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Big prizes in X'mas contest

‘Tis better to give than to receive and this Christmas season, we’re calling on our friends to make our traditional year-end contest the biggest ever by sharing their blessings with our readers.

Since we began our Christmas contest over 10 years ago, we’ve been able to give our readers a chance to enjoy kncokout prizes that they can only get by joining. We’ve been fortunate so far to generate support from lots of kind-hearted sponsors donating prizes including cash, sporting goods, sports apparel and footwear, corporate giveaways, food, beverages and personal accessories.

Every year, we choose 25 lucky winners to go home with sackfuls of goodies, our way of giving thanks to readers for their patronage and providing a vehicle for our sponsors to reach out during the season. The winners – chosen at random from among entries with correct answers to a set of questions – gather at The Star office to claim their prizes a few days before Christmas and we take their photographs which are published in our sports section. You can’t imagine the smiles on their faces when they receive the prizes. And you can’t imagine the smiles on our faces as we give the prizes away. That’s what the Christmas spirit is all about.

To join our contest, simply write your answers to the following questions in a slip of paper:

1. Who was the MVP of the PBA last season?

2. Who is the Mexican legend whom Manny Pacquiao fought thrice?

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3. Which country is the Philippines playing in the Asia/Oceania Group I tennis Davis Cup in Cebu this March?

In the same slip of paper, write your name, age, occupation, school (year and course, if student), telephone number/s, address and in 100 words or less, why you read The Philippine Star. Include an original clipping of a Philippine Star masthead on the front page – one entry, one masthead, no Xerox copy. The masthead must be taken from any Philippine Star issue from today, Dec. 10, to our cut-off day, Dec. 17. Put your entry and masthead in an envelope addressed to The Sports Section, The Philippine Star, R. Oca Jr. and Railroad Streets, Port Area, Manila.

You may send in your entries starting today up to 5 p.m., Friday, Dec. 17. All entries will be placed in a box from where we will pick 25 winners with correct answers. We will announce the winners on Sunday, Dec. 19, and winners may claim their prizes at the Star office on Tuesday, Dec. 21, at 11 a.m. For questions, please call Ms. Babes Angat at Tel. 527-6007.

It’s easy to join. Don’t miss this opportunity to win prizes for you and your loved ones.

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In yesterday’s column, we said Air21’s “Sweet” Lou Gatumbato could be the oldest rookie ever to play in the PBA, excluding, of course, the first batch of cagers in the 1975 inaugural season. We mentioned former Shell players Aris Franco and Tito Antonio broke in at 31 but were a few months younger than Gatumbato when he made his debut last Sunday.

PBA statistician Fidel Mangonon has since confirmed that the oldest PBA rookie in history is Jeffrey Sanders of TIP. Sanders was picked on the fourth round by Coca-Cola in the 2003 draft, the 35th of 40 chosen. That year, the first round picks were, in order, Mike Cortez, Romel Adducul, Eddie Laure, Harvey Carey, Brandon Cablay, Billy Mamaril, Enrico Villanueva, Marlon Legaspi, Reynel Hugnatan and Jimmy Alapag. Among the second round choices were Sunday Salvacion, John Ferriols, Cyrus Baguio and Ronald Tubid.

Sanders, an MBA veteran, managed to play only three games for Barangay Ginebra as a free agent, scoring eight points and grabbing five rebounds in 23 total minutes. The eight points he scored came in one game. Sanders was 32 years, two months and 12 days old when he played his first PBA game in 2003.

Gatumbato is in the record books as the second oldest PBA rookie. Franco, Antonio and Nurjan Alfad are other PBA rookies at least 30 years old when they joined the pros.

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Former Sen. Robert Jaworski, the Living Legend, delivered the keynote address during the “Boxing and the Brain” international convention at the Diamond Hotel on Roxas Boulevard last Friday. He was introduced by Makati Medical Center chairperson of neurology Dr. Regina Macalintal-Canlas who played a vital role in organizing the two-day seminar featuring foreign and local speakers.

The Big J lauded the seminar organizers for initiating the campaign to educate athletes, sports officials and fans on the incidence and consequence of brain injuries resulting from sports. He warned adventure-seekers of the dangers of engaging in thrilling activities that are no more than “a short-cut to death.” Jaworski, who authored or co-authored over 300 significant bills during his term in the Senate, particularly stressed the importance of educating those involved in training young kids from poor families who turn to boxing as a way out of poverty.

Jaworski related that over 30 years ago, he lay unconscious on the basketball floor after a hard fall in a game between Meralco and Yutivo in the MICAA. He said he owes his life – and career – to neurologists Dr. Ramon Suter and Dr. Bienvenido Aldanese who came to his rescue. It was one reason why Jaworski readily accepted the invitation from Dr. Canlas to speak at the seminar. Of course, the other reason was he could never turn down a request from his comadre Dr. Canlas.

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