Sports Against COVID to start this Feb.; Ace Durano gets Cebu basketball group’s backing
CEBU CITY, Philippines— Cebu’s basketball community banded together to organize the ‘Sports Against Covid,’ a series of basketball workshops and inter Local Government Unit (LGU) league slated on February 19 onwards starting on the northern side of Cebu.
Aside from this, Cebu’s basketball community also pledged their support to former Tourism Secretary Joseph “Ace” Durano, who is running for governor in the May elections and also his running mate, Vice Governor Hilario Davide III.
The Sports Against COVID program was conceptualized by the program’s organizer, Eric Tuadles, brother of former PBA cagers Arnier and Calvin Tuadles.
Tuadles conceptualized the idea that came from gubernatorial candidate and former tourism secretary Joseph Ace Durano to conduct a sports program to promote health and wellness to the youth amidst the Covid-19 pandemic.
“Nagsugod ni siya tungod sa pandemic. Gusto ni Ace (Durano) naa ta series of activities sa sports to fight Covid-19 through wellness. So we come up based on his idea and ang mga batan-on maka exercise physically and mentally. Lisud ang panahon karon tungod sa Covid-19, so might as well have this sports program. We came up with this basketball program to fight the effects of Covid-19,” Tuadles told CDN Digital.
However, he made it clear that their sports program goes beyond politics.
Sports against COVID
Tuadles said that it’s been a while since many of Cebu’s youth had engaged in sports activities such as basketball.
The ‘Sports Against Covid’ basketball program targets the grassroots level, particularly, young cagers ages 15 to 25 to participate in their free basketball workshop and training camp that lasts until April in all parts of Cebu Province.
The culmination will be a province-wide basketball league in different age groups featuring the LGU selection of players from their respective basketball workshops.
They also encourage all participants to get vaccinated first before they can join.
Tuadles and his group signed a covenant to support Durano’s candidacy and runningmate, Davide III and fifth district congressman Red Durano.
Tuadles and members of Cebu’s basketball community held a presser last Saturday in Mandaue City.
“We will start on February 19 and padayon nana siya every weekend at the designated gymnasiums or open spaces from various LGUs. Among starting points are Tabogon, Borbon, Sogod, and Catmon. Magpadayon nana siya hangtod sa tibuok Cebu every weekend,” he added.
In return, the organizers will provide all participating LGUs regardless of their political colors with a budget for their logistics, facility, and manpower to handle the program.
Durano, for his part, thanked the PBA legends, coaches, referees, and Cebu’s basketball community for choosing to support him.
“It’s such a big honor gyud, ang ako lang gyud ani ang baws is my 110 commitment sad nga magpaluyo sa Sports against COVID,” said Durano.
(It’s such a big honor and what I can give back is my 110 commitment to back Sports against COVID.)
“Once seated as governor, we will draft a budget para mapadayon ang atong academy and sports program. Gina encourage namo ang LGUs nga naay program or academy sa basketball nga moapil sa among program,” Durano said.
“Ako mismo mohatag ug assure nga naa silay budget for logistics, facility and manpower para maka produce sila ug talented players and ma widen ang program,” said Durano.
(I will give and assure that they will have a budget for logistics, facility and manpower so that they can produce talented players and the program would be widened.)
Solis, Cebu basketball community
Al Solis, a PBA legend said he decided to support Durano because of his plans for the youth and sports were among his agenda.
Solis said he already met Durano before, the latter had also played basketball.
Durano said playing sports had a lot of benefits for physical and mental health.
Durano said once Cebu would be placed under Alert Level 2, they will start conducting inter and intra-city ligas and trainings for the youth.
He said this would not only be limited to basketball but would include other sports as well.
Armand Solis Colina, assistant USJR coach, said the program was very timely.
Colina said the years without basketball was a bit depressing for the youth and very frustrating for the coaches because the programs that had been planned were stopped because of COVID-19.
He said this program would open doors, would awaken the youth and encourage other young people who were no longer involved in the varsity program.
Durano said should he win or lose this May 9 election, they would still continue the program.
If elected, Durano said they would continue Davide’s Governor’s Cup.
International sports tourism
Durano said one of their priority development agenda was the grassroots sports program for the youth.
“Jump start International Sports tourism dinhi sa ato to really have International games. Ma show sad nato atoang mga talents dinhi, daghan man maayo manuwa sa ato, we’ll invite teams in different parts of the world aron modako ang sports tourism dinhi sa Cebu,” said Durano.
(We will jumpstart International Sports tourism here so that we really can have international games. We can also show our talents, there are a lot who could play basketball here, we’ll invite teams in different parts of the world so that our sports tourism here in Cebu would grow bigger.)
Those who pledged their support to Durano-Davide tandem included Solis, Junthy Valenzuela, Bong Abad, Teroy Albarillo along with numerous coaches and players like Leody Garcia, Colina, Julius Caballero, Jerry Capacio, JP Fernandez, Ryan Perez, Rommel Rasmo, Francis Uyquico, Sai Bacalso, and Ramil Dela Vega.
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