UNTV: Celebrating good causes
UNTV, the religious broadcast network preaching the Gospel while giving out generous servings of public service, is marking its 10th year this week.
Part of that celebration is the second edition of the UNTV Cup basketball tournament where government branches participate. The competition is now in its championship phase with the Philippine National Police Responders ahead in a best-of-three series against the Armed Forces of the Philippines Cavaliers. In Game 1 last June 22, the policemen hit the soldiers in the final quarter with a 16-3 blast to win, 84-74.
Game Two is scheduled on July 1 at Smart Araneta Coliseum right after an exhibition game featuring government officials against legislators.
The tournament could have been just one of those regular leagues that sprout out during summer or in commercial settings. For one thing, the UNTV Cup has regular television coverage of all its games.
The competition has been intense with the participation of former PBA and college players mixing it up with some very good players who just missed out on the spotlight of the more high-profile leagues or just know how to play at a high level. Former pros Kenneth Duremdes, Don Camaso, Zaldy Realubit, Kiko Adriano, Ariel Capus, Gerald Francisco, Arnold Gamboa, Eugene Tan, Jenkins Mesina, Jeffrey Sanders and Capati are among the participants.
Some excellent players have also shone brightly like the AFP’s Alvin Zuniga and Winston Sergio; celebrity guest player John Hall of Judiciary; former UE shooter Olan Omiping of the PNP; guard PJ Villanueva of the MMDA; Tesda Director Joel Villanueva of Malacañang; Congressman Neil Tupas and Senator Sonny Angara.
There have anxious moments when the lesser lights try to get the goat of the former pros. It seems like a natural test the old pros regularly go through now that they play more pick-up games and exhibition matches here and abroad. The one-time professionals may have lost a step or two but haven’t lost their competitive instincts. They can dish out an elbow or a creative shove when compelled to do so by an over eager opponent. Or they can simply outscore them.
The competition has also been fired up since the champion team gets to donate a million pesos to a charity of their choice. The same holds for the other top finishers who still get to chip in for worthy causes like the elderly, the sick and the marginalized.
Aside from this, the league has had help desks through out the tournament for each of the participating teams to allow folk to forward their concerns or needs to the appropriate government agency.
There should be more ventures like this using other sports as well. One can only imagine how golf tournaments, badminton competitions as well as football and basketball games between companies can help many more worthy causes.
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.