The Freeman Daily
Unmindful to countless criticisms, harassments and event threats to his personal well being, Basketball Association of the Philippines (BAP) secretary-general Graham C. Lim said he doesn't want to cease from helping uplift the amateur basketball in the country.
In keeping strong to his faith and remained unbreakable of his stand, Lim said Cebu is one living witness as to how he sacrificed his time, efforts, money and even his life just to help develop basketball from the grassroots level but sad to say, all of these were not given attention and was never appreciated because some Cebuano sports leaders have their own selfish interests.
Lim, in his capacity as the BAP secretary-general, brought to Cebu the 50th National Inter-Collegiate basketball championships sometime in February 1996. During that time, Cebu received more than a million pesos to host the event under the leadership of the former regional director Atty. Francisco M. Malilong who also received several thousands worth of world class leather basketballs used during the weeklong tournament.
In 2002, Lim was responsible in bringing to Cebu the SEABA Champions Cup with FIBA Asia secretary-general Dato' Yeoh Choo Hock as the guest speaker.
Again, the BAP hosted the National Inter-Club championship with two foreign teams participated from Chinese-Taipei and South Korea in 2003. In the same year, the BAP organized the National Basketball League (NBL) in Cebu and Lim assisted in inviting Chinese-Taipei and Qatar to the tournament.
He also helped Cebu in holding the 2004 Sinulog Cup where China and South Korea participated. The tournament was organized by former regional director now Cebu city councilor Raul "Yayoy" Alcoseba.
Lim was a frequent visitor to Cebu and he even visited the vigil of the late BAP regional director Juan "Dodong" Aquino Jr. to pay his final respect whom Lim claimed just like him who sacrificed his time and efforts to help Cebu produced potential players.
As the BAP secretary-general, Lim also brought to Tagbilaran City, Bohol the National Juniors Championship in 2002 and brought to Dumaguete City, the capital of Negros Oriental the 59th National Students Championship in 2005 in cooperation with Gov. George Arnaiz, a friend of Lim. Cebu, Bohol, Negros Oriental and Siquijor are the provinces that comprised Region 7.
Also in 2005 in Dumaguete City, Lim facilitated in the hosting of the 4th Asian University Basketball Federation (AUBF) in cooperation with the BAP and the Federation of School Sports Association of the Philippines (FESSAP). The tournament was billed as the Dr. Carl Men Ky Ching Cup, named after the FIBA president.
Those kinds of tournaments he brought to the provinces made Lim strong and that is why until now millions of people still respect the BAP because of Lim's integrity and honesty which is lacking in most sports leaders today.
Lim survived so many intrigues and was never pressured to harassments below the belt. When the Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) tried to manipulate and destroy the credibility of the BAP by maligning his reputation, the Philippine Senate through senators Franklin M. Drilon and Lito Lapid, the chairman of the Senate Committee on Youth Sports defended Lim against the POC tyranny that is why the dictum "you cannot put a good man down is certified correct".
Just recently, Lim flew to Cebu to personally endorse the appointment of businessman and sports patron Lorenzo "Chao" Sy as the new regional director to fill up the vacancy left by Alcoseba yet instead of respecting his men on the field, Lim deplored because Sy was not given the right to exercise his duty blocking his pilot project the Danao City Mayor's Cup basketball tournament.
Lim is firm that the BAP will live on with millions of hardcore followers all over the country and it will continue its task to develop young fine athletes for the future of the citizenry. "I fight with honor and dignity", is Lim's battlecry in his never-ending journey towards seeking the truth and the cumbersome task in implementing reforms in BAP. (Gabby G. Malagar)