Summer time is sports time

By March 24, 2024Sports Eye

By Jesus A. Garcia Jr.


MANY say the month of March is the start of summer. We have to believe it because we now feel the heat wave of the season. And if it’s summer, unquestionably, it’s time for sports. Outdoor sports like running or track and field, baseball, softball, football (soccer), lawn tennis and cycling, to name some, are now popular. Our national athletes are doing intense trainings for their stints this year in the Paris Olympic Games in August.

On the local side, as expected, basketball tournaments and cycling races are considered as the top two favorite sports among Pangasinenses. In fact, my town Mangaldan which is presently conducting an inter-color basketball tourney with the participation of 13 commercial teams is now in the semifinals juncture. Aside from the San Manuel bikefest held two weeks ago, two more cycling road races were held last week: the Bani Bikefest last March 16 and the Mapandan tilt last March 18. I was in Mapandan and watched the race that my son Jazy was managing as its race director- general.

The 50-kilometer Bani bikefest, organized and directed by veteran cyclist Edwin “Bitoy” Ochale was in conjunction with the celebration of their barangay fiesta. The short cycling road races were done in three categories sponsored by Bani Mandaragit Eagle Club, Bani Golden West Lion Club, Bani Agkaykaysa Eagle Club, former cyclists Alex Lopez of Mangaldan and Gerald Valdez of Sual, First District BM Nong Fontelera and Bani councilor Ronald Catabay and cycling fanatics Sonny Cortez and Noel Ignacio of USA.

The top four winners in the first event of the day the Grandmaster open category was surprisingly won by Tour veteran Juancho Bumagat of Nueva Ecija. Daniel Baguio of Urdaneta City, Danilo Tabucol, Sr. of Binalonan and Modesto Marcos of Tarlac came in second, third and fourth, respectively. The top four finishers in the Master category were all Pangasinenses spearheaded by my tucayo (namesake) the Tour veteran Jesus Garcia of Sta. Maria and followed by George Valdez of Urdaneta City, Romel Narvasa of San Fabian and Jerico Recado of Urdaneta City who came in 2nd, 3rd, 4th respectively. The Open division, the main event of the day, was won by Daniel Fariñas of Binalonan, outdistancing the pack led by Angelico Seleagio of Sual, Kenneth Maramba of Dagupan City and visitor Edson Coruadovia of Bataan for the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th respectively.

The Mapandan bikefest dubbed as “2nd Mayor Vega Mountain Bike Challenge” held last March 18 in connection with the celebration of Pandan Festival was flagged off by the town’s chief executive Vega. It was dominated by eastern cyclists with 23-year-old Binalonan rider Jerald Baonan outsprinting his breakaway partner, JR Estrada of Villasis in the last 250 meters, to win the event also dubbed as “Kalumbaan Na Siklista Diad Mapandan 2024.” The third up to the fifth finishers were Ronnie Ramos of Rosales (3rd), Jerick Balana of Asingan (4th), Kenneth Guintan of Alcala (5th).

Three more races are being organized by Jazy and this writer slated on April 9 (Araw ng Kagitingan) in Mangaldan, Pista’y Dayat in Lingayen on May 1st and Divino Tesoro Day in Calasiao on May 4. See you there.

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QUOTE OF THE WEEK: Whoever transgresses and does not abide in the doctrine of Christ does not have God. He who abides in the doctrine of Christ has both the Father and the Son. 2 JOHN 1: 9

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