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Pacquiao, other Pinoys pick Warriors to win back-to-back NBA title


PhilBoxing.com




?Golden State is a team made up of players playing as a group who can accomplish things which no individual acting alone could ever hope to bring about.?

Thus was how Manny Pacquiao describes the NBA defending champions Golden State Warriors that endears them to fans who value teamwork as what a team should be in a team sport like basketball.

"No, hindi ako ang naunang nangaral ng pilosopiyang yan. Nabasa ko lang na sinabi minsan ni (US) President Franklin Roosevelt,? the eight-division world boxing champion said. ?Which I believe all teams in all sports should subscribe to.?

?That?s why since I saw them play, humanga na ako sa kanila at naging fan na nila ako,? Pacquiao, who has developed a close friendship with sharpshooting Warrior Steph Curry, who?d been visiting him at the Wild Card Gym in Los Angeles while training for fights, explained.

?You?re asking me who I think will win in the NBA finals between Golden State and Cleveland, siyempre Warriors na ?yan. Back-to-back,? Pacquiao said in response to a survey conducted by the this author.?

?Besides the reason I already told you, hundreds of thousands of Filipinos in the U.S. and even here, or maybe millions, are praying for another Warriors win and I believe they will," Pacquiao added.

"Marami kasing pinasasaya ang Warriors kapag nanalo sila. At karamihan sa mga napapasaya nila ay mga Pilipino," he explained said in reference to the big Filipino community living in California, particularly in thr Bay Area, who?ve been part of the huge fan base for the Warriors.

Local basketball?s living legend Robert ?Sonny? Jaworski, fellow former PBA MVPs Atoy Co and Bogs Adornado, Atty. Mamerto Mondragon and softball association operation manager Jun Veloso shared Pacquiao?s observations on the Warriors? team plays.

"Barring injury to key players of both teams, I pick Golden State to win in six or seven games,? Jaworski, former senator the ?Big-J? or ?Jawo? to fans and associates projected. ?I choose the Warriors for their discipline and decorum that they continue to exemplify and show throughout the season.?

For Co, the Warriors ?play better teamwork. And I still believe that basketball is played by five players inside the court. To which Mariano agreed, saying, ?the finals is a series between a team with the best player today (Cavs? LeBron James) versus the best team in the world.?

Of the 23 Filipino sportsmen polled, only three ? its Chairman Emeritus, Dr. Dante Ang, two-division boxing champion Gerry Pe?alosa and billiards and snooker federation secretary general Robert Mananquil.

Dr. Ang, who is also the Special Envoy of President Duterte for International Public Relations, said the Cavs are the underdogs, ?but I root for them.?

For Dr. George Canlas, a member the International Basketball Federation (FIBA) medical commission, Filipinos, not only in California but in the entire US, love Golden State for hosting a ?Filipino Heritage Night? annually since 1978 in honor of former Warrior Raymond Townsend, acknowledged that as the first Filipino to play in the NBA as well as in appreciation to the support of the Filipino Community to the team.

It has even been reported that each time the Warriors play at Oracle Arena, Filipinos comprised 70 percent of the audience, leading not a few media men to pronounce the Dubs the Philippine team in the NBA.

No less than two-time NBA MVP Curry's mother Sonya Adams Curry recognized that when, during the 2015 Warriors' title conquest, she sent her heartfelt thanks to Filipino fans for supporting her son and his team.

Former Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas president Manny V. Pangilinan, MVP to sports and business circles, picks the Warriors to win their third championships in four straight finals appearance.

He is joined in the Warriors bandwagon by Philippine Olympic Committee president Jose ?Peping? Cojuangco, PBA coaches Norman Black of Meralco, Alex Compton of Alaska Milk and Adonis Tierra of NLEX, and players Arwind Santos of San Miguel Beer, James Yap and Beau Belga of Rain or Shine, ex-Crispa Redmanizer Padim Israel and Philippine Star sports editor Lito Tacujan.

Photo: Manny Pacquiao workouts in his hometown in General Santos City ahead of his title fight against WBA welterweight champion Lucas Matthysse of Argentina on July 15 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Photo by Wendell Alinea.


Click here to view a list of other articles written by Eddie Alinea.


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