|From managing a basketball title contender to becoming a pillar in modern day cycling, Moe Chulani left a legacy in Philippine sports. From Ronda Pilipinas' Facebook page|
MANILA--Moe Chulani may have not been a great athlete, but he became a popular sports figure with his brilliance behind the scenes.
"He may not have played sports regularly or seriously, but he was an honest to goodness sportsman," said current Philippine Sports Commission commissioner Mon Fernandez on Thursday during the Usapang Sports online forum.
He first got a glimpse of Chulani when he was still the commissioner of the defunct MBA.
Just a few years off college graduation, Chulani accepted an already tough job as team manager of the Pasig Blue Pirates during their three-year run in the MBA.
Despite eventually falling short, Pasig quickly became a title contender right in the inaugural staging in 1998, more so when it plucked Bong Ravena away from the PBA the following year.
Chulani also helped establish the United Regional Basketball League, which tapped Fernandez as commissioner as well.
The URBL, however, quickly folded after its only season in 2004.
Chulani would become more known as one of the brains behind Ronda Pilipinas.
According to Jeremy Go, the man behind perennial powerhouse Go For Gold, Chulani has been supportive of the participating clubs like his.
"He's always been supportive of us," Go said in the same podcast.
With Chulani at the helm as the tournament director, Ronda zoomed to become a highly anticipated cycling event every year.
This even led to the Integrated Cycling Federation of the Philippines electing him to its executive board.
"I believe in his vision of growing cycling in the Philippines, and you could clearly see his passion, lalo na in supporting local cyclists and giving them a place to shine," Go further said. "That is probably going to be his lasting legacy to Philippine cycling."
Pot-Pot Hualda, one of Go For Gold's cyclists, echoed Go's sentiments, saying, "Marami siyang natulungang mga siklista. Maraming naging siklista dahil sa kanya dahil sa paghahawak niya sa Ronda."
No wonder why the Philippine sports community was stunned when Chulani passed away at 45.
[Related Story: Ronda Pilipinas director Moe Chulani passes away]
"Mabilis ang pagkawala niya," Hualda rued.
"It's a big loss," added Fernandez.
However, Fernandez believes that Chulani will remain supportive for Philippine sports even if he is now in the afterlife.
"We have an angel now in Heaven to guide and help us," Fernandez further said.
Go then hopes that Ronda would continue to build on the legacy left behind by Chulani.
"I hope na LBC and the people behind Ronda can continue the events because sayang yung nagawa ni Sir Moe. I believe it's really one of the big things that helped promote cycling, lalo na sa kabataan natin," he said.
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