Fair Play: The biggest weekend in Cebu sports
EVENTS like Pinoy Pride, the PAL Interclub and the Xterra are big draw events that occupy the sports pages in the week that they are held.
These are major crowd drawers, these are what sports tourism is about.
And this week, they are all happening in Cebu.
Now that's sports tourism.
The PAL interclub is a hotelier's wet dream. You've got close to 2,000 guys, who either own their businesses or are in upper management, spending three days, or some, a week or more in Cebu. If they liked their stay, they'd surely be back.
Officially, they'd probably spend at least P20,000, each, for their hotel, meals and transportation.
Unofficially? Well let's just say that some teams' misfortune in the course, their bad scores and bad luck, is due to the previous night's adventure. And of course, if a group of guys find themselves away from home…well, you can draw the picture.
Then, there's the Xterra and Pinoy Pride, events that may not have the same number of participants as the PAL Interclub but will have the same impact as well.
ALA Promotions loves to spoil its visitors, and save for Gary Shaw and Vic Darchinyan, all of their guests--including the boxers whom ALA boxers pummel from pillar to post--have nothing but positive words for their visit.
I remember one boxer, he got booed as he was leaving the ring after getting disqualified for writhing in pain from a phantom low blow. As he was going to the dressing room, he stopped to have photos with fans, shook hands with Donnie Nietes, and waved to the crowd. What a character.
This Saturday, it’s Donnie’s turn to headline a Pinoy Pride card, after spending the few previous events in Cebu in civvies as a guest.
Nietes, who I thinks is one the most underrated boxers in the world, will be fighting in Cebu for the first time in almost four years, five years and five months after winning his first world title at 105 pounds against Pornsawan Porpramook on Sept. 30, 2007.
And now his fight against Moises Fuentes is sure to draw the serious boxing fans around the country, who again will be spending quite a sum in Cebu.
And another big draw? Which will also happen on the day of Donnie’s fight? It’s the Xterra Off Road triathlon.
Do you know what would the best results this weekend? Cebu Country Club and Donnie Nietes defending their titles and of course, Liloan impressing the organizers of the Xterra that they’d decide to hold it here for three more years.
Here’s to Cebu and Cebu sports.