SECRETARY Bong Go is an acknowledged fan of PBA greats Atoy Co and Allan Caidic.
Now he gets to compete against one of his idols in a three-point shootout no less.
As a side attraction for PBA All-Star week, the league has invited President Duterte’s special assistant to go up against Caidic, Chris Tiu of Rain or Shine, and possibly, Globalport’s Terrence Romeo in a special three-point contest to be held in the first leg of the mid-season classic on May 23 at the Sports Cultural and Business Center in Davao Del Sur.
A mean shooter himself, the 43-year-old Go won a similar side event against collegiate standouts during the 2013 All-Star Game that pitted Gilas Pilipinas against a PBA selection also held in Davao del Sur.
This time, he’ll go up against three of the league’s three-point shootout champions, including Caidic, the inaugural champion of the event in 1992.
Go, a PBA fan himself from way back in the 80s, has an immediate message to them.
“To Allan Caidic, pagbigyan mo na lang ako. Kahit 10 points lang,” said the Davao native with a smile. “Hindi kita kaya.”
Partial to players who are good shooters, Go said he was a big Crispa Redmanizers fan owing to Co, the 1979 MVP and Hall of Famer and one of the best scorers in PBA history.
“Sabi nga nila kamukha ko siya (Co) nung bata pa ako,” recalled Go.
After the Redmanizers disbanded by the end of the 1984 season, he switched allegiance to Great Taste where Co next took his act. His allegiance to the franchise only grew stronger when Caidic came on board as the team’s top overall pick in 1987.
“After Atoy Co napasa kay Caidic dahil sobrang hilig ko sa three points,” said Go.
Great Taste would later be renamed Presto and then was bought by Sta. Lucia in 1993. By 2010, the team ownership was transferred to Meralco.
Go remained loyal to the franchise, saying, “Kaya ang team ko Meralco.”
Commissioner Willie Marcial, a personal friend of Go from way back even before he became involved in public service, said he plans to add more competing players to the special shootout aside from Caidic and Co.
“Baka lima or anim na shooters sila. Siyempre yung mga shooters ng Gilas and Mindanao team isasama na natin doon,” he said.
For Go, the friendly game could be the perfect launch pad for a nationwide shooting contest.
“Plano ko talagang magpa-tournament ng Go For Hoops three-point shootout, liga ng three-point shooters na inter-barangay,” said the cabinet secretary.
Aside from promoting physical fitness, Go said the meet could also give other players from the barangay level the chance to showcase their shooting touch without playing competitive five-on-five or three-on-three games.
“Maraming players na hindi na ganoon ka competitive yung katawan, pero may mga kamay pa rin,” he said. “Para sa aking yun ang mga dapat bigyan pa ng chance to excel. Sa Visaya, piso-piso yan.”