The Trip Ko Phoenix Basketball Cup

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Saturday, July 2, 2011


PLAYERS from all walks of life form one team. Rich and poor. Short and tall. They all came as equals. Each with a gift, a goal and a dream.

The newest league on the block, the Trip Ko Phoenix Basketball Cup, opened without much fanfare at the Almendras Gym Davao City Recreation Center On Saturday.

It opened doors of opportunities for young cagers who were deprived to compete in a tournament because their schools could not afford to form a varsity team.
It ushered a venue for those who come from well-to-do schools to forge friendships with those less-privileged.

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It also paved the way for some, who play for arch-rival varsity teams, to build camaraderie among themselves.

This league, sanctioned by Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) Region 11, is not just any basketball tournament indeed. This is grassroots development in its truest form as organizers are bent on promoting the sport for free. Free uniforms for all players plus P100 allowance for every practice game and every actual game.

DCRC officer-in-charge Goldie Delvo, in a recent sports forum, said: "Phoenix provided for the uniforms and allowances of players. They don't have to think about anything. All they have to do is play."

Yes, players need not worry about fares going to the gym and going back home. They came to play and enjoy the game.

Fourteen-year-old Khristian Campillo, a junior student at the Davao City National High School, was glad to have been drafted among over 500 hopefuls to play in the event.

"Nalipay ko kay napili ko maski dili ko varsity player sa among eskuwelahan. Kini ang pinakadakong liga akong naapilan. Excited sad ko kaayo kay makauban nako sa tim ang mga players na lain-lain ang mga abilidad. Maningkamot ko para mudaug among tim (I'm very happy to have been chosen even if I'm not a player in our school. This is the biggest tournament I have ever joined so far.I'm also excited `coz my teammates have different skills. I will do my best for our team to win," said Campillo whose father died just last month.

Campillo, a resident of Boulevard, said their five-day practice before the games started was memorable for him.

His Clyclomax Titan teammate Gio Delvo, for his part, said it's a privilege for him to be able to join the cagefest having had three years of varsity experience at the University of the Immaculate Conception.

Delvo, 15, said: "I didn't join our varsity anymore but I'm happy that I can still play in a huge tournament like this. I'm also happy to meet new friends like Khristian (Campillo) and to play together with those I played against before."

Ateneo de Davao High varsity mainstay Miguel Cancio, 15, said it's been a great experience for him to have new teammates.

"I'm enjoying the company of my teammates although we may come from different schools. It's great to know every one of them," Cancio said.

Jose Maria College's Dave Sotto, playing for Team Accelerae Vega, said it was easy for them to jell in the squad. Coach Alex Albores picked him for his defensive skills.

Sotto said in the vernacular, "We adjusted quite easily. We didn't encounter any problem with each other. I think all of us want the team to win every game."
Thirteen-year-old Jonathan Frincillo of Erico Nograles National High School expects himself to improve as a player.

"I'm looking forward to learn from my coach and Vega teammates. I want us to become champion," Frincillo said.

Jeff Angelou Lubrin of Indangan National High School said he didn't expect to be drafted. He said in the dialect, "This is my first tournament. I really didn't expect to play here at Almendras Gym. I'm so grateful for this chance to be able to show my talent."

Hearing these youngsters just prove that this league is one of its kind.

Cheers to Mayor Inday Sara Duterte and Phoenix Petroleum Philippines, Inc. president Dennis Uy for this joint undertaking.

Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on July 03, 2011.

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