Long Teng Cup to showcase young Azkals

THE younger members of the Philippine Azkals will have a chance to show off their football skills in the upcoming Long Teng Cup in Taiwan.

The Azkals will be up against teams from Macau, Hong Kong and Taiwan in the friendly tournament to be held from September 28 to October 4.

“They’re focusing on the Under-23 team,” said Azkals defender Anton del Rosario.

Del Rosario said that the Azkals will be joining the Long Teng Cup in preparation for November’s Southeast Asian Games, where Under-23 teams are fielded.

He added that the tournament will be vital in giving the younger players much needed experience.

Orcollo sails through World Pool Masters; Reyes out

DEFENDING champion Dennis Orcollo had a dominant 8-1 victory against Chang Jung-Lin in the quarter finals of the World Pool Masters Tournament Sunday at SM North Edsa.

Orcollo gave the hometown fans something to be happy about, even as Filipino pool legend Efren “Bata” Reyes bowed out of the competition.

Reyes lost to Englishman Darren Appleton, 8-5.

Orcollo lost the opening rack but swept the rest, outdoing his opening day performance, when he defeated Tony Drago, 8-2.

“It was the same as yesterday and I played a good game, now I’m looking forward to the next match,” Orcollo said after his win, according to Matchroom Pool.

Nadal beats Nalbandian to reach 4th round

NEW YORK – Defending champion Rafa Nadal outbattled David Nalbandian of Argentina on Sunday to reach the fourth round of the U.S. Open before sending a scare into the National Tennis Center when he collapsed from cramping.

Nadal defeated his friend and practice partner 7-6 6-1 7-5 but two hours later he was overcome by pain during a post-match news conference and slid from his chair to the floor behind the desk as officials summoned medical personnel.

Journalists were ordered to leave the room and the lights were turned down, leaving everyone in doubt as to Nadal’s condition, although live footage of the room was shown on closed curcuit television.

Defending champions Spain into second round

SIAULIAI – Reigning champions Spain blasted past hosts Lithuania 91-79 on Sunday to secure first place in their group at the 2011 European Championships while many teams were still fighting for a spot in the second round.

Juan Carlos Navarro collected 22 points and Serge Ibaka came off the bench for 15 points and nine rebounds as Spain improved to 4-0 in Group A in Panevezys.

Spain built the lead to 31 points early in the third quarter before Lithuania fought to bring the deficit to within 12 points with a late run.

“We have to be really satisfied with this result – at least in the first 27 or 28 minutes,” said Spain coach Sergio Scariolo.

“We will stay positive. I think we showed some character in the second half,” said Lithuania coach Kestutis Kemzura.

Pacquiao-Marquez III is worth the wait, says Arum

TOP Rank promoter Bob Arum is glad that it took 3 years before he could arrange the rematch between Manny Pacquiao and Juan Manuel Marquez.

He said the long wait after the controversial 2008 Pacquiao-Marquez fight has actually benefited both boxers.

The 2008 fight was actually the second time that Pacquiao and Marquez faced each other. Pacquiao took a split decision victory in that match.

Their first meeting in 2004 ended in a controversial draw, despite Pacquiao knocking down Marquez three times in the first round.

“Our plan was to put Manny in fights so he increases his pay-per-view revenue, the number of homes, the excitement,” said Arum during Saturday’s Pacquiao-Marquez press tour in Manila.

Talent-loaded PHL team eyes Putra Cup

TEAM Philippines, a mix of seasoned international campaigners and promising juniors, leaves for Hong Kong on Sunday to start preparation for the 51st South East Asia Amateur Golf Team Championship, known as the Putra Cup, which opens at the Clearwater Golf and Country Club on September 5.

Zanie Boy Gialon of ICTSI, Art Arbole, Jik-Jik Abdon and untested Lloyd Go will banner the men’s squad. ICTSI golf program stalwarts Chihiro Ikeda, who has already four titles, many-time Junior World champ Dottie Ardina, Andrea Unson and Jayvie Agojo were chosen by national coach Bong Lopez for the ladies team.

The juniors quartet, as picked by the Junior Golf Foundation of the Philippines (JGFP) in partnership with the National Golf Association (NGAP), will be composed of Rupert Zaragosa, former national amateur winner Clyde Mondilla, Andres Saldana and Gio Gandionco.

Sharapova exits, Murray survives test

NEW YORK – Maria Sharapova was knocked out of the U.S. Open Friday in a shock third round loss to Flavia Pennetta, while Andy Murray was lucky to survive after being pushed to five sets by Robin Haase.

Sharapova was beaten 6-3 3-6 6-4 in the biggest upset of the tournament so far before Murray clawed his way back to defeat Haase 6-7 2-6 6-2 6-0 6-4 in the second round and avoid another early exit at the last grand slam of the year.

“You’re relieved to get through a long one like that, especially when you’re behind,” fourth seed Murray told reporters.

“I’m just glad I’m in the next round and get a chance to improve and play better and give myself a chance,” added the Briton.

Ortiz: Floyd needs to fight Pacquiao

WORLD welterweight champion Victor Ortiz said his opponent Floyd Mayweather Jr. will someday find himself desperately needing to fight Manny Pacquiao. Ortiz, the reigning WBC welterweight champion, asserted he will beat Mayweather on September 17 which is why he believes Mayweather will seek another payday by fighting the Filipino superstar. “Honestly, Mayweather will need that […]

Orcollo set to defend World Masters title

WORLD No. 1 player Dennis “Robocop” Orcollo will begin his bid to retain his title when the 19th Party Poker World Pool Masters gets underway at the SM North Edsa in Quezon City on Saturday.

Orcollo, Bugsy Promotions’ top player, will open his campaign against former world pool masters ruler Tony “Tornado” Drago of Malta at 12 noon.

“I’m hoping to defend my title… I need to play hard. Every player has a chance to be a champion,” said the former fisherman from Bislig, Surigao del Sur.

Last year, Orcollo defeated Japanese Toru Kuribayashi in the finals to cement his status of one of the world’s best pool players.

Wesley So slips to 90 in top 100 FIDE chess ratings

IN the latest World Chess Federation (FIDE) ratings released Thursday, Filipino grandmaster (GM) Wesley So slipped to 90th among the best chess players in the world, from 89th in the previous July rankings, but it was the result mostly of strong gains other top grandmasters made.

Sergey Karjakin, So’s current foe in Round 2 of the World Chess Cup 2011 in Russia, also went down a notch from 4th to 5th in the top 100 list.

Wesley So lets his mind wander for a moment during his second game in Round 2 against Sergey Karjakin in the World Chess Cup 2011. Chess.ugrasport.com

Magnus Carlsen is still world’s No. 1. The biggest gainer in the top 100 is Russia’s Alexander Morozevich, who rose from 48th to 17th. China’s Li Chao was also a strong gainer, rising from 77th to 35th.

Ali trainer predicts Marquez, Ortiz upsets

A LEGENDARY boxing trainer predicts that Victor Ortiz and Juan Manuel Marquez will be able to fashion upsets when they face off against Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Manny Pacquiao, respectively.

Angelo Dundee, who has trained former world champions Muhammad Ali and Sugar Ray Leonard, told RingTV.com that he believes Ortiz and Marquez will triumph against their respective opponents.

“Tough fight,” Dundee said of the fight between Mayweather and Ortiz.

“But if I had a fighter to choose to fight against Mayweather, it would be one who fights like Ortiz. Result? Tough, split decision. But Ortiz may be the winner,” Dundee said.

As for the trilogy bout between Pacquiao and Marquez, Dundee gives the Mexican champion the edge.