Saturday, December 24, 2011

Fair Play: Wish list for 2012

FOR Cebu sports fans, it’s been quite a year—we’ve had two Davis Cup ties, the explosion of the Pinoy Pride boxing series, the return of Southwestern University in the boxing scene, the entry of Cebu Queen City United in the United Football League and the success of Team Visayas and Mary Grace delos Santos in the national finals of Milo sports events.

Will 2012 be an even greater year?

I hope so.

And top on my list for 2012 is Queen City United earning top flight entry in the UFL.

The club, which has beefed up its players after a hurried UFL Cup preparation, will be competing in the UFL Division 2, and if it finishes on top, or even the Top 2 (I’m not familiar with UFL rules), it will be promoted to Division 1.

In the local scene, I hope the elections in the Cebu Football Association in 2012 will lead to a harmonious relationship among all stakeholders. I also hope that whoever takes over the CFA will continue the projects of the current board—let bygones be bygones for the love of the game.

In running, I hope Councilor Ed Labella’s ordinance gets passed, and I hope there’s going to be a body that will oversee local running events in Cebu City, heck, even in Metro Cebu. Organizers, race directors should stop asking, “what’s in it for me” but rather should realize how lucky they are that they have a political figure who’s into their sport and support his initiatives. If Councilor Labella was a footie nut, he’d be worshipped.

I hope the next Cebu City Marathon will break records, too, and I hope the indefatigable Dr. Potenciano “Yong” Larrazabal III will have more races to organize.

Like the CCM, I hope his Kawasan Marathon becomes an institution.

Another public official who’s crazy about sports is Ed Hayco, who has taken his Dancesport Team Cebu City blueprint to the Cebu City Sports Commission. Color me biased, but I don’t think there’s a more active sports commission in Cebu, or even the Philippines, and I hope 2012 will be an even greater year for Sir Ed. A few weeks’ of rest for the hardworking chairman is something that he deserves, too.

Aside from running, another sport on the rise in Cebu City is cycling and like running, the boom can’t be attributed to one group or one person. It seems guys and girls just decided to buy their bikes and take up the sport.

And I only have two wishes for cycling—that they don’t go the way of cycling in the Philippines, where politics is so toxic that development has stagnated and I hope the groups can band together to organize the Metro Cebu championships. Let’s set the bar for the others to follow, shall we?

Aside from football, table tennis and tennis are two other sports I learned as a kid, sports that I want to see reach a new high in Cebu. We’re lucky that we have Jessica Jawad-Honoridez, a top-notch trainer who has produced some of the most promising players and I hope she gets her dream of having a table tennis training center in Cebu.

For tennis, I wish the Lagman family success for its planned men’s open tennis circuit in Cebu, so fans can see the country’s best again. I hope, too, that Jacob will be successful in his chase for ITF glory. I’ve seen this kid since he was a pudgy unisex campaigner and I hope to see him blossom into a top-flight international player.

In the national sports scene, I only have one wish—that we finally end the gold medal drought in the Olympics in London 2012. To be honest, since Sydney 2000, we’ve made so many “back to the drawing board” calls after a flop in a major sporting event that not only do we own the drawing board, we’ve made it our permanent residence.

Let’s leave the damn drawing board, shall we?

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