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    Sidelights: Lady refs pass test, weeping tough guy, hot-selling coffee

    Aug 11, 2013

    TWO FEMALE referees were tapped to officiate games in the Fiba-Asia Men’s Championship for the very first time this year in Manila.

    Both ladies also got to officiate matches for the Philippines.

    Chinese referee Ling Peng was one of the officials in Gilas Pilipinas’ first game of the second round against Japan while Indian referee Snehal Bendke called the Philippines’ quarterfinal game against Kazakhstan on Friday night.

    Both women entered the record books as the first women’s referees to officiate in Fiba-Asia men’s competitions, joining a pool of 24 officials.

    A Gilas insider said they were satisfied with how the two women officiated the games of the host team.

    “They did well,” said a Gilas insider.

          * * *

    AN emotional Ranidel de Ocampo faced the media following the win over Korea, the hardcourt tough guy unable to hold up his tears as he recounted the sacrifices Gilas players have made over the past two months.

    “Hindi ko alam,” said De Ocampo when asked why he wept after emerging from the dugout. “Basta naramdaman ko na lang na umiinit ’yung mata ko tapos wala na akong maisip. Blangko na isip ko, tumulo na luha ko.”

    After gathering his thoughts, de Ocampo said he was so happy to see the sacrifices of the team bear fruit.

    “Pamilya ko, medaling araw na ako umuuwi. Practice kami sa MOA Arena ng 10 to 12 (midnight), hinihintay pa kami. Umuuwi ako, tulog na sila, papasok sila ng school tulog naman ako, tapos aalis ako, wala na sila. Halos hindi na kami nagkikita,” De Ocampo said.

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    De Ocampo also said he had to postpone the celebration of his mother Lilia’s 60th birthday until after Gilas' New Zealand trip.

    “’Yung sakripisyo na kailangang i-move ’yung birthday celebration niya,” De Ocampo said. “Nakapaghintay naman siya. Nag-celebrate kami. Nagsuot siya ng magandang gown. Malaking halaga talaga ’yun.”

    The Talk 'N Text big man is happy that his mother got to see the monumental victory, more so since his father had already passed away.

    “Hindi nakita ng tatay ko. Isa rin ito sa mabuti na buhay pa nanay ko na napanood niya,” said De Ocampo.

          * * *

    BUSINESS has been brisk for the concessionaires inside the Mall of Asia Arena during the Fiba-Asia Championships.

    Coffee is noticeably one of the top-selling items inside the modern arena, not only among spectators but also among tournament officials, coaches, and players as well.

    A barista of Starbucks Coffee inside the Mall of Asia Arena said sales have been brisk especially during matches of the Philippines.

    Long queues have also been noticeable not just at the coffee shop but also at the snacks stores.

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