Casino Español de Cebu’s 1st President’s Cup

His first name is Manny. His second name is Sainz. And just like Carlos Sainz, the world champion rally driver who hails from Spain, he, too, traces his roots from the country that’s home to the world-renowned cities of Barcelona, Valencia, Bilbao, Sevilla and Madrid.

Manny Sainz is the president of one of the most illustrious and preeminent clubs in this city, the Casino Español de Cebu. Last week, in his honor, two sporting events were organized. One was tennis; the other, badminton. With the game of Maria Sharapova, a total of 40 aficionados joined. The yellow team, headed by team captain Romy Alejandro, had 10 doubles pairs; same with the green squad of captain Fred Quilala. For several nights, their squadrons battled using tennis racquets as they tossed balls to serve, spiked them for smashes, swung forehands, sliced backhands. In the end, one team emerged winners: Green.

The doubles players who won their matches? Jun San Juan, Omar Matonda, Edwin Alvarez, Fred Quilala, Rolly Borres, Paquito Unchuan, Kiddie Limchao, Kits Borromeo, Bob Lozada, Armi Ruiz, Marlyn Stuck, Dothie Rabin, Susan Santiago, Miglin Bernil, Lenlen Cabrera, Elmer Co, Nene Montederamos, Myrna Seno, Vergel Regner and Ernesto Lim.

In badminton, it was an invitational tournament between Casino Español and City Sports Club. After a whole night of underhand serves, lobs, and drop shots, the host club won. Casino Español was led by Gina Juan, Jordan Tanco, Roy Gopuco, Ruel Dihiansan, Jovel Entote, Chris Que, Benny Que, Alvin Yu, Joseph Tanco and Mark Yang.

The festivities concluded last Saturday night when, blessed with good weather, the Casino Español hosted it’s annual Oktoberfest party—a smorgasbord dinner of sausages, potatoes, pasta and more. The club enlisted two bands, Rear Side and Sound Stream, who performed all-evening-long and, as highlight, a fireworks display enthralled the guests.

The 1st President’s Cup awarding ceremonies was also held that night. Led by President Manny Sainz, the rest of the Casino Español board of directors were in attendance: Vice-President Jose Luis “Nonoy” Alba, Secretary Buddy Veloso, House Chairman Gabby Leyson, Treasurer Rene Kintanar, Cultural Affairs Director Jimmy Escaño, and myself as the Director of Sports. Also there to provide his usual excellent service was the club’s general manager, Ed Tongco.

After the medals were handed to the winners, one final sport was to be played. For the Oktoberfest would be incomplete without it… The Beer Drinking Contest!

Six club members gathered for the contest: Kiting Moro, Louie Hermosisima, Jun Ylaya, Buddy Veloso, Gabby Leyson and the man who was wearing his tennis medal around his neck, Bobby Lozada. After the count to three, the six men lifted the mug as San Miguel Beer oozed down their throats. Within an unbelievable—in my estimate—eight seconds, one competitor gulped it all up and was adjudged as Beer Drinking champ: Bob Lozada.

Next, dancing followed. And, past 9 p.m., a group of 15 six-footers arrived for dinner: the Coca-Cola Tigers PBA team, accompanied by top lawyer Lito Pascual.

The 1st President’s Cup and the Oktoberfest, like several events hosted by the Casino Español, was fun, entertaining and festive.

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