Side Lines for Monday — September 12, 2005

• Filipino boxers win three in L.A.

• Kaua’i youth do well in tennis

• Federer takes Agassi

Filipino boxers win three in L.A.

MANILA, Philippines — President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo went on national TV Sunday to congratulate local boxing star Manny Pacquiao and two other compatriots who delivered stunning victories in the United States — a piece of good news amid months of political turmoil.

“The whole nation is celebrating Manny Pacquiao’s victory,” a beaming Arroyo said, adding “God heard my prayers for his victory because his fight was the fight of all Filipinos.”

Pacquiao, a 28-year old southpaw from the southern Philippines, stopped Hector Velazquez of Tijuana, Mexico, by technical knockout in the sixth round of a scheduled 12round super featherweight bout at Staples Center in Los Angeles on Saturday.

Arroyo said she personally called Pacquiao to express her happiness.

A Filipino American from Hawai’i, Brian Viloria, knocked out defending champion Eric Ortiz of Mexico in the first round to win the WBC light flyweight championship and a third compatriot, Rey Bautista, also won at the Staples Center.

Arroyo has been hounded by allegations of voterigging and other crimes in her worst crisis. The House of Representatives, which is dominated by her allies, threw out all three impeachment complaints against her last week but opponents vowed to continue protests and calls for her resignation.

Kaua’i youth do well in tennis

Lyndsey Tom (14 singles and doubles), Chaz Okamoto (boys singles), and Mikaiah Vea all did an outstanding job at the Hilo Jr. Sectionals earlier this month. Okamoto also qualified for the Nike Invitational at Stanford University, later this month.

Federer takes Agassi

NEW YORK — Andre Agassi has battled the champions of three eras — Pete Sampras, Boris Becker, John McEnroe, Jimmy Connors, Ivan Lendl — and now he puts Roger Federer above them all.

“He’s the best I’ve ever played against,” Agassi said after falling to Federer 63, 26, 76 (1), 61 Sunday in the U.S. Open final. “Pete was great. No question.”

Federer reeled off seven straight points in the tiebreak that turned the match, then blew Agassi away in the fourth set.


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