Technical officials, coaches ensure Palaro success in solidarity meeting; Rio Olympic referee to officiate basketball game

April 23, 2017

ANTIQUE, April 23, 2017 – With the ultimate goal of ensuring the successful conduct of the 2017 Palarong Pambansa, a Solidarity Meeting of Technical Officials and Coaches with various sports events was held at Saint Anthony’s College (SAC), San Jose de Buenavista, Antique, Saturday morning.
Department of Education Assistant Secretary and Palarong Pambansa Secretary-General Tonisito Umali, stood as a frontrunner of the activity wherein he kept an eye over each of the small group discussion of the different sports events.
Smooth-sailing Palarong Pambansa
“This solidarity meeting is very important for it serves an avenue to consolidate all the ideas, guidelines, and rules that should be observed and performed during the games. Coaches should know that these (ground rules) should be followed and observed. Also to finalize the schedules and ground rules which are very important.  Likewise, to get acquainted with the coaches and technical officials because this is the first time that we are going to meet each other. “
These were the words of Dr. Edilberto R. Abalos, Department of Education Basketball Referees Association (DEBRA) National President and Samahan ng Basketball ng Pilipinas Regional Director and 2017 Palarong Pambansa Tournament Manager in basketball.
Abalos added that there are no other changes in basketball except the inclusion of “child protection policy” which is already a law that promotes anti-bullying. Before coaches tend to scold and manhandle their athletes. Right now, they encourage them to change their styles in coaching that is to motivate and encourage more their girls and boys.
“We have four playing venues and will be using five basketball courts. Elementary boys will be played at San Remigio Municipal Court, secondary girls at St. Vincent High School Gym, secondary boys at open court of EBJ Sports Complex, and Barangay San Pedro Covered Court will serve as multiple venue of the extra games of the three categories.
Philippine pride
An international referee who is one of the members of the officiating officials of the 2016 Summer Olympics will serve as Palarong Pambansa Technical Consultant.
Ferdinand “Bong” Pascual, International Basketball Federation (FIBA) Referee and one of the lead persons of Samahang Basketball ng Pilipinas will oversee all basketball events of the week-long national sports event.
“Pinaka-prestigious event kasi ‘yong Olympics. Lahat yata ng referee dream nila makapag-officiate ng Olympics, kaya very lucky tayo na ang isang Filipino nakarating ng Olympics uli.”
He added that it was in 1986 when the first Filipino qualified in the basketball officiating team.
FIBA led the way for Pascual to get a ticket to the Rio Olypmics. Prior to this, in 2014 he served the World Cup in Spain. Then the following year, World Championships in Greece.
He said that he has a high expectation especially that that referees are from DepEd who are highly professional.
“We conducted trainings to them and they were properly selected,” Pascual added.
Pascual shared also that DepEd teachers, Victor Rey Banac and Jaypee Omapoy were part of FIBA officiating team already.
Ang Palarong Pambansa is one of my dream(s) noong naglalaro din ako, pero hindi ako umabot. Aabot pala ako as a referee, as a technical consultant,“ Pascual’s final words.