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Five-minute interviews

  • Written by Ed Andaya
  • Published in Opinion
  • Read: 342

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
Tigers.
    
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.
    
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