LINGAYEN, Pangasinan—There is a lone outlet here of the popular fast-food chain Mang Inasal seated under an old, gnarled acacia tree and squeezed between two Internet café outlets on Maramba Avenue.
The Mang Inasal store is directly opposite the main entrance to the sprawling Pangasinan National High School campus.
There are a total of 10 tables in the Mang Inasal outlet, which opened last December.
“We will know if we would continue selling here after the Games,” explained Melisa Vinluan, pretty, petite store resident manager.
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By the Games, Ms Vinluan means the ongoing Prisaa National Games involving over 5,000 student-participants being hosted by the province of Pangasinan.
This clearly meant that Mang Inasal came to this seaside place with the hope of cashing in on the Games.
There’s a curious twist as far as Mang Inasal is concerned.
While the vastly popular Mang Inasal has caught the fancy of students and other residents, it cannot be said the Prisaa meet is itself selling hot.
All gates to the various venues have been opened to the public.
The public had yet to show up with a little force on the meet’s fourth day yesterday.
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The bigger dampener was the quality of athletes, mainly in basketball.
“They are taller than before, but they display dumb basics,” observed sharp-eyed columnist Percy Della.
Performances in track and field leave much to be desired.
There’s visible improvement in table tennis, with more skilled and poised entries.
But this was not the case in boxing, where trainers with the Amateur Boxing Association of the Philippines should provide succor.
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Meanwhile, while the beleaguered Gov. Amado Espino is expected to make his presence felt toward the conclusion of the Games, his announced plans to put up the first national sports academy here would be more than welcome.
Espino’s office has announced an initial budget of P15 million for the sports academy.
Espino, an avowed sports development figure, should be able to provide the necessary assistance to a limp and blind national sports system that continues to grope and crawl on its sick belly, under the Philippine Olympic Committee of Jose “Peping” Cojuangco and his cohort at the Philippine Sports Commission, Richie Garcia.
Both self-proclaimed sports experts are not expected here.