Sports program an effective marketing tool

BIZLINKS - Rey Gamboa (The Philippine Star) - February 1, 2016 - 9:00am

Sports is turning out to be an effective marketing tool for those involved in the business of running educational institutions. Whilst basketball is still the linchpin of most sports program organized by schools, other sports activities such as volleyball and football are fast coming up in the priority ladder.

The popularity of basketball among student athletes is greatly enhanced by the extensive coverage provided by major television networks. The Universities Athletics Association of the Philippines (UAAP) and the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), the two most popular collegiate leagues in the country, have one thing in common: games of both leagues are covered and televised nationwide by ABS-CBN, acknowledged as the largest television network in the country.

As noted by Coach Joe Lipa, who was once a player for several years and a national coach and commissioner of several leagues, he never saw players in the past being treated like “rock stars” as they are these days. Many players made popular by television become product endorsers, fashion event stars, and even appear in movies while playing their favorite game.

Schools with successful sports programs producing champion teams are most sought by athletes from the provinces dreaming of obtaining scholarship benefits while playing collegiate basketball. And of course, there is the additional incentive of being discovered and eventually drafted in the professional league after completing their college playing years.

The Philippine Collegiate Champions League (PCCL) is the SBP-accredited league with the mandate of conducting the end of season competitions that bring together the best collegiate teams nationwide in a multi-level competition and enable provincial teams to be given the much needed exposure and the opportunity to play against the more popular teams from the major leagues in Manila.

And each year for the past 13 years, PCCL’s Champions League has been conducting the search for the best collegiate teams nationwide and recognizing and rewarding those teams and individuals achieving outstanding performances during the season.

A toast for 2015 champions and achievers

It is time once again for this column to give way and recognize and toast the achievements of collegiate athletes during the 2015 season who gave their best to earn honors for their alma mater.

The column also features sports lovers composed of individuals, schools and entities that made immense contributions to promote and develop sports in their respective school campuses and localities. Through their efforts they aim to discover talents, as well as nurture and mold them through healthy competitions.

A Toast for recognition and appreciation

The event, “A Toast,” was held last Jan. 29 at the 9501 Restaurant, 14th floor, ELJ Bldg in Quezon City. PCCL and ABS-CBN co-hosted the event where awards of recognition and appreciation were given to the winning teams, to players who excelled in their performance, and to those who contributed to the success of the 2015 National Collegiate Championship, the culmination of the annual search for the best collegiate teams and players.

Manuel V. Pangilinan Perpetual Bronze Sculpture

The annual search for a national collegiate champion is an objective of PCCL as mandated by Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) headed by Manny Pangilinan. The process to determine the best collegiate teams in the country and to recognize the national collegiate champion involves the participation of more than 30 “mother leagues” nationwide in a multi-level competition.

The symbol of collegiate basketball supremacy is the Manuel V. Pangilinan Perpetual Bronze Sculpture, “Abutin Ang Tagumpay,” where the names of the national champions since 2003 are engraved. The winning school retains the sculpture until a new national champion emerges.

Previous years champions were: San Beda College Red Lions (2014), DLSU Green Archers (2013 and 2008), UST Growling Tigers (2012), San Sebastian College-Recoletos Golden Stags (2011), Ateneo Blue Eagles (2010, 2009 and 2007), UE Red Warriors (2006 and 2003) and FEU Tamaraws (2005 and 2004).

Meralco and ABS-CBN Sports and Action awards

The different awards handed out were sponsored by ABS-CBN Sports and Action and Meralco as part of these companies’ wide-ranging involvement in youth and sports development programs. The different categories of awards are shown below.

Team awards:

For the first time in 13 years, co-champions were declared for the 2015 National Collegiate Championship as competition was cut short by an unexpected typhoon which cancelled classes right before the start of the Christmas school vacation.

Co-champions 2015 National Collegiate Championship

San Beda College Red Lions – San Beda Red Lions defended the title won in 2014 and is just the second NCAA team to win the national title next to San Sebastian College-Recoletos Golden Stags, who won in 2011.

Far Eastern University Tamaraws – This is the third title for FEU, with the last one won 10 years ago in 2005.

Colegio de San Juan de Letran and University of San Carlos are the joint runner-ups, and shared the third and fourth placers prize awards. Letran Knights, NCAA champion, played despite drastic changes in team composition right after winning the NCAA crown, and was recognized with the Special Award for Fortitude. University of San Carlos, on the other hand, completed a productive year after winning for the first time the CESAFI crown.  

Breakthrough Performance Award is conferred to teams that came up with breakthrough games that enabled them to achieve a higher level of performance in regional as well as in their respective mother league competitions.

Recipients of the award were Technological Institute of the Philippines Engineers, its first time to earn a seat in the Elite Eight, Olivarez College Sea Lions, first time South Luzon-Bicol region champion, and Lyceum Northwestern University Dukes, first time North-Central Luzon region champion.

The Grinder Award goes to the team that rose to prominence as a major contender from the qualifying games all the way to Elite Eight. Kudos to the Technological Institute of the Philippines Engineers.

Special mention awards:

The Hospitality Award as Loyal and Generous Host – is in recognition of professionally organizing and hosting qualifying games among league champions in their respective area and successfully promoting the event for the benefit of local basketball fans.

The awardees for 2015 were: Atty. Ruben Capahi (Ormoc City Sports Organization), Mayor John Bongat (City Government of Naga), and Atty. Gonzalo T. Duque (Lyceum Northwestern University).

Chairman’s Special Merit Awardees

For 2015, the PCCL Board of Trustees approved the granting of the Chairman’s Special Appreciation Awards to the following deserving recipients, namely:                                         

Romy Guevarra, PCCL Technical Director – for his valuable contribution to PCCL referee’s upgrading program ensuring continuing monitoring and evaluation of performance leading to recognition of Best Performing Referee every end of competitions.   

Mark Oliver P. Molina, Athletic Director, Far Eastern University – for his unwavering support to PCCL during the past dozen years in pursuing the objective of upgrading school-based basketball program thru annual competitions among the best collegiate teams nationwide.

Efren Jose Supan, NCAA Management Committee Member and Athletic Director, Jose Rizal University – for his unwavering support to PCCL during the past decade in pursuing the objective of upgrading school-based basketball program through annual competitions among the best collegiate teams nationwide.

Dr. Saturnino G. Belen, president, First Asia Institute of Technology and Humanities (FAITH) – for his belief in sports as a vital component of overall student development, and in particular, his unwavering support to the PCCL in pursuing the objective of upgrading school-based basketball program by allowing the use of FAITH facilities as host and venue of annual competitions among the best collegiate teams nationwide.

Basketball-loving sponsors

PCCL is a non-profit association, and funding for conducting this nationwide competition is provided by basketball-loving sponsors, namely, ABS-CBN Sports and Action, Meralco, Molten Balls, FilOil Flying V, Philippine STAR, and SM Tickets. These are the entities that make the search for the best collegiate teams in the country a reality.

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Should you wish to share any insights, write me at Link Edge, 25th Floor, 139 Corporate Center, Valero Street, Salcedo Village, 1227 Makati City. Or e-mail me at reydgamboa@yahoo.com. For a compilation of previous articles, visit www.BizlinksPhilippines.net.

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