Freeman Cebu Sports

SAC names ORLACSAN awardees

Emmanuel B. Villaruel - The Freeman

CEBU, Philippines — A basketball skills trainer, table tennis benefactor, and chess patrons make up the list of ORLACSAN awardees in the highly anticipated 38th Sportswriters Association of Cebu-San Miguel Beer (SAC-SMB) Cebu Sports Awards slated on May 26 at The Terraces of Ayala Center Cebu.

The gala event will start at 4 p.m.

First given in 1996, the ORLACSAN Award is named after Orlando C. Sanchez, a legendary sportswriter and editor. It was conceptualized to honor individuals who have done exemplary works and shown selfless dedication in their chosen sport.

Jefferson “Jeff” Codera, a member of the NBA’s Golden State Warriors training camp and a licensed Gold coach of USA Basketball, Engr. Jerry Maratas, a longtime president of the Cebu Executives and Professionals Chess Association (CEPCA), Atty. Jeah Jean Gacang, co-founder and team manager of the Toledo City Trojans Chess Team, and Jessica Jawad-Honoridez, a Cebu City Sports Commissioner who is also Athletic Director of the University of Cebu (UC), will be recognized for their unflinching commitment in keeping Cebu sports alive and kicking especially at the height of pandemic three years ago.

When the global health crisis broke out in 2020, it did not stop these dedicated sports personalities from coming up with a purposeful and meaningful activities even if the times are hard and the resources are scarce.

By spearheading various undertakings through online platforms and initiating community outreach projects when restrictions were eased out, they provided the athletes with an opportunity to remain active and keep themselves in shape.

More importantly, they served as a beacon of hope in moments of uncertainty and in the face of adversity. Their unbridled passion and heart for sports made them a cut above the rest.

On the other hand, SAC will  be handing out Posthumous Awards to five outstanding sportsmen who have already gone to the great beyond but have had left an enduring legacy in the sporting world.

They are the late Enrico David “Rico” S. Navarro, Atty. George P. Bragat Sr., Dionisio “Diony” Cañete,  Ricky Ballesteros, and Rafael “Raffy” Uytiepo, who passed away just a week ago.

In his lifetime, Navarro devoted himself to the development of grassroots sports. He is also the chief architect behind the transformation of Sacred Heart School-Ateneo de Cebu (SHS-AdC) into an athletic power not only in the local scene but also on the national stage.

A former president of SAC, Navarro will be immortalized by the group he once led by naming its “Sportsman of the Year” Award to “Rico Navarro Sportsman of the Year Award” beginning this year.

Bragat will be remembered for his immense contribution to the growth of Cebu basketball during his time as regional director of the Basketball Association of the Philippines (BAP) in Central Visayas.

Ballesteros was a well-loved event organizer nonpareil, while Uytiepo has left an indelible mark with his exemplary works in Cebu running community.

Cañete, the Supreme Grandmaster of Doce Pares, will be feted for his tireless efforts in promoting arnis and transfiguring this indigenous Filipino martial art into a highly respected global organization with millions of followers all over the world. — (FREEMAN)

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