Extreme heat victimizes 2 basketball fans

By April 20, 2024Sports Eye

By Jesus A. Garcia Jr.


DUE to extreme heat that we’re suffering these days, two natives of my beloved town Mangaldan suffered ‘heat stroke’ and eventually died after staying in the hospital for just a few days. The first victim was my nephew, Ronnie Suratos, who died last April 6. He lives in Barangay Buenlag, He used to play basketball during his younger days. The second victim was Max Romero Ritualo, 61, an avid basketball fan who suffered from heatstroke during the semifinal game of the LGU’s Inter-Color Basketball Tournament held at Macario Ydia Development Center (MYDC ) last April 10.

I was at MYDC afternoon of April 10 and watched the tussle between Hygieia Water and ALSTECH when Ritualo collapsed, temporarily suspending the game. He, who was seated close to the bench where I sat, was watching his son Sam, a player of the Hygieia Water five, coached by Dr. Paul and my son Jazy. I saw Ritualo sweating profusely and eventually collapsed. But what shocked me was the absence of a medical team in the premises which is mandated by the law in any sporting event. The game was under the watch of the tournament director/ commissioner Ildefonso “Dhey-Dhey Benton. I called his attention to this serious violation by the organizers. And it was Dr. Palma, not chief organizer Benton, who called an ambulance team. Sadly, Ritualo died at the hospital three days later.

And I surmise it was also that this extreme heat that contributed to the death of former professional cyclist Cesar Catambay of Mangaldan. Admittedly, Catambay, was already bedridden for more than three years after suffering from three strokes. His health could have further deteriorated because of the extreme heat. May they rest in peace.

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It’s sad to know that our Pangasinan Heatwaves suffered its second consecutive loss in the 6th Season of Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball (MPBL), this time against Valenzuela City by a mere point, 86-85. Valenzuela City who lost to Zamboanga City, 82-76, via overtime during the opening games last April 6, defeated our Heatwaves, 86-85, after two successful free throws made by Valenzuela’s forward Orin Catacutan with 6.7 seconds left in the game held at the Wes Arena in Valenzuela City. Our locals lost their first game against the lowly-rated Abra team on April 6, 83-75. As I write this piece (April 18) I received the news that our Heatwaves finally won its third game routing Bulacan Kuyas, 87-55. Carding 1-2 win-loss record in the tournament, I hope their luck will continue to hold.

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The planned 2nd Calasiao Mayor Macanlalay Cup Cycling Challenge scheduled this coming 4th of May I believe will push through. According to my friend, the cycling-minded Engr. Rodolfo “Boy” Dion, the bikefest will be run in two divisions, the open age and senior citizen categories. Complete details will be printed here next week especially the prizes and the route of the two events. I doff my hat to two cycling-minded hombres.

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QUOTE OF THE WEEK: Therefore, thus says the Lord: “Behold, I will surely bring calamity on them which they will not be able to escape; and though they will cry out to Me, I will not listen to them.” Jeremiah 11: 11

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