• The Far Eastern University Tamaraws lost their first game of the season to the National University Bulldogs, a 57-61 defeat last August 2 that snapped their four-game winning streak, and will either avenge of justify their loss for the first round of UAAP Season 75 as they play with them again in the second round of eliminations this Sunday.

    I had a little talk/interview with Assistant Coach Richie Ticzon about their grudge match against NU. Excerpts:

    What can you say about that first-round game against NU?

    "We had a good game plan against the Bulldogs last game, we tried to limit si Parks sa scoring pero puro kasi siya free throws eh. I think may 16 or 17 points pero 14 of those came from the free throws so dapat ma-limit lang namin ung fouls namin sakanya apart from that I think he only had one field goal so kailangan lang namin ingatan ung fouls but I think we did a good plan naman."

    What is the mood of the FEU Tamaraws knowing that on Sunday, either they will avenge or justify

    Read More »from Tamaraws brace for rematch vs. Parks and NU
  • Jeron Teng has been phenomenal for La Salle so far this season. (NPPA Images)

    The De La Salle Green Archers  bagged their fourth consecutive win just last Wednesday against the UST Growling Tigers, good enough to land them in fourth spot in the team standings with a 6-3 win-loss record by far.

    Even injuries have hit several key players, the team is far from getting discouraged. They play harder and better every game, and prove to everyone that they are definitely one of the contenders this season.

    I honestly feel like a proud parent whenever I watch the boys on the floor playing with their hearts, and unveiling their utmost potential slowly but surely. They completely trust one another, and their coach Gee Abanilla. As a result, even their losses this season have been competitive. Moreover, win or lose, they always leave their supporters with this "proud parent" feeling that never disappoints.

    Although their current winning streak is undoubtedly the result of a team effort, there is one particular Archer who has stood out. He scored a game-high 35 points in

    Read More »from Getting to know La Salle’s super rookie
  • Former UP Maroon Martin Reyes is now an entrepreneur.

    I will never forget the looks on the faces of the Fighting Maroons when they sang the UP Naming Mahal for the last time in Season 73. Sporting their then black uniforms, they hung their heads in shame. Their final record read 0-14. Only a few boys were able to glance at the crowd before heading to the locker room. Martin Reyes, however, applauded those who had come out to support them — a gesture of thanks to those who, despite the team's performance and problems, still showed some school spirit.

    I had always wondered what was running through his mind, and those of his teammates as well, during that last game and the rest of the season, for that matter. After all, it may be safe to say that the Fighting Maroons had talented players, noted mentors and, though not as strong as that of this season, a supportive alumni network. So where were they lacking?

    Above anything else, Martin attributes his team's poor performance to the lack of consistency in the system. "In my five playing years,

    Read More »from Catching up with Martin Reyes
  • Everyone remembers Larry Fonacier's two blocks on Macmac Cardona in the 2002 UAAP Finals. (PBA Images)

    Who doesn't remember Larry Fonacier's double denial on Macmac Cardona back in 2002?

    I was 10 years old when I started watching the UAAP and that heart-stopping Ateneo — La Salle Finals Game 1 fueled my love for collegiate basketball. Ever since then I have religiously watched the UAAP and witnessed a bunch of Blue Eagles leave their mark and move on to the pros. It's been a decade since that 2002 championship and the legacy that year's team has made is still as strong as it was 10 years ago.

    Three members of that 2002 team went to Taipei this past week — Enrico Villanueva, LA Tenorio and Larry Fonacier - to represent the Philippines in the 34th Jones Cup as part of the national team, Smart Gilas, which brought home the championship after scoring a 76-75 win over the USA.

    Most Ateneans who are in the PBA were part of that 2002 team and I think the success of that season has helped mold Ateneo's basketball program today. A couple of days before Gilas left for Taipei, I sat down with

    Read More »from Larry and the 2002 championship season
  • Rookie Henry Asilum is only 16 but playing like a veteran. (NPPA Images)

    Forgive me for my exaggeration, but recently, a couple of things have been making me feel old - my batchmates' graduation pictures, my younger cousins I babied growing up in front of my eyes, and that meme, which showed Eminem's now 17 year old daughter Hailey, to name a few. My experience today just added to my list - interviewing a college freshman, who had just turned 16 over the summer.

    We had been let off class by noon, so I texted UP's rookie point guard Renzar Henry Asilum or Nxoi (pronounced Ensoy), to ask if I could conduct my interview earlier than scheduled. He agreed, on the condition that I go to him at the UP University Hostel. Apparently, he had already intended on taking a nap.

    Sporting a simple getup of a plain tee, shorts and sneakers, Nxoi met me at the lobby. I decided to play detective and observe him extra closely. He was fidgeting with his phone the whole time, pretending to text or, probably, really texting his girlfriend, whom (and he'll most likely kill me

    Read More »from There’s a new kid in town
  • Justin Chua helping out with relief operations at the Ateneo covered courts. (Photo courtesy of Anna Natividad)

    It's the quality of bayanihan that Filipinos are proud of especially when it comes to times of crisis. Last week, Metro Manila was victim to the heavy rains and floods that people feared it was Ondoy 2.

    The week-long suspension of classes turned Ateneo into a relief center. Living in Paranaque, I had relied on social networks Facebook and Twitter to keep tabs on the situation in Loyola Heights and Marikina.  As I scrolled through my news feed, I saw pictures of my batchmates and friends drenched in the rain, managing and carrying donations. And one of the pictures that was shared the most was a picture of Justin Chua carrying in a case of water as well as a picture of JP Erram with a bag of donations, so I sat down with the two Blue Eagle centers and had them paint me a picture on what went down at the relief operations.

    Help had started Monday night and the Cervini dorm hallways were crowded with donations with the dormers already taking action. Justin and Poy are both dormers along

    Read More »from Blue Eagles do their part in relief operations
  • Kenneth Duremdes is back with the Adamson Falcons. (Photo by Maria Corina Bunani)

    A former hardcourt hero of San Marcelino has come home to help guide the current breed of Adamson Soaring Falcons.

    Kenneth Duremdes, one of Adamson's finest, the 1998 Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) Most Valuable Player and a three-time Mythical Team choice, is the new assistant coach of the Soaring Falcons in UAAP Season 75.

    Coach Kenneth played for Adamson from 1990 to 1993 where he first made a name for himself as an athletic and high-flying forward. Teaming up with the likes of Marlou Aquino (until 1992) and EJ Feihl, Duremdes helped lead the Falcons to two straight runner-up finishes in 1992 and 1993. He moved on to PBA after two years in the Philippine Basketball League, and was picked third overall by Sunkist in the 1995 rookie draft.

    After a year with Sunkist, Coach Kenneth was traded to the Alaska Milkmen, where his career took off. He became a major contributor on the Alaska team that won a grand slam in 1996. He was only 24 when he was named Most Valuable Player in

    Read More »from Captain Marbel comes home
  • Importance of an import

    Unlike other teams with African imports, UE has had an all-Filipino line-up for some years now, but that might change soon. (NPPA Images)

    The arrival of foreign basketball players has been a trend in the UAAP for quite some time now, yet the University of the East Red Warriors choose to remain import-less.

    The team opted to stay All-Filipino in honor of the 150th birth anniversary of the national hero Dr. Jose P. Rizal, as well as the school's 65th Founding Anniversary theme, "Rizal nasa Puso ng UE".

    However, without the aid of a dominant import, the Red Warriors settled for a second-worst 3-11 card last year.  Since most other UAAP squads included huge and athletic foreign players in their rosters, UE found it tough to compete.  Understandably, tThis decision by the team's coaching staff and management to not recruit imports drew some negative reaction from the Warriors' supporters.

    But things might change soon. Head Coach Jerry Codinera revealed that three foreign players are currently taking their residency in the school as required by the league.   In the meantime, the former PBA star remains optimistic about the

    Read More »from Importance of an import
  • I've never understood how people can pay such close attention to their phones, laptops, tablets or whatever other gadgets they have with them while watching a UAAP basketball game live. Whether it's the MOA Arena, the Araneta Coliseum, Ultra or even the Blue Eagle Gym, I always seem to get so engrossed in the action. It's a combination of a lot of things: the sound of the drums blaring from General Admission; seeing the reactions of the overly emotional Gang Green or ADMU alumni (whom I refer to as the subjects of the Eagle God); watching the UP Pep Squad receive cheers, even from the opponent; and, if you're seated in Patron, at least, witnessing every single emotion from the players and coaches. So yes, how one constantly minds one's phone inside the venue is beyond me. And even more so, unless of course you're a sports writer or part of the media, non-stop Tweeting just seems completely insane.

    For the first time this season, however, I was unable to spend my past weekend at the MOA

    Read More »from View from the Twitterverse
  • Father Dacanay is a regular fixture at Ateneo games (Photo courtesy of fabilioh.com)

    What do Theology and the UAAP have in common? Two words: Father Dacanay.

    If you're a regular at the games and you notice a Jesuit seated in patron checking a bunch of quiz papers, that is Father Dacanay.

    One of the legendary professors in the Ateneo, Father Dacanay is part of the Ateneo experience. Every year, students take on the challenge enrolling in his TH131 class. If you've been privileged enough to take his class, apart from the theology teachings, you would know the value of memorizing UAAP tidbits that'll help boost the quiz component of your grade. The occasional bonus question about the UAAP is equivalent to one perfect quiz and being one of his students last year, I was always desperate to get it right.

    As I waited outside  for my turn to sit down with Father Dacanay, I couldn't help but feel relieved that I was going to talk to him about basketball and not a thesis statement.

    Whose jersey are you wearing this season?

    Father Dacanay: This season I'm wearing Ryan (Buenafe).

    Read More »from The Father of Ateneo Basketball


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