Salle coach Aldin Ayo hugs Jeron Teng during the post-game celebration with the green-clad Archers supporters (below) cheering their team’s successful title campaign. JOEY MENDOZA JR.

“Mahirap, siempre it was against Ateneo. Iyun ang nagpahirap dun (Playing against Ateneo made it a lot tougher). Game-wise, we’re confident gawin lang ang game plan, alam naming magiging positive ang resulta,” said DLSU coach Aldin Ayo, who scored a personal feat of winning titles both the NCAA (with Letran) and UAAP titles in successive years.

“Kaya lang because of the hype, baka magbago approach ng mga bata, baka may mga mangyari na hindi naming kontrolado (We were worried over the hype since there may be situations not under our control). But we’re thankful we’re able to pull it through,” he added.

Playing catch-up most of the way, Ateneo managed to threaten to within four at 69-73 with still 1:35 left. But Mbala struck hard, knocking down a huge bucket then intercepting Ateneo’s inbounds pass in the next play to earn a trip to the stripe that paved the way for freebies that he calmly sank for a fresh eight-point cushion.

Rafael Verano had knocked down a trey but Teng and Thomas Torres restored a 79-72 lead with back-to-back splits as the DLSU gallery chanted “Animo, La Salle, beat Ateneo.”

As white confetti burst out from the confetti machine and rained the court, DLSU savored the perfect ending in the competition it was heavily tipped to dominate from the start.

“We just embraced the pressure all season long,” said Ayo.


ALL season long, team skipper Jeron Teng was bent on giving his best in season 79 of the University Athletic Association of the Philippines (UAAP) men’s basketball finals. This is his final year for the Green Archers, and he wanted to make up for a disappointing season last year when they missed the Final Four.

Teng also finished with three rebounds, two assists and a steal in a masterful valedictory for La Salle.

“Right from the start, gusto ko ibigay ang best ko, ito ang last game ko, I wanna go all-out,” said Teng, who bowed out with two UAAP crowns in his collection.

Mbala, who was unleashed in the season after three years in the freezer, posted 18-10, his 17th straight double-double this year.

Mike Nieto led the way with 18 for Ateneo, a young side that accelerated its growth rate and came in as surprising runners-up to the heavily-favored La Salle.

VIDEO: De La Salle Green Archers | Team's Profile | UAAP 79 Men's Basketball ABS-CBN Sports And Action ABS-CBN Sports And Action  
https://youtu.be/5JhB6EOAX08?t=169


PHILSTAR

As Pacquiao showdown looms, Crawford focused on upcoming fight By Dino Maragay (philstar.com) | Updated December 6, 2016 - 12:44pm 3 572 googleplus0 0


Manny Pacquiao and Terence Crawford.

MANILA, Philippines – WBC and WBO super lightweight champion Terence Crawford said he is not pressured to look good against John Molina this Saturday (Sunday in Manila).

Even if it means getting a shot at Manny Pacquiao.

“No, critics will be there – win, lose or draw. I have zero pressure from the press. Everyone keeps saying I need this or that to get Pacquiao,” Crawford told Bill Green in fightnews.com article.

“No, I need to be me. That is what got me here,” he added.

READ MORE...

Indeed, an impressive win by the undefeated Crawford over Molina can put him on a collision course with his stablemate Pacquiao, who is running out of worthy opponents in Top Rank Inc.’s roster.

Pacquiao has just defeated Jessie Vargas to regain the WBO welterweight championship, but said he is willing to take on all comers.

Many boxing fans would prefer the Filipino icon to next face Crawford (29-0, with 20 KOs), considered as one of boxing’s biggest rising stars.

But for Crawford to stay in the hunt for a megabuck showdown with Pacquiao, he has to take care of Molina this week at the CenturyLink Center in his hometown of Omaha, Nebraska.

Crawford said he isn’t even thinking about Pacquiao, and that his focus is on defeating Molina – impressively or not.

“What’s important is winning, providing opportunities for my city and to put food on the table for my family. Knockouts come from being focused, capitalizing on your opponent’s mistakes, not by being careless and pleasing others,” he continued.

Crawford is one of two potential young Top Rank stars being groomed to fight Pacquiao soon, the other being WBO super featherweight champion Vasyl Lomachenko.

The Ukrainian star already boosted his case when he walloped Nicholas Walters in a one-sided bout late last month, forcing his opponent to quit on his stool.

He afterwards said that taking on Pacquiao is something he would be proud of.

This weekend, it is Crawford’s turn to make a strong statement.


PHILSTAR

Trainer says Roach won’t let Pacquiao fight Crawford By Dino Maragay (philstar.com) | Updated December 8, 2016 - 2:13pm 24 1193 googleplus2 0

Manny Pacquiao and Terence Crawford MANILA, Philippines – The trainer of rising star Terence Crawford believes that Freddie Roach won’t let Manny Pacquiao go anywhere near the undefeated super lightweight champion.

Speaking to boxingscene.com’s Keith Idec, Crawford’s trainer Brian McIntyre recalled that time when Pacquiao’s camp passed up on Crawford and picked a third fight with Timothy Bradley instead.

“We really thought we were gonna get that Manny Pacquiao fight,” said McIntyre.

“When it didn't go through, I was like, ‘Wow!’ As soon as Terence beat [former Pacquiao sparmate Victor] Postol, the first thing that came out of their mouth was, ‘We're not fighting him,’” he added.

READ MORE...

Now, Crawford will try to set up a showdown with Pacquiao by taking care of John Molina Jr. this Saturday (Sunday in Manila), putting his WBC and WBO super lightweight titles on the line.

McIntyre said they still have their sights on defeating Pacquiao – now the WBO welterweight champion – to legitimize Crawford’s superstardom.

“So it's been kind of frustrating a little but because we need Manny Pacquiao's name, we need Floyd Mayweather's name, we need those names to pass that torch off, so that we can continue to climb and elevate his career," the cornerman continued.

The problem for Crawford and McIntyre, however, is that they believe Roach is against the idea of pitting Pacquiao against a young and dangerous prospect like the 29-year-old fighter from Omaha, Nebraska.

“I don't know. You never know what those guys are thinking over there. If it's up to Freddie Roach, it'll be a no. But you never know what Manny's thinking. You never know what's going on over there,” McIntyre explained.

For now, McIntyre said his ward should just focus on the task at hand and keep his unbeaten streak – Crawford has won all his 29 fights (with 20 KOs) – going.

And hope that a fight with Pacquiao eventually comes along.

“What we do is we just stay in the gym, and we just keep ourselves prepared and just take one fight at a time, and just concentrate on the fighter that's in front of us. And then we'll worry about that later,” he said.

“We get that Manny Pacquiao fight, and we come out with that win, hey, we're the next pay-per-view star.”


MANILA BULLETIN

Pacquiao may face Crawford in April  SHARES Share it! Published December 8, 2016, 12:05 AM by Nick Giongco


SDECEMBER 8 -CREENGRAB: Bob Arum STILL Wants Pacquiao vs Crawford 11/16 If No Mayweather Rematch!

Hall of Fame promoter Bob Arum would like to see how Terence Crawford looks this weekend before deciding if the undefeated American fighter is a mouth-watering opponent for Manny Pacquiao in April next year.

“We’ll see how Terence looks this week,” Arum told the Bulletin yesterday afternoon from Auckland, New Zealand, where his promotional outfit Top Rank has a show.

Crawford (29-0 with 20 KOs) meets John Molina Jr. in a defense of the world junior-welterweight crown in his hometown of Omaha in Nebraska with a victory boosting his stock as prime candidate for Fighter of the Year (2016) honors.

READ MORE...

While the choice of foe remains hanging in the balance, Arum makes it clear that the working date for Pacquiao’s return to the ring is April.

Pacquiao, who turns 38 on Dec. 17, fought twice this year, both taking place in Las Vegas, where he had fought almost exclusively since 2001.

In April, Pacquiao easily outpointed Tim Bradley at the MGM Grand and last month, the fighting senator scored a similar trouble-free victory over Jessie Vargas at the Thomas and Mack Center.

While Crawford continues to float as a candidate, Pacquiao’s sight is trained on a rematch with Floyd Mayweather, assuming, of course, the brash Mayweather comes out of retirement.

During the Vargas fight, Mayweather pulled off a shocker when he sat at ringside and exchanged meaningful looks with Pacquiao.


PHILSTAR

Crawford camp tells Pacquiao: Be man enough By Dino Maragay (philstar.com) | Updated December 9, 2016 - 11:51am 4 18 googleplus0 0


Manny Pacquiao and Terence Crawford | Top Rank photos

MANILA, Philippines – The camp of undefeated WBC and WBO super lightweight champion Terence Crawford called out Manny Pacquiao to step up and accept their challenge.

As Crawford heads to his fight with John Molina Jr. this weekend, his trainer Brian McIntyre kept talking about a bigger showdown with Manny Pacquiao, whose ditching of Crawford in favor of Timothy Bradley and Jessie Vargas is still fresh the cornerman's mind.

“We keep hearing about a future fight with Manny Pacquiao but there doesn’t seem to be much interest from his team, especially since Freddie Roach got a good look at Terence from [Viktor] Postol’s corner,” said McIntyre.

The cornerman was referring to Crawford’s dominant win over Viktor Postol – whom Roach trains and who also served as a sparring partner for Pacquiao – early this year.

READ MORE...

But Pacquiao instead ended up taking on Jessie Vargas for the WBO welterweight championship in November.

There has since been clamor for a clash between Pacquiao and Crawford, one of Top Rank’s rising stars. Roach, however, isn’t keen on the fight.

“What they need to do – [Pacquiao’s adviser Michael] Koncz, Roach and Manny – is to hold hands and pray and ask for divine intervention directing them to a fight with Terence,” McIntyre added.

The trainer said Pacquiao should give the young Crawford the same chance that Oscar Dela Hoya gave the Filipino icon in 2008.

“Oscar was man enough to accept Manny’s challenge. It’s part of the cycle of life in boxing. Handing off the torch to the successor. Manny should be man enough to do the same thing,” McIntyre argued.

He’s also aware that weight is not an issue for Pacquiao, thus making a fight with Crawford very possible.

“There is no excuse. Manny and Freddie say Manny walks around at 140 [pounds]. Both are world champions. Both are Top-10 pound for pound fighters. It’s a natural. But it takes two to make a fight,” said McIntyre.


PGATOUR ONLINE

Woods returns with mixed bag and a 73 December 01, 2016 By Associated Press, PGATOUR.COM


Tiger Woods returned to competitive golf for the first time in 466 days on Thursday at the Hero World Challenge. (Stan Badz/PGA TOUR)

NASSAU, Bahamas -- Not only did Tiger Woods return to golf Thursday, he returned to being Tiger. Just not for long.

Hardly looking like a player who had not competed in 466 days, Woods ran off three straight birdies with a variety of shots and was tied for the lead in the Hero World Challenge as he approached the turn.

Three shots in the bushes, one shot in the water and a few fits of anger sent him toward the bottom of the pack. A pair of double bogeys over the final three holes ruined an otherwise impressive return, and Woods shot 40 on the back nine at Albany Golf Club and had to settle for a 1-over 73.

He was in 17th place in the 18-man field. Only Justin Rose had a higher score.

READ MORE...

Even so, Woods has reason to be encouraged. After taking off 15 months to recover from two back surgeries, he felt no pain or limitations. His misses were not big, just costly. And he was playing again.

"It could have been something really good," Woods said. "I got off to a nice, solid start and made a few mistakes there. I didn't play the par 5s very well in the middle part of the round and consequently, got it going the wrong way. ... But all in all, I feel pretty good. I'm looking forward to another three more days."

He was nine shots behind J.B. Holmes, who opened with an 8-under 64 and had a one-shot lead over Hideki Matsuyama, with U.S. Open champion Dustin Johnson at 66.

Curiosity was greater than expectations for Woods, who was coming off the longest hiatus of his golfing life. Plagued by back problems since 2013 when he was No. 1 in the world, he finally shut it down after tying for 10th in the Wyndham Championship on Aug. 23, 2015, and then going through two back surgeries.

Tiger Woods' near ace is the Shot of the Day Shot of the Day
Tiger Woods' near ace is the Shot of the Day
He was in so much pain last year there were times he wondered he had played his last tournament.

With high anticipation, he tugged his opening tee shot into the rough on the left edge of a bunker and gouged that out to 15 feet for par. Just like that, it all started to feel as though he had never been away.

"By the time I hit my tee shot on the second hole, I had already gotten into the flow of the round," Woods said. "That's something that for me, when I've taken layoffs and taken breaks, it's how quickly can I find the feel of the round? To not play in 15, 16 months and get it on the second hole is nice."

He also knew that with only a stiff tropical wind behind him on three of the par 5s, scores would be low.

For a short time, Woods seemed up to the task. He hit a 5-iron from 231 yards just over the green and passed his first test, a 30-yard pitch-and-run and that checked slightly and rolled out to a few feet from the hole for a birdie . He faced a more difficult pitch up the slope on the next hole and hit a chunk-and-run to 3 feet.

His confidence kept building -- the flop shot from 40 yards to 5 feet for birdie on the par-5 sixth, the wedge to 5 feet for birdie on the seventh, and a 6-iron he struck so well on the par-3 eighth that he was asking for perfection. "One yard! One yard!" he said as the ball was in the air, and then settled 2 feet away.

At that point he was tied with Holmes.

But he flubbed a pitch on the par-5 ninth and made bogey. Two holes later, he flared an iron from the sandy waste area into a bush and had to take a penalty shot, making another bogey on a par 5. Woods was still hanging around in the middle of the pack when he hit 7-iron to 12 feet on the par-5 15th and two-putted for birdie.

And then it all fell apart.

Froom the middle of the 16th fairway, he pulled his approach and dropped the club as it sailed into a bush. He had to play that backward to the fairway, pitched a wedge some 30 feet by and made double bogey. And then on the 18th, he pulled his driver and immediately slammed the club into the turf as he watched for the splash.

His pitch hit the pin -- it was too strong, anyway -- and he missed from 20 feet for another bogey.

"Just made some really silly mistakes, mistakes I don't normally make," Woods said. "But I haven't played in a while. Unfortunately, I made those mistakes. I can clean that up. We've got three more days. Wind is supposed to pump on the weekend, and I'll be playing a little bit better."

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

ALSO FROM PHILSTAR

Federer, Williams out of IPTL due to financial issues (Associated Press) | Updated December 7, 2016 - 11:26am 6 79 googleplus0 0


Serena Williams and Roger Federer | AP

Roger Federer and Serena Williams are not going to participate in the third edition of the International Premier Tennis League because of financial issues for the exhibition series.

Mahesh Bhupathi, a player and managing director of IPTL, issued a statement Monday night blaming the "uncertainty of spending money" and the "current economic climate in India."

Bhupathi said he hoped Federer, the owner of 17 Grand Slam titles, and Williams, who has won 22 major singles trophies, would play in the IPTL in the future.

Federer has not played since re-injuring his surgically repaired left knee at Wimbledon in July.


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