Malditas aim higher in football tourney in Laos

GIVEN its reinforced line-up, the national women’s football team laid out expectations of improved performance at the ASEAN Football Federation (AFF) tournament in Vientiane, Laos come October 16 to 25.

“We finished sixth out of eight teams the last time we competed in this tournament in 2009, but with the players we have now, I’m optimistic we can do better this time around,” coach Ernie Nierras said at Philippine Sportswriters Association Forum on Tuesday.

Some of the Malditas, monicker of the women’s team, were with Nierras at the forum. Belai Fernando, Sam Nierras, Filipino-American Heather Cooke, and Filipino- German Kristina Kuter beamed with pride at having the privilege of competing for the Philippines.

“It’s a great privilege for me to play for the country of my mom,” Cooke said. Her mother is from Iloilo.

Pacquiao back in grind, not yet in top form

AFTER two days of training in Baguio City, Filipino boxing icon Manny “Pacman” Pacquiao admits he has yet to recover his fighting form.

Pacquiao, who is training for his trilogy bout against Mexican rival Juan Manuel Marquez, said he had some trouble in his first uphill run.

“This was my first day running uphill, I had some trouble,” said Pacquiao in Filipino. He added that he experienced an increase in his heart rate.

But his trainer and friend Buboy Fernandez is not worried.

“His roadwork was good. It’s normal to experience an increased heart rate since he hasn’t been active for many months,” said Fernandez.

Jones motivated to defeat ‘Rampage’

JON ‘Bones’ Jones, the youngest champion in UFC history, is determined to retain his light heavyweight championship, even if it means defeating a man he respects.

Jones (13 wins, 1 loss) will battle veteran fighter Quinton ‘Rampage’ Jackson in his first defense of his title on September 24 (September 25 in Manila).

“I respect the guy to the fullest. Nothing personal,” Jones said of Jackson.

But his respect for Jackson will not stop Jones from training hard for their championship bout.

“I can’t control whether I win or lose. The only thing I can control is the process, and right now I’m beating the weaknesses within myself,” Jones said in an interview with UFC.com.

No Tiger, no problem for PGA, Finchem says

ATLANTA – The US PGA Tour has weathered the worst of ongoing global economic struggles well despite a 22-month win drought for Tiger Woods, tour commissioner Tim Finchem said on Tuesday.

A new nine-year US television network deal announced three weeks ago should secure growth in prize money from the current level of about $280 million, well above the $80 million from 1997 when Woods won his first major at the Masters.

“I think we’re in good shape,” Finchem said. “We seem to have come through the worst of it in a way that allowed us either to replace or renew virtually 100 percent of what we have.

“It was really a crisis climate for a while. Now it’s a climate of uncertainty. But I think we’re in a position to move forward. I think the confidence that television has showed in us is going to be another step in helping with that.”

USLS grabs NOPSSCEA badminton crown

BACOLOD City – The University of St. La Salle (USLS) men and women’s badminton teams grabbed back-to-back titles in tertiary level Sunday after beating North Negros College (NNC) and Riverside College (RC), respectively, in the just-concluded Negros Occidental Private Schools Sports, Cultural and Educational (NOPSSCEA) badminton tournament played at the Pohang Badminton Center here.

The USLS tandem of Christian Pavia and Christian Sison won over NNC’s Aljohns Aloyan and Rogel Managasi in a closely-battled championship game in the men’s doubles, 21-18, 23-21.

The USLS win spoiled NNC Ernesto Layao’s huge 21-10, 21-7 triumph over Lasallian bet Keanu Glenn Taclas in the men’s singles.

RC settled for the third place after beating John B. Lacson Colleges Foundation (JBLCF), 2-0.

IBP-Neg. Occ. tourney Sept 24

BACOLOD City – The Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP), Negros Occidental will hold sports competition on September 24 among members of the local IBP Chapter and personnel of the judiciary here. The sports competition will include basketball, bowling, badminton, billiards, chess, target shooting and table tennis. The players will be divided into four teams. […]

Bacolod GAEV chess tourney opens Oct. 19

BACOLOD City – The 3rd George S. Aguirre/Atty. Eugenio Villasor Villanueva Jr., (GAEV) Memorial Negros Open Individual Chess Championship will open October 19 to 25 at the West Negros University (WNU) covered court here.

This project is facilitated and sponsored by Antonio Ivan S. Aguirre and Engr. Hugo D. Villanueva and organized and officiated by the Game Royale Aficionados of Negros in cooperation with IKTHUS-Bacolod and WNU.

This is one of the biggest chess tournaments in time for Bacolod’s annual Masskara Festival this year.

The chess tournament has three categories – the open, female and kiddies.

Ortiz deserves rematch, says de la Hoya

MANILA – Golden Boy Promotions President Oscar de la Hoya wants a rematch between new WBC welterweight champion Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Victor Ortiz.

Mayweather maintained his undefeated record with a controversial 4th round knockout of Ortiz in their bout over the weekend.

“I will fight for Ortiz to have a rematch,” De La Hoya said on Twitter. “I feel Mayweather looked good and Ortiz looked good.”

“Ortiz took it to the street and Mayweather finished it in the street,” he added, referring to Ortiz’ intentional headbutt. “Bad sportsmanship by Mayweather. Ortiz was just warming up. A young lion does not deserve to go out like that.”

Mayweather wins in 4th round KO

LAS VEGAS — In just one round, Floyd Mayweather Jr. got a head butt, a kiss and a hug from Victor Ortiz.

He responded with a right hand that ended a bizarre fight early.

Mayweather remained unbeaten and did it in emphatic fashion Saturday night, stopping Ortiz at 2:59 of the fourth round to take the piece of the welterweight title Ortiz brought into the ring.

The end came just as the two fighters emerged from a break, in which Ortiz had embraced Mayweather in the center of the ring. As they broke, Mayweather shot out a left hand and followed it with a right that put Ortiz down in his corner.

Ortiz struggled to get up as referee Joe Cortez called an end to the fight.

“We touched gloves and we were back to fighting and then I threw the left and right hand after the break,” Mayweather said. “In the ring you have to protect yourself at all times.”

Messi hat-trick sparks Barcelona eight-goal rout

MADRID – Lionel Messi grabbed a hat-trick as Barcelona responded emphatically to questions over their motivation by demolishing Osasuna 8-0 in a staggering display of attacking football at Camp Nou on Saturday.

Messi scored his first goal after just five minutes as the Spanish and European champions rebounded from two successive draws to deliver the perfect response to critics who claimed they had become complacent with success.

Cesc Fabregas, playing in attack with Pedro Rodriguez rested, soon scored their second before David Villa rounded the keeper just after the half hour mark and slotted home.

An own-goal from Ruben Gonzalez added to Osasuna’s misery and Messi was on target again before the break.

‘Bata’ prevails, ‘Django’ loses in Predator 10-Ball

FILIPINO billiards master Efren “Bata” Reyes showed he still has some tricks up his sleeve by defeating American Jayson Shaw in the 11th Predator International 10-Ball Championship at the Robinsons Galleria in Ortigas.

Reyes, also known as “The Magician,” beat Shaw, 9-6, in his first game of the tournament.

The defending champion Reyes took a bye in the first round of the week-long event that offers $10,000 to the top winner.

Sharing the limelight with Reyes are Ronato “Volcano” Alcano, Ramil “Bebeng” Gallego, and young pool player RJ Bautista who all beat their respective rivals.

Alcano won by default over Reda Belhaj, 9-0, and then edged countryman Johann Chua, 9-8.