Wednesday, July 28, 2021

Limpag: The Bosconian split

IT seems the ramifications of Cebu City’s loss to Mandaue City in the Central Visayas Regional Athletic Association secondary football finals is still being felt in the Don Bosco Technology Center camp, which represented Cebu City in the regional meet.

A source in the team told me that the Cebu City Olympics champion is headed for a split, with more than half set to transfer to the University of San Jose-Recoletos for their final two years. It’s normal for students to transfer, and I guess this is a boost for USJ-R, too, as it would make the school a contender in the coming school year.

What isn’t normal, though, is the reason for the transfer. It’s petty and the allegations are borderline ridiculous but let’s just say it boils down to the unwillingness to accept defeat.

Accusing one coach of tanking is an insult, too, not to the losing coach but to the winning coach as well.

This reminds me of the press coverage in the weeks leading to the second Manny Pacquiao vs. Juan Manuel Marquez fight. Prior their rematch in 2008, Pacquiao had demolished Marco Antonio Barrera and Erik Morales and everyone assumed that Marquez would follow suit and die. The coverage was so one-sided--how would Manny beat Barrera?--that one paper had an editorial reminding everyone that Marquez, too, was training for the fight. That he won’t show up armless, ready to fall at the slightest punch.

Mandaue City, like Cebu City, trained hard for the Cviraa meet because Sacred Heart School-Ateneo de Cebu wanted the chance to advance to the Palarong Pambansa, and they did so fair and square. They simply were better and perhaps, they had the better preparation too. They won. Period.

I mean an SHS-Ateneo win over DBTC in a final isn’t unlikely since it has happened so many times before when the two met in the Cesafi secondary football finals. What makes the loss in the Cviraa so different? Why would some assume something off-field must have happened to merit such result? No one is invincible in sports, and that’s what makes it beautiful.

Though I think the transfer is final, I hope the split won’t be. It’s a pity if relationships and friendships built over the years would end over a game that will end up forgotten years from now. There’s a line I saw in the DBTC poster congratulating one of their champion teams when I passed by during my son’s clinic. It simply said, “It’s not the trophies that the team brings home that are important, but what they show to the outside world, how they play the game that is.”

It’s something not only players should pay attention to.
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