The Great Divide

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A friend posted on Facebook, and was very happy to attend a La Salle UAAP basketball game after a six year absence. Even despite the loss, that is. Welcome back Marvelous Mr. Mike, staunch supporter of our school and teams and all around good guy.

At the same time, another post reminded our supporters of the difference between constructive criticism and negativity, with instructions and requests to choose their words carefully.

Still another read requested those fans who left the venue without singing our alma mater song, a tradition we so proudly started, not to do so again.

It seems that we will always experience this year in and year out. It’s what I call The Great Divide. And this is directly and definitively correlated to…….a win or a loss. Regardless of what stage in the tournament it happened.

The knowledgeable will analyze. The emotional will criticize. The fair weatherers (a new name I just invented), will go aggressively on the attack, whoever and whatever is in front of them, friend or foe.

And there is myself and my think alikes. Gathering all information, emotions, feedback, hearsay, naysayers, staunch supporters, and the kitchen sink first before ever opening our mouths.

Well, at this point in time, it’s still very early in the tournament, 4 games into the first round, and only the kitchen sink makes sense so far. With the surprise win (you shouldn’t be anymore), of UE over FEU, guess where we are. Still at the top half of the standings.

Remember, only an article previous, I mentioned that at this point, anybody still had a chance, even UE, who I described also as HARDLY a weak team. Again, it’s a very young tournament still. And teams are all strong.

Let’s go back for a moment to this game. Entertaining? Yes. Competitive? Absolutely. Did we have a chance to win? You bet your royal arse we had a chance.

We lost that one during a brief moment of lapse in strategy in the third quarter. We sped the ballgame up. We played to UPs strength. Open court basketball.

The first half was perfect. Low scoring. Half court defense. Stingy. Gang rebounding. Play execution. Teamwork. Remember guys. We are 11 man strong (and not weak) in a game played deliberately. We are 11 man weak (not strong), if we speed the game up. Get it?

In war, you manage your resources if they’re limited. Pick your spots. Make your bullets count. Snipe, don’t rapid fire. We are not going to win a shoot out at the OK Corralle. We need to bunker up.

Our team identity changed because of our injured players. And in this game, when the game sped up, who did we need the most? Captain Kib, the cereal guy, that’s who. And there was Mr. Brightside who bullied his way to the paint, and who did we miss here? Mr. Kiwi to bully back.

But the third quarter was a brief lapse. We recovered, didn’t we? Our resolve was there wasn’t it? 14 point lead cut to one. That was grind out defense. And you gripe?

At the end, we lost on a little of everything. The breaks (the Bates follow ups), a break in defense allowing Juan GDL to create a little separation. The Batltazar free throw miss and hesitation at the end. The manpower rotation (shortened at the end). Coach timing of a time out (called when we were down 14 instead of down 10). All my humble opinions of course.

And here lies the fodder for the Great Divide. The Shuda-Wuda-Cudas. We lost, that’s why. So what? We are tied for third aren’t we? There’s a lot of time in the tournament isn’t there? There’s even time for our injured players to return this year.

So guys. After the next game, think about this article, The Great Divide. Will it still exist by then??? Maybe. Probably. Likely. Well I can only speak for myself though and my answer is and has always been: IT DOESN’T EXIST. What exists to me is and will always be, the ANIMO!!!!!

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