A familiar ending for Yankees against Red Sox

BOSTON — New York’s bats finally came to life against Josh Beckett. Phil Hughes was looking fairly sharp, then suddenly a moth flies into one of his eyes and the Yankees again unravel against the Boston Red Sox.

Yep, a moth.

Brings back memories of a Yankees’ playoff loss in Cleveland when small bugs flew around reliever Joba Chamberlain against the Indians in 2007.

Jacoby Ellsbury hit a tie-breaking two-run homer in the sixth inning and Beckett improved to 4-0 against New York, sending the Yankees to their 11th loss in 14 games against the Red Sox this season with a 9-5 defeat on Wednesday night.

New York had just scored four runs against Beckett in the sixth to grab a 5-4 lead.

Classy Gasol gives Spain winning start

PANEVEZYS, Lithuania – Holders Spain managed to edge out Poland 83-78 thanks to an inspired performance from Pau Gasol in Group A on the opening day of the European basketball championship on Wednesday.

The 31-year-old power forward, who steered Spain to the 2009 title in Poland, stepped up with some crucial plays in the last two minutes when their unfancied rivals threatened to stun the favorites in the 24-team Eurobasket tournament.

France point guard Tony Parker was the day’s other top performer After driving his team to a roller coaster 89-78 win over Latvia in Group B.

The big winners were 2009 runners-up Serbia, who saw off former champions Italy 80-68 in the same group.

Boracay Dragons win silver in world tilt

THE Boracay Dragons frisbee team took home the silver medal in the Open Division of the 3rd World Championship of Beach Ultimate in Lignano Sabbiadoro, Italy earlier this week.

It is the 2nd consecutive Finals appearance of the team. They also claimed runner-up honors in the 2007 edition of the tournament.

The Dragons fell to the United States in the finals, 13-9.

According to the tournament’s website, the Dragons defeated defending champion Italy in the semi-finals, 13-4, to set up the meeting with the United States.

The Dragons’ Kristian Guerrero emerged as one of the top scorers in the Open Division, amassing 29 points in 8 games.

Donaire credits Pacquiao for mental confidence

NONITO “The Filipino Flash” Donaire credits pound-for-pound king Manny Pacquiao for inspiring him and helping him believe that Filipinos can succeed in the sport of boxing.

In an interview with RingTV.com’s Lem Satterfield, Donaire said Pacquiao changed the world’s perception of Filipino boxers.

“Back in 1998 until about 2000, I would go to boxing chats and I would see things like… ‘Filipino fighters can’t break a ripe tomato,'” Donaire said.

He remembered reading that Filipino boxers “bowed down to every opponent.”

“And then, Manny Pacquiao came along,” Donaire added. “Watching a fighter like Manny Pacquiao has really inspired me and helped me to have the mentality that we can do anything.”

Yankees overcome Red Sox in fiery battle

BOSTON—The New York Yankees enjoyed a rare success over bitter rivals the Boston Red Sox on Tuesday, the 5-2 victory in a hot-tempered affair enabling the visitors to tighten the battle for supremacy in the American League East.

Emotions ran high with both benches clearing in the seventh inning when Boston starter John Lackey hit New York batter Francisco Cervelli before Yankees manager Joe Girardi was ejected for arguing a call in the ninth.

Cervelli had begun to move toward Lackey on the mound after being struck, but the matter settled without incident after both teams exchanged words.

“It looked a little weird, but I think it’s part of the game,” Cervelli told reporters. “I’ve got so much adrenaline, and I maybe need to control it a little bit, but I don’t try to do anything bad.

Djokovic, Serena impress at U.S. Open

NEW YORK – Roger Federer and Rafa Nadal are seemingly not the only ones sick of the sight of Novak Djokovic and his domination of men’s tennis.

At the U.S. Open on Tuesday, food poisoning victim Conor Niland of Ireland threw up then gave up during his first-round match with the world number one.

Perhaps the only thing in professional tennis looking more under the weather right now is the state of the women’s game. After just two days at Flushing Meadows, not one reigning grand slam singles champion is left in the draw.

Kim Clijsters, who won the U.S. Open last year and the Australian Open earlier this year, did not attempt to defend her title because of a stomach muscle problem.

On Monday, Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova, made an inglorious early exit and was joined a day later by China’s Li Na, the French Open winner.

Pacquiao-Marquez fight will break all records

MANILA – Top Rank director Brad Jacobs said Tuesday at the Philippine Sportswriters Forum that he expects the third encounter between world boxing icon Manny Pacquiao-Juan Manuel Marquez in November would surpass the previous all time record of $ 1.4 million earnings of Pacquiao-starred pay-per-view fights.

“All the ingredients of a great fight like 38-year-old Marquez’s age, his having had lesser fights, his determination to prove that he has won their two previous meetings, comparison of their skills and talent, speed and fanfare are present in what you might call their penultimate meeting to attract greater number of viewers,” said Jacobs.

“A boxer might be 40 years old but still durable and on top of his sport, while a young man of 25 would be finished at an early age simply because he does not know how to take care of himself and does not have the talent to box.”

Pacquiao begins training for Marquez bout

FILIPINO boxing icon Manny “Pacman” Pacquiao began his training for the trilogy bout against Mexican Juan Manuel Marquez August 30. In an official statement posted Monday on his website, MP8.ph, Pacquiao is quoted as saying, “Training begins tomorrow.” Pacquiao will begin his workout today at 4:00 p.m. in Rizal Park. He will undergo a 2-hour […]

Federer closes first day with quick win

NEW YORK – Roger Federer showed that time was still on his side as the Swiss master rang the closing bell on Monday’s opening day at the U.S. Open tennis championship with a quick victory at Arthur Ashe Stadium.

Third seed Federer, who turned 30 earlier this month, completed a clockwork 6-4 6-3 6-2 win over 56th-ranked Colombian Santiago Giraldo, 24, to the delight of the Flushing Meadows night crowd.

The 106-minute sweep was the first step in Federer’s quest to add to his grand slam record of 16 men’s singles titles with a sixth U.S. Open crown.

A sixth title in New York would also break his tie with Jimmy Connors and Pete Sampras for most since tennis turned professional in 1968.

Federer next plays Israeli Dudi Sela, who battled back from two sets down to beat Thomaz Bellucci of Brazil.

A-Rod could miss Boston series with injury

NEW YORK—The New York Yankees fear missing Alex Rodriguez for the crunch series against the Boston Red Sox after both he and captain Derek Jeter were sidelined with injury on Monday.

Jeter, who fouled a ball off of his right kneecap on Sunday, missed the 3-2 victory over Baltimore but expects to return for Tuesday’s opener of a three-game series against the first-place Red Sox.

The same cannot be said for A-Rod, who aggravated a left thumb injury on Sunday and was sent back to New York for tests.

“He’s day to day—I don’t know if he’ll be able to play,” Yankees manager Joe Girardi told the team’s website.

“With his thumb, you’ve got to let it heal, so I can’t tell you exactly when he’s going to be back. It’s just when he feels better.”

‘Bata’ wins Villar Cup

EFREN “Bata” Reyes pulled off a series of magical acts, including a come-from-behind 11-10 squeaker over fellow world titlist Francisco “Django” Bustamante in the finals to crown himself champion of Villards – The Manny Villar Cup (Playing for a cause) Sunday at StarMall Alabang in Muntinlupa City.

The 57-year-old pool legend engaged his bosom buddy in a thrilling seesaw battle but found himself trailing, 10-9, before taking the next two racks to score the victory in this two-day tournament organized by Senator Manny Villar for the benefit of more than a dozen children with cancer.

The win earned Reyes his second Villards title along with P300,000 cash, part of which went to his partners-beneficiaries Jhon Kristopher Dequito, a two-year-old cancer patient from Binangonan, Rizal and 10-year-old Teresita Maribao of Potrero, Malabon, who is suffering from leukemia.

Pinoy woodpushers conquer Merdeka Rapid Championship

FILIPINO Grandmaster Joseph Sanchez drew with compatriot IM Oliver Barbosa in the seventh and final round to create a five-way tie for first place I the Merdeka Rapid Individual Chess Championships at the 5th Floor, Cititel Midvalley Hotel in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia during the weekend.

International Master (IM) Marlon Bernardino sent a report saying Sanchez and Barbosa, both tallied six points apiece, the same output of eventual champion GM Wang Rui and fourth placer IM Yu Lie of China and fifth placer Tumpak Sinurat of Indonesia.

The 40-year-old Sanchez, whose mother is from Samboan, Southern Cebu finished over-all second while Taytay, Rizal native Barbosa settled for third place.