Big J to attend Davao rites

Subscribe Now August 24, 2012 at 01:20pm

The PBA’s Living Legend will be the guest of honor and speaker at the second Davao Sports Hall of Fame induction ceremony in the Pantawan Hall Pagcor, Lanang, Davao City tomorrow night with a slew of distinguished awardees to be cited for their achievements. Davao Sports Hall of Fame founder and president Jaime Quitain said Robert Jaworski’s presence will give credence to the effort of recognizing athletes and non-athletes for putting Davao in the country’s sports map. Jaworski is expected to arrive from Manila with wife Evelyn and consultant Reli de Leon tomorrow afternoon.

Two years ago, Quitain organized the first enshrinement but the 36 honorees came only from basketball under the categories of Legends, Davao Team Pilipinas All-Time Greats and PBA Veterans. The inductees included Loreto Carbonnel, Francisco Rabat, Fr. Edgar Martin, Val Rosabal, Alvin Teng, Rey Perez, Roy Rubi, Rolando Magno, Joel Santos, Annie Mana-ay, Josephine Malinao, Gloria Tampus, Felisyl Linsondra, Dave Supnet and Jack Tanuan. Also honored were PBA players Pong Escobal, John Ferriols, Samigue Eman, P.J. Simon, Sunday Salvacion, R.J. Rizada, Dindo Pastor and Cadel Mosqueda.

This year, Quitain has opened the Hall of Fame to athletes and non-athletes representing different sports. The qualifying standard is awardees must be born or raised in Davao or played at least a year in Davao. “Our inductees accomplished several firsts in the history of Davao sports,” said Quitain, a retired Regional Trial Court judge. “The coming of the Big J as our guest of honor is also a first and his attendance will surely inspire athletes to someday become Hall of Famers. We are calling this event the Awards Night with the Living Legend.”

Quitain said the honorees are classified under three categories – Builder, Athlete and Team. “Aside from athletes and teams, we are recognizing Davaoeños who did more than their share to develop and promote sports in Davao,” he said. To be inducted posthumously in the Builder category are former Sen. Alejandro Almendras, Carlos Inigo Sr., Manuel Cabaguio Sr. and Vic Sai.

Almendras donated P1 million for the construction of a gym and recreation center at the Industrial Area of Slum and Improvement project site along Romulo Quimpo Boulevard in 1983. Inigo introduced league competitions in tennis, basketball and boxing in Davao City and put up the first basketball court in 1927 and the first boxing gym on San Pedro Street. His biggest contribution was ceding a large portion of his estate to establish the Apo Golf and Country Club which has hosted the Philippine Open and the PAL Inter-Club Championships. Cabaguio was the first Davao native to play in the 1924 NCAA with the Ateneo midgets champion squad and the first referee to be cited by the Basketball Association of the Philippines for his outstanding contribution to the growth and development of amateur basketball in Mindanao. With Inigo and Tiburcio Cervantes, Cabaguio was credited for exporting Davao stars like Rabat, Tony and Lito Bangoy and Carbonnel to Manila collegiate basketball leagues. Sai was a sports organizer and writer who specialized in basketball, football, marathon, table tennis and track and field.

The awardees in the athlete category are Carlos (Jun) Inigo Jr., Cesar Dignos, Bayani Espino, Lito Bangoy, Tony Bangoy, Benjamin Pascual and Armand Picar. Inigo Jr. was the first Davao cager to play in the post-war UAAP in 1945 and 1946 as UP varsity high school skipper. He also starred for La Salle in basketball and track and field at the senior level. Inigo Jr. played for the Green Archers squad that won the National Open in 1948 and was the La Salle captain in 1951. Dignos, a product of a Davao public elementary school, played basketball for Ateneo in the NCAA in 1955 and Far Eastern University in the UAAP in 1959. Espino was the first Rizal Memorial Colleges cager to play in the NCAA with Ateneo in 1964 and was chosen for the NCAA All-Star Selection under coach Kiko Calilan. Lito Bangoy played on the San Beda varsity team that captured the 1955 NCAA seniors basketball title with Carbonnel and Caloy Loyzaga and later suited up with the YCO Painters. Tony Bangoy was the first Mindanao Colleges player to see action in the NCAA with the 1948 and 1951 La Salle champion teams. He also played for Jacinto Rubber Shoes in the MICAA. Pascual scored 148 points in one game with the International Harvardian Colleges and played for Alcantara and Sons in the commercial leagues in the ‘60s. Picar was the Oriental superwelterweight boxing champion in 1993-94 and campaigned in Japan, Korea, Australia and the US during a 12-year pro career. He was the Philippine champion in three weight divisions and died at the age of 35 in 2003, a victim of the bomb blast in front of the Davao airport terminal.

The teams to be inducted are the 1974, 1975 and 1988 Ateneo de Davao basketball varsities, the 2012 Assumption College of Davao basketball varsity, the 1990 Southern Mindanao Region XI basketball boys selection, the 1980 and 1981 University of Mindanao basketball varsities, the 1993, 1998 and 2002 Southern Mindanao Region XI basketball selections, the 2012 Jose Maria College basketball varsity and the Davao Kids basketball team made up of Rabat, Tomas Monteverde, Diomedes Fanlo, Cho-Choy Rodriguez, Botoy Hizon, Manuel Guino-o, Makaw Rodriguez, Andres Rodrigo, Arsenio Tolentino, Mike Palma-Gil, Carbonnel and Lito Bangoy.

Source: Joaquin Henson

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