Welcoming a new league, saying farewell to people close to us

CEBU CITY – The wheel for the revival of the Cebu commercial basketball league is now rolling.

And just like Thanos, its creation is inevitable.

Last Wednesday, five prospective team owners attended the meeting initiated by former University of Cebu Law School Dean Baldomero Estenzo and sportsman-businessman Lorenzo “Chao” Sy at Hotel Fortuna and they all agreed – it’s time for Cebu, the hotbed of basketball in the south, to have a commercial basketball league.

Although the number fell short of targeted attendance, still, it was promising as those invited declined because of the proximity of the release of invitation letters.

Chao Sy told iNews.Ph, Barili Mayor Julie Flores and Medellin vice mayor, who also sent their intentions to attend had priority business to attend to.

They will come to the next meeting. They had priority events to attend to owing that they (Flores and Lim) are public officials and because we gave the invitation letter a little late. But still, it was a productive meeting. The concession was the age limit is 27 years old and they already identified which LGU they will partner with,” Sy explained.

Attendees include former Bogo City mayor and University of San Carlos Warriors financial backer Junie Martinez, Mark Ynoc of San Remegio Properties, Ricky Verdida of Kiboy Computer Solutions (KCS) and Lito Caro representing Jason Arquisola of ARQ Builders. One of the prospective owners is Jojo Uy of Fighter Wine, who will be contacted by Estenzo himself.

“I am amenable to the terms and I think it’s doable. I think we have a good shot that this league will be running,” Arquisola told iNews.ph

ARQ/SG Builders has been in existence for 15 years. From a mere Barkadahan, the ARQ Builders became a team that is feared and respected in many pocket tournaments in Cebu and other provinces including in many cities and provinces in Mindanao. Its latest fete before coronavirus disease pandemic strikes was winning the championship of the Mayor Edgardo Labella Charter Day Cup last February.


The fraternity of Cebu Sports Journalists lost a valuable member last Tuesday. The unexpected demise of The Freeman columnist and Sacred Heart School-Ateneo de Cebu Athletic Director Rico Navarro was a big loss, not just for us but to the basketball community of Cebu in general.

Rico is the local organizer of the Milo BEST Center SBP and Passerelle tournament, organizer of the CYBL and MYBL and he is also the Central Visayas Regional Director of the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP). He once worked as the vice president for boxing operations of Omega Boxing Club and a boxing ring announcer, a TV analyst, CESAFI Board Secretary, and former vice president of the Central Visayas Football Association nee Cebu Football Association. He was also the president of the Sportswriters Association of Cebu (SAC) for three terms.

Rico died due to a heart attack. According to his son Popoy, Rico collapsed while biking and was declared dead at 5:30PM Tuesday, Oct. 27. He was laid to rest yesterday in Canduman, Mandaue City. Farewell Ric! You are now in the arms of our creator. Eternal Rest.


We also lay to rest our cousin Hazel Catabas in Minglanilla last Thursday, Oct. 29. She was the youngest daughter of Tiyo Viling Catabas, younger brother of my deceased mother. She was young, beautiful and full of life. Instead of having her own family or work and live abroad like her brother Gary who is in London and Jiji who is in New Zealand, she chose to stay behind and take care of her aging parents – Tiyo Viling and Tiya Diding. Made sure they eat on time, take their medicine, drive them to where they wanted to go, especially with her other older brother Jun-Jun had already settled down and lived a few kilometers from their home in Mohon, Talisay.

Bebing as we called her, died of cervix cancer, which she tried to keep secret until her illness was already in stage 3. She underwent chemotherapy 17 times, until last Sunday, Oct. 25 she passed away as her kidney and liver failed to function.

Fr. Jonas Mijares, the parish priest of Sto. Nino de Cebu Mohon Parish, a close family friend of Tiyo Viling and Tiya Diding, knew Bebing since she was 5 years old, came to perform a Pray over on her before she passed away. During the celebration of the requiem mass, Fr. Jonas sang two songs that made all of us cry – Sino Ako of Jamie Rivera and Lift Up Your Hands of Basil Valdez.

It was raining hard last Thursday afternoon; it seems that heaven is mourning with us. Why not? Bebing was an epitome of a perfect daughter, aside from being beautiful, she selflessly gave up her personal life to take care of their parents. She was very obedient to her siblings, a silent but caring soul. Very dear to us, her cousins and to her friends.

Rest well Bing! You will always be remembered. Our Creator will surely take you into His Kingdom and you will be singing praises to the Lord along with all the angels in Heaven. Till we meet again, dear cousin. Farewell.