How much did Danding donate to La Salle?By Beth Celis
Philippine Daily Inquirer
With friends and colleagues talking about travel photos San Mig Coffee superstar James Yap has been posting on his Facebook page, I became curious.
To start with, they said the scenic background of the photos made it clear that these were taken in Italy, the same country where James’ current girlfriend comes from.
This made it easy to assume that James was on tour with her.
“In the photos, it looked like James is having so much fun, although there was not a single photo of the cager with a blonde, Italian-looking lady—or any lady for that matter. We figured it must have been her taking James’ photos,” said a scribe.
“From what we know, his girlfriend is pure Italian and doesn’t speak English. We’re trying to figure out how they communicate.”
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“Yes, you’re probably right it’s likely they’re together,” said San Mig Coffee governor Rene “Mang Pards” Pardo. “The entire team’s on vacation. James is in Italy, Ping (Marc Pingris) is in Lithuania with the Gilas national team, the Fil-Ams are in America, while the homegrowns are in their respective hometowns. We will all reunite on July 7.”
According to Mang Pards, James, Ping, the Fil-Ams and all those who were out of town missed the big birthday celebration of San Miguel head honcho Eduardo “Danding” Cojuangco Jr., who turned 78 last June 10. The event was held at the commodious Rizal Ballroom of the Makati Shangri-La Hotel which was jam-packed with hundreds of guests, coming from all sectors of society.
“Family, friends, business associates and San Miguel’s basketball teams—Petron, Ginebra and San Mig Coffee in the PBA, San Miguel Beer in the ABL—were there to greet the boss a happy birthday,” Mang Pards reported.
He said he also spotted big name politicians like senators Loren Legarda, Sonny Angara, Tito Sotto and Antipolo governor Jun Ynares among the boss’ well wishers.
“I’m sure there were more, but I didn’t see all of them because there were too many people and the venue was so big.
“Meanwhile, Martin Nievera, Leah Navarro and Janet Basco took turns in singing Boss Danding’s favorite tunes,” Mang Pards related.
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Mang Pards said Boss Danding looked healthy and well.
“He looked great, actually. He was dressed in a dark suit and a checkered shirt, his favorite look. The guests wore checkered shirts, too.”
I took the opportunity to ask Mang Pards about the multi-million peso donation Danding made to the La Salle Green Archers. Actually the amount was so big it may have covered not only the basketball teams but the entire academe, including La Salle Greenhills.
Mang Pards was not at liberty to divulge anything about it and neither was PBA chair Robert Non.
At any rate, with the kind of resources infused by the man they call “The Boss” to the formation of this year’s Green Archers, expect the hot resurgence of the Ateneo-La Salle rivalry in the UAAP.
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