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.

PH Volcanoes finish 7th in Shanghai 7s

THE Philippine Volcanoes are back in the country after ending up in 7th place at the Shanghai 7s Rugby Tournament.

The Philippines scored the biggest upset of the tournament by defeating powerhouse Korea, who were the eventual winners of the competition.

The Volcanoes also defeated United Arab Emirates and Thailand, but fell to host squad China and Kazakhstan.

They eventually ended up 7th in the 12-team tournament.

Coach Matt Cullen is satisfied with his team’s performance, saying that the Rugby team has come a long way.

“This was our best performance we’ve had in the Asian 7s series in the 3 years we’ve been participating,” Cullen said. “They did an excellent job.”

Mayweather, Ortiz both test clean

FLOYD Mayweather Jr. and Victor Ortiz both tested clean for their commission-mandated drug test, one month before they are set to face each other in Nevada.

Nevada State Athletic Commission (NSAC) chairman Keith Kizer told RingTV.com that the results of the urine tests for both Ortiz and Mayweather came out clean and free of banned substances.

Ortiz, the WBC welterweight champion, is set to face the undefeated Mayweather on September 17. It will be Mayweather’s first boxing bout in 16 months.

Kizer said that boxers are mandated by the NSAC to have their urine tested a month before they fight. They are also tested after the fight.

Capiz to host UniGames 2011

By: Jemin B. Guillermo

ROXAS City – The province of Capiz will host this year’s University Games (UniGames), according to UniGames president Roger Banzuela.

Colegio dela Purisima Concepcion (CPC) headed by Monsigñor Vicente Hilata will serve as venue of the 16th UniGames of the Philippine Sports Commission October 22 to 29.

Banzuela said Capiz Governor Victor Tanco and Roxas City Mayor Angel Alan Celino have pledged support for the sports event.

“This is not only an affair of the private tertiary schools in Capiz, namely of CPC, Filamer Christian University, Hercor College, Saint Anthony College and College of St. John but also of Roxas City and Capiz,” Banzuela said.

Analyst: Pacman has tougher foe than Floyd

UNLIKE Floyd Mayweather Jr., who faces Mexican-American Victor Ortiz next month, the Philippines’ fighting congressman Manny Pacquiao will be going up against a more challenging opponent, according to boxing analyst Teddy Atlas.

Atlas believes Mexico’s Juan Manuel Marquez will give Pacquiao war on November 12, despite the Filipino’s apparent advantages.

“Maybe, Marquez is getting old after all this tear-and-wear, maybe he is starting to get too slow, maybe he gets caught too easy. But one thing is no ‘maybe’ – how he’s gonna act. And he’s gonna act like a damn warrior, like a champion, like a fighter,” the boxing analyst said in Boxingscene.com.

He said Marquez’s boxing style and sheer talent will give Pacquiao a hard time.

Fred Couples gives Tiger Woods green light for Presidents Cup

LOS ANGELES – United States captain Fred Couples ended speculation over whether Tiger Woods might be selected for the Presidents Cup in November by saying on Thursday the former world number one would be a wildcard pick.

Woods had been eager to take part in the Ryder Cup-style competition against the Internationals in Australia but had no chance of gaining automatic selection after struggling for form and fitness this season.

The leading 10 players in the U.S. Presidents Cup standings after the Sept. 15-18 BMW Championship qualify for the 12-man team, with Couples adding two captain’s picks on Sept. 26. Woods lies 28th in the standings.

Yankees slam Athletics in grand fashion

NEW YORK – The New York Yankees hit a Major League record three grand slam home runs in one game to overcome a six-run deficit and rout the Oakland Athletics 22-9 at Yankee Stadium Thursday.

Robinson Cano, Russell Martin and Curtis Granderson were the three Yankee batters who combined to make history.

“The fact that we as a team have done something that all the teams have never done before, it’s pretty neat,” Granderson said. “I think it speaks to what this offense is, that anybody and everybody can deliver at any time.”

Oakland jumped to a 7-1 lead but Cano’s blast in the fifth inning trimmed the lead to 7-6 and Martin delivered the lead with his grand slam in the sixth inning. Granderson’s record setting shot came in the eighth inning.

Manila to host 3 billiards events next month

IT will be a busy September for Philippine billiards with the country hosting three major international tournaments.

The World Pool Masters will kick off the competitions on September 3 to 5 where 16 of the world’s best cue artists have been invited including Filipino pool legend Efren “Bata” Reyes, Dennis Orcollo and Lee Van Corteza, who is fresh from winning the 3rd Goldenbreak Invitational 9-ball championship in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

The next event is the World Cup of Pool where two Philippine teams will compete on September 6 to 11. Reyes and Francisco “Django” Bustamante hope to win a third title after clinching the 2006 and 2009 crowns.