Freeman Cebu Sports


SPORT EYE - Raffy T. Uytiepo - The Freeman

No, It’s not the animated RIO movie starring parrots but the 2016 Rio Olympics which fires off in Brazil on August 5.  The Philippines is sending 12 athletes including our very own Mary Joy Tabal to the Summer Games but what are our chances of winning a medal? (We are still dreaming of a gold.) It’s been 20 years since  my “kababayan” and good friend Onyok Velasco won a silver boxing medal in the 1996 Atlanta Olympics.  We came close in winning a gold in the 1964 Tokyo Olympics but Anthony Villanueva lost a controversial decision to his Russian opponent.  Frankly it’s only in boxing where we have a chance for the gold.  Other boxers  who won  Olympic medals are Leopoldo Serantes (1988, Seoul) and Onyok’s brother Roel Velasco (1992, Barcelona).  Onyok, Roel and Serantes are  all Ilonggos and oh yes, Jose Villanueva who won a bronze in the 1932 Los Angeles Olympics.  The other medalists are Teofilo Yldelfonso who won bronze medal in swimming in (200m breaststroke) in the 1928 Amsterdam, Netherlands and 1932 Los Angeles Olympics respectively.  Simeon Toribio (bronze, men’s high jump) also in the  1932 Olympics and Miguel White (men’s 400m hurdles) in the 1936 Berlin Games.  Sad to say, our athletes are not expected to make waves in Rio.  Breakfast buddies Ted and Sam said our team is off to the slaughterhouse.  Don’t be cruel guys, who knows we could spring a surprise or two.  Golfer Miguel Tabuena and weightlifter Hidilyn Diaz look good while Eric Gray (athletics) who clocked 48:98 recently is just a few seconds off Puerto Rico’s Javier Culson’s, bronze medal time of  48:10 in the London Olympics. Just being in the olympics  is honor enough for our athletes.  Just keep on dreaming guys. Sometimes, dreams come true but watch out for nightmares.

Elvis and Sinatra

South Town Centre Mall operations manager Tita Grace Labunog has invited Elvisaya and Cebu’s Frank Sinatra Jhun Villahermosa to entertain the Senior Citizens in a mini-concert dubbed Elvis and Sinatra salutes the Grandparents on September 10 at the malls Activity Center.  The show is a free to the public with veteran mediaman Sam Costanilla as host.  Ate Ging Montesclaros, TV host and producer of As Time Goes By  (CCTN TV) will be special guest.  The  crowd will be treated to songs of Elvis and  Sinatra.  

Did you know?

TYRONE BOGUES  is the shortest NBA player at 5’3”.  Spud Webb, 5’7” won the NBA All-Star Dunk competition in 1986.

ARCHIE MOORE  at 48, was the oldest boxer to hold the light-heavyweight crown.  George Foreman became the oldest heavyweight champion at age 45, when he knocked out 26-year-old Micheal Moorer on November 5, 1994.  Foreman held onto the  title until he was 48 joining Moore as the oldest-ever boxing world champ. 

BUSTER MATHIS  injured  his hand and could not compete in the 1964 Olympics.  The man he beat at the Olympic trials, Joe Frazier, took his place and won the super-heavy weight gold medal.

KIPEHOGE  KEINO   suffering  from a severe gallbladder infection during the 1968 Olympics, Keino, still competed in 1,500m, the 5,000m  and the 10,000m.  During the 10,000m, he was leading with two laps to go when he collapsed.  A stretcher was brought out but Keino got up and finished the race.  Four days later, he ran in the 5,000m and took second place.  In his final race, the 1,500m, Keino won the gold in Olympic record time.

KEN NORTON’s  son Ken Norton Jr.  was a linebacker on Super Bowl-winning teams with the Cowboys and 49ers.  Norton broke Muhammad Ali’s jaw.

WILT CHAMBERLAIN  played in 1,045 NBA games and never fould out.

LARRY HOLMES  is the only boxer to knockout Muhammad Ali in a heavyweight championship  bout. Holmes scored a TKO in the 11th round.

JERRY WEST  one of the Los Angeles Lakers greatest players, is the model in the NBA logo.

PELE  soccer legend’s given name is Edson Arantes Do Nascimento.


As I write this column, another music icon has traveled to Rock and Roll heaven.  Pat Uptown lead singer of the Spiral Straircase died the other day at 75.  The band boasts of hits including “More Today Than Yesterday”, “Our Day Will Come”, “ Proud Mary”, “Broken Hearted Man” and “Since I Don’t Have You”.

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