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Freeman Cebu Sports

Of oranges and bananas

WRECKORDER - FGS Gujilde - The Freeman

You will never know. The outcome of a tennis match, that is. Nowhere did unpredictability shock harder than in the finals of the first inter-color tennis tournament of the New Mandaue City Tennis Club the other night. In fact, the heavily favored players are the last to know. Just like the cheated spouse, not necessarily the wife. Be politically correct, a few of them cheat too. Promiscuity knows no gender, it only succumbs to temptation, leading to betrayal and deception.

The orange team shined the brightest against the klieg lights in the finals night of failed expectations, pleasant surprises and yes, funny sidelights. But no one saw them coming. Everyone expected the yellow and black teams to square off in the finals, for having the deepest bench. But the orange team had a secret plan, they changed the tide and washed the opposition away like a tsunami would. But with a warning. They had a mission to accomplish, beat the yellow team twice, not the yellowtards. It was not a proxy war between two presidentiables during the first automated elections in the country.

The yellow team may never have expected to lose. In fact, they never did en route to the finals hence their twice-to-beat advantage. Plus their weaponry, nothing could have gone awry – Rodel Solon, Cedric Abragan, Roy Naya, Lito Arnejo, Hubert Ortega, Noel Alonzo and ten others.

But on a starry night, the stars did not align in their favor, even if they are stars in their own right, especially Titing Solon who tames the ball to perfection. Heaven had a different plan. It was not written for the layman. At 2-all, two men of cloth stunned the heavily favored Roy Naya and Noel Antigua. Joseph Zackie hit the ball like Andrew Cavada would and tired Naya in the baseline he netted at match point. 3-2 for the orange team, one win away and the crown is theirs.

 In the company of men, a woman showed them she had the balls. Arlene Hermosura played a patient game, kept her lobs up high to force the men at the other side of the net to send back an easy ball, for Jun Collamat to savor. Just like that, team orange triumphed out of nowhere. On paper they’re not supposed to win, but they did on court where the battle is in. Should we still predict who wins then? Sure, guessing is free. It’s part of the fun. But speculation is another, it’s part of the intrigue.

Regardless, the team-based tournament should repeat the success that it was. With Jun Saberon at the helm, we trust next year is even better. But controversial calls we may never eliminate, even in grand slams they make or unbreak. And there is no rule how to ease the sore losers. But we didn’t see any, except the ball kids who loudly celebrated at each point, although it was hard to discern whose. And that’s what made it funny. Let them be, they are the next in line. Roger Federer was.

TENNIS
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