Category Archives: Ateneo Blue Eagles

Congratulations to the Ateneo Blue Eagles!

Read: “Five things to remember in this perfect storm that is a five-peat”

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“Blue Eagle, The King”

I can still remember my first ever Big Blue Eagle Cheer Rally back in 1999. I was a high school freshman, a product of a small, tight-knit learning institution in Don Antonio Heights. Unlike most of my classmates who came from the Ateneo Grade School, I stood out like a sore thumb. I had a hard time taking in all the foreign notions of Ateneo Spirit. The cheers, in particular, were unintelligible jibberish I found difficult to appreciate.

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Let Kirk Long Play in the PBA!

My friend Carlo Ricohermoso posted an interesting article a while back, on allowing Ateneo’s Philippine-born, American guard Kirk Long to play in the PBA. Long, according to the article, has lived all his in the Philippines, attending local schools and playing amongst local players until the university level.

But PBA rules strictly indicate that only natural-born Filipino citizens with Filipino lineage can qualify for Asia’s first play for pay league. Despite being born in the Philippines, Long’s parents are Americans. Long isn’t a Filipino citizen by birth in the eyes of the law.

To let Kirk play in the PBA would go against the league rules, even if Long is more Filipino than Sonny Alvarado and Davonn Harp combined.

I am not as well-versed in local hoops as my erstwhile track training partner, but I know for a fact how the influx of the so-called “Fil-shams” bathed the PBA in controversy. The subject of foreign coaches is dicey, as local coaching groups oppose each and every prominent appointment of a non-Filipino bench tactician. The opposition is understandable. A slot in the PBA – whether as a player or a coach – is a prestigious and increasingly scarce resources.

In the Philippine Star article, Arben Santos argues that “Kirk Long has practically served nine years of residency in Philippine basketball.” According to the behind-the-scenes basketball insider  “He’s [Long] been a role model and he’s not dominant.”

Long’s college Norman Black opines: “I think the PBA should consider allowing foreign players who’ve played high school and college in the country to join the draft. That would mean an eight or nine-year residence, disqualifying those who come in only to play in the seniors.”

Alex Compton was given special import status when he finally played in the PBA in 2008. But the then thirty-something Compton was at the twilight of his career. Instead of a mere season, the 23-year old Long is staring at a much longer tenure as pro baller.

To the head honchos of the league, let Kirk Long play in the PBA!

Four-Peat! Four-Peat! Four-Peat!

Check out the clip below of the Ateneo gallery chanting “Four-peat.” My friend Gaita took this shot during the Game 2 of the recently concluded UAAP Senior Basketball Finals.

If you look closely (at around 0:17), you’ll see yours truly shouting with the rest of the blue crew!

One big fight!

Ateneo Blue Eagles: Four-Peat Basketball Champions!

I wasn’t supposed to be at the Araneta Coliseum yesterday since I didn’t have tickets. I tried texting various friends for the valuable commodity, but it seemed as if everything was sold out. After my morning class in Makati, I took the bus to the Quezon City, since the MRT was (for the nth time) out of service.

It was a fortuitous, albeit unexpected change of plans.

Still groggy from my usual naps during long commutes, I checked my phone for messages. My friend Adi was asking whether I was still willing to watch. My face lit up! It took a few minutes for me to regain my bearing (I was still somewhat stuck in dreamland), when I realized that the bus I was riding in was slowly crawling towards the promised land itself – Cubao!

I could not believe my luck. This was the first UAAP basketball game I watched live this season – and only the second since college graduation. Perhaps it was due to the age gap between myself and the players on the UAAP lineup. Instead of religiously watching the games on TV, I found the live telecast particularly tame and distant. But then again, the fires of school spirit still burned.

Needless to say, I had loads of fun watching the game with my high school friends. I can hardly remember the last time I watched a UAAP basketball game live with my high school barkada (nine years ago perhaps?). The atmosphere was refreshingly electric, especially when the sea of Blue erupted in cheers.  It was a reunion of sorts, as I randomly bumped into a cacophony of familiar faces clad in the Blue and White.

Aside from a few terse moments at half-time, the game seemed like a walk-in-the park for the Blue Eagles. After leading by a mere point after the second quarter, the Tamaraws suffered a mean shellacking at the second half. Bannered by the super rookie duo of Kiefer Ravena and the seven-foot Greg Slaughter and reliable veterans Nico Salva, Kirk Long and Emman Monfort, the defending champions walloped the Morayta-based dribblers. The bench also chipped in, with Juami Tiongson having a productive stint, notching 11 points in 10 minutes, according to an Inquirer report.

Four-Peat!!!

I almost lost my voice cheering at Tonino Gonzaga’s fine defensive stops against FEU superstar RR Garcia! The intensity that he displayed on defense personified the efforts of the rest of the team. From my comfy Upper B seat, Tonino’s no-nonsense, stoically fearsome demeanor was highly recognizable. I just loved the way he banged the hard court, as he manned the tip of the Ateneo defense against the FEU half court set. The true blue Atenean, like the rest of the Blue Eagles squad, meant business.

I had a fun-filled Saturday, watching the Alma Mater reap impressive basketball success in the company of my good friends. Even if I hardly know the players (or most of the young Ateneans at the venue), the fabric of school pride was woven quite firmly.

To the Blue Eagles and the rest of the Ateneo community: Congratulations!

Win or Lose

When professional clubs lose by a blowout, some fans walk out before the final buzzer sounds. Supporters of collegiate squads, in contrast, stay on until the proverbial Fat Lady sings. In the case of the UAAP cage wars, the vociferous gallery of students and alumni sing (or pretend to sing) their respective school songs – with pumping fists and all.

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Three-peat!

My office mates and I caught the first part of yesterday’s UAAP Men’s Basketball Finals  through a grainy streaming link. It was better than nothing. As soon as the clock struck 5, we headed out to a nearby resto with a big screen.

The game was epic, despite dubious calls by idiot referees. I just hate it how sports gambling clouds each and every big game with shades of conspiracy theories.

Watch Youtube clips of Game 2 here

Nevertheless, it was a great game. The Tamaraws fought valiantly after the debacle that was game 1. Ryan Buenafe’s definitively badass three pointer at the closing seconds of the game will remain as memorable as Gec Chia’s last minute heave against UE and that splendid Doug Kramer point-blank shot off a Macky Escalona inbound pass – and more!

Although I never considered myself as a hardcore basketball fan, I can say that I truly enjoy the sport – especially when the Blue Eagles and the Blue Eaglets are playing. The Season 73 Blue Eagles would have to be my second favorite Hail Mary squad since the 2002 Championship. There were no standout stars this season; the veteran members of the team took turns taking charge, having their fair share of the limelight. In fact, none of the big name Ateneo players landed a slot at the Mythical Team.

Congratulations to the Season 73 Blue Eaglets and Eagles!

“The name on the front of the shirt is more important than the one on the back.” – Goal

Additional link:

ABS-CBN article

Video credit:

workhorse3

Unloading (31 July 2010)

I lifted weights yesterday afternoon. The gym was almost deserted and, as usual, devoid of females. I took it easy, opting to focus more on explosive lifts and plyometrics – while watching the UAAP games on the boob tube (great job Blue Eagles! What a stellar finish!) I was still a little exhausted from the previous night’s basketball pick-up game.

I tried out my modified Umbro kicks. The extra lace holes gave the much snugger fit I prefer in my shoes. I am now a fan of Umbro, or cheap yet quality running shoes in general!

The plyometric session was highly satisfactory. I started off with my favorite exercise, the depth jump with bunny hops. After a few reps, all the jumping did a good job of pumping up my heart rate.

The lack of plymetric boxes at the gym irritates me. I had to improvise, putting a low box over some aerobic steps just to have a suitably high jump off point for the aforesaid exercise.

I added another 5 kilos to my jerk (45kg, 3×9 reps) just to challenge myself. I’m still quite far off from my clean & jerk personal best of  60kg (3×5 reps) in 2007/2008. Nevertheless, I’m getting there. I can lift 50kg (3×10 reps) in the power cleans. Once I lessen the number of reps, I’m sure I can manage to exceed my previous bests.

Plyometric workout:

Depth jump + bunny hop (static, 1×5)

Depth jump + bunny hop (2×8)

Single leg box jumps (3×8)

Pikes (3×8)

Gym workout:

Jerk (3×9)

Bench press (2×8)

Barbell row (2×10)

Leg press + back delt fly (2×10)

Bicep curls + tricep kickback (2×10)

Lower ab circuit (2×15)

Ab circuit (2×15)

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