SPORTING  CHANCE:  NEVER  FORGOTTEN

MANILA
, APRIL 13, 2007 (STAR) SPORTING CHANCE By Joaquin M. Henson - There were three posthumous honorees in the PBA Hall of Fame induction rites at the Araneta Coliseum last Sunday. Sportswriter Tony Siddayao, broadcaster Pinggoy Pengson and former PBA president Doming Itchon were enshrined in the presence of their surviving families.

Siddayao was known as the dean of sportswriting. He had a way with words and sports was his passion. Tony passed away on April 18, 1996 – two days shy of his 63rd birthday. His wife Mariecruz died three years before at 55.

Siddayao’s only child Binky received the trophy symbolic of the enshrinement. Binky and wife Teri gave Tony four grandchildren – Vicka Marie, 19, a UP sophomore, Arianne Marija who died in 2002 at 11, Antonio Marie II, 12, an Ateneo grade schooler and Mariecruz Victoria, 9, a Miriam grade schooler.

Binky did public relations work and wrote columns on motorsports in the ’90s.

Pengson died on Jan. 28, 1989, at 56 after a brilliant career in broadcasting, advertising and business management. He started broadcasting as a backup for his mentor Jake Romero in 1957. Two years later, Pengson (Delfin was his real name) became a senior sportscaster.

In 1982, Pengson joined the Vintage panel covering the PBA games. He was brilliant in play-by-play, coining monikers like "The Quick Brown Fox" for Ricardo Brown and "Skywalker" for Samboy Lim. He introduced catchy terms like a "cardiac finish" which was universally recognized when Time Magazine mentioned it as a creation of some Filipino genius in sportscasting. Last Sunday, Pengson’s wife Pochit accepted his Hall of Fame award. She was accompanied by daughter Ana and son Dee. Another son Joey would’ve attended but couldn’t back out of a commitment in Sorsogon.

Itchon passed away on Aug. 21, 2004, at 79, survived by his wife of 54 years, Amy, six children and 22 grandchildren. For nearly eight years, Itchon was the PBA president. Itchon, Emerson Coseteng and Danny Floro hatched the idea of forming the PBA in 1975 and were the league’s founding fathers.

A UE business administration cum laude graduate and CPA board topnotcher, Itchon enjoyed breeding fighting cocks which became his consuming passion upon his retirement at 58. In 2000, Itchon and his wife celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary.

Itchon’s award was received by youngest son Tonet, a Citibank executive. His daughters Nannie and Agnes, son-in-law Chito Gonzalez and several grandchildren were at the coliseum, too. Tonet and his children stayed to watch the Barangay Ginebra-Red Bull game after the induction.

Itchon’s grandchildren probably didn’t realize how important a role their Lolo Doming played in establishing the PBA until last Sunday. Before the rites, the grandchildren excitedly took snapshots of the giant Hall of Fame portraits that served as the backdrop for the stage where the awarding was held. Itchon had a banner all his own.

The only Hall of Fame inductees who were enshrined in person were coach Dante Silverio, player and coach Norman Black and cager Manny Paner.

San Miguel Corp. chairman Eduardo Cojuangco Jr. was represented by his son Mark, a congressman from Pangasinan. Coach Ron Jacobs’ wife Menen came in his behalf. Two-time MVP Abet Guidaben’s daughter Maribeth Gil stood for her father. And Danny Florencio’s business manager and cousin Antonio Santos received his award.

Jacobs’ wife was with pretty 18-year-old daughter Shandy who brought home the coach’s giant portrait.

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A total of P368,000 in prize money will be up for grabs in 15 competition levels, ranging from "bulilit" 12-and-under players to veterans 40-and-above, at the GenSan Badminton Open on April 27-29.

The tournament is organized by the local government of General Santos City and the first congressional district of South Cotabato in partnership with the General Santos Tuna Shuttlers and Fleet badminton merchandise exclusively distributed in the country by Capsmaker.

Matches will be held at the Mr. Bigshot courts.

The competition levels are men’s open (P50,000 first prize), women’s open (P25,000), men’s elite (P25,000), men’s and women’s C, men’s and women’s D, men’s and women’s E, men’s and women’s F, men’s and women’s veterans, and boys and girls "bulilit." Entry fee is P1,200 for Class C, D, E, F, veterans and "bulilit" with a free Fleet nano racquet and dri-fit shirt. Entry fee is P850 for men’s and women’s open and men’s elite.

Several Indonesian players are competing in the men’s open. Organizers expect about 2,000 players and guests to visit the city during the tournament. Deadline for registration is April 24. For details, call 083-3021961 or 0919-6686103. Email gensanopen2007@yahoo.com or check out the website www.gensantunashuttlers.com.


Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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