I WAS quite surprised when I read Dondon Hontiveros say that he was included in the Barug lineup so the former PBA superstar can help revive the dead sports program in Cebu City.
No, Dondon’s inclusion—nor even his winning—wasn’t a surprise. That the Cebu City sports program is dead is. Because it’s not. Heck, it has never been more alive.
Dondon, in the same report, said he will go back to the barangays to meet the residents to find out what their top concerns are. I hope, while he’s at it, he’d also drop by the various gyms—16 as of last count—that are hosting the grassroots program of the Cebu City Sports Commission.
A program that the City of Makati wants to copy.
Yes, rare is the commercial basketball tournament in Cebu City but that doesn’t mean sports in the city is dead. Besides, I’ve never considered having an inter-barangay basketball tournament as a sports program.
It’s just a tournament, one where the City spends money. For what purpose?
What the CCSC has been doing though. Now, that’s a different thing. That’s a program with an end goal, one that aims to get as many kids as possible to finish college through an athletic scholarship. That’s their vision.
And I was there when this started. I was also there when all Cebu City had to show for a sports program was a Sinulog basketball Cup and sportswriters would roll their eyes as they’d submit their stories about how it was for sports development.
Because it isn’t. But they won’t, of course, put that in their stories.
Cebu City sports isn’t dead. And I’ve seen the men and women who work behind the scenes, tirelessly to make sure it continues. The local commercial basketball scene may need a revival but Cebu basketball isn’t Cebu sports.
Does it need a fresh perspective? Now that’s a different matter. A fresh look is always welcome and someone with the experience of Dondon might give the CCSC program a new gear.
Aside from Dondon, both mayor-elect Edgar Labella and vice mayor-elect Mike Rama, so it’s going to be interesting to note the changes in Cebu City sports under their terms. A regular runner, perhaps the Cebu City marathon might get a financial boost under Mayor Labella?