Life as it happens. Time as it passes.

Archive for March, 2012

XXIX

Try looking for a full bundle of yellow pad. Divide it length-wise into two. On the left, try writing down all of what you need or want in life. On the right, try writing down all of the things you can be thankful of.

Now, before you do this, start on the rightside first.

You’ll find out that not only will the list of thanksgivings outnumber the list of wants and needs, but you’ll also learn that the more things you are thankful to God for, the less you think of the things you would want to ask of Him.

And at some point of your growth in life, you might see yourself just writing on the right-side of the paper.

I know this to be true.

For indeed God has been so good to me and my family. He has blessed me despite my unworthiness. He has blessed me more than I can even imagine. And he has blessed me, to teach me that nothing can replace the success that comes by way of humility and submission, especially to His will for our lives.

I thank the Lord for all of the things that He has given me. Looking back at the last 29 years, I know for a fact that He has not, does not, and will not ever fail, just as I know for a fact that many times I have done so to Him. And yet He’s been and will always be faithful to me.

This day marks the 29th time the Lord has seen fit to lend me this gift of life, and all the blessings and challenges that come with it. By His grace, I’ll try and do my best to make each day lent to me to count for Him.

And to all the people God used to be a channel of blessing to me–my wife, daughter, my parents, my Senior Pastor and father in the faith, my fellow-laborers in the full-time staff, church family, closest friends, acquaintances, students, and every one else I had the chance of meeting–thank you all for being a part of my life, some in small ways, and some in very big ways. Surely, I will not be who I am because of God and all of you.

My prayer is that God would continue to give me a teachable and pliant heart and spirit, that I may continue to grow more and become a better person. Like every one else, I am still a project of God under construction. And I am enjoying every moment of Him teaching me His Word, will and way in my life.

I always say this, “If ever you still wake up today, that only means God isn’t finished with you yet, and the best has yet to come for you!”

God bless you guys!

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The Raging Spurs

Whoever said the San Antonio Spurs are boring and aging, must have one weird sense of boredom and age.

Watch this:


Knicks Continue Winning Ways, Beats Bucks 89-80

In the words of Amar’e Stoudemire, “How about those Knicks, huh?”

The New York Knicks continue their winning ways, beating closest rival Milwaukee Bucks, 89-90 at the Madison Square Garden Monday night.

The win came despite the absence of Stoudemire and Jeremy Lin, who were both DND’s due to injuries. Lin sat out because of a sore right knee, while Stoudemire’s back is bothering again, although he cleared doubts that he will be great affected by the recurring injury.

Carmelo Anthony led the team with 28 points and 12 boards, while Baron Davis took over the guard position with 13 points and 7 assists. This is the first time that ‘Melo was the leading scorer in a win by New York under Woodson, signifying a big change in his playing and i New York’s system. Mike Dunleavy was the leading scorer for the Bucks with 26 points, while the expected stars Monta Ellis and Ekpe Udoh combined for a measly 10 points.

The win pushed New York a little further away from Milwaukee in the standings, further boosting their hold on spot number 8 in the East standings. The Bucks trail the Knicks by 2 1/2 games, still a close race to get the last slot in the playoff bid. Thus far, only the Chicago Bulls have clinched a playoff spot in the league, with 40 wins and 11 losses.

The Knicks have won 7 of their las 8 games since Woodson took over the coaching job from Mike D’Antoni.


Bruce Bowen Career Highlights

So now there’s a joke running around:

“70% of the earth is covered with water.

The rest is by Bruce Bowen!”

That was a good one, I should say, but just in case your not convinced, here’s a video recapping the highlights of one of the greatest defenders of the game. If your PC’s buffering just fine, go ahead to 1:08 all the way to 1:27, and see what commentators called as “tremendous defense.”


Spurs Retire Bowen’s Jersey

If you look at his career stats, you may be fooled to believing he had done nothing as a player in the eight seasons he had with the San Antonio Spurs.

But if you ask around the players during halftime break, they’ll tell you a totally different story about Bruce Bowen.

And they’ll tell you why they’re putting up his jersey number in the rafters.

Tonight, the Spurs organization pay tribute to the player that epitomized the Spurs defense during their three runs to a championship, by hanging his jersey into the rafters of the AT&T Center, for everyone to see and understand that high figures in stat sheets don’t always necessarily mean you’ll end up as a revered player in your franchise. In his own small ways, Bruce Bowen showed hardwork, dedication, commitment and diligence in perfecting and improving his craft that blended well into the system of the 4-time champion Spurs. If Tim Duncan, Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili were the Spurs’ Three Musketeers, Bowen would have to be the fourth one, the key that held the best of the three together in capturing the three Larry O’Brien trophies they earned in five seasons.

Bowen’s tenacious defense earned him a spot at the All NBA-Defensive Team for eight seasons, a testament to his aggressiveness and hustle play. His role as long-range shooter from the pocket has become a fixture in the Gregg Popovich-offense system, and the on the other end as a defender, well, let’s just say his work speaks for itself.

In an interview before his jersey was to be retired, Bowen admitted that this is much more meaningful to him than being hailed as a Naismith Hall of Famer, because the retirement of jersey shows that you have been loved and embraced by a family, a community, a throng of believers who have accepted him as one of their own. Not bad for a champion who has been to seven other teams in three different leagues, before finding a permanent home in Texas.

And so, from a Spurs fan, here’s to one of its great defenders–Bruce Bowen.


Knicks On The Rise Again… and Hopefully for Good!

Linsanity may have simmered down a bit. But the Knicks are just starting to sizzle again.

And hopefully, for the remainder of the season.

The New York Knicks have just earned their fourth straight win under interim coach Mike Woodson, beating the Toronto Raptors, 106-87 at the Madison Square Garden Wednesday night. Amar’e Stoudemire led the Knicks with 22 points and 12 boards, while Jeremy Lin also had double-double figure with 18 points and 10 assists. Carmelo Anthony and Tyson Chandler each chipped in 17 points for the Knicks, who are perfect in four games since Woodson took over as interim tactician.

So what happened to the Knicks since four games ago?

I did a researching on my own and I found out the following statistics:

– The Knicks have improved defensively, as far as allowing their opponents to score points is concerned. They have beaten their opponents by an average of 22.5 points, and have only allowed one team to score 100 in the last four games (against Indiana, 115-100). Amar’e Stoudemire has improved in getting rebounds, and Tyson Chandler has resumed his duties of shutting down opponents under the basket. They have also picked their opponents’ pockets 11 times a game in four games;

– Another defensive improvement they’ve made is in their rebounding. They have been averaging 44 rebounds per game in the last four games, an improvement of at least 5 boards on average compared to the 39 rebounds they averaged in the six losses they incurred prior to this four-game win streak. The only time they outrebounded a team that won over them was on their road game against Dallas, 51-46 (that’s because Dirk Nowitzki exploded from out of nowhere to carry Dallas behind his back for the win);

– The Knicks have been sharing the ball now (finally!). They have been averaging 24 assists per game, which might seem a normal stat. But a close look at the stats would reveal that that figure is shared by everybody, meaning on any given night, each Knick player that have stepped on the court to play has assisted the ball at least once in the minutes he logged in. There were only two nights where at most four players had no assists;

– Notice that in the last four games, Carmelo Anthony has not been the highest scoring player among the starters. If that means anything, well, the ball-hogging has finally stopped. Anthony has also upped his assist stats, meaning he has now allowed himself to be a channel rather than a container for the offense. What used to be a predictable offensive system has now been efficiently revamped into a deadlier one by improving ‘Melo’s part in the team’s ball rotation system;

– Lin has been turning the ball over lesser than average. He started out with six infractions in their game against Portland. Now, he’s only averaging 3 per game. There was a game he only had two. Either he’s improved ball handling, or that other point guards have been having better touches on the ball (Davis, Fields, Shumpert, et al), has been working just fine for them;

– To prove that Woodson’s system of isolation play was not really hinged on ‘Melo, he has reduced Anthony’s playing minutes by an average of 5 minutes per game. Since then, ‘Melo has had a fresher body when he steps on the court, making him still offensively potent, but defensively significant as well. Anthony may not be the center of the limelight anymore in the last four games, but believe it or not, that has been doing wonders for them. Still, ‘Melo can be explosive at times, especially when he’s at the receiving end of Jeremy Lin’s assists;

All these would be put to the test again, when the Knicks visit Philadelphia tomorrow night. This will be second road game for New York in five nights, and the second against a higher-echelon team.

And hopefully, the rise will continue on.


Maroons Catch Big Fish In Henry Asilum

As early as now, UAAP news is buzzing again, but this time, from an unlikely source–the UP Fighting Maroon’s courtside.

That’s because yesterday reports have been confirmed that RP-Youth U-16 point guard Henry Asilum has given his commitment to play for the Diliman-based squad when the UAAP season 75 kicks off July this year.

Asilum was a key player for the Olsen Racela-coached RP-Youth squad that bagged fourth place in the FIBA Asia U16 Tournament in Vietnam. The 5’6″ spitfire hailing from Sacred Heart School Cebu averaged 8.25 points, 0.75 rebounds, 2.13 assists and 0.63 steals in an average of 21 minutes during the tournament. He posted a game-high 14 points during the team’s game against Saudi Arabia. He is also the leading player for his school, which ended up as runners-up at the CESAFI tournament in Cebu.

UP Head Coach Ricky Dandan himself went to Cebu to get the commitment personally from Asilum, who was promised a spot in the A-unit of the Maroons. This is Dandan’s second season as UP’s head coach after taking over the reins from Boyet Fernandez following a winless season two years ago. The Maroons managed to improve from 0-14 to 2-12 under Dandan, though they still have yet to bolt out of the cellar spot in the standings for the past three seasons.

Having lost only a few of their core players like Miggy Maniego, the Maroons’ line-up is well being considered a deep one on paper. Mike Silungan, Jett Manuel, Jelo Montecastro, Mike Gamboa, Paolo Romero, Alinko Mbah and a host of others are all expected to don the maroon jersey this coming season. More good news are expected to come, as other veteran players like Mark Lopez and Mikee Reyes will be returning to the roster. And a big man in the person of Raul Suyod is foreseen to be a good bolster in the middle position, as well as for Mbah as his back-up.

However, they are not the only teams beefing up for the season, that’s for sure. Ateneo, the defending champions, still have the time-tested system of Norman Black, and the phenomenal guard Kiefer Ravena, and a host of other Blue Eagle veterans raring to defend their crown. The other teams of FEU, La Salle (now with a new coach, Gee Abanilla), NU, UST, Adamson and UE, will all be haggling for new and promising recruits for their own rebuilding.

Thus far, UP’s biggest concern right now is to make sure the right pieces and the right system will fall into their places once the season commences next school year. The Maroons will be taking all opportunities to tune themselves up as they join the various summer and pre-season leagues all throughout April and May.

As always, the expectations are there that the Maroons will be a better team now. But the stigma of a winless year just two seasons ago have yet to be exorcised by the Fighting Maroons, and they are hoping that having Asilum in their line-up playing with the battle-tested veterans of UP will be the way out of the miserable cellar.

And so we fans of the UP Fighting Maroons will all be hoping for the best and planning for the worst. Nonetheless, the joy is there that the rebuilding of UP’s basketball program has been making progress with the committing of Asilum. The hope is also that between now and the opening of the season, Asilum will not have a change of heart, and would still believe that UP is indeed the place where he belongs.


Hardin Sa Indang: Nature Shots At Cavite State University, Indang Campus

This growing inclination of mine to photography might just push me to put up a third blog, of which I am sorely afraid. Afraid because I might not be able to sustain the demands for it, considering that, as of now, my other blog snapthenwrite.wordpress.com is lagging in its view stats, since it’s been a very long while since I posted something on it. But soon I will.

For now, enjoy the beautiful nature scenes I was able to take while I was speaker at the Cavite State University Main Campus in Indang. Truly, this world is a beautiful declaration of the glory of its Maker and Master. Let us take care of it, for we have none else like it.