Pages: Mountainbiking Foressa

DR. Ronald Eullaran watched the Ateneo vs. La Salle basketball game with his son Ryane (“Yani”) last Sunday. As someone who’s watched NBA games before, what he told our Viber group (including James Co, Jourdan Polotan and Dr. Ronnie Medalle) surprised us: La Salle - Ateneo was more exciting than the NBA! Inside the MOA Arena, one half wears green while the other wears blue. It was only the first round but it felt like the finals. The final score: 76-75, in favor of the Blue Eagles. The Blue Archers led by one point and had ball possession with three seconds to go before they lost the ball and Matt Nieto calmly sank the two free throws. Expect these two rivals to meet in the finals.

UC. It’s a double celebration for the University of Cebu. In the semifinals of the Cesafi basketball tournament, the UC Webmasters were down by five points against the USJ-R Jaguars with only 40 seconds left in the game. But coach Yayoy Alcoseba, our island’s most celebrated mentor, is used to producing miracles when needed. UC sent the game into overtime and won 80-75 to face the UV Green Lancers in the finals. It’s the first finals appearance of UC since 2011, when PBA MVP June Mar Fajardo played for the Webmasters. (Game 1 was played last night.) Whatever the outcome in the finals, Coach Yayoy has already achieved a major accomplishment in his first year as UC coach.

And if this good news was not enough, the Atty. Augusto Go-owned school topped the Naval Architecture and Marine Engineer Licensure examination. Congratulations to UC Chancellor Candice Gotianuy and the UC community for producing all 12 topnotchers.

FORESSA. The other weekend, Jonel Borromeo and Meyrick “Jacs” Jacalan picked me up as we headed to Balamban for some offroad mountain-biking. The venue was the sprawling 250-hectare forest playground of Aboitiz Land. For over an hour and a half, and together with expert MTBer Michael Nikkel, we braved the spiraling descents of Foressa and climbed its muddy and steep inclines.

This Sunday is the Motor Ace - Kawasaki Mountainbike event. If you enjoy the outdoors and and love offroad-biking, you should join. Amale Mendezona Jopson, whose father Matthias “Bube” Mendezona helped the Aboitizes buy this huge property over 25 years ago, explained when we were together that they hired a professional team from Manila to carve the trails for a world-class biking and running track. The result? Although Cebu is noted for dozens of trails from Danao to Liloan to Guba and Compostela, the Foressa trails is a must-experience playground. Just a word of caution: it’s not for beginners. At the very start, you’re treated to a winding downhill (in many cases, single-track) route that’s not for the newbie. But if you’re confident with your descending skills, join the MTB event this weekend. And, if you’re into running, the co-event, the 11K road-to-trail run or the 21K mountain run sponsored by Salomon and Aboitiz.