No stopping the basketball tourneys
By Jesus A. Garcia Jr.
WE are now in the midst of the wet season and I believe this will last up to the month of September or even October. But despite this, still there’s no stopping the holding of national basketball tournaments. In fact three of the nation’s biggest hoop tilts are now in progress headed by the professional league PBA, which as of this writing (Friday) is on the last day of the semis. The second slot for the finals will be fought between the B-Meg Llamados and darling of the crowd team Barangay Ginebra Gin Kings. It’s a knockout game for the two and whoever wins tonight’s match will face the idled Rain or Shine who bagged the first slot for this year’s Governors Cup finals in the best-of-seven series.
In the amateur spectrum, the country’s two national well-known and respected leagues, the National Colleges Athletic Association (NCAA) and the Universities Athletic Association of the Philippines (UAAP) tournaments are also underway. And another one is coming and this is the National Athletic Association of Schools, Colleges and Universities (NAASCU), which is ready to fire off on July 30 at the Makati coliseum.
Nakakalito hindi po ba? That’s how crazy the Filipinos are about this James Naismith-invented sport, despite knowing that we don’t really have a probability to win the gold in the Olympics or even the Asian Games, unlike before. I can’t blame my Punch mate Jun Velasco and Briton friend Robert Dix disliking this game saying that we are really weird in selecting a favourite sport we don’t have a chance of winning at all in international tournaments. Yes, it doesn’t really make sense at all. It’s just a waste of money of taxpayers’ money like what Boy Lalicon of Mangaldan said. Nandyan ang pera kaya yong mga organizers keep staging tournaments kahit na alam nila na wala namang patutunguhan. “Mabuti pa yong ibang sports at may chance ang Pilipino,” Lalicon added.
Well, that’s part of democracy. Free enterprise ‘ika nga.
On the local scene, I was informed by LNU Dukes head coach Angel Gumarang that the Private School Athletic Association (PRISAA) Basketball Championship is geared to unfurl on August 2 at the Dagupan City People’s Astrodome. Unlike last year with seven teams involved, Gumarang laments that so far there are only five colleges and universities that are expected to participate this year, headed by LNU, UL, CdD, PIMSAT and PAMMA. Defending champion University of Pangasinan PHINMA and AIE College backed out from the tourney. When asked, he said he doesn’t know why and could only speculate that it’s because of money matters and bad officiating by the referees last year. “Walang gaanong glamour ngayon kung ganuon,” said Randy Ubando, a basketball fanatic from barangay Bonuan Boquig.
“Five or four teams, the show still must go on,” said Gumarang. “Hopefully the officiating this time will be better than last year and I wish there will be no more ‘unseen hands’, not like before,” Gumarang pointed out. When asked who are those ‘unseen hands’, he said they are those trying to manipulate the result of the games but he declined to name names. But his assistant coach said he’s known as “Mr. Keener”.
Well, just wait and see.
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QUOTE OFTHE WEEK: “Beloved, do not avenge yourselves, but rather give place to wrath; for it is written, “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,” says the Lord. Therefore “If your enemy hungers, feed him; if he thirsts, give him a drink; for in so doing you will heap coals of fire on his head.” Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good. ROMANS 12: 19-21