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Sports Eye

Gumarang to unite local college basketball tourneys?

By Jesus A. Garcia, Jr.

UP TO these days and already two months after the 2014 UCAAP Jimmy Fernandez Challenge Cup was finished and won by the Lyceum Northwestern Dukes (LNU), some basketball aficionados in this city and my town Mangaldan are still wondering why the other college teams of Dagupan like the multi-titled UL, CdD and PAMMA deliberately did not join the league. Same thing happened to this year’s PRISAA Metro Dagupan Basketball Tournament which UL won with the absence of LNU and PIMSAT teams. I cannot provide the answers because I don’t really know the real score. I just know that there probably was a misunderstanding between the UCAAP and PRISAA czars and organizers that caused the split.

There was no PRISAA-UCAAP Inter-Collegiate Basketball Championship staged this year, unlike in previous years. The last time it was staged was last year won by LNU mentored by Angel Gumarang, and represented our region in the National PRISAA Games. Luckily, the Dukes of Atty. Gonzalo Duque bagged the first runner-up plum, the highest place that our region ever achieved in the history of National PRISAA Games. The rest was history.

Few days after the death of Gumarang’s wife, Laida, Angel talked to me on the phone to tell me that he and UL coach Renato Vidal agreed to conceptualize a plan to restore the unity among all college basketball teams of Dagupan City and possibly in the whole Pangasinan (especially the college teams of Urdaneta City) purposely to really find out who is really who in Pangasinan caging.

“Excitement, pride, and unification games are the main agenda of the tourneys. This is not a promise but a mission of coach Angel Gumarang and coach Jack Vidal,” said Gumarang.

Although I have some reservations about the plan, I congratulated Gumarang and wished him and Vidal the best of luck. It’s going to be a tough mission but it’s very achievable knowing how influential the two are. “There’s no substitute to unity. United we stand, divided we fall,” as the old adage say.

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My heartfelt congrats to our kabaleyan, the chess genius Haridas Pascua, for earning his first of three GM (grandmaster) norms in the just concluded PSC/Puregold International Chess Open Challenge held on December 14-18 in Quezon City. Pascua, 21, has to notch the third and final norm in any FIDE sanctioned event to become a full-fledged grandmaster. I believe he can. His latest FIDE elo rating is 2404. If lucky, he will be the first chess grandmaster from Pangasinan that can outclass the late International Master (IM) Rodolfo Tan Cardoso of Anda. Pascua was born in Mangatarem but studied at the University of Baguio. No wonder our national scribes sometimes refer to him as a native of Baguio City and not from Pangasinan. That has to be clarified.

Congratulations, too, to Gumarang for being appointed by Governor Espino as the new Pangasinan sports consultant. Mabuhay po kayo mga ginoo. HAPPY SPORTS NEW YEAR TO EVERYONE.

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QUOTE OF THE WEEK: But Jesus knew their thoughts, and said to them: Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation, and every city or house divided against itself will not stand. MATTHEW 12: 25

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