Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Let the Games Begin

The University Athletic Association of the Philippines (UAAP) Season 68 is coming soon. We’ll see another round of intense basketball action from the best college basketball teams in town. As usual, I am supporting the Maroons and the Eagles.

Both teams almost made it big last year. UP, after a 6-game slump due to the absence of their head coach Lito Vergara, they bounced back with a 6-game winning streak, placing them near the final four. After their sixth straight win, they were tied with University of the East Red Warriors and the De La Salle Green Archers. They almost had a final four slate, until they suffered a defeat from the Archers, making their record 6-7. La Salle advanced to 7-6, and UE automatically advanced due to technicality. This year, Coach Lito promised a stronger and more intense UP Maroons. However, up to now, I still can’t figure out what our mascot is. If La Salle has an Archer and Ateneo has an Eagle, what do we have? A color? Oh well.

Ateneo failed to make it to the finals this year after 3 straight years of making it and a championship trophy on 2002. The FEU Tamaraws ousted their championship bid after a sorry loss in the final four. Good thing, La Salle ousted FEU. Revenge has been done. Wehehehe… Last year, Ateneo lost a great crunchtime player midway in the regular season. Team Captain and graduating Shooting Guard Larry Fonacier suffered an ACL/MCL injury and needed to undergo surgery that would place him in the injured list for the rest of his college basketball career. The Eagles still managed to win games after Fonacier’s injury, with wingmen Magnum Membrere and Bajjie del Rosario, point Guard LA Tenorio, and Big man Paolo Bugia stepping up on offense. They were able to make it to the final four, but, as I have mentioned earlier, lost to the Tamaraws. This year, under the auspices of Coach Norman Black, the Blue Eagles promise another final four slot, and if possible, the Championship. The team famous for their monicker “The Hail Mary Squad” needs a lot of praying to do because their star players Paolo Bugia and Larry Fonacier have already graduated from the league. I hope the 6’8 center Japeth Aguilar, Joseph Uichico and Ford Arao finally step up.

New faces, new moves, new plays… These will highlight this year’s season 68. This will be an exciting year for the UAAP. I just hope I can get tickets to an Ateneo-La Salle Game… Games start on July 10...

But before that, there is this Ateneo-La Salle Frienship games on July 2, Saturday...

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