Filipinos turn Taal Volcano ash, plastic trash into bricks PLAY LIST 01:40Filipinos turn Taal Volcano ash, plastic trash into bricks01:32Taal Volcano watch: Island fissures steaming, lake water receding02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite Swing Out Sister back to PH this April Pacquiao was drafted 25th in the 2014 PBA Draft by the franchise, but languished largely as a practice player before playing for a short while with MP Hotel in the PBA D-League.However, Gavina is adamant to the management to keep the window of opportunity open for the 30-year-old.“I told management to keep him in the active lineup,” he said. “Let me develop him, let our coaches develop him, and who knows? We may have a Pacquiao superstar in basketball as well.”ADVERTISEMENT China reports 17 new cases in viral pneumonia outbreak Pumaren relishes GlobalPort’s unexpected crack at playoff berth For Ina, portraying a zombie is like an ‘out-of-body experience’ Ai-Ai delas Alas on Jiro Manio: ‘Sana pinahalagahan niya ang naitulong ko’ LATEST STORIES Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Rene Pacquiao. PBA IMAGESFor someone who had little time to prepare for his debut game in the big stage, Rene Pacquiao came in and made the most of his opportunities.The second cousin of eight division world boxing champion Manny Pacquiao impressed in his first try in the PBA, battling the likes of Justin Brownlee, Japeth Aguilar, and Joe Devance on Friday.ADVERTISEMENT MOST READ End of his agony? SC rules in favor of Espinosa, orders promoter heirs to pay boxing legend Ex-Bulacan town vice mayor, village chief shot dead Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Trump’s impeachment defense, prosecutors dig in Gerald: Just because I’ve been bashed doesn’t mean I’d stop working Trump’s impeachment defense, prosecutors dig in And with the famed Pacquiao in attendance, Rene did all he could to deliver for Mahindra, finishing with six points and a rebound in his eight minutes on the floor.Unfortunately, his debut came with non-bearing consequences, as the Floodbuster closed their 2017 PBA Commissioner’s Cup campaign with 94-80 defeat to Ginebra.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSEnd of his agony? SC rules in favor of Espinosa, orders promoter heirs to pay boxing legendSPORTSMcGregor blasts Cerrone in 40 seconds in UFC returnSPORTSBreak new groundBut Pacquiao’s efforts didn’t go unnoticed, with coach Chris Gavina admitting that he’s a fan of the 6-foot-5 big man.“Rene came in and was ready. Few guys can come in ready on a big stage against a team like Ginebra and go out there and be productive, so I give him a whole lot of credit for not shying away from the big moment and stepping up with the limited minutes he had,” he said. View comments
LAS VEGAS – There’s a certain buzz when Juan Pablo Montoya enters the room, whether that room is filled with journalists or a bunch of his fellow NASCAR drivers. Conversation levels drop and eyes turn toward the former Indianapolis 500 champion and Formula 1 driver, a man who is now a NASCAR rookie. Montoya, preparing to embark into the world of stock cars, spoke to the media during Tuesday’s Nextel Cup Series preseason test session at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. At one point, the NASCAR beat regulars grew weary of missing out on some of Montoya’s quotes, and he was asked to translate one of his Spanish answers into English. He smiled. “I just told him that my goals are obviously to win some races and the championship, if I can,” Montoya said. As much as anyone, Montoya knows it will be a difficult task to be in contention for NASCAR’s expanded Chase for the Cup, a 12-driver playoff. “It’s completely different (than open wheel),” he said. “This is a hard race car. It’s hard. You go in (the corners), the car twitches and I get out of the gas before the straightaway. I’m not taking any chances.” At the same time, Montoya said he’s found that he can make it around the new high-banked Vegas surface without ever letting his foot off the gas. “I’m not even touching the brake all the way around and I’m about 0.2 or 0.3 off,” he said. Actually, it’s even more than that. In the first of two sessions Tuesday, Montoya was 39th-fastest and over a full second behind the leaders. “We’re getting there, but we’ve still got a long way to go,” he said. “I hope I have some success. I’m committed to this for the long term. Is it going to happen this year? I don’t know. “For me, it’s hard to say I’m going to go out there and kick everybody’s (butts). Of course I want to do that, but you’ve got to be a bit realistic.” Realistic goals this season might include a road course win, at Sonoma’s Infineon Raceway or at Watkins Glen in New York, and a handful of top 10 finishes. Montoya said he doesn’t like to get into specific goals. That means that winning the Daytona 500 on his first try, much like he did at the Indy 500 in his rookie race there, is improbable at best. “I’m more aiming to getting the car to the end of the race, to be realistic,” he said. “Do we have a shot at it? Am I going to try to win it? Yeah, but I’ll be happy with a top 20, top 15 out of that race. “It’s a shame to start the Daytona 500 for me as a rookie, because I have no experience drafting.” There’s another factor that’s working against Montoya, at least historically. His Chip Ganassi Racing team hasn’t had much success in the past few years, having gone winless over the last four seasons without any of its drivers making the Chase. Unless Ganassi experiences a turnaround like the one Richard Childress Racing went through last season, Montoya could be fighting an uphill battle. “It’s unique in how much talent he has, how much experience and wisdom he has with open-wheel cars,” fellow Dodge driver Kurt Busch said. “Yet the inexperience he has with a stock car, how do you match that? How do you create success around it? “It’s going to be unique to watch his maturation process and how he moves forward.” 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! The differences between Montoya and any other driver on the circuit are apparent just by the media treatment he receives. As soon as Montoya gave his opening statement, for example, the Colombian was asked to repeat it in Spanish. By the time his 15 minutes with the media was over, Montoya probably had spoken about as much in Spanish as in English. One reporter even called in from London to ask for an answer in Spanish.