It brings a smile to our faces when we know of Filipino sports community leaders organizing leagues in this province for we know that they all come to Canada to work, work, work in the first place.
Truth is, some don’t even have the energy to do recreational sport because they are already dead tired working. Life in Canada, eh? One full-time job, another part-time job, some even have three jobs. But that’s what a Filipino life is here and we just keep on going and going for the benefit of our families here and in the Philippines.
Mark Laurente and Francis Rodriguez (not the Davao Eagles coach in the defunct Metropolitan Basketball Association that we know) decided to organize friendly basketball games every Wednesday at the University of Alberta Hospital gym.
“Katuwaan lang at exercise,” said Laurente, who along with Rodriguez, was able to group together 20 Pinoy employees at the hospital in July to start the games. By August, their reversible uniforms were ready and now, they look like professional players.
It was actually a Canadian who invented basketball and when the Philippines were under the Americans as a Commonwealth, basketball, baseball and other sports were introduced and became part of the physical education system.
And because of the popularity of the sport, thanks to the influence of the NBA, the professional Philippine Basketball Association was born in the 1970s and has since been followed by Filipinos.
Laurente and Rodriguez came to Canada and brought with them the love of the sport.
“Masaya kami kung nakakapaglaro ng basketball kasama nga mga “oldies”. Ang importante sa amin, makapag exercise talaga,” Laurente added.
He said they don’t have any plans yet to compete in Filipino-organized tournaments in the city pointing out that they don’t want to miss work. “Baka ma injured pa, may trabaho tayo,” he said with a laugh.
Recreational sport should always be encouraged for any sport can help us develop as a person and we become healthy citizens of this great country.
Keep up the good work Mark and Francis! And special thanks to Mary Grace Perez for providing us information.
* * *
In Edson, Rodel Gravides and his organizing team members Gheena Stelter, Joey Manalang, Jemar and Vei Matias and Christin Schalm successfully organized the Edson Inter-Town Volleyball League recently.
Crosstown Auto Centre, Lakeview Inns and Suites Airport West, S&R and Tim Horton’s Edson also backed the two-day event organized in cooperation with the Alberta Filipino Volleyball Club.
Shaira Lina emerged as the most valuable player and Danica Rabago took the best spiker honors.
Team Maximo Cabrera of S&R topped the league after besting Crosstown Auto Centre while host Edson Spikers placed third, followed by Team Whitecourt at fourth place.
Congratulations Rodel and the co-organizers!
* * *
In Camrose, Jeff Micabalo, Romel Mamuad and Harold Arreza are leading the organizing team to hold another league this month.
So far, eight teams have signed up for this season namely, Team Pilipinas of Jay Mendenilla, Bethany Group of Arreza, JCC Team of Jun Gonzales, Brgy.Ginebra Camrose of Randy, Team Elite of Fritz and Kris Punay, Wetaskiwin Ballers of Chris Mission, Leduc Ilocos and Ledu Hoopers.
Good luck guys and enjoy!
* * *
Allan Cadawas of Team TRIN recorded the most number of strikes with 11 in the ongoing Knights of Columbus Nazareno Bowling League in Edmonton.
Cadawas set the pace in the individual division but it was the Team Underdogs that took the top spot after seven weeks of competition to lead the 16 squads entered in the fund-raising tournament.
Deacon Gem Mella of Corpus Christi Parish led in the awarding of the individual honors to Cadawas.
We will be posting updates in the next issue. And thanks to fellow Journal photographer Dario Juanillo for keeping us posted.
* * *
Watching the Edmonton Oilers win back-to-back games as of this writing warms my heart.
The Oilers, on a road trip in the East Coast, defeated the New York Islanders, then the New Jersey Devils.
Oh, what a lovely feeling.
* * *
This corner is encouraging the Filipino sports community to keep us posted of your events.
Please email to email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org
Maraming salamat po.