BING Victoria’s passion for sports and public service has led him to a role as the sports head of Taguig City.
The former University of the Philippines player is currently the chief of the Youth and Sports Development (YSD) office of Taguig City, a position he has held for five years.
A former member of the Adamson Baby Falcons squad that won the last of their seven straight titles in 1993 under head coach Charlie Dy, Victoria played for the Maroons from 1994 to 1998 and was part of the last UP squad to reach the Final Four back in 1997.
At the end of his playing career, Victoria went into coaching where he handled Taguig in basketball leagues including Liga Pilipinas. It was in his role as Taguig coach where he was offered the post as the sports head of the city.
“Taga-Taguig talaga ako tapos kinausap ako nila ako if interested akong hawakan ‘yung sports program ng Taguig. After a year, nakuha ko ‘yung position,” said the 41-year-old younger brother of former PBA player Boybits Victoria.
Victoria said one of the major programs of the office is to hold regular sports clinics for the youth of Taguig.
“Nag-iimplement kami ng iba’t ibang clinics from basketball, futsal, and volleyball. Siguro magdadagdag kami ng mga sports para maiba naman kasi hindi naman ito puro laro. ‘Yung disiplina, kailangan maituro sa mga bata through sports.
“Bata pa lang sila, at least makakapili na sila ng sports para makaiwas sa drugs at sa mga masasamang habits,” said Victoria.
Victoria said he enjoys his job since it is his opportunity to give back to the community through sports.
“Nag-eenjoy ako kasi nag-eenjoy ‘yung mga bata. Nakakatulong ka. Kumbaga, ‘yung ginawa namin before ng kapatid ko, at least naibabalik namin. ‘Yung iba, nakakakuha ng scholarships as basketball player or ibang sports. Nakakatuwa ‘yun. Hindi lang ang mga tiga-Taguig, makarating sa UAAP, sana makarating din sila sa mas mataas,” said Victoria.
Though he is now busy as a public servant, Victoria still keeps abreast of developments in the UP basketball team which has been showing promise in the UAAP.
Until now, he cherishes his stint with the Maroons, who came so close to reaching the finals twice in 1996 and 1997 where they forced Far Eastern University and La Salle, respectively, to do-or-die games in the Final Four before eventually losing.
“Nanghihinayang kami. Konting konti na lang, nasa finals na kami,” said Victoria, whose UP contemporaries included the late Bryan Gahol, Paolo Mendoza, and Ogie Gumatay.
Due to the heartbreaks, Victoria is only hoping for the best for the current Maroons squad in their quest to make it back to the Final Four.
“Si coach Bo (Perasol), nagkita kami one time. Sabi nga niya, maganda ‘yung chances this year. Sana maka-Final Four. Sana soon, makapag-champion uli ang UP,” said Victoria.