Saturday, November 12, 2011

Fair Play: Fr. Vic Uy's vision

(This is the draft of my column for Sun.Star Cebu on Nov. 12)
BACK in 2004, I interviewed Fr. Vic Uy for his plan to develop a football stadium up there in the University of San Carlos Talamban Campus.

Not just any stadium, but one that was inspired by the venue of the Arafura games, where Fr. Vic was impressed with one particular stadium that had a hill as a natural grandstand.

So the visionary, who would soon leave the school for a stint at the Philippine Sports Commission, saw the hills at the USC-TC as a perfect spot for a stadium.

That was six years ago.

Since then, I haven’t really had the chance to get updates of the stadium, aside from learning that the construction is ongoing but last Wednesday, I learned of the good news from Ricky Dakay, who also sits in the school board.

“We  are done with the earthworks,” Rick said. “And we can open in June next year.”

And it’s not just any “earthwork” mind you as the school had to level two hills to have a natural grandstand, too.

And since the school has spent millions for the stadium, they’re not cutting any costs with the pitch and has sought the help of Archt. Ike Madamba, the guy responsible for the pristine condition of the Rizal Memorial Stadium.

And, that’s not all.

The stadium will be complete with lights that pass Fifa standards, an eight-track oval, conference rooms, media rooms, quarters and a nursery.

There will also be two pitches for tournaments and practices, while future plans for the USC Athletes Village include swimming and diving pools, tennis and basketball courts, and a dormitory for the athletes.

Makes you want to wish you were a student athlete at USC, right?

“The (USC) athletes will be in a much better position,” said Ricky, uttering what could be the understatement of the century.

If you think that because we have the USC Football Stadium, we can now host an international tournament, forget-about-it. Normally, you need two quality pitches to host a tournament and USC’s the only one.

Or will it be?

That will all depend on the Cebu City Sports Center and the folks who use it.

Archt. Madamba also dropped by the CCSC, which is in the middle of renovating its football pitch, and will also be lending his expertise to Ricky Ballesteros.

But no matter who helps in the CCSC renovation, and how much is spent, we all know the field will soon suffer because it hosts the Sinulog.

But even without the CCSC pitch, the USC football stadium means one thing the days of Cebuano pining for a world-class pitch in Cebu is over.

Thanks to one man’s vision.

SEA GAMES.  Whatever happens in the rest of the SEA Games—starting with yesterday’s game against Laos—I hope this year’s team won’t suffer the same fate as that of the 2005 squad which had Aly Borromeo, the Younghusbands and Greatwich brothers and Chieffy Caligdong.

Some 10 guys from that team were good enough for another SEAG, while Phil Younghusband and Phil Greatwich were eligible for two.

After their final match against Malaysia, the team manager was already looking forward to 2007, but he never got the chance after he was replaced and we skipped the next two Seags.

Last Monday, after that Timor Leste loss, coach Michael Weiss was already talking about 2013, since 15 of this year’s players are still eligible.

Let’s keep this 15 and have them train continuously and I hope next year’s team in the Long Teng Cup will be the 2013 SEAG team. Yes, I know winning that first international title is important for the Azkals but I hope the management will consider sending our young squad to Taiwan.

No comments: