Sports Eye

Starting them young

By Jesus A. Garcia Jr.

AFTER three straight years of inactivity, the on-off and fashionable Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) basketball tournament of Dagupan City finally returned last Saturday at the Dagupan People’s Astrodome with 20 teams from the city’s 31 barangays officially joining the competition.

While I failed to watch the first game with Bonuan Binloc winning over Pantal,121-120, in overtime, I made it to the second match and observed how the underdog but highly spirited Malued boys came from behind to beat Caranglaan, 94-88. Pogo Chico won the third match, routing neighbour barangay Lasip,69-55. Then it was a lopsided victory for defending champion Bonuan Gueset as the team plastered adjacent village Bonuan Boquig in the fourth and last hostility of the day.

I had a chat with the league’s commissioner, Alejandro “Jon” Cancino, and he emphasized that the tilt dubbed this year as “2012Mayor Benjie S. Lim Cup” is for 15 to 21 years old bona fide residents only and at least a duly registered voter of the city. The cut-off birth year of the participants being 1991. He also pointed out that one of the rules that the organizers agreed upon is the exclusion of varsity players of the city’s different institutions purposely to level the playing field. The 20 teams are bracketed into two groups and only three teams from each group will enter the semi finals (no more quarterfinals) and the six squads will clash via the round-robin format and the best two teams after the semis will battle for the championship in a best-of-three series. In case of double tie, Cansino said the win-over-the-other process will be implemented and in case of a triple or quadruple tie, the FIBA quotient system will prevail. Third and fourth placers after the semis will tangle for the second runner-up plum via knockout game.

“Unlike some SK tournaments in the city’s barangays, we limit the age to 21 years old and to start them young at 15 to protect the image and fundamental nature of SK,” said Cansino, adding that he is hoping that it will be held again next year. Cancino is the current commissioner of the National Amateur Basketball Referees Association (NABRO) Pangasinan chapter which is handling the officiating. The tournament is a joint project of Mayor Lim, SK federation president Chester Gonzales and Liga ng Mga Barangay prexy Guillermo “Emong”Vallejos. Aside from Gonzales, Dagupan aldermen Brian Lim, Dr. Jess Canto, Alvin Coquia, and Red Erfe Mejia were there, but unfortunately Mayor Lim and Vallejos were not present, my source said. Skirmishes are scheduled on Saturdays and Sundays at the same venue starting June 23. See you there.

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Since Bob Arum, top honcho of Top Rank Promotions, requested for an investigation of the judges scoring and World Boxing Organization (WBO) committee composed of five judges had rendered its decision declaring Manny Pacquiao as the winner, I believe the uproar will now finally come to rest.

Francisco Valcarcel, WBO president himself said the five judges in the investigating committee, in an en banc decision, all scored it for Pacquiao, 117-111, 117-111, 118-110, 116-112 and 115-113. It was very clear that the two of the three judges appointed by the Nevada Athletic Commission namely C.J. Ross and Duane Ford committed a horrendous and monumental gaffe that tarnished the boxing world. This is a big slap on their faces and could be reprimanded or even be suspended for being incompetent. But Valcarcel quickly clarified that despite the results of investigation that favored Pacquiao, WBO rule says the world welterweight belt will not be given back to Pacquiao, neither the victory, but simply mandates that Bradley gives Pacquiao a rematch. If Bradley refuses for any reason, then WBO will strip Bradley’s of title and the welterweight tiara will be declared vacant.

“This is really very good news to all Filipinos. Justice has been served to a very good boxer and a gentleman. Let no man not even the powerful Americans deny him that. Never mind the belt, what is important is what the world believes, capturing the hearts of so many fans all over the globe. Mabuhay ang Pilipinas,” said LNU Dukes basketball team coach Angel Gumarang after I informed him the outcome of the investigation. “Pacquiao for senator. He’s more deserving than senators Lito Lapid and Bong Revilla,” he added with jest.

But I guess we just to wait and watch the rematch tentatively scheduled on Nov. 11. 

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QUOTE OF THE WEEK: And Jesus said to them, “When you pray, say: Our Father in heaven, hallowed be Your name. Your kingdom come. Your will be done On earth as it is in heaven. Give us day by day our daily bread. And forgive us our sins, for we also forgive who is indebted to us. And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.” LUKE 11: 2-4

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