Rafa, the King of Clay

Rafael Nadal dominated the clay-court and fired a warning at his rivals to improve his bid for “La Decima” on Friday, June 2, at Roland Garros. The nine-time Roland Garros Champion stunned Georgian Nikoloz Basilashvii with a flawless performance in his 100th best-of-five sets in a clay court match.

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(Photo credits: http://tenis.as.com)

The Spanish legend outsmarted the Georgian native with a 6-0, 6-1,6-0 win, to nab a place in the fourth round of the tournament. Basilashvili had a hard time penetrating the defense and attack thrown to him.  Evidently shown on the scoreboard, the Georgian player really needs to work hard to play a good match against Nadal.

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With Nadal’s strong rhythm and condition, Basilashvili had a hard time returning high balls. He was caught off guard and wasn’t able to escape from the intensified attacks thrown at him. Strategically, Nadal took advantage of the rattled opponent who wasn’t able to regroup after he scored straight points giving the rival with only 1 point throughout the match.

The fourth-seeded superstar is set to face fellow Spaniard Roberto Bautista Agut tomorrow. Agut, who currently ranks eighteenth, also emerged as a victor yesterday against Jiri Vesely. His returns were good and it resulted in a 6-3, 6-4, 6-3 win against the Czech player in over a two-hour game.

Nadal is playing his best on the clay court and his current standing, 75-2 at Roland Garros, proves that he is the King of the Clay. Also, he is five match wins away from 850 career victories (845-180 mark).

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Johnson Jr.’s Emotions Fuel Run

Last May 11, Steve Johnson Sr. died at the age of 58. Weeks after the tragic event, Steve Johnson Jr. still able to complete a dramatic 6-2, 7-6(8), 3-6, 7-6(6) second-round victory over Borna Coric in the resumption of the French Open on Wednesday, May 31.

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(Photo credits: The Washington Post)

Johnson broke down in tears as he talked of how his late father’s memory had driven him to an emotional win over the Croatian tennis player. He could not hold back his tears during the emotional post-match interview recalling how his late father’s spirit helped push him to victory.

Johnson’s path to the third round is considered unfaithful under normal circumstances. But he succeeded on Monday in a five-set win over Yuichi Sugita that spanned two days. The American won the first two sets on Sunday, but gloomy weather stopped the game halfway through the fourth set. He recovered immediately after Sugita forced a decider set the next day and powered through the final set.

Johnson will match up against the seventh seed Dominic Thiem on his next fight. The Australian Tennis Player notched 1 step higher from being rank eight last time. They are going to match up today at 6:30 PM ET at Stade Roland Garros, France.

Will his emotions continue to fuel him up to win this fight?

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HD Spikers Turn Down Wrecking Balls in Four Sets, 25-20, 17-25, 25-19, 25-21

After receiving their first loss against the Air force last week, the HD Spikers took a powerful comeback by defeating the Wrecking Balls in a four-set match, 25-20, 17-25, 25-19, 25-21, in the resumption of Premier Volleyball League Men’s Division at the FilOil Flying V Centre on Tuesday, May 30.

Wrecking Balls managed to steal a set from the HD Spikers with an 8-point lead to close the second set after losing the first one, 25-20. But they fell short to continue nabbing the remaining sets of the match.

The third set was dominated by the Spikers from the start to end, as they led with 4 points, 8-4, in the first technical timeout. With the powerful cross-court hits of Mark Alfafara, the lead continued to explode towards the end of the set, 25-19.

The star-studded HD Spikers needed every bit of their immense talent to subdue the fiery Wrecking Balls who are eyeing for a comeback on the fourth set, cutting the lead to 2 points in the second technical timeout, 14-16.

With Cignal’s better cohesion and solid reception, they continued the lead and finished the game, 25-21.

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Pacquiao vs Horn: A Big Mismatch

The WBO Welterweight Champion, Manny Pacquiao will wear boxing gloves again on July 2, 2017 as he fights against young unbeaten Australian boxer, Jeff Horn. Currently, Horn holds the IBF Inter-Continental Welterweight Title and the WBO Inter-Continental Welterweight Title.

The two will square off in Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane, Australia on the first week of July.

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Horn who is known as “The Hornet”, recorded 17 fights with no loss; 16 of those are victories (11 by knockout, 5 by decision) while one was a draw.

In an interview with The Manila Times, the 76-year-old boxing referee, Bruce McTavish said that Horn is too young and raw for the Pinoy’s Pride.  Horn has a record of 16-0-1 but he can’t match Pacquaio’s impressive mark of 59-6-1 with 38 knockouts.

On a personal note, I find this game a big mismatch for 2 main reasons.

Horn is a clear underdog

This game is a big mismatch due to a very distant fighting record. A sprouting boxer who notched up only 17 fights with 16 wins has nothing to do with a more experienced professional boxer who battled 67 fights with 59 victories.

Comparing both records, it is very obvious that Horn is no match at all, unless Pacquiao is unable to get into shape and condition. But, the probability will be less because we all know that Pac-man is a freakish fighter. He can easily get into condition even in just 6 weeks.

So, can ‘The Hornet’ sting ‘Pac-Man’? I doubt it.

Experience beats talent

I believe that experience contributes a lot in every success we achieve. And in this upcoming match, experience will be the best weapon.

I am not being biased here, but judging it based on how long they have been battling throughout the four corners of the ring, it is obvious that Pac-Man has really dominated.

Pacquiao started his career in the age of 14 when he moved to Manila and had an amateur record of 64 fights (60-4). He is widely considered to be one of the greatest boxers of all time as he is the first and only eight-division world champion who won eleven major world titles.

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(Photo credit: HBO.com)

Not only that, Pacquiao is also the third boxer in history to win three of the world’s original eight weight divisions known as the “glamour divisions” (flyweight, featherweight, and welterweight).

On the other hand, Horn only holds 2 titles and a professional fight debut last 2013. He defended his WBO Inter-Continental title against Ali Funeka last December 2016, where he won via technical knockout on the 6th round.

When a boxer gets picked to bout Pacquiao, it means he is a good fighter. Horn is unquestionably a good boxer, though he lacks the experience to be a threat to Pacquiao. He has good speed and power. But whatever weapons he has, he is still a Ford to Pacquiao’s Ferrari. And just like in a race, the driver’s only hope is that, the Ferrari will have some engine trouble along the way. This isn’t meant to dishonor Horn, but this is the reality.

Summing up, this will be the biggest break for Horn which will give his boxing career a great lift if he dropped Pacquaio. But it would not be easy.

If this will be a movie and a miracle will happen, a battered-and-worn out Horn will do a come from behind right uppercut and then finish the combination with a powerful left hook straight to the multi-weight champion’s jaw. Boom. Knocked out!

But this isn’t a movie. This is real life. And in real life, Horn is no match at all.

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#DubNation: Warriors Continue to Roll, 2-0

The Golden State Warrior’s top scorer, Stephen Curry, led the team in continuing the winning streak for a 136-100 win against the San Antonio Spurs in the resumption of the West’s race in the best of 7 series.

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Curry topped the box score with 29 points, 7 rebounds and 7 assists to close the game for a 2-0 series lead. Kevin Durant contributed 16 points along with the rookie Patrick McCaw who scored 18 points with 3 rebounds, 5 assists and 3 steals.

Meanwhile, the Spurs continued to struggle in the absence of Kawhi Leonard. The short-handed Spurs found a lone bright spot on Jonathon Simmons who scored 17 of his 22 points in the first half and from the bench, Davis Bertans added 13 points but it was not enough to chase the Warriors.

(Watch the Game 2 Highlights)

Game 3 will start on Saturday in San Antonio.

As of now, Leonard is still recovering from the re-injured left ankle. If Leonard will not play in Game 3 of the series,  the Warriors will probably continue the streak.

 

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Creamline Fell Short to Subdue Bali Pure in Four Sets, 3-1

Risa Sato led the Water Defenders with 16 points to fight back from big deficits in the remaining sets to hand over the Cool Smashers’ fourth loss, 26-24, 17-25, 25-23, 28-26 on Tuesday in the resumption of Premier Volleyball League (PVL) Reinforced Conference.

Jerili Malabanan scored 15 points helped Sato to snatch a 3-1 win. The Creamline’s Alyssa Valdez had another solid performance with 27 points in four sets, but still not enough to reject the Bali Pure.

(Watch the Game Highlights)

The Water Defenders dominated the first set with several quick attacks from Sato in the middle which stunned the defense of the Creamline. The phenom Valdez broke the wall defense to take the lead, 16-15 but fell short to continue the lead as the set ended with a 2-point lead, 26-24.

On the middle of the second set, the Bali Pure called a timeout to stop the bleeding, 20-16, but Ivy Remulla was unstoppable from the service line and took a 6-point lead in the second set, 22-16.  The lead continued as the set expired, 25-17.

On the third and fourth set, the Creamline led the scoring board but the Bali Pure trailed in the latter part and grabbed the win. The Cool Smashers lacked consistency to end both sets.

The Creamline tallied 4 losses and only 2 wins from Philippine Air Force.

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