Minus the dismal finish of the country in the Myanmar Southeast Asian Games, Philippine sports still got a passing grade following good turnouts in some major international competitions this year.
On top of the list is the eight-division world champion Manny Pacquiao who regained his status as one of the world’s best pound-for-pound fighters. Pacquiao scored a lopsided victory over Mexican-American Brandon Rios in Macau in November boosting his bid to reestablish himself as the king of the ring.
After suffering a unanimous-decision loss to Guillermo Rigondeaux in April, Filipino-American Nonito Donaire Jr. had a sterling comeback with a ninth-round knockout of Vic Darchinyan in November.
The Filipino cue masters also made waves in 2013.
Veteran campaigners Dennis Orcollo and Lee Van Corteza connived in ruling the World Cup of Pool held in September in London, England. Orcollo and Corteza posted a thrilling 10-8 win over Niels Feijen and Nick Van den Berg of the Netherlands.
Female master Rubilen Amit copped her second Women’s World 10-ball Championship crown in November by nipping Kelly Fisher of England in the finals, 10-7. Amit also ruled the 10-Ball event in the Myanmar Southeast Asian Games.
In chess, Grandmaster Wesley So was sparkling following his golden feat in the prestigious 2013 Universiade in Kazan, Russia in August. He also won a number of titles in Canada, US, the Netherlands, among others.
The national tae kwon do poomsae team snared three gold medals in the 8th WTF (World Tae kwon do Federation) World Tae kwon do Poomsae Championships held in Bali, Indonesia.
Cebuana Mikaela Calamba ruled the female individual freestyle event then joined Rinna Babanto and Jocel Ley Ninobla in getting the Team Female-17 crown. Jean Pierre Sabido, Ernesto Guzman Jr. and Glenn Lava grabbed the third gold in the Male Senior Team 2.
The national basketball team finished second in the International Basketball Federation (FIBA Asia Men’s Championships in August in Manila, good enough to earn a return trip to the World Championships scheduled next year in Spain. The Philippines last competed in the World Championship was in 1978 in Manila.
The Filipinos were also treated with an NBA experience when the Houston Rockets and Indiana Pacers collide in the NBA Global Pre-Season Games at the Mall of Asia Arena on October 10.
In collegiate basketball, De La Salle University reigned supreme in the University Athletic Association of the Philippines while San Beda College pocketed its fourth-straight title in the National Collegiate Athletic Association.
The Philippine Amateur Track and Field Association headed by Go Teng Kok is the most decorated national sports association in the Myanmar SEA Games as it delivered six gold medals.
Go vowed to extend his full support as the famous GTK Army gears up for the 2014 Asian Games slated in September in Incheon, South Korea.