By Jesus A. Garcia Jr.
RUMORS circulating in Dagupan that the annual Jimmy Fernandez Cup (JFC) basketball tournament will be discontinued are not to be believed. This was vehemently denied by Vice Mayor Belen Fernandez during last Wednesday’s Media in Action forum at Pedrito’s bistro when I asked her to clarify the issue. Madam Belen, the main sponsor of the tourney in honor to his late father Jimmy, averred the Dagupan City Inter-Barangay Family Basketball Championship just ended, so she could not say when the five-year old JFC can be scheduled. “Imposibleng hindi ito matutuloy samantalang maganda naman ang resulta kaya lang ma-delay nang kaunti dahil nga sa katatapos lang na liga ng Dagupan,” Madam Belen explained.
There are also rumors that the on-going UCAAP basketball tournament is running its last season because of unsettled issues about the rules of the league. The UCAAP tilt, being participated in by six Dagupan City based institutions led by defending champion UPang, LNU, UL, CdD, PAMMA and AIE. was temporarily stopped after the LNU-UL battle held last September 24 which LNU won. According to Atty. Gonzalo Duque, LNU president, UL protested the game claiming that LNU head coach Angel Gumarang fielded in allegedly two ineligible players namely, Michael Indoy and Linnel Manalo. This, UL said, violated the PRISAA rule and since UCAAP is affiliated with PRISAA, PRISAA rules should apply. Gumarang countered saying that the two officials managing the league, Phil Celi and Seato Gonimil, never gave them a any document citing the rules of the league. Gumarang argued that since the UCAAP tilt is for the PCCL games and PCCL rule says that a player who is student of the school can play in the league if he’s not older than 25 years of age.
According to Gumarang, Indoy and Manalo the two just turned 25 years old last month and, therefore, the two are eligible to represent their alma mater. He also pointed out that PRISAA rules should not be enforced because UCAAP is for PCCL games and not for PRISAA games. “We already won the PRISAA qualifying round for the northern Luzon clash and if we are lucky to win the northern joust, we’ll be the one to represent our region in the national PRISAA games slated early next year in Lingayen,” Gumarang said. “The PRISAA rules here are out of the subject because it was already done. And if the UCAAP tilt is, indeed, covered by PRISAA rules as what Celi and Gonimil claim, where is the paper? They should have given us the rules written in black and white and not verbally,” Gumarang fumed. He added that UPang, based on his latest conversation with his boss Gonz, is also amenable to see the two LNU players continue to play even with only four teams to finish the tournament. In other words, the show must go on.
And yes, if the words of Gumarang have to be believed, the two people who are managing the tilt should be the one to be blamed. It’s a big mistake to hold a new tournament without any written rules agreed upon and with clear understanding of all the teams. That is the standard procedure in any sports event. (The two had criticized me for being inept in last year’s Pangasinan-Dagupan PRISAA-UCAAP Inter-Collegiate Basketball Championship that forced me to resign as the commissioner of the league. Now it’s their turn to be called inept by the majority of the coaches. “Dios nunca dormir,” as the saying goes in Spanish lingo.
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QUOTE OF THE WEEK: “Judge not, and you shall not be judged. Condemn not, and you shall not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven. Give, and it will be given to you: good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over will be put into your bosom. For with the same measure that you use, it will be measured back to you.” LUKE 6: 37-38
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