Calgary-based Antonio Eusebio and four other Filipino-Canadians were supposed to be in the Philippines seeing action in the 83rd season of the University Athletic Association of the Philippines (UAAP) and the 2020 Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League (MPBL).
I first got hold of this information when I saw Consul-General Zaldy Patron together with the basketball players in a post on FB. The players and ConGen Patron had that meeting when dine-in and indoor gatherings were still allowed last year.
Unfortunately, by December, the UAAP was cancelled and so Antonio, who is supposed to be playing for the University of the Philippines (UP) Fighting Maroons, and other Philippines-bound players had to stay in Canada.
This is one of the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Antonio has no choice but to continually work out on his own to keep himself fit and study online via the UP Online System.
“Yeah, I was so excited,” said Antonio when asked about playing in the UAAP in the Philippines.
For sure, this is the same feeling for the three other Fil-Can players who were supposed to be in the UAAP and the other one who is reportedly bound for the MPBL of Manny Pacquiao.
In my previous columns in 2019, we reported to our readers that two Filipino-Edmontonians, CJ Liwanag and Virlou Orquez, were recruited by the Far Eastern University Tamaraws and the Adamson University Soaring Falcons respectively.
And just like Antonio, CJ, who is the son of PSA referee Francis, and Virlou, son of Erdz who plays for Crosstown Auto in the postponed PSA Tournament, is currently on standby and just has to focus on online studies and do workouts on his own to keep himself fit while waiting for this pandemic to be over.
Virlou, who is back in Edmonton to spend the Christmas holidays with his family, said that there were plans to do a UAAP Bubble, similar to the PBA Bubble, but he heard that it would be too expensive to do it, so the organizers decided to cancel the popular and much-awaited league.
He said that from time to time, Adamson coach Franz Pumaren calls to check on how they’ve been doing with their online studies and if they are following the exercises designed for them.
Virlou is taking up a Business Marketing Degree at Adamson University.
We just hope that this pandemic will be over so that these players will get back into action and we as, basketball fans, can follow their progress.
Or if possible, health authorities can speed up vaccinations to include athletes, so that they can be back in action soon!
* * *
OMNI Filipino TV’s Rhea Santos and Theresa Barrera reported about a Filipino-Edmontonian bodybuilder, who is teaching home workouts through his FB page, MCFit Fitness for Life.
“I’m just here to help all Filipino bodybuilders para hindi sila malulon sa steroids,” said Mel Cantos.
Cantos is teaching not only those who are in Canada but people from other countries as well. He also has a pool of athletes competing this year.
The MCFit Fitness for Life page has drawn 2,000 plus members and he hopes it will reach 5,000 at the end of this month.
“We go live as well with my oldest son every week to answer questions and giving them some knowledge sa bodybuilding at supplements as well sa drugs involved sa bodybuilding,” said Cantos, who moved to Canada with his family when he was 16.
Cantos started to do bodybuilding at the age of 13, inspired by how Arnold Schwarzenegger and Sylvester Stallone looked. “Naisip ko lang magpalaki din dahil alam mo naman satin sa Pilipinas laging kang bullied nong araw,” he said.
Because he was bullied, Mel has also posted on their group about how to properly deal with bullying, and “helping other kids not to go in the wrong direction”.
Aside from the outdoor recreational events that you do this pandemic season, you might as well check coach Mel Cantos’ MCFit Fitness for Life on FB.
Be fit with MCFit Fitness for LIfe!
* * *
For any sports news, info, announcement, please let our Sports Desk know by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.