Copa de Casino Español de Cebu

You’ve heard of e-tickets and eBay and e-commerce and e-Cards but have you heard of this…. E-Golf? Ever come across it? I’m sure not because this has never been introduced in Cebu—or, possibly, in the whole Philippines. What is it?

Pioneered by telecom giant PLDT and promoted by the company’s energetic and charismatic leader, Nilo Bantilan, the Vice President for Marketing in Vis-Min of PLDT’s SME Group, this idea is state-of-the-art.

Yesterday and today at the Mercedes Plantation Golf Club, dozens trooped to the northernmost town of Medellin to swing 5-irons and excavate divots. And, since Medellin is a long drive away, none of the golfers’ friends can watch them play if they’re here in Cebu City, right?

Wrong. Because of e-Golf. “We installed video cameras around the Merdeces Plantation golf course,” said Mr. Bantilan. “Then, we set-up large screens at the Cebu Country Club and at Alta Vista and we beamed, live and without delay and through wireless connection, the action from Medellin.”

Ingenious. And stunning. It’s like what we see in the movies. Only, this time it’s happening in Cebu. “So even if Bogo is 100 kilometers away,” added the PLDT top honcho, “everybody in the city can keep track of their play and watch all the games. All live, all in real time.”

Thanks to Nonoy Tirol, the overall chairman of the Copa de Casino Español, for teaming up with PLDT on this unique project. A Class-A golfer, Nonoy has, for several years now, successfully organized The Copa. To Nonoy and his A-team, cheers!

TENNIS. Apart from the two-day golf swing, tennis action was also played at the Casino Español.

Jun San Juan was the event chairperson and two squads were formed. The Blue Team, with team captain Romy Alejandro, had 20 players in the Class A, B and C divisions: Edwin Alvarez, Rolly Borres, Paquito Borromeo, Jigger Cañedo, Christian Dico, Jimmy Escaño, Roy Gopuco, Kiddy Limchao, Danny Mella, Lilia Montederamos, Tony Quisumbing, Lizbeth Regner, Lida Daitao, Bobby Go, Edgar Poloyapoy, Dothie Rabin, Nice Reponte, Myrna Seno and Fe Toring.

The Red Team was captained by Fred Quilala. His squad included Miglin Bernel, Darlene Bonete, Meann Campo, Lenon Carmona, Elmer Co, Ann Cuenco, Monsignor Achilles Dakay, Ric Dizon, Dinah Elnar, Carlito Florido, Doming Garcia, Jogie Garcia, Jun Jumao-as, Bobby Lozada, Omar Matondo, John Pages, Vergel Regner, Donald Ruiz, Zelda Ruiz, Alfonso Tan and Stanley Yap.

In the end, after two weeks of doubles play that ended early this week, one squad won the first face-off, 6-4, then also won the next, 7-4.

Fred Quilala sent me this text message last May 6, “With the last Copa game played last night, it brings the tournament to a close. The racquets of the victorious Red Team have spoken. I am honored to have been your team captain. Thank you for your support and for giving it your best. God bless.”

BADMINTON. The third event of The Copa was played on the club’s two Taraflex courts. In all, 45 participants joined the May 6 to 8 tournament. Chairperson was Gina Juan, one of this island’s top club-level players.

When all was finished, several tandems stood tallest. Group 4 champion: Emily Reyes and Diko Ong; Runner-up: Janet Dihiansan and Averil Wee Sit. Group 3 champion: Richelle Ting and Julie Ebio; Runner-up: Penelope Ong and Arlene Yu. Group 2 champion: Francis Lee and Pua Tong Aik; Runner-up: Caryl Caldoza and Fennie Tan. Group 1 champion: Abner Bantilan and Rodjard Soriba; Runner-up: Mark Yang and Jordan Tanco.

PARTY. The Copa concludes tomorrow with the Awards Night, a gathering of the participants to a grand buffer dinner of Angus Beef and a lively celebration by a live band at the Casino Español.

Most of all, in behalf of The Copa organizers, thank you to PLDT, Selecta, Rajah Park Hotel, Julie’s Bakeshop, Petron, Bogo Medellin Sugar Planters Association, Inc., Gothong Lines, Grand Majestic, SPT Trucking, Opascor, Tsuneshi, Thirsty Juices and Shakes, San Miguel Mills, Japer Marketing and Franciso Jarque.

Categorized as Golf
John Pages

By John Pages

I've been a sports columnist since 1994. First, in The Freeman newspaper under "Tennis Is My Game." Then, starting in 2003, with Sun.Star Cebu under the name "Match Point." Happy reading!

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