Categories: OpinionRandom Thoughts

Random Thoughts

UNSPORTSMANLIKE CONDUCT – The ugly basketbrawl that marred the game between members of the Philippines Gilas team and those of Australia Boomers team Monday night at the Philippine Arena during their FIBA Basketball World Qualifying Match was downright unacceptable and disappointing.

It is definitely condemnable as it is being made to appear that the Filipinos are not  good sports because the incident happened when Gilas was trailing the Boomers, 48-79, at 4:01 of the third quarter in a one-sided game with no chance to catch up whatsoever.

What triggered the melee was when Roger Pogoy got tangled with Australia’s Chris Goulding during a drive and Daniel Kickert hit Pogoy with an elbow to the jaw, prompting Jason Castro to retaliate.

Hell broke lose from there. Some of the partisan crowd threw plastic bottles while some jumped in and chased some of the yellow shirted Australians in the hard court.

Whoever started the fracas is immaterial at the moment but me thinks that being the host in this match up, we should have restrained our emotions and knew that harming our visitors is never an option.

When Castro hit Kickert in retaliation for the latter’s offensive action on Bogoy, only the two would likely be banished from the court. But for all members of the Gilas team, except three, to get into the fray, pointed to the Philippines as the culprit.

We must bear in mind that the Australians were our visitors who came to the Philippines to play basketball with the Gilas and not get into a brawl.

These players, though countrymen of Jeff Horn who battered our Manny Paquiao in that celebrated Battle of Brisbane in Queenstown, Australia last year, came here to qualify and hopefully make it to the quarter final round of the FIBA World Basketball to be hosted hopefully by the Philippines in 2028.

So, even that hosting chore may slip from our hands because of that unfortunate incident, that definitely was a sad day in Philippine sport.

I fear the incident might endanger the Philippines good standing in world basketball and may even strain the good relationship between the Philippines and Australia, what with the latter’s intention to file a case against our players and their officials for that sorry mess.

I understand that the Samahan ng Basketbolista as Pilipinas (SBP) is now investigating the incident and the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) is also doing this to their own players involved in the melee.

But more than the sanctions to be imposed on the erring players and officials, it is the good reputation of the Philippines that must be restored, especially that the incident came just a few hours after Tanauan Mayor Antonio Halili was shot dead during a flag ceremony. That again put the country in a bad light in the world.

A Bombo Radyo reporter in Australia said that upon arrival at the Sydney airport, the Boomers team held a press conference and chastised our players and officials for unsportsmanlike conduct, and solely to be blamed for that brawl.

In that press conference, one Aussie official pointed to Gilas coach Reyes as the one who instigated the melee by instructing his players to check the fastbreak plays of the Boomers to the point of committing deliberate fouls.

Of course, Reyes has his own story of the sorry incident to tell.

Such an incident may even place our kababayans at risk, they who already made Australia their home after they struggled, using sweat and tears, and their brains, to succeed in their respective undertakings and ultimately acquired citizenship.

Still on sports, after Japan and Mexico were beaten in the quarterfinals in the ongoing 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia, it looks like that the fight will be between European and South American football teams.

With defending champion Germany and former champion Spain already eliminated in the round of 16, the remaining European teams are Belgium, Croatia, host Russia, England, Sweden and France. Latin American teams still in contention are former five-time champion Brazil and South American champion Uruguay.

I am crossing my fingers that it would be Brazil and France that would enter the final round.

I am puzzled why not much action in the 2018 FIFA World Cup is being shown even on ESPN. Could it be because of the U.S. boycott of the games being hosted by Russia?

My wife and I were vacationing abroad during the last FIFA World Cup won by Germany.  Since all the football games in the World Cup were being shown live on TV, I found it difficult to even leave the house to breath the cold winter air outside, except when I had to push the garbage cart to the road side early mornings. – Leonardo Micua 


A SOMA LIKE THE SONA – While many Pangasinan leaders and our provincemates headed to Lingayen on July 2 for the State of the Province Address of the governor, some members of the media went instead to Bayambang town to cover Mayor Cezar T. Quiambao’s State of Municipality Address.

Madam Letty Ursua of the town’s Information Office sent me an invitation so off I went with some media colleagues.

One thing I noticed upon arrival was the gymnasium beside the town hall where the SOMA was going to be held.  It has metamorphosed into a beautiful, air-conditioned multi-purpose event’s hall under Quiambao’s administration.

Dati, ang init-init doon. Paypay dito, paypay doon. Ang mga bleachers madumi. Ang restroom, kadiri. But these became a thing of the past under the Quiambao administration.

The municipal employees and the ushers and usherettes also donned Filipiniana costume. Feeling ko nasa SONA ako (State of the Nation Address) to listen to the country’s president.

Quiambao was dapper in his Barong Tagalog while his wife, Mary Clare Judith Phyllis Jose-Quiambao, wore her best in red Filipiniana gown. She is undoubtedly beautiful, always with a sweet smile for everyone.

Sa dami ng accomplishments ni mayor, there was a separate audio-visual presentation while an announcer annotated, citing the significance and impact to the people. It was a long presentation.

Then the mayor gave a separate speech and further emphasized some points. Maybe it was intended that way so Quiambao won’t get tired delivering his meaningful but long list of accomplishments in the second year of his administration.

Very impressive ang Bayambang SOMA, parang little SONA of the Philippines. Very organized. Everyone was seated comfortably. I salute the team behind.

Each guest was given a copy of the SOMA in thick booklet form for future reference.

During our brief interview with the mayor (after almost everybody had photo-ops with him and his wife), one broadcaster asked if it was mere coincidence that Bayambang’s SOMA was held at the same time as the province’s SOPA was to be delivered by Gov. Amado Espino III.

Sinadya ba?

Quiambao was quick to reply that it was not. He said last year, he delivered his SOMA on July 1. This year, he chose July 2 because July 1 is a Sunday.

But was he invited to the governor’s SOPA?, another reporter asked.

Yes, he was, but he sent his letter of regret as he was to give his SOMA for Bayambang.

Did he send someone to represent him in the SOPA?, another asked

No, he did not, because naturally his townmates or the town employees would rather be in his SOMA.

Pak ganern! Tama nga naman. Charity begins at home kasi.—Eva Visperas

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