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!!!!!