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Pinoy Pride 30: Donaire, Nietes KO foes; Pagara stays unbeaten



Filipino boxing superstar Nonito Donaire Jr. reminds the boxing world that he is still a force to be reckoned with after a two round destruction of Brazilian William Prado to claim the vacant NABF super bantamweight title on Saturday night at the historic Smart Araneta Coliseum in Quezon City.

With a punishing display of power, Donaire showed glimpses of the fighter who dominated the super bantamweight division years ago.

Donaire set the tone early by throwing jabs and uppercuts against his tough Brazilian opponent. The former world title challenger Prado petrified as he went into full defensive mode most of the round respecting the power of the 32-year-old five division champion.

The fight was a one-way affair with Donaire pummeling Prado, who became a sitting duck, as he was unable to effectively get his offense going. The end came at 2:16 mark of the second round as a flurry of power bombs from Donaire stunned and bloodied his Brazilian foe that forced referee Bruce McTavish to stop the fight.

In the post fight interview the Bohol native Donaire expressed his desire to be a world champion again.

“Me and my team will look on the situation and see whats the available opportunity for me. I still have my power and I’m mentally and physically prepared. Hopefully I can fight for the title again,” said Donaire “I will fight anyone of them. I’m all in”

The victory improves Donaire’s record to 34-3-1 with 22 KO’s and will put him back to the title mix after claiming the vacant NABF 122 title while Prado drops to 22-5-1 with 15 KO’s.

In the main event ALA boxing star and junior flyweight maestro Donnie “Ahas” Nietes (35-1-4, 21 KO’s) scored a ninth round TKO over Gilberto Parra (19-3, 17 KOs) of Mexico to retain his WBO World Junior Flyweight title.

The longest reigning Filipino world champion was all business from the get the go. His Mexican challenger, though, also displayed amazing courage in front of a hostile crowd early in the fight as he traded power shots against Nietes. The 32-year-old Nietes took over the fight as he stunned Parra with a short left hook to the jaw in the fourth round. Nietes dominated and hurt Parra in round 7 with solid shots to the head. A solid straight right hand from Nietes dropped Parra in the eighth. Parra went into full survival mode in the 9th round as he got cut in the left eye from a Nietes right hook.

The end came before the start of the tenth round when referee Jack Reiss stopped the fight following the advice of the ring physician due to the nasty cut on the left eye of Parra that was caused by a legal punch from Nietes.

“I just need to be patient, that’s what my team always reminding me. Parra is a tough opponent, but once he felt my power I know things will be easy for me. I just need to be patient and wait for the perfect timing,” quipped the two division champion Nietes.

This was Nietes’ sixth successful defense of the WBO 108 title after winning it last October 2011 against Ramon Garcia Hirales of Mexico in Bacolod city. Prior to winning the 108 belt, Nietes was also the 105 world champion winning the WBO minimumweight title back in 2007 and successfully defended it four times

After defeating Parra, the newly inducted member of the Elorde Hall of Famer, Nietes, is scheduled to face his mandatory challenger Francisco Rodriguez Jr of Mexico this coming July in Cebu

In one of the featured bouts of the evening, undefeated ALA boxing wonder kid Albert “Prince” Pagara (23-0, 16 KO’s) displayed a masterful performance against the hard hitting Rodolfo Hernandez of Mexico en route to a fourth round TKO to retain his IBF Inter-Continental super bantamweight title.

The 21-year-old champion showed his intentions of ending the fight early as he dropped Hernandez in the first round with a picture-perfect straight right hand.

Pagara’s power and agility was the difference as he rocked his Mexican challenger throughout the fight. The end came at the end of the fourth round with the Mexican challenger unable to continue to fight.

With the victory improves his perfect to 23-0 with 16 KO’s, while Hernandez dropped to 26-6-1 with 24 KO’s

Pinoy Pride 30: D-Day Results

March 28, 2015 – Smart Araneta Coliseum, Quezon City

WBO World Junior Flyweight Championship: Donnie “Ahas” Nietes def. Gilberto “Parrita” Parra via TKO9 (Doctor’s Stoppage) to retain the WBO World Junior Flyweight Championship

WBC NABF Super Bantamweight Championship: “The Filipino Flash” Nonito Donaire def. William Prado via TKO2 to win the WBC NABF Super Bantamweight Championship

IBF Intercontinental Junior Featherweight Championship: “Prince” Albert Pagara def. Rodolfo “Fofo” Hernandez via TKO5 (Doctor’s Stoppage) to retain the IBF Intercontinantal Junior Featherweight Championship

WBO International Bantamweight Championship: Ryo Akaho def. Prosper Ankrah via TKO4 (2:59) to win the WBO International Bantamweight Championship

Featherweight Bout: AJ Banal def. Junior Bajawa via unanimous decision (80-71, 80-71, 80-71)

Lightweight Bout: Joepher Montano def. Tyson Maher via TKO2(1:36) 

Bantamweight Bout: Jeson Umbal def. Eric Panza via unanimous decision (76-74, 76-74, 77-73)

Featherweight Bout: Ralph Lulu def. Gerry Patenio via majority decision (38-38, 40-36, 39-37)

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Fired-up Von Pessumal on Kiefer Ravena incident: ‘I’m not here to make any friends’



Will bridges be burned?

Von Pessumal was heavily scrutinized on Friday evening after an incident with fellow Ateneo lifer Kiefer Ravena.

It took place with 9:50 left in the final frame of the San Miguel Beermen’s highly-charged tilt against the NLEX Road Warriors. After Marcio Lassiter launched a trey, Pessumal looked like he was aiming for the rebound. Instead, he simply charged towards Ravena and pushed him down.

Lassiter’s three-pointer counted, while Pessumal, who was blocked by Ravena during a fastbreak and then received a staredown moments prior, was whistled for an unsportsmanlike foul.

It was a surprising sight to see considering the amount of time he and Ravena have spent together — a bond that started when they were in high school. Even the second-generation star admitted that he did not expect that from his former running body.

“I did not expect that at all,” said the NLEX rookie.

But Pessumal downplayed the incident despite attempts by scribes to make him elaborate on what had really transpired during that moment.

“It’s part of the game. It’s part of the game,” the league sophomore said after the match which they won 109-98. “I don’t wanna say anything, I’m sorry.

“It’s part of the game. Whatever move on. Not a big deal.”

Asked if he was motivated to face Ravena — with whom he had shared three UAAP juniors titles, two UAAP seniors crowns, and a SEA Games gold medal — the 24-year-old shared that he had approached Friday’s bout the way he usually does.

“I wouldn’t say motivated [versus Kiefer], I mean, it’s just like any other game. When I play, I don’t see who’s guarding me, I just play,” said the 6-foot-2 swingman.

“I play to win all the time.”

The incident he and Ravena figured in shadowed his performance of 10 points on 50 percent shooting off the bench — the second time he has scored in double figures this season. After Friday, Pessumal is averaging 8.25 points.

“We have to sustain the level of excellence that they (starters) have. Our job is — I wouldn’t say support, but — when we get in, we should bring the level higher so when they come back, the game is easier for them,” he said.

Pessumal was then asked if he and Ravena met each other after the buzzer sounded, as the two did not even shake hands after the contest. But, through a short yet strong response, the 24-year-old said that they did not.

“I wouldn’t say anything. I don’t know, after the game?,” he expressed.

“I’m a professional basketball player, I’m not here to make any friends.”

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Yeng Guiao denies using racial slur against Chris Ross



During the post-game of the San Miguel Beermen’s victory over the NLEX Road Warriors, reigning Coach of the Year Leo Austria said that NLEX head coach Yeng Guiao called Chris Ross the “N” word that caused the commotion.

According to Chris, tinawagan siya ng nigger or ganiyan,” said Austria. “I don’t know but that’s what he explained to me because I confronted Chris Ross because he’s one of the most important players in my team.

“But that’s the thing he doesn’t want to hear so nagflare up yung bata so I cannot blame him.”

Guiao though denied that he blurted out racial slurs against San Miguel’s Chris Ross.

“Hindi. Hindi ko tinawag na N-word. Ewan ko kung may nakarinig. Pero hindi,” clarified the fiery tactician moments after their 98-109 defeat, their third straight after starting the 2018 Philippine Cup with two straight wins.

That tussle, according to Guiao, was just filled with trash talking against each other, as he felt the need to retaliate. In fact, Guiao was even caught by the TV camera saying “son of a bitch” towards the Filipino-American point guard.

“Daldal siya ng daldal eh. Eh sa akin naman kapag ganon, siguro respeto nalang. Lumayo ka nalang tutal mananalo naman na kayo,” he said. “I didn’t understand what he was saying, what he was talking about.

“Nakipagtrash-talking din ako sa kanya.”

Furthermore, the 58-year-old was also caught by the cameras flipping the bird — in one quick motion — also against Ross.

“Oo. Kasama na rin yun.

“Pero ano naman eh, it’s part of, siguro, psychological warfare. Malakas din siya mang-asar. Hindi lang naman sa amin. Everytime naman na mga ganoong skirmishes, he also knows what he’s capable of,” the seven-time champion coach furthered.

But more than this scuffle, it really has become a stressful time for Guiao and the Road Warriors. They have now went down to 2-3 in the team standings, and the mentor sees the great need to end this slump immediately.

“We have to arrest it very soon. Ang susunod na laro namin ay versus Rain or Shine sa Friday. So we need to go back to 50 percent win-loss level para at least may chance ka na maka-playoffs. That’s going to be a crucial game for us,” he stressed.

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Kiefer Ravena shocked with Von Pessumal’s shove: ‘I did not expect that at all’



Kiefer Ravena and Von Pessumal have been teammates ever since they were in high school, winning three UAAP juniors crowns together. They won two championships together in the seniors level and even played together in Gilas. They were inseparable.

Friday evening however, they were playing for separate camps.

Ravena admitted that he never expected a shove to come from Pessumal during the NLEX Road Warriors’ clash with San Miguel Beermen.

In an off-ball situation, Pessumal charged at Ravena, sending the rookie down to the floor with 9:50 remaining in the final frame. He was then whistled for an unsportsmanlike foul, and Ravena sank one from the line.

“I did not expect that at all,” admitted Ravena after the match in which they lost, 98-109 — their third straight defeat after a 2-0 start. “But hopefully Von doesn’t take it personal.

“I’m just doing my job. They won the game.”

Ravena insisted that there wasn’t any physicality between him and Pessumal prior to that, but he thinks that his former Gilas teammate may have gotten irked by his staredown after blocking him on a fastbreak play early in the fourth.

“When that fastbreak happened — the same exact possession na I challenged him, I looked at him, and after that yun na yung nangyari,” said the 23-year-old guard. “But I never instigated something to provoke Von to do that.

“Probably nung tinignan ko siya.”

Moreover, the second overall pick of the 2017 PBA Rookie Draft felt that that incident “started all the commotions during the end game (laughs). Yun yung pinaka-una eh. And with that, the team got fired up and it worked for them.”

He may be right, for the game saw more skirmishes after that: from teammate Michael Miranda kicking Chris Ross to the groin, and with his head coach Yeng Guiao figuring in a heated verbal war also against Ross.

But then, Ravena made it clear that it was never a plan of his to put down somebody, especially someone like Pessumal who he sees as a brother for life.

“You know, Von and I, we go way back. Things like this hopefully don’t become too personal.

“I have no intention na ipapahiya yung tao or sasaktan mo yung tao. Wala namang ganun. Laro-laro lang,” said NLEX’s leading scorer.

It was somehow a night to remember for Ravena, but for all the wrong reasons. After Friday’s loss that sent their card to 2-3, the veteran internationalist now sees the need for him and the Road Warriors to push the panic button.

“‘Di na pwedeng sabihin palaging kailangan namin matuto eh. Pangatlong sunod na,” the second-generation cager expressed.

“Kailangan siguro naming umaksyon.”

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Downcast Chris Ross chooses to stay mum after heated altercation with Yeng Guiao



Through wins or losses, Chris Ross has always accommodated the members of the press asking for interviews and fans requesting for photo ops every after game. But Friday evening, the nine-year pro was despondent.

Visibly agitated with the events that had transpired during the San Miguel Beermen’s tilt against the NLEX Road Warriors, Ross, with his hoodie covering his head, left the Cuneta Astrodome without saying a word.

The reigning Defensive Player of the Year had figured in physical play after physical play and verbal exchange after verbal exchange with the frustrated Road Warriors.

Ross and Alex Mallari were both slapped with technicals after a confrontation with 9:06 left. This was just the start of many things to come for the Filipino-American defensive specialist

After knocking down a triple and receiving a taunt from Ross, Michael Miranda was assessed a disqualifying foul for an apparent kick to the groin against Ross with 4:35 left.

The tip of the iceberg came with 1:46 left to play and the game all but settled.

Yeng Guiao and Ross figured in a heated word war that resulted in Ross’ second technical foul for the game. Referees and players from both sides had to separate the two to prevent things from escalating.

San Miguel coach Leo Austria alleged that the fiery NLEX mentor said the “N” word, while some said Guiao called Ross a “bitch”.

Ross finished the game with four points, eight rebounds, and four steals in 37 minutes of action.

For sure, penalties and suspensions will come out of this game.

And it was better for Ross to stay silent.

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