Let Edsa remind sports as well | Inquirer Sports
One Game At A Time

Let Edsa remind sports as well

/ 12:25 AM February 26, 2014

What game were you playing when Edsa changed history 28 years ago? Almost three decades have passed since that segment of history when a disgruntled populace booted out an overstaying president.

For a long stretch, Ferdinand Marcos was the strong sporting leader who lifted weights and played golf.

He swapped one-liners with Muhammad Ali when “The Greatest” came for the “Thrilla in Manila.”

But even the strongest are not excused from the passage of time and the havoc of disease.

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Marcos had stayed on too long and even the most astute muscle moves could not keep him in the game.

In time, even the supposed home crowd rooting for him gave up and decided that the game was over.

Here we are again marking another Edsa anniversary with the usual holiday, ceremonies and endless replaying of videos.

And over the next few days, the opinion page of this newspaper will once more be filled with analyses of the failure of Edsa to instill more sweeping change.

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They, and many others, dissect our political inabilities, cultural shortcomings and even our spread-out regional differences as the reasons why we are still a developing nation.

But what do we have in sports long after Edsa? We still don’t have an Olympic gold medal.

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The closest we came since Edsa were a couple of bronze medals in boxing and Onyok Velasco’s silver in Atlanta. We haven’t really reclaimed the Asian basketball throne.

There have been a couple of Jones Cup titles but no gold medal finishes in the Asian Games and the Fiba Asia.

The closest we have come was Robert Jaworski’s crew winning the silver in the Asiad in Beijing and Gilas Pilipinas recent Fiba Asia runner-up finish to Iran.

The silver lining of the Gilas achievement however was a return to the World Championships after 40 years.

The last time we were in it was in 1978 when by default, we were already in as hosts. We’ve won the SEA Games title when the Philippines hosted the regional games in 2005.

But since then we’ve slipped because of our own sloppy footwork and the propensity of other host nations to come up with games nobody has really heard of.

We’ve had Manny Pacquiao install the phrase Pambansang Kamao (National Fists) with spectacular wins against opponents once only imagined.

Even his losses have been the subject of overanalysis at times. Volleyball and football have resurfaced as spectator sports.

The V-League and the UAAP games have kept the public interested in new sports heroes.

The Azkals of football have shown that we can compete if a united team of players, financiers and committed individuals works together.

There are a few wins here and there but like most everything else related to Edsa, we are still in the process of realizing our potential.

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May this week’s celebration be a reminder to all and sports that Edsa was a winning moment but staying in the game is a lifelong event.

TAGS: EDSA, Ferdinand Marcos, Manny Pacquiao, Robert Jaworski

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