Mandaya Cup: Boost to Davao basketball

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Saturday, July 9, 2011


WHEN hotelier and sportsman Glenn Escandor conceived the Royal Mandaya Cup basketball tournament in 2010 together with some friends in the sporting community, he gave the young dribblers from Davao City the chance to showcase their skills and for that matter gave the sport closest to the Filipino heart the much needed boost.

Nearly a year later, Escandor's brainchild for Davao's elementary dribblers is reaping the fruit of success and has in fact become bigger and better that it has become a regular event in the city's calendar of sports activities.

After the initial staging of the event last year and the equally successful 2md Royal Mandaya Cup Mini Inter-School basketball tournament just recently, Ecandor and his team made up of Mandaya general manager Baden Zafra, tournament manager Macariol "Bong" Gonzaga and tournament director Rico Biliran is coming up with an even bigger event, the Royal Mandaya Hotel Cup 75th Kadayawan sa Dabaw Mini Basketball Championship.

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From eight teams, the next Mandaya Cup will now feature a total of 12 teams. The coming tournament, to be sanctioned again by the ever-supportive Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) 11 director Regino "Boy" Cua, will start either July 16 or 23 at the Almendras Gym Davao City Recreation Center.

Escandor, Mandaya's executive vice president, underscored the need to support basketball in Davao and to provide the kids an avenue for them to excel in the sport closest to the Filipino heart.

"We have to set the foundation for these kids," Escandor said. We have to support basketball in Davao City."

Zafra said giving the kids an avenue like basketball tournament will instill good discipline among the kids and let them stay out of vices.

For the coming Kadayawan tournament, four teams will be added to the roster of teams competing. They are Stella Maris Academy of Davao (Smad), Vicente Hizon Sr. Elementary School, Philippine Women's College (PWC), Holy Cross of Davao College and Magallanes Elementary School.

Regular teams include back-to-back champion Ateneo de Davao, Holy Child School of Davao, Emar Learning Center, University of the Immaculate Conception, Assumption School of Davao and Precious International School of Davao.

Escandor said he will provide the uniforms of Magallanes team in the coming tournament. Magallanes is a public school seeing action in the tournament for the first time.

Such is a nice gesture coming from Escandor, himself a basketball player in his college days. And with the SBP 11 director himself providing support, the coming Mandaya Cup is bound for another success.

Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on July 10, 2011.

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