Sunday, October 07, 2007

So La Salle won the championship ...

... and talk to turns to redemption, destiny, and history. And what must be one of the saddest entries into the record books is the two straight losses of UE after what had been a season of perfection in which they were clearly playing in a league of their own -- before the finals, of course. And thus ends a season of exciting oddities in which TV announcers had to express their thanks many times to Studio 23 for the extended air time, as if Studio 23 had anything better to show. Games went down to the last second, overtimes were aplenty.

It was a season when two out of five (La Salle over Ateneo) got you to the finals, 2-0 in the regular season still tied you with whom you beat (Ateneo over La Salle), and 14-0 lost you the championship because of rust, they say, inexperience, they say. It was a season in which 12-point averages got you into the Mythical Five, and little brothers -- looking confused -- are sent to recieve the award for you, which incidentally's shaped like something out of an African tribal artifact exhibit. It was another season of losing teams' dominance in cheerdancing, as well as the dominance of small-ball offenses and pressure defenses. It was a season of Nonoys, Marcys, Jervys, and JVs; Yuri's cousin's a student of my father in La Salle; a Villanueva killed the Eagles in the Final Four.

Coach Black was as energetic as he's ever been; I'm reminded of his scary self screaming "no basket! no basket!" when Rico's put back was a millisecond too late. Dindo Pumaren looked unfazed for most of the year, blowing out opponents by 10, 20, 30; but I can't help but remember the camera in the huddle, a play needed to be drawn out, and him taking the entire time out to come up with who would inbound the ball. Championship coach Franz, on the other hand, seemed always in control, for he had those numerous assistants doing the jumping around for him along the sidelines.

I don't know how to end this without letting my disappointment show like those old, grey-haired die-hards in blue I promised never to become -- my bank account and sanity excludes me from that club. I'll just close this with another oddity which I can't help but feel concerned about while smirking: the Lady Eagles won the championship and their celebratory bonfire was held in the covered courts.


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