SAMAHANG Basketbol ng Pilipinas executive director Sonny Barrios and Solar COO Peter Chanliong have their hands full preparing for the arrival of Fiba Asia secretary general Hagop Khagirian in Manila next week.
“Mr. Khagirian will formally turn over to the SBP the hosting of the 27th Fiba Asia Men’s Championship and we expect him to talk about the event—the format, the participating countries, etc,” said Barrios. “He will also meet with Mr. Chanliong of Solar, which owns the television rights to cover all Fiba Asia events until 2015.”
The Philippines last hosted the same event, then known as the Asian Basketball Confederation (ABC) championship four decades ago in 1973. We won the title that year with a team coached by Tito Eduque and made up of Robert Jaworski, Ramon Fernandez, Francis Arnaiz, Alberto “Big Boy” Reynoso, William “Bogs” Adornado, Alberto “Abet” Guidaben, Ricardo “Joy” Cleofas, Jimmy Mariano, Manny Paner, Rosalio “Yoyong” Martirez, Rogelio “Tembong” Melencio and Dave Regullano.
The PH five last won the ABC crown in January 1986 with a team backstopped by Allan Caidic, Samboy Lim, Hector Calma, and naturalized Filipinos Chip Engelland, Jeff Moore and Dennis Still.
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Like most ring enthusiasts, I am aware that world boxing champ and Fighter of the Year Nonito “Filipino Flash” Donaire Jr. will soon become a father, one reason why wife Rachel, in her delicate condition, was unable to fly with him to Manila last December.
What I had lost track of was the status of Nonito’s relationship with his estranged father Nonito Sr. and other members of his family with whom he was at odds.
I wondered if the Donaires had already kissed and made up.
Yesterday, Kris Aquino answered my question in her early-morning television program.
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Kris said she visited Nonito Jr. and Rachel during her recent trip to the United States and was very impressed with their new home, which is on the outskirts of The Strip in Las Vegas, Nevada.
“Gosh their place is really so big, ang laki!” Kris said as I visualized a ranch-style, sprawling Donaire home.
But contrary to my expectations, members of Nonito’s family have never set foot on their palatial new home.
Jun-Jun (Nonito Jr.’s nickname) and Rachel intimated to Kris that the family feud has remained unresolved.
In fact, Kris quoted Rachel as saying they learned that on All Saints’ Day on Nov. 1 last year, the Donaires had lit a candle for the soul of Nonito Jr.
“Ipinagtirik daw ng kandila because as far as they (Donaires) are concerned, patay na si Jun-Jun.”