Senator Manny Pacquiao’s boxing dominance and legacy continues, Palawan.

Scoring a split decision while dominating majority of the rounds, The PacMan proved to boxing pundits, Father Time, and his opponent, Keith Thurman, that he still got what it takes to spar and grind it out at the boxing ring at the age of 40. Pacquiao secured the WBA welterweight crown by his potent hand speed and footwork that kept Thurman at bay and cautious the moment he got floored right on the opening round.

Despite the knock down, Thurman had some good rounds but there was no question that the fighting senator got the better of their match up held last July 20 at the MGM Grand Arena in Las Vegas.

What’s next for the honorable senator is still up in the air. Based on this performance, it looks like he still has some gas to go 2 to 3 more fights before calling it a career. Personally, I think he has already cemented his legacy in the sport as early as 5 years ago. I do wish that he focuses more as a senator of the country now that he has achieved no one has ever done in boxing, that of winning 8 division titles. He can also help in sports development since he already started the popular regional tourney, the Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League (MPBL).

If he still has that urge to compete, he can always try coaching future boxers like what he is doing with his eldest son, Jimuel, who chose to follow the footsteps of his dad. He can set a boxing stable like what the Elordes and Penalosas did after calling it quits on their respective careers.

We of course would respect and support the senator if he decides to continue fighting. The country will always be proudly behind The PacMan.

Update on Team Pilipinas

From international boxing, we switch to international basketball and let’s have a look at how things are shaping up with our very own Team Pilipinas.

Naturalised player Andre Blatche, is already in town and deep in conditioning training while waiting for the rest of his teammates to fulfill their obligations with their respective PBA teams which are now in the middle of the reinforced conference playoffs.

The team has not gone full blast and full force in practice yet and there are concerns on team chemistry in time for the FIBA World Cup hosted by China. One thing that I feel can counter the limited practice time is head coach Yeng Guiao’s coaching style and system.

We are talking about a coach who is a master of utilising and getting the best out of his players, even up to the 14th man on the line up. He is a good X and O’s guy when it comes to crunch time basketball while his coaching system is somewhat free flowing that makes it easy for the players to adapt to. He does, however, expect the players to be tough, perhaps tougher than anyone can think, on the defensive end. He will demand efficiency on both ends of the court and I do believe that the pool he has assembled right now matches his style of coaching.

The point guards will play a critical role so I expect Kiefer Ravena, Mark Barroca, and Paul Lee to get the lion’s share of the minutes with mainstay Jayson Castro backing out due to personal matters. Blatche, Junemar Fajardo and Japeth Aguilar will get the big man minutes while Gabe Norwood and Troy Rosario can provide the defensive wing presence and some shooting. If only we can get Jordan Clarkson to play. He was named to the pool submitted to FIBA but his participation is up in the air since he is entering into a contract year this coming NBA season which means he may likely just focus on getting into the best of shape for the Cleveland Cavaliers and minimise the risk of injury if he plays in the World Cup. There’s nothing wrong in hoping for the best but if Clarkson decides to skip the event, we still got Marcio Lassiter and Matthew Wright who can alternate as designated shooters for the team.

Let’s support Team Pilipinas on their quest to advance past the elimination round of the World Cup. Who knows we may end up surprising top tier teams, Palawan.

(The writer is a senior leader in the Business Process Outsourcing industry managing Philippine countryside operations)

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