Who is Tom Randall?
Tom Randall. The name rings only a faint bell, according to two old-timers within the basketball community, neither of who can remember anything about the man who is currently in the news.
Randall, identified as a former PBA import now running an orphanage in Lucena City, was arrested with two others, both of them Filipinos, for alleged child abuse.
Randall has refused to give authorities a statement.
Immediately after the news about Randall and company came out on television, the Inquirer contacted PBA statistician and record keeper Fidel Mangonon III to get some background on the ex-cager.
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“I don’t think he ever played in the PBA. The only import with an almost similar name who ever played in our pro league is Dwayne Randall of Shell in 1987, but he’s African-American and not white,” Mangonon texted after some minutes of research.
Mangonon said that he has gone through old editions of the PBA annual, dating back to the very first copy in 1975, all the way up to 1999. Caucasian imports are usually easier to remember, he said, because there are very few of them “but I cannot for the life of me remember a Tom Randall who played in the PBA. Definitely, there is no Tom Randall in the list of Caucasian imports within that time span. I’m sure of it. Maybe he played in the MICAA, not the PBA. But that was 40 years ago.”
After several more minutes of Googling, Mangonon confirmed that Randall indeed played in the MICAA, but no team was mentioned. It could be Crispa, he said, at about the time of this popular tandem of Tom Cowart and Paul Scranton. Actually I called several old-timers which included former MICAA players, officials and senior scribes, but no one remembers Tom.
“Randall and his wife Karen are missionaries who run this orphanage in Lucena. Actually the couple has a website and a Facebook page under World Harvest Ministries.”
But still and all, no one could vouch for the reputation of Tom Randall, missionary and ex-basketball player.
“I think he played with a missionary team that visited Manila and guested in the MICAA. I’ve not formed an opinion about him, but he could be legit. Maybe he was just implicated by his two associates. Do you know that he and his wife have already organized four orphanages in the Philippines?”
Frankly, I need more convincing. Perhaps because aside from news and sports, I watch crime and investigation programs most of the time.
“This guy is a speaker, entertainer and chaplain for the PGA Champions Tour according to his website,” the PBA statistician said, sounding very impressed.
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HOOPVINE: The rumor mill has it that TV5 is close to securing the Olympics coverage which will cover the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics, the 2014 Nanjing Youth Olympics and the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil… Reacting to our column of Sunday, Jan. 12, a college insider phoned in to point out that we missed one important item on the father’s list of demands from the prospective team his son would be playing for next season… “He is also asking for a monthly allowance of P160,000 cash,” the insider said.
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