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By Mortz Marcelo Ortigoza

Gab and Jab at GAB
Sat, 20 May 2006

Gab and jab at GAB
By Mortz Marcelo Ortigoza

I felt sorry for the tragedy that basketball star Eugene Tejada of Purefoods succumbed. Jesus, his spinal cord was seriously dislocated. What added insult to injury was there was no medical team and ambulance that was on stand by during the duration of the game for any eventuality like this. It took about 40 minutes of hell for another ambulance that somebody had to lease to ferry Mr. Tejada to the hospital.

Thus, many critiques were after the throats of PBA Commissioner Noli Eala and the Games & Amusements Board (GAB). The latter is the regulatory body which see to it that the said medical assistance and their transportation are ubiquitous on the periphery of the game’s venue come hell or high water.

That’s what the law mandated them to do. That’s what they should follow a long time ago.

This ambulance thing was the question I made to Dr. Nasser Cruz, chief of the Medical Section of GAB during the symposium of the high budget four-day First Boxing Convention held at the Hyatt Hotel & Casino last April 19-22, 2006.

I suggested GAB should provide in a boxing match not only one but two ambulances with complete medical contraptions to preempt any accident to happen between the two protagonists inside the ring either be it in the series of undercards or the main event.

Incase, one is whisked to a hospital, at least there is another one waiting round the clock for something to happen.

What prompted me to ask this question was the proposal in 2004 of U.S Senator Harry Reid of Nevada (a former boxer, ring judge, and lawyer for boxers) about the wisdom of two ambulances and medical personnel with resuscitation gears. This proposal from Senator Reid was part of a comprehensive deliberations for the enactment into law of the United States Boxing Commission (USBC).

The USBC by the way is an all encompassing boxing regulatory body that requires all State’s boxing commission to follow the law the U.S Congress had legislated.

I added on my query: “Why not GAB emulates this trend in the U.S since it was full of wisdom?”

Without batting an eyelash, and with all the confidence Dr. Cruz told me that GAB had been doing that since time immemorial. And mind you, they not only provided one, or two, but three ambulances during marquee boxing matches.

Gee whiz, shame on me askin’ this kindda question. I told myself.

But anyway I said to everybody on that meeting, Filipinos should be proud since those Almighty Americans were still behind us in terms of ambulances and safety. Unbelievable, but that was what the good doctor told us my dear Watson.

But with the Tejada tragedy, where in hell were those three ambulances?

Shame on us Filipinos, we are hypocrites and impressionist.
We can’t even commission a dilapidated reconditioned made in Timbukto 15 years old rusty ambulance. It took Lifeline Arrows’s medical shuttle to save the hassles and life for us at the Ynares Sports Center in Antipolo City.


Another jab at the GAB when a former councilor ( I forgot his name) of Muntinlupa City who was trying to pin the blame on Mr. Emmanuel Flores (Head of the Boxing & Wrestling Branch) that GAB should penalize those boxers and managers who ran around the Board by skipping the requirements here and enplaned straight to foreign land and boxed.

The boxing chief profusely parried the balls of fire from the quite angry former city dad. Mr. Flores said, GAB is only a quasi-judicial body, and its toothless to inflict punishment to the said malefactors.

I interjected that it’s time for our friends in Congress who are boxing aficionados or trying to be one to pass a law to criminalize those who did not subject themselves to the auspices of GAB.

A lady writer redressed her grievances that why in heaven GAB Cebu allowed Mercito Gesta to flash a bill of good health to go to Johannesburg, South Africa late in March 2006. However, the medical board there disqualified him to fight Jeffrey Mathebula for the WBC International Featherweight’s diadem.

The said pinoy chap was afflicted with hepatitis B.

Holy S—t I muttered ! I think the problem here doesn’t lie on the smart-alecky who evaded GAB, but the accusing finger here will be on those incompetents at GAB Cebu who allowed those medical unhealthy like Gesta to breeze abroad.


Here is another question from a perceptive delegate on the above Convention that will make you proud (or ashamed because of its sheer improbability). This will be another first for GAB if it will adopt the solution of this for its ruling.

An international boxing judge and a professor Ricardo Canlas from Capas, Tarlac had touched a hornet nest that even during our coffee break, everybody –from international referee to the lowly driver (who were waiting at the conventions’ corridor) brought by some big time boxing promoters became boxing expert overnight by having their own thought provoking if not revolting opinions.

Mr. Canlas posited this query to the speaker Mr. Emmanuel C. Flores. That in a bout where the three knockdowns rule was not in effect, who will be the declared winner if boxers A & B simultaneously hit each other with power punches, and simultaneously both of them were knocked down.

However on that knocked down, Boxer A, who on that last fall, had already been knocked down thrice, rose with all the vigor as if saying to the referee: “Hey boss, wuzzup? Can’t we not proceed with this game? Man, I’m quite bored already here.”

While Boxer B who was still lying prostrate was still on the dreamland that even a 10,000 watt loudspeaker could not persuasively make him open his eyes even to a count of 1000 – and mind you the count was in a slow motion.

This said scenario—though not the way I pictured it here -- made everybody either amused, serious, and argumentative.

Half-baked boxing scribe like me butted :” Christ, I saw that stuff on the movie Rocky 2, where Rocky Balboa and Apollo Creed simultaneously hit each other and simultaneously fell.”

But somebody sneered, but that classic bout was not covered by the three knockdowns rule. And Rocky baby was too obedient to follow the order of the flick’s director to beat the count of ten.

I said further, GAB should regulate this dilemma so we can be the first again in the world against sanctioning bodies like the WBC, WBO, IBF, and WBF, or even U.S entities like Nevada State Athletic Commission, Association of Boxing Council, USBC, to name a few. This, in case, one of them has no ruling yet on this crap

But for another round of arguments, who do you think dear readers won between A& B if you’re the referee of that bout?

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