Wednesday, September 27, 2006

It only takes a second...

Need I say more? Probably it's the most written basketball "phenomenon" to date... Three lead changes in 24 seconds, and one game that will forever be remembered in the history of Basketball. What is there to forget?

For my personal purposes, let me refresh my memory. I was at the upper box B of the UAAP Basketball Finals Game 1 at the Araneta Coliseum. We were already seated and despaired after seeing Allan Evangelista take that supposedly game-winning basket with only four seconds remaining. My daw was already chatting with his seatmate, telling him that we should just look forward to the next game, which is on Thursday, September 28. I can see from afar Sen. Dick Gordon telling the crowd to keep their hopes up and signalling the Blue Babble Battallion to keep cheering for the team.

Then, that moment. The buzzer sounded and we saw the top three pointers of Ateneo entering the court, with Doug Kramer posting at Center. As Macky Escalonae received the ball from the dear referee, my dad remained seated as I stood up, still praying that my efforts for getting the ticket will not be for naught.

I was expecting that either Chris Tiu or JC Intal would get the ball from Macky. Well that was what the UST boys expected as well. As the play executed, UST left open the only non-shooter of the Ateneo five, that is Doug Kramer. His defender, Allan Evangelista, double-teamed Chris Tiu, who posted as decoy receiver. After that, I saw the ball fly towards the center of the Ateneo court, with Doug wide open. in less than a second, he caught it, and gave it a simple bankshot. Then, there was pandemonium. Ateneo won by a point, 73-72.

For me, it was the best play I have ever seen in college basketball. And it was the loudest Ateneo crowd ever. All we could say (My dad and I) in that moment was: YEAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!! And the rest was history.

But I gotta give it to the UST boys... They fough their hearts out. Kudos to them as well...


Let me share an article I received over email this morning...

This was authored by Ateneo fanatic Enzo Flojo (HS
1999, AB 2003). Astig. One Big Fight!!! =)

The Game That Would Never End
A Tale of Two Teams

God really is the best scriptwriter in the universe.
Forget Bill Shakespeare. Forget Art Miller.
Forget Romeo and Juliet. Forget Death of a Salesman.
Game 1 of the UAAP Season 69 Finals was a certified
Two squads from opposite ends of the track?
One out to regain lost glory, and the other out to
prove it deserves its own legacy.
One with nothing to lose, and the other with
everything at stake.
One was unexpected, and the other was heavily favored.
Yet, the ironies didn't end there.
The UST Growling Tigers, seeded 3rd in the Final Four
cast, were eerily reminiscent of the last 3rd seed
that won the UAAP Title ? the 2002 Ateneo Blue Eagles.
After reaching rock-bottom in the standings with a 2-5
card, nobody gave UST a chance in hell to make the
Final 4, but still they managed to win 6 of their last
7 games to book a date to the Big Dance with Ateneo.
The Eagles topped the standings all throughout with a
10-2 slate and disposed of the stubborn Adamson
Falcons in the semifinals. Now, after waiting for 3
years, they have another crack at that illusive UAAP
crown. This time, however, they are not the underdogs
? the tables have turned and the Loyola-based
hoopsters are the odds-on bets to win it all.
The battlefield was a familiar arena and the last time
UST played Ateneo here they were waylaid 114-78.
Surely that wouldn't happen again, not if Coach Pido
Jarencio can do anything about it.
And so the cards of fate were dealt, the drumbeats
shook the Coliseum's very foundations and with 15,974
in attendance the Tigers of EspaƱa and the Eagles of
Katipunan were on a collision course of championship
Chris Tiu has played with passion all season long,
displaying his best when the team needed him the most.
On this day, however, he would not wait for the game
to come to him.
He opened up the clash with a sweet 3-pointer from the
elbow that injected TNT into the Ateneo gallery. Looks
like things would not be so bad afterall.
That is until Jervy Cruz and Allan Evangelista of UST
combined to stay in-step with the Blue-blooded cagers
at 8 apiece with time down to 6:36 . The Tigers' hot
start continued with sub Chester Taylor chipping in to
peg the score at 13-9 in favor of Jarencio's wards.
Then magic.
Rocket-powered magic.
JC Intal stole the ball on the ensuing play and
coasted to an unmolested Slamma Jamma, which resulted
in the Blue & White fans erupting in ecstasy. More
importantly though, it started a 10-2 run, with 6
points coming from Tiu-rrific and punctuated by a Jai
Reyes buzzer-beating floater, that handed the lead
back to Ateneo, 19-15, at the end of the first canto.
Square One All The Way
The second quarter began splendidly for the Ateneans
as Doug Kramer, Martin Quimson and Jai Reyes
collaborated for a 7-2 spurt that built a comfortable
9-point bubble, 26-17.
That would be the biggest lead of the game. And it
would last for barely a few seconds.
In their last meeting, UST mercilessly controlled the
boards with their height and efficient box-out
strategy. In Game 1 of the Finals, things wouldn't be
much different. Using their rebounding advantage, the
Tigers clawed back and trimmed the deficit to just 1
at 29-28 behind the heroics of former RP-Youth
standouts Jervy Cruz and Dylan Ababou.
The following sequences featured an extremely
compelling shootout between MVP candidate Intal and
super sophomore Anthony Espiritu, with the latter
nailing a difficult in-your-face 3-bomb that tied the
count at 33. Past Juniors Division rivals Japs Cuan
(using a fastbreak lay-up) and Macky Escalona (hitting
two gift shots) ended the first half scoring at
After the Blue Babble Battalion and the Salinggawi
Dance Troupe thrilled the crowd with their delectable
half-time displays, the guns were blazing again.
Wary of letting Ateneo have another good start,
Espiritu and Cuan hit 6 and 4 points respectively in a
10-5 blast that handed the former Glowing Goldies a
5-point cushion at 45-40. After a Blue Eagle timeout
UST continued to hold the fort behind the steady hands
of Mark Canlas and Cruz, 53-48, further adding to the
anxiety of the Ateneo supporters.

Escalona had enough though as he nailed a pull-up
jumper to cut the deficit, then Zion Laterre collected
his fourth shot block of the game and Jainamite buried
his second triple to bring the Blue & White back in
the thick of things, 53 apiece.
No team would have a clear edge immediately afterwards
as Cruz, Kramer, Evangelista and Laterre all traded
twinners, in that order. After 30 minutes of
adrenaline-pumping action, both schools were back at
square one, 57-57.
MVP High
It was clear that somebody had to take control and be
accountable for the victory.
It was apparent that someone had to step up.
After a tentative start to the last period that
resulted in a 60-57 deficit, JC Intal made his
strongest case for Season 69 MVP.
The former Letran High School star rattled in 10
straight points on a variety of moves to give Ateneo
the upperhand at 67-66. Compounding Coach Pido's woes
were the foul trouble of his wards as Ababou fouled
out and Evangelista amassed his fourth.
He would get a shot in the arm though as Ford Arao and
Kramer missed wide-open gimmes underneath the basket,
prolonging the agony of the Katipunan faithful. Both
teams would trade baskets from then on as they set the
stage for a classic endgame windup, 71-70, Ateneo on
False Endings
For one reason or another, the game just never seemed
destined to end.
In the consequent inbounds play, JC Intal managed to
tap the basketball and grab it with under 24.0 seconds
left. He landed squarely on the hardwood.
What should have happened was Intal would get fouled,
he would hit 2 free-throws, Ateneo would play good,
honest defense and preserve the win. Game over. Dinner
But the referee wasn't that hungry yet.
In what appeared to be a very dubious call, a sideline
official tagged Intal with a backcourt violation. Boos
resounded, but he stood by his decision.
More to come folks.
After Jojo Duncil missed what was reminiscent of
Patrick Cabahug's "for-the-win" miss last week, Lady
Luck smiled on UST and gifted them with another
possession via Kramer tapping the ball out of bounds.
4 seconds left.
This time the Tigers knew what they had to do. They
handed the ball to the cool Allan Evangelista, who
dribbled once then threw a prayer over Kramer's
outstretched limbs.
Bedlam for UST.
Silence for Ateneo.
Any fan wearing blue was shell-shocked after that play
as Evangelista made a proud pose in front of the Black
& Gold gallery.
What many assumed was that was it ? a bitter ending
for Ateneo. Game over.
However, as people always say, one second can make all
the difference.
Beaten Black and Blue
There are a myriad of stories explaining why Ateneo is
called the Hail Mary Team.
For what it's worth, the following events would
certainly be added to the lore.
Only one entity was powerful enough to save the day
for the Eagles with just 1 second remaining, but since
it was a Sunday (the 7th day), He was resting and
resigned Himself to just watch from a distance.
But I guess He was wearing blue that day.
The plan was actually very simple.
The game-long excellence of Tiu and Intal made them
So another guy had to step to the plate.
GOD chose DOuG.
After setting a pick for Tiu, he slid underneath the
Escalona, struggling for the first 39 minutes and 59
seconds, made the best pass of the day.
A stroke of genius from Norman Black.
A kiss off the window from Doug Kramer.
Another improbable win for the Hail Mary Team.
In the long history of the game, many moments of glory
have materialized.
A plethora of winning shots and career-defining plays.
That Sunday though, that game, belonged to Ateneo.
Sheer brilliance ? unbridled passion.
And so, one win remains to be had.
One more game, one more victory.
Until that time though, we must hold our breaths?
And as for me I have to get going?
The dinner bell is tolling?
And I believe Lechon Baka is the main dish.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006


I'm a Chevrolet Corvette!

You're a classic - powerful, athletic, and competitive. You're all about winning the race and getting the job done. While you have a practical everyday side, you get wild when anyone pushes your pedal. You hate to lose, but you hardly ever do.

Take the Which Sports Car Are You? quiz.

Monday, September 18, 2006