Payatas kids prepare for pricey LA Galaxy football clinic

TEN young football players from the impoverished Payatas community in Quezon City will be among the 150 kids in the P14,000-per-participant football clinic with the LA Galaxy, champions of the 2011 Major League Soccer (MLS) of the United States.

The coach and players said the clinic would be good preparation for a tournament they will compete in on December 4.

“Kuya Dan (Palami) has been so incredibly kind to sponsor us,” said Roy Moore, volunteer coach of the Payatas FC, after meeting on Sunday with the parents of the kids who will meet the LA Galaxy on December 2 at the Rizal Memorial Sports Complex.

German consultant: Develop a ‘PHL style of football’

VISITING veteran German coach Eckhard Krautzun advised Filipino football leaders, players, coaches and parents to “develop a Philippine style of football” suited to the height and agility of homegrown players.

Krautzun said in a news conference Thursday that Filipino football ought to be played more on the ground, with priority on passing, emphasis on tactics, including “triangular play” and less of the high, long balls more suited to taller players.

“More dribbling, shooting, passing, heading, and controlling,” is the appropriate emphasis, according to the German coach who helped China “build its national team.”

He gave the highlights of his evaluation of the grassroots football in the Philippines after a seven-week cross-country tour that took him to Cebu, Davao, Bacolod, Iloilo, and Metro Manila.

Passion has been missing, admits Nadal

FORMER world number one Rafael Nadal admitted he has struggled of late to rekindle his passion for tennis on Thursday after defeat by Jo-Wilfried Tsonga sent him spinning out of the ATP World Tour Finals at the group stage.

The 25-year-old Spaniard ended 2010 as the dominant force in men’s tennis after completing his career grand slam but apart from a sixth French Open crown in June, this year has been a disappointing one by his sky-high standards.

His 7-6 4-6 6-3 defeat by French powerhouse Tsonga came just two days after he was thrashed in an hour by great rival Roger Federer and the zip and spark is clearly missing from his game.

3rd Sugarlandia Christmas Chessfest

BACOLOD City – The 3rd Sugarlandia Christmas Chess tournament will unfold December 3 at Top’s Millennium Plaza and Bowling Lanes along 10th-Hilado streets, Capitol Shopping Center here.

The tournament will feature two categories – non-master chess players for 13-over as main category and 12-under (kiddies) category, for both male and female.

Matches will be on played in three weekend schedules – Dec. 3-4, Dec. 17-18 and Dec. 24-25.

Registration is from Dec. 1 to 2 at noon for the kiddies at Chess Park located at BAYS Center, and 4 p.m. for the main section on Dec. 3 at Top’s Bowling Lanes.

‘World is waiting for Floyd-Pacman fight’

MANILA, Philippines – Roger Mayweather, the uncle and trainer of undefeated boxer Floyd Mayweather Jr., says the only fight that matters in boxing the one between his nephew and Filipino boxing icon Manny “Pacman” Pacquiao.

In an interview with On The Ropes Boxing Radio, he called a Mayweather-Pacquiao fight “the biggest fight in the history of boxing.”

“They want to see Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao. That’s what the world is waiting for. There ain’t nothing else they’re waiting for,” Mayweather said.

“The only fight that makes sense is Floyd and Pacquiao.”

Muñoz wants to coach ‘The Ultimate Fighter’

ULTIMATE Fighting Championship (UFC) middleweight contender Mark Muñoz says he wants to be a coach in UFC’s reality series “The Ultimate Fighter.”

“The Ultimate Fighter” is UFC’s reality TV mixed martial arts competition, which sees a group of professional fighters living together in Las Vegas, where they train and compete for a chance to win a contract with UFC.

The fighters are divided into two groups, each with its own coach. The coaches often end up fighting each other in the season finale.

Muñoz says he wants to be one of the coaches in a future season of The Ultimate Fighter.

Ferrer hands Djokovic rare defeat

LONDON – World number one Novak Djokovic was beaten for only the fifth time this year as Spain’s David Ferrer booked his place in the semi-finals of the ATP World Tour Finals with a 6-3, 6-1 victory on Wednesday.

Djokovic had won 70 of his previous 74 matches during a majestic campaign, but the Serb was completely out-played by fifth seed Ferrer, who joins Roger Federer in the last four at London’s O2 Arena.

Although Djokovic has enjoyed one of the greatest single seasons in tennis history after winning three Grand Slam titles and five Masters crowns, he has been flagging in recent weeks.

The 24-year-old has been hampered by back and shoulder injuries since winning the US Open and was forced to withdraw from the Paris Masters.

China offers to train Filipino Olympic qualifiers

MANILA – The sports ministry of China offered to train Filipino athletes specially the qualifiers in 2012 London Olympic Games.

Sports Minister Liu Peng said the offer is part of the continuing sports development cooperation bolstered by a memorandum of understanding signed during the visit of President Benigno Aquino III last August in China.

“China and the Philippines have very long history of sports cooperation and I’m fully confident that this strengthened partnership can benefit both our countries to develop competitive athletes,” Liu said after meeting Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) chairman Ritchie Garcia Wednesday at the PSC building inside Rizal Memorial Sports Complex.

MLB, players agree to 5-year labor deal

NEW YORK—Major League Baseball (MLB) players and owners reached a five-year collective bargaining agreement on Tuesday that includes extra drug testing and plans to expand the postseason.

The deal, which needs to be ratified by the players and owners, will replace the current pact that expires December 11 and ensures the league will have 21 straight years of labor peace since the end of the 1994-95 players’ strike.

“I believe that this five-year agreement will continue the remarkable popularity and surge that baseball has been on,” MLB Commissioner Bud Selig said at a joint press conference with the MLB Players Association (MLBPA).

NBA players combine lawsuits to speed up process

THE NBA players merged their two anti-trust lawsuits against the league into one on Monday in an effort to speed up the judicial process, local media reported.

The locked-out players had filed separate actions against the NBA in California and Minnesota last week once talks between their union and the league broke down.

The union then disbanded, which allowed the players to file the two anti-trust complaints, though they have now combined their claims in Minnesota, where the NFL players scored a victory in their own labor dispute earlier this year.

FIFA revives grassroots football program in the PHL

WITH the help of the FIFA Grassroots Program, clinics-slash-tryouts were held all over the Philippines to start a new training ground for future football stars.

If this program succeeds, the national football team may no longer have to pull out players from all over the world and realize in the end that they didn’t have enough time to practice together. That was the problem with the U-23 team that competed in the recent Southeast Asian Games.

“If trained properly, these kids are gonna be better than the current Azkals,” said national team coach Aries Caslieb.

SEA Games: Two dead in terrifying football stampede

JAKARTA – Two people were killed and a young boy was left in a coma, reports said, in a terrifying stampede when thousands of fans jammed Jakarta’s biggest stadium for the Southeast Asian Games football final.

An AFP reporter at the scene said hundreds of people were packed tight against ticket barriers as police closed the gates shortly before kick-off late on Monday, with many fans inside forced to crouch in aisles and walkways.

And police told the Jakarta Post that two people were trampled to death after supporters rushed into the sold-out, 88,000-capacity venue by breaking through the gate at Section 15.