Freeman Cebu Sports


SPORT EYE - Raffy T. Uytiepo - The Freeman

In a previous column, I mentioned that I’ve always associated myself with the color green.  Yes, Green is the color of my alma mater La Salle and my favorite NBA team, the Boston Celtics.  Green is also the color of my local collegiate team, the University of the Visayas Lancers.  So my buddy, JingJing Rama asked me if I’m “dugong verde”.  I said yes, but it’s not the same blood cells as the third sex.  Yes, green is also the color of money (green bucks or US dollars).  Back to sports, the Boston Celtics are making waves in the NBA. As I write this column, the Celtics have won 15 straight games after losing the first two, to lead the league.  Despite the loss of Gordon Hayward, with a  dislocated ankle, the Celtics are off to their best start, thanks to Kyrie Irving who is out to prove  that he’s not second fiddle to former teammate Lebron James.  Providing huge support to Irving are Al Horford, who’s playing center and averaging 15.5 points per game and rookies Jayson Tatum and Marcus Morris who both averaged 13 points.  But the biggest surprise is Jaylen Brown.  Jaylen proved to be a worthy replacement for Hayward as he averaged over 15 points per game.  In the game against Horford’s former team, the Atlanta Hawks, Brown scored a career-high 27 points.  It was a brilliant move by the Celtics youthful coach Brad Stevens to acquire young players Brown 20, Tatum 19 and Terry Rozier 23.  Of course, Marcus Smart is still  a force to reckon with.  In getting Irving, Boston traded Isaiah Thomas, Jae Crowder, Kelly Olynyk and Amir Johnson.  If Hayward who averages 21 points for the Utah Jazz returns, it could spell trouble for the opposition including the Golden State Warriors who were clobbered by Boston just recently.

La Salle

Even before the UAAP Season 80 opened, defending  champion De La Salle Archers have been installed as heavy favorite to repeat this year.  Big man Ben Mbala is of course the main reason why the Archers are predicted to dominate the opposition while the Ateneo Blue Eagles topped the elimination and rolled to its 11th win before being stopped by La Salle, the Archers are slowly peaking and will be in top form come championship day.  La Salle is now in the Finals after it came from behind to beat the Adamson Falcons.  It was a different story for Ateneo, however, as it lost to the FEU Tamaraws last Sunday for a rubber match on Wednesday.  The Eagles enjoyed a twice –to-beat advantage.  In that game, I found myself rooting for the the Blue Eagles.  Well, I want La Salle to face Ateneo in the championship.  It’s a different feeling when you beat the Blue Eagles.

Did you know?

Jabbar and Ali.In a 1966 party, NBA legend Kareem Abdul–Jabbar played the drums while Muhammad Ali strummed his guitar. Jabbar said ”I maybe 7’2” but I never felt taller that when standing in his shadow”.  In 1964, the Beatles visited Ali in his Miami Gym.  In 1969, Ali wore a beard and a wig for the very short lived Broadway musical, Buck White.

Boxers Mike Tyson and Lennox Lewis as well as Jerry Ellis , brother of Jimmy Ellis and actor Will Smith (who played Ali in the movie) were pallbearers during Ali’s burial in Louisville, Kentucky, his hometown.

Actor Paul Newman  came second in the 1979 Le Mans 24 hour race.

Singer Neil Diamond of Sweet Caroline fame, was an accomplished fencer

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