Three artists sit on Wrecking Balls’ management team
Mark Escarlote on Jun 10, 2017 11:10 AM
Ex-La Salle-Spiker-and-model-turned-photographer Azcharey ‘Chax’ Cabrera (left) and singer and vocal coach Sam Gaddi sit with actor-sportsman and now Ormoc City Mayor Richard Gomez (inset) on the Sta. Elena Wrecking Balls’ management team.
They ran into one another during the time that they were hopelessly hooked into volleyball, getting antsy if they could not play a match or two in one day not much unlike a coffee-lover not getting his caffeine fix.
Generally for fun, consummate actor-sportsman-politician Richard Gomez, low-profile singer and vocal coach Sam Gaddi, and former La Salle-Taft Green Spiker and part-time model Azcharey Cabrera played in a team-up with equally volleyball-crazy fellows.
They would gather after hours on weekdays and most especially on weekends on any available courts, formed two groups on the spot, and happily served, received, set, spiked, blocked and dug to their hearts’ content well into the night.
Lasting friendships have been formed in these casual volleyball meetings and games.
The one between Mayor Gomez, Sam and Chax eventually led to Gomez, both a multi-awarded actor and a bemedalled all-around athlete, formally organizing a volleyball club so he and his team could participate in all the major tournaments in the sport such as the Sports Vision-organized V League and Spikers’ Turf then and the Premier Volleyball League now.
Gomez asked Sam, with the assistance of Chax, to manage the ball club which, depending on the sponsors at the time, have carried different names over the years – Systema, Bench, Champion Supra, Sta. Elena Construction, Champion Infinity, and Sta. Elena again for the PVL, another event organized by Sports Vision with Asics as official league partner and Mikasa as official game ball.
Sam has since been the team’s manager and Chax the official photographer.
Sam earns his living singing. Presently he does back-up vocals for major artists such as Regine Velasquez, Martin Nievera, and Lani Misalucha as well as serves as vocal coach for contestants in hit singing contests on TV.
Vocal coaching, he says, includes motivating and preparing the talent mentally for a contest. He recalls how an exceptionally talented contestant, a farmer’s son from the Visayas, suddenly developed fears during the grand finals.
“I took the contestant to one corner and motivated him to steel his nerves for the last of the series of competitions,” Sam says. “I reminded him that he was in the contest to give a life of comfort to his family. I told him that if he wins, his family also wins. Don’t you want that to happen?”
The rest is history. The farmer’s son went on to sing his way to the grand championship, winning, among a host of prizes, a million pesos and a house and lot.
That’s how he similarly motivates the Wrecking Balls every game, says the amiable Sta. Elena team manager.
He played volleyball during high school and college but only got as far as competing in school intrams.
A self-taught photographer, Chax suited up for De La Salle University-Taft for three years only in the UAAP. He also tried modeling on the side but for minor shows only like company events, he is quick to clarify.
A connoisseur of all things bright and beautiful, Chax one time found himself engrossed by the riveting beauty, he says, of a bottle half-filled with water. That, he says, actually started him in photography. Using an expensive camera he had bought out of his personal savings, he began photographing the bottle half-filled with water from different angles and against different lighting conditions.
Now he does documentation photography for company events and sports. He says he is more inclined to shoot sporting events. So far he had done such a job for Pocari Sweat through its advertising agency and Instituto Estetico Manila in the PVL.
“In the name of sports, I could shoot for free,” Chax says. It is not an idle boast, for he has been sharing his photos with the Sports Vision’s website writer at no cost at all. He even goes out of his way to take the writer’s other required pictures, which means staying behind after Sta. Elena’s game to shoot the rival teams in action.