Wednesday, December 05, 2012

Fair Play: One great week for PHL sports fans

THIS is an epic week for Philippine sports and I don't think there's going to be one like it.

First, of course, is the Philippines hosting the semifinal match of the AFF Suzuki Cup against Singapore this Saturday, our first, then, about 12 hours after the final whistle, it's Manny Pacquiao and Juan Manuel Marquez 4 in Las Vegas.

Pacquiao, last year, was supposed to be in his best condition, preparation and mental state, but days after the bout, we learned that wasn't the case because of the numerous distractions he had.  Now, Team Pacquiao is singing the same song and I hope it will be a hungry Manny who will face Marquez, to prove that his two wins against Marquez were not a fluke.  I hope, too, that those two previous wins by the Azkals against Singapore won't make the team get complacent this Saturday, the friendlies mean nothing.  This is it!

But that's not all of it for the fans.

(I’m glad it’s football first, then boxing because the last time a PHL football match followed a Pacquiao fight, guys who started drinking in the first round were still at it, hours later when the Philippines lost to Brunei.)

On Dec. 12, it's off to Singapore for the Azkals, for the second leg of the semifinals and I hope just like in the first friendly in the Lion City, our kababayans will make the Philippines feel right at home.

Singapore is eager to end its title drought in Asean football, and is beginning to think that getting us in the semis is an easier path.  I hope the Lions continue to think that way, and I hope the Azkals know the other team sees them as easy bait.

Of course, if the Philippines wins the semis, it's off to the finals on Dec. 19 and 22.

But wait, there's more!

On Dec. 15, another star of Philippine sports will proudly carry the flag as Nonito Donaire Jr. will make the defense of his WBO super bantamweight and WBC diamond super bantamweight titles against brash Jorge Arce. Jr.

Arce, 33, is only three years older than Nonito, but has been fighting for 16 years, compiling a 61-6, 46 KO record.

Donaire is 30-1, 19 KOs. His only loss came in his second bout on March 10, 2001, and at that time, Arce was already at 27-3-1, with 21 KOs.

This is one great week. And what will make it greater? Win, win, win and win!

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