Jed Diamante is a gifted Jr Azkal

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By Romy Sabaldan

Davao Beat

Monday, June 16, 2014


MY SPORTS career is built around the principles of remembering God as the source of my existence.

These are certain principles that we admire hearing and seeing in the lives of famous sports champs and athletes, the most recent of whom is the young, promising Junior Azkal Jed Diamante.

Davao’s Diamante figured prominently in the latest Clear Dream Match with his Team James winning 1-0 against Team Phil. His performance merited a nationwide courtside interview with popular sports journalist Dyan Castillejo.

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Most prominent among Filipinos is Manny Pacquiao, who is advocating spiritual growth more than religiosity among those in sports considering their influence and massive following.

Like Tim Tebow, Pacquiao shared that world famous athletes are effective models of changing lives and faith and can influence many to be Godly. Tebow wants to start with charity as his witness to the generosity of his Maker. “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”

Doing good things, the American football quarterback has modeled charity building the Tim Tebow Cure Hospital right here in Davao City where he once lived with his family.

A very athletic person, Tebow uses the same words in the Holy Bible as his standard power verse. We read it first in Chapter 4 verse 13 of the letter of St. Paul to the Philippians. And then we read it inscribed in the sports gear and vocalized by then world heavyweight champion Evander Holyfield.

We can only surmise that this Bible verse appeals to the sensitivity and profession of famous athletes because of the confidence and power it can generate specially to their psychological need of making victory in their career as the only option.

This is one of the reasons athletes trained and sacrificed so much of their lives even at an early age for the sole purpose of winning. But what about in situations where defeat is inevitable? Years of training and lifetime dedication going down the drain make it so hard to bear. Some stinging sports review calls it agonizing defeat. Or is it?
What makes the Tebow and Holyfield power verse more understandable is when you expand reading down to the preceding verses. The resulting verse was actually grounded in the experience of the writer himself having been to the lowest ebb of life. “I know both how to be abased and I know how to abound.”

In the Philippines, nobody is more prepared to banner the same verse than Manny Pacquiao. The reason why Pacquiao is included in every prayer since a fall-out can lead to defiled emotions and psychological damage among millions of fans.

In sports, defeat is inevitable. The most hurting in fact was when Pacquiao lay flat to his face in a knockout. But people were able to move on. Even Pacquiao managed to smile again in front of a storm named Timothy Bradley either in the face off or in the final round.

My sports analyst had it singing in reference to Pacquiao smiling and the stone-faced Bradley in the face-off: “With Christ in my vessel I can smile at the storm.”

Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on June 16, 2014.

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