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Bacolod City, PhilippinesThursday, June 28, 2012

Dinner with US sports stars


It was a most pleasant gathering of Bacolod sports lovers with visiting US basketball athletes and Hall of Famer pool stars, including American Councilor Scott Pruicksman from New Jersey.

Local sportsman, Dr. Ver Lacson, hosted the sumptuous dinner at his showcase home, attended by good friends from the media, tourism and business circles. As soon as we arrived, we enjoyed Robert Harland’s Chilean red wine with scrumptious empanadas brought by food guru Fe Remitio. Soon the hunks, er, Sports Ambassadors arrived, towering over everyone. Their heights ranged from 6’0 to 6’8!

Hazel Stuart, who is 5’9”, was absolutely enthralled. She said that at last, she could look up, instead of down, at the guys (!)

Ver was the perfect host, seeing to it that the guests felt right at home. Dr. Robin Cook, SA international director and head coach, introduced the members of their team. We later learned that Cook was once a US star basketball player and was even offered to join the NBA but he chose to be a sports missionary instead.

Everyone enjoyed the excellent culinary delights: succulent prawns, bangus in oyster sauce, mouth-watering spare ribs (which the Americans simply loved!), special paella brought by Tourism Council chairman John Orola, chicken gallantina and the to-die-for desserts of which all the guests had seconds.

Whew! And if that wasn’t enough, there was delicious ube ice cream, that was a standout. We had a marvelous time chatting with Nathan Trodahl, who’s a perfect dinner seatmate. After the delectable feast, we all relaxed in the living room while pool champion Mike Massey entertained us with American folk songs ala Kenny Rogers. We noticed he would cross glances with one of the lady guests while singing, but I still want to live, so I won’t reveal her name (!). (Cheeky of me, no?) What a pleasant evening it was – the food was terrific and the company divine.*

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