College Basketball GNews part 2

At the halfway mark of the current UAAP season, The FEU Tamaraws and the Ateneo Blue Eagles are tied for 1st place..

Ateneo vs UST

Ateneo vs UST

After winning it’s first 2 games against powerhouse FEU, and contender UE Warriors the Blue Eagles went up against UST. The Blue Eagles were all revved up.Rabeh and Eric Salamat sparked an early breakway . Then Emman “The Man “ Monfort was simply awesome. Off the bench, he pumped in 20 points (which included 6 3 pointers) to lead the Blue Eagles to victory. They had defeated the top 3 teams in the league. Next up, were games against cellar dwellers. Visions of a 1st round sweep were playing in every Blue and White supporter’s minds.

Eric Salamat sparked an early breakaway

Eric Salamat sparked an early breakaway

Bacon Austria blocks Chris Camus.

Bacon Austria blocks Chris Camus.

Rabeh scored at will at the low block.

Rabeh scored at will at the low block.

Emman Monfort scored 20 points off the bench

Emman Monfort scored 20 points off the bench

Ryan Buenafe and the eagles were pointing to the top of the league

Ryan Buenafe and the Eagles were pointing to the top of the league

Then a week later the team was ambushed by the UP Maroons. The Eagles, were flat and overconfident, while  the Maroons were playing with passion, and also had luck on their side. It seemed like everything they were throwing up were going in, while the Eagles couldn’t buy a basket. Good bye undefeated season. Good bye 14 straight wins dating back to last season. The loss was not that hard for me to take because I am also from UP. I always said that if Ateneo would lose, I would rather it be to UP. During the singing of the alma mater, Nelson Regalado and I stood up for both anthems. I ran into Patrick Gregorio SBP Vice chairman, and Smart Big shot,who was my AIT basketball teammate during my college days, and he said “ Brad, parang nanalo na tayo ng championship.”

Salamat and Long connected early for a lay up, and ADMU looked in control.

Salamat and Long connected early for a lay up, and ADMU looked in control.

Monfort also connected early in the game.

Monfort also connected early in the game.

Marc Lopez and the Maroons took over in the 2nd half

Marc Lopez and the Maroons took over in the 2nd half

The Maroons challenged Ateneo's interior defense.

The Maroons challenged Ateneo's interior defense.

Magi Sison swatted away the Eagles' bid for a sweep.

Magi Sison swatted away the Eagles' bid for a sweep.

The shell shocked Eagles look to bounce back.

The shell shocked Eagles look to bounce back.

The Blue Eagles have since rebounded from that loss to win its next two games versus Adamson and NU , and are tied for 1st place with FEU. Despite the two blowout victories, something seemed to be lacking from the team, compared to it’s last 3 games.” Parang kulang ng gana or energy.” Rabeh, in particular has been strugling since the UP game. Going into the last game vs DLSU, who have won their last 4 games, ADMU had to realize that The Green Archers are no pushovers despite the graduation of JV Casio and Rico Maierhoffer. The Archers with Mangahas, Malabes, Bagatsing, Webb, Barua, Atkins, and up and comer Bringas are all very capable and dangerous players. Experts will say that ADMU has the edge and are expecting a blowout. I would beg to disagree. When it is Ateneo versus La Salle, throw out all the stats. Anything is possible.

Blue and Green was replaced with Yellow

Blue and Green was replaced with Yellow

The players wore yellow shirts over their unis during warm ups. (This shot courtesy of Dats Entertainment fan Reggie N))

The players wore yellow shirts over their unis during warm ups. (This shot courtesy of Thats Entertainment fan Reggie N)

Laban = Fight!!!

Laban = Fight!!!

Another epic game is to be expected, and WOW, did we get it. As a gesture of camaraderie and respect for Cory Aquino, the crowd was asked to come dressed in yellow. It was a breathtaking site as the Araneta Coliseum was 80% yellow. Both teams and their coaching staff wore yellow shirts also. Reggie and Sue Ann, Coby, Janice and I were among the 15,000 people who showed up to watch the game. After a prayer the game was on!!! Webb and Bringas did damage from early on. For Ateneo, Rabeh scored early on and Salamat was also delivering.  Then DLSU suddenly surged ahead, as ADMU couldn’t buy a basket. They were visibly rattled by Tayshaun Andrada’s 3 shotblocks and Webb’s daredevil drives. The half ended with Dlsu leading by 8 points. They further streched the lead to 11 at one point. Reigning MVP Rabeh Al-Hussaini who finished with 13 markers sprained his ankle late in the fourth period after stepping on Malabes foot. Things looked bleak. Jai Reyes’ back-to-back three-pointers sparked the Eagles’ comeback from eight points down, 46-59, early in the fourth period.Two free throws by Bacon Austria later tied the game. Erik Salamat paced the Eagles with 13 points, including a triple that shattered a 57-57 deadlock for a 60-57 Ateneo lead late in the fourth quarter. ADMU was up by 4 points with 24.7 second left in the game.  Bringas hit a  quick 3 pointer to cut the deficit to one. After two Ryan Buenafe free throws, the Eagles had a 3 point lead with 14 seconds to go. With time running out, Hiram Bagatsing pump faked Austria, leaned forward and took a double pump 3 pointer. BANG!!! Tie game. A shot for the ages. We’re going to overtime.

In the overtime session, Noy Baclao, bucking a hand injury,had seven points,4 in OT, and had 12 rebounds and four blocks, while Nico Salve tipped in a miss and had a jump hook to seal the victory, 76-72.

Ateneo squeaked past DLSU in Overtime

Ateneo squeaked past DLSU in Overtime

We were all smiles while singing the Alma Mater song. Whew!!! Tumaaas BP ko. Watta game!!!

We were all smiles while singing the Alma Mater song. Whew!!! Tumaaas BP ko. Watta game!!!

The Blue Eagles are set to meet UE as their first 2nd round opponent this Thursday, and on Sunday, will meet the Archers again. Ateneo has to step up their game further if they expect to repeat as champs. All the teams they defeated will want payback, and wil go all out. Rabeh’s staus is day to day, but ADMU had to learn to play without their MVP  who is clearly frustrated..” Rabeh has to step up and be patient,again,he is a marked man. Noy, who is doing yeomans work on defense and is crashing the boards, has to be active or assertive in offense, Long, should not hesitate to shoot his much improved jumper while Buenafe and Salamat have to get their games in control as they tend to drive recklessly hoping to fish for fouls. Jai and Eman are doing teaming up well as tag team point guards, while Salva continues to be a force off the bench. They have to find their MOJO which was present in their first 3 games. The DLSU victory showed that the boys still have a big fighting heart, but they would need more than that to repeat. Good luck to the Blue Eagles!!!! Good Luck to all the teams!!!

Greeting you from the Big Dome...... Wambigfayt!!!

Greeting you from the Big Dome...... Wambigfayt!!!

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Music GNews

It has been 3 weeks since my last entry. Lots and lots have happened in that short span of time, to prove the adage that time does indeed fly. First of all………

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(Thanks to one of my FB friends. This picture was lifted from his site.)

TITA CORY, REST IN PEACE !!! YOU ARE TRULY AN INSPIRATION. I WAS PROUD TO HAVE BEEN THERE IN EDSA. YOU WILL FOREVER BE ASSOCIATED WITH WORDS LIKE LOVE, DEMOCRACY, FREEDOM, and PEACE!!! THANK YOU!!!

STux on You

STux on You

In my last entry I mentioned that we would be having a show by the Tux in the Music Museum. The two weekend shows were a success. People left the show, smiling, as they enjoyed 2 hours of fun, laughter and more importantly good music from artists, that if you think about it, were really from another generation. No knock on the current crop of singers out there now, but the music and talent that was showed those two nights are a miles apart from what you hear (or see) now. Mr. C or Ryan Cayabyab said, “Emy and I are so happy to see your show. The whole time on the way home we could not stop gushing about the love we felt, and be reminded of how excellent all the artists are.  It is a great generation of performers. Sigh.”

Hibang sa Awit talaga........

Hibang sa Awit talaga........

Guests for the two nights were, Zsazsa Padilla, Nanette Inventor, Regine Velasquez, John Lesaca, Gary Valenciano and Kuh Ledesma. They each performed a duet with the Tux, as well as solo numbers which were all well applauded by the crowd. For the finale, two former Tux members, Manolo Tanquilot and Zeb Zuniga, both of The Opera, joined the Tux in singing “Bridge Over Troubled Waters.” Carlo also came out and sang the number with the group. The crowd responded with a standing ovation.

With Asia's songbird Regine Velasquez

With Asia's songbird Regine Velasquez

Nanette Inventor aka Dona Buding showed her RnB side

Nanette Inventor aka Dona Buding showed her RnB side

The one and only Diva, Kuh Ledesma

The one and only Diva, Kuh Ledesma

with Mr. Pure Energy Gary V.

with Mr. Pure Energy Gary V.

Backstage with John Lesaca and Zsazsa Padilla

Backstage with John Lesaca,Zsazsa Padilla and Anne Francisco,photographer and makeup artist.

Zeb Zuniga

Zeb Zuniga

Manolo Tanquilot

Manolo Tanquilot

Carlo performed the finale number with the group

Carlo performed the finale number with the group

As you know the show was a benefit show with the proceeds going to Carlo’s chemo treatments and after 2 shows, we were still short of our target goal. So a repeat of the show was quickly decided. Unfortunately, Zsazsa, John, and Kuh had prior commitments already and couldn’t make it to the repeat. In their stead, Marin Nievera, Pops Fernandez and Vernie Varga readily said yes to guest. The repeat was another sold out success. Thanks everyone for supporting Carlo and the Tux.

In the repeat Vernie Varga guested

In the repeat Vernie Varga guested

Martin and Pops also guested in the repeat and performed a duet

Martin and Pops also guested in the repeat and performed a duet

Heal!!!!

Heal!!!!

Me in my office at Music Museum

Me in my office at Music Museum

Friends like The CompanY, TRyan Cayabyab, arranger Marvin Querido, Olive Isidro, were on hand to support Carlo. Also in the photo is Direk Freddie Santos and Sound Engineer Willie Munji

Friends like The CompanY, Ryan Cayabyab, arranger Marvin Querido, Olive Isidro, were on hand to support Carlo. Also in the photo is Direk Freddie Santos and Sound Engineer Willie Munji

Photo op backstage, Janice with the other Gary V

Photo op backstage, Janice with the other Gary V

It was Coby's turn for a pic with Gary V.

It was Coby's turn for a pic with Gary V.

Gary V and Gary V

Gary V and Gary V

More beautiful music to come..........

More beautiful music to come..........

In my next blog, I’ll write about my “vacation.” See you then!!!