Written and photographed
By Jude Thaddeus L. Bautista
Federico Lizo, passed away the same day as astrophysicist, Stephen Hawking, March 14, 2018 at also the same age: 76. While not exactly as renowned as Hawking, most people who knew him affectionately call Federico as Tito P.D. or Tito Pids. He died of cardiac arrest from cancer of the prostate and other complications.
Surrounded by his loving family, he held on to life for more than a day so the date of his passing would not coincide with the birthday of granddaughter Andrea who was born March 13. With him in his last moments, loving wife Rose Lizo, children: Vincent, Christopher, Lisette, Rudymark and grandson Sean.
Although he lived most of his life in Camella Homes Bicutan, he never forgot his original hometown. Born from humble circumstances in San Pascual, Burias an island just north of Masbate in October 27, 1941. He’s a math whiz and a lover of crosswords… in Filipino. No one would ever consider him wealthy but still managed to help his town mates in whatever way that he could.
When a typhoon struck, several times, damaging the church, he asked for donations from family and friends to repair and sponsor, beams, pews and other portions. The gate interestingly enough was his contribution. He involved his sisters Erlinda, Elizabeth and Ami and her husband George Apostol for this effort. Less than a few years later together with the help of many other contributors, they were able to rebuild a new church that is now able to withstand the elements. They have also expanded this by helping construct other structures the parish needs.
From his involvement, teachers from the local school also tapped his help in providing an artesian well. Although they did not ask for it he also donated books and school supplies. After fulfilling this need, he also helped pay for the tuition of worthy scholars. To this end his children have also sponsored their own scholars.
Then it was the hospital (in the person of Armi Gomez Rubia) that came to him requesting a widescreen, high definition TV. This was for patients to watch videos and shows they wouldn’t otherwise see during their stay. The TV was so large they had difficulty transporting and installing it, but provided so much joy to patients and hard working staff.
Son Chris would offer all expense paid trips abroad, U.S., Hong Kong etc. PD would counter that he preferred the ticket and budget be monetized so he could go to Burias instead and help more people. PD ended up not going out of the country at all because of his one-track mind.
His acts of generosity have not all been known. There are a number of relatives and friends he would consistently send money to because of their recurring illness. One of them Rudy Amado has now recovered. These are just some of the acts of kindness recalled by Johnito Agdon, who was his right hand man and caretaker of his home in Burias. Johnito considered PD as a second father.
Rose in his Life
PD had a generous spirit throughout from his youth to his senior years. If he had one fault, it would be his grumpiness that manifested in later years, like most people who grow to a ripe old age. Through the most difficult and the happiest moments of it all is his faithful and loving wife of 49 years: Rose Lizo. Friends and family would come to know her as Tita Rose or Tita Set. Sometimes when he would have difficulty walking or not have enough appetite to eat she would be by his side patiently feeding him and taking care of him.
Rose may have been the bigger influence on her children as an epitome of a modern woman. She worked as office manager for Textile Engineering while at the same time cooking, cleaning and caring for her family. She was a very early example of honesty, integrity, discipline and hard work that would bear fruit in all of her children. As the couple settled in Camella Homes, Bicutan, she became very active in the Mary Immaculate Parish of Levi Town. Rose volunteered her time and effort for several organizations: Lector and Commentator Society, Legion of Mary and Mater Dei Choir.
There was no mystery why PD felt a strong need to help the less fortunate. His mother Manuela Gomez Lizo often went back to the island bringing clothes, sometimes cash for the less fortunate. She was known as Manay Vita and would sometimes even give the clothes from her own back.
PD’s children however are a source of pride and have actually been his support for the financial assistance that he has provided for his kababayan. Eldest son Vincent Troy Lizo has become Business Director at Energizer Holdings, second son Christopher Daniel Lizo is Metro Pacific Tollways Corp (MPTC) Senior VP Chief Financial Officer and Treasurer, only daughter Lisette Lizo is an Associate Delivery Project Executive for IBM Philippines, youngest son Rudymark is a businessman.
Apart from having scholars from Burias whose tuitions they support, they’ve committed themselves to an even bigger project that they recently promised him. They will establish a school named after their father Federico G. Lizo in Burias island.
One of PD’s obsessions is sports in general. He played a mean game of table tennis but never anything serious, as in amateur or school competition. PD was more the quintessential sports fan. He benefitted the most with the explosion of cable television. There was nothing he wouldn’t watch, I remember he had the patience to try and figure out the scoring system of cricket and rugby. There are two sports however that are most dear to his heart: tennis and basketball.
PD’s love for basketball is something that has rubbed off on his children. Vincent had a distinguished amateur basketball career as multiple MVP awardee in the PICAA (Philippine Integrated Chinese Athletic Association), played in the PBL and was also part of the Team B in De La Salle University. He is still active in hoops, playing in the alumni league. Vince’s son Jalen has recently qualified for the Manta Ray international Swimming Competition held in Hong Kong in the 15-18 age category.
NLEX Road Warriors
PD’s second eldest sonChristopher Lizo, apart from being MPTC Senior VP is also the team manager of NLEX Road Warriors. Chris has been with the team years before helping guide their 6-peat championship in the D-League. You can imagine PD’s pride grow even bigger when the team made its PBA debut in 2014. It hasn’t been easy but NLEX finally has a chance to get to the finals this conference.
To do that they have to go through a semi final series against the tough Magnolia Hotshots. If they do make it and finally win their first PBA championship PD will be smiling in heaven. And even if they don’t, in the greater scheme of things he knows his hometown of Burias is in good and capable hands of his children.
George Apostol, a successful businessman in his own right is PD’s brother in-law, husband of Ami. George offers an insight into why PD was so mindful of others. It is a view that is relevant, as he himself has helped his kababayan in Calbayog, Samar. He believes that the desire to help is a way to acknowledge the life changing blessings that God has given them. So whatever form of help they provide is just a way to thank the Lord and give back to the community. “I can relate to his generosity. Di naman masabi na mayaman kami pero na lampasan namin. It’s only natural maging generous ka balikan mo. Kung walang ginawa sa atin ang nasa taas maaring nandoon pa rin tayo. We were like them before. Siya sa Burias, ako sa Samar diba? Yon yung binabalikan ko, binibigyan ko. Siya yon din binabalikan niya sa Burias. Natural reaction yon ng pagpapasalamat. I do not know if generosity is the right word for that sukli lang, giving back lang. Once nilagay mo ko rito salamat ako mag-aabot.”
For George this is apart from PD’s true legacy, “Normal na tanong ng tao, ano kaya iniwan na legacy ni PD? Definitely it cannot be wealth, it cannot be power, it cannot be fame. The only legacy he will be leaving behind will be his family. How his family will behave and react will be a reflection of his own character. Yon yung siya. Kung anak mo bum, kung anak mo drug addicts, that is a reflection. Kung pamilya mo maging productive Christian citizens of the world, that is a reflection on you, meron kang ginawa diyan kahit papano. Yan ang legacy.”
The family would like to thank all relatives and friends who have expressed their love and offered many prayers.
They would also like to thank:
Dr. Ollie Alix and Dr. Jennelyn Javier Alix for their invaluable medical advice and support.
Fr. John Paulo (Pipo) Bautista, Parish Priest and Fr. Dick Eslopor for the spiritual guidance.
Lector and Commentator’s Society
Junior Legionaries Youth
Mater Dei Choir
Choirmaster Bernie De Leon
Mary Immaculate Parish Levi Town
Disbelief was going through Filipinos minds watching Senator Manny Pacquiao get overwhelmed by the aggressive, bigger Jeff Horn. From the opening bell Horn went right at him, forcing him to the ropes. It didn’t matter if the shots were inaccurate they came flying at him. The volume of body shots was also surprising. The body punches may have taken the sting off Manny’s attack especially in the later rounds.
We were so used to seeing him dominate his opponents we were all shocked to see him like this. In the first three rounds, I think he may have been trying to time a haymaker as Horn was coming in. So he wouldn’t lead, meaning try to punch ahead of Horn. It may have been his strategy to wait in the pocket for that perfect opening to land that killer left hook or right straight that had felled countless opponents in the past.
Just like that legendary knockout of Ricky Hatton who came surging at him. Manny caught him with that picture perfect left hook that sent him reeling to the canvas. The technique is deceptive it takes incredible, speed, timing and power for all of it to come together. The problem now Horn was getting ‘in’ and throwing punches before he could hit him with that perfect counter. Instead Manny was the one getting hit.
This made him look like he was pulling his punches. Was it mental or physical? We really don’t know. He looked tentative waiting for the counter. And after the first 3 rounds when this strategy wasn’t working, why wasn’t he able to adjust or change his game plan?
Enrique Gil for CLEAR Cool Sport Menthol
The moments when Pacquiao was forced to the ropes by Horn was also telling. Horn was just busier on the inside landing to the body, short punches to the face. In the past, he could just slip away using his footwork and head movement or even better punch his way out of the clinch. In close quarters Horn seemed to trap his arm and sneak in some damage. This is where the size and strength of the taller Aussie came to play. Before, against Antonio Margarito and legendary Oscar Dela Hoya or the more recent Rios and Alghieri, there were never any problems in the clinch. All of them are at least several inches taller. So prior to the fight, height and reach wasn’t deemed a factor.
While Manny did not suffer a knock down you could see his head getting thrown back from the punches. They were doing damage. For Pinoys who care for the People’s Champ it was painful to watch.
Tanduay Derek: Tanduay Rhum is the drink of choice for Derek Ramsay – from The One TVC
9th Round Comeback
Manny’s shining moment came in the 9th round, when he finally landed a combo and then another staggering Horn. The roles were suddenly reversed. Pacquiao had him on the run, trying to finish him off. Horn looked glassy eyed ready to tumble and buckle under the power. But he was able to survive and go back to his corner.
The damage was such that Referee Mark Nelson, said to him in the corner ““YOU’VE had enough. Show me something in this round or I’m stopping the fight.” If there was a moment Manny could comeback to win the fight it should have been the 10th round where fans thought he had the time to finish him off…but he didn’t. Horn recovered stood his ground and even resumed his attack through to the 11th and 12th rounds. At that point Horn had won more rounds and was ahead in the scorecards getting the win.
Unilever Phil tapped Steph Curry to endorse Rexona in basketball crazy Philippines
Questions come back to haunt MP, why didn’t he pursue those combos or was more aggressive earlier? If Horn was hurt in the 9th why couldn’t he put him away in the 10th or later rounds?
The simple and obvious answer is that age has finally caught up with our beloved hero. Filipinos have been in denial, including myself, believing him to be invincible and even immortal in the ring. For so long, the whole national psyche clung to his rising fortunes and triumphs. He’d lift up the spirits of his country 100 million people strong. It didn’t matter if it was Yolanda, typhoons, natural disasters, economic and political crises.
Nation’s Hopes and Dreams
The young Senator would literally BE THERE distributing relief coming from his own purse, whether it was an earthquake in Bohol or just giving away turkeys to Pinoys or the less fortunate in the U.S for Thanksgiving.
We didn’t even realize how much we’ve been relying on him as a people for so long. At 38 he could have called it quits years ago. But being the warrior that he is even he didn’t want to let it go. If there was anyone who’s worthy of a messianic complex it should be him.
He has shouldered the burden of a whole nation’s hopes and dreams for too long. I think, that’s why even if he is in literal pain he fights through it. He feels he has to fight for us even when he should obviously stop.
Long Term Damage
In boxing there’s only one certainty: you get hurt whether or not you win or lose.
Concussion damage to the head isn’t a mystery; it’s a medical fact. Dr. Bennet Omalu (played by Will Smith in CONCUSSION) was saying something people didn’t want to hear. American football is a dangerous sport that has long-term effects on the human brain. His study points out the simple and obvious fact that our brains are encased in liquid. As the head experiences trauma the brain is jolted out of position and hits the skull causing massive damage. One can only imagine how much damage the human brain can take in the sport of boxing, where the head is punched over and over and over again…in one fight.
Retired football players years after their playing days exhibited symptoms of insanity, random violent behavior, voices in their head, endangering themselves and their family. One only has to look at what happened to our own former boxing champ in Rolando Navarete who is now in a pitiful state. Manny you’re the one giving dole outs to Navarete when he drops by your house in Gen San giving him food and money. You’ve seen the long-term damage that boxers can suffer from head trauma.
Because what makes our people great is what is in our hearts
The brutality that makes boxing beautiful also makes it dangerous. Buboy Fernandez, Freddie Roach, they’re all aware that you’re putting your life on the line each time you climb the ring. Roach said he’d be the one to ask you to retire if you lost against Horn. You could have quit when you were knocked out by Marquez and we supported you. You could have quit when you lost against Timothy Bradley and Mayweather and yet we still supported you.
Manny, you’ve transcended your sport you’re now a senator. Your MP Promotions has discovered Jerwin Ancajas who successfully defended his IBF Jr Bantamweight Belt in the undercard. This is the time for you to find new champions and impart your knowledge.
Let Go And Let God
You’ve taken a lot of punishment, thousands of punches throughout the years for us Filipinos. You can let go and let God steer your life in a new direction. That’s why now we have to say thank you, we love you, but we need you to fight for us in a different arena. We know you want to be president and may want to earn your war chest through the sweat of your brow, unlike your politician friends.
But whether you’re a Senator, a President or citizen Pacquiao we know you’ll fight for us. And you need a clear and healthy mind to do so. You had a great run Manny some say the greatest ever now its time to move on.
You’ve shown that win or lose you congratulate your opponent with a hug. You always manage a smile for our people through the most difficult times. This is the heart or puso of the Filipino. A sentiment embodied in a song by Lea Salonga, Bamboo and Sarah Geronimo:
Babangon sa bawat pagkakataon
Ngingiti anu man ang panahon
Lilipad para abutin ang lahat
Pusong walang pagod tumanggap
Nagniningning sa gilas
Paola Barrientos (Monica) storms into her husband’s car wash and finds him playing FIFA, a football game on Playstation. She drags him out to the street, “I got this credit card bill from the mail. Didn’t I tell you not to apply for a card? The other week we couldn’t pay the bill for the water and electricity. We are drowning in debt. We have two daughters Russo. And I catch you playing video games here?” Pablo Rago (Russo) tries to placate his wife without success. Thankfully she walks home by herself.
The next day Russo finds two of his employees in a heated argument. One of them complains that the player they created on Playstation has been edited to gain size and weight making him a horrible striker / scorer. That’s when Russo gets his eureka moment. What if we turn our real life pro footballer Pittilanga “The Donkey” into a defender? Would it make him a better player?
You can watch PAPELES EN EL VIENTO (Papers in the Wind) for free. It is one of many movies in the Argentinian Film Festival running from May 11 to 14, 2017 at the Shang Cineplex, Shang Rila Plaza Mall. There’s animation film METEGOL (Underdogs) from Oscar winner Juan José Campanella and MUJERES CON PELOTAS (Women With Balls) a documentary on the struggles of women’s football in Argentina and a documentary on football legend Diego Maradona: AMANDO A MARADONA (Loving Maradona) and many more inspiring movies.
Argentinian Ambassador Roberto Bosch said that the fest has a football theme in order to help promote the sport in the Philippines. Filipinos have shown a strong talent in football with the likes of Phil and James Younghusband and many more. In 2014, Unilever brought in Andy Cole and Paul Scholes of Manchester United to give the sport a boost in popularity.
PAPELES EN EL VIENTO is more than just a football themed film. The story illustrates how the game is revered, elevated into the status of no less than a religion in Argentina. Based on the best selling novel by Eduardo Sacheri, the film has also had similar box office success. In a country that has produced the most recognizable names in football like Diego Maradona and today’s superstar Lionel Messi, we see the sport pervading every facet of Argentinian life.
3 friends attend the funeral of their lost comrade Mono played by Diego Torres. Mono was terminally ill and divorced. The three find out that he was not able to save anything in his bank account and may leave his daughter without any inheritance. While rifling through his things they find a contract and documents owning the rights in representing an unknown football player named Pittilanga. Mono paid a total of $300,000 for the contract.
They drive off to the boondocks to the minor league in order to watch him. Because of the hefty contract they had high expectations. While the game was well attended, Pittilanga turned out to be a bust. He had several attempts and chances to score and yet came out empty. One time he was wide open near the goal and still managed to miss. Pitilanga’s team loses horribly in the game. The three of them go home in despair not knowing how they could sell the contract to a player who had no hope of going to the major leagues. The film shows their struggle in salvaging whatever they can from this seemingly ill-fated contract.
The friends: Fernando, Mauricio, Russo and Mono all grew up in the same neighborhood in the city of Avellaneda whose home team is INDEPENDIENTE. The one thing Mono asked his brother Fernando is to make sure his daughter Guada becomes an Independiente fan, more than anything else.
Featured prominently in the film is Bochini Street named after iconic player Ricardo Bochini who played for Independiente in the 1970s. The street is the thoroughfare that leads to the stadium. Diego Maradona has confessed that Bochini was his own childhood idol and has influenced much of his game.
The colors of the team are red and white, which are also similar to a team in the Philippine Basketball Association: Barangay Ginebra. Although a different sport, Barangay (meaning village) Ginebra enjoys a similar obsession and devotion from Filipino fans. Perhaps a Jaworski street may be named in the future leading to Araneta Coliseum?
The brooding Diego Peretti plays Fernando. Among the friends he has more at stake being the older brother to Mono and uncle to 9-year-old Guadalupe. Being a high school teacher by profession he was nearly laughed out of a meeting by a top sports agent. Peretti will also be starring in MAMÁ SE FUE DE VIAJE and CASI LEYENDAS set for release this year.
Pablo Echarri is the successful but conniving Mauricio. Between the friends he has the resources, as he is a lawyer in a huge firm. The problem is that his loyalty turns when a pro team asks him to intervene in his friends’ negotiations for Pittilanga without them knowing it.
Daniel Rabinovich plays one of the controversial characters. He portrays a corrupt sports radio commentator who asks for huge sums of money from the 3 friends to promote their player. To be CLEAR the naming of the role is just by coincidence. The character’s name is Prieto, same as the prominent Prieto clan in the Philippines who happens to own the Philippine Daily Inquirer and Radyo Inquirer DZIQ 990AM.
Pablo Rago is the scruffy, bearded, tough Russo. His addiction to FIFA in the SONY Playstation platform proves enlightening. The video game has evolved through the years allowing users to be in the role of general manager (acquiring players, hiring coach and other staff), as well as controlling players on the field.
One of the features also allows the creation of one football superstar from scratch, assigning body type, special skills even hairstyle, complexion and tattoos. Through gameplay, Russo realizes that they were looking at Pittilanga all wrong. They called him a Donkey because he kicks the ball strong but almost aimlessly missing the goal, making him an awful striker. But will the same strength translate to a better defender?
Jude Thaddeus L. Bautista
Theoretically Cleveland’s strategy was sound: make anyone else but Steph Curry and Klay Thompson score. Kyrie Irving played great defense against Steph, LeBron drew early fouls from Klay. The Cavs let ‘everyone else’ beat them except for Golden State’s two record-breaking superstars. The problem is they did. The Warriors’ ended Game 1 of the NBA Finals with 7 players in double figures defeating the Cavs 104-89 (June 3, 2016-Mla Time).
The win embodies the Strength in Numbers banner at the Oracle Arena and on the t-shirts. Courtside seats have been sold as high as $29,000 especially since the exciting game 7 against OKC.
John Legend sings National Anthem for NBA Finals Game 1
Leading the way for the Warriors is a season high for Shaun Livingston at 20 pts. He took advantage of his 6’7” height and made mid range jumpers over 6’1” Kyrie Irving. Livingston has played for a total of 9 NBA squads and could still recall when 20 win teams would cut him from their line-up.
Coach Steve Kerr has the unusual strategy of using as many players on his roster as he possibly can. Ball movement, extra passing is something that every player does. If you know that everyone will get to play and everyone passes the ball, everyone is motivated to share. Assists totals bear this out with 29-17.
Another factor for bench production was Klay Thompson’s early foul trouble. LeBron was able to draw a 3rd foul on Klay as early as 2Q, which limited his playing time. Livingston and Leandro Barbosa had started scoring from the first quarter.
The team defense of the Warriors was stifling early on forcing two 24-second violations in the 1Q. Andre Iguodala even had back-to-back steals on Kyrie Irving, which resulted in fast break points.
The Warriors lead until an 11-0 run by the Cavs in the 3Q. Coach Steve Kerr was so angered he karate chopped a clipboard and split in two. Fans were shocked, as Kerr is usually unemotional during the games. Later on he said, “Destruction tends to ease some of the anger. So I try to take it out on a clipboard instead of a player. So it’s better that way.”
GSW Bench Game 1 High lights
The game had back and forth lead changes but the Warriors maintained the lead 76-68 going into the 4Q. Then came the burst of scoring from Shaun Livingston, Leandro Barbosa and Andre Iguodala. Steph Curry and Klay Thompson each had a three pointer to keep the lead permanently. But was an otherwise forgettable scoring night for the Splash brothers for a combined 20 points. Barbosa had 11 points while Iguodala had 12 pts 7 rebs and 6 assists. Andre’s defense was key on both LeBron and Kyrie the same way his defended both Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant in the previous series.
Cavs Possible Solution
If the Warriors could beat the Cavs without Steph and Klay’s normal shooting, what else could they do?The Cavs may take comfort in the fact they contained Steph and Klay. The problem now is finding out they still have to stop 4 or more ‘other’ scorers.
LeBron was one assist away from a triple double: 23pts, 12 reb and 9 assts. LBJ is a natural passer and someone who WANTS to get his teammates involved. Kyrie Irving was the CAVS leading scorer with 26 points. Kevin Love had 17 points and 13 boards.
What they need to do is actually involve their bench even more. They have the personnel to do this. Channing Fye was added to their line up to shoot more treys. And yet only managed 2pts in his paltry 7 minutes.
Iman Shumpert and J.R. Smith are proven scorers both in the 3point area and drives to the basket. Matthew Dellavedova is also a consistent shooter. LeBron isn’t the only 6-straight finals guy: James Jones is there. Timofey Mozgov played well in last year’s finals but hardly got playing time in this year’s playoffs. In game 1 Mozgov, Dahntay Jones, James Jones and Mo Williams only got to play during garbage time in the last 2 minutes.
Via J.E. Skeets from THE STARTERS, the Cavs could also use veteran Richard Jefferson to antagonize Draymond Green. Just one flagrant foul or 2 technicals would merit a suspension for green who ‘accidentally’ kicked Steven Adams in the groin.
IF the Cavs wanted to they could use all these players more both on the defensive and offensive end. The main difference is that the Warriors have been doing this all season long. Their starters are used to playing with their 2nd and 3rd units, vice versa. But the Cavs certainly have the personnel; they just need to give them minutes. If they don’t they’ll be overwhelmed by strength in numbers.
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Unpredictability makes sports exciting. Just when you think you know enough to predict the outcome, the game goes a different way. The current Western Conference Finals between the Golden State Warriors and the Oklahoma City Thunder has been nothing but unpredictable.
The road to the Western Finals has been improbable more for OKC than the Warriors. A lot of experts were proven wrong when OKC beat the seemingly invincible San Antonio Spurs. Before the season began the Spurs were the consensus Champions.
When they acquired La Marcus Aldridge during the off-season, the all star was the final piece to the puzzle. The Spurs already had their veteran trio of Tim Duncan, Manu Ginobili, Tony Parker who arguably is the winningest team of the past 16 years with 5 championships. The aging trio is strengthened by now two-time Defensive Player of the Year Khawi Leonard and shooter Danny Green. With power forward Aldridge they’d be unstoppable. In a sense they were, they had the better regular season record (than OKC). They managed to avoid injuries.
OKC however achieved the improbable when they beat the Spurs in the second round. They defeated the much-vaunted Spurs by 14 in games 4&6! Everyone knows and sees that OKC has the most talented and athletic team not just this year but perhaps the past 5 since they got to the finals in 2011. But talent and athleticism can only take you so far.
Mental fortitude, discipline, teamwork is what OKC has never completely shown, the way the Spurs and the Warriors have made them their signature. These 3 aspects are necessary most especially in defense.
Finally, the Thunder had a stifling defense and good decision-making in the 4th quarter to soundly beat the Spurs. They put it all together in a series that ended 4-2. The athleticism of Russell Westbrook, the size, mobility and 3 point shooting of Kevin Durant (former MVP) now had the defense and of André Roberson, Serge Ibaka and Steven Adams. OKC was finally living up to their potential.
Before the season began, the Golden State Warriors were NOT predicted to repeat as champions. Most experts chose the Spurs, others looked East as the Cavaliers will have both Kevin Love and Kyrie Irving healthy. A lot of critics pointed out that Golden State was lucky during the previous playoffs as point guards of opposing teams such as Chris Paul (Clippers) and Mike Conley Jr (Memphis) fell to injury. This made it a lot easier for Steph Curry to rain down treys and dominate the game.
Then the improbable and unpredictable happened. Golden State went on to have the best season start in history with a 24 game winning streak. Steph Curry who was last year’s MVP became an even better player, improving in almost every category and breaking his own record getting 400 3ptrs (among others) in the regular season. Steph became the first ever to be voted unanimously for the MVP award this year. No one has ever been voted unanimously in NBA history, not Michael Jordan, Wilt Chamberlain or LeBron James.
They have also broken the Chicago Bulls record for most regular season wins during the Michael Jordan era in 1996. The Warriors’ storied 73-9 record have naturally made them the favorites to win the NBA Championship, even when that wasn’t the case before the season began.
Western Conference Finals
These are the two paths the powerhouse teams went through to get to the Western Conference Finals. In my mind not only were the games unpredictable but the series to me is one of the most exciting in recent years.
OKC took game 1 and then walloped the Warriors in game 3 (133-105) and game 4 (118-94) an average of 26pts. The last time the Warriors lost back-to-back games was in 2013. It looked very much like OKC will be dispatching the defending champs the way they did the dreaded Spurs. Again, OKC did it with their team defense coupled with the firepower of Kevin Durant & Russell Westbrook. The two superstars combined for 63pts in game 3 and 62pts in game 4.
The numbers weren’t looking good for The Warriors. Less than 10% of the teams that have fallen 3-1 have ever won the series. Kobe Bryant texted Draymond Green telling him that if overcoming a 3-1 deficit and winning a championship was easy, everyone could do it. Kobe added that they should stay in it mentally so they can pull it off.
For basketball pundits even THE STARTERS, Tas Melas thought the Warriors were done. OKC according to Charles Barkley has always been the most talented squad. For game 5 the series returned to ‘Roaracle’ Arena in the Bay Area. The urgency, home crowd helped. Aussie Andrew Bogut saddled w fouls in the series came alive against New Zealander Steven Adams scoring 15 points. Mareese Speights, Shaun Livingston and Andre Igoudala went on a tear in the 3Q. Curry & Klay put the Warriors up permanently to win 120-111.
The real challenge came in Game 6. OKC had embarrassed the Warriors in games 3&4 in Chesapeake Energy Arena. The OKC bench contributed early. Serge Ibaka had a good game inside the paint as well as Ennis Kanter. The Thunder was leading for 4 quarters. Klay Thompson’s incredible shooting was the only thing that kept the Warriors close. Klay ended up breaking the playoff record for 3 pointers with eleven. The previous playoff record of nine 3-pointers made was shared by Ray Allen, Vince Carter, Rex Chapman and Jason Terry.
Steph caught on fire in the last 3 minutes, with key defensive stops by Igoudala on Rus sealed the deal 108-101. The OKC crowd was in shock, speechless after Steph’s incredulous semi-hook above Ibaka’s outstretched hands and key steal during OKC’s possession in the last 20 seconds. It all happened so quickly. Thompson ended the night w 41 pts while Steph had 31.
I personally have given up trying to predict the outcome of the playoffs, as it can still go either way. The same goes for the Finals and eventual champion. One thing is clear, IF the Warriors win the series over the Thunder in game 7, they can be considered as one of the best teams in NBA history.
Having achieved the unbelievable 73 game regular season and then having to overcome the size, athleticism and adversity from OKC, they have earmarked their position as one of the best ever. They will prove their mental toughness if they come back from a 3-1 deficit. Rick Fox noted in the post game 6 analysis, that based on the regular season records, the winner of the Western Conference Finals is the eventual NBA champions. But also stated that this isn’t always the case.
There’s a big IF there as we’ve seen the unpredictability, which makes us love the game and makes victory that much sweeter. For fans it’s not about the numbers. The reason I prefer the Warriors to the Thunder and even the Cavs is the uncharacteristic modesty, humility of their superstar leaders Steph Curry, Klay Thompson and even their coach Steve Kerr. Now people have the chance to cheer on the ‘nice guy’ to win and make them believe.
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Jude Thaddeus L. Bautista
There’s absolutely no denying, what Manny Pacquiao said about the LGBT community was wrong and inexcusable. Since then he has repeatedly apologized for his offensive comment given in an interview with BILANG PILIPINO / TV5 Phil star’s election coverage. The longer one minute version has been posted on facebook by Kupal Lord. Pacquiao has literally paid for it as a number of his endorsement contracts have been axed most notably with Nike. Wonderful Pistachio has followed suit in distancing themselves from Pacquiao after he did a TVC for them in 2012.
The public humiliation and the loss of potentially millions of dollars in endorsement deals in my opinion is more than enough ‘punishment’ for him. There has been more than enough backlash for his comments that clearly have not been thought through. Thousands of derogatory statements have been made against Pacquiao online. Boy Abunda and Vice Ganda have weighed in and urged Pinoys not to vote for him in the Senate.
In the one-minute interview video posted by ‘Kupal Lord’, he qualified his statement not condemning the LGBT but the sin of marriage. Manny speaks from his religious convictions almost transparently. Manny is not like traditional politicians such as Jejomar Binay who lie to their teeth about their support for the poor while exploiting them at every turn. Chiz Escudero has the same guile and ‘experience’ as Jejomar with enough double talk to betray his running mate Grace Poe and our people.
Kobe’s Anti Gay Slur
In 2011 the NBA fined Kobe Bryant $100,000 after he called a ref a faggot and was captured on TV in the middle of a game. Kobe has immediately apologized saying it was out of frustration and the ‘heat of the game’. ADVOCATE and OUT Magazine have taken note that Kobe has learned his lesson and cited his tweets last 2013: “Just letting you know @pacsmoove @pookeo9 that using ‘your gay’ as a way to put someone down ain’t ok! #notcool delete that out ur vocab,” he wrote to them and 2.5 million followers. He also addressed his homophobic past, “That wasn’t cool and was ignorant on my part. I own it and learn from it and expect the same from others. Now in his last season Kobe is feted in every NBA arena as he goes on his farewell tour as one of the greatest to ever play the game.
IF the American public can forgive Kobe Bryant and move on from his anti gay slur why can’t we forgive Pacquiao? Especially since Manny has come to represent our country more than any other athlete for the past 20 years. Let’s not go overboard and completely disparage the reputation of one person who has sacrificed so much for his countrymen for decades now.
I’m completely open and honest that I’m a huge boxing fan way before Manny Pacquiao ever came to prominence. I remember being a small child chanting the name of Mohammed Ali. Later on as a teen mesmerized by Luisito Espinosa, Rolando Navarete, were just as iconic to Filipinos as Sugar Ray Leonard, Evander Holyfield and Mike Tyson.
And like millions of Filipinos seeing the rise of someone like Manny Pacquiao achieve 8 championship belts in 8 separate weight divisions was something unreal. What Manny has done in the sport and beyond exceeds all of those names. IF you told me a Filipino could and would achieve what Manny has done to me as a young sports fan, I would not have believed you. I wouldn’t believe an American or any other race could do it. Realistically there will never be another Pacquiao in our country or anywhere else in the world.
SO it was very easy for us for the media, myself included to put Manny Pacquiao up on a pedestal more as a god than human. He did it all, he’s invincible and he doesn’t make mistakes. The whole country stops and watches his fights. He does what decades of peace talks, the BBL couldn’t DO and that is to have a temporary ceasefire with the NPA, MNLF, MILF and Abu Sayaaf, everyone including the Phil Army, the whole country stops to watch his fights.
I remember covering former Malaysian PM Mahathir’s very exclusive talk here. His security Colonels from the Malaysian Army couldn’t stop talking about Pacquiao’s fight. They told me they identified with Manny as an Asian.
Pacquiao has achieved godlike status, not just for us Pinoys but even as far as Serbia. Guess what? He IS human. He does make mistakes. He’s ALREADY paid for it dearly. Let us not completely abandon our hero when he has meant so much to elevate our country in the eyes of the world. Generally, he’s a good person. Manny was very forgiving to his father who abandoned them and started a new family. Not only bringing his father to the U.S. but also bought him and his new family a house.
Every single prizefight, no matter how bitter and even in his losses, Pacquiao was humble enough to go over his opponent for a conciliatory hug. If he can be that generous to his rivals why can’t we do the same for him?
WHY can’t we as a people be more forgiving to someone who has repeatedly brought so much honor to our country? He’s paid the price. STILL there’s an avalanche of people online, everywhere wanting even more blood, even more humiliation for Manny.
It seems in our culture, crab mentality is still very prevalent. We all take delight in bashing and putting someone down after achieving so much. The more popular and accomplished, the more gleeful we are in the misstep.
Pacquiao has lost the Nike endorsement and several others. He has apologized publicly on video. He too has learned his lesson like Kobe. Yet there are calls to postpone even boycott his fight with Tim Bradley, calls to disqualify him as a senatorial candidate. Clearly the backlash has gone too far, persecuting him. Collectively, we should all take a deep breath, Keep Calm and forgive Pacquiao.
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