MANILA, December 24, 2003  (STAR) SPORTING CHANCE By Joaquin M. Henson - The magic of text messaging has brought us a wealth of Christmas greetings from friends in sports.

Today, on Christmas Eve, we share with you the hopes, wishes and dreams of some of your favorite sports stars and our sports leaders.

Philippine Olympic Committee president Celso Dayrit–I wish that Filipinos will work together in one direction for a successful 2005 Southeast Asian Games.

Philippine Sports Commission chairman Eric Buhain–My Xmas wish is that we as Filipinos can come together as one country and rekindle our nationalistic spirit for our flag. To the fans of Phil sports, thank you for trusting and believing. Merry Xmas.

Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) chairman Jun Cabalan–I wish all sports-loving Filipinos to include the PBA when planning their entertainment options in 2004. We in the PBA will continue finding ways to make the PBA a wholesome, exciting and affordable type of entertainment that every household can easily have access to. Merry Xmas.

PBA commissioner Noli Eala–Let us use the Season of Hope to truly reflect on what is and who are genuinely important in our lives and make it known to them in concrete loving ways. I wish everyone genuine peace, sincere joy and abundant blessings this Xmas and a P-B-A-utiful New Year.

Philippine Basketball League (PBL) chairman Dioceldo Sy–Our country will be at a standstill until a new President has been installed. With the loads of talented athletes waiting to be tapped, my wish that the next Administration will give sports a priority. Next of course, to the worsening peace and order situation of our country. Keep up your good work on your yearly Xmas bonus to our basketball fans. Merry Xmas.

PBL commissioner Chino Trinidad–My wish is that we Filipinos learn to work as a TEAM. Merry Xmas.

Rep. Monico Puentevella, chairman of the House Committee on Youth and Sports Development–Unity in Philippine sports is easier said than done and ironically, it’s supposed to be a unifying factor. So for 2004, let’s all go for it. God bless.

Rod Nepomuceno, executive director of the First Gentleman Foundation–My wish is that we all go back to basics and realize what is most important in life, to live for others and not just for ourselves and to live each day like it was Christmas Day.

Basketball Association of the Philippines (BAP) secretary-general Graham Lim–First, I want to personally thank you and the Philippine Star for support through the years. To our fans and supporters, sana hindi kayo magsawa sa amin at maraming salamat sa byong pagtitiwala naibigay ninyo sa BAP. Maligayang Pasko sa buong mamamayan ng bansang Pilipinas.

Nic Jorge, BEST founder and former national basketball coach–We the sports leaders must unite and work together to have better sports development. Merry Xmas and a Happy New Year.

Amateur Boxing Association of the Philippines president Manny Lopez–My fervent wish for Xmas and the year 2004 is PEACE and HARMONY to all mankind but most especially, the attainment of the first-ever elusive Olympic gold medal in boxing. Merry Xmas to you and your family and continue to support us in our quest for an Olympic gold. TY.

Alaska team manager Joaqui Trillo–To get a good and credible TV coveror that will bring the PBA games to as many households as possible. We will do that for the fans. They deserve nothing less. We will not stop ‘til we succeed in this endeavor.

Boxing manager Marty Elorde–I wish that Manny Pacquiao will have a long reign as champion and will be a good example to our people as an athlete and human being. For the fans of boxing, I wish them more exciting fights for the coming year. Merry Christmas.

Games and Amusements Board boxing chief Noli Flores–Season’s classic text: I never realized how bad the economy was until I spoke to Santa Claus on the phone. I asked, "How’s Rudolph?" He said, "delicious." Merry Xmas.

Former PBA commissioner Jun Bernardino–My Xmas wish is for our leaders both in government and sports to give importance, emphasis and priority to health and sports. I still maintain that a healthy and sports-loving people equals a strong nation. Merry Xmas.

Boxing promoter Jun Sarreal–I wish more international and world title fights to be held here with government support and more Filipino world champions like in Thailand where there’s all-out government support.

Basketball Coaches Association of the Philippines president Chito Narvasa–The Christmas season is for our children. We make them happy, shower them with our blessings and provide them with hope. Only with these selfless values can we make our children better individuals contributing to a better future for all our people. Merry Xmas and may the good Lord continue to bless each and everyone of us.

Tomorrow, more Christmas wishes and messages from Go Teng Kok, Chot Reyes, Ramon Fernandez, Alfrancis Chua, Tim Cone, Allan Caidic, Johnny Abarrientos, Kenneth Duremdes, Don Allado, Ryan Gregorio, Eric Altamirano, Ariel Vanguardia, Norman Black, Koy Banal, Romel Adducul, Bong Ravena, Andy Jao, Jimmy Alapag, Chito Loyzaga, Aric del Rosario, Alvin Aguilar, Malcolm Tunacao, Auty Villarama, Solar Sports and Janet Chua.

Reported by: Sol Jose Vanzi

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