16 sporting events to look forward to in 2016
ABS-CBN Sports on Dec 25, 2015 01:18 AM
Manny Pacquiao's April 9 fight is supposed to be his last, don't miss that and 15 other events in 2016. (AP)
2015 is still not over but we will already look ahead to 2016 for some of the biggest sporting events that we have to watch out for.
No matter what sport you prefer, there should be at least one here for all you!
Here are ABS-CBN Sports' 16 sporting events not to miss next year.
Start marking those calendars.
1. Super Bowl 50.
The Golden Anniversary of the big game, the Super Bowl will be coming to the bay area. Although not as big in the Philippines compared to the United States, fans of american football will surely look forward to who plays in the annual unofficial US holiday.
Can the AFC-leading New England Patriots start a new dynasty by winning back-to-back or can the surging Seattle Seahawks bury last year's ghosts by winning a second title in three years?
Can Cam Newton and the currently undefeated Carolina Panthers complete a perfect season or can the Denver Broncos, Cincinnati Bengals and the Arizona Cardinals achieve a playoff breakthrough? We will find out on February 7.
2. 2016 NBA All-Star Game.
The world's biggest exhibition game is headed up the Great White North for the first time ever as the NBA All-Star Game goes to Toronto.
The East and West are set to go head-to-head once again in a showcase of the game's biggest stars.
Not just on the history standpoint but the 2016 ASG could be the last time we see Lakers legend Kobe Bryant in a Western Conference All-Stars uniform.
Also, Steph Curry vs. LeBron James is always a must see.
3. UAAP Season 78 volleyball.
Volleyball fans rejoice!
January 30 is the tentative date for the return of UAAP Volleyball for season 78 and a lot of storylines are already taking shape.
In the women's division, can anybody stop Alyssa Valdez and the Ateneo Lady Eagles from a three-peat? How can Ara Galang and the DLSU Lady Spikers bounce back from devastating injuries? How can the UST Growling Tigresses perform under a new coach but without their leader in Pam Lastimosa? Can the NU Lady Bulldogs carry the momentum from their rousing V-League win? Who emerges as a contender from FEU, UE, UP and Adamson?
In the men's side of things, can Mark Espejo and the Blue Spikers stay on top of a highly-competitive division? Only about a month to go before we find out.
4. Manny Pacquiao's April 9 fight.
If things go according to plan, April 9 will be Manny Pacquiao's retirement fight.
If that is not one of the most anticipated bouts in 2016, we don't know what else is.
Aside from the final opportunity to witness the greatest Filipino fighter slug it out one last time, the name of his opponent is also one to get excited about.
Do we see a Pacquiao-Marquez 5 or do we see the Pacman taking on an upcoming fighter in sort of like a passing of the torch moment? Do we see a Pacquiao-Mayweather rematch?
See you on April 9.
5. NBA Finals.
The culmination of a grueling 82-game regular season and four rounds of the playoffs, the NBA Finals is always close to Filipino hearts.
Last season, the Golden State Warriors and the Cleveland Cavaliers gave us a classic series, do we see a sequel next year or can other NBA contenders emerge to take the spotlight away for Curry and the DUbs from the West and the King's Cavaliers from the East?
Regardless of who plays in the 2016 NBA Finals, expect a war from the game's best players and best teams.
6. EURO 2016.
Next to the World Cup, the European championship has to be one of the biggest football events pitting countries.
All the finest teams from Europe square off and all the contenders will be looking to unseat two-time defending champions Spain.
Oh and a record 24 nations will battle it out. What is not to like?
7. UFC 200.
Mixed Martial Arts is one of the hottest sports right now so expect UFC's 200th event to be a blockbuster.
Regardless of what happened in her match with Holly Holm, Ronda Rousey said that she will be taking time off from fighting. Do we see Rowdy back in time for UFC 200?
Do we see a McGregor-Aldo rematch as well?
No fights have been officially scheduled yet but expect Dana White to put out all the stops and make UFC 200 the biggest ever with the biggest bouts.
8. FIBA Olympic Qualifiers.
Only three slots remain in Rio and the three wild card entrants will be decided in the FIBA Olympic Qualifiers starting July 8.
Gilas Pilipinas will be looking to catch the last plane ride to Brazil and they might have a chance to do that playing here at home.
There will be three tournaments and Gilas will have to win one to qualify. However they will be up against other Asian and global powerhouses. This tournament will be one of the toughest for our national team.
9. Rio Olympics.
If Gilas Pilipinas manages to qualify for Rio, then there is no question that the Olympics is a must see.
However, the Summer Games is more than just basketball and the ultimate sporting competition is also the ultimate sporting event for fans to witness.
The Olympics only happens once every four years, our advice is to watch as many sports as possible.
10. NCAA Season 92.
The NCAA's first year with ABS-CBN Sports was a huge success and Season 92 looks to be a bigger one.
Just on the basketball side of things alone, Season 92 couldn't come any closer as we already miss the rough and tough brand of play.
Can the Letran House of Chaos establish their own dynasty or can San Beda prove that the Season 91 loss was just a minor spoke on the wheel.
The Arellano Chiefs, JRU Heavy Bombers, Mapua Cardinals and the Perpetual Help Altas, all heavy contenders that figured in the whole #KaguloSaNCAA look to make the jump and take the crown for their own.
11. UAAP Season 79.
Just always count on the UAAP to produce classic games, especially in the playoffs.
Season 78 proved just that with a crazy Final FOur and even crazier Finals. With a lot of new faces both on the court and on the sidelines, Season 79 looks to surpass the craziness level in the UAAP.
That means great news for us fans.
12. UAAP 79 Cheerdance.
The most anticipated event every UAAP Season returns next year!
Can the NU Pep Squad enter legend status or will the UST Salinggawi Dance Troupe and the UP Pep Squad restore former glory?
Will we witness a start of a new era? We can't wait for the next UAAP CDC!
13. Ryder Cup.
Golf fans will be happy to know that the Ryder Cup returns next year.
The US would like to get back at their European counterparts who have been cup holders for the last three installments of the biennial men's golf competition.
14. Kobe Bryant's final game against Utah.
The Los Angeles Lakers are not making the NBA playoffs, so Kobe Bryant will be playing the final game of his illustrious career against the Jazz.
Game is scheduled on April 13.
It's only fitting that Bryant plays his last game versus Utah as a rookie Kobe tried to shoot the Lakers past the Karl Malone and John Stockton-led Jazz in the playoffs, only to come up with airballs three times in the fourth quarter and overtime.
The basketball gods wanted Bryant to go full cirlce. Don't miss that game.
15. Pinoy Pride boxing.
Looking for the next Filipino fighters that will challenge for world titles? Easy, never miss a Pinoy Pride event.
The ALA Boxing Promotions' flagship event is scheduled to return to the US and the Middle East at least once and boxers like Donnie "Ahas" Nietes, the Pagara brothers and the young Mark Magsayo are poised to be heavily promoted once again to usher a new era in Philippine boxing.
16. Nonito Donaire's next fight.
The Filipino Flash is world champion once again and the possibilities for his next bout are endless.
Do we see a rematch against Cesar Juarez? We'd love to especially since the first one is a strong fight of the year nominee.
Do we see a rematch with Guillermo Rigeondux? Sure considering the title Donaire now holds was the same one he lost to the Cuban star.
A rejuvenated Filipino Flash looks like he's ready to take on all comers, we say just bring them on.