PBA legends attest harmony reigns in Cotabato


AMAS, Kidapawan City (May 28) – They left as they came.  They had faced off with some of the best basketball players of Cotabato in an exciting and action-packed exhibition games dubbed as PBA Legends VS Cotabato’s Best at the provincial capitol gym on May 27.

Watched by a roaring crowd of more than 9,000, the PBA legends Alvin “The Captain” Patrimonio, Paul “Mr. Excitement” Alvarez, Jerry “Defense Minister” Codiñera, Kenneth Duremdes, Rene “Bong” Hawkins, Jr., Adonis Sta. Maria, Gerry “Mr. Cool” Esplana, Henry Fernandez, Rizaldo Realubit and Bonel “Mt. Balingit” Balingit gave fans pure entertainment dominating the Cotabato’s best (97-76).

But after leaving the province, the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) legends brought along with them the impression that the province of Cotabato is as peaceful as any place in the country and its people live in harmony.

Alvin Patrimonio, who held several PBA records including most consecutive games played and third most points scored showed his great appreciation for the thousands of people who greeted them the moment they stepped at the provincial capitol.

This he told thousands of spectators during the game when he was asked to give his message.

“I feel the warm welcome of Cotabateños and I can see the harmony of the people here. Indeed, your place is not like what people in Manila perceived and on the contrary the province is peaceful”, Patrimonio said

Durable forward and shooting guard Kenneth Duremdes, born and grew up in Koronadal City (Marbel) told the Aksiyon Serbisyong Totoo radio program of the Provincial Government of Cotabato that the coming of the PBA legends in the province is a proof that the place is safe.

“When we were invited for the exhibition games, we did not hesitate at all. Koronadal, where I came from, like Kidapawan and the whole province of Cotabato is safe and sound.  Thanks to our leaders – Cotabato Gov. Emmylou “Lala” J. Taliño-Mendoza and Vice Governor Greg “Dodong” Ipong for their exceptional leadership”, Duremdes said.

The admired PBA legends, very famous even many years after their prime will bear out their experience here in the province.

They came and played a historical exhibition game with the best players of the province. That game is now a benchmark for the peace and order condition and the tourism in Cotabato.

It may have been physical but the game brought out the best from both the PBA legends and the Cotabato’s best. It paved the way for two different groups of players to appreciate and respect one another.

They may have lost the game, but the best players of Cotabato have shown a certain level of sportsmanship admired by the people including the PBA legends themselves.

This is what Gov. Mendoza and Vice Gov. Ipong would like to convey to everyone – that harmony reigns in the province and that the people altogether, are working to attain long lasting peace in the land. (JIMMY STA. CRUZ/PGO Media Center/photo by Sidney Nanini)


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