OUTSIDE LOOKING IN
CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY: The Philippine Basketball Association is, once again, reaching out of Metro Manila, here in this progressive city of Misamis Oriental, to as has been in the last 43 years, answer the call for a wider audience and bigger market for its products.
One other important thing is to honor the commitment of the country’s and Asia’s pioneering professional basketball league to the countryside,
to bring the thrills and excitement of high-level play nearer to the masses.
Not only in terms of sports and entertainment shows but also to serve as inspiration and motivation to the country’s youths in the provinces engage to take up sports as a way of building a strong and healthy citizenry physically and mentally.
Provincial games have been, for the past four decades, a regular feature of the PBA in its existence since its inception in 1975.
Since then, the PBA has embarked on an ambitious program to help the development of the sport of basketball and other disciplines as well with the construction of more facilities aimed at realizing its targets.
Why, even provincial airports, which serve as gateways to key cities have shown a lot of improvements in terms of appearance and service facilities.
Since 1975, the play-for-pay league relies on provincial promoters in staging basketball games in the process encouraging entrepreneurship, thereby, opening opportunities to provide labor need in sports and entertainment promotions.
Many groups have, in fact, proliferated in many parts of the country in promoting provincial games in places like Cabanatuan City, Negros provinces, Cebu, Iloilo, in far away down south and the Bicol Region.
In this city, for instance, PBA matches actually started by a group which called themselves Volunteer of Fire Brigades initially to raise funds for the purchase of fire trucks which now turned to be a multi-business enterprise.
Headed by businessman-sportsman Robert Dy, the now called Buffalo Entertainment and Event Promotions, has been in the business for five years and looked to continue promoting basketball games and entertainment shows but provide as well an avenue for the local government to embark on its youth and sports development program.
“No, this business of promoting sports events is not that lucrative as it appeared,” Dy swore in an interview. “Malimit nga lugi pa. Our problem is lack of playing venues to stage games at lower prices to accommodate as many fans as we want to.”
His group, Dy explained are happy though that they can help the City administration of Mayor Oscar Moreno in its sports development programs and building a responsible citizenry among the people of Cagayan de Oro.
Cagayanons are, by nature, sports-loving people, he asserted. And Mayor Moreno also loves sports. “So sa ginagawa namin, napapasaya namin ang kababayan namin and at the same time, nakakatulong kami sa lokal na pamahalaan.”
Dy said he and his group are looking forward to seeing the city built a modern and complete sports complex and make the city a sports power, not only in basketball, not only the region of Mindanao but also I the entire country.
Through promoting PBA games, of course. “In other words, makikinabang kami at ang Cagayan de Oro, makikinabang ang PBA at higit sa lahat, makikinabang ang sports sa Pilipinas,” he exclaimed.
Notes: A new policy being imposed by Philippine Airlines requiring passengers to present ID at the check-in counter and before boarding the plane bringing the Magnolia Hotshots PambansangManok team and the PBA entourage on their departure for the play-for-pay’s provincial sortie last Friday created a few commotions at the NAIA Terminal 3 … first, long lines of passengers formed at the departure area boarding the buses that would have brought to the tarmac to the plane … Several passengers, were refused entry because their names appearing in the boarding passes were different from the names that appeared in their IDs ….. One of four referees assigned to work the game set Sunday wasn’t able to fly … A member of media wasn’t, at first, allowed to pass the area because, according to one crew member, of the same deficiency, which, it turned out wasn’t the real reason …. Somebody, maybe because of over-booking or what, changed the seating assignments of two passengers and as a result both claimed the right to occupy said seat … The rationale for imposing the new policy wasn’t previously announced or clearly explained …But, certainly, it created bad image, not only to PAL but to the country as well … Good thing is, the anger brought about by the incidents were forgotten when the entourage reached LimKetKai Luxe Hotel where both teams, members of their parties and PBA staffers were billeted because of the wonderful reception they got from the hotel personnel.