Sports Eye

Watch out for more cycling races

By Jesus A. Garcia, Jr.


ONE of the effective ways to develop the skills of athletes in any kind of sport is to hold tune-up games before they enter the big battle, purposely to assess their improvement after their intensive training period. That’s what I did during my cycling era and, believe me, the tune-up races paid off handsomely. In fact, the plan of our Gilas national basketball team is to play a game against the Jordan national squad before meeting their mortal foes Kazakhstan and Australia on November 30 and December 3, respectively, for the crucial fifth window qualifying round of the FIBA World Cup slated at Mall of Asia in Pasay City.

After retiring from the two-wheeled event that many brought national individual and team honors for our province, it has been  my desire to help  maintain our reputation as the home of Philippine cycling champions,  an acclamation by many elite national scribes. But to do so, our province should continue to hold races, small or big, in order to discover new talents who can benefit from the experiences of our veterans which I honestly believe is a big source for training.

As many of you may already be aware, I’ve been contributing to this effort for more than three decades now, organizing and directing professional and amateur races in the province – 213 races to e exact, and more to come and 26 of these were held in 1995-1998, directing 26 races when sports-minded Oscar M. Orbos was our governor.

Before this year ends, I plan to hold a simple bikefest on my 73rd birthday (December 18) which will be run in three categories namely: ex-pro and amateur, veteran-master (40-59 years old), and grandmaster (60 years old and above). I’m holding this affair as number 73 is so memorable to me having  won my first of three Tour of Luzon in 1973 after five attempts.

My next project, the first in 2019, will be the “Fifth Mayor Agbayani Cycling Challenge Asipukpokan ed San Fabian” slated on January 12. After that will be the three-day “I Love Pangasinan Cycling Classic” of our sports-minded Gov. Amado “Pogi” I. Espino, III. (It will be run as a three-Sunday series tentatively scheduled on January to end on February. And if things don’t miscarry, hopefully the planned two-day “Tim Orbos Cycling Challenge Tour de Primero Distrito” will push through and slated in the middle of February. But the last and not the least (so far) in my card next year before rainy season is the return of “Werweran ed Mangaldan” to be conducted in conjunction with the celebration of my town fiesta to be staged on the first Sunday of March.

“It’s not on until it’s on,” as once said by media colleague and my cumpadre Al S. Mendoza in his PDI column before. I agree. And so be it.

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My big congrats to Manaoag Mayor Kim Amador, administrator Carlito Hernando and Commissioner Ferdinand Mangonon for successfully staging the just concluded “2018 Manaoag Mayor’s Cup Inter-Barangay Basketball Tournament” won by Barangay Poblacion by sweeping the best-of-three championship series over Barangay Pau. According to Mangonon, there were 26 barangays that participated.

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QUOTE OF THE WEEK: Then the Lord said to Moses, “Come up to Me on the mountain and be there; and I will give you tablets of stone, and the law and the commandments which I have written, that you may teach them.” EXODUS 24: 12

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