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YEARENDER: 'THE BLOCK' BY LE BRON JAMES IS THE SPORTS PLAY OF 2016


DECEMBER 24 -In this June 19, 2016 file photo, Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James (23) blocks a shot by Golden State Warriors forward Andre Iguodala (9) during the second half of Game 7 of basketball's NBA Finals in Oakland, Calif. James had three blocked shots, including this key one against Iguodala on a fast break in the final minutes. | AP Photo/Eric Risberg, File  
They came from many sports, in many countries, with varying forms of pressure involved. But if there's one parallel between all the entries on this list of sports plays of the year for 2016, it's this: They were all unexpected, and all teeming with drama. From the NBA Finals to the Rio Olympics, the Super Bowl to a smaller-division college playoff game, and whether they were offered up by global icons like LeBron James or relative unknowns like Kevin Rader, they were unforgettable. Here, the plays of 2016: READ MORE...

ALSO: Who's Your 2016 Athlete of the Year?


DECEMBER 29 -Composite Image via Philstar.com
The year 2016 has been great for Philippine Sports. It put the country in various sporting maps, and it became a witness to two grand international events. In this PhilStar.com entry, we shine the spotlight on the athletes — who through their stellar plays, and the persistence they’ve shown, make for a great storyline. And while we have already plucked the nominees ourselves, we’re letting you, our dear readers, pick who we should revere as the year comes to a close. Here are the SportsHub’s bets for 2016 Athlete of the Year: READ MORE...

ALSO: Forbes names Pacquiao as one of boxing’s 'MVPs' for 2016


DECEMBER 29 -Manny Pacquiao | AP
Despite already being at the twilight of his career, Manny Pacquiao is still relevant in boxing. Pacquiao had such a solid year that Forbes.com included him in its list of the sport’s “Most Valuable Players” for 2016. Forbes.com’s Josh Katzowitz ranked Pacquiao at No. 4, behind Andre Ward and Sergey Kovalev (tied at first place), and middleweight stars Gennady Golovkin (No. 2) and Saul “Canelo” Alvarez (No. 3). Pacquiao’s high ranking came on the strength of his dominant performances against Timothy Bradley in April and Jessie Vargas in November. READ MORE...

ALSO: Arum awaits Senate sked before making Manny’s next fight


DECEMBER 29 -Manny Pacquiao and his longtime promoter Bob Arum
Top Rank Inc. chief Bob Arum said he cannot make a move regarding Manny Pacquiao’s first fight of 2017 until he receives the boxer’s Senate schedule. Specifically, Arum wants to know when the Senate goes into recess, meaning that could stretch Pacquiao’s ring return to as late as June. Speaking recently to boxingscene.com’s Steve Kim, the veteran promoter said he will even meet with Senate President Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III to determine the best time for Pacquiao to fight again. “The truth is it (Pacquiao’s next bout) would be sometime before the end of June. Now exactly when that will be, I can't rely on anybody except going over there and meeting with the president of the senate and determine what the schedule is for the Senate,” Arum explained. READ MORE...

ALSO: Pacquiao and family spend Christmas in South Korea


DECEMBER 27 -Senator Manny Pacquiao and his family are all bundled up to celebrate a wintry Christmas in South Korea. The senator, his wife Jinkee and their five kids arrived in Seoul, Korea last December 23 and immediately savored the holiday sights and sounds of the Asian neighbor. Photos of the Pacquiao holiday vacation were posted on Instagram by the senator’s wife.WATCH INSTAGRAM PHOTOS,,,


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YEARENDER: 'The Block' by LeBron James is the sports play of 2016


In this June 19, 2016 file photo, Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James (23) blocks a shot by Golden State Warriors forward Andre Iguodala (9) during the second half of Game 7 of basketball's NBA Finals in Oakland, Calif. James had three blocked shots, including this key one against Iguodala on a fast break in the final minutes. | AP Photo/Eric Risberg, File

MANILA, JANUARY 2, 2016 (PHILSTAR) By Tim Reynolds (Associated Press) December 24, 2016 - They came from many sports, in many countries, with varying forms of pressure involved.

But if there's one parallel between all the entries on this list of sports plays of the year for 2016, it's this: They were all unexpected, and all teeming with drama.

From the NBA Finals to the Rio Olympics, the Super Bowl to a smaller-division college playoff game, and whether they were offered up by global icons like LeBron James or relative unknowns like Kevin Rader, they were unforgettable.

Here, the plays of 2016:

READ MORE...


In this Thursday, Oct. 20, 2016 file photo, Los Angeles Sparks' Nneka Ogwumike, left, shoots the decisive game winning shot with about 4 seconds left over Minnesota Lynx defender Sylvia Fowles as the Sparks won the WNBA championship with a 77-76 win over the Lynx in Game 5 of the finals in Minneapolis. | AP Photo/Jim Mone, File

10. Comeback putback.

The scene: No time-outs left, a big late lead having turned into a one-point deficit, and an entire arena in Minnesota screaming for you to fail. Somehow that brought out the best in Nneka Ogwumike of the Los Angeles Sparks. Her basket with 3.1 seconds left in a thrilling Game 5 of the WNBA Finals gave the Sparks a 77-76 victory over the then-reigning-champion Lynx.

9. Catch it all.

One of the last college football plays of 2016 year provided one of the plays of 2016. Kevin Rader somehow — even with a defender wrapped all over him — catches the game-winning pass from Hunter Wells, giving Youngstown State a win over Eastern Washington in the FCS national semifinals. Rader was deemed to be in control of the ball, even while pinning it against the body of Eastern Washington linebacker Ketner Kupp.


In this Aug. 12, 2016 file photo, United States' gold medal winner Simone Manuel cries during the medal ceremony for the women's 100-meter freestyle final during the swimming competitions at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. | AP Photo/Michael Sohn

8. Simone's splash.

Simone Manuel of the US was trailing by 0.47 seconds halfway through the women's 100-meter freestyle gold medal race at the Rio de Janeiro Olympics, and a half-second is quite a bit to make up in such a race against the world's best. But she made it look easy with a frantic final 50 meters, and made history — she became the first African-American woman to win an individual swimming Olympic gold , tying Canada's Penny Oleksiak for the win.

7. Super strip, sack, score.

Last season, but still this year — and still memorable. Denver's Von Miller had two critical strip-sacks of Carolina's Cam Newton in Super Bowl 50, the second one just about sealing the game. But the first one is the one that gave the Broncos a 10-0 lead midway through the first quarter and setting the tone. Malik Jackson pounced on this ball in the end zone, and Miller wound up winning Super Bowl MVP.

6. Nerves of steel.

On the LPGA Tour, teens aren't afraid of the moment. Lydia Ko, 19, and Brooke Henderson, 18, went to a playoff to decide the KPMG Women's PGA Championship. And on the first extra hole, Henderson stood with a 7-iron in her hands, 158 yards from the hole. She knocked the approach within 3 feet, made the birdie putt and captured her first major title . "Like winning the Stanley Cup," the budding Canadian star said.

5. A skate-off winner.

They made it look so easy. Pittsburgh's Sidney Crosby won the faceoff in overtime of Game 2 of the Stanley Cup final against San Jose, played it back to Kris Letang, who found Conor Sheary — who fired the puck between the legs of oncoming defender Justin Braun and scored to give the Penguins a 2-1 win in the game and 2-0 lead in the series. The Penguins would take the Stanley Cup in six games.


In this Sept. 26, 2016 file photo, Miami Marlins Dee Gordon, right, shakes hands with third base coach Lenny Harris, left, after he hit a solo home run during the first inning in a baseball game against the New York Mets. | AP Photo/Lynne Sladky, File

4. For you, Jose.

Dee Gordon of the Miami Marlins hit one home run in 2016. It was of the you-cannot-make-this-up variety — and it will forever live in Marlins lore. It was the first at-bat for the Marlins after the death of ace pitcher Jose Fernandez in a boating accident. Gordon, a lefty hitter, started on the right side of the plate as part of his Fernandez tribute. After moving back to the left side, he hit a ball farther than he ever has, while wearing a "Fernandez 16" jersey . Even some of the New York Mets were in tears, and the Mets tweeted out "BiggerThanBaseball."


In this Aug. 20, 2016 file photo, Brazil's Neymar celebrates with teammate goalkeeper Weverton, left, after scoring the decisive penalty kick during the final match of the men's Olympic football tournament between Brazil and Germany at the Maracana stadium in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Brazil won the gold medal on a penalty shootout. | AP Photo/Andre Penner, File

3. A truly "golden" goal.

Imagine the pressure. Brazil, a soccer-crazed nation, is hosting the men's gold-medal soccer match at the Olympics. The stadium is packed, and all the brilliant young star Neymar needs to do to clinch the perfect medal is make the final kick of a penalty-shot tiebreaking shootout. He found a spot to his right, started approaching the ball, stutter-stepped a bit and then finally delivered the kick . Germany goalie Timo Horn guessed wrong, the ball went into the net and Brazil roared in delight . Most of the crowd stayed in the stadium for an hour afterward, many weeping in joy.


In this April 4, 2016 file photo, Villanova players celebrates after Kris Jenkins, center, scores a game winning three point basket in the closing seconds of NCAA Final Four tournament college basketball .

2. For the title.

Marcus Paige might have just hit one of the biggest shots in NCAA men's basketball championship game history for North Carolina, a double-clutched, acrobatic-leg-kicking 3-pointer with 4.7 seconds left to pull the Tar Heels into a tie with Villanova. And then Kris Jenkins did him one better. Jenkins took a pass from Ryan Arcidiacono, leaped and let fly from well beyond the arc. "Bang," Wildcats coach Jay Wright said softly to himself as the ball was in flight — and bang was right. Jenkins' shot went in as time expired, and Villanova had just beaten the Tar Heels 77-74 for the national title.


In this June 19, 2016 file photo, Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James (23) blocks a shot by Golden State Warriors forward Andre Iguodala (9) during the second half of Game 7 of basketball's NBA Finals in Oakland, Calif. James had three blocked shots, including this key one against Iguodala on a fast break in the final minutes. | AP Photo/Eric Risberg, File

1. The Block.

All due respect to Kyrie Irving's 3-pointer, The Play of The Finals was offered by King James. LeBron James' chasedown block of Andre Iguodala with 1:51 remaining in Game 7 of the NBA Finals — a shot that would have given Golden State the lead — wasn't just the defining moment of 2016, but perhaps the defining moment of James' Hall of Fame career as well. He didn't do it alone, as J.R. Smith helped impede Iguodala's path and give James the extra split-second that he needed to get to the rim. But the enormity of the moment made the block even bigger: Golden State had a record-setting 73-win regular season, the series was tied 3-3, the total points in that series were tied at that moment 699-699. After that block, the Warriors wouldn't score again. And James would soon become a three-time NBA champion .


PHILSTAR

Who's Your 2016 Athlete of the Year? (philstar.com) | Updated December 29, 2016 - 4:00pm 0 0 googleplus0 0


Composite Image via Philstar.com

MANILA, Philippines — The year 2016 has been great for Philippine Sports. It put the country in various sporting maps, and it became a witness to two grand international events.

In this PhilStar.com entry, we shine the spotlight on the athletes — who through their stellar plays, and the persistence they’ve shown, make for a great storyline.

And while we have already plucked the nominees ourselves, we’re letting you, our dear readers, pick who we should revere as the year comes to a close.

Here are the SportsHub’s bets for 2016 Athlete of the Year:

READ MORE...


Ben Mbala

College Basketball Center, De La Salle University Green Archers

The Cameroonian, who was plucked from the Southwestern University in the Visayas, finally played in the UAAP. After sitting out three years to fulfill residency requirements, he lived up to the hype — having immediate impact on DLSU’s game, snaring the league Most Valuable Player citation in runaway fashion; and eventually, after 17 games, the championship.


Hidilyn Diaz
Weightlifing Silver medalist, Rio de Janeiro Olympics

Hidilyn Diaz ended the Philippines' 20-year Olympic medal drought when she bagged silver in weightlifting in the Rio Games. She is the first Filipina and Mindanaoan to bag an Olympic medal and the first non-boxer to do so since 1936. Here’s to hoping her Olympic success is just a start of more medal hauls for the country in the future.


June Mar Fajardo
Pro Basketball Center, San Miguel Beermen

At 26, June Mar Fajardo has rewritten his entry to the Philippine basketball lore. As if his initial achievements weren’t enough, the Cebuano big man furthered his legend by becoming the first PBA cager to win back-to-back-to-back MVP citations. He moves one hardware shy from joining Ramon Fernandez and Alvin Patrimonio who have won four in their illustrious careers.


Eduard Folayang
Mixed Martial Arts Lightweight, ONE Championship

For the longest time, Eduard Folayang had been the face of Philippine mixed martial arts. He had snared various gems for his crown. But for nine long years, a world championship from a global fight promotion proved to be elusive. He ended that drought against legendary submission master Shinya Aoki via a a gritty, ground and pound showing to become a lightweight kingpin and to complete his career arc.


Janelle Mae Frayna
Chess Grand Master, Chess Olympiad

20-year-old Janelle Mae Frayna became the first Filipina chess Grandmaster after clinching the third and final WGM title in the 42nd World Chess Olympiad in Baku, Azerbaijan.


Josephine Medina
Table Tennis Bronze medalist, Paralympic Games

Josephine Medina bagged the country's lone medal in the Paralympic Games. She won bronze in table tennis and was the first medalist since powerlifter Adeline Dumapong bagged bronze in 2000.


Manny Pacquiao
Boxing WBO Welterweight

As polarizing as he is, Manny Pacquiao — at age 38 — showed the world that his fists still packed the punch. After beating Timothy Bradley to cap their trilogy, he returned retirement to beat Jessie Vargas and to become a WBO welterweight champion. And oh, he did that while being a Senator of the Republic.


Alyssa Valdez
Volleyball BOC-Transformers, Shakey's V-League

Although the Ateneo Lady Eagles fell short in defending their UAAP crown, Alyssa Valdez still had a good year. She bagged her third straight UAAP MVP award and was named UAAP Athlete of the Year. She copped the Conference MVP in the 13th Shakey's V-League Reinforced Conference and was named Most Popular Sports Personality in the Push Awards 2016. She is also eyed by Thai club volleyball team 3BB Nakornnont as a guest player next year.

Have you decided? Sound-off with your pick via our poll:

Who is your 2016 Athlete of the Year?

•Alyssa Valdez
•Ben Mbala
•Eduard Folayang
•Hidilyn Diaz
•Janelle Mae Frayna
•Josephine Medina
•June Mar Fajardo
•Manny Pacquiao

PLEASE VOTE AT BOTTOM OF THE PAGE: HERE
VoteView ResultsPolldaddy.com


PHILSTAR

Forbes names Pacquiao as one of boxing’s 'MVPs' for 2016 By Dino Maragay (philstar.com) | Updated December 28, 2016 - 1:58pm 4 326 googleplus0 0


Manny Pacquiao | AP

MANILA, Philippines – Despite already being at the twilight of his career, Manny Pacquiao is still relevant in boxing.

Pacquiao had such a solid year that Forbes.com included him in its list of the sport’s “Most Valuable Players” for 2016.

Forbes.com’s Josh Katzowitz ranked Pacquiao at No. 4, behind Andre Ward and Sergey Kovalev (tied at first place), and middleweight stars Gennady Golovkin (No. 2) and Saul “Canelo” Alvarez (No. 3).

Pacquiao’s high ranking came on the strength of his dominant performances against Timothy Bradley in April and Jessie Vargas in November.

READ MORE...

The Filipino icon hacked out unanimous decision wins against Bradley and Vargas, even scoring knockdowns in both fights. In defeating Vargas, he regained the WBO welterweight title.

“When Pacquiao is in an active participant in the sport, it’s a good thing for boxing,” wrote Katzowitz, who also emphasized the Filipino icon’s dual role as a boxer and a Philippine senator.

“He’s a senator in the Philippines but he made time to fight Jessie Vargas in November, made at least $4 million and looked quite good while winning,” he added.

The 38-year-old Pacquiao reportedly plans to fight twice more next year, preferring a rematch with the retired Floyd Mayweather Jr. But so far, nothing is set in stone.

“It’s unclear what his next move will be, but a fight vs. Terence Crawford would be one of the boxing’s most exciting matchups of 2017,” Katzowitz continued.

Indeed, there is clamor for Pacquiao to face Top Rank rising star Terence Crawford, who likewise had an impressive year. The 29-year-old undefeated fighter also made the Forbes list at No. 10.

Freddie Roach previously stated that he want to pit Pacquiao against Crawford – the unified WBO and WBC super lightweight champion – at 140 pounds, which is widely accepted as the Filipino’s fighting weight.

Completing the rankings are Roman “Chocolatito” Gonzalez (No. 5), Keith Thurman (No. 6a), Anthony Joshua (No. 7), Vasyl Lomachenko (No. 8) and Joe Smith (No. 9).

Lomachenko, the WBO lightweight champion, is also being groomed to fight Pacquiao.


PHILSTAR

Arum awaiting Senate schedule before making Pacquiao’s next fight (philstar.com) | Updated December 28, 2016 - 2:37pm 3 33 googleplus0 0


Manny Pacquiao and his longtime promoter Bob Arum

MANILA, Philippines – Top Rank Inc. chief Bob Arum said he cannot make a move regarding Manny Pacquiao’s first fight of 2017 until he receives the boxer’s Senate schedule.

Specifically, Arum wants to know when the Senate goes into recess, meaning that could stretch Pacquiao’s ring return to as late as June.

Speaking recently to boxingscene.com’s Steve Kim, the veteran promoter said he will even meet with Senate President Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III to determine the best time for Pacquiao to fight again.

“The truth is it (Pacquiao’s next bout) would be sometime before the end of June. Now exactly when that will be, I can't rely on anybody except going over there and meeting with the president of the senate and determine what the schedule is for the Senate,” Arum explained.

READ MORE...

Arum is simply going with Pacquiao’s promise not to let boxing affect his duties as a legislator.

“His first job is as a senator and I can't influence when they have recesses,” he added.

That’s why for Arum, Pacquiao’s Senate schedule is required before they can start finalizing the boxer’s next bout, the first of two planned outings next year.

“I know they (Senate) have recesses scheduled but once I get the schedule of the Senate going forward, then I'll sit with Manny, we'll plan he date and we'll get an opponent,” said Arum.

Although Pacquiao previously stated his preference for a rematch with Floyd Mayweather Jr., the retired American is non-committal on a comeback. And in the event Mayweather passes up, Pacquiao’s camp will look elsewhere.

Rising star Terence Crawford, the undefeated WBC and WBO super lightweight champion who’s also Pacquiao’s Top Rank stablemate, is a likely candidate.

Ukrainian sensation Vasyl Lomachenko, another Top Rank fighter, also has a shot at landing a lucrative fight with Pacquiao.

Arum, for his part, stressed that Pacquiao will have the final say.

“That's up to Manny so I punt that to Manny. Manny will tell me and we have a number of opponents we're considering, a number of ways to go, a number of venues we're talking to about and nothing is going to be finalized till I go to the Philippines and do my due diligence,” Arum told Kim. - Dino Maragay


POLITICS.COM

LOOK: Pacquiao and family spend Christmas in South Korea INSTAGRAM PHOTOS DECEMBER 27, 2016 POLITIKO ONLINE

Senator Manny Pacquiao and his family are all bundled up to celebrate a wintry Christmas in South Korea.
The senator, his wife Jinkee and their five kids arrived in Seoul, Korea last December 23 and immediately savored the holiday sights and sounds of the Asian neighbor.

Photos of the Pacquiao holiday vacation were posted on Instagram by the senator’s wife.



INSTAGRAM PHOTOS POSTED BY  JINKEE PACQUIAO


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