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DLSU Football donates goods to CRIBS Foundation Inc

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In their mission to demonstrate that college sports still has a role to play in nation-building amidst the outbreak of the coronavirus disease, the De La Salle University Men’s and Women’s Football Teams delivered the proceeds of their second virtual event to a non-profit organization that takes care of children.

Members of the team traveled to the CRIBS Foundation Inc’s child welfare center in Antipolo City last February 12, 2021, to deliver infant milk, chocolate milk and vitamins for the institute’s residents. The goods were yielded from the proceeds of the Football & Fun For A Cause Part Two online workout session last January 16, 2021.

Since there are no ongoing football tournaments, we have our training with a purpose by paying it forward and helping as much as we can. And by this, all players agree that we should do these series of events and hope others will do the same,” said coach Alvin Ocampo.

The travelling party to the said recipient included Ocampo, Office of Sports Development representative Gyn de Vera, men’s skipper Mauro Acot, women’s team captains Bea Delos Reyes and Shai del Campo, Tara Shelton and teammate Xylen Kharell.

This was the second charitable project of DLSU Football after the program mustered donations that amounted to P10,000, which was given to the City of Manila last October 26, 2020.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Nostalgia Time

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First of all, kindly allow me a small personal indulgence on this nostalgic trip of ours. Today is my first son’s 30th birthday. I love my family deeply and my sons are always my greatest achievement. Happy birthday Joaquin.

My how time flies!!! And in line with our nostalgic theme, it’s also the 30th anniversary of our first back-to-back UAAP men’s basketball 1989 and 1990 championship, and the 20th anniversary of our first three-peat men’s basketball championship,1998-2000.

And today also marks the anniversaries of the last game we played, and the last day of Andrei Caracut and Jamie Malonzo as Green Archers.

Nostalgia deepens in emotional significance for us, specially when we remember the old school calendar, which ends every October, and remembering our joy with our consistent successes in basketball back then.

It was also great sports timing, calendar wise. November was traditionally the start of the NBA season and the UAAP women’s volleyball tournaments. The continuity was perfect. It will then continue to January when the volleyball season ends and the basketball pre-season tournaments begin.

It’s fun to reminisce those good old days and even funnier when you remember the personalities involved.

Players like Jun Limpot, Dicky Bachmann, John Cardel, the controversial Noli Locsin, and Tony Boy Espinosa etc. playing against the likes of Bong Ravena, Jolly Escobar, and Vic Villarias from UE during the early 90s. In the late 90s our heroes were Ren Ren Ritualo, Dino Aldeguer, Mon Jose, Calijohn Orfrecio and Don Allado, doing battle with such adversaries like Marvin Ortiguera, Gelo Velasco, Christian Luanzon, Gilbert Lao, among others. Hey some of them are coaches, sportscasters, business men, and corporate guys now.


What is more amazing is if you watch the basketball of yesteryears played and compare it to today’s game, it’s really world’s apart.

The plays then were player-centric. Even more than that, coaching was a match up game and strategy revolved around preserving your superstars for the final home stretch. And the three point shot? It was a bail out, necessity shot, not a weapon nor was it part of the strategy.

But if you want to find similarities in the game between then and now, as a coach, you only had to look at our team. In both decades.

I mean point guard play looking for people coming off screens. Iso plays at the post. Defensive switches. Fast breaking as a weapon. And oh, defense transitioning to offense. That was us.

And this system came from one man. The great Ron Jacobs. Coach Jacobs changed the face of Philippine basketball in terms of systems and strategy. He led the Philippines through it’s renaissance years, the first being the Caloy Loyzaga era, then the MICAA league days. For the millenials who never heard of MICAA, it was the forerunner league preceding the PBA. These were the two periods of time when the Philippines dominated Asian basketball.

And when you talk about Jacobs, he was also a very willing teacher of the game. His technology transfer was immediate, thorough, and most specially, UNSELFISH and HUMBLE. Why the all caps? Ah…….. you’re all intelligent readers. Bwahahahaha.

Coach Jacob’s mentorship did not only produce coaches. They produced championship coaches. And even to this day, they are very active and successful teachers of the craft. Pilo, Derek, Franz, and Dindo Pumaren. Jong Uichico. Leo Austria. Frankie Lim. Pido Jarencio. I tell you, Coach Jacobs is still very much around.

I’m also very happy that our site has activated and revived, and is showing our old game videos to relive those days. Those were truly the happy times.

Why all this nostalgia, you may ask? Well it’s because SEX SELLS.

WHAT?????? Well, yeah it does. But we are a wholesome sports site and we can’t sell that here. And although we allow food sellers to display their wares, nostalgia is the only other thing that rapidly appeals nowadays.

Because of the pandemic of course. God-damned virus took our simple pleasures away and constricted our movements, our actions, our emotions. Heck we can’t shout at the referees and stupid players, coaches, and table officials anymore.

Oh, by the way. Nostalgia has a very prophetic meaning to us now. Because we now have a coach from that era, that philosophy, that mantra. And he may bring to us what we enjoyed before. What he brought to us before. Consistent success. Heck he even brought his entire wardrobe back with him to ensure that too.

And basketball wise, he should bring back the three D’s that were always the keys to our success. Discipline, defense, and dominance. Let’s get’em Coach Derek Pumaren. The first Jacobs disciple. The fourth D.

Nostalgia anyone? Animo!!!!!

DLSU Football donates online fundraising proceeds to the City of Manila

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The outbreak of the coronavirus disease in the Philippines has halted life as we know it. One of the sectors affected by the pandemic is college sports, which is on a hiatus until the situation considerably improves.

Amidst the doom and gloom of the current times, the De La Salle University Football Team put on an online clinic, through teleconferencing application Zoom, last September 5, 2020, to teach the basics of the sport to enthusiasts and raise funds for the City of Manila.

We had participants as old as 30-years-old and as young as 6-years-old. We had eight breakout rooms which included skills training, strength and conditioning and goalkeeping,” explained coach Alvin Ocampo.

The result of the endeavor yielded P10,000, which was presented today, October 26, 2020, to Mayor Isko Moreno at the historic Manila City Hall. Representing the team were Ocampo, Office of Sports Development representative Gyn de Vera, captains Mauro Acot, Bea delos Reyes and co-captain Shai del Campo.

We are grateful that the event was a success. We were able to share our time with everyone and at the same time be able to help,” furthered Ocampo who added that the event was simply the start and more of its kind are in the works.

The initiative is proof that sports can be a vital instrument in the rebuilding of the country as it strives to overcome the effects of COVID-19 to society. It is also spreading the message that physical exercise within the confines of one’s home is an effective measure to maintain physical and mental wellness.

Green Archers, Coach Derrick Pumaren are in it for the long haul

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2020 from 1991. My goodness!!!!! Thirty years!!!!! How time flies. That’s how long Manong Derrick Pumarens’ coaching journey took for him to return as head coach for the De La Salle Men’s Basketball team, from the last time he headed it.

Well it does show. Probably because of his added weight? Some wrinkles in his face? White hairs? Nah. The dead give away, according to most observers is his fashion sense. Hahaha.

Jacket over polo or t-shirt, slacks or maong pants, espadrilles or loafers, and no socks!!!!! I tell you. That’s an 80s time capsule by any sense of fashion. I should know. I’m the authority. I still dress that way. Bwahahahaha.

Truthfully he has been ribbed about that, time and time again, in tv interviews and on-line podcasts since his UE coaching days when, according to him, he brought his fashion out of his mothballed closet, in the hopes of turning the UE program around. Very player-like. Pamahiin, as this were his clothes when he was winning for La Salle in 1989-91.

It didn’t work. Well not because of the clothes I guess, and I’ll stop there. After his UE stint, he headed the CEU basketball program, and if we follow the pamahiin and his clothes, his winning ways started to come back. Remember, our last Filoil game with them was a dog fight, and he was the only coach who beat the great bald one in a game last year.

Well Manong has been busy these days. Conducting conditioning drills with the team, appearing in podcasts, and….recruiting players. What? It’s a damn pandemic!!!! Recruiting? You read it right guys.

And a very active recruitment at that. Well it did start pre-pandemic times and it started with a bang. Evan Nelle. That’s proven quality right off the bat.

I am sure, the community has also heard of several high quality names who are either already with the program or joining it. This is very encouraging but guys, I’d rather not name these players yet, even if they are confirmed names for some. Let’s not go into a poker game showing our hand. I know you are excited but let’s wait for the tournament first. That was our mistake in the past. Expectations do not necessarily translate to performance. And teams prepared for us. Remember Langston? He was scouted heavily and defenses were formulated for him. So, easy lang.

Here’s a funnier thing though. Some of us are worried that we are over recruiting. Hahaha, what????? You don’t like that recruits are interested to join our program???? Well I know of a team and a coach who presently has 38 players in their pool!!!! That’s right guys. They have a team b and a team c!!!!!

Manong himself has explained it in several podcasts (I count five so far). Firstly, we have players graduating. Aljun Melecio, Balti Baltazar, plus the three one and dones to start with.

Secondly, we don’t have a team b. If I’m not mistaken, we only had around 5-6 players in waiting. So, our player call ups are few.

Thirdly, Manong has a three year contract. So he is recruiting for at least three years. Continuity was the one factor lacking from our previous player programs, which led to our teams lacking length and ceiling in some years, or lacking foreign players in others. If we fail to plan, we plan to fail.

Fourthly and more importantly for me, Coach Pumaren is recruiting players who will fit his system. In the past, we were recruiting the best high school prospects, and most of the time, we got them. But it didn’t translate into a consistent playoff run. We missed the last two, didn’t we?

So, there is now rhyme and reason in the process. Well we all know the Pumaren system. High pressure defense. So he needs players to fit that. If you ask me, I like what I see.

Remember also that Manong has a nose for talent. Jun Limpot was very raw in his rookie year in 1987 when we lost to a Danny Francisco led Ateneo team. He became a franchise player for us. Mac Cardona was a try out discard. Nobody wanted to get him because of that awkward hook shot of his. Ang panget daw. Well we all know what that hook shot gave us.

Guys, we have a proven coach. A coach who has won in all basketball levels including the highest league of the land, the PBA. Well he has that over his brothers and remember, he was still consultant when brother Franz started his championship run after him.

Most importantly, he is one of us. He bleeds green. He’s back and he means business. He says he is just starting again. I say he’s picking up where he left off.

Welcome back Manong. Hopefully, as in the Michael J.Fox movie franchise, we’re Back to the Future. That’s both a hope…and a prophesy.

Animo.

What’s in a Word?

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Wow what a quarantine period it has been so far. Less than three months into this crap, a plethora of history happened.

I mean between talks about curves flattening (in all honesty, can you really do that?? Hahaha), renaming parties to mañanitas, accusations of incompetence in the DOH, MMDA, DOTR, PNP, corruption, sovereignty issues, laws about terrorism (of a virus?), economic hardships, local and regional travel problems, etc., OH MAN!!!!!! That’s a year’s worth of current events compressed in less than 80 days!!!!!! And it’s all BAD!!!!! Stinking bad actually.

And what has happened so far? I’ll tell you. Words. Words thrown around to accuse. To defend. To justify. To explain. And to apologize. Happens hourly, daily now, doesn’t it? But to what end?

Well let’s hold on a bit, lest I be accused of politicking for one side or another, this is not the proper venue for that. Just merely a descriptive of our current events today. But by God we need prayers!!!!!

Well, this is a sports site. And so far, nothings happening on the competition side. Athletes have been reduced to working out privately. Sporting events are closed. And the personalities that be, former and current players, as well as managers, and of course, coaches, are at one time or another, being interviewed in podcasts, conducted webinars, well, in other words, everybody is online now.

Hahaha. A coach interview. It will lead to this discussion anyway won’t it? Well everyone is aware of it now so let’s just look at what happened.

Well what really did happen?

It started as an innocent podcast interview really. Coach Tab Baldwin being interviewed about the Philippine basketball landscape. Innocent enough. And rightfully interesting because of his wealth of coaching experience and success with the Ateneo basketball program so far.

But as it turned out though, picking his brains and his response to the process was a powder keg explosion nobody anticipated.

Well in fairness to the Coach, he is a foreigner. A Westerner, an American, an Australian, a non-Asian. There is no racism in this, mind you. It’s just an explanation as to the cultural differences between Westerners and Asians.

It’s of course a well known fact that Westerners are frank people. They are opinionated. They say what they say, they mean what they say, and they don’t care about your feelings towards the issue at hand.

An Asian is different. You understand what I mean? Before an Asian opens his mouth for an opinion he has, he looks at the receiver first. He has to speculate what the reaction would be. And it’s actually worse if the recipient is a close friend or a loved one. We just don’t want to hurt the feelings of another human being, much less someone you love.

What makes this more complicated is that there are certain societal and organizational structures to follow. And certain heirachies too.

And now the issues at hand. Tab candidly blurted out his views. He questioned the PBA import format. He practically wanted to add more imports and the number that can be used in a game. He pointed out inequality in referees calls saying that fouls called on an import is not the same as a call on a local player.

He further elaborated that all these were “administrative” in nature. He practically called the problems that he sees, an administrative flaw. And not adopting his views is detrimental to Philippine basketball.

Enter the commissioner of the PBA. When he read about Tab’s responses, it suddenly became Enter the Dragon. Talks of fines and suspensions suddenly rocked the sports news. From the PBA commissioner no less.

It, of course, didn’t end there. Enter the Dragon Part 2. The coaches and the infrastructure of coaching. He said that coaching in the Philippines was technically immature. We don’t follow the European system based on player development. He basically called coaches technically backwards.

It may be true. It probably is. But look at the word “immature”. I understood him intellectually. Immature is just a word to say “not mature”, right? Meaning it’s young. Early stage. In fruit parlance, hilaw pa. NOTHING WRONG with the statement.

But for you to call an Asian, or specifically a Filipino immature, well, that connotes a different thing. It comes across as “you have an attitude problem”, or ‘there are advances in coaching techniques but you are not mature enough to accept or learn them”.

Tell me I’m wrong but the coaches went ballistic on him, including one under his same management group. 

Well in truth, isn’t this just a problem

of cultural communication gaps? To him, calling a person a monkey is a racial slur. To us, calling your friends unggoy ka (your a monkey), is a playful banter.

I hope I’ve made my point about the issue but there is one more thing to discuss further. Accountability. Remember, this issue is ballistic already. To tell you the truth, I think the Gilas program is in peril if this isn’t resolved.

Coaches can withhold their players can’t they? And both in the amateur and professional levels, as long as Tab is around and this isn’t resolved. Then name calling such as immature and unpatriotic will just make matters worse. Just like the politicians.

What would it take then to resolve this mess? I am telling you, ACCOUNTABILITY!!!!

His supporters will contend “why? He never said anything wrong. Truth hurts. Manipis lang kayo”. One even called a coach “talunan naman yan sa mga teams na hinawakan nya e”. Don’t deny it. I read it.

But what is exactly his accountability then? Well if you read the article intently, it’s right there. Plain and simple. It’s indiference to our culture!!!!!

Maybe he thought he meant no disrespect in anything he said and I believe he still believes so. But sir, you are in Asia. You are in the Philippines. You have been here for quite sometime now. Years.

Coach Tab should make the effort in learning our culture, specifically our communication cultures a lot better. Please know that what you say is not necessarily the way you want it to be received.

Look at a prenuptial agreement. To an American, it’s just a contract. To a Filipino, sometimes that’s a sensitive issue for some families. Look at a will. Same thing. Westerners welcome the procedure, but some parents in the Philippines will get offended. Buhay pa ako, pinaghahatian nyo na ari arian ko. 

So again, does he have an accountability to make amends? I would say, culturally, YES. You may not agree with me but look at the reactions. Except for his followers and supporters, everybody wants his head. High placed, intellectual people. The commissioner of the PBA and the BCAP, the coaches of the Philippines united. The commissioner found him arrogant. The coaches found him condescending.

What would it take? A simple apology would suffice I guess. After all, this article merely points out that it was a miscommunication brought about by cultural communication differences. That’s all!!!!

You can take this advice however you want to. Call it unsolicited. Call it bias. Call it what you want. All I’m saying is there is a problem in the Philippine basketball landscape now and I think this will solve it. Else get ready for the consequences.

What’s in a word? To a Westerner, a word is a word. To an Asian, a Filipino, it’s just like what you say in the cyber world. Think before you click.

Stay safe everyone.

What if Ben Mbala played 4 UAAP seasons for La Salle?

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Make no mistake about it, Ben Mbala is a transcending figure that left a remarkable legacy in the collegiate game.

His stellar performance in his two years playing for the De La Salle Green Archers has raised the bar on recruiting foreign-student athletes. This paved the way for the arrival of “super imports” that could do more than just being a tall presence inside the court. Starting with Mbala, the last 4 UAAP season MVPs are foreigners.

Unfortunately, we never got to see him go up against the likes of Angelo Koame or Bright Akhueti in what was supposed to be his final season in 2018.

In a recent podcast, Big Ben explained on his decision to cut his collegiate career short due to uncertainties as to whether he would be still eligible to play in UAAP season 71. Just a few weeks after La Salle’s failed title defense, the league board was seriously considering to bring back the old rule in which a player must complete his eligibility within 7 years after graduating from high school. Such provision was previously scrapped to mitigate the lack to incoming college freshmen during the transition to K-12.

If said provision was enforced once again, Mbala would not be able to play. The Carmeroonian center arrived in the Philippines back in 2011 and first enrolled in Southwestern University in Cebu before his move to La Salle.

The problem is that there is no definite date as to when the board would deliberate on this matter. Historically, changes in any rules can be made as early as the beginning of the year or weeks prior to the start of the new season.

But Ben would have none of it. Recalling a similar incident when news broke out that he will be taking his talents to Taft, he decided to accept an immediate opportunity to play professional basketball overseas rather than having to go to a grueling wait.

“Having to go through what I went [through], I felt like I was going through the same situation again where some other people would decide for my future, on what will happen with me,” For the second time, I was like, ‘No I’m not gonna let that happen’. I want to be able to decide for my future, not other people,”

Mbala could have played 4 seasons for the Green and White. But a sudden rule change made prior to his arrival in Manila not only cut down his eligibility eventually, it also dramatically changed the fortunes of the Archers, who after 4 years of irrelevance have already laid the groundwork for another championship dynasty with Jeron Teng and Big Ben as their cornerstones.

Whether they admit it or not, the rule of extending the residency of foreign-student athletes from 1 to 2 years was an obvious knee-jerk reaction to Big Ben’s inevitable dominance in the UAAP. Many knew what a special player he was, already making headlines playing for the Cobras in the CESAFI. Adding him to an emerging Green Archers squad would be an overkill.

Imagine the potential outcome had he managed to suit up for La Salle beginning in season 77 (2014).

Back then, the Green Archers were the defending champions and with an intact roster, were heavily-favored to repeat. But alas, things did not go as planned. Having Mbala in that 2014 squad would have addressed any flaws and areas of weakness that they had. In all likelihood, the team would not even be in a situation of having to duel FEU in a virtual best-of-three final four series. They would have easily entered the finals and go up against either the Tamaraws, NU (Whom they beaten twice in the elimination round) or Ateneo (Then a one-man show with no foreign player). Barring any injury, it would have been a back-to-back championship season.

And the rest follows. Him playing in a “ligang labas” (if he still did) would no longer matter as his residency has already been established. Ben would have made a big difference in 2015. Instead of having of having him man the middle, the Green Archers were a donut team that season and failed to advance to the semis. Then there was 2016 and 2017 would have been his final year in the UAAP.

So how many championships the Green Archers could have won with Mbala? Well if we look at 2014 and 2015, the two seasons that he could have already played, his presence would have given the team a huge upside – an additional scoring threat aside from Teng. So given that, the probability of La Salle winning those seasons is definitely high. So along with the 2016 season that they really won, that’s 3 championships. Add the 2013 title and we have a 4-peat. And if the endgame breaks went their way in the 2017 finals? Damn it!!! That’s all I can say.

After everything that has happened, it can be said that it wasn’t a friendly environment for Big Ben right from the start. Even some media articles back then were portraying him as some nuisance to Philippine basketball rather than a challenge for local players to level up their game. Funny is that such sentiments appear to no longer exist when he left, even if foreign players are still winning the season MVP award.

You know what sucks more? The aforementioned eligibility rule never returned even until now. But at that point, we cannot blame him for choosing to go pro. Turns out, his decision paid off as he is doing well playing in various leagues overseas.

Would Mbala played out his final year if there was a guarantee that he would be eligible? I would think so. The guy is a fierce competitor and he would have wanted another shot at winning another championship for the university.

Nevertheless, he will forever be grateful to the Lasallian community for supporting him all throughout his stay.

“What else can I say? Thanks to La Salle for giving me the opportunity.”

List of ‘Super Classic’ La Salle games that you can watch at home

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We know that most of you are stuck at home during these challenging and unprecedented times. And we also know that you all miss watching live sports.

Given the general uncertainty as to when all leagues shall resume or begin their season, many sports fans are currently content on watching re-runs of past games on TV. There’s also that much talked about “The Last Dance” documentary series which takes us back in time to the 80s and 90s.

For your viewing pleasure, we managed to dig deep in the YouTube archives to collate some past UAAP games of the Green Archers from the late 80s up to the dawn of the new millennium. Don’t expect clear video quality though as they were just recorded on Betamax/VHS tapes (To all millennials reading this, ask your parents what these are)

1988 – Finals vs Ateneo

1990 – Green Archers are back-to-back champions


PART 1

PART 2

1991- La Salle thrashes Ateneo in first round match-up

1993- New-look Green Archers’ near upset over powerhouse UST

1999- La Salle gets back at Ateneo for first round loss

1999- La Salle finally beats UST in a finals series for second back-to-back


Part 1

Part 2

2000- Green Archers gave the Ateneo “Dream Team” an opening-day nightmare

2000- Three-peat Baby!

2001- Ritualo erupts for 29 points in blowout win

2001- Four-peat but 4th Quarter only

The following are games the team should not have lost but you still may want to watch them

1994- Round 2 vs Ateneo. Back when winning a game against La Salle was like a championship

1996- Blue Eagles made it rain from downtown

1999- BJ Manalo’s first game against Ateneo

2001- Red Warriors shock La Salle

For Jade Fuentes, a spot on the court isn’t given. It’s earned

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If you already thought that the DLSU Lady Spikers’ frontline this past UAAP Season 82 – for one game, at least – looked formidable, then last week’s announcement of 5’11” open spiker Jade Fuentes committing to the Green and White squad should help super-size the team’s line-up for years to come.

Imagine a starting six consisting of Season 82 rookies Thea Gagate (6’2”) and Leila Cruz (6’1”) and the incoming Fuentes, and the words “block party” and “Great Green Wall” should immediately come to most fans and supporters’ minds.

With the UAAP Board deciding to cancel the rest of UAAP 82 due to the COVID-19 pandemic and not much sporting news happening in the past month, the news of the open spiker from Eagle Rock High School in Los Angeles, California going to Taft Ave. provided not only updates to La Salle’s plans for the future but also some glimmer of hope to a volleyball-crazed nation starving for something to talk about.

Before formalizing her decision to don colors of La Salle, Fuentes admitted to having a few options for her collegiate career: “I considered staying in the United States (US) to play volleyball in college; I was being scouted by multiple teams here. (In the) Philippines, the schools that I was interested in were Ateneo and DLSU.”

“I watched the Season 82 game of DLSU versus Ateneo and I could see that it was well-attended, and during the game, you could hear the cheers from the crowd over the announcers. I also saw how the teams were, and the game had a high level of competition.”

As a member of the CIF Los Angeles City Section Open Division champion team of Eagle Rock High and MVP of the same tournament, the level of play in the US should form a solid foundation when Fuentes takes her talents to the local UAAP volleyball scene.

The announcement, posted on social media through Instagram, was equally praised by La Salle supporters and raised not a few eyebrows from skeptics and fans from other UAAP schools. But growing up and playing in a different culture will also serve Fuentes well when playing in front of raucous crowds that the eight-member league is known to have.

“In all honesty, this situation (chance to play/playing time) probably would’ve happened in any college that I will go. A spot on the court isn’t given, it’s earned. Yes, I will be up against a lot of competition, but due to this, I’ll be able to grow more as a player. I think that as long as I work hard and put in maximum effort, then I’ll be happy with whatever happens.”

Below is a excerpt of our interview with the Lady Spikers’ newest recruit, Jade Fuentes:

How did you come to know DLSU and its volleyball program? Did an alumnus discover/scout you and recommended you to coach Ramil de Jesus (RdJ) and his program?
My interest in playing in the Philippines started with tito/coach Koy Banal; he was the one who guided me through the process, and advised me about which schools would be the best for me, and DLSU is one of them. I also got to know about the program through different angles. Things happened at the right time and it was mutually beneficial.

What do you think will be your main adjustments with regards to living in a new country and dealing with teammates who come from different cultural backgrounds?
It’s probably going to be difficult getting used to the new time zone and weather, as well as not being able to speak Tagalog. I am excited that La Salle is very diverse, so I won’t feel like the odd one out. Even through watching their games, you can sense good team chemistry and genuine care for each other.

Is there a skill that you feel needs improvement? Where do you think coach RdJ can help you with in terms of developing your game further?
Transitioning from high school to college, I know that there are still a lot of things that I can improve, and from what I’ve learned about Coach Ramil, I’m sure he will push me to become a better player.

You are due to graduate high school in the US soon, but how are you now preparing for your transition to La Salle and the Philippines?
Our schedule ends in June, and due to COVID-19, I’m doing the best that I can. I’ve been researching the school and team, talking to my family members, and taking virtual tours of the campus. I’ve also been to the Philippines a few times, so I’m somewhat knowledgeable about the culture and how things work over there.

Are there players, whether American or international, that you look up to or pattern your game after?
I look up to Kathryn Plummer, a Stanford (alumni and current Saugella Team Monza) outside hitter, and Lexi Sun, a University of Nebraska outside hitter. They are both very consistent and are fun to watch due to their skills.

Any local Philippine players, whether in the collegiate scene or professional ranks, that you look forward to meet, train, or face on the court?
To be honest, I look forward to meeting everyone on the team and training with them.

How do you see yourself after five years? Playing professionally in the Philippine professional leagues or representing the Philippines internationally, perhaps?
I think it’s too early to say, as of right now, I just want to focus on my new opportunity that has been presented to me with DLSU.

*Images from instagram.com/jadefuentesvb

UAAP Season Cancellation – What Does It Mean To You?

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And so it ends. Finished. Finito. 30 (journalism’s end number). Sad day, sad end, sad season.

No choice. This virus, once dismissed as a non-threat, has turned into a global killer, a monster of a problem unparalleled in human history.

The Virus

No, the virus is not as deadly as the bubonic plague (aka the Black Death), a rodent carried bacterial disease, which first devasted the Earth in the 14th century, and again attacked Europe and Asia in the 19th and early 20th century nor the “Spanish flu (aka the 1918 flu pandemic) a more deadly flu pandemic which lasted two years and reportedly infected 500 million people, or a quarter of the world’s population at that time and killing between 17 to 100 million people, making it one of the deadliest pandemics in human history, second only to the Black Death” (source: Wikipedia).

Yes it’s not as deadly… potency-wise. In the Philippines for instance, around 17% of approximately 4,000 people were tested positive for the virus, and using that percentage, survival rate is also around 80%. So simple computation will give us around 3-4% mortality rate. Meaning, 3 or 4 out of 100 people may die from the disease or it’s complications.

But don’t be complacent. Contracting it is no cakewalk. A lot of the survivors, including a news reporter, and even two of my senior citizen closest friends, spouses, have reported feelings of near death experiences.

The deadliness of the virus comes from the fact that it attacks the lungs. It strangles you. It drowns you. You don’t have oxygen. It’s like a python. That’s why it is deadliest for senior citizens and immuno compromised people. It must be a painful experience, a near hell on Earth.

And oh, the Earth’s population is more than 6.4Bn now. Even at just 1% mortality rate, that will translate to around 64Mn deaths and up to 3 to 4 times more, by the time this thing gets figured out. THAT’S SCARY.

Some speculation that this virus was a germ warfare weapon come out here and there, but let’s stick to the accepted facts first. It was out of disrespect for Mother Nature. Eating bats and pangolins. Really.

Bottomline. Cancel the games!!!! Stay home!!!! Stay safe!!!!

But you know, in every action, is an equal and opposite reaction. Physics 101. And in this one decision, the opposite reactions are as diverse as the groups that comprise our little sports universe. Let’s elaborate.

The Student Athletes

Of all the groups concerned, the most affected will be the student athletes. Reading posts, tweets, tags, and watching their tiktoks (btw delete that app. It is reportedly a spyware/malware of information gathering), they took the hardest hit.

Their studies were affected. Their training is limited. Some of them went back to their specific provinces and countries. Their schedules have been screwed up.

It’s specially hard for our Lady Spikers, Men’s and Lady Blazers of our volleyball program, and our men’s and Lady booters of our soccer program. These are our teams who just started their campaigns and have more than equal chances of winning it all.

Noteworthy performances are the unbeaten campaigns of the Lady Blazers and Green Booters, and the rousing debut of our rookie laden Lady Spikers.

And yes, most importantly to them, they’re bored.

The Fans

Speaking of being bored, the fans, specially the volleyball fans take the cake. My goodness they trended on Twitter over repeatedly replayed games of La Salle and Ateneo. Toxic tweets at that. It was as if they could still change the outcome of the games.

Hahaha these people really need to undergo psychiatric evaluation, counseling, and possibly shock treatments. High voltage.

But there were funny ones too. A close friend of mine and fellow alumnus and batchmate kept talking to his appliances. Heck, he posted this everyday on Facebook.

What’s worse was he infected our other alumni, very distinguished people at that. I suspect they were the reasons why the school decided to offer psychiatric and psychological evaluation services. We better defeat this virus soon or these captains of industry might just find themselves committed in an institution. I’m not kidding. Look what you did pre!!!!!!

The UAAP League and the Board of Directors

Next season, I expect a lot of meetings about special rules for consideration, mainly due to player eligibilities and number of playing years available.

At this point, we can only surmise the fairness of extending player eligibilities for one more playing season, as this season was inadvertently cancelled. Of course some players may be over aged and/or have reached their maximum playing years this season.

As a parallel model, the NCAA has reportedly already announced an extension of eligibility of players for next year, moving player eligibilities succeeding seasons onward.

It’s just fair.

Players still should have the option out, as in some reportedly already signing off. Subsequently, however, players who are supposed to be eligible next year, must wait for another season before being declared eligible to play, for consistency’s sake.

See? There will be a lot of jostling around and we all know the UAAP Board. No comment on this though. We just know them. Hahaha.

But a little bit of good news though. We are the hosts next year (unless …. Hahaha). Like the virus, this might be an environment of reflection (or infection), depending on your viewpoint and analysis. Hahahaha I’m telling you. Brace yourselves.

Guys, I write for our entertainment, and my relaxation, period. I, too, am bored. I don’t write for money nor to promote any agenda. Except for now.

Aside from entertainment, my agenda is just for us to keep safe at this time. This enemy knows no race, political affiliation, age, physical state, sexual preference, and school loyalty. It Doesn’t Care!!!! And it’s Deadly. So stop bickering!!!!

The Earth is healing but it’s also talking to us. Whatever is important to us is just trivial to Mother Earth, which is reminding us to respect it. And Who owns it. And Who should we look up and pray to.

The All Knowing Healer is talking to us. We should all talk to Him in prayer. In the grand scheme of things, we are just specks of dust. Including the UAAP season cancellation.

Live Jesus in our hearts. Stay safe.

What’s Viral?

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Hahaha. What a way to start an article. With a virus. The Covid 19 type. Well that’s deliberate not just for pun (get it?), but to also remind everybody to keep safe and practice cleanliness. Let’s battle this virus with zeal. And oh, pray. It works!!!! Ok, got that out of the way.

What’s viral?

Of course our Lady Spikers!!!! How about them huh? You know I don’t usually write about volleyball simply because I know very little of the sport.

But you can see that our women’s volleyball program is the envy, (hate to some fans), of all.

And we have a Master Tactitian in Ramil De Jesus. Come on!!!! Any pretenders? They wish!!! Hahaha.

What’s viral?

The toxic volleyball fandom. I mean some of their wishes, comments, opinions, expressions and desires emanate from personal disdain. Hahaha. Really???? Get a life!!! It’s just sports and competition. Just enjoy. You’ll live longer.

What is viral?

The termination of the NCAA sports season and the subsequent suspension of the UAAP season temporarily to March 17, 2020 (with a possible and similar threat). In line with this, that announcement of no classes in the NCR for the same period. Ahhhhh shucks!!!!!!!!

This is a very bad time to suspend or terminate activities. First of all, it’s graduation and recognition season. Frustrating on the part of the parents and their children. It’s a showcase taken away. A pride prick. In the words of my generation, bad trip repapips. (Hahaha. Guessing my age, mooks?)

Also, it’s the start of the vacation season. Parents go on leave to coincide with their childrens summer breaks and make their travel plans. Well it seems that the only ones travelling these days are bad news and the virus. Naman, naman (another time capsuled expression. I hope some still understand, otherwise, they’re all probably dead).

What’s viral?

The Green Archers’ 2nd win in the PBA Dleague tournament. Out come the “other type” of toxic fans. Not a dominant win? Close game with a team that just got blown away?

Hahaha. You’re just as toxic as the virus.

I DID expect a close game here.

Why? It was Manong Derek’s former team. Don’t forget that they know how to break and attack the press.

And notice the personnel? Justin Arana of Arellano. John Apacible of UE (former council man of Ateneo), Dave Murrel of UP, and Jerry Pinggoy of Adamson. Hardened and hard cage war veterans. Not an easy nut to crack are they?

And Pinggoy being there is prophetic. This was a quasi Adamson game. Remember who steers that team. Brother and mirror image coach, Franz. It was really a good test and it was good that it was a hard win.

Well we also didn’t play that well too. Aljun shooting 2/14. I mean your top Gunner shooting 14 shots out of 50 to 60 shots a game and making two. The rest of the team had to pick up the slack.

And guess who did? Justin Baltazar. 12 of his 20 points in the 4th. And if you don’t realize it, that old look anchor is actually a new look.

Why you may ask? It’s because Justin now does his damage in the 4th quarter. And again, this is because of the likes of Ndiaye, Brandon, and even Tyrus. Justin is still fresh in the fourth quarter, unlike in previous seasons where he and Aljun would have been spent by this time.

We should put our D league participation in it’s proper perspective please. Although we are out to win it, we are also there to discover the team’s character, strategies and rotation. And, so far so good.

Whatever’s viral nowadays, my advice is this. Just chill. Don’t treat everything like a toxic virus. We really have enough of that. Not that I’m dismissing that very real problem. It’s there. There are instructions on how to beat it. So let’s follow them. Let’s do it.

What’s viral? Hopefully not you. Don’t be the virus.

Animo.