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Kevin Alas (/a.las/) is king of NCAA, not Kevin Alás (/aˈlas/)

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I’m not a big fan of hoop games, but I do watch it on TV only when I chance upon family members playing live. I’m referring to multi-titled basketball head coach Louie Alas (dad’s younger brother) and his intimidating Letranista kids Junjun and Kevin. Their team, the formidable Letrán Knights, is currently vying for the final championship slot to conclude the 88th season of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA).

My wife dwarfed by my cager cousins. Left to right: Junjun, Yeyette, Kevin, and Kenneth.

Last night, during the Final Four playoffs against the San Sebastián Stags, Kevin was waxing it hot for he was sinking treys from everywhere beyond the arc as if there’s no tomorrow. All throughout the game, he was a rampaging nightmare for the Stags, finishing a career-high 43 points. And hours after the game, he was still trending in Twitter and other social media, something extremely rare for a collegiate cager.

But no, this is not exactly the main reason why I’m writing about basketball. I just have to stroke a pet peeve of mine. If there’s one thing I hate, it’s the commentating. Well, not the whole commentary per se. I’d care less for the whole world whether or not they’re speaking niceties towards each other or screaming in awe for every field goal and kicked groins during game time. What I don’t like is how they pronounce our last name: ALAS. For the record, our last name is Spanish, and in that language it means “wings”. Hence, it should be pronounced as AH-las (/a.las/) and not a-LAS (/aˈlas/). The latter pronunciation is used only during card games (in that sense, Alas means “Ace”). The broadcasting team must have been thinking of Tong-its all the time whenever my cousins are strutting their stuff on the hardcourt. Cayá lang ang saquít talagá sa teñga, eh. I’m pretty sure they’d feel the same way if I murder their last names too.

To all basketball commentators in both the NCAA and the PBA (for Uncle Louie is now part of Alaska Ace’s coaching staff), this is something for you to chew over.

On a side note, I was surprised that this season’s NCAA theme is in Spanish: ¡CELEBRAMOS 88! Conquistar por tu honor nuevas glorias (To conquer new glories for your honor). But all that wonderment ceased when I learned that the host school was Colegio de San Juan de Letrán, my Uncle and cousins’ team school.

Wow! I didn’t know that this season’s theme is in Spanish! Cool!

The theme is actually culled from the school’s hymn which is still in Spanish.

I’m glad that Letrán still keeps their Filipino Identity alive, albeit just the name and the school. Unlike the rather sorry case for Universidad de Santo Tomás. Some pathetic officials there in the past (and may God bless and forgive them for their linguistic and nationalistic treason) opted to anglicize the name of the university, thus the laughable change to University of Santo Tomas. The name is actually Spanglish, the next step towards pidginization, my golly! ¡Ang saquít sa teñga! And to think that this learning institution is Asia’s first university and was given the ever prestigious title La Real y Pontificia Universidad. 😦

If Rizal were alive today, he would have been thankful to have left that university abruptly.

¡ARRIBA LETRÁN!

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CF Madrid too good for Philippine Azkals

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Here are the results of last night’s football charity game for the victims of Typhoon Sendong (from Inquirer.net):

CF Madrid too good for Philippine Azkals

MANILA, Philippines — It was a loss that felt more like a win for Philippine football.

The Azkals Alyansa bowed to a more cohesive and disciplined Internacional de Madrid side, 1-3, Saturday night in a charity game that lured a crowd of 8,000 at the Rizal Memorial Stadium.

Proceeds of the match dubbed “Dili ka nag-iisa” will go to relief efforts for the victims of Tropical Storm Sendong in Mindanáo and for goal scorer James Younghusband, that was already enough.

“I’m glad to get the goal, but for me just being part of this game is already special,” he said.

At halftime, CF Madrid officials turned over a check for 10,000 euros to the Philippine National Red Cross chair Sen. Richard Gordon. The stadium observed a minute of silence for the victims before the game and the crowd sung “You’ll Never Walk Alone” from the 1943 Broadway musical Carousel dedicated to the victims.

Younghusband scored the only goal for the Azkals—a header from a cross from Chieffy Caligdong—in the 62nd minute, but by that time, the Spanish Tercera division side had already settled the outcome after going 3-nil up a minute into the second half.

Rufo Sánchez put CF Madrid ahead with a 15th minute penalty after Eduard Sacapano clipped Daniel García Fernández inside the box.

Fernández doubled the lead in the 32nd minute with a curling strike from just inside the box. A quick counterattack a minute into the second half saw Ignacio Feijoo make it 3-nil with a well-taken strike from close range.

While several players from the United Football League were in the squad, Azkals Alyansa coach Edwin Cabalida opted to field a starting lineup made up of national players.

But the Azkals were a shadow of the fearsome side that won five matches last year, struggling to keep up with the pace and enterprising play of the Spanish side, which continuously created chances in the opening half.

“The fitness level was very low. The passing and combination play wasn’t there, but the team improved in the second half,” said Cabalida.
The Azkals are preparing for the AFC Challenge Cup in March and Cabalida said the match showed there was plenty of work to be done on the team to become competitive in the tournament.

“It was a tough game and we played a very good team which makes this trip worth it,” said CF Madrid coach Javier García Márquez.

A swift three-pass combination from the backline allowed Fernández to run past Antón Del Rosario, forcing Sacapano to go out of his line.

The Azkals found difficulty to break down the Spanish side with Ian Araneta limited to long-range efforts and Phil Younghusband managing just a tame shot in the 10th minute.

To CF Madrid and Philippine Azkals: ¡muchísimas gracias! God bless you both for your charity. 🙂

Azkals vs Internacional de Madrid: a fund-raising game for the benefit of Typhoon Sendong victims

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In order to raise funds for those affected by Typhoon Sendong in the Philippines.

Azkals, the pride of Filipino football, will face Internacional de Madrid C.F. in a charity game for the benefit of Typhoon Sendong victims. The charity game will take place this coming Saturday, 7 January (4:00 PM), at the Rizal Memorial Stadium, Malate, Manila. Tickets are available now at Ticketworld outlets. This is a fun way of helping our weary, hungry, and homeless brothers in Northern Mindanáo.

Pacquiáo wins! However…

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…many who have seen that match, even fellow Filipinos, doubt Pacman’s victory. Pacman won via majority decision: 114-114, 115-113, 116-112. But it was clear in Márquez’s every move that he had thoroughly studied Pacman’s fighting style. To his credit, the Mexican’s battle plan was evenly calculated and impressive.

It should be noted that all Pacquiáo-Márquez matches are not without any controversy. On their first meeting, in 2004, the match ended in a draw; Pacquiáo was believed to have won that match especially since he knocked Márquez three times in the first round. They fought again in 2008. Pacquiáo won via split decision that time, but many (including yours truly) believed that it was Márquez’s moment.

Now many are crying a screwjob. If true, who’s fault then? Definitely not Pacman’s. Besides, Pacman still fought like the champion that he is. Unlike Floyd The Chicken (and Victor Ortiz), Pacman fought cleanly.

As of this writing, the local internet community is disappointed with the win. But what shines here is their honesty. Even if we Filipinos were all rooting for Pacman to win, we didn’t want it to end that way — in doubt. But why doubt that win? Are we all boxing experts? Aside from what we saw in that match, what do we really know about how a boxing match should be scored?

At any rate, Manny “Pacman” Pacquiáo is still the world’s best pound-for-pound prize fighter. But a Pacquiáo-Márquez IV should be in the offing. Make it happen.

Manny Pacquiáo vs Juan Manuel Márquez III live streaming

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Watch Manny Pacquiáo vs Juan Manuel Márquez today right here, LIVE and CLEAR!

The Azkals need an “Ace”

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Joseph "Josefino" Alas y Láus, the future of Philippine football.

Joseph L. Alas (21 November 1994) is a Filipino football player from Valle Verde VI, Ciudad de Pásig, Metro Manila. He is now based in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia where he is continuing his high school studies.

During his career in the Philippines, he played with La Salle Greenhills, Makati Football Club, Unión Football Club, and Alabang Football Club. In Malaysia, he played for Mont’Kiara Football Club and is currently playing with Mont’Kiara International School and the International Soccer Academy.

Equipped with extensive football experience from Sweden, Spain, Denmark, Malaysia, Singapore, and the Philippines, Joseph is also a one-time Makati Football School Most Valuable Player (2009). He dreams to one day play professionally in England, Spain, and the USA. But what he aspires the most is to play for his beloved country in the FIFA World Cup. When not playing football, Joseph also engages himself in basketball.

When looking for new blood, the Philippine Football Federation should look no further: sooner or later, the Azkals will be needing an ace up their sleeves.

Learn more about the new face of Filipino football at these sites:
Website
http://www.wix.com/joester_alas/josefino
Facebook Fanpage
http://www.facebook.com/pages/Joseph-Alas/151964558196325

WWE Superstar vows to destroy Pacquiáo!

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A few days ago, I mentioned an ABS-CBN report about John Cena acknowledging our very own Manny “Pacman” Pacquiáo’s toughness (“Manny Pacquiáo will knock me out in the 1st round.”). Now, even more WWE Superstars are talking about the Philippines’ hottest commodity!

“I think Manny is one of the toughest men in the planet. Pound-for-pound, maybe the toughest.”
Randy Orton (current WWE World Heavyweight Champion)—

“Manny Pacquiáo, I’m a big fan of his. He fought Ricky Hatton and he destroyed him.”
Wade Barrett

“I am friends with the most famous Filipino ever!”
Christian

“I would love to meet him. I’ve seen him knock a couple of people out. Pacquiáo’s really good”.
R-Truth

But right after praising Pacquiáo, Barrett has this to say: “If Manny Pacquiáo thinks he’s tough enough to step in the ring with Wade Barrett, make the challenge,” adding that he will “destroy” Pacman.

This “threat” may not be an empty one. Remember that two years ago, Pacquiáo embarrassed Englishman Ricky Hatton in Las Vegas. Hatton happens to be a cababayan of Barrett. “Ricky Hatton is from Manchester, where I’m from, so I was disappointed,” lamented the former WWE Intercontinental Champion and first ever WWE NXT winner. His disappointment, of course, was directed towards Hatton’s second-round KO loss to the Filipino boxing superstar.

Barrett could be out for vengeance to redeem national pride, albeit kayfabe (actually, Barrett’s from Preston).

This match, whether it be wrestling or boxing, will be a certified hit compared to the dud that was the match between The Big Show and Floyd Maycoward, Jr. in WrestleMania XXIV. For one: it is not widely known that Barrett was once a bare-knuckled boxer in Liverpool. And with his height and massive built, he could give Pacquiáo a run for his money. But to his discredit, Barrett has chosen sports entertainment and has been doing it for quite sometime. If ever he gets the opportunity to fight Pacman in a boxing match (WWE has had a couple of boxing matches in its history), he will need a lot of catching up to do. Pacquiáo’s lightning-speed and granite-hard punches are yet to be matched and conquered.

If it’s going to be a wrestling match, Pacquiáo could be on a disadvantage. Nevertheless, ever since his rise to superstardom, Pacquiáo has not been known to be a quitter. Though smaller compared to Barrett, he will prove to be a tough and stubborn opponent to beat.

The chances of Pacquiáo joining WWE, however, are quite slim given the fact that aside from boxing, the southpaw from Mindanáo is also a legislator. So when not busy with his boxing commitments, he has his hands full in representing the province of Sarangani to the House of Representatives.

Wade Barrett about to perform his signature finishing move, "Wasteland" (forward fireman's carry slam), on Daniel Bryan. Will he be able to do the same to Pacman? Only time will tell.

But Pacquiáo has proven everything there is to prove in the rough world of boxing. The fact is, there is no more need for him and his group to hound Maycoward. just to prove a point. Floyd’s a yellow has-been; there’s really no need to beat someone who can be easily beat.

It’s time, therefore, for Pacman to move to a more glitzy realm, and that is sports entertainment, i.e., professional wrestling. And when one speaks of professional wrestling, naturally only the WWE first comes to mind. The company has a huge fanbase not only in the US but all over the world. Pacquiáo showing up in that company even for just a few minutes will further catapult him —and our country— into the limelight, at least in the hodge-podge but swanky world of pop culture.

If ever, Pacman will be the first full-blooded Filipino to enter a WWE ring. And it’s not even Batista; he’s half-Greek. And whatever Filipino in him that is left, it was already far removed ever since his Filipino grandfather left the Philippines for good.

Anyway, Barrett has spoken. We await Pacman’s response. Poor Wade, though. He should never challenge a Filipino warrior to a bloodmatch. Ever.

Click here for the full article!

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