EXACTLY a year ago today, I did the last of my series of short, five-minute interviews with some of
the busiest personalities in the wonderful world of sports.
The late great American sportswriter Jim Murray introduced this style in the late 60s and
used it w onderfully from time to time until his passing in September, 1998.
Murray himself said it’s a g ood trick in a sporting world living the fast lane.
Most of the time, sportswriters get the chance to ask your favorite athletes and officials
only a few questions in a matter of minutes.
So, allow us to do it again now.
Federation of School Sports Association of the Philippines (FESSAP) president David Ong --
What can I say? The success of Jomar Balangui of University of Baguio, who captured the silver
medal in wushu in the 29th Summer Universiade in Taipei is another proof that we, in FESSAP, are
doing the right thing.
Nobody can argue with FESSAP’s record in only four Universiades, which included a gold in chess
by Wesley So (2013 Kazan) and silver in taekwondo by Samuel Thomas Morrison (2011 Shenzhen).
We have successfully hosted the World University Cycling Championships in Tagaytay with the
help of Mayor Agnes Tolentino in 2016.
We will host the World University Golf Championships in Pampanga in 2018 through the
assistance of Bong Pineda. And we’re already looking to repeat the same success
in the 2019 Napoli Universiade. The men and women behind FESSAP will make sure about it.
PBA legend and former University of Santo Tomas champion coach Pido Jarencio -- The Tigers
have definitely fallen on lean times. We lost all our games in the first round of eliminations in UAAP
Season 80. We’re now 0-9 and we’re now looking at a possible winless season. And unless we win one of
the remaining five games, UST is facing its worst season ever.
As a former UST player and coach, it hurts a lot. But never underestimate the heart of the
With major, major changes in the team next year and the usual support of the alumni
community, there’s no doubt the Tigers will regain our status as one of the country’s top collegiate
teams. As sure as day follows night, UST will rise again. And happy days will be here again.
National Athletic Association of Schools, Colleges and Universities (NAASCU) president Dr.
Ernesto Jay Adalem of St. Clare College -- Back in 2001 when we started, only few people would
have probably guessed that NAASCU would become the country’s biggest collegiate league in terms of
membership. Last year, we had a banner year in NAASCU Season 16.
But as you all know by now, NAASCU Season 17 was even better. This year, we have 16 teams with
three new teams -- St. Francis of Assisi College, De la Salle-Araneta University and Holy Angel
University. We were shown live on Basketball TV and Facebook via live streaming, which allowed us to
showcase the talent of the players of our member-teams.
On a personal note, this is also a big year for St. Clare, which completed back-to-back
titles under coach Jino Manansala. Our Lady of Fatima also emerged as junior champion and Enderun
College repeated as women’s champion.
But we are not resting on our laurels. NAASCU Season 18 will be even better.
Universal Reality Combat Championships (URCC) founding president Alvin Aguilar -- The year
2017 is definitely a great year for URCC and mixed martial arts.
We achieved a lot of firsts this year and the popularity of mixed martial arts reached
tremendous heights with more fights and more new fighters joining and more fans coming to watch.
Our long-time partners, Casino Filipino and San Miguel Corp. have also provided the sport the
much-needed support to enable us to reach new goals.
We’re excited for 2018 where we have lined up bigger and better promotions showcasing some
of the biggest talents in mixed martial arts. Join us and watch us.
Millennium Basketball League (MBL) chairman Alex Wang -- If you ask me, I think 2017 is
another good year for MBL. The MBL, which we helped found in 2000, is bigger and better. As a
league, the MBL has provided a venue for young and talented players to hone their skills. It is
also a second home to veteran players who still want to play ball for the love of it.
This year, we have new and returning teams. Colegio de San Lorenzo-V Hotel, headed by coach
Boni Garcia and manager Jimi Lim, bagged its first title in the MBL by beating a strong field that
included FEU-NRMF, Philippine Christian University and Diliman College.
NOTES -- Congratulations to the Journal Group of Publications, publishers of People’s Journal,
People’s Tonight and Women’s Journal, which is celebrating its 45th year on Oct. 21. It’s truly a
privilege to be a part of this widely-read publication...
Best wishes to BJ Diswe and Lovely Fria, who will exchange wedding vows at the Silver Crest
Event Venue in Almar Subd., Caloocan on Oct. 28. BJ is one of the hard-working officials behind
the tremendous success of the NAASCU.