Sports moments for US Filipinos in 2013 | Inquirer Sports

Sports moments for US Filipinos in 2013

/ 09:46 PM January 03, 2014

SACRAMENTO, California—For sports-minded Filipinos stateside, 2013 seemed filled with drama away from the playing field than on it.

Manny Pacquiao beat Mexican-American boxer Brandon Rios in a casino town in China, not in Nevada, in what could have been America’s grandest sporting event with a Filipino connection in the year just ended

Filipino fans wondered then why Pacquiao’s bout managers chose Macau instead of Las Vegas for his comeback fight on Nov. 24 (Nov. 25 in Asia).

After learning about Pacquiao’s tax troubles away from the ring in December, they are wondering no more.


Although deprived of the usual Manny mojo, Pinoy diehards found local flavor in their full sports plate as 2013 rolled on.

Here’s some of those memorable moments:

Unimpressed by Tim Tebow, the New England Patriots of the National Football League released the Makati-born quarterback on Aug. 31.

Tebow, now an ESPN analyst, played previously for the New York Jets and the Denver Broncos. He led the Colorado team to miraculous victories and their first playoff berth and division title since 2005.


To honor his Philippine ties, the 26-year-old philanthropist, in partnership with Cure International, is building an orthopedic hospital in Davao City for the impoverished children of Mindanao.

Coming off a loss and behind on points against Vic Darchinyan on Nov. 9, the “Filipino Flash,” Nonito Donaire dropped his nemesis with a left hook in the ninth round to win their long-awaited rematch in Corpus Christi, Texas.


The featherweight debut of the Filipino-American fighter came a day after Supertyphoon “Yolanda,” the fiercest storm ever to hit land, struck central Philippines.

Directly affected by Yolanda, Australian-Filipino golf star Jason Day, went on to win the World Cup at home in Melbourne also on Nov. 24. Day lost eight relatives, including his grandmother in the disaster.

The young golfer and his Filipino-born mom, Dening, held each other’s hand in a touching embrace on the 18th green after clinching the Cup, while compatriots in the United States and around the globe watched on television.

Buffeted by worries about Yolanda’s swath of untold death and destruction, Miami Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra cut a public service announcement in record time and released it on Nov. 13, asking people to donate to the United Nations Children’s Fund (Unicef).

Erik, whose mom, Elisa, hails from San Pablo City, connected with Unicef and the NBA to help a “country that will need help for a long, long time.”

Perhaps inspired by Spoelstra’s gesture, Seattle Seahawks wide receiver Doug Baldwin surprised fans of all colors when he entered the gridiron waving the Philippine flag before his team’s 41-20 home win over the Minnesota Vikings on Nov. 17.

Doug’s mom, Cindy, is from Tacloban City. Carrying the tricolor, although upside down, was his own way of rallying support for Yolanda’s victims.

The disaster struck close to home for the 23-year-old Baldwin because many of his relatives lived in the typhoon zone. There were nervous moments before word came they were safe from danger.

Two sports venues, etched in the US Pinoy’s memory, closed in 2013.

Hollywood Park in Los Angeles, betting central for Bayang Karerista, US edition for years, was padlocked for good on Dec. 22.

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Two days later, the lights went out in Candlestick Park that had been home to the NFL’s San Francisco 49ers, a team adored by Bay Area Pinoys.

TAGS: Boxing, Brandon Rios, Manny Pacquiao, Nonito Donaire, Philippines, Sports, Tim Tebow

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