The fairest of the fair

BUSINESS and LEISURE - Ray Butch Gamboa - The Philippine Star

Many of us have been thrilled no end with some of the recent basketball games in the UAAP. Aside from being all cliffhangers, their significance to the teams engaged, as well as to some personalities involved, made them all “do or die” games.

But among the teams that figured significantly in the epic sports drama, it was the UP Maroons that had the most of the spotlight. This year’s entry into the finals has been a much-awaited miracle that came after three decades and two years. Perennial cellar dweller with a couple of years registering a shameful “Mayweather zero record” in reverse, posting a single win a few years ago merited a campus ‘bonfire’ traditionally reserved for a championship win in the premier college league.           

But many of the very close followers of the UAAP consider this win by the Maroons as also a vindication for its coach Bo Perasol, who some people allegedly felt was unceremoniously and shabbily sacked by the Blue Eagles sometime in the past, though this was vehemently denied. Perhaps, as some would further speculate, a championship win, though some say could be a long shot, may be a pay back much sweeter than a combined leche flan and macapuno dessert.               

But setting all these baseless “tsismis” aside, did you know that there’s a league, which can be considered as of a higher level considering that it gets together to play against each other the “best of the best” in college basketball?

The Philippine Collegiate Champions League (PCCL) is a non-profit duly registered entity recognized and accredited by the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) and the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) to conduct the yearly search for the National Collegiate Champion.

Now on its 16th edition, the National Collegiate Champions League has three levels of competition; qualifying, regional, and the finals where the champions of the UAAP, NCAA, Luzon-NCR Regional and VIS-MIN Regional leagues mix it up to determine the “Champion of Champions” in collegiate basketball—“the fairest of the fair”.

PSC chairman, William “Butch” Ramirez, lauded the partnership of PSC and the PCCL in promoting the National Collegiate Basketball Championship as “a program recognizing excellence of student athletes in basketball. This partnership will strengthen the stature of the league as the unified program in search for the One National Collegiate champion”.

As a tangible symbol for recognition and reward, PSC would award the prestigious President’s Cup for basketball to the national champion. Scholarship grants and other sports equipment will also be awarded to the top school teams in the competition.

The recognized moving spirit behind the country’s “ultimate college basketball league” is businessman, sportsman and Philippine Star columnist, Reynaldo “Rey” Gamboa, who by the way is also my brother. As chairman he has continued to pursue promoting school-based basketball programs and encourage league competitions. He noted that PCCL has been involved in the nationwide multi-level competition in search of the national champion for the past 15 seasons. More than 30 mother leagues conduct annual tournaments and the top teams advance to the regional level competitions to earn a place in the finals.

He‘s also proud to say that through the PCCL games, several provincial talents are discovered and are given the opportunity to play in the bigger leagues like UAAP, NCAA, CESAFI, etc. and eventually get the chance to be drafted in the PBA.

The PCCL chairman is guided by only one mantra in pursuing greater heights in his quest to determine the “best of the best”—there can only be one.

Christmas season ‘must go to’ place

There is a wide array of fun and exciting destinations to choose from this Christmas season, that making a choice as to where to bring the family is just too hard to make. Of course with all the traffic in the metro, which will still increase several folds in the midst of the holidays, it helps to know what the choices are before leaving with the entire brood.

Staying true to its promise of being the best destination for families and friends this Christmas season, SM Mall of Asia has so much in store for all holiday merrymakers.

The MOA Grand Festival of Lights at the SM Mall of Asia once again brings the most anticipated holiday tradition– the MOA Grand Festival of Lights Parade.

Holiday leisure seekers know that holidays are more magical and memorable at the SM Mall of Asia as Santa’s magical friends, Leo the Lion, Hailey the Hippo, Gerry the Giraffe, Macky the Monkey, Cyril the Squirrel, Benny the Bunny, Elly the Elephant and Hanna the Panda are back to join the parade for a Winter Wonderland Christmas adventure as they ride the magical six floats set to music and dance the night away.

The fun guys running the Mall of Asia have announced that together with Oppo, Lady’s Choice, Toy Kingdom, SM Store, PLDT, Smart and Coke Studio, this year’s festivity is set to be the most memorable parade ever. The most anticipated holiday tradition at MOA will be a feast for the eyes and will awe all kids and kids-at-heart who will experience a multi-sensory parade like no other. Everything is made biggest and brightest with six over the top and magical floats come to life together with over a hundred Christmas characters dancing and spreading happiness, capped with a spectacular fireworks display at Seaside Boulevard.

 So catch the magic every Saturday starting Nov. 24, until Christmas Day, 5:30 p.m. at the north and south arcades. Customers will be in for a special treat and will experience moments that are more magical with family and friends.

The merrymaking at SM Mall of Asia continues with meet-and-greet sessions, as Santa and his MOA magical friends will make special appearances on weekends throughout the holiday season at the Mall of Asia Atrium. Kids can whisper their Christmas wishes as they sit on Santa’s lap or they can also write down and send their list via Santa Mail. Mall goers will also be in for a special surprise as they take seflies and instastories with the huge MOA magical snow globe at the atrium or the 30-foot gigantic MOA Santa at the MOA Complex.

The magic of giving continues with SM Bears of Joy. For only P200, customers can have a cute cuddly bear to keep, while another one will be donated to make a child happy at the chosen beneficiary, Kanlungan ni Erma. This is only the beginning of magical celebrations at the SM Mall of Asia, a world-class Winter Christmas destination for everyone.

Mabuhay!!! Be proud to be a Filipino.

(Email) [email protected]

 (Web)  www.businessandleisure.ph

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