Thursday, October 7, 2010

Pacquiao Must Take 7,000 Calories Per Day

Conditioning expert Alex Ariza plans to fill Manny Pacquiao’s frame with added bulk for the Filipino champion's fight against the bigger Antonio Margarito of Mexico.

“He has to eat 7,000 calories more a day,” said Ariza, who has helped Pacquiao’s ascent to the heavier divisions, allowing him to win 7 world titles in 7 weight classes.

The conditioning expert said Pacquiao needs the added size to withstand Margarito’s strength.

“We have to build a stronger and denser body to be able to handle the kind of power that Margarito has,” Ariza said.

Pacquiao’s coach, Freddie Roach, earlier said that Pacquiao isn’t likely to weigh far beyond the 151-pound catch weight limit on fight night.

He said speed remains Pacquiao’s biggest asset against larger opponents.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Chinese Working Team for Hostage Crisis Arrives in Manila

A working team sent by the Chinese government to deal with the Hong Kong tourists hostage crisis arrived in Manila Tuesday morning, accompanied by Chinese Ambassador to the Philippines Liu Jianchao, who had terminated his work report in Beijing ahead of schedule.

Arriving at the Ninoy Aquino International airport of the Philippine capital at around 10:35 a.m., the Chinese governmental working team, headed by Guo Shaochun, a consul of China's Foreign Ministry, was greeted by Philippine Vice-President Jejomar Binay, Executive Secretary Paquito Ochoa Jr. and Foreign Secretary Alberto Romulo in the airport's conference room. The two parties held a talk and gave a press conference.

The incident caused mass casualties, shocking China, Liu said, adding the Chinese government has conveyed its condolences to those killed and made consolation to the injured ones as well as families of the killed people.

China "strongly condemns" the violent act, and would like to make concerted efforts with the Philippines to deal with the aftermath of the incident, he said.

Liu said China hopes that the Philippines will inform China about the result of the investigation as soon as possible and that the Philippines will in future well protect foreign tourists, including those from China, and avoid similar tragedies.

Binay conveyed condolences to the killed hostages on behalf of the Philippine government, saying that the Philippines will closely cooperate with China on this issue, provide all necessary assistance and deal with the aftermath appropriately.

Romulo said after the incident happened he called Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi at the request of Philippine President Benigno Aquino III, telling his Chinese counterpart that the Philippines is conducting an overall and serious investigation into the incident. Once the investigation report is completed, Romulo said, he will go to Beijing to submit the report to China.

An assault rifle wielding dismissed Philippine police officer held a tourist bus with more than 20 Hong Kong tourists on board in Manila on Monday, prompting the police to storm the bus. The Chinese embassy has confirmed that as of 4:30 p.m. Tuesday, eight Hong Kong tourists died and seven others were injured, including two that are seriously injured.

Two Hong Kong Hostages Leave Manila for Home

Two rescued Hong Kong hostages left Philippines' capital city of Manila this evening for Hong Kong with horror and sorrow, Chinese Embassy in the Philippines spokesman Sun Yi said.

Accompanying them on the return tour were two officials from the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region who arrived in Manila by a chartered plane early Tuesday morning.

The other Hong Kong people who were wounded during the hostage crisis and are now able to move about will leave for Hong Kong on Wednesday.

But, the corpses of the victims will remain here for a longer period as the bodies should go through a series of procedures such as autopsy and seeking death certificates before being moved out of the country, Sun said.

However, he stated, if everything is smooth, the bodies are expected to be sent back together with the wounded, as the Philippine govervment is helpful.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Celtics sign 15-time All-Star Shaquille O’Neal

Shaquille O’Neal(notes) has changed The Big Three of the Boston Celtics into a Very Big Four.

The 7-foot-1, 325-pound center in the twilight of a brilliant career is coming to the Eastern Conference champions, hoping to add to his four NBA titles.

O’Neal signed a two-year contract worth about $3 million on Wednesday, a person with knowledge of the negotiations said on condition of anonymity because no details were released.

So this is where Shaq’s colorful career will end after 20 seasons if he completes his contract with the Celtics.

One of the NBA’s most charismatic players will finish with a legendary franchise on the parquet floor beneath 17 championship banners and the retired numbers of Bill Russell, Larry Bird, John Havlicek and other NBA greats.

After receiving little interest from other teams, O’Neal will play on that floor with Paul Pierce(notes), Kevin Garnett(notes) and Ray Allen(notes), Boston’s “Big Three” since Garnett and Allen arrived before the 2007-08 season

From the first pick in the 1992 draft out of Louisiana State to dominant, rim-rattling inside force to complementary player, O’Neal’s NBA travels have taken him to six teams and 15 All-Star games. He is the fifth leading scorer with 28,255 points and 14th in rebounds with 12,921 in league history. He’s averaged 24.1 points, 11.0 rebounds and 2.3 blocks and was the NBA MVP in 2000.

His foul shooting might still be a problem and his lumbering style could slow down a running game, but the Celtics need the big center because Kendrick Perkins(notes) is out, possibly until February, following knee surgery. Perkins was hurt in Game 6 of the NBA finals against Los Angeles and missed the Lakers’ 83-79 win in Game 7.

“If we get to another Game 7 down the line, I’m sure we will be glad we have Shaq on the team,” Celtics co-owner Wyc Grousbeck said.

The team considered too old by some, despite nearly winning the title, has decided to rely for two more years on a group of 30-plus stars, all likely headed for the Hall of Fame.

O’Neal, 38, joins Pierce, 32, Garnett, 34, and Allen, 35. The Celtics also signed free agent center Jermaine O’Neal(notes), 31—a six-time All-Star—after the season.

All five are signed for two seasons, except Pierce, who has four years left on the deal he signed after the season. Point guard Rajon Rondo(notes), 24, also is in the fold for four more years.

“I am honored to be joining the Celtics,” Shaq said in a statement issued by the club. “I have played against Paul, Ray, Kevin, Rajon, and Jermaine for many years and it will be great to be able to call them my teammates. I cannot wait to get to Boston to get started in pursuit of another championship.”

The Celtics won their NBA high 17th championship in 2008.

“It is not every day that you can add a player of Shaquille’s caliber to your team,” Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge said in the statement. “His past experience speaks for itself and we believe that he is a great fit for our roster.”

Not far from where the Celtics play, another large figure on the Boston sports scene spread the news.

“Hey, they signed Shaq here,” David “Big Papi” Ortiz, said out loud in the Red Sox clubhouse after taking batting practice at Fenway Park before the game with the Cleveland Indians.

Just which of the two O’Neals will start at center remains uncertain with Perkins recovering from surgery for torn ligaments in his right knee.

“I am very excited,” Celtics coach Doc Rivers said. “Adding a player like Shaq is a major plus and it fills a void for our team. He’s a real nice piece of the puzzle and he will complement us in where we want to go this coming season.”

O’Neal has won three championships with Los Angeles along with his latest, in 2006, with Miami when he was teammates with Dwyane Wade(notes).

The Cleveland Cavaliers signed O’Neal before last season, hoping he could help LeBron James(notes) win his first title. O’Neal averaged a career-low 12.0 points, 6.7 rebounds and 1.2 blocks in 53 games, and the Cavaliers lost the Eastern Conference semifinals to the Celtics in six games.

In his last game, O’Neal had 11 points and 4 rebounds in a 94-85 loss in Boston.

That’s where he’s scheduled to begin his next season in a marquee matchup on Oct. 26 against the Miami Heat with James, Wade and Chris Bosh(notes).

On Tuesday, O’Neal sounded unsure if he would ever play another NBA game after a difficult offseason of uncertainty.

“For me, it’s been a real thinking process,” he said in Orlando. “I came into the league very graciously and want to go out very graciously. My main thought was I would like to play for a winning franchise, somebody that’s used to winning, somebody that keeps winning. Hopefully, I’ll make my decision here in the next one or two days.”

Now it’s been made.

Airblue Jet crashes in Pakistan’s capital

In a police sources reports, a passenger plane, 152 passengers onboard, crashed into Margalla Hills in Pakistan’s capital Islamabad on Wednesday morning but no immediate casualty report has been received.

From the local TV ARY News, it was reported that the private airlines flight traveling from Turkey to Islamabad via Karachi, the south port city of Pakistan, lost contact with the control tower of Islamabad airport.

According to the reports, the rescue and police teams have been dispatched to the site of crash. The private airplane crashed behind the mountainous range of Margalla Hills, near the Damanekoh resort.

Local media said that the fire is visible from the picnic spot of DamaneKoh and rescue teams are trying to reach the site.

Further from the local media, the eyewitnesses have seen the aircraft taking a very low flight. It was a private aircraft coming from Karachi to Islamabad.

A source in the Rescue-1122 emergency services told to new reporters on the phone that it is raining in Islamabad and dense fog might have caused the incident. Many flights have been grounded due to bad weather in eastern city of Lahore.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Weather Issued at: 5:00 a.m., 05 August 2010

Synopsis : At 4:00 a.m. today, Tropical Depression "Domeng" was estimated based on satellite and surface data at 240 km Southeast of Basco, Batanes (19.3°N 124.2°E) with maximum winds of 55 kph near the center. It is forecast to move West Southwest at 19 kph. Meanwhile a Low Pressure Area (LPA) was estimated at 940 km East of Luzon (16.5°N 132.5°E).

Tropical Cyclone Update
Issued at: 11:00 a.m, 05 August 2010
(Valid until the next bulletin to be issued at 5 p.m. today)
"Domeng" has weakened slightly as it moves in a West Southwest direction.

Gale Warning
Issued at: 5:00 a.m., Today, 05 August 2010
Strong to gale force wind is expected to affect the western seaboards of Visayas.


Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Marquez-Pacquiao part 3 better than Margarito bout?

Manny Pacquaio and Juan Manuel Marquez
MANILA, Philippines – After he beat American Juan Diaz then called on Manny Pacquiao for another fight, Juan Manuel Marquez is now being touted as a much better foe for the 7-division world champion than Antonio Margarito.

Several boxing scribes expressed their desire to see a Marquez-Pacquiao clash following their fights in 2004 and 2008.

Their 2004 bout ended in a draw while Pacquiao won in 2008 by split decision.

Igor Guryashkin of the Boxing Dispatch blog said that Marquez deserves to face the “Fighter of the Decade” once again.

“Juan Manuel Marquez deserves a third fight with Manny Pacquiao. Period. And so do the fans,” he wrote. “Let’s be honest, the repeat peerless performances of one of the best operators in the lighter divisions surely warrants a third chance at Manny Pacquiao.”

Guryashkin also said that while detractors say there is no point for a trilogy, he believes that the Marquez-Pacquiao fight will be entertaining and more enticing to the general public.

But he did not discount the fact that the Pacquiao-Margarito face off on November 13 will be historic as the Filipino boxing superstar will aim for his 8th world title, the vacant World Boxing Council (WBC) junior middleweight belt.

'Marquez is more worthy'

Brad Cooney of had opinions that resonated with Guryashkin’s.

“Some say that Marquez should have been given the victory over Pacquiao, and with his impressive defeat over Juan Diaz, he has demonstrated that he is still the man in that division,” he said.

“Pacquiao vs Margarito would not be as exciting a fight as a three-peat with Marquez would be. Marquez has the perfect style and the smarts in the ring to give Pacquiao a great challenge.”

Cooney also brought up what critics said about Margarito—that he does not deserve to face the world’s only 7-division champion.

The California State Athletic Commission suspended Margarito last year after he was caught with a plaster-like substance in his hand wraps before his bout against Shane Mosley in January 2009.

He even shared what a Pacquiao fan, Donna Crawford of Canton, Mississipi, said: “Manny has worked hard to get his blessings. Margarito got caught cheating, and should not be rewarded with this opportunity. Marquez fought Manny like a great warrior, it should be he who gets to fight Manny again.”

‘Suicidal’ challenge

However, The Philippine Star columnist Joaquin Henson, has a different point of view.

He believes that Marquez’s call for a Pacquiao fight is ill-advised.

“Someone should advise WBO and WBA lightweight champion Juan Manuel Marquez to get real because his calling out Rep. Manny Pacquiao for a third face-off is suicidal,” he commented.

Henson also differed with Cooney by saying that Pacquiao should have won in 2008.

“Marquez, not Pacquiao, was lucky to escape with a draw in the first meeting. Pacquiao was unlucky to be robbed of a win on a judge’s error,” he said.

“For Marquez to claim that Pacquiao is avoiding him at this stage of their careers is pure nonsense. Marquez turns 37 on Aug. 23 and retirement beckons. Since losing to Pacquiao in 2008, he has posted a 3-1 record, the last two bouts going the distance. Pacquiao, in contrast, has won five in a row, four by knockout, since the Marquez rematch and is in his prime.”

Pacquao, the congressman of Sarangani province and reigning WBO welterweight champion, earlier said that Marquez is too old.

Marquez vs Khan next?

Dan Rafael of, meantime, said that Marquez is still a force to be reckoned with.

According to him, the Mexican’s recent victory “confirmed Marquez’s greatness.”

He also wrote that Marquez “desperately wants a fight” with Pacquiao “after two highly controversial results against him.”

But he thinks the Marquez-Pacquiao match will not happen soon as Marquez will probably fight in December against WBA light welterweight champion Amir Khan.

“It's an easy fight to make because they are both with Golden Boy, and it's a darn interesting fight as well. Marquez is interested because he'd like to become the first Mexican to win titles in four weight classes,” Rafael wrote.