Panes: Like a mirepoi-A A +A
By Joel Panes
Monday, November 4, 2013
AS A rejoinder to last week’s Softball’s Rolling Stones which featured the Cebuana Lhullier-ASAPHIL Intercollegiate Softball Championship in Sto. Nino Softball Field in Marikina, Adamson University retained its national intercollegiate crown by besting the Ateneo nine 8-1.
Also last year’s defending champions, the Falcons under national coach Ana Santiago aim for a historical feat of winning its 5th consecutive title as the San Marcelino-based squad aims to defend its UAAP championship title in the 2nd phase of UAAP76 wars.
In the battle for 3rd, National University, last year’s 1st runner up in the UAAP softball tournament overcame its elimination round woes against its tormentor Iloilo-based Central Philippine University (not Polytechnic as reported) and snared a win. This ended the CPU Golden Lions’ dream run which started like a house on fire and convincingly eliminated traditional contenders UST, RTU and CLSU.
The buzz in the UAAP baseball and softball tournaments is interesting. The Amateur Softball Association of the Philippines (ASAPHIL) led by its Cebuana Lhullier prexy and sports aficionado, Jean Henri Lhullier has been tasked by the UAAP Board to manage both major events. The delegation of trust to manage both its baseball and softball is a landmark for the Lhullier-presided ASAPHIL. This is a laudable recognition of the extensive work this national sports association has established over the years. It will not surprise me that Mr. Lhullier would one day take baseball under his wing.
Softball development has accelerated and grown beyond the borders of West Visayas and NCR, the traditional powers of the game largely through the efforts of the ASAPHIL president and through the advocacy and financial muscle of the Cebuana Lhullier Group of Companies. Laguna, the province of baseball’s Canlubang Barons of the 1970s is a classic example.
Last year, Laguna softbelles broke into the national softball scene and wrested the title from perennial Philippine Series champions, ILLAM. Under Coach Bernardino and the support of Governor Ejercito, it also captured the ASPAC Little League Seniors Championship and represented the country in Little League’s World Series Championship in the USA.
About three years ago, ASAPHIL was also in town to keep the softball flame alive. The Cordilleras benefited from its close ties with the national association when BBEAL softball season was threatened with cancelation, Director Randy Dizer and Operations Manager Jun Veloso acted on a prayer and gave substantial financial support to bring technical officials from Manila to officiate the local games. Brand new softballs were also provided while BBEAL shouldered the officials’ accommodation and meals.
The energies of student-athletes who spent months of preparation for these annual collegiate games were visibly lifted. It was delightful having a credible 3rd party of international caliber calling the shots. The aura was a throwback of my UAAP years. Nothing compares with the assurance of being under a management of distinct professionalism and impartiality.
Some may not appreciate the difference but symmetrically, it’s like indigenous pinikpikan with a shot of gin versus a well done filet mignon with a glass of the effervescent Dom Perignon. Notwithstanding your demurring, the latter food pair is a near ultimate gastronomic delight and good officiating is just as pleasant.
Some off-softball news. November’s skies promise to be a rare cosmic light show. Comet Ison approaches the sun on the 28th and is expected to illuminate the earth with 15x the radiance of the full moon. The date coincides with the Festival of Lights which the Jews religiously celebrate.
Even Yahshua, son of Joseph celebrated the same. It was on Hanukkah that He said, “I am the Light of the World.” The 2-mile wide fireball, which end-time scholars believe is a portent, passes the earth’s north sometime on January 2014. What beacons after? NASA says years of micron sized dust fallout. But please Google it. Ison’s path sure looks like a curve ball.
Published in the Sun.Star Baguio newspaper on November 05, 2013.