Sports Vision may hold All-Star Games yearly

Sports Vision may hold All-Star Games yearly
The other half of participants in the Sports Vision-sponsored All-Star charity games for victims of Typhoon Lawin which drew in a record crowd at Philsports Arena in Pasig City.

Huge success met with Sports Vision’s first attempt at staging a pair of All-Star Games for the benefit of the victims of Typhoon Lawin last Sunday, prompting organizers to hint that they might make the benefit show an annual event.

“This is Sports Vision’s way of giving back to society,” said Ricky Palou, president of the organizing sports outfit, after the players, coaches, and sponsors received plaques of appreciation for their participation in the benefit games. “The success of these benefit games would not have been possible without the support of our sponsors and partners.”     

Palou, one of the founders of the sports outfit behind the staging of the 13-year Shakey’s V-League and the two-year Spikers’ Turf, was referring to event partners and sponsors Shakey’s Pizza, Accel as the official outfitter, Mikasa as the official ball, Balipure, Pocari Sweat, the Philippine Sports Commission, ABS-CBN S+A, S+A HD and sports.abs-cbn.com.

“We will exert our best effort to make the All-Star Games a yearly undertaking,” declared Cito Martelino, Sports Vision general manager. “We owe it to the fans as much as we need to share the tremendous success V-League has been reaping all these years with people hit by tragedy as well. As Ricky (Palou) has said, we will keep on giving back to society in the best way we can.”    

Coaches who mentored the four All-Star teams tipped off their collective hat to the pioneering men and women behind Sports Vision for staging the charity games.

“It’s very noble of Sports Vision to think of the less fortunate sector of the society, the victims of Typhoon Lawin in this case,” said Jun Balubar, coach of Instituto Estetico Manila in Spikers’ Turf Season 2 Open and Third Conferences. “It’s heartwarming to know that Sports Vision is giving back.”

Balubar, who has steered National College of Business and Arts to the longest unbroken title streak in the UCLAA, expressed his wish for the All-Star Games to be continued annually to make people socially conscious as well as to drum up more interest in the sport of volleyball. “Particularly, men’s volleyball has to be elevated to the hugely popular status women’s volleyball is enjoying now, thanks to Sports Vision.” 

Team Galaw, coached by Oliver Almadro, Balubar and Macky Carino and bannered by younger UAAP players from Ateneo, La Salle and FEU, thumped Team Hataw of coaches Rhovyl Verayo, Norman Miguel, and Dante Alinsunurin in four sets, 25-21, 25-23, 18-25, 25-30. 

It was the Michelle Gumabao-led Team Palaban under coaches Rommel Abella, Kungfu Reyes, and Jerry Yee who triumphed over the Alyssa Valdez-bannered Team Puso of coaches Jasper Jimenez, Sherwin Meneses and Nestor Pamilar also in four sets, 25-21, 19-25, 25-15, 25-21.  

Here in this women’s All-Star match, Cherry Rondina showed what a great player and person she is. She displayed her brilliancy as a spiker time and again, unopposed even by the tallest of blockers, and showed great humor when she sent the crowd into fits of laughter by doing cartwheels before serving on three occasions.   

The men’s contest foretold of things to come in the upcoming UAAP indoor volleyball competition next year.

Galaw teammates Marck Espejo, Rex Intal, and Ish Polvorosa allowed fans a glimpse of how Ateneo will defend its back-to-back title next Feb. Playing on the same side, Greg Dolor of Far Eastern University and La Salle’s Raymark Woo and Geuel Asia gave enough of a preview of their respective schools’ forthcoming campaigns in the glamorous league.

Playing for the opposite side, Spikers’ Turf Third Conference Finals MVP, showing a peek into how things will stand for National University in the UAAP, engaged the other team in several exchanges of booming attacks from the net.    

“This is a once-in-a-lifetime experience,” said Espejo after the game. “A game like this is meant to be enjoyed, which I did tremendously.” 

“It made me proud playing in a new environment for a good cause with some of our great UAAP opponents as teammates,” remarked Intal.     

Said Keeno Franco of Team Hataw, who showed up with his wife: “I felt honored to have been picked as a member of one of the All-Star teams. Even before playing, I was already excited by the prospects of tangling with much stronger opponents and having equally powerful spikers as teammates. You’ll never know how much I enjoyed this one particular game because it was for a good cause.”

 

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