After writing about Efren Reyes’ famous “Z shot” against Earl Strickland, I got a reaction from a most unlikely source, Jack “The Wack” Jakosalem.
He was a Cebu City councilor at that time and the chairman of the sports committee. Though we’d meet often in sports functions and we’d often talk whenever anything sports-related came up at City Hall, it was the first time that we got to talk that wasn’t work related.
It turns out Jack the Wack had something rare, a copy of the whole Efren Reyes vs. Earl Strickland match that was highlighted by that famous Z shot. A clip of that shot that had Reyes going three rails before nipping the five to the top right corner is still being shared widely on social media.
Jack told me that that shot wasn’t the only magical moment by Efren in the match. He asked me if I wanted a copy and I said yes quickly. A day later, a messenger dropped a CD at the office and I got the rare treat of watching Efren at his peak against one of his greatest rivals of all time.
To be honest, I was surprised that Jack the Wack had the same interest in billiards and had a copy of that match, I think the only copy in the whole country.
Over the years, we’d meet regularly in boxing functions and events at the Cebu City Sports Center. Always amiable and approachable, he ranks highly among the best sports sources in the city. He was also instrumental in the campaign to have the rubber oval of the Cebu City Sports Center upgraded and I think at one time, he promised to take it up with then President Gloria Arroyo for the funding.
The bill for the rehab was almost P40 million and at that time, it wasn’t a priority. I think the movement made by local runners prodded City Hall to finally take action.
As chair of the Cebu City SEA Games Organizing Committee, he also played a key role in the city’s successful hosting of the 2005 Southeast Asian Games, when we hosted dancesports, sepak takraw, pencak silat and karatedo.
We were all saddened when in 2012 we learned why he had to stay out of the limelight because of an illness, but I’m sure he was gladdened when 2,000 turned up to join a fund-raising fun run for him.
Rest in peace, Jack The Wack.