Sports Eye

Another successful sports project of Gov. Espino


By Jesus A. Garcia Jr.

CHESS is not my sport but sometimes I like to watch the game despite having just a little knowledge about its discipline. I did just that on November 11 few hours upon arrival from my short visit (three days, two nights) to Taiwan. I rushed to the Pangasinan Training and Development Center in Lingayen where the opening ceremony of the 7th Pangasinan Chess Championship was held. According to the organizing Pangasinan Chess League (PCL) headed by its president Don Juan Vicente Ramos Sison with whom I had a brief chat before the opening rite, the two-day battle of brains is another sports project of our sports-minded head of the province, the energetic Gov. Amado “Pogi” I. Espino, III.

Sison emphasized together with PCL secretary-general German Francisco, the wood-pushing tourney is sponsored by the provincial government through the Pangasinan Sports Development and Management Council (PSDMC) in cooperation with PCL and the National Chess Federation of the Philippines, Inc. Sison also pointed out that the tilt was divided into three categories, the Kiddie division for 12 years old and under (eventually won by Chester Neil Reyes of Lingayen) , Junior for 18 years old and under  (finally won by Romulo Curioso of Nueva Ecija) and the Open class (triumphed by Dennis Gutierrez, Sr. of San Fabian). Of course, handsome amount of cash prizes plus trophies and medals are at stake for the top five winners in each category, and is not exclusively for Pangasinenses only but open entries from adjacent provinces like Tarlac, Zambales, La Union, Benguet and Nueva Ecija.

It was clearly a success!

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I also failed to attend the November 9 first game of the best-of-three championship series of the First Pangasinan Inter-Agency Basketball Tournament. But I was officially informed by Henry Escleto of the provincial sports office upon my arrival that PNP-B won the match through the hard way, 107-100, over their brother team PNP-A held at Narciso Ramos Sports and Civic Center in Lingayen.

But I was there during the second game at the same venue where the PNP-B finished the tourney, 104-95. (See related story on this page) Of course, Gov. Espino watched the hostility with much gusto as well as our province police director Sr. Supt. Ronald Lee. After the game, yes, it was cerveza time.

The cagefest was organized well under the directorship of veteran organizer Ronnie Padilla.

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Elated by the success of the first edition of the Pangasinan Inter-Town/City Basketball Tournament, the second version of the cagefest commenced on November 18 at NRSCC. And by the time you read this piece, I believe this touted sports project of Gov. Espino had already kicked off. Defending champion the Binmaley quintet of Mayor Sammy Rosario are at the helm and are determined to defend their diadem against the best in the province and aims to be the first team to win back-to-back. But the rejuvenated Manaoag squad mentored by former varsity player Ferdinand “Enan” Mangonon who bagged the first runner-up plum last season as well as the gutsy quintet of Urdaneta City, the season-trained Alaminos City squad and the beefed-up San Carlos City five, will surely give the Binmaley team a run for its run this season.

According to our provincial sports executive officer Modesto Operania, as of this writing (Nov. 16), 31 towns had already confirmed their participation with six more teams on standby.

See you there guys and play by the rules at all times. Good luck and God bless always.

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QUOTE OF THE WEEK: But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him. HEBREWS 11: 6

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