Quantcast
Latest Stories

One Game At A Time

UNTV Cup: Hoops for a cause

By

As our major basketball leagues return to business this week after giving way to the Fiba Asia tourney, a small tournament of seven teams enters its fourth playing date this weekend.

The intriguing part is that none of the squads are big-league basketball teams but in the public domain, they’re virtual giants that all of us have to deal with at one point in our lives.

The UNTV Cup features the basketball teams of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, the Philippine National Police, the Judiciary, the Department of Justice, Philhealth, the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority and the Congressional-Local Government Units.

UNTV is the television network of the Ang Dating Daan religious organization that has public service as one of its major advocacies.  What better way to create a network of alliances that can help in that regard than through basketball?

The basketball tournament sprang out of two previous exhibition games at Smart Araneta Coliseum that featured teams of movie-TV personalities against a group of congressmen and other public officials. Organizers soon felt that a tournament featuring public servants was viable and thus the UNTV Cup was unveiled last July 29 at the Big Dome.

The tournament is a spirited one because one can never really go wrong with Filipinos playing their favorite sport. The league became a natural extension of what the different organizations were doing anyway.

The Congressional team, for example, has had a regular pickup game going after sessions while the AFP and PNP teams have been around playing in tournaments like the AFP Little Olympics.

There are players who have decent games, and when you combine them with former big-league players and movie stars who play regularly, you do get a lively and competitive league.

Among the former PBA and PBL players in the league are Gerry Esplana, Don Camaso, Ariel Capus, Ollan Omiping, Winston Sergio and Eugene Tan while the performers’ list includes Jao Mapa, Eric Fructoso, Kerr and Zoren Legaspi, Jay Manalo, Onyok Velasco, Jon Hall and Erick Vijandre among others.

If that isn’t star-studded enough, the league commissioner is PBA legend Atoy Co, who is joined by his current Mapua assistant coach Ed Cordero as deputy commissioner.

What’s more, the champion and the runner-up of the short tournament get to do their share for a charitable institution of their choice. The winner donates P1 million while the second placer gives P500,000. Not bad, if you think about it, since players get to play in a competitive league while chipping in for good causes.

The games are featured on a Sunday afternoon stretch on UNTV. Many of the amateur players initially admitted being anxious strutting their stuff on TV especially against the former pros and celebrities.  Some of the former players still have it like Omiping and Sergio. But in time, the competitive drive took over and the initial jitters about playing on TV soon disappeared.

The UNTV Cup has no illusions about stealing the limelight from the more established leagues on TV on a Sunday afternoon.  It’s quite content having its own tournament in season and getting players to help a cause.

What’s more, the friendships sealed in the games will surely translate into better alliances when the need to align for public service comes around.


Follow Us

Follow us on Facebook Follow on Twitter Follow on Twitter


More from this Column:

    Recent Stories:

    Complete stories on our Digital Edition newsstand for tablets, netbooks and mobile phones; 14-issue free trial. About to step out? Get breaking alerts on your mobile.phone. Text ON INQ BREAKING to 4467, for Globe, Smart and Sun subscribers in the Philippines.


    Tags: Basketball , FIBA Asia



    Copyright © 2014, .
    To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.
    Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:
    c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City, Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94
    Advertisement
    1. Manny Pacquiao in PBA? If so, he’ll wear No. 17
    2. Freddie Roach: I’m satisfied; Manny Pacquiao did well
    3. My ideal weight is 140, declares Pacquiao
    4. After Pacquiao, BIR chief Henares runs after boxing fans
    5. Federer would skip tennis to be with wife, newborn
    6. Ginebra’s new import Freeman arrives, makes PBA return vs ROS
    7. Wrestling star Ultimate Warrior’s cause of death revealed
    8. Mommy Dionisia explains ‘vodoo’ act vs Bradley
    9. Pacquiao: I’m ready for Mayweather bout
    10. San Miguel Beer clinches 2nd spot after comeback win over Air21
    1. ‘Mommy D’ steals show as son fights
    2. Pacquiao wins unanimous decision vs Bradley to reclaim WBO title
    3. Pacquiao: I’m ready for Mayweather bout
    4. Manny Pacquiao: I’ll have everything back
    5. Mommy Dionisia explains ‘vodoo’ act vs Bradley
    6. Pacquiao punching power ‘way harder’ in first fight—Bradley
    7. Wrestling star Ultimate Warrior’s cause of death revealed
    8. My ideal weight is 140, declares Pacquiao
    9. Pacquiao ‘strong, faster’ for tiff
    10. Bradley to Pacquiao: You better be ready
    1. ‘Mommy D’ steals show as son fights
    2. Pacquiao wins unanimous decision vs Bradley to reclaim WBO title
    3. Pacquiao: I’m ready for Mayweather bout
    4. Mayweather surprise visitor to Bradley camp
    5. Bradley won’t last distance– Peñalosa
    6. Manny Pacquiao: I’ll have everything back
    7. Mommy Dionisia explains ‘vodoo’ act vs Bradley
    8. Pacquiao punching power ‘way harder’ in first fight—Bradley
    9. Wrestling star Ultimate Warrior’s cause of death revealed
    10. Tapering off: Pacquiao already at 147 lb

    News

  • Two Popes who would be saints
  • Anti-gay demo in Ethiopia cancelled
  • Obama launches measures to support solar energy in US
  • Nebraska toddler gets stuck inside claw machine
  • Philippine eagle rescued by Army turned over to DENR
  • Sports

  • Duke freshman declares for NBA draft
  • Vietnam says it will not host Asian Games
  • Nadal passes clay landmark with 300th victory
  • Wawrinka waltzes through with Monte Carlo walkover
  • Power Pinays smash India in Asian Women’s Club volleyball opener
  • Lifestyle

  • Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Nobel laureate, dies at 87
  • Ford Mustang turns 50 atop Empire State Building
  • Pro visual artists, lensmen to judge Pagcor’s photo contest
  • ‘Labahita a la bacalao’
  • This is not just a farm
  • Entertainment

  • Cannes film festival launches race for 2014 Palme d’Or
  • Jones, Godard, Cronenberg in competition at Cannes
  • Will Arnett files for divorce from Amy Poehler
  • American rapper cuts own penis, jumps off building
  • Jay Z to bring Made in America music fest to LA
  • Business

  • US stocks end mostly higher after earnings deluge
  • Total says makes ‘very promising’ oil find off Ivory Coast
  • ‘Chinese Twitter’ firm Weibo to go public in US
  • World stocks subdued, Nikkei flat on profit taking
  • Asia stocks fail to match Wall Street gains
  • Technology

  • Netizens seethe over Aquino’s ‘sacrifice’ message
  • Filipinos #PrayForSouthKorea
  • Taylor Swift tries video blogging, crashes into fan’s bridal shower
  • DOF: Tagaytay, QC best at handling funds
  • Smart phone apps and sites perfect for the Holy Week
  • Opinion

  • Editorial cartoon, April 17, 2014
  • A humbler Church
  • Deepest darkness
  • ‘Agnihotra’ for Earth’s health
  • It’s the Holy Week, time to think of others
  • Global Nation

  • Last call for nominations to ’14 Presidential Awards
  • San Francisco business coalition slams proposed tax on sugary drinks
  • A ‘time-travel’ production of ‘Les Miserable’ at Stanford
  • Filipina Maryknoll sister honored for years of service
  • Malaysia quarantines 64 villagers over MERS virus
  • Marketplace