The Games

‘Tis the season.  The championship season.  This week, both the University Athletic Association of the Philippines (UAAP) and the National Collegiate Athletic Association (Philippines) (NCAA) seniors basketball crowns are up for grabs this week.  The UAAP Championship crown is being contested by archrivals Ateneo de Manila University ‘Blue Eagles’ and the De La Salle University ‘Green Archers’.  The NCAA crown is being disputed by the San Beda College’s ‘Red Lions’ and the Jose Rizal University’s ‘Heavy Bombers’.  The UAAP draws bigger crowd than the NCAA not just during the championship, but also during elimination round games.

Every college boys and girls from the schools whose basketball teams are seeing action in each leagues’ finals are literally scampering for that valuable ticket/s not only jist against their schoolmates, but with their school’s alumni as well.  All for what?   To enjoy the games live, at the venue. 

I think everybody would agree, the spirit of cheering for your own school amid your fellow basketball fan and schoolmate / alumni is at its highest level when you are all there, at the venue.  Cheering at every ball possession.  Booing the rivals when they have the ball, trying each and every gimik when an opponent is at the free throw line, and most of all, shouting your tonsils out and exchanging high-fives (even with a complete strager from your school who just so happened to be seated next to you) when one of your players did a spectacular move, a three-point shot or three-point-play.

I had my share of watching the games for my alma mater’s senior basketball team, the Mapua Cardinals, seeing action at the NCAA.  When I was a young college boy, the team made it to the finals, twice.  Nowadays, if I have the time, I try to watch them live as well, now that I am a part-time lecturer at that institution.  Nothing beats the feeling of watching a game, moreso a championship game of your alma mater’s team, live.

In this morning’s paper, I read an article where former NCAA Commissioner and Philippine baseball legend, Mr. Filomeno ‘Boy’ Codinera, father of former Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) players Harmon, Jerry and Pat Codinera, opined that there is nothing wrong with scalping.  He argues that scalping is, just like any other commodity, governed by one fundamental law of Economics, the Law of Supply and Demand.

“There’s nothing wrong with scalping as long as these tickets were not stilen, these people have the right to sell them.  It’s the simple law of supply and demand.  As long as there are buyers, there will be sellers” says Mr. Codinera.

I think he has a point.

What makes scalping illegal is when thers is a syndicated effort to limit the availability of tickets to the buying public, therby creating shortage of supply to an enormous demand resulting to an extra high price for it .  Simply put, when the ticket supplier, deliberately limits the ticket in the market and releases a big chunk to the black market for profit.  A PhP 350 ticket (read it correctly, a three-hundred and fifty peso worth of ticket) commands a whopping PhP 13,000 (you read it correctly, THIRTEEN THOUSAND PESOS big ones) for a game that I assume would last for only 2 hours.  What a business……

Police and other authorities were able to apprehend at least two scalpers on site.  Good.  In fact, Very Good.  But I think, they should go further.  They should go after the person behind this.  The one that limits the availability of tickets on fair market.

Who could be behind this?

The league? The venue ticket seller?


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