THE best is yet to come for basketball sports in Mindanao.
Undaunted by the devastating effect of pandemic that crippled majority of the sporting activities around the world, at least three dedicated coaches have taken the cudgel to organize the ambitious Liga Mindanao Youth Basketball League (LMYBL) slated to open doors in Year 2021.
All of them--Van Halen Parmis, Raymon Mercader and Reynold Dangcal--were optimistic the vaccine for Covid-19 virus will be administered right in time of the Mindanao-wide tourney's opening early next year.
"We're now actively in the planning stage though we can't start the competition without the vaccine first for the deadly disease. But we're all confident the government is working out on this and hopeful we can get through it the soonest possible," said Parmis, the Cebuano sportsman-turned Tagoloan sports chief, who also enlisted former PBA player Nelbert "Bitoy" Omolon, lawyer Angel Lim Jr. and videographer Jan Div Casas among the vital holdovers in the LMYBL's realization for 16-under and 12-under categories.
Parmis said that Mindanao is literally "tired and sick" of virtually becoming a leftover to Manila and the Visayas region in terms of sports development.
"In the old normal permi lang adto sa Cebu or Manila atong mga talents sa Mindanao. It's high time now that it’s going to be the other way around. Sila na sab atong i-lure nga mo- compete dire sa Mindanao," was Parmis' telling point.
Bukidnon's champion coach Mercader gamely accepted the challenge.
"I am grateful to be part of this prestigious youth basketball league and build a legacy which give inspiration, hope and encourage everyone to dream. This league will not only enhance the talents/skills of our young athletes and coaches but also it will open windows of opportunities and create friendships for Filipino and International athletes and coaches. Through this league we can create a solid relationship and make us united. In the long run, we can produce a high-level basketball players with the right attitude that will represent our National team in future International competitions," Mercader said.
Equally-delighted is the wheelchair-bound Dangcal, the multi-titled Cagayan de Oro bench tactician, who's now calling the shot for the sports program of El Salvador City in Misamis Oriental province.
"This is the league that i was dreaming a long time ago, a league that would unite and could give opportunities for all the young players here in Mindanao," said Dangcal, the former Letran Knights' brainy playmaker, whose PBA dreams was apparently dashed by a nightmarish road mishap back home several years ago.
Dangcal said Omolon's inclusion to the group is quite a morale-booster considering his reputation as also a no-nonsense hoops promoter in the Socsargen area.
A native of Talakag, Bukidnon who finished high school at Xavier University in Cagayan de Oro, Omolon was "brief and concise" in summing up his commitment to the group.
"This is for Mindanao's sake. To value the importance of culture, friendship, memories, opportunities, and peace," said Omolon.
"Our mission and vision in sharing this program is geared towards harnessing Mindanao's untapped hands... having mind of its own to spur opportunities," added lawyer Angel Lim Jr. of Tagoloan LGU.