Sunday, February 26, 2012

Pre-UAAP Season 75 Ryan Buenafe News

UAAP Season 72: Ateneo Blue Eagles vs. De La Salle Green Archers, Aug. 9, 09
Ryan's back?
[Photo credit: Inboundpass.]

This is the best part of the recent The GUIDON article on Ateneo Blue Eagles head coach Norman Black:
Returning Blue Eagle Ryan Buenafe said, "It was a big surprise, but we're glad we still have one more year with him."
That throwaway paragraph, coupled with this Patterson film-like photo of Buenafe taken after a Blue Eagles practice a fortnight ago, raises hope for Ryan's return to the Ateneo lineup in UAAP Season 75.

[14 April 2012 Update]

Ryan's back! Here is a (not entirely helpful) photo of him from the Filoil Flying V Preseason Hanes Cup opening today.

Did Norman Black Inadvertently Reveal Too Much About The Smart Gilas Pilipinas Coaching Change?

UAAP Season 74 Finals: Ateneo Blue Eagles vs. FEU Tamaraws, Sept. 24, 2011
[Photo credit: Diana Moraleda for Inboundpass.]

Norman Black gave Ateneo de Manila student publication The GUIDON an interview regarding his decision to step down as head coach of the Ateneo Blue Eagles after UAAP Season 75. But did he also reveal, perhaps inadvertently, too much about the recent coaching change in the national basketball team Smart Gilas Pilipinas?

Norman Black to coach his final year for Ateneo
By Angelo F. Herbosa, Chino C. Razon

The GUIDON was able to have an exclusive interview with Black in the Basketball Office of the Moro Lorenzo Sports Center. After the initial request, he requested that the interview be moved the following day, saying that he wanted time to think about what to share.

"It was a personal decision," he said. "I consulted my family, and I felt it was the right time for me to go back to the PBA."

The former Detroit Piston shared that after the 2010 FIBA Asia Championships, it was almost certain that then Talk 'N Text head coach, Chot Reyes, was going to be promoted as head coach of the national team. "That's when the job of Talk 'N Text was actually offered to me."

Full story…

I'm curious as to when exactly the Smart Gilas and the Talk 'N Text gigs were offered to Reyes and Black, respectively. Remember that in October 2011, only a month after the 2011 FIBA Asia Championships where the Philippines finished fourth and thus failed to qualify for the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, England, the Philippine Daily Inquirer already broke the news about the impending coaching shuffle involving those Manny Pangilinan-financed teams. That story has since been proven correct.

From those I can only infer that from October 2011 (or even earlier) until late January 2012, former Smart Gilas head coach Rajko Toroman was kept hanging whether he will be retained as national team head coach but all the while, the post had already been offered to Reyes.

If that is indeed the case, it's no way to treat the coach who helped the Philippines regain somewhat its former lofty standing in the Asian basketball scene. No wonder Toroman signed with San Miguel Corporation earlier this month as consultant of SMC's teams in the Philippine Basketball Association (where the Pangilinan group's Talk 'N Text and Meralco squads also compete) and the ASEAN Basketball League.

Of course, I could be wrong. Maybe Toroman already knew even before last month that he was not going to be retained by Smart Gilas. But that's not what's apparent from the reported facts and statements.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

UAAP Season 74: Ateneo Lady Spikers And Blue Batters Post Back-To-Back Wins

Ateneo sports has had a two-day stretch for the ages.

Yesterday the Lady Spikers, who are in the Finals for the first time ever, beat archrival and defending champion DLSU:
Ateneo halts La Salle run in UAAP volley finals
By Cedelf P. Tupas
Philippine Daily Inquirer

MANILA, Philippines — Ateneo finally figured out a way to stop La Salle’s formidable attack and put the UAAP women’s volleyball finals on equal terms.

The Lady Eagles rallied past the erstwhile unbeaten Lady Archers, 23-25, 28-26, 25-23, 25-17, Wednesday to reduce the finals into a race-to-two affair at the FilOil Flying V Arena in San Juan.

Full story…
With the upset win the Lady Spikers snapped a handful of streaks: their two-game losing skein to La Salle this season; the 9-game losing streak to the same team dating back to UAAP Season 71; DLSU's 14-game unbeaten run this season; and La Salle's 25 straight wins since January 2011. Although the Season 74 championship is far from being won, the Lady Spikers have made a god bleed, as it were, and shattered their opponents' aura of invincibility.

Then this morning the Ateneo Blue Batters, who are also in a Finals series for the first time, struck too:
Laurel blast moves Ateneo closer to 1st UAAP baseball crown
GMA News Online

Matt Laurel's three-run homerun in the first inning powered Ateneo to an 11-4 rout of National University in the opener of their best-of-three UAAP baseball finals series Thursday at the Rizal Memorial Stadium.

That three-run blast, plus another three-run eighth inning and the Blue Eagles' steady pitching moved the Katipunan-based squad of clinching their first UAAP baseball crown. Game Two is at 9 a.m. on Sunday (February 26).

Full story…
Here's hoping this weekend will be just as good to both squads.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

End Of An Era: Norman Black To Step Down As Ateneo Blue Eagles Coach

UAAP Season 74: Ateneo Blue Eagles vs. UE Red Warriors, August 25, 2011
[Photo credit: Diana Moraleda for Inboundpass.]

It's official: the upcoming UAAP Season 75 will be Norman Black's last as head coach of the Ateneo Blue Eagles.

Below is the announcement from Ateneo de Manila president Fr. Jett Villarin, SJ. It needs to be here; today will be remembered (by the Ateneo community, at least) as, in more ways than one, a Black Saturday.
18 February 2012

Memo to : The University Community

From : The President

Subject : Search committee for new head coach in basketball

It is with regret that I inform the community that Coach Norman Black, who we all know has been such an outstanding coach for the Ateneo Blue Eagles these last seven years, has indicated his desire to return to the PBA where he hopes to replicate his successful system. Having been at the PBA before, he is in a way coming full circle with this move.

I am pleased however to tell you that Coach Norman has agreed to Ateneo’s request that he coach the Blue Eagles for the 2012 season, and that he remain as consultant to the men’s basketball program for two years thereafter. Norman will be with us therefore for three more years, coaching the team for one more year and helping out as consultant in the two years after that.

Full memorandum…
That exultant cheering you just heard? It's the rest of the UAAP men's basketball teams (and their supporters) celebrating. They think there's blood in the water, and they're salivating.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Start 'Em Young, I Say

This, I bet, is going to be one of the most aww-inspiring stories you'll read today:
Kindergarten K-State fan refuses to color Jayhawk mascot despite teacher’s ire
By Cameron Smith | Prep Rally

A Kansas kindergartner has emerged as an unlikely viral sensation thanks to her devout adherence to her parents' alma mater, Kansas State.

As reported in detail at Lost Lettermen and the Kansas City Star, 5-year-old Emma Burton of Olathe, Kan., refused to participate in a class coloring assignment when she and her classmates were told to color in a Jayhawk, the mascot of the University of Kansas. The coloring exercise was part of the kindergarten class' celebration of the state of Kansas.

However, Emma wouldn't comply with her teacher's instructions. Instead, according to her mother -- Bug Bytes blogger Julie Burton -- the four-foot tall tot brazenly refused to color the Jayhawk on the grounds that she doesn't like the University of Kansas. She took the Jayhawk sheet she had been handed, walked up to her teacher and asked for a Powercat (the mascot of Kansas State) to color. When Burton was told there weren't any Powercats to color, she threw the Jayhawk in the trash.

Full story…
Cute, right?

In these parts we don't usually hear about stories like that. About the only thing I've come across in recent memory is the Assumption College elementary student who was teased in school for her Ateneo Blue Eagles fandom.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Junior Year Senior Moment

This below is old news but I'm sharing it anyway. It reminds me of a similar experience that in hindsight I find amusing (but I didn't spend two nights in jail like poor Lolo Ricardo here.)
Old man jailed in Manila over chocolates

MANILA, Philippines – A 79-year-old man spent 2 nights in jail after a grocery store clerk accused him of stealing a bag of chocolates at a grocery store in Manila.

Ricardo Castro, a resident of Manila, was released from a detention cell in Manila Police District Station 2 on Wednesday after the theft case filed against him was dismissed.

Castro denied that he stole the chocolates worth P36 from the grocery store. He claimed that he simply forgot to pay for it, saying that he paid for the other items he bought.

Full story…
I've mentioned a few times that in college I had my summer practicum with MTV Asia. This was before MTV Philippines was launched, and they were still operating out of PM Apartments along Matalino Street in Diliman, Quezon City.

For lunch on my first day I went to the turo-turo right beside PM Apartments. After eating, I stood up and returned to the office, forgetting to pay for my meal. No one called after me. Maybe they were stunned I seemingly pulled an eat-and-run in broad daylight; maybe I just didn't hear them.

It was only at quitting time—when I saw my pocket money for the day was still intact—that I realized I didn't pay for my lunch. I went back to the turo-turo and handed over my payment, all the while apologizing profusely for my absent-mindedness earlier. I remember they didn't say much in response, and it seemed they didn't even remember me. They probably thought I was dumb to come back and pay for what was already a freebie.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Me Email You Long Time

A friend has had to retire a longtime email address; her account had apparently been broken into by someone in Finland. I figured as much when over the weekend, I received an email from that account with the heading "I am finally became Boss." There's no way my writer friend would send that, even as a gag.

Speaking of longtime accounts, I still have my decade-and-a-half old Yahoo! Mail address. It's not the first Web-based email service I signed up for; I originally had an account with RocketMail (yes, I'm that old) but it was assimilated by Yahoo! Mail. So when I learned a while back that you can actually opt for an account with an address, for nostalgia's sake I signed up for one. I've already reclaimed my very first email address, even if I don't actually use it.

[11 February 2012 Update]

Further proof of the hacking: in one of my other accounts I received a different email, this one with the heading "I am my own boss try it out for yourself‏."

Tubuan nawa ng pigsa sa puwit 'yung hacker.