Sports will be bold in 2014 | Inquirer Sports
One Game At A Time

Sports will be bold in 2014

/ 12:42 AM December 29, 2013

A DAY after Christmas, PTV Channel 4 invited me to guest in their daily show “Good Morning Boss” and talk about sports in 2013.  After breaking down our successes and frustrations on different fronts, the young hosts Jules Gulang and Carla Lizardo asked me what my predictions were for 2014.

Predictions are never easy in sports because they can be disproved just as quickly as you make them.  But I believe that speculation is possible, given what happened last year and what the sports landscape is.  Here are a few bold takes:

Pacquiao-Mayweather happens. Take away the money problems, Bob Arum (in a way, of course) and all the drug-testing demands and this is a fight that both fighters see happening.  It’s like a corporate merger that’s about to happen with just a few details that need to be ironed out.  Is Mayweather scared of his unscathed record being blemished? Of course, he’s thought about it but there is just too much money to be made for the fight not to happen.

Smart-Gilas does well in the World Championships and Asian Games.  Once the PBA and Gilas decide on how best to represent the country, preparations will be in full swing for a solid team that will play in the Fiba-World tournament and the Asian Games that follow thereafter.

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At the PBA Press Corps Awards last month, SBP top honcho Manny Pangilinan said his key performance indicator for Chot Reyes and Gilas in the world games is making the top 16 in Spain.  That’s a modest goal, attainable with a few breaks in the draw and big games from the team each time.

More importantly, a decent, fighting performance in the world tourney will spill over to the preparations for the Asian Games.  Again, this is the best time to really go for the hoop gold, now that China is in transition and Korea has proven to be beatable.  Iran will be around but we’ll know better then how to play this tall and hefty crew.

Athletics will shine again.  The 27th SEA Games meet was forgettable for many Filipinos but who can ignore the resurgence of athletics at the tailend of the games?  A new breed of cinder path stars pocketed six of the 29 gold medals the Philippines managed to earn.  They’re doing something right in athletics and it is a start that must be sustained.

The hard reality is that in the Asian Games, the Olympic caliber athletes of China, Japan and Korea will be around aside from the Thais and Vietnamese.  The Thais nailed 17 of the golds in the SEA Games and are aching to shine on the larger Asiad stage. It will definitely be a ruggedly tough field of competitors.

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But expect a few surprises from Philippine track athletes. They may not win as many gold medals but they could improve their times and distances in preparation for future meets.  There’s time to prepare for the Asian Games and other meets next year.

Predictions are never easy but do give us goals to work for in Philippine sports.  Let us hope 2014 will bless us with most of them being fulfilled.  Happy New Year to all!

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TAGS: 27th Southeast Asian Games, Basketball, Boxing, PBA, Sports

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