The greatest? His record says it all

October 3, 2021 Ed Andaya 414 views

AndayaEXACTLY 11 years ago today, I wrote of PBA legend Ramon Fernandez:

“He dominated the game in the way few have in the long history of basketball in the country.

God gave him the talent to excel on the playing court. He took care of the rest.

And Ramon Fernandez, who turned 57 years old last October 3, surely made the most of this God-given talent by becoming the greatest basketball player ever produced by the country since the invention of the sport by James Naismith.

Nicknamed “El Presidente” and the “Franchise”, the 6-4 pride of Maasin, Leyte used more than enough numbers to validate his claim as the country’s most complete player in the PBA from 1975 to 1994.”

I also wrote of Fernandez:

Fernandez, whose trademark one- handed running jumper known as the elegant shot became one of the most potent offensive weapons during the 80s, is surely a class by himself.

If the most points in a game were not enough, he would get the most rebounds, then the most assists. Maybe, the most blocks.

By the time he retired in 1994 after 1,074 games, he had the most points (18,996), most rebounds (8,642) and most blocks (1,853).

His name will always be mentioned by basketball fans whenever there’s a game being played.

After all, Fernandez owns Philippine basketball as no one ever has before and as no one ever will again.”

Well, Fernandez is now 68 years old today (Oct.3)

He no longer plays basketball.

Nowadays, he spends most of his time in the board room as one of the commissioners of the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC).

He also spends a lot of time talking to officials of different national sports associations or even athletes and asking them how the government sports agency can help.

Or playing golf or going fishing. Or tending to his fast-growing lechon business in Cebu. Or playing hide and seek with his dogs.

But to this date, Fernandez is still wisely making use of his time to share his God-given talent.

To him, he was always compelled to do more, get better and go higher.

“I feel it is something I always have to do — share my God-given talent,” said Fernandez when he guested in our “Usapang Sports on Air” by the Tabloids Organization in Philippine Sports (TOPS) in July, 2020.

Twenty-seven years after his retirement in baskeball in 1994 and five and a half years since his appointment by no less than President Duterte as PSC commissioner, Fernandez is still doing it all — elegantly.

Happy birthday, El Presidente.

* * *

As expected, the third Philippine Professional Sports Summit organized by the Games and Amusements Board (GAB) last Sept 29 was a tremendous success.

The one-day online sports summit attracted more than 250 participants from different sports under the supervision of GAB.

Six of the country’s hard-working and sports-minded lawmakers — Senators Bong Go, Sherwin Gatchalian, Joel Villanueva, Sonny Angara and Pia Cayetano and Cong. Jericho Nograles — also delivered inspirational messages to the delight of the sports community

All six lawmakers assured their suppor to the Filipino athletes during the pandemic.

Even World Boxing Council (WBC) president Mauricio Sulaiman lauded GAB and Chairman Abraham “Baham” Mitra for organizing the summit “for the betterment of boxing in the Philippines and the world.”

The other notable participants were Department of Health Assistant Secretary and Infectious Disease specialist Dr. Eric Tayag and WBC bantamweight champion Nonito Donaire.

Also present were officials and representatives from the Philippine Basketball Association, Premier Volleyball League, Professional Chess Association of the Philippines, Philippine Football Federation, National Basketball League, Women’s National Basketball League, Pilipinas Vis-Min Cup, Chooks-to-Go 3×3 and boxing and e-sports leagues.

Mitra initiated the first pro sports summit at the Philippine International Convention Center (PICC) in Pasay City on September 2019.

Among those present durIng the first pro sports summit were Sens. Go and Angara, basketball hero William “Bogs” Adornado, billiards legends Efren “Bata” Reyes and Francisco “Django” Bustamante and former boxing champion Gerry Peñalosa.

Last year, GAB staged the second pro sports summit via Zoom in December.

For comments and suggestions, e-mail to edandaya2003@yahoo.com

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