Knocking with both fists

Angel C. Gumarang

By Angel C. Gumarang


ALLOW me (at the outset) to thank Sunday Punch Publisher-Editor Ermin Garcia Jr. for considering me to run a sports column in this prestigious newspaper.

Boss Ermin’s invitation came my way with the advice that Sports Eye of my esteemed mentor, Jess Garcia Jr., is taking a long vacation and Pangasinan needs to be updated on the development of local sports.

I was caught off guard.

For one, I have barely “sharpened my pen” churning out a weekly sports column in another newspaper in just over a year.

For another, Sir Ermin’s invitation came close on the heels of my designation as a deputy traffic supervisor of the City Action Service Team headed by retired Police Officer Lito Ocampo — a job that would take me to the streets addressing the intractable traffic woes.

But the sportsman in me took Boss Ermin’s offer as an opportunity knocking with both fists. So expect to read Hotshot regularly in this paper which many consider as second to none as far as Pangasinan journalism is concerned.

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Is it true that the Universities and Colleges Athletic Association of Pangasinan (UCAAP) and the Private Schools Athletic Association (PRISAA) are still in limbo as to whether or not they could each muster an enough number of participants for the projected 2016 basketball hostilities?

According to our source, both associations are having difficulties convincing members (colleges and universities) to join this year’s Inter-Collegiate Basketball Tournament. Four teams have reportedly signified their intention to join the UCAAP Inter-Collegiate Basketball Tournament, which is tentatively set on August 23 at the Dagupan People’s Astrodome in Dagupan City.  

Defending champion LNU Dukes, PCST Topnotch of Calasiao, AIE Green Eagles and PSU of Lingayen are included in this year’s short list of protagonists. But the latest I heard is that two of these teams are withdrawing citing logistical constraints?

The same thing is reportedly happening in the PRISAA front. Organizers have been moving heaven and earth just to enlist enough entries in order to have the right to stage the 2016 Philippine Collegiate Champions (PCC) Northern-Central League.

PRISAA League Commissioner Manny Gatchalian informed me that University of Luzon, PCST, AIE, Colegio de Dagupan and Pangasinan Merchant Marine Academy are set to join the PRISAA-organized basketball league. 

These are disturbing developments in collegiate basketball in Pangasinan and its four cities. What’s happening? How is it possible that interest in the country’s most popular sport is waning in the province?

Aside from dealing with logistic issues affecting the competitions, both associations have yet to get their acts together. They should do away with their animosities and bickering that threaten to take a toll on the integrity of both associations and the sports.

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SPORTS QUOTE: “Hard work beats talent when talent doesn’t work hard.” — Tim Noke

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