Fi­nally, Cebu City gets some­thing re­ally new

Sun.Star Cebu - - PRIME SPORTS - MIKE T. LIMPAG mike­limpag@gmail.com

For a ma­jor city known for its basketball, it is sur­pris­ing that Cebu doesn’t have a top notch fa­cil­ity that can host PBA games. It is one of the things that sur­prises first-time vis­i­tors to the city.

Sure we have the Cebu Coli­seum, but when I first joined sports me­dia 21 years ago, I was ad­vised by the then sports ed­i­tor of the Free­man to drop the word “New” from its name. It was no longer new than, it surely isn’t new now.

The last time the Cebu Coli­seum hosted a ma­jor ac­tiv­ity was the PBA All-Star in 2004, and I think that was one event that prod­ded the league to re­move the venue as po­ten­tial host of fu­ture games. Too hot, too small and with an ar­chaic score board.

Now, PBA games in Cebu are played at the Hoops Dome and when Gi­las Pilip­inas looked to Cebu for a train­ing camp--to get away from the traf­fic and stress of trav­elig in Manila--they also used the Hoops Dome.

Putting up a world-class venue isn’t a pri­or­ity for Cebu City and since there’s no in­cen­tive for the own­ers of the Cebu Coli­seum to ren­o­vate their place--why would they, they’re the only player in town--I knew we’d have to wait for an out­side player to ad­dress the is­sue.

SM could have done that as the con­glom­er­ate planned to put up a MOA-like fa­cil­ity in Sea­side but well, we all know what hap­pened so the plans went ka­put.

En­ter Cebu Prov­ince. The Cebu Prov­ince Sports Com­mis­sion is plan­ning to put up a P20 mil­lion fa­cil­ity in one of its idle lots in Sud­lon, Lahug, one that could not only be used for basketball but for other in­door sports as well.

I think even if it’s just a basketball-cen­tric fa­cil­ity, it’s go­ing to be a wel­come ad­di­tion to the city. Atty. Ramil Abing, the CPSC sec­re­tary gen­eral, told me last week that’s it’s go­ing to be a phase by phase con­struc­tion and will be con­structed in the area where archery, and some­times, horse­back rid­ing, are played.

With so many Sun­day leagues around, Atty. Abing is con­fi­dent that the fa­cil­ity will even­tu­ally pay it­self. But aside from that, what I like about the plans for the venue, is that it’s go­ing to be the train­ing ground for Cebu Prov­ince’s ath­letes and they need it. Heck, I hope, they’d be gen­er­ous enough too, to let Cebu City ath­letes use it, con­sid­er­ing how our Cvi­raa-bound just train in what­ever space they find at the crowded Cebu City Sports Cen­ter.

I think their abil­ity to space it, drive it, kick it, their skill level, I think — not that it was bad be­fore, but I think the speed, prob­a­bly the tempo and the pace they are play­ing at is a lit­tle bit faster.

BILLY DONO­VAN Thun­der coach on the newlook Cavs.

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