Tuesday, June 9, 2009

You're the Best Pinoy Athlete for me

Don’t you find it weird that until now, the Philippines has yet to get a gold medal at the Olympics. We’ll it just happened that the greatest athletes in the world are Filipinos. Coincidently, all the sports they have conquered starts with letter B--- Boxing, Billiards and Bowling (apologies to fellow basketball fans but the last time we were world hoops contenders was half a century ago).

Manny “Pacman” Pacquaio, who was recently included by Time Magazine as one of the world’s most influential people for 2009 and also ranked 57th in Forbes Magazine’s annual listing of 100 most powerful celebrities, is currently the best pound-for-pound fighter in the world.

Efren “Bata” Reyes, known as The Magician in the world of billiards, has been hailed by pool experts as arguably the greatest player of the game after dominating the world circuit for more than two decades beginning in the mid-80’s.

Third on my list is, who for me, is the best Pinoy athlete of our generation: six-time World Bowling Champion Rafael “Paeng” Nepomuceno. All in all, he has won an amazing 118 titles around the globe from 1972 to 2007, which is the most number of bowling tournaments won by an individual according to the Guinness Book of World Records.

His other world records are: having the most Bowling World cup wins and the youngest ever to win the Bowling World Cup at the age of 19. (I don’t have the latest Guinness book so please feel free to update me if somebody already broke his records which I doubt will happen anytime soon)

In 2008, Malacañang awarded Paeng the Order of Lakandula with Class of Champion for Life and was declared Best Filipino athlete of all time. Both the Philippine Senate and House of Congress have declared Paeng the "Greatest Philippine Athlete of All Time". (If Pacquaio wins a seat in congress next year, I would not be surprise if his first authored bill will be for change or update of the said declarations of both Houses)

But of all the accomplishments of Nepomuceno, the one that I really love about him is the fact that he is the first inductee to the World Bowling Writers Hall of Fame in 1993. All firsts are special and should be praised to the highest magnitude if it was achieved in the international arena.

Before I end this blog with another great trivia, all sports buffs are invited to check out waterboy.ph, a site for sports fans of all ages.

Bonus trivia: The second individual to be inducted to the World Bowling Writers Hall of Fame is Bong Coo, a Pinay.

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