Quijano: Five guys with one brain

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By Jingo Quijano

Last Round

Tuesday, June 17, 2014


I’LL see you guys this coming Saturday night at the Waterfront Cebu City and Hotel as Jason Pagara (33-2, 20KOs) headlines “Pinoy Pride 26: Fists of the Future” against Mario Meraz.

Meraz (20-3, 16KOs) is a native of Baja California, Mexico and comes in with a record of 20 wins, three losses and 16 kayos, indicating he has some pop in those gloves.

Pagara will also parade a fighting style centered on a powerful right hand, and so this could be interesting.

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On the undercard will be his brother “Prince” Albert Pagara (20-0, 14Kos), another rising gem in the ALA stable who will be facing Mexican Hugo Partida (21-4, 16Kos)
It’s been awhile seen we had a Pinoy Pride boxing card in Cebu and so I expect hordes of local fans trooping to the venue to get their boxing fix.

ALA Promotions is now reaping the benefits of the years when it toiled under obscurity from the mainstream media. Right now, boxing is very popular on television and so there is a demand for Pinoy Pride cards to be held everywhere.

So while we may not be seeing the regular ALA shows in Cebu too often, the fact that they are holding successful cards all over is an indication of how robust the future of local boxing can be.

Hopefully, this impetus will survive the impending retirement of superstars like Manny Pacquiao and Nonito Donaire in the very near future.

NBA FINALS. I seldom foray into basketball, but I’ll say this about the recently concluded NBA Finals: It doesn’t matter if you are the best player on the planet.

Winning championships is about having the best team. And clearly, the San Antonio Spurs was the superior team.

Were it not for a friendly wager with my buddy Dr. Gerry Ypil, I would have rooted for the Miami Heat on account on Coach Erik Spoelstra (like majority of Pinoy fans).

I’m not a Lebron James fan either, but I also think some of the criticism directed his way is undeserved.

He played his heart out and was the top scorer for his team in that series. He just didn’t have enough support from his teammates. Plus, that hale, muscular physique was shackled to the Miami brand of basketball they have been used to playing- anchored on athleticism and individual talents.

The Miami system of play is too centered on their resident superstars, and more often than not, when they need a big basket it’s usually a clear out for Lebron or Dwayne Wade to do their thing. Thus, when Wade and Bosh failed to step up, there was an empty void that even James with his 30 plus points could not compensate for.

Contrast that to the Spurs, whose deadly motion offense, consists of 3 to 4 screens enabling their designated shooters to be free- either to shoot or to make that pin-point, accurate pass to the player who has the better shot.

It’s five players playing together like they had one brain. Not one player trying to play like he had five.

Under the Spurs brand of basketball, a player can have a so called “off night” and still be able to contribute simply because all he has to do is make the easier shot.

This is not to say that Tim Duncan , Manu Ginobili and Tony Parker are not individually gifted, but their system of play which is tethered on marvelous teamwork complements and enhances those individual traits, resulting in a superior basketball team.

Now, it’s time to enjoy the fruits of a won wager….

VERBATIM. “On top of that his eye was closed. It’s dangerous to fight like that. He could have gotten killed. If my eye was like that, they would have stopped the fight the round it started closing. I think it’s not fair!”

-Ruslan Provonikov, after losing to Chris Algieri via split Decision last Sunday (www.fightnews.com)

LAST ROUND. It’s on Tita Cecile Lebumfacil- Gaite who recently celebrated her birthday. Cheers!

(Follow me on Twitter @thelastround)

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on June 18, 2014.

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