Philippines, 29 May 2024
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Newly-crowned Filipino World Boxing Association welterweight titlist was found to have a congenital heart defect, a problem with the heart's structure that are present at birth.

In short, Pacquiao has had it since birth. Congenital heart defects change the normal flow of blood.

Congenital heart defects are the most common type of birth defect, affecting 8 out of every 1,000 newborns. Each year, more than 35,000 babies in the United States are born with congenital heart defects. Doctors treat congenital heart defects with catheter procedures and surgery.

Which the 39-year-old, according to what looked an innocent media report emanated from the champ?s camp itself, Pacquiao actually underwent a week before he fought Argentine belt-owner Lucas Matthysse whom he deposed with a spectacular seventh round TKO last Sunday in Kuala Lumpur.

Such report said, too, that the Pacman, now winner of no less than a dozen world titles in eight divisions, the only man in the history of prizefighting to have done so, likewise, had undergone angriogram and ECG tests, which found him to have congenital heart problem.

Speculations on his health problem immediately went wild alarming the sports community and members of his family. Some who first didn?t understand the meaning of the word ?congenital? as ?inborn" quickly jumped into conclusion that the national treasure in sports is, indeed, ill.

Seriously ill, that is. Which in reality wasn?t. The portion of the report saying Pacquiao was made to sign a waiver so the fight would push through, wasn?t true either. The waiver was merely to indicate that he agreed to undergo the tests.

As in the words of Pacquiao himself during a dinner with members of his team a few days after the fight, ?wala namang nakitang masama o serious defect sa heart ko.?

?In fact, ang nakita lang is the word Jinkee,? he said jestingly in reference to his wife Jinkee?s name tattooed on his left chest drawing laughter from his audience.


The International Basketball Federation (FIBA) has spoken. In its decision on the tumultuous Australia-Philippine game in the FIBA World Cup 2019 qualifying tournament, the world governing body on basketbqll suspended 10 Filipino players for unsportsmanlike behavior.

Banned in the subsequent windows of the qualifying period of their suspension were Japeth Aguilar and Matthew Wright (1 game each); Terrence Romeo, Jayson Castro William, Andray Blatche and Jeth Rosario (3 games each); Roger Pogoy, Carl Cruz and Jio Jalalon (5 games each); Calvin Abueva (6 games, due also to prior unsportsmanlike behavior in a FIBA competition).

No sanction is imposed on June Mar Fajardo, Gabe Norwood and Baser Amer, who did not participate in the melee played widely and condemned by sports lovers all over the world.

Assistant Coach Jong Uichico is, likewise, suspended for 3 games. Head Coach Vincent ?Chot? Reyes is suspended for 1 game and shall pay a disciplinary fine of CHF10,000.

Pogoy is also punished for inciting unsportsmanlike behavior.

The Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas, Inc (SBP), is sanctioned for the unsportsmanlike behavior of its delegation members and of its public, as well as for the poor organization of the game. The Philippines will play the next home game behind closed doors while a ban for two more home games has been placed under a probationary period of 3 years. SBP shall also pay a disciplinary fine of CHF250,000.?

It?s good the punishment was for players and team officials only and not on the country?s standing in the world federation. The FIBA, as I wrote a few weeks back in his column, could have extended punishment to the country as well having been banned twice already since the 60s.

As emphasized in that piece, what happened could have been avoided had officials of the national delegation imparted to all concerned players and team officials the responsibilities attached to being members the team carrying the country?s colors in international competitions.

As the country?s representatives to those competitions, they, too, play the role as ambassadors of goodwill and that their behavior reflect on the kind country and people they represent.

Which this national team in the sport Filipinos love most, miserably failed.

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

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