Quantcast
Latest Stories

The 10 biggest sports stories of 2012

By

Defeat,  more than victory, defined what otherwise had been a momentous year in Philippine sports. Funny, but it continues to haunt us as we close a 365-day chapter in local sports. We continue to ask ourselves: “How could that happen?”

What gives?

The nation’s biggest athletic hero, who we adore for keeping the country firmly in the international sporting firmament for a full decade, tasted defeat not once but twice.

For sure, there were other achievements that somehow cushioned the sad, sad year in the ring of boxing superstar Manny Pacquiao.

Nine more of 2012’s biggest stories, as culled in a poll among the Inquirer Sports’ staff, join the Pacquiao copy in the year’s Top 10.

The honorable mentions: The gold-medal victory in the world taekwondo poomsae championships in Colombia of 15-year-old Mikaela Calamba; the rare horse racing double by Hagdang Bato in scoring a Triple Crown sweep and topping the Presidential Gold Cup; Johnny Arcilla’s unprecedented seventh PCA Open singles title; the victory in the POC elections of the ticket of incumbent president Jose Cojuangco Jr.; the second successive Philippine Cup championship nailed by the Talk ‘N Text Tropang Texters in the PBA; and the triumph of Mark Galedo in the gruelling Ronda Pilipinas cycling marathon, in that order.

In this second of a two-part series, we present the top five stories, according to how we see their impact on the nation’s sporting consciousness, in reverse order.

In the previous installment of this yearender, we already provided you the bottom half of the list: Rain or Shine’s breakthrough PBA title, Franki Miñoza’s Japan Senior Open victory, San Beda’s NCAA championship, the country’s zero output in the London Olympics and the continued rise of the Philippine Azkals, capped by their semifinal stint in the AFF Suzuki Cup.

5 Eagles complete ‘Drive for Five’

ATENEO celebrates a fifth straight championship. AUGUST DELA CRUZ

Ateneo showed what a dynasty looks like as the Blue Eagles captured a fifth straight UAAP men’s basketball championship.

Steered by American coach Norman Black, Ateneo emerged as the most dominant team in the league in the last 40 years since University of the East reigned for seven seasons starting in 1965.

But Ateneo had to deal with a gritty University of Santo Tomas in the title series, which the Blue Eagles swept, 2-0, by just an average of four points.

Finals MVP Nico Salva, Kiefer Ravena and Greg Slaughter powered the Blue Eagles, who kept their focus amid some off-court drama.

Ateneo’s top patron Manny V. Pangilinan severed ties with his alma mater, which prompted Black to offer his resignation in the crucial stretch of the season.

Black, too, had a heated word war with UST coach Pido Jarencio that spiced up the rivalry in the title series.

But the animosities all led to reconciliation, leaving the Blue Eagles to just enjoy their historic conquest.  Jasmine W. Payo

4 Viloria goes 2-0

Just when his stamina seems to be on the wane, Brian Viloria struck back hard this year.

Enjoying a second wind, Viloria knocked out Omar Niño Romero and Hernan “Tyson” Marquez in succession to solidify his hold of the world flyweight crown and put himself in contention for Fighter of the Year.

That Viloria stopped Romero in the ninth round at Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig and Marquez in the 10th round in Los Angeles, California, were testaments to the new-found staying power of the “Hawaiian Punch.”

More than two years ago, Viloria appeared headed for oblivion as he ran out of gas and got stopped by Carlos Tamara in the 12th round.

But with wife Erica, a nurse, by his side, Viloria altered his diet and is now reaping the dividends. Looking younger, better and stronger at 32. Roy Luarca

3 PH 5 beats US, rules Jones Cup

Smart Gilas given recognition by the Senate after winning the 2012 Jones Cup.

In a hoop-crazy country, no victory can send people in a delirious celebration than one fashioned on a basketball court.

And when that victory is scored against an American team, the din is amplified.

A gut-wrenching 76-75 victory by the country’s national team, the Smart Gilas Pilipinas, over Team USA in the William Jones Cup became one of the Philippines’ golden moment in basketball in the international arena.

The Nationals grabbed that victory from the crushing jaws of a 13-point deficit allowed Smart Gilas to bring home the Jones Cup for the first time since 1998.

So significant was the victory that it turned the game’s biggest hero—ironically the smallest guy in the court—into a valuable commodity back home.

After quarterbacking the team to the pulsating win, LA Tenorio became part of a huge trade that saw him jump from Alaska to Barangay Ginebra.

Tenorio’s heroics made him an instant hit among basketball fans, his name immediately turning into a trending topic in social media. Francis T. J. Ochoa

2 Donaire redeems Pinoy pride

Donaire wins fighter of the year. AP Photo

Vindication goes by the name of Nonito Donaire Jr.

Losses on international fronts by beloved icon Manny Pacquiao and the rising Philippine Azkals left Philippine sports fans looking to Donaire for salvation.

And “The Filipino Flash” responded, capping a busy year with a massive knockout victory over Jorge Arce of Mexico using his patented left hook, which ended the battle for the WBO super bantamweight crown in the third round.

Donaire’s earlier victims in order were former world champion Wilfredo Vasquez Jr., former IBF titlist Jeffrey Mathebula and former WBC king Toshiaki Noishioka, who later announced his retirement.

The battle-ravaged Arce, a four-division world champion, also called it quits right after failing the predominantly Latino crowd at Toyota Center in Houston.

Donaire’s victory was the perfect highlight to end the year. It eased the pain of Manny Pacquiao’s defeat to nemesis Juan Manuel Marquez and also assured fight fans that the Philippines will still have a big-named star in the international scene even if the Pacman decides to call it quits.

Riding an 11-year,  30-bout win skein, Donaire has been named Fighter of the Year by both ESPN and BoxingScene.com and is also the pacesetter in the Boxing Writers Association of America FOTY derby. Roy Luarca

1 Pacquiao, PH icon, falls vs old rival

The world was stunned as Pacquiao drops to the canvass. AP Photo

Manny Pacquiao sprawled on the canvas, face first. Motionless and senseless.

Juan Manuel Marquez atop the first rope on the other corner, arms raised in triumph.

This is the lingering image that shook  Philippine sports and the boxing world last year.

All it took was a dynamite right thrown by the Mexican that exploded on Pacquiao’s chin coming in with one second to go in the sixth round to shatter the eight-division world champion’s mythical ring rampage on Dec. 8.

Its impact was far greater than the absurd loss Pacquiao suffered against Timothy Bradley, who got help  from two “blind” judges, in June.

It was the sorriest of defeats for PH sports, especially since the ring icon had taken control of the match after a falling in a surprise third-round knockdown.

Pacquiao came back with a vengeance, scoring his own knockdown and then pummeling his Mexican foe to the point that it didn’t look like Marquez had more than a few more rounds left in him.

But then, a moment of carelessness

With the seconds burning away in the sixth, Pacquiao blazed his way inside Marquez’s defense only to walk straight into a lights-out right.

“I got overconfident,” said Pacquiao after the fight.

But don’t count out the country’s fallen hero just yet.

Upon his arrival here, Pacquiao promised to come back and rise again from the humiliation dealt him by Marquez.

Chances are, he’ll succeed if he focuses solely on boxing.

But if Pacquiao continues to spread himself too thin, the downward spiral may be irreversible. Roy Luarca


Follow Us

Follow us on Facebook Follow on Twitter Follow on Twitter

Other Stories:


Recent Stories:

Complete stories on our Digital Edition newsstand for tablets, netbooks and mobile phones; 14-issue free trial. About to step out? Get breaking alerts on your mobile.phone. Text ON INQ BREAKING to 4467, for Globe, Smart and Sun subscribers in the Philippines.


Tags: Philippine sports

  • mannager

    The time has come for pacman,,, he reach the peak and now his descending down gradually . Tyson was one became champion and suddenly became losers.

  • http://twitter.com/AriadneGil Aria Gil

    Inquirer Sports: Once again, you guys are asleep at the wheel. Did you know that last November, the Philippine Volcanoes National Rugby team qualified for the WORLD CUP SEVENS which will be held in Moscow in 2013? When was the last time ANY of our teams qualified for a World Cup?
    Oh, and they also won Division 1 of the Asian 5 Nations last May putting them in the top 5 of Asia. Take note, Asia, not South East Asia.They don’t even merit an honorable mention in your paper. “Journalism” at its finest. Not.

  • WAJ

    How come there was no parade celebration for Pacquiao when he returned to the Philippines. Pinoy’s only do this when we wins and they abandon him when he losses?

  • joshua kings

    to manny pacquiao, you can only redeem your sullied image by ‘confessing’ all about what happened in your boxing career especially your fight with clotty and bradley….ano ba talaga nangyari…sa totoo lang…

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/2MFUGWGHL2LW7TBSREQCPSAWBY Johanness

    Manny PACLIB Pakyaw tama na pagka ganid mo as pera kapangyarihan at karangalan! Tapos ka na nadapa ka na !!!!!

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/XWH5SD6XPM3XKND6PJQQ32ZRAU Mabuhay

    Pakyaw bahala ka sa buhay mo! Kung gusto mo lagi ng kahiya hiyang pagkatalo cge ituloy mo lang ang mga pinag gagagawa mo sa buhay mo…..

  • JOSE RIZAL

    GISING KA NA BA MANNY PACQUIAO? MINAHAL KA NG PINOY DAHIL SA KARANGALANG HATID MO BILANG BOXER. AT ANG MGA TUNAY NA TUMATANGKILIK SA IYO AY SUKLAM SA MGA MUNDONG PINASOK MO NG WALANG KATARUNGAN. LAHAT NG TUMANGKILIK SA IBANG MUNDONG GINALAWAN MO MALIBAN SA IYONG MGA MAHAL SA BUHAY, AY MGA LINTA AT LIMATIK NA HUMUHUTHOT SA IYONG PINUHUNANG DUGO AT PAWIS.  NAPAKASARAP NG PAGKATULOG MO SA KAMAY NI MARQUEZ. SANA MAGISING KA.



Copyright © 2014, .
To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.
Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:
c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City, Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94
Advertisement

News

  • Scientists eye iceberg bigger than Guam
  • Drilon: I’m not on Napoles’ list
  • Sonar finds 1888 San Francisco shipwreck
  • Santiago: Enrile, Lacson, Reyes plotting massive psywar operation
  • Poe, Cayetano to colleagues: Shun formalities, let’s hear Napoles’ tell-all ASAP
  • Sports

  • Promoters Dela Hoya, Arum in talks for Pacquiao-Alvarez—report
  • Benzema guides Madrid to 1-0 win over Bayern
  • Suns’ Goran Dragic win NBA’s Most Improved Player award
  • Heat go up 2-0, hold off Bobcats 101-97
  • Ronaldo shakes off injury fears to play Bayern
  • Lifestyle

  • This woman ate what?
  • Photos explore dynamics of youths’ sexual identity
  • 12th Philippine Food Expo set at the World Trade Center
  • No tourist draw, Malang the croc will remain wild
  • The best flavors of summer in one bite, and more
  • Entertainment

  • What Garcia Marquez left behind
  • Has Ai Ai fallen deeply with ‘sireno?’
  • Sony developing live-action Barbie comedy
  • California court won’t review Jackson doctor case
  • Return of ‘Ibong Adarna’
  • Business

  • Facebook profits triple as mobile soars
  • Insular Honors Sales Performers at Testimonial Rites
  • Apple increases stock buyback, will split stock
  • Cost-recovery provisions for affected gencos urged
  • This time, BIR goes after florists
  • Technology

  • Enrile in Masters of the Universe, Lord of the Rings?
  • Top Traits of Digital Marketers
  • No truth to viral no-visa ‘chronicles’
  • ‘Unlimited’ Internet promos not really limitless; lawmakers call for probe
  • Viber releases new design for iPhone, comes to Blackberry 10 for the first time
  • Opinion

  • Editorial cartoon, April 24, 2014
  • Talking to Janet
  • Respite
  • Bucket list
  • JPII in 1981: walking a tightrope
  • Global Nation

  • Embassy advisory: Filipinos still need visas to enter US
  • No travel restriction to Mideast, DFA clarifies
  • PH-HK relations repaired, but families of victims still being courted
  • Filipinos in Middle East urged to get clearance before returning
  • PH seeks ‘clearer assurance’ from US
  • Marketplace