Pacquiao-Marquez tickets selling like hotcakesBy Beth Celis
Philippine Daily Inquirer
Mikee Romero didn’t take his first loss in the PBA as badly as I had expected. For a man like him who hates to lose, I thought he’d be up all night trying to figure out what went wrong during his team’s debut in the big league.
But while Romero admitted that he’s the type who always likes to win and that a loss is always painful (“I can’t help it, that’s just the way I am”), he rationalized that the other nine PBA teams have had a long history in the league.
This enabled him to eat a good dinner last Sunday and have a good night’s sleep, less than two hours after meeting with his management staff and coaches until midnight.
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“I think it was rookie jitters that did us in,” said Romero, two days after the loss. “Everyone was awed with the opponent. They were caught with their mouths wide open, not realizing that they should have been playing basketball instead of watching the other team play.
“But understandably, the team barely had a month to practice together. Gary David, for one, only had four sessions with the team because of his commitments with Smart Gilas.
“Ours was a rookie team in more ways than one,” Romero added. “We had the most number of rookie players, our management staff are rookies, and so is our coach. We were all simply overwhelmed by the big league’s bright lights and glitter.”
Romero promised that his team will play better basketball and with more poise next time.
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According to Top Rank promoter Bob Arum, the fourth Manny Pacquiao-Juan Manuel Marquez encounter is projected to out-gross the first three fights.
On opening day of the ticket sale, over 13,000 tickets to the MGM Grand Hotel and Casino event were sold and that only less than 3,000 were left.
To put a closure as to who really won the last two bouts, El Dinamita has vowed to knock out the 8-division world champion whom he has never beaten.
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PBA legends from the United States and the Philippines, led by Seattle-based Abe King, chair of the PBA Legends Foundation USA, are doing the rounds of selected cities in the Middle East late this month to play a series of exhibition games.
The legends will be playing against local teams composed of overseas Filipino workers in Dammam, Jeddah and Riyadh.
Among those in the PBA Legends lineup are Marlou Aquino, EJ Feihl, Bal David, Bonel Balingit, Bong Hawkins, Rodney Santos, Gherome Ejercito, Gerry Esplana, Vince Hizon, Noli Locsin and Ponky Alolor. Head of delegation is Ruffy Ignacio.
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Below is a text message sent by Cathy Rivilla, manager of Phil and James Younghusband, in reaction to last Sunday’s Huddle column.
“Hi Beth. I read your column. Hurtful to see the words “Gospel of Greed.” You just don’t know what happened and what I have always taught the boys: ‘Stay grounded and money should never be a motivation in life.’
“I could not speak to the media because we were afraid that Dan (Philippine Azkals team manager Palami) and the PFF might do more harm to the boys. The boys are hurt with the betrayal and deception. I completely understand your opinion and I hope that one day, when you get to know who I really am, [you will realize that] money was never an issue [in the Younghusband case]. I don’t have an ounce of greed in my blood.
“Mabuti kaming pamilya. We help and assist many less fortunate people and athletes.” —Cathy Rivilla
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