SPORTS EYE - Raffy T. Uytiepo (The Freeman) - March 26, 2019 - 12:00am

Tokyo, Japan will be hosting the Olympics in 2020, that’s a year and a half from today, yet some of the venues are already completed or nearing completion. The Philippines will host the 2019 SEA Games in November this year and we just started constructing the facilities in Clark, Pampanga. Even POC chairman Ricky Vargas confirmed we are racing against time to finish the venues.  One of the problems hounding our preparation is the reduced budget which was cut from P7.5billion to P5 billion.  There’s even a report that Indonesia is taking over the hosting of the Games which was denied by POC spokesman Ed Picson.  Of course, this is bad for the morale of the athletes who are aiming to regain the crown the Philippines last won in 2005 when we host the Games.  Our last hosting was also full of  controversies such as unliquidated budget.  One sports buff said ”Nano man nagpatuga-tuga man ta?  Well, Philippine Sea Games organizing committee chair Sen. Alan Peter Cayetano is confident we will pull this through and is even optimistic our hosting will be one of the best ever.


Lakers Drown In The Lake

When LeBron James moved to Los Angeles, this season, he was heralded as the Messiah or Savior of  the Lakers.  But there were mixed emotions in Tinseltown.  Some diehard fans said LeBron was a “mercenary” looking for another championship ring and was not in the class of Kareem Abdul Jabbar, Magic Johnson and Kobe Bryant who spent all their lives with the Lakers. Los Angeles has missed the NBA playoffs for the last five seasons and just last Saturday, the Brooklyn Nets hammered the final nail on the Lakers’ coffin with D’Angelo Russell doing the most damage to eliminate the Lakers for six straight season.

Did you know?

MARTINA NAVRATILOVA of Czechoslovakia defected to the United States in 1975.  Martina’s family name was Subertova.  His father Kamil committed suicide when she was nine years old and her mother re married thus, a new name, Navratilova.  Tennis was good to Martina, at one point her garage contained a Toyota Supra, a Pontiac J, a BMW 733, a Silver Cloud and a white Rolls Royce Cornioche convertible. In 1987 she attained American citizenship. I met Navratilova at Ceasar’s Palace, Las Vegas in 2013 after being introduced  to the tennis star by my cousin-in-law Boy Chavez who is a head waiter in the Casino. 

GEORGE FOREMAN was a laughing  stock in 1994, when he came out of retirement after 10 years of inactivity and at age 45, challenged world heavyweight champion Michael Moorer, who was 18 years younger.  Moorer had taken the WBA and IBF titles from Evander Holyfield.  As expected,Moorer built up an unassailable lead, hitting Foreman at will.  Then Moorer got careless as Foreman saw an opening and caught the champion with a left and a right.  Moorer was counted out as Foreman became the oldest man to win a heavyweight crown.

IRON MIKE TYSON The former heavyweight who mistook Evander Holyfield’s  ears as “chicharon” was sentenced to six years in jail for raping Desiree Williams, an 18-year old beauty contestant in his Indianapolis hotel room. Tyson at 20, became the youngest heavyweight king when he won the WBC crown by stopping Trevor Berbick in two  rounds in Las Vegas.

DAVID JENKINS who became the youngest ever individual male European Athletics champion when he won the 400m  title for Britain in 1971, was given a seven-year jail sentence and a $75,000 fine after pleading guilty to smuggling steroids in California.

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