Life as it happens. Time as it passes.

Archive for July, 2011

Ateneo Blasts UP, 77-57

Believe me, I had already written something about this a couple of minutes earlier. But the wi-fi just went down on me, and not even the “trash” tab was able to save the post. And it pains me to re-write something as painful as a 20-point loss by my alma-mater to our neighbor, the defending champs Ateneo.

So, please, just pardon me, when all I can say right now is…

Ateneo beat UP, 77-57.

In the tradition of fair blog journalism, this one is simply atrocious–to leave out on the details of how your team suffered its third straight loss in four games. Suffice it to say, I lost the will to blog on it right at the same moment the clear broadband signal betrayed me to allow me to post what I had already written earlier. Believe me, I had already written an honest-to-goodness, fair, detailed, objective account on how the Blue Eagles went on to improve to 5-0, while UP dropped to 1-3. But everything dependent on technical efficiency has its down sides, one of which is totally losing what you have already written.

And so, I’m just making up for the length of content I could have covered if only I started re-writing. But, whether you like it or not, I have lost the will to recount what I had said already. To write it up again would feel like shooting myself on the foot–twice. I beg of you, please just pardon my random ranting for now.

For now, here’s the news. UP lost to Ateneo, 77-57.

Bow.


Archers Edge Fighting Maroons, 79-67

The UP Fighting Maroons lost to a desperate DLSU Green Archers Squad, who finally bolted out of the loss column with a 79-67 win against the Diliman squad.

The Archers had the bad luck of facing last year’s championship finalists FEU and Ateneo for their first two games. La Salle lost their opening game and their much anticipated square-off with their bitter rivals–back-to-back opening losses that have rarely happened under any of the Pumaren brothers’ term as tacticians.

UP, on the other hand, was coming off a loss to newly restructured NU, whose head coach, Eric Altamirano, was formerly a coach and player for the Maroons. Last Thursday, the Bulldogs were blown out by the ADMU Blue Eagles, which sent them to the same spot where UP and La Salle are now in.

Pulling an upset will be the order of business for UP in the next two weeks as they tackle Ateneo and FEU successively after a week-long break from playing. After that, UP is still not out of the skirmish, as they’re facing Adamson and UST, the other two teams who complete the top four teams of the league as of this time.

A lot of fans and followers have commented on the improved performance of the Maroons, despite having dropped two consecutive games already. They are attributing this change to their new head coach Ricky Dandan, the strong support of the UP student and Alumni community, as well as the better chemistry among the players.

Every one cheering for UP expects the Maroons to pull off an upset one these days, marking indeed the arrival of better days for the team that had to endure two winless seasons in four years. This time, indeed, the Maroons have brought back the “fighting” to their game.


UP drops Game Vs. NU

The UP Fighting Maroons failed to earn back-to-back wins, as they lost to the NU Bulldogs, 75-66, behind a stellar performance from rookie Bobby Ray Parks.

Parks exploded with 30 points, the most by any rookie in a game since Mike Gamboa last notched 26 from five years ago. He carried most of the load for the Bulldogs, whose only other double-digit scorer was Emmanuel Mbeh with 10. UP’s tandem of second stringers Jett Manuel and Jelo Montecastro picked up the slack from the two Mikes, who only had 14 points combined, a far cry from the 34 points they notched from their win over UE last Thursday.

The loss places UP and NU tied with each other with a win and a loss apiece. UP is set to face the winless DLSU Green Archers on Saturday, while NU will be facing La Salle’s rival, the 2-0 Ateneo on Thursday.

During one of the huddles where a boom mike was placed, UP Coach Ricky Dandan was caught pounding on the motto “It’s not yet over!” People I know who watched the game were texting me saying they’re impressed and satisfied with the kind of attitude and mind conditioning Ricky Dandan has been doing so far to the players.UP, already with a win this season, is eyeing a bigger improvement among the roster in the next games. UP will be facing a team itching for a win. If UP would want to escape with a win over a fierce-defending team in La Salle, they will have to give the Archers a dose of their own medicine with UP’s brand of defense. So far, the UP Fighting Maroons have greatly improved with their defensive system. They have now been swiping balls away from the opponents, which is a sign that the Maroons are now getting more adept with coach Dandan’s brand of playmaking.

Still, go UP go!


Fighting Maroons Beat UE, End Losing Streak

Finally, the losing streak is over.

The UP Fighting Maroons, led by a new head coach and flanked by returning rosters, scored their first win of the season on their first game for UAAP Season 74, beating the UE Red Warriors 69-61, and ending an 18-game losing streak.

The last time the Maroons won was on August of 2009, when UP beat La Salle, courtesy of a former baby green archer Mikee Reyes. Reyes will be sitting this season out due to injury, but definitely a lot of other players have been stepping up since pre-summer tourneys, and especially yesterday when they had their first tiff.

Most remarkably the two Mikes.

The returning Mike Gamboa led all scorers with 19 points, with 12 coming from beyond the far arc. This season, the UAAP adopted the FIBA rules on three-point shooting, using the pro line as the official spot for treys. Mike Silungan, who sat out most of the second half had 15.

Other role players like Jett Manuel, Miggy Maniego and Carlo Gomez all contributed to this win over the same opponent that handed them their last defeat last season, which gave them their second winless season in 4 years. UP Alumni Woody Co and Martin Reyes, who endured the two winless seasons, where present to witness the 18-game losing skid come to an end at the Big Dome.

UP is set to tackle another rebuilding team with the NU Bulldogs, whose coach, Eric Altamirano, was a former UP coach and fellow Maroon of UP’s new tactician, Ricky Dandan.

While the Maroons had a good outing during the previous summer leagues, nothing much is expected from the Fighting Maroons but to strengthen their team under a new season. The UP Fighting Maroons have followed the tradition of having alumni for coaches, except for two occasions, including last year’s Boyet Fernandez, whose controversial replacement of Aboy Castro ended up with a 0-14 card.

UP Fight!


The Morning Rush @15!

ConGREATulations to Chico and Delamar for 15 years of fun, crazy, mornings with The Morning Rush!

It’s been eight years for me since I first tuned in to RX 93.1 one Friday morning, just after our departmental exams in UP. I was just trying to simmer down my wracked mind after the gruelling exam, and I stumbled upon what would eventually become a hard habit to break. It wasn’t long before I found myself spending 300 bucks a week (my allowance was just 400), just to keep my entries coming and getting into the top ten. Now, with a Rusher wife like me, and a daughter who might just end up like me, I take pride in saying that Chico, Delamar, and all the Rushers, silent or rowdy, are part of my family.

It’s not always that I get to tune in to TMR. The hectic demands of my divine calling take full precedence in my life. But when time (and cellphone load) permits, I occasionally join the morning craziness. And whether or not my name gets read on air, it’s all fine. As long as a clear radio signal connects me to the crazy guys on the RX booth, and the thousands of other crazy Rushers all across the world, I’ll be all good with it.

Words would perhaps fail to encapsulate all of what TMR has been for a lot of people. Suffice it to say, allow us today to just thank you, Chico and Delamar, for keeping it together for the last 15 years. Hopefully, when Chelsey’s old enough to own a phone, and witty enough to send a text via 2299 (kung uso pa yun by then), The Morning Rush will still be around to provide the funniest and wittiest four hours of the morning for her.

Happy anniversary, The Morning Rush!


UAAP S74 Quick Review (Part 2)

Mike Abasolo, Christian Soler, and Sid Ventura, the three scribes from inboundpass.com has finally come out with their respective analyses and predictions for the upcoming Season 74 of the UAAP.

Here’s a comparison of their predictions, as well as my prediction for the standings among the 8 teams after 14 games:

Christian Soler:
1. Ateneo de Manila University
2. Far Eastern University
3. De La Salle University
4. Adamson University
5. National University
6. University of Santo Tomas
7. University of the Philippines
8. University of the East

Sid Ventura:
1. Ateneo de Manila University
2. De La Salle University
3. Far Eastern University
4. Adamson University
5. National University
6. University of Sto. Tomas
7. University of the Philippines
8. University of the East

Mike Abasolo:
1. Ateneo de Manila University
2. Far Eastern University
3. Adamson University
4. De La Salle University
5. National University
6. University of Santo Tomas
7. University of the Philippines
8. University of the East

RC Cayanan:
1. Ateneo De Manila University
2. Adamson University
3. Far Eastern University
4. De La Salle University
5. National University
6. University of Sto. Tomas
7. University of the Philippines
8. University of the East

Our top one team and the bottom four team predictions are all exactly the same. When it comes to the three other teams–DLSU, FEU, and AdU–our predictions slightly differ. But I see no reason to change my forecasts. I’m quite satisfied with my own analysis on how the eight UAAP teams will end up by the end of the regular season.

Now, it’s time to give my analysis for each of the teams, starting from my predicted top one team, all the way to the eighth:

1. Ateneo De Manila University

Eric Salamat and Ryan Buenafe’s departure from the team will hardly be felt in a team with perhaps the most sensational incoming rookies among the UAAP teams. The trio of Kiefer Ravena, Gwyne Capacio and Greg Slaughter will be the constant source of headache for the seven other teams who have yet to solve the solidness that is Ateneo. The veteran presence of Kirk Long, Emman Monfort, Bacon Austria and Nico Salva will be the guiding light for the team’s fine rookie class when it comes to figuring out coach Norman Black’s time-tested system. Inserting the three rookies into the mainline starting scheme of the team is something Black will be very confident with. After cruising through their pre-season tourneys, you can shelf the chemistry issue. One thing for sure–they’ll be probably holding on to another year of bragging rights as a champion.

2. Adamson University

I have my reasons for saying that the Soaring Falcons will be team trailing the Blue Eagles at second. Sure, FEU has a relatively intact roster, and not to mention Bert Flores’ comeback. And sure, DLSU only lost four players, and has the most intact starting set, with their entire first five back from last season. But, I’ll give this to Adamson, simply because their starting five is just as intact as La Salle’s, losing only Michael Gallinato, who was relatively silent last year. Add to this their coach, Leo Austria, who’s been at the helm for the fourth straight system. If there’s any best time to contend for the Finals, now is that time for the Falcons.

3. Far Eastern University

Last year’s heartbreak team turns a new leaf with the return of Bert Flores, the last tactician to lead FEU to the promised land. Expect the team to adapt a winning system that saw the likes of Arwind Santos flourish and develop. Their first five from last year is still solid, which includes of course the reigning MVP RR Garcia. The only glitch in the team could be Pipo Noundou’s missing a few games due to a torn Achilles. JR Cawaling, Aldrech Ramos and Jens Knuttel will be the veteran star power of the team. But it will probably take some time before the old timers and their incoming rookies finally gel into one cohesive unit. When that day comes, FEU can finally exorcise the demons of their past defeats.

4. De La Salle University

Okay, so La Salle lost only four players from last season, gained a relatively unheralded set of rookies, kept intact their five on the floor, and, of course, has Dindo Pumaren. But that means they don’t have to go through a lot of modifications, which makes adjustments not a natural part of their system. The changes FEU and Adamson has gone through will require La Salle to make the necessary adjustments, but that is if the urgency would push them to do so. The first games will not do this purpose for La Salle. But, once the ball is finally running, La Salle will be expected to step in big time.

(continues next edition.)


Azkals Trample Sri Lankans, 4-0

There really is no place like home.

Coming back to Philippine soil, the Philippine Azkals fiercely trampled the Sri Lankan Brave Reds with a convincing 4-0 win in the first leg of the FIFA World Cup Qualifier games held at the Rizal Memorial Stadium.

The ever dependable veteran Chieffy Caligdong and Phil Younghusband each scored goals during the first half, giving the Philippines an insurmountable 2-0 lead over the Brave Reds. With no intention of letting up, Angel Aldeguer scored another goal off a James Younghusband pass just a few minutes into the second half. Phil, six minutes later, scored a penalty kick. He was later on brought to the hospital for severe cramps.

Coach Michael Weiss said that being back home helped our football players a lot, especially with being accustomed to the climate , weather, and other factors and conditions of the country. He said that the team is now setting their eyes to meeting Kuwait, and eventually prove themselves worthy of being counted among the great football elites of today.

Never in football history has the Philippine Team gone any farther than first round losses every time they tried out for the World Cup. This time, however, things are showing up very differently for the Azkals, who are set the 48-seed Team Kuwait on July 23.

Go Azkals!


Happy Birthday Cess!

I once asked God for a simple favor, way back when I was in first year college. I asked Him if, just for a sign that indeed He’s called me to be a full-time servant, He would give me a life-long partner that would fully understand the life of a surrendered servant. He did not just give me a life-long partner who understands the ministry–He gave me a life-long partner who is also in the ministry!

Today, Cess turns 30 years old. This is her second birthday with me as her husband, and her first as a mother to Chelsey. I thank God for allowing me to have someone that I can grow old with, who loves Him more than me, whose commitment, dedication, hard work, love, friendship and maturity are things that I can be most proud about her.

Poetic as I am, I still find it the hardest of tasks to render in words the descriptions that would best fit Cess. To even say that she is the most wonderful person in my life is a gross understatement. Nonetheless, I’ll make do with whatever I can grasp just to express to her how much he’s made my life as wonderful as it is now. My daily prayer to God is that He would protect and preserve her during the times that I’m not around. Surely, He will. After all, she is also a child of God. That I can be absolutely sure of.

Ga, thank you very much for being my best friend, prayer partner, loving wife, confidante and mother to our daughter. Your love is indeed a gift I always cherish in my life.

Have a happy, blessed and wonderful birthday ga! I love you so much!