Saturday, December 31, 2016

Remembering 2016: Best of Sports

Last minute failures, last minute successes, historic wins, historic firsts, scandals, retirements, returns those are the many things that changed sports in the year 2016 and it has been one heck of a ride for athletes from all corners of the world.

So, what are the 16 best of sports in the year 2016?

1) The 50th Super Bowl match is by no means the most historic of all the past Super Bowl matches since the first Super Bowl occurred in the 60's and with the match between the Denver Broncos and the Carolina Panthers, this was one heck of a match that, of course, will be written in the American football history books. At the score of 24-10, the Denver Broncos won the historic match against the Carolina Panthers, all thanks to their questionable but rough offensive and defensive strategies pulled by the Broncos' finest players. The Panthers did well but they were lacking much effort, even for the star player Cam Newton himself.

2) Having returning from the 0-3 deadlock against the Alaska Aces, the San Miguel Beermen shows that it ain't over until they snagged the 2016 PBA Philippine Cup title. At the seventh and the final game, the San Miguel Beermen made a historic comeback from a 0-3 hole to win the best-of-seven title series. Thanks to the efforts of the team's finest including Chris Ross, Arwind Santos, and June Mar Fajardo, their latest win marks the 22nd in the franchise history. The team now scored three of the last four championships in the PBA.

3) After a 13 year drought, the England Rugby team won the Grand Slam title at the 2016 RBS 6 Nations championship.

4) In what was supposed to be his final battle before he supposedly retire from position to pursue his senatorial status, Manny Pacquiao's third and final match against Tim Bradley truly is his final battle before his inevitable retirement from his career. The two boxing adversaries faced each other twice and they did it for the last time as these primed fighters thrown everything they got to ensure that this trilogy reached its climax. At the end of this 12-round battle to what is known to be Pacquiao's last fight of his career, the fighting pride of the Philippines won the match against Bradley...twice via unanimous decision.

5) The Rain or Shine Elasto Painters triumphed the PBA Commissioner's Cup championship after Game 6 victory against the Alaska Aces at the score of 109-92 at the Smart Araneta Coliseum. Apart from the team's unorthodox win, Elasto Painters' Paul Lee was named as MVP for his four 3-point shots and finished with 20 points scored.

6) Farewell to The Greatest. Muhammad Ali, an Black American boxer who was legendary for his unbiased fighting style that defeated some of the most mightiest boxers in his career, passed away at the age of 74. Born as Cassius Marcellus Clay in January 17, 1942, Ali is a native in Louisville, Kentucky and he began his boxing career at the age of 12. The reason why he changed his name to Muhammad Ali is because he joined the Black Muslims. Ali became a legend ever since he defeated some of the most mightiest boxers in his career such as Sonny Liston, Joe Frazier, and George Foreman, but all the endless fights he endured cost him his life and suffered some head injuries. Because of his "float like a butterfly, sting like a bee" fighting style, his career record consists of 56 wins, five losses, and 37 knockouts.

7) The rematch between the two teams at the 2016 NBA Finals, the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Golden State Warriors, became one heck of a catch up to the seven-game fight for the title. We all thought that it would be the Warriors' time to shine to score another win but following the 3-1 deficit, looks like the Cavaliers are fighting back to score enough wins to take on the seventh and the final game of the 2016 NBA Finals. Had Lebron James, the Cavs' ace in the hole, didn't sacrifice himself by slight injuries to trigger a foul, the Warriors would have given the edge to prevent them from scoring its historic win. Well, because of LeBron James, the Cavs scored their first major championship for the city of Cleveland since the Browns in 1964.

8) The doping scandal has been the main topic on the year 2016 and it hit the Russian athletes very hard, thanks to the World Anti-Doping Agency's revelations that state-run doping in Russia is the main reason why Russian athletes kept winning so many games than any other countries.  Despite the lack of evidence, the publication led on the ban on Russian athletes from taking part in international competitions including the Rio 2016 Olympics and a ban on all Russian Paralympic Team from participating in the major sports event of 2016.

9) While the Rio 2016 Olympics is floured in an endless wave of controversies, it became one of the biggest events occurred in the South American country. After two weeks of all the joy, sadness, disgust, anger, and fear everyone around the world felt upon witnessing the Rio 2016 Olympics, Team USA scored the most medals than China, UK, and controversially, Russia, therefore they are the proud winners of the Rio 2016 Olympics. Believe it or not, Hidilyn Diaz from the Philippines won the silver medal on weightlifting.

10) For the first time since 1908, the Chicago Cubs scored their very first World Series win against the Cleveland Indians despite the opponents' 3-to-1 lead. At the score of 8-7, the Cubs made history.

11) "Prince" Albert Pagara faced his first career loss after being KO-ed by Mexican Cesar Juarez at the eighth round of the "Fists of the Future" match

12) Six out of seven games, more than enough to put the epic close battle between the two PBA teams; the Barangay Ginebra and the Meralco Bolts, to a conclusion and with a very close score of 91 to 88, the Barangay Ginebra San Miguel team made a saved-by-the-bell victory to clinch the Governor's Cup title. One of the most epic parts in the final moments of this game is when the clock is nearing zero while both of the teams scored 88 points each, a miraculous last-second three-point shot from BGSM's number 32, import player Justin Brownlee, made the final seconds of the game into a historic achievement for BGSM after a close match against the Bolts.

13) Everyone thought that after defeating Timothy Bradley a couple of months ago for the third and final time, we might imagine that this is really the end for Manny Pacquiao's boxing career now that he's spending his life as a politician in the Philippine Senate, but seeing him defeating Jessie Vargas, a world welterweight champion, proved us wrong. Very wrong.  Pacquiao tries to prove that the legend still lives in a 12-round fight held at the Wynn Las Vegas, Nevada, and by winning via unanimous decision, this is a definite proof that the legendary Manny Pacquiao still lives, even though he's on a very different position for himself.

14) It was the 13th of April, 2016, when LA Lakers' Kobe Bryant played his last game against the Utah Jazz with them until his retirement. Fans of the legendary Black Mamba are savoring the best for last and Kobe's 60-point finale, that propelled the Lakers to a win against the Jazz, made his name consigned to the basketball history books. He will be remembered by fans as one of the all-time legends in the history of NBA.

15) The 79th season of the UAAP sees the La Salle Green Archers' rise to dominance from their first loss in 17 games. With the powerhouse of Ben Mbala, Aljun Melecio, and MVP Jeron Teng, the Archers' win against the long-time rival Ateneo Blue Eagles shows that they're still the kings of the UAAP.

16) Following last year's loss, the San Beda Red Lions are roaring back in the 2016 National Collegiate Athletic Association championship and after their victory against the Arellano University Chiefs via an 83-73 win in Game 2 at the MOA Arena, the Red Lions achieved the redemption they truly deserved to get back the NCAA crown.

Of course, there are many great sports stuff ever happened in the 2016, but let's leave it here.

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