Friday, March 23, 2007

39. The Games

Chris Barber-Lomax left about a year after I joined PRC. Ray Harrison succeeded him as Marketing Director. Ray’s coming was preceded by a year of intense rivalry between the Technical Division and the Marketing Division not only in work but also in the interdivisional sports competition mainly in the basketball games. It seemed like there was a hint of personal one-upsmanship between Chris Barber-Lomax and Nene Zayco, the Technical Director. The Interdivisional competition was designed to foster camaraderie among the employees, however, it became a source of more ill will than good. With the assumption of Ray as head of the marketing division the rivalry seemed to have abated; at least the intense basketball wars were over.

At the time of the heated rivalry the technical division was recruiting basketball players from the factory workers many of whom resided within the Paco district and necessarily had the support of the locals most of whom were not employed in PRC but watched the games through the interlink fence fronting United Nations Avenue. Their enthusiastic support did not limit itself to cheering but sometimes went into downright stone pelting from their perches atop the bridge on UN Avenue spanning the estero.

Marketing recruited from the brand group and sales. We had quite a number of varsity players from Lasalle and Ateneo in brand and marketing services. Bert Laconico played in the LaSalle varsity team. From the Ateneo varsity team were Jimmy Pinzon, Ding Camua and Nonoy Reyes. Meckoy Quiogue was with the Ateneo training team. Other Marketing first stringers were Gauttier Biznar and a hot shooter named Winston Verzosa who was from the Bicol sales group. The Manila based players were augmented by some good cagers from the Sales Department in the provinces. In time with the games, they were given special assignments in Manila just so they can play with the Marketing team.

The technical team star players were the hulking Buensuceso and the talented Jun Salazar. Jun was said to be the uncle of Bobby Jaworski and that he taught the Big J the finer points of basketball. No wonder the Big J knew all the subtle nudges employed in Paco street ball. I don’t even remember who eventually won. Anyway, regardless of who won it was camaraderie and company unity that suffered the greatest loss. It was decided to discontinue the games indefinitely. I don’t think it was ever reinstated. What were started later on were brand teams that were composed of members from across all divisions. It was ok but it did not create the same kind of ardor, excitement and oneness, albeit insular, that the interdivisional games generated.

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