D--L-S--U! Champion ang La Salle!

'nuff said...


I leave a very good first impression...

...It's the second, third, and fourth I have a problem with.


Conan O'Brien's Commencement Speech to the Harvard Class of 2000

Found this in one of the Yahoo! Groups I am subscribed to. Quite encouraging, really.

I'd like to begin by thanking the class marshals for inviting me here today. The last time I was invited to Harvard it cost me $110,000. So I was reluctant to show up. I'm going to start before I really begin by announcing my one goal this afternoon. I want to be half as funny as tomorrow's Commencement speaker, moral philosopher and economist Amartya Sen. That's the job. Must get more laughs than seminal wage-price theoretician. By the way, enjoy that. Bring a calculator. It's going to be a nerd fest.

Students of the Harvard class of 2000, 15 years ago I sat where you sit now. And I thought exactly what you are now thinking. What's going to happen to me? Will I find my place in the world? Am I really graduating a virgin? Still have 24 hours. Roommate's mom very hot. Swear she's checking me out. There was that Rob Lowe movie. Being here today, on a sincere note, is very special for me. I do miss this place. I especiallymiss Harvard Square. Let me tell you, you don't know this, Harvard Square is extremely unique. Nowhere else in the world will you find a man wearing a turban and a Red Sox jacket working in a lesbian bookstore. I'm just glad my dad's working. It's particularly sweet for me to be here today because--this is true--when I graduated I wanted very badly to be a Class Day speaker. Unfortunately, my speech was rejected. So ifyou'll indulge me I'd like to read a portion of that speech. This is the actual speech from 15 years ago. "Fellow students, as we sit here today listening to that classic A-ha tune which will definitely stand the test of time, I would like to make several predictions about what the future will hold. I believe that one day a simple governor from a small southern state will rise to the highest office in the land. He will lack political skill, but will lead on the sheer strength of his moral authority. I believe that justice will prevail and one day the Berlin Wall will crumble, uniting East and West Berlin forever under Communist rule. I believe that one day a high-speed network of interconnected computers will spring up worldwide, so enriching people that they will lose their interest in idle chitchat and pornography. And finally, I believe that one day I will have a television show on a major network seen by millions of people at night which I will use to reenact crimes and and help catch at-large criminals." Then I had a section on the death of Wall Street, but you don't need to hear about that.

The point is that although you see me as a celebrity, a member of the cultural elite, a demigod if you will, and potential husband material, I came here in the fall of 1981 and lived at Holworthy Hall as a student much like you. I was, without exaggeration--this is true--the ugliest picture in the freshman facebook. When Harvard asked me for a picture the previous summer, I thought it was for their records, so I jogged in the August heat to a passport photo office and sat for a morgue shot. To make matters worse, when the facebook came out, they put my picture right next to Catherine Oxenberg, a stunning blonde actress who was expected to join the class of '85, but decided to defer admission so she could join the cast of Dynasty. Folks, my photo would have looked bad on any page, but next to Catherine Oxenberg, I looked like a mackerel that had been in a car accident. You see, in those days, I was 6 feet 4 inches tall and I weighed 150 pounds. True. Recently, I had some structural engineers run those numbers into a computer model, and according to the computer, I collapsed in 1987, killing hundreds in Taiwan. After freshman year, I moved to Mather House. Mather House, incidentally, was designed by the same firm that built Hitler's bunker. In fact, if Hitler had conducted the war from Mather House, he would have shot himself a year earlier. Saved us a lot of trouble. 1985 seems like a long time ago now. When I had my Class Day, you students would have been seven years old. Seven years old! You realize what that means? Back then I could have beaten any of you in a fight. And I mean really badly. Like no contest at all. If anyone here has a time machine, seriously, I will kick your seven-year-old butt right now. A lot has happened in 15 years though. When you think about it, we come from completely different worlds. When I graduated in 1985, we watched movies starring Tom Cruise and listened to music by Madonna. I come from a time when we huddled around the TV set and watched the Cosby Show on NBC, never imagining that there would one day be a show called Cosby on CBS. In 1985 we drove cars with driver's-side air bags. But if you had told us that one day there would be passenger-side air bags, we'd have burned you for witchcraft.

Of course I think there is some common ground between us. I remember well the great uncertainty of this day, the anxiety. Many of you are justifiably nervous about leaving the safe, comfortable world of Harvard Yard and hurling yourself headlong into the cold, harsh world of Harvard grad school, a plum job in your father's firm, or a year abroad with a gold Amex card and then a plum job at your father's firm. Let me assure you that the knowledge you gained here at Harvard is a precious gift that will never leave you. Take it from me, your education is yours to keep forever. Why, many of you have read the Merchant of Florence, and that will inspire you when you travel to the island of Spain. Your knowledge of that problem they had with those people in Russia, or that guy in South America--you know, the guy--will be with you for the rest of your life. There's also sadness today. A feeling of loss that you're leaving Harvard forever. Let me assure you that you never really leave Harvard. The Harvard fundraising committee will be on your ass until the day you die. This is true. I know for a fact that right now a member of the alumni association is at the Mount Auburn Cemetery shaking down the corpse of Henry Adams. They heard he has a brass toe ring and they aim to get it. These people just raised $2.5 billion and they only got through the Bs in the alumni directory. Here's basically how it works. Your phone rings, usually after a big meal when you're tired and most vulnerable, and a voice asks you for money. Knowing--you've read in the paper--that they just raised $2.5 billion, you ask, "What do you need it for?" There is a long pause, and the voice on the other end of the line says, "We don't need it, we just want it." (Sinister laugh).

Let me see--by your applause--Who here wrote a thesis? That's nice. A lot of hard work went into that thesis. And no one is ever going to care. I wrote a thesis--this is true, I don't lie--"Literary Progeria in the Works of Flannery O'Connor and William Faulkner." Let's just say that during my discussions with Pauly Shore, it doesn't come up much. For three years after graduation I wanted to show it to everyone, and so I kept my thesis in the glove compartment of my car, so that I could show it to a policeman in case I was pulled over. What else can you expect in the real world? Let me tell you. As you leave these gates and re-enter society, one thing is certain. Everyone out there is going to hate you. Never tell anyone in a roadside diner that you went to Harvard. In those situations, the correct response to, "Where did you go to school?" is "School? I never had much in the way of book learnin' and such." And then get in your BMW and get the hell out of there. Go. You see, kids, you're in for a lifetime of "And you went to Harvard?" Accidentally give the wrong amount of change in a transaction, and it's "And you went to Harvard?" Ask at the hardware store how the jumper cables work, and hear "And you went to Harvard?" Forget just once that your underwear goes inside your pants, and it's "And you went to Harvard?" Get your head stuck in your niece's doll house 'cause you want to see what it's like to be a giant, and it's "Uncle Conan, you went to Harvard?" So you really know what's in store for you after Harvard, I have to tell you what happened to me after graduation. I'm going to tell it simply, I'm going to tell it honestly, because, first of all, I think my perspective may give many of you hope, and, secondly, it's such a cool, amazing rush to be in front of 6,000 people and just talk about yourself. It's just great. It's so cool. And I can take my time.

You see, kids, after graduating in May, I moved to Los Angeles. I got a three-week contract at a small cable show. I got a $380-a-month apartment, a terrible dump, and I bought a 1977 Isuzu Opal, a car Isuzu only manufactured for a year because they found out that technically it's not a car. Quick tip, graduates--no four-cylinder used vehicle should have a racing stripe. So I worked on that show for about a year, feeling pretty good about myself, when one day they told me that they were letting me go. I was fired. I hadn't saved any money. So I tried to get another job in television as best I could and couldn't find one. So with nowhere else to turn--true story--I went to a temp agency and filled out a questionnaire. I made damn sure that they knew I had been to Harvard, that I had written this thesis, and that I expected the very best treatment. And so the next day I was sent to the Santa Monica branch of Wilson's House of Suede and Leather. When you have a Harvard degree, and you are working at Wilson's House of Suede and Leather, you are haunted by the ghostly images of your classmates who chose graduate school. You see their faces everywhere--in coffee cups, in fish tanks, you think you're going crazy, and they're always laughing at you as you stack suede shirts no man in good conscience would ever wear. I tried a lot of things during this period. Acting in corporate infomercials. Serving drinks in a nonequity theater. I even took a job entertaining at a seven year-old's birthday party. In desperate need of work, I put together some sketches and scored a job at the fledgling Fox network as a writer and performer for a brainy show called the "Wilton North Report." I was finally on a network and really excited. The producer told me the show was going to revolutionize television. And, in a way it did. The show was so hated and did so badly that when four weeks later news of its cancellation was announced to the Fox affiliates, they burst into spontaneous applause.

Eventually, though, I got a big break. I had submitted along with my writing partner a batch of sketches to Saturday Night Live, and after a year and a half they read it, and they gave us a two-week tryout. The two weeks turned into two seasons, and I felt, hey, this is success, I'm successful now. Successful enough to write a TV pilot for an original sitcom. When the network decided to make it, feeling good, I left Saturday Night Live. This TV show was going to be groundbreaking. It was going to resurrect the career of TV's Batman, Adam West. It was going to be a comedy without a laugh track or a studio audience. It was going to change all the rules. And here's what happened. When the pilot aired, it was the second-lowest-rated television show of all time. It is actually tied with a test pattern they show up in Nova Scotia. So I was 28 and, once again, no job. I had good writing credits in New York, but I was filled with disappointment and I had no idea what I was going to do next. And that is when the Simpsons saved my life. I got a job there and started writing episodes about Springfield getting a monorail or Homer going to college. I was finally putting my Harvard education to good use--writing dialogue for a man who is so stupid that in one episode he forgot to make his own heart beat. Life was good. And then an insane, inexplicable opportunity came my way, a chance to audition for host of the new "Late Night" show. I took the opportunity very seriously, but at the time--I have to be honest--I had the relaxed confidence of someone who knew he had no real shot, so I couldn't fear losing a great job that I could never hope to have. And I think that actually that attitude made the difference.

I will never forget being in the Simpsons recording basement that morning when the phone rang. It was for me. My car was blocking a firelane. But a week later I got another call and got the job. So this, finally, was undeniably it. The truly life-altering break that I had always dreamed of. And so I went to work. I gathered all my funny friends and poured all my years of comedy experience into building the show over the summer. I gathered the talent, figured out the sensibility, found Max, found Andy, found my people. We debuted on September 13, 1993, and I was really happy, really happy, with our effort. I felt like I had seized the moment, that I had put my very best foot forward. And this was what the most respected and widely read television critic, Tom Shales, wrote in the Washington Post. "O'Brien is a living collage of annoying nervous habits. He giggles and jiggles about and fiddles with his cuffs. He has dark, beady little eyes like a rabbit. He is one of the whitest white men ever. O'Brien is a switch on the guest who won't leave: he's the host who should never have come. Let the Late Show with Conan O'Brien become the late Late Show, and may the host return to whence he came." There's more, but it gets kind of mean.

Needless to say, I took a lot of criticism, some of it deserved, some of it excessive, and, to be honest with you, it hurt like you would not believe. But I'm telling you all this for a reason. I've had a lot of success. I've had a lot of failure. I've looked good. I've looked bad. I've been praised. And I've been criticized. But my mistakes have been necessary. I've dwelled on my failures today because, as graduates of Harvard, your biggest liability is your need to succeed, your need to always find yourself on the sweet side of the bell curve. Success is a lot like a bright white tuxedo. You feel terrific when you get it, but then you're desperately afraid of getting it dirty, of spoiling it. I left the cocoon of Harvard, I left the cocoon of Saturday Night Live, I left the cocoon of the Simpsons. And each time it was bruising and tumultuous. And yet every failure was freeing, and today I'm as nostalgic for the bad as I am for the good. So that's what I wish for all of you--the bad as well as the good. Fall down. Make a mess. Break something occasionally. Know that your mistakes are your own unique way of getting to where you need to be. And remember that the story is never over.
If you'll indulge me for just a second, I'd like to read a little something from just this year. "Somehow, Conan O'Brien has transformed himself into the brightest star in the late-night firmament. His comedy is the gold standard, and Conan himself is not only the quickest and most inventive wit of his generation, but quite possibly the greatest host ever." Ladies and gentlemen, class of 2000, I wrote that this morning. As proof that when all else fails, you always have delusion. I will go now to make bigger mistakes and to embarrass this fine institution even more. But let me leave you with one last thought. If you can laugh at yourself, loud and hard, every time you fall, people will think you're drunk. Thank you.


Appreciation list: top ten active WWE wrestlers

1 The Rock – He might not be that active in Raw with movie projects left and right. Actually, he has outgrown his WWE persona and has become a certified Hollywood celebrity. Nevertheless, he still shows up once in a while and his rare appearances are still extravaganzas in themselves.

2 Rene Dupree – I believe this guy has a future. Only 19 and already strutting stuff with more establish stars in the Smackdown! roster like John Cena and what have you. There is just a dearth of heel characters in WWE that’s why he is still stuck with his “French fry” identity. Otherwise, he should ask his writers for his character to expand and grow up.

3 Randy Orton – There is a changing of the guards going on in the WWE. The only old hags remaining in both Smackdown! and Raw are Triple H, Ric Flair, and The Undertaker. Gone are Stone Cold, Shawn Michaels, and Goldberg. Orton has it all: charisma, good looks, innate skill, and heritage (third generation wrestler). My friend predicts he would be the next Triple H. I do just hope that he would be more controlled than the Evolution head.

4 Eddie Guerrero – Latino heat, esse! This guy has good mic skills and is a flexible wrestler. He could slug it out with the best of them and he could be technical if he wanted to. The perfect package.

5 Chris Benoit – One of the four WCW talents that jumped shipped to WWE along with Guerrero, Steve Malenko, and Perry Saturn. Benoit and Guerrero compliment each other. What Guerrero doesn’t have, Benoit has, namely, killer submissions out of the Stu Hart textbook. Guerrero is the witty showman, Benoit is the hard-nosed slugger.

6 The Hurricane – Unfortunately for Shane Helms, he is neither here nor there. He is too heavy to be a cruiserweight, and he is too small to beat up the big guys. Now that Rosey has graduated from “Super Hero in Training” status, I do hope that they give The Hurricane a better storyline rather than just being jobbed to problem solvers like Tyson Tomko.

7 Eugene – How the storywriters convinced that person to play Eugene’s character is an act of genius! Novelty icons like Rico should remind fans that they shouldn’t take their wrestling seriously and it’s just all a show.

8 Batista – No list would be complete without your complimentary half-Filipino. He needs to work a lot on his mic skills and his drawing power, though.

9 “Nature Boy” Ric Flair – I believe he is the only heel in the WWE that the audience stand up, cheer, and applaud to. Sixteen-time champion? No one could argue with that. He is the only legend that Randy Orton doesn’t even dare to touch.

10 Kurt Angle – It was good while it lasted, being Smackdown! GM I mean. Him wearing his spandex or his corporate suit doesn’t make any difference. He knows how to handle the mic, and if given the chance, he knows how to turn a boring undercard into a classic.

What? No John Cena? Actually, he would be there if I didn’t put The Rock in the list. He would be #10 and everybody else would go up one notch. Sure he is one of the cornerstones of WWE right now, but his aura on a certain episode is dependent on how good his rap is. He has better days and he has worse days. Nothing in between.


32 Flavours 9/12/04

  • 1 Liwanag sa Dilim

  • 2 Vindicated
    Dashboard Confessional

  • 3 American Idiot
    Green Day

  • 4 Somewhere Only We Know

  • 5 Last Train Home

  • 6 The Joker
    Fatboy Slim feat Bootsie Collins

  • 7 Some Postman
    Presidents of the United States of America

  • 8 Nahuhulog

  • 9 Pistola

  • 10 Here in My Room

  • 11 Two-Trick Pony

  • 12 Anthem of Our Dying Day
    Story of the Year

  • 13 Taning

  • 14 Everybody's Changing

  • 15 Why Control
    The Yeah, Yeah, Yeahs

  • 16 Revenge
    They Might be Giants

  • 17 We are One

  • 18 Bakit nga ba?
    The Mongols

  • 19 Slither
    Velvet Revolver

  • 20 Wake Up

    Journalism faux pas

    In a press release found in Inquirer Sports last September 9 about the 2004 Marlboro Red Racing School stated that in order to qualify in their promo, one must be…

    • a Filipino citizen residing in the country

    • 18 years or older as of August 23, 2004

    • a smoker

    • have a Philippine driver’s license

    • of sound mind and body

    What? Did I read that write? A fit smoker. Yeah, right. How could one be fit if one smokes? I mean, sure he may play pick-up basketball and does exercise during his free time, but still, I question his lifestyle.

    And that’s one of the biggest ironies I see here right now. How can one be considered healthy if her lungs are full of nicotine and tar? Yeah, sure, I am not a health buff either. But at least I don’t intake hazardous chemicals into my system, except probably genetically modified organisms which are included in my last night’s fried chicken (three legged-chickens, anyone?).

    Besides, what is the connection between puffing cigarettes and driving a rad Ferrari, or at least sitting beside someone who’s driving one? I don’t think Jun Kintanar, one of the rare Filipinos I know who owns one (soon to be two) red prancing horse, brings with him a pack of reds while behind the wheel of his Italian-made sports car.

    Some things I might have posted if only I blogged earlier


    Those who are saying that they lose their thoughts while intoxicated are overrated. Maybe because it is the first time I passed the queasy level to puke mode that is why I still had enough strength and sanity to record my thoughts – although almost incomprehensible but with near perfect grammar – on paper says something about my fortitude. (Or lack of. The mere fact that you reached intoxication means that you could not control your intake. – JP 8/12/04)

    As I write, the sun is up, the roosters outside are crowing, the radio is on autopilot, and I am suffering from one massive headache. Now, is this what they call the hangover? I am hating this experience so far.

    Makes me want to regret that I initiated this as the seniority of the publication amongst newbies. And I still lack approximately two hours of sleep, besides the one I missed the night before.

    At least I already have an idea on what they say as “The Emperador” as one sly enemy. There were times during the morning I want to shit when I could not and I want to vomit the alcohol out and I could not. Damm.

    Seems that the stomach was the first to go, then the brain. I could still lay claim that I had control of the situation somewhat. I still had enough in me to wobble into the bathroom to vomit, clean it afterwards, get out to “recover my senses”, and return to the crapper a few minutes later.

    Although I was passing out and saying to myself things like, “Shit, man. Never again. I could not take it anymore,” I still had enough consciousness not to lay on the vomit-infested bathroom floor.

    As I went to my sleeping position in the scant room, I could still recall rolling off the comforter onto the cold floor. I had to roll back on the comforts of the… comforter and a somewhat hard pillow. (If you are drunk, you do not really care where you end up, right? – JP 8/12/04)

    Although my faculties are returning to normal somewhat, I am shivering cold, my digestive system and brain both have massive migraines , and I could not get back to sleep.

    Are milk and Ovaltine a good mix for hangover? I do not want to take a risk right now. I had to settle for a Nescafe 3-in-1 and I am not particularly a coffee person. Hell with Starbucks!

    Now, I have to go spit phlegm once in a while. A clear sign that I could not excrete anything anymore.



    This is had to be the weirdest 30 minutes of my life. And as
    The Vines’ version of Ms. Jackson blares on the radio, my left chest suddenly felt pain. How appropriate. But that isn’t my tale today.

    I called her up midnight giving the excuse that I had to do some accounting regarding our expenses during our exposure trip, which is just half of the purpose of my ringing her. After clearing that up, came the hard part.

    My knees suddenly felt weak and without realizing it, I was already sitting on the sitting on the floor. My throat was turning dry, I was stuttering, and what’s worse, I was speaking English like a friggin’ drunk!

    Then came the words out of my mouth, “I… like…you.”

    She replied with an, “Oh,” then it went dead air for quite some time. Then I repetitively asked, “Yes? What?”

    She countered, “That sure was easy,” and out came a slight snicker.

    “Do you need an answer to that right now?” she inquired. “No… you… may… take… your time,” I slowly answered.

    “I need to deliberate on that first and you’ll hear from me on Wednesday.”

    “See, we would eventually meet this Wednesday.”

    The conversation pretty much went like that. What does she mean by that? I mean, I was the first one who offered to meet that Wednesday, but she insisted that I spill the beans right there and then. Now, it is she who asked for an extension. (Ah, females. – JP, 8/12/04)

    She reasoned that she does not want to think about it for two days, and now, she had me thinking what she would say two days after. How fast the tables were turned.

    It is like TY Tang bringing down the ball for the Archers. Seeing everything in control, he assesses the situation. Suddenly, from out of the blue comes out LA Tenorio, and with a quick swipe to the leather, the ball is already his.

    In retrospect: busted!



    I have been swindled a lot of times this week. Actually, the more proper term is shortchanged. Twice this past six days I didn’t get my change from the bus conductor or jeepney driver. That’s lousy, I say.

    Don’t tell me a lot of thoughts are in my mind again. Come on, please. Let me recover! I don’t want to be absent-minded my whole life!

    This is taking its toll on me. My being absent-minded, I mean. All the while I I thought I already lost my ‘Usher’ cap and I dropped my lip balm from my pants pocket.

    But God is good. I later found out that my cap is with my friend. I forgot it in her house after spending a night there. Just because I was all in a hurry to go to the game which I needed to cover.

    It was worth it, though. It went to overtime. One-point victory. Hooray! The second game was a classic. Remind me to kill LA Tenorio the next time we meet.

    My lip balm, on the other hand, was just on my bed back in Manila. Two down.
    As for my lost change, as I said, God is good. I never recall putting a 20-peso bill in one of my bag’s pockets, but there it was. Hooray!

    Better yet, I have a new big bag. As in it’s BIG! Hooray #3! Hey, if I have insecurities with myself, might as well show it through subtle means rather than buying a car to compensate with what I don’t have, right? Hehehe…



    Obviously, some OS’s here have issues with downward compatibility… My diskette works fine here in my PC. Or is somebody trying to screw me up?

    Hot off the news (not anymore – JP 10/13/04): the University of the East Red Warriors gave the Ateneo de Manila University Blue Eagles their first loss in the 2004 UAAP men’s basketball eliminations, 64-59. Somebody up there loves the Lasallians.

    Tams skin Warriors, enter finals

    Experience prevailed over youth and energy this time around as University of the East came short in the end, giving the Far Eastern University Tamaraws a chance to defend their crown in the UAAP men’s basketball finals, 71-64, last September 16 at the PhilSports Arena.

    After a pretty close dogfight almost throughout the match, the Tamaraws settled down and started making their shots in the payoff quarter and led as much as 12 after Mark Isip spotted a cutting Arwind Santos towards the basket to lay the ball in, 66-54, with 6:18 left in the game.

    On the other hand, the Warriors committed one unforced error after another to stymie their output in the fourth period.

    To prove that the veterans are all business at the side of FEU men’s basketball coach Koy Banal’s bench, Dennis Miranda led the scoring with 19 points, along with eight rebounds, five assists, and four steals, while Mark Isip finished with 17 markers on 70% shooting, at the same time grabbing seven boards. Santos was the third Tam with double-digits, chipping in 12, with nine caroms and three blocks.

    The Warriors meanwhile was spearheaded by Paolo Hubalde, playing on his last game for UE, topping with 16 points while also committing a horrendous seven turnovers. Earl Saguindel also did well with 16 markers but his contribution was negated with six errors. Niño Canaleta had a relatively quiet night chalking 12 points and just five rebounds.

    Siguro, wala na iyon kanina. Down by eight, Final Four, ibang klase na,” Banal recalled the hole they dug themselves in halftime trailing, 33-41.

    But then, it was just a case of history repeating itself when a similar scenario occurred in their semifinal encounter with East a year back.

    “We were down by 13 points at the half against UE. We remembered it. It was nice (recalling it) and everyone was positive going into the second half.”

    How much the veterans in the squad wanted to win, they exemplified it by talking to the rest of the team during the break and emphasized the importance of this match.

    Both squads were dead even after ten minutes of play, 20-all. Somehow, during the next ten, the shots didn’t fall for the Green and Gold making them frustrated which made life easier for the Warriors converting theirs.

    Lahat ng maganda naming ginagawa nawala noong first half because of frustration,” Banal emphasized.

    Nevertheless, the FEU had more than enough time to catch up and was ahead by the time the third quarter buzzer sounded. From there, they roared to string up eight straight points to go ahead, 62-52, seven and a half minutes remaining.

    Hubalde single-handedly carried the Warriors forcing himself to bring his team back into the thick of the fight managing to cut it down to six, 60-66, less than three minutes left.

    However, a sequence where Santos saved the leather from going outside, threw it to Rizada, who handed it to an open Isip down the goal for a slam with just 20 ticks to go somehow signified “game over” and “Better luck next time, UE”.

    FEU now awaits the victor of the ADMU-DLSU encounter and may possibly have more than a week’s worth of rest if the Eagles manage to win this September 19 and extend the series to one more game.

    Tamaraws in familiar territory

    The Far Eastern University Tamaraws finished on top of the field at the end of the UAAP men’s basketball eliminations. That should not be a surprise. Pre-season pundits expected them to be there as their core won the PBL Unity Cup months before the UAAP started.

    Finishing with a lofty 11-3 standing, they would reprise their “Battle of the East” with fourth seed University of the East in this early Christmas treat as red and green face each other in this Final Four skirmish.

    You might get to read this after the FEU-UE semifinal match, but regardless who wins that game, the Tamaraws’ season is far from over.

    The eliminations that it was

    The Tamaraws hardly encountered any resistance during the preliminary rounds as they went neck-and-neck with Ateneo for the top spot most of the time. Beginning the collegiate year with a bang, they trampled the Warriors to the ground in opening day.

    They then went 1-1 with pre-season favourites Adamson and De La Salle holding off the Falcons while getting surprised by the unpredictable Archers. Afterwards, the Tams streaked to straight victories courtesy of Santo Tomas, National, and State. Although the Nicanor-based squad bludgeoned the hapless Tigers, they survived close calls, literally and figuratively, against NU and UP.

    As icing to the first round of cage hostilities, last season’s Finals protagonists were at it with neither team giving an inch. It only took one shot to define the game as LA Tenorio had his best game of the 2004 season and the game-winning basket.

    Segueing into the second round, they vented their frustrations on the Green Archers, getting even with the first round upset. They then had close encounters with AdU and UE in a matter of three days in what FEU men’s basketball coach Koy Banal described as “character-building” victories.

    After another three-game romp, the Green and Gold squad were caught in the middle of the UP rampage as the Maroon five got their fifth straight win with a five-point lead, 61-56.

    Despite the minor bump, they coasted against out-of-it UST and NU before riding with the momentum with a relatively easy win over ADMU, 65-61, to snatch first place and somehow defined on who might win the MVP between Tenorio and FEU main man Arwind Santos.

    Bulls leading the parade

    Now that we mentioned Santos, he really is good with what he does and that is, defending like hell, grabbing the rebounds, and lighting up the hustle board. To him, scoring is just a second option, a fact that separates him with other MVP contenders.

    Santos is fourth in scoring, averaging 13.5 ppg, with a 50.4% 2-pt field goal shooting. He is also first in rebounds (10.3 rpg) and second in blocks behind Niño Canaleta (2.2 bpg).

    But then, Santos wouldn’t be there if no one was setting him up in pattern plays. Enter Dennis Miranda, a cinch for a spot in the Mythical Five if only a person named Tenorio wasn’t also playing this season. A do-it-all guard, he could score (11.6 ppg, 10th overall), drive and drop the ball to an open Tamaraw, or kick the ball out in the wings (4.6 apg). At six-foot flat, he could even collar the rebounds (4.0 rpg). A workhorse, Miranda clocks in more than 30 minutes a game and could also be depended upon in defense (2.4 spg).

    While veterans Mark Isip (9.9 ppg, 5.4 rpg), and Don Yabut (5.9 ppg, 3.8 rpg) provide the inside presence, shooters RJ Rizada (9.9ppg, 46.2% fg) and Jeffrei Chan (8.0 ppg) make sure the opposition would not clog the lane with their timely hits from outside so that their big guys could operate in the paint with relative ease.

    Against the Warriors

    FEU is the only team that has the Warriors’ number beating them twice in the elims. This should augur well for Banal and his wards. Nevertheless, this is a different UE squad they would be facing, although the latter lack in playoff experience. Proof to this is the difference of the Tams’ winning margins in both games.

    In their first time out, the Warriors looked tentative as Far Eastern bared its teeth, 89-61. In the second round, breaks in the endgame determined the victor in that match with the Tamaraws escaping, 64-62.

    “I don’t consider UE as a rookie-laden (team). Siguro in some other colleges these guys have played already like Saguindel, Labagala, Palaganas. I believe transferees sila,” commented Banal on his adversary.

    In addition, the veteran tactician is all praises for the neophyte UE mentor and the rest of his coaching staff.

    “Coach Dindo (Pumaren) has done a wonderful job in UE. Kung makikita niyo, sa simula pa lang medyo nagduda na marami. But in-erase niya lahat ng doubts na iyon nung nag-deliver sila.”

    A ploy the bespectacled FEU guru devised is to let Niño Canaleta break lose while control the Warriors.

    Ang isa na lang gagawin namin dito i-shut down namin iyung ibang players, pa-iscorin namin siya (Canaleta). Hindi naman niya siguro kayang umiskor for 40 minutes.”

    Against the other semifinalists

    FEU has a 4-2 record against fellow Final Four teams, although they split their games with ADMU and DLSU. Nevertheless, Far Eastern’s wins are pretty much convincing trouncing the opposition in both occasions they won.

    Just means that they have a slight upperhand with whomever they might face once they hurdle the Warriors.

    As a team

    At the end of the 14-game eliminations, FEU was in the top four of almost all the statistics. They total 68.6 ppg, which is good for third overall, every time out while limiting their opponents to 61.6 ppg, first in the league. The Tams are also third in field goal shooting (44.4%) while they are third in freethrows (64.5%).

    With the Tamaraws’ formidable wall, they grab an average of 48.1 rebounds (2nd) and swat 4.9 shots (1st). They also pass around the ball well (14.8, 1st), while at the same time taking good control of it (19.1 turnovers per game, 1st).

    The word according to Banal

    Camaraderie, teamwork, and faith in God are the primary components of what makes his team click. Other than that, having a veteran lineup is always a plus.

    “It’s always an edge if you have championship experience. Thank God na meron kaming eight players who came from the champion (team) last year. Iba iyung marami kang baraha,” he elaborated.

    The drawback of being defending champion though is that everybody is after your skin.

    Ganon naman palagi lahat ng defending champion. Lahat ng makakalaban mo, para sa kanila nothing to lose when going up against the defending champion,” Banal explained.

    Banal and his Tamaraws had an open session in between rounds and he recalled what they talked about, “Before the start of our game sa De La Salle sa second round, kinompare ko na. Nilagay ko lahat ng stats. Tinanong ko mga players, ‘Ano commitment natin dito?’ Nagsabi sila. Hangga’t tinalo namin UE at naka-three straight kami sa second round, in-asses namin ngayon, ‘Nag-improve ba tayo?’ In fact, second kami sa offense, number three na kami sa defense. Ano mangyayari kung magto-top tayo sa offense at magto-top tayo sa defense? Champion!”

    Nevertheless, despite all the success, the religious mentor always leaves it to the divine beings to have the final say.

    “It’s not going to be easy in the Final Four. Basta kasama namin ang Diyos, wala kaming takot.”


    Over the weekend

    With the way the week went, it felt like forever since I last watched a UAAP men’s basketball game. To some degree, yes.

    I was supposed to see Conspiracy Theory Phase One unfold right before my eyes last Thursday, but I had to reluctantly accompany a groupmate for an interview with an environmentalist lawyer in uptown Quezon City for our Investigative Writing documentary (more on this later).

    Nevertheless, I witnessed Conspiracy Theory Phase Two live at the Araneta Coliseum last Saturday. It’s just a delight to look at a quiet and stunned Ateneo crowd. They look like a lost mob. All fired up but nowhere to go.

    Also, had an unusual food binge starting last Friday, which elicited doubtful stares from my mom. Where have I been eating if I don’t masticate at home?

    Also had a weird episode with Billy Joe over the phone.

    Actually, I don’t know where to start. My ‘adventure’ begins as early as Wednesday. Might as well start there.

    When’s the day?

    My night-dream cycle was rudely interrupted by my brother. Forgot what it was about.

    This certain Kabarka-Damo tv station is really getting on my nerves (Ah… Teneans = Ateneo = open lots = lots of grass = damo. Now I get it!).

    The week before, they started The Amazing Race an hour earlier. It just seems I could not outwit them.

    Had to endure an hour’s worth of a rigged countdown called the MYX Daily Top Ten. Haven’t you noticed that more than half of the songs in the tally are from ABS-CBN talents? Just had to change channels. Thank God for a ‘jumped’ Cavite Home Cable account.

    Saw the last two minutes of the Washington Mystics and the Sacramento Monarchs game. It was close. Then there’s the Jennifer Capriati-Serena Williams US Open fourth round match.

    Am not really a believer of the “underdog should always win” phrase (I’m a fan of Michael Schumacher and Ferrari, remember?). But there is a certain sense of achievement when a giant falls and David (not Coulthard) wins.

    The setting: Flushing Meadows, New York. Women’s US Open tennis, two of the best in the world (Maria Sharapova lost during the weekend, see the tv ratings drop?). Third set. Capriati already ahead, 2-1. Somewhere along the way, she broke serve.

    They were both holding serves. Capriati’s long game is frustrating Williams as the latter made unforced error after another, either hitting net or going out. On the other hand, Williams’ power is just simply… overpowering. Her shots forced Jennifer to scramble for the ball and make a wild return that would sail unto the stands.

    Capriati ahead, 5-4, her serve. A portent of things to come. The judge screams “Out” when Williams’ volley was on the line. Twice more it happened, one barely hitting the sideline. The officials out there were like UAAP basketball referees… consistently calling thin and consistently calling it wrong.

    The fans were cheering lustily while the commentators were in disgust after watching the computer graphic replays. With the help of modern technology, it’s a sacrilege of the sport, according to them. Then again, I would be privy to more sports sacrileges, with or without the utilization of technology, as the week winds.

    In the end, Capriati won, 2-6, 6-4, 6-4. Soloflite, could you double check the scores for me?

    Finally, finally. The Amazing Race begins. Let me see if I could do an ‘article’ about it.

    Twins Kami and Karli finally got eliminated as Colin and Christie notched first place and another vacation package while Brandon and Nicole survived Hell’s Gate in their Detour to finish third in the New Zealand pitstop of The Amazing Race.

    Good enough for a lead paragraph. That wasn’t so hard.

    After that, went straight to John Doe. Something tells me I missed an episode. I was suddenly lost in the scheme of things. Oh yeah, he was searching for his identity.

    Just had to stay longer to watch the greatest hoax of all time. But this is reserved for another topic. Clue: it has something to do with Americans and Earth’s only natural satellite.

    Went to school, had a late lunch with Xyldrae. Did our Heraldo Filipino rounds. Went to Palaruang La Salle to look for people. Had a round of 21. Lost to Xyldrae. Don’t know why and don’t know how. Must be because of the lighter women’s basketball.

    Talked to DLS-D swimming coach Ben Luna about his daughter Grace (No, not the same Grace Luna, thank you.) and his dog schitzu. Xyld’s said he’s full of bull.

    Passed by the oval en route to the office. Had a little chitchat with the DLS-D track team. Also jogged around the innermost lane. Completed the revolution in two minutes somewhat. I should do this more.

    Just in time, I caught my band, Livewire, onstage at Kantahan, Tugtugan, Sayawan 7. One word: flat. This band definitely has some issues with identity. Nothing against the current band head, but Peter Alvarez was more democratic during his term last year. He lets the vocalists have their say with the set list, while he also consults the guitarists on what to play or how the arrangement would go.

    For someone as boyish as her, she does throw me off with her musical taste. And having a narrow-minded girlfriend such as EJ’s doesn’t help the situation a little bit. Those who are in the band know what I’m talking about. It’s Yoko Ono rearing her ugly head again.

    And someone told me the better bands played earlier. Argh!

    It’s also because of this KTS that I set myself up to Thursday’s miss-adventure. Saw IWrite group leader Malou Gregorio among the crowd. A fellow groupmate of mine chanced upon me in the HF office and she told me offhand that she couldn’t accompany Malou for our group’s scheduled interview tomorrow.

    Upon seeing Malou, I approached and relayed to her what my groupmate told me earlier. Holding back her frustration, she asked me to accompany her to borrow Efren Camaisa’s video camera, and at the same time tag along with her to her appointment the following day, which I could not decline because I haven’t done anything significant in our documentary yet.

    That’s done. On to Thursday…

    T-horiffic Thursday

    Was rudely woken up by my brother again.

    Before handing me the last downpayment for my tuition, he castigated me about the dole outs I’m asking from my mom. Hey, is it my fault that almost every subject I’m taking up right now requires me to shell out 20 bucks every week?

    I still say money is a pretty petty thing to fight over. Here I am trying to help myself by going to hell lots of rakets (eg, uaapgames.com) just to sustain myself and I get a lashing for doing so and letting my ‘main’ priorities get waylaid every now and then.

    Nevertheless, still needed the untimely alarm clock. Have to meet Malou at Baclaran.

    Upon arriving, I saw my other groupmate (the original groupmate who was supposed to accompany her) with Malou in a store trying to have their cellular phones reloaded with credits.

    I should have slept instead.

    We’re supposed to arrive early so as not to keep the interviewee waiting. Apparently, he had a meeting that morning and another one popped up after lunch.

    This made my other groupmate furious and she started ranting why people in authority keep less prominent people in need on hold. Malou ordered her to zip it, while I tried as hard as I could to catch on sleep. When I have less than eight hours of shuteye, I am grungier than usual and I am pissed off at minute things.

    To look at the positive, at least we were already there and now is not the time to back out. We traveled hell lots of miles just to get there. Let’s just get it over and done with. Yes, that was my mindset that day, get it over and done with.

    We were in the lounge for five hours or so, being entertained by the receptionist, who was also a Communications graduate. Her name’s Cathy and a product of University of the East Caloocan. Sorry, no UAAP connections there.

    She was accommodating, comparing notes with our experiences. Not much difference. Just means that the Communication Arts program of DLS-D sucks.

    Finally had the interview, which lasted vaguely only about 20 minutes or so. After all it’s done, found a way to grab Cathy’s numbers… landline numbers, silly.

    *Cue in NBA Live commentator*

    He shoots… and he scores…

    *Cue off*

    Got to see the last two minutes of Conspiracy Theory Phase One on tv in Baclaran on the way home. Couldn’t believe at the score. 81-56 with still a minute to go. Left with a big smirk on my face. Didn’t finish the game.

    Arrived in Imus earlier than usual. Still had time to ‘talk’ with Jasmine Payo using our helper’s cell (Would you believe that I don’t have my own unit while my brother’s in-house helper has a lent Nokia 5110?).

    *Cue in NBA Live commentator*

    He shoots… and he scores…

    *Cue off*

    A nice sendoff to Lala-land.


    Woken up by my brother, this time necessary. Although I don’t have class (The fourth years… the CAD profs, I mean, decided to give the seniors a ‘field trip’ to different broadsheet offices.), I might use the time off to make a headstart in laying out HF Sports.

    I decided to spend more time on bed instead. Which my brother (and I think also my mom) eventually found out. More cannon fodder for later. Moms and their natural radars: It never fails.

    Did nothing much except make fun of UAAP basketball teams’ and players’ names with Xyldrae and an unsuspecting companion in Gerard. Can he actually relate to what we’re talking about? I mean, he’s just a quasi-sportswriter for a week and we were having uber-inside UAAP jokes.

    Saw Ed after Blind Date and The Fifth Wheel over at ETC. Light, but not wacky. Ally McBeal for men. And I could oh-so relate with Tom Cavanagh’s character right now.

    Now that I mentioned it, it’s already actually Saturday.


    For most of the time, yes, I was seated except when I was riding the LRT-2 line on the way to Araneta Coliseum and the MRT while accompanying Elaigh home.

    Oh yeah, couldn’t forget the episode when I had to ‘usher’ four companions from Upper B to Patron using my ‘clout’ (read: press ID). Yes, I’m giving away ideas for free. Let’s see if you have the guts to actually do it.

    An Atene-rant: How come is it only Ateneans who have the gall to occupy the Press Row? We should be requiring on who would ever seat there to write an article about the game. That should stop them hoarding the places that were destined for us.

    Conspiracy Theory Phase Two: Complete. FEU men’s basketball coach Koy Banal knows more than what he’s saying, but then again, that would be stating the obvious. You wouldn’t want to be caught as the whistleblower against ABS-CBN’s grand plans of rigging UAAP men’s cage games.

    This comment after the game should be a dead give-away:

    Naniniwala ako na both of us (teams) wanted to win.”

    No one questions that. The issue here is whether someone asked the ‘other team’ to drop the game.

    Then there’s this classic in the same post-game interview.

    Sa palagay ko, advantage sa amin ang ma-extend sa game three ang (Ateneo-De La Salle) series. O bakit, sigurado na ba kami? Hindi pa, ‘no. Kailangan pa nga namin manalo sa UE.”

    Slip of the tongue? Backtracking, eh? Washing your hands?

    “It’s safe to say na ma-extend siya (into game three).”

    There you go… But then again, if you are into my three-pronged conspiracy theory, this is just stating the obvious.

    Going back into the game at hand, for a moment there, everybody’s on the belief system that Ateneo might win this one with the way the referees were calling, especially in the first half. But Lopez and company always takes precedence.

    Sunday, bloodier than the usual

    Was rudely interrupted for the fifth straight day, this time by Billy Joe. The day before, it was Elaigh.

    Why he had to call me up while he was intoxicated sure beats me. For most of the time, he was just cussing everybody, speaking in straight English, and was getting pissed off at my retorts. That is so not the Bjoe that I know of.

    Chalk one more reason for ‘Why JP shouldn’t drink alcohol’.

    While in front of the PC, trying to organize my thoughts, my brother had to call my attention. His stern body language gave it away.

    Ano ‘to?” he sarcastically asked while handing me last semester’s certificate of grades. I need not elaborate.

    Gusto mo pa bang mag-aral?” he bellowed while slamming his hands onto the nearest table. It was all downhill from there.

    Actually, I wanted to be a smart aleck and reply with a dignified “NO.” But then, that would just another can of worms and I would just be digging a bigger hole than I couldn’t possibly get out of. As it is, I am in a rut right now.

    If he stays true to his word that starting next sem I would fund my education, then that just means one thing: stop. I am zilch, nada, zero, flat broke, bankrupt right now.

    Again, let me reiterate that I tried ways during this ongoing semester to alleviate myself from poverty. I guess I was just overwhelmed by my so-called responsibilities.

    Choose my poison: If money’s not going to stop from continuing my education by November, either my current status (24 units worth of accumulated failure and counting) or my ‘case’ with the Institutional Discipline Office would (Being caught not wearing the prescribed for five times during your whole stay does actually count as insubordination?).

    Either way, fuck my brother and fuck De La Salle. Fuck me also for being such a fucking burden to my fucking family. I am so fucking frustrated with myself when I shouldn’t be. I mean, I am happy as it is. Or maybe I don’t feel the sting yet.

    Nevertheless, fuck life.

    Now I sound like a drunk Bjoe. One more reason ‘Why JP doesn’t need to drink alcohol’. I don’t need an 80-proof bottle or drugs or cigarettes for me to lash the whole world. I am good at it even when I am sober and in my proper faculties.


    Conspiracy Theory...

    Phase one: done.

    Phase two: done.

    Phase three: to be determined this Thursday and Saturday, but outcome is dependent on what occurs this Tuesday.

    The winner of it all: ABS-CBN.

    Go figure.


    Tams 11-3 on 9/11

    September 11 this year for FEU men’s basketball coach Koy Banal and his Tamaraws would be a memorable one. Other than getting even on nemesis Ateneo de Manila University, 65-51, they also grabbed solo first for the first time this year plus first seed in the UAAP men’s basketball Final Four.

    Close for most of the game, Far Eastern University scored the last 12 points of the third quarter to break away, 49-35, courtesy of Arwind Santos and Jed Cutler. From there, it was FEU all the way as they had their biggest lead of 20 midway in the fourth period when Mark Isip fired a jump shot from the corner, 57-37, that silenced the dominant Ateneo crowd in the Araneta Coliseum.

    Santos could very well be the MVP this UAAP Season 2004 as he finished with a game high 18 rebounds, 15 points, and five monstrous blocks, outplaying fellow contender LA Tenorio who only had seven markers on 1/8 shooting in the three-point area, and an insurmountable amount of errors with eight.

    Dennis Miranda, playing with foul trouble most of the way, had a decent output of ten points, five boards, four assists, and three steals.

    On the other hand, Paolo Bugia led the way for Ateneo with 16 points, the only Eagle in double digits, along with seven caroms and four turnovers.

    “Gusto natin mag-top seed entering into the Final Four,” emphasized the devout mentor.
    Banal would also want to give shout outs to his players, especially the veterans, for stepping up.

    “Noong halftime, we were a changed team,” Banal pointed out. “Pambungad ko pagpasok ko sa dugout, iyun kaagad ang sinabi ko, ‘He who doubts dies.’”

    “Ang goal namin is to stay basic,” Koy quipped. “Ang basic naka-focus ka lang sa game.

    “Ang basic is not to force the shot. Yung extra pass will make us a better team.”

    Banal also made special mention of Jed Cutler, who scored his only points of the game during the third quarter rally. “Thank God for Jed. Alam natin na inspired siya kapag kalaban ang Ateneo because he studied in Ateneo in Davao.”

    Starting hot from the gates, Far Eastern roared with an 11-2 start with Rizada at the helm. Then the atmosphere started to change as whistles started blowing and the Ateneans gaining composure.

    ADMU tied the game for the first time when Macky Escalona scored a jumper off Miranda, 16-all, and later grabbed the lead when Doug Kramer split his freethrows. Nvertheless, Jeffrei Chan and Miranda spearheaded a mini-rally to get the advantage back, 21-17, with still half a quarter left before halftime.

    Tenorio, with his usual theatrics, acted his way for Miranda’s second personal foul. With just a few seconds left before the break, Tenorio was not yet through as he forced Miranda to commit his third foul. At the same instant, both Badjie del Rosario and RJ Rizada were assessed with a double technical, which was also the latter’s third.

    As the wily Ateneo point guard converted both charities, Ateneo had the upperhand, 29-25, as the buzzer finally sounded and the Blue and White crowd booing the FEU bench with much gusto.

    Playing without Miranda and Rizada at the start of the second half, the Tamaraws exchanged baskets with the Katipunan-based squad. Santos found a cutting Chan wide open as the power forward gifted an assist to the latter for an easy lay-in and Far Eastern ahead, 31-29, two minutes into the new half.

    A couple of minutes later, Santos received a pass from Miranda and converted a corner jumper. However, that would one of the few good moments for Miranda as Tenorio flopped after he was allegedly poked by the Green and Gold court general for his fourth foul.

    A trio of Tamaraws had a weird sequence later as Cutler was supposed to pass the ball to Jobim Garcia, who flubbed the leather, bounced off him, and landed straight into Don Yabut, who in one motion made a running one-hander, 37-33, with 4:47 in the penultimate period.

    From then on, the closest the Eagles could get was when Bugia scored a jumper, 35-37, four and a half minutes remaining. It was then that the Tams scorched the nets starting with Rizada going right then spinning left, slicing into the middle to evade Membrere for a driving lay.

    This was followed half a minute later when Santos shot over the outstretched arms of JC Intal. Cutler then notched the first of his two threes coming from a pass off a posting Yabut with 1:26 remaining and the Tamaraws ahead by nine, 44-35.

    Last year’s Defensive Player of the Year followed a Marlon Adolfo miss to pad the gap to 11 and then cleanly rejected a del Rosario attempt in the next sequence. Cutler finally capped the period with his second trifecta three ticks left, 49-35.

    Cutler’s third quarter romp exorcised of his past ghosts when he failed to deliver against the De La Salle Green Archers in their first round encounter, thus giving his squad their first defeat.

    “Sabi ko (to Cutler), now this is your chance (to redeem yourself),” consoled his bespectacled guru.

    Ateneo was then held scoreless for almost three minutes in the fourth as the Tamaraws posted their highest lead, 57-37. Although the Eagles tried for one last gasp, the Nicanor Reyes-based squad coasted to victory and eventually the top spot at the end of the eliminations.

    FEU are to face Dindo Pumaren’s University of the East Tamaraws this September 16 with a twice-to-beat advantage.

    “Coach Dindo has done a wonderful job in UE. In-erase niya lahat ng doubt,” commented Banal about his adversary.


    Four GMail invites and going...

    Just sendme_email@catholic.org with the "I need GMail" in the subject header. :D

    Finding the 'perfect' template

    Thinking that a themed (read: green) temporary template (while I figure out how to install pirated Macromedia software) would suffice for the moment, I picked out a very 'green' HaloScan template.

    The problem with it is it doesn't have 'breaks' in between messages, and the comments look like one seamless monologue... if you could figure it out what's happening before the page finishes loading.

    Give it a try and tell me what's 'wrong'. Suggestions are very much aprreciated. *hint, hint* :D


    After six hours...

    I'm still in front of the PC. I wonder how I am going to pay this 'session'. Also missed Summer Slam at RPN and Elaigh's phonecall.

    Must stifle addiction...


    FEU waiting in the wings of the Eagles

    In a playdate that did not matter, everybody was looking ahead.

    The Ateneo Blue Eagles had a hard time disposing luckless National University in the first game, while the Far Eastern University Tamaraws took some three quarters before they could totally shake off University of Santo Tomas, 66-57, last September 5 at the PhilSports Arena. This set up a battle for first place between the day’s winners this September 11 at the Araneta Coliseum to draw the UAAP men’s basketball eliminations to a close.

    In a game where both teams committed a total of 50 turnovers, and surprisingly, only four fouls each in the first half, the best thing that happened was when Dennis Miranda supposedly threw the ball towards Arwind Santos for an alley-oop, but instead, the leather bounced the backboard and went through the net.

    “That’s the story of the game,” was how FEU men’s basketball coach Koy Banal described his point guard’s fantastic shot from near midcourt, reminding him of one game in their previous PBL campaign where Miranda did the same thing.

    Miranda’s only three-point attempt of the game provided the perfect nightcap for a match where both squads could not do anything right. He finished with seven points along with seven rebounds, four steals, and five turnovers.

    Jeffrei Chan finally made himself noticed scoring 14 points in the first half and topping the department with 16. RJ Rizada was the only other player who finished in double-digits with 15.
    In a day when the referees’ whistles were not that prominent, Mark Isip fouled himself out along with nine markers and seven errors.

    On the other hand, Danilo Pribhdas, Christian Luanzon, and Allan Evangelista did much on a lean as they all concluded with nine points for the hapless Tigers.

    “One thing good doon sa team ng UST, if not all of them, most of their players are ready to play. Siguro iyon ang one thing na dapat naming matutunan,” the FEU mentor said of the oppostition.

    The Tamaraws had a feast on the hustle board with 52 rebounds, 14 feeds, eight thefts, and five blocks, four coming from Arwind Santos. They also had 17 fastbreak points as they run the Tigers aground with their transition game. This romp proved that they have UST’s number this season, beating them badly in both of their meetings.

    UST’s sickness proved to be contagious as scoring did not pick up until midway of the first quarter when Chan stringed up a pair of fastbreak points to lead, 6-0. From there, more sloppy plays ensued as Rizada joined in the scoring fray beginning the Tamaraws’ rampage in the second period with six straight, 22-13.

    Chan ended what he started as he had his own six-point binge in the final two minutes before halftime, capping with a shot a second remaining, 31-24. Santos gave the Green and Gold their highest lead of 20 in the middle of the fourth quarter, 62-42, after he grabbed an offensive board, ran towards the corner, and suddenly spun for a shot.

    From there, the Morayta-based crew coasted as the Tigers tried for one last gasp and managed to cut down the deficit to seven, 55-62, with less than a minute to play. In the next possession, Miranda was setting up Santos for an alley-oop play when his pass went over, hit the board, and bounced into the bottom of the net to the delight of the sparse crowd.

    Far Eastern’s motivation this Saturday, besides getting top spot, is avenging their loss against Ateneo, and at the same time, would also be able to grab solo first place for the first time this season.

    “Iyon ang goal namin before going into the Final Four. Magandang pabaon iyon,” Banal mentioned.

    More Green Day...

    Picked this up over my MTVAsia email subscription...



    Top ten signs you are an Incuboyd

    Incuboyd (n) - Someone who only knows Brandon Boyd and no one else in the band Incubus. Just means that you have to brush on your music general information, boy.
    Syn. Linki-noda, Ely-head, Rico-maya, Aia-mago, Damon Al-Blur.
    Ref. D-12's My Band

    I was inspired to do this list after the Incubus concert. Then, D-12's My Band came out.

    When Peter Punk attacks...

    Seems that there's nothing much on the tv this week, except for the US Open, and none of its matches I've seen the entirety of. Then, there is WWE Raw, which I only caught halfway.

    Note to self: Do not ever 'Google' WWE sites if you don't want to be accidentally spoiled.

    What caught me more was this public utility jeepney I rode home going to my brother's place in Imus. I don't know where or how he got his 'compilation', but they were there, in all it's scratchy glory the Eraserheads' "Greatest Hits"!

    I just found out... the Presidents of the United States of America are back! And all the while I thought they were dead. Last heard of them doing their own version of Video Killed the Radio Star for The Wedding Singer. Their new single, Some Postman is part of their new album, Love Everybody.

    They are not the only birth going on a rebirth. Green Day returns with their old sound in American Idiot. Whoever said that punk is dead should bury himself six feet under the ground right in the middle of Loyola Cemetery.

    Punk is very much alive!!!

    And they have a cool website to boot.

    I feel so old... brings out cane and walks with hunchbacked.

    Sure did bring back memories.

    Note to self: If you want your website to work properly, put your Tag-board at the bottom of your code!

    Yahoo! I'm such a cool person!

    I can now be also contacted at jp.abcede@gmail.com the coolest email account I have ever had... next to my Lycos'. :D

    This is sacrilege!

    I missed two UAAP men's basketball playdates! Noooh!

    These are times when academics and other school-related stuff interfere with my UAAP viewing. :D

    Kobe Bryant gets acquitted...

    ...But I still hate the Lakers.

    Quasi-Celtic fan over here.


    The Archers could still get first seed...

    …Provided that they win their remaining games while Ateneo loses two of their games (hopefully against UP and FEU) and Far Eastern University gets shocked by unpredictable UST or National University. That way, all teams end up tied with 10-4.

    If my mathematics is right, the Tamaraws should win by one against the Eagles. In that case, FEU should have a quotient of +4 while DLSU would have +5, thus giving them first seed outright while Far Eastern and ADMU go into a ‘best-of-three’ type of playoffs.

    If ever the Tams are victorious by more than one, it would still be a better case scenario for the Archers with Ateneo and De La Salle having their own ‘best-of-three’ type of playoffs.

    The point is, as long as all three teams end up tied in first, Ateneo would go through a playoff, unless the Eagles win over FEU by a big margin and drop their games against University of the Philippines and NU.

    By the way, the battle for fourth place is just as exciting, only if University of the East couldn’t help it and sweep their last three games. Currently at 6-5, they have the best seat among the other contenders. UNLESS all four teams (Adamson University, UE, UP, and UST) end up 7-7.

    This is where hardcore mathematicians come in.


    Close-up moments...

    Picture taken during the halftime of the Adamson-NU UAAP men's basketball second round eliminations. Became an instant celebrity afterwards.

    Note to self: Kiddie watches are NOT waterproof. Sucks to be them.

    Kill Murphy!

    Is it just me or is my website picky on whom it would view its page until the end? And of all people, why me?

    Sorry for the inconvenience if you suffer the same fate. Otherwise, luck you.

    Sucks to be me.

    Your boob tube is showing

    Caught the last stunt of Fear Factor 2nd Chance over at AXN. I miss this show.

    What had my attention was this survey that they show before tv commercials. Saw the “what Filipinos fear the most” and this is what came out: heights was the most dreaded with 23 percent, next were roaches, then came spiders at eight percent. Down below is ‘others’ with a high 53 percent.

    All the while, I thought we are a people that fear nothing. We stare fear right in the eye. We should be the global endorser of No Fear apparel or something. We have survived countless revolutions and skirmishes, two World Wars, tons of natural disasters, and numerous other crises.

    We are a resilient race. The term “The things that don’t kill you would make you stronger” surely applies to us.

    Sarcastically, I didn’t know that ‘others’ could cause fright to a big majority of the population (or in this case, the survey respondents). “There is a fear called ‘others’?” Kathy once inquired. My friends and I respond with a hearty laugh.

    Oh, they must be referring to a fear of others, as in other people. Or maybe Filipinos cringe at watching the Nicole Kidman-starring The Others one way or another (either because they are afraid with a horror flick or are just nauseated with watching a bad movie). Yes, I’m just playing with the words.

    Then again, what we Filipinos are afraid of just unmentionable. We are beyond bugs. We eat them for breakfast. The stunts in Fear Factor pale in comparison to what we endure everyday that is called rush hour traffic in Epifanio delos Santos Avenue. What and where is the rush when no one could since all of the vehicles are stuck in the middle of the highway?

    As I said what terrorizes us are unmentionable. Like the Philippine president. Or the numerous taxes the current administration would want to impose. Fuck global warming when majority of our populace couldn’t even eat a proper meal three times a day.

    Your friendly neighborhood Spider-man(?)

    Is this a big grammatical error or Stan Lee dabbling in poetry? Must ask comicheads… and fast!

    The reason I stopped myself from asking this loudly after watching Spidey 2 was that Matt corrected me and said, “Isn’t it your friendly neighborhood superhero Spiderman?”

    Now it’s confirmed. Watching Spidey 1 over at HBO last night, I saw him drop a note in a lady’s bag after uh… bagging the thief. The note said the subtitle above, sans the question mark and the parentheses.

    Note to self: Must check if brother has a DVD copy of the series. Must see them back to back for continuity and coherence. It’s the obsessive compulsive in me looking for errors and whatnot.

    To compare, the first installment had a better script while the sequel had a more engaging story. What the part two lacks in depth, it makes up in magnitude. More superhero and comic book references, more cheesy one-liners, smoother computer graphics, more explosions, more fights, more drama, more everything, including continuity errors.

    Such is Hollywood’s penchant for extremes. There is no middle ground. Either you are the hero or the antagonist. That’s why Spider-man 2 was less human, but, has more empathy since the excess emotion would just drag you along.

    Zilch, nada, zero.

    Thus ends our Olympic campaign. Seems that nobody watches the closing ceremonies (neither would I) because NBN shifted back to normal programming the moment all the games ended.
    Read Monday’s paper. Found out that Donald Geisler and Antoinette Rivero were this close ( ) in winning at least a medal. The matches I saw Sunday early morning (that’s Saturday midnight, right?) were already the semifinals. One more win and they were assured of a bronze medal.

    Nevertheless, close enough and almost does not count. For the second straight Summer Olympics, we end up without a podium finish. We should start questioning our country’s general sports program. Why are we so focused on basketball when we don’t send a cage team in the Olympics in the first place?

    For starters, Eritrea, a flood-torn country in Mars, has one medal. A nation like ours that make headlines with our chaotic national elections, Angelo dela Cruz, Alex Pagulayan, Manny Pacquiao, and our relentless overuse of SMS could not even have an athlete march in the awarding ceremonies and have a medal hang on his or her neck.

    Chess in pool

    Speaking of “The Lion”, saw him square up with Efren “Bata” Reyes in On-Cue 3 in that Ka-barkada station. Witnessing the bigwigs play, as my friend Xyldrae described it, is like watching chess on the pool table with the safety plays administered by the cue artists and them being able to strategically place the balls with every shot.

    Ahead 3-1, Pagulayan missed an ill-placed nine ball to let Reyes catch up. In another rack, “The Magician” was again doing his usual tricks when he bounced the object ball in one corner and pocketed it at the other side that awed the crowd to further wrest the momentum away from the newly-crowned world champion.

    In another sequence, Pagulayan thinly hit the object ball as the cue ball went straight to the pocket, much to his dismay. When Reyes is on the groove, not even a faulty cue stick could stop his winning run.

    And this guy’s already 50 years old.

    TAR 5 ninth leg updates and John Doe interrupted

    This Ka-barkada station has becoming inconsistent (what do you expect from Ateneans?). They were showing in ads that they would start The Amazing Race on 9:45am. Confident that I wouldn't miss anything, I lounged in my room first before coming down to open the tv.

    Guess what I saw by 9:45 am... the friggin' "Detour" task where they were asked to push a taxi into a garage!
    Good thing Brandon and Nicole are still in the race. Damm twins.

    My day isn't even through. For some strange reason, Star World bypassed John Doe for the tacky Prince Charles' Party at the Park.

    They do really have the knack of me abhoring that station. And the fact that I miss their Star Movies Mandarin.

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