Top Sports Stories 2011 | Inquirer Sports

Top Sports Stories 2011

/ 04:51 AM December 30, 2011


Manny Pacquiao. AP FILE PHOTO

Editor’s Note: It was, to say the least, an eventful 2011 for Philippine sports with NBA superstars, led by Kobe Bryant, and football great David Beckham, showing why they are legends in their respective fields before an adoring Filipino crowd. Of course, Manny Pacquiao continued to dominate the local sports scene, with his victories over Sugar Shane Mosley in May and Juan Manuel Marquez in November. But the Azkals weren’t far behind as they won Filipino fans over not only with their good looks but by playing with their hearts on their jerseys and proving that there’s more to Philippine sports than just basketball.


1. Manny Pacquiao domination: The People’s champ downed two opponents this year to retain his status as the pound-for-pound champion. Pacquiao overwhelmed Sugar Shane Mosley in May before edging Mexican rival Juan Manuel Marquez in November. Also, let’s not forget Nonito “The Filipino Flash” Donaire and Brian “The Hawaiian Punch” Viloria strut their stuff in sterling fashion.

Cold Mosley disappoints Hot Pacman


Pacquiao: it’s clear I won versus Marquez

Brian Viloria retains WBO crown after stopping Giovani Segura

2. The David Beckham Experience: Major League Soccer champion Los Angeles Galaxy led by Beckham and United States’ all-time scoring leader Landon Donovan put on a show for football fanatics in the Philippines.

Beckham’s charm wins over fans; LA Galaxy conquer Filipinos

Beckham, LA Galaxy overwhelm PH Azkals, 6-1

3. NBA All Stars in Manila: Five-time NBA champion Kobe Bryant of the Los Angeles Lakers, reigning MVP Derrick Rose of the Chicago Bulls and scoring champion Kevin Durant of the Oklahoma City Thunder gave the country a taste of what the NBA is like. Along with Bryant, Rose and Durant were former Rookie of the Year Tyreke Evans of the Sacramento Kings, four-time NBA champion Derek Fisher of the Lakers, athletic big man Javale McGee of the Washington Wizards and No.2 overall pick Derrick Williams of the Minnesota Timberwolves.

NBA stars amazed by warm welcome in Manila

NBA stars put on a show anew; redeem team and co. sweat out win over Smart Gilas Pilipinas

4. An NBA season to remember: LeBron James bolting his former team Cleveland Cavaliers for the Miami Heat to join all-stars Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade was just the beginning. Derrick Rose became the youngest MVP, the playoffs perhaps saw the end of an era with the San Antonio Spurs, Los Angeles Lakers and Boston Celtics getting the boot early before a veteran-laden Dallas Mavericks took home their first title in franchise history behind Dirk Nowitzki.

Mavericks clinch first NBA championship

5. The Philippine National Football Team, dubbed as the Azkals, played in 15 games this year as football continued to rise as one of the most anticipated sporting events in the country.

It’s been a great run for the Azkals

PH football books mainstream ticket

6. Change of direction in the PBA: Alaska Aces’ long-time mentor Tim Cone, one of the most successful coaches in the league, jumped ship and moved to the B-Meg Llamados. The Llamados though, absorbed a stunning setback against the Powerade Tigers in the playoffs.

Alaska Aces, Tim Cone part ways

PBA Philippine Cup: Powerade stuns top-seed B-Meg

7. Almost but not quite for the Phillippine Men’s Basketball team: Smart Gilas Pilipinas came as close as making it to the 2012 London Olympics before falling into the hands of a familiar foe in South Korea.

FIBA ASIA: Jordan ousts Smart Gilas Pilipinas

South Korea jinx hounds Smart Gilas Pilipinas

8. Second generation stars: Newcomers Kiefer Ravena of Ateneo and Bobby Ray Parks Jr. of National University took the 74th season of the UAAP by storm. Ravena won the Rookie of the Year award while Parks clinched the MVP plum.

Zero to hero: Kiefer Ravena backs up hype

A student of the game: UAAP’s best player Bobby Ray Parks

9. The Philippines used to be one of Southeast Asia’s best when in comes to sports, but only placed sixth among 11 participating countries in the 26th SEA Games held in Indonesia.

Filipinos bungle SEA Games mission

10. Spoiled Grand Slam: Talk ‘N Text was tipped to win its third straight title but Petron despite injuries to its key players mustered enough strength to foil the Texters bid.

Petron plays Grand Slam spoiler, stops TNT in the 2011 PBA Governors Cup

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TAGS: 2011, NBA, Philippine Sports Commission

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