Tuesday, June 28, 2011

UAAP 2011 Preseason: ADMU Blue Eagles TV Plug

For nearly two weeks now Studio 23 has run plugs for the upcoming UAAP Season 74 featuring the competing teams in the Men's basketball tournament. Below is the version featuring the Ateneo de Manila Blue Eagles. It's already dated, though, because Mark Jayven Tallo (fifth from left), who returned to his hometown of Cebu and has been replaced by Bon Jovi Cipriano, and Paul John Siarot (sixth from right), who has been replaced by the comebacking Jeric Estrada, are still there.

The La Salle Green Archers, FEU Tamaraws, NU Bulldogs, UE Red Warriors, and UST Growling Tigers have their own plugs, but for my money the wackiest (and therefore the best) of the lot are those of the UP Fighting Maroons and the Adamson Soaring Falcons.

[7 July 2011 Edit]

Following Tallo's transfer to archrival La Salle; there is now a Green Archer amidst the Blue Eagles in the video above. It's the stuff soap operas are made of.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

UAAP 2011 Preseason Jerseyvaluation: UP Fighting Maroons

In a previous post I gave the UE Red Warriors grief for putting a big-ass sponsor logo on their preseason uniforms. Well, the UP Fighting Maroons did the same thing, but I don't think their jerseys were an eyesore.

Why? Because they made a choice between highlighting their school name and/or team moniker on one hand, and the mark or logo of their sponsor, on the other.

The Fighting Maroons went with their sponsor, and used the university's seal to identify themselves as representing UP. In contrast, other teams tried to have their cakes and eat them too. The UST Growling Tigers used their school name and a sponsor's mark; the Red Warriors used their school name, team moniker, and a sponsor's logo.

2011 FilOil Flying V Preseason Tournament: Adamson Falcon vs. UP Fighting Maroons, April 29
[Photo credit: Joseph Nebrida for Inboundpass.]

2011 FilOil Flying V Preseason Tournament: Adamson Falcon vs. UP Fighting Maroons, April 29
[Photo credit: Joseph Nebrida for Inboundpass.]

And just like the NU Bulldogs, in the preseason the Fighting Maroons mixed and matched their uniform sets. Their jerseys were also NNOB like the Bulldogs, the Growling Tigers, and the FEU Tamaraws.

2011 FilOil Flying V Preseason Tournament:  Mapua Cardinals vs. UP Fighting Maroons, June 1
[Photo credit: Joseph Nebrida for Inboundpass.]

2011 Filoil Flying V Preseason Tournament: UP Fighting Maroons vs. UE Red Warriors, May 21
[Photo credit: Joseph Nebrida for Inboundpass.]

Saturday, June 25, 2011

UAAP Season 74 Eliminations: UP Fighting Maroons 1st Round Schedule

Here is the first round schedule of the University of the Philippines Fighting Maroons in UAAP Season 74:
Thursday, July 14
Araneta Coliseum
3 PM - UP vs. UE

Sunday, July 17
Araneta Coliseum
1 PM - UP vs. NU

Saturday, July 23
Araneta Coliseum
1 PM - UP vs. DLSU

Saturday, July 30
Araneta Coliseum
1 PM - UP vs. ADMU

Thursday, August 4
Araneta Coliseum
1 PM - UP vs. FEU

Sunday, August 7
Araneta Coliseum
1 PM - UP vs. UST

Thursday, August 11
Araneta Coliseum
1 PM - UP vs. AdU
[Hat tip to Chinoy Hoops Fan.]

Friday, June 24, 2011

The Mavs Passed The Flair Test

[Photo credit: AFP PHOTO / Mark RALSTON on Yahoo! Sports.]

Yes, I am blogging about the Dallas Mavericks nearly a fortnight after they won the NBA championship. That should be proof enough that I'm not a fan. However, it just wouldn't do for me not to list some of what Dirk Nowitzki and company did by beating the Miami Heat.

They ennobled "my" team's (losing) effort. The famed thinker Ric Flair once said, "To be the man, you gotta beat the man." The 2010–2011 Mavs did just that—they annihilated the now-former two-time defending champions Los Angeles Lakers, 4-0, in their best-of-seven Western Conference semifinals. If they want to, the Lakers can take some comfort in the fact that the team that eliminated them went on to win all the marbles. There is no shame in not being able to beat the eventual NBA champions. After all, no one else was able to.

They gave me an excuse to trot out my favorite German word. I don't like LeBron James. That meant that for a limited time, I cheered for the Mavericks by necessity since our interests were temporarily aligned. When they became champions, I had an excuse to indulge in a bit—okay, a lot—of schadenfreude. (It's funny now how a 7-foot-tall German had a lot to do with it.) And although "at the end of the day [I] have to wake up tomorrow and have the same life that [I] had before [I] woke up today", I am nevertheless glad that for the meantime, The Decision was wrong.

They proved the (fake) spirit of Jim Morrison correct. "If you book them, they will come." Jason Eugene Terry had the Larry O'Brien Trophy tattooed on his right biceps before the season started. Then in the Mavs' title-clinching Game 6 win, he tallied 27 points, 3 rebounds, 2 assists, and 2 steals. Now we have conclusive proof that JET is packing big, brass ones.

They're good for a laugh or two. After their big win the Mavs presented a Top Ten list on Late Show with David Letterman:

(Nowitzki would be a cool dude to hang out with, wouldn't he? In the clip above he looks like he loves to blast beers on his off-days.)

As the NBA season is over, I will now get my basketball fix from the UAAP. It's the turn of the other team that plays in blue and white to bring home a championship.

2011 FilOil Flying V Preseason Tournament: Ateneo Blue Eagles vs. San Beda Red Lions, June 12
[Photo credit: Joseph Nebrida for Inboundpass.]

Oh wait, the Ateneo Blue Eagles did that recently. But while the Filoil Flying V Hanes Preseason Premier Cup title counts, it doesn't count count like the UAAP Men's basketball championship does. Season 74 can't come soon enough; the "Mary Four You" campaign starts in another fortnight.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

UAAP Season 74 Eliminations: ADMU Blue Eagles 1st Round Schedule

Here is the first round schedule of the three-time defending champions Ateneo de Manila University Blue Eagles in the Men's Division of the UAAP Season 74 basketball tournament:
Sunday, July 10
Araneta Coliseum
3 PM - ADMU vs. AdU

Saturday, July 16
Araneta Coliseum
3 PM - ADMU vs. DLSU

Thursday, July 21
Araneta Coliseum
1 PM - ADMU vs. NU

Saturday, July 23
Araneta Coliseum
3 PM - ADMU vs. UE

Saturday, July 30
Araneta Coliseum
1 PM - ADMU vs. UP

Thursday, August 4
Araneta Coliseum
3 PM - ADMU vs. UST

Sunday, August 7
Araneta Coliseum
3 PM - ADMU vs. FEU
[Hat tip to Chinoy Hoops Fan.]

Sunday, June 12, 2011

GPOY: Remember This, Friends?

J and I allegedly looking for mushrooms.
[Photo credit: B. Pascual.]

A year ago today my college blockmates B, J, and K found themselves in my neck of the, uh, mountains. In the limited time I was with them we played cards; watched X-Men Origins: Wolverine and And I Love You So (yes, I Googled the name of that movie just now); went on a suspenseful road trip to Tuba town to visit the BenCab Museum, where we encountered a delightful, delightful group from the South Asian Subcontinent; had merienda at PNKYTravelCafé; heard Mass at the church where local showbiz's 2001 "Wedding of the Year" was held; saw a rainbow; and shared a bottle or two of red wine.

Oh, and I may or may not have witnessed a (hilarious) bit of sunset-chasing.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Mo-pho: The Sign At The Shrine

I did a double take when I passed the EDSA Shrine this morning and saw this tarpaulin banner:

Photo taken with my trusty Sony Ericsson K600i.

The banner reads:
Wow. Just…wow.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

UAAP 2011 Preseason: Ateneo-La Salle Filoil Results

2011 FilOil Flying V Preseason Tournament: De La Salle Green Archers vs. Ateneo Blue Eagles, June 4
[Photo credit: Joseph Nebrida for Inboundpass.]

Tsk, my favorite team lost yesterday.
Archers hit mark, reach QF
By Olmin Leyba (The Philippine Star)

MANILA, Philippines - Pint-size guard LA Revilla punctured the hoops in the stretch and his teammates made big defensive stops as the Green Archers turned back rival Ateneo, 66-61, to catch the last bus to the quarterfinals of the Filoil Flying V Hanes Pre-season Premier Cup yesterday at The Arena in San Juan.

Returning to the team after getting sidelined for two years by diabetes and hyperthyroidism, the 5-foot-7 Revilla pumped in 10 of his 12 points in the fourth period, including two dagger baskets in the last 1:09, to lead DLSU to a 4-3 card in Group A of elims play.

Full story…
With the loss the Blue Eagles are now 0-2 against the Green Archers in 2011. They had earlier lost to La Salle, 62-58, in Dubai, United Arab Emirates back in April.

After yesterday's game Blue Eagles head coach Norman Black said, "It's summer. Our main focus is the UAAP. We'll stay focused, and get better in July, and get better in September", putting the loss behind him and in perspective. He tried to downplay the significance of the loss, reminding the Ateneo (not-so) faithful that the games that count, the real battles for the 2011–2012 UAAP title and the rare four-peat, are still over a month away.

In a way he's right: yesterday's game was a mere elimination round game in a preseason tournament. It was a glorified scrimmage—although you wouldn't think that from the way Black himself acted during the game.

An Ateneo-La Salle game is never no-bearing, even if what's actually at stake is no more than bragging rights or ice tubig. Numerous times the TV cameras caught Black with a look of utter disappointment at the Blue Eagles' lackluster play. Then in the closing minutes when the game was still within reach he was still diagramming plays, coaching his butt off. So yeah, his unperturbed act was just that—an act.

(By the way, "We'll get better in September" is as close as Coach Norman will get to guaranteeing that Ateneo will make it to the Final Four in Season 74. The "no yabang" rule still holds.)

Coach Norman has a well-deserved reputation as a top big-man coach. Under his tutelage, former Blue Eagles Doug Kramer, Ford Arao, Nonoy Baclao, and Rabeh Al-Hussaini all developed enough to be drafted in the PBA.

Greg Slaughter, on the other hand, is a highly touted rookie who tore up the Visayan collegiate leagues before being recruited by Ateneo. While serving his residency year he joined the national team pool, and was part of the squad that competed in the last PBA conference where, as a backup center, he showed that he can hang with the big, bad pros by swatting 7 shots in one of their games.

Given those facts, the only reason I could think of why Slaughter played limited minutes and didn't seem too keen to stamp his imprint on the game (he scored only two points) is that the coaching staff is "hiding" him from the scouts of UAAP rivals in the run-up to Season 74.

Kiefer Ravena schooled veteran Green Archer Simon Atkins with a sick crossover move late in the game.This early I predict that that young man will make a run for the Season 74 Rookie of the Year trophy. Because of his scoring prowess defenses are compelled to hone in on him lest he wax hot and beat them all by his lonesome. Fortunately for Ateneo Ravena also has a knack for finding the open man, so whoever is on the floor with him ought to be ready for a last-second dish.

I'm still not sold on Nico Salva taking the most shots for the Blue Eagles. Although he scored a game-high 18 points yesterday, he seems to be in love with his outside (and by definition low-percentage) shot. Unless his jumpers have become automatic, he should drive to the basket more like his teammates Kirk Long and Emman Monfort to keep the defense honest and guessing.

Ateneo and La Salle debuted similar jersey sets. As usual, the Blue Eagles' uniform was chock-full of patches while the Green Archers kept theirs relatively clutter-free. However, I don't see both teams keeping those unis come Season 74.

Blue Babble Battalion alumni led the Ateneo faithful in cheering at halftime. It was their second time to do so in this tournament, as they also performed at the half during the Ateneo-San Beda game on Opening Day last April.

Now this is surely a minority opinion, but if they let Babble alumni perform those guys should put in a handful of practices beforehand (a lightning rehearsal a few hours before game time won't cut it).

It's cute and poignant (and sometimes even funny) when they take the court and try to relive their salad days. Most of the time, though, they only embarrass themselves and do their own proud cheering tradition a disservice with a poorly rehearsed "routine."

Take yesterday, for example. In a surprising and crowd-pleasing move, the BBB alumni performed a few routines alongside members of the De La Salle Animo Squad. They even wore shirts that bore the Ateneo and La Salle school seals for the occasion.

At first the two groups took turns performing the opposing side's cheers. But while the Animo Squad acquitted themselves well doing Ateneo cheers, the Babble alumni turned in a unsynchronized performance of La Sallian cheers. Then the two sides had a showdown, this time performing their own cheers. Perhaps because the spirit was willing but the flesh no longer was, the BBB alumni went for a kenkoy routine. The whole thing got old, fast.

So yeah, unless the Babble alumni really take it seriously I think they should retire that tired gimmick of having them perform at the break.

[7 June 2011 Edit]

If Coach Norman is to be believed, Slaughter hasn't practiced with the team that much. Here's what he said after the Blue Eagles' 63-56 Filoil quarterfinals victory yesterday over the Mapua Cardinals:
Black also described how Slaughter has not yet fully integrated himself into Ateneo’s finely tuned offense. "Last year, we had a wide open floor to operate. This year we have the Big Guy to integrate into our system so that is why our offense can be stagnant at times. Greg has had what – few practices with us since he joined the team in May? Our time in the States was mostly individual training and some games. With more practice, we’ll see what we can do."
Hmm. Something does not compute.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

My Face Was In Space

One year ago I sent my name and photo to be part of NASA's STS-134 mission, Space Shuttle Endeavour's 25th and final flight and the space agency's penultimate shuttle mission. I wasn't alone; 128,939 others signed up. And when Endeavour returned a few days back, I got my very own Flight Certificate:

Friday, June 3, 2011

UAAP 2011 Preseason Jerseyvaluation: UE Red Warriors

Like the UST Growling Tigers, on their preseason uniforms the University of the East Red Warriors display the mark of their main sponsor very prominently.

But UE made the sponsor logo so big and placed it where the player number usually goes in front. As a result, they had problems with the size and location of the jersey number—it needed to be small since there was little space left on the uniform, yet prominent enough for referees and game officials to easily see. The overall look isn't pretty, especially for those with double-digit player numbers.

2011 FilOil Flying V Preseason Tournament:  Mapua Cardinals vs. UE Red Warriors, May 25
[Photo credit: Joseph Nebrida for Inboundpass.]

2011 FilOil Flying V Preseason Tournament:  Mapua Cardinals vs. UE Red Warriors, May 25
[Photo credit: Joseph Nebrida for Inboundpass.]

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Mouth Too Fast For Brain

When I bade Marikina goodbye in 2008 I sent home to Bicol two balikbayan boxes of clothes, books, and other items I didn't want to bring with me North. I've forgotten about those books, so when I arrived home for a short vacation two weekends ago I was pleasantly surprised to see them displayed in a bookcase, sharing space with books my sister owned—such as the short novels My Imaginary Ex and No Strings Attached by Mina V. Esguerra.

I smiled when I saw those two titles, and told my mother that I actually knew their author. I should've known that she'd tell my sister (who was then in Metro Manila for the start of her service year with JVP).

It turns out that Mina—man, it's weird having to refer to Y by her pen name—had written one of my sister's favorite books. I didn't ask which one it was but if I have to guess, I'd pick MIE over NSA if only because the former "flowed" better (yep, my book reviews are that helpful).

Unfortunately, I also let slip that Mina has already published two more books (Fairy Tale Fail and Love Your Frenemies). Thanks to my big mouth, I now have an assignment, ha ha!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Project Exodus: February 2006

On the eve of their arrival in the Promised Land, Moses has named Joshua to succeed him as leader of these posts from February 2006.