Smart Friendly Basketball Game – “Ayuda na Zamboanga” PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 26 September 2013 00:00

Though they may be far away from Zamboanga City due to business, work and studies, Manila-based Zamboangueños are very worried and anxious with what’s happening to their beloved city since day one of the siege. They are keeping in tune with the latest news from TV and radio stations, newspapers, calls and text, Facebook and Twitter. Hoping to hear the good news it has ended peacefully in a few days.

When one week passed by, young Zamboangueño businessman and basketball player/manager “Junjie” Navarro together with Vincent Guingona did a gallant event to help their city. They organized a charity basketball game last September 22, 2013 at the Cuneta Astrodome in Pasay City to raise funds. They invited fellow Zamboangueños and friends in Metro Manila to watch it and be united to support Zamboanga City to stand again.  

Dubbed, “SMART Friendly Basketball Game – Ayuda na Zamboanga (SAZ),” Philippine Senator Allan Peter Cayetano made a strong presence and helped Team Zamboanga win over Skyforcewith with the score of 105-99 It was an exciting and thrilling game with Philippine Basketball Association superstars Gary David and Jerry Codinera playing with Zamboanga basketball players Jonathan Belorio, Darwin Cordero, SMART Gilas cadets RR Garcia (who was discovered at Southern City Colleges) and Garvo Lanete, Petron Blazer mainstay Chico Lanete, former PBA player Chester Tolomia, and GlobalPort Batang Pier Rudy Lingganay in the game. The Skyforce team was bannered by last year’s Asean Basketball League MVP Leo Avenido and former PBA players Al Vergara and Ervin Sotto.  

In a newspaper interview, Sen. Cayetano said, “I thought it was really an innovative way of raising funds at the same time creating camaraderie. Nakita natin na sa basketball, puwede talagang magkaroon ng friendly game na magiging productive. Tulad sa Gilas, kahit ano ang religion mo o politika puwedeng magkaisa para sa isang layunin.” He lauded the organizers and proposed Ayuda Zamboanga-Rematch at Taguig City, his hometown, to raise more funds. 

Junjie Navarro is the son of the late businessman and sport lover Lando Navarro. His mom, Cory Navarro, has successfully expanded their Zambo business in Manila a few years back and is recognized by Women’s Magazine as one of Metro Manila’s beautiful and empowered women. The Navarro Family firmly believes that Zamboanga City will rise again after this ordeal.

Navarro co-organizer Guingona expressed gratitude to businessman-sports enthusiast and SMART Chairman Manny V. Pangilinan (MVP) for supporting this event. They are thankful also to Senator Cynthia Villar Omega Pain Killer, ZC Kings Group of Companies, and to those who watched the game.


By Dante Corteza

Psalm 138:7 God will deal with my enemies. “Though I walk in the midst of trouble, Thou wilt revive me; Thou wilt stretch forth Thy hand against the wrath of my enemies, And Thy right hand will save me.”