Wednesday, June 06, 2012

Fair Play: PNG shows CCSC on right path

(This is the draft of my Fair Play column for Sun.Star Cebu for June 5)
THE recent Philippine National Games showed the Cebu City Sports Commission got it right when they decided to support local softball and beach volleyball by putting up a place where the kids play.

Consider this—two Cebu City teams made the men’s finals, while our women won the silver, while our men’s softball team got the silver and the women’s won the gold.

The beach volleyball squads caused quite a stir that the PSC is contemplating disbanding the national squad and transferring the training pool to Cebu, which has won two major titles in the past two months.

And transferring the training pool here would be a just reward for a city and a province that has a rich volleyball heritage and that has players who have been overlooked—or were disillusioned—by the national team.

Besides, with no international medal to show for, don’t you think it’s time for the Philippine Volleyball Federation to think out of the box? (Did you know that Cebu schools got the most Nestea Beach Volleyball titles but Cebuano players rarely get called for the national team?).

Now for softball, we’ve always had a strong community, despite the absence of a strong local office of the NSA. For years, Cebuanos have represented the national teams and now that the Bacarisas family has the support of the CCSC, that means they will continue to do so in years to come.

CCSC has started a massive grassroots program targeting school kids and if before our player pool was limited, that won’t be the same two or three years from now.  That’s the same with beach volleyball, with Eric Lecain taking charge of the sand court at Fort San Pedro.

I hope Eric succeeds in convincing the PVF to set up camp here and if not, well, he has next year’s PNG to show the NSA they got it wrong.

The PNG was designed to help discover new talents for the national teams, and I guess, football missed that memo. Consider this, the Philippine Navy has won once in 14 UFL Division 1 matches, conceding 49 goals and it emerged as PNG champion.  

Yep, the PNG’s best isn’t the best.

So for next year, instead of fielding our men’s teams, the PNG football event could be reformatted to be a competition for, say, boys and girls Under 16?  This age group—especially the girls—doesn’t have a national tourney and this could be a chance for those who slipped through the cracks to be discovered?


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