Pacquiao disappoints Texas fans

Posted by master 17.9.10

FILIPINOS in the Rio Grande area of Texas were very disappointed over the last-minute cancellation of a fund-raising dinner which was supposed to be graced by boxing superstar Manny Pacquiao.
The $250-a-plate dinner on Saturday at the McAllen Convention Center was cancelled after the congressman from Saranggani advised organizers that he would not be able to make it.

“No reason was given, we were left to guess,” said former sportswriter Chito Sagana of nearby Edinburgh, Texas, in an overseas phone call. He had bought tickets for him and his nurse-wife Janice to the Sept. 18 affair.
“We are all wondering if he had work to do in Congress, if the $250,000 appearance fee was not adequate, or if there was a loophole somewhere because it was not him who signed the contract with the Filipinos here,” Chito said.
“Pacquiao said the dinner with him will be moved to November, most likely after his fight with Antonio Margarito in Dallas, Texas.”
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I was curious to know how PBA executive secretary Ma. Corazon “Coy” Perez, who has served under three different commissioners in the past eight years, would describe and rate each one of them.
Since the founding of the PBA in 1975, the league has had only two executive secretaries. The first was Linda Vergara, who was brought to the league from the now-defunct Micaa by the first commissioner, Leo Prieto.
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Coy replaced Linda eight years ago, when Noli Eala became commissioner, and served the entire length of his boss’ five-year tenure. She stayed on to work with Sonny Barrios for three years, and is now getting to know her new boss Chito Salud.
So how does Coy describe each of the three commissioners?
“Basically a marketing person, commissioner Noli’s thrust was on how to sell the league. He initiated a highly successful program called ‘Gimme 5’ which enabled the public to watch the games live by paying only P5 for a seat in the general admission section.”
According to Coy, it was also during Noli’s term that the PBA board discussed the league’s participation in the formation of the Philippine national team.
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“Commissioner Sonny Barrios, being the very responsible family man that he is, ran the PBA as successfully and as lovingly as he did his domestic affairs. During instances where he had to arbitrate between two feuding parties, commissioner Sonny would make sure he listened carefully to both parties, never letting either one feel that he is wrong.
“He adopts the same stance also when sitting in during a player’s summons. He talks to the players like a father—may sermon, pero parating may lambing. It got to a point that his associates started to caution him because because he would often waive fines imposed on players.
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In Chito Salud’s first two weeks in office, Coy said the office staff already felt his high-voltage energy.
“He is into several things all at the same time: marketing, officiating, administration, all aiming for reforms, in the hope of making the league more attuned with the times.
“Commissioner Salud has a no-nonsense air about him. We work—as in WORK, from 9 to 6. When he has a meeting, he is in the boardroom 10 to 15 minutes ahead of everyone else.”
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For a man like Chito, who has great plans for the league, I guess that’s the only way to do it. He aims to make the game more exciting to spectators, at the same time endeavoring to keep officiating as spotless as possible.
Chito, 48, hopes to develop a new breed of superstars during his tenure, in an effort to bring back the golden days of the PBA.
Indeed, those were the days when tickets to a Ginebra game were as rare to find as diamonds.
“Yes, we will try to bring back those glory days,” said Chito.

Beth Celis


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