Mangaldan SK cagefest the 2nd time around
By Jesus A. Garcia Jr.
MY TOWN Mangaldan will be holding its second edition of the Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) basketball tournament starting February 24 under the leadership of the town’s SK federation president Charlene Joy Flores. But unlike last season, this time it will be conducted in two categories (instead of one), for 19 years old and below and the open age division.
Originally scheduled to open this coming February 17, the tilt was moved one week back to enable some Mangaldan SK chairs to complete their respective team uniforms and have more time to practice. So far, according to my daughter Raisa who handles the town sports SK chairmanship and also one of the members of the screening committee, there are already 11 barangay teams (as of this writing, Friday) that officially entered the forthcoming hostilities to be conducted at the newly renovated Macario Ydia Development Center (MYDC). Raisa said the organizers are expecting not less than 20 teams for each category, primarily the 19 year-old below division which is the real SK age as far as Philippine law is concerned.
I still recall how the Mangaldan SK cagefest last year was heavily criticized by four barangay teams because of cheatings in age and residency, and bad officiating by the now defunct NARECOM (National Referees Commission) Pangasinan chapter headed by well-known veteran referee Jun Amado. My recollection of the bad officiating in the quarterfinal games prompted title-contender Barangay Maasin to eventually withdraw from the games and gave up on the 2012 tiff for good.
“People knew that my team Maasin is a perennial contender for the title every year. But the way the whistle-blowers did and the table officials were obvious and determined to extricate us maybe because they’re fed up to us as perennial winners of the league or because of gambling which is massive and uncontrolled during those games,” explained the village chairman Rolly Abalos. “No agda bituwagen so tawag, for sure we’re always on the top four,” he added.
What happened to Maasin was similarly experienced by barangays Amansabina, Alitaya and Buenlag. The three barangays wrote official protests against a player (a certain Pasaoa) of barangay Bari team being over-aged. After the tournament, the accused Pasaoa came to my house (being a friend of my son Elcid) and confessed to me that he was really over the 25 year-old age limit. A similar case involved a certain Poblacion player surnamed Tibunsay who submitted a tampered birth certificate, which was still tolerated by two of the three Board of Jury and no official written response was given to the protesting parties. The two were Cris Casupang and Danny Villanueva who acted as assistant commissioners of the league. Raisa sided with the protesters based on the pieces of evidence. What a shame.
The decision propelled Alitaya and Amansabina to quit the league saying obviously majority of the organizers were biased for the two teams (Poblacion and Guilig) maybe because the two teams were the organizers’ neighbors. The quitting of the three was a slap in the face of the organizers as said by the disgruntled spectators. I heard some of them also saying, “Dahil sa pustahan din ay nasisira tuloy and imahe ng liga.” Well, as Jesus Christ once said in his Good Book “The love of money is the root of all kinds of evil.” (1Timothy 6: 10) That is very, very true. Amen.
I’m wishing and hoping that the hostilities this year will not suffer any glitches and that the policemen, if possible, will curb (if not minimize) the uncontrolled betting among the spectators during the games. Gambling should be in the cockfight or in casino, which is legally recognized and not in sport competitions. See you at MYDC.
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QUOTE OF THE WEEK: And Jesus Christ said “He who is not with Me is against Me, and he who does not gather with Me scatters abroad. Therefore I say to you, every sin and blasphemy will be forgiven men, but the blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven men. Anyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man, it will be forgiven him; but whoever speaks against the Holy Spirit, it will not be forgiven him, either in his age or in the age to come. MATTHEW 12: 30-32