Panes: Greens, Red, and Gold-A A +A
By Joel Panes
Monday, October 21, 2013
THE basketball wars of UAAP76 are over: the Green came out to play and overcame Gold. An affable French instructor who is a proud DLSU alumnus as most of my high school batch mates from Colegio San Agustin circa 77 had become, basked in the glory and limelight of an unexpected UAAP championship after contenders and pretenders to the throne were waylaid. After several consecutive championships, Ateneo no longer sizzled; the Hans Sy-financed and Parks-powered National University choked and FEU tripped on the way to the dance floor.
When this column once wrote that these varsity games resembling the Olympics bind the community of its kind, it sure did. Identities lost in the post campus phase were revived. Suddenly, the dispersed DLSU community became alive after years of wallowing beneath the span of Ateneo’s eagle wings. This year belonged to Animo La Salle!
Congratulations DLSU and also to Messrs.’ Junie Torre, businessman Ravi Daryanani, gorgeous softbelle Daniella Uichico and every spirited member of the entire Archers’ family!
While the Tigers were still licking their wounds after arrows stunned the UST’s title hopes, coach Jarencio’s defense of his own ward for a critical lapse of judgment in the game’s dying seconds had turned a low moment into one laudably noble. Pido could have joined the chorus of innumerable aspersions and invectives of the wounded UST community but instead had summoned their collective hate and frustration to be unleashed against him instead.
Shades of the epistles written by St. Paul of Tarsus? I believe so. The highly intellectual rabbi wrote, “For with difficulty, one would die for a wicked one and perhaps one even dares to die for the sake of a good man.” This coach took upon himself the cloak of certain death to stay the concrete jungle’s wrath. For us who sweat and play the competitive game, our mouths water and our hearts teem with a good jealousy. Not all men would take rapid fire from trigger happy and exceedingly righteous gods. Chivalry lives! Not all men turn to ashes when blasted by even the most righteous anger. In the case of coach Jarencio, the remarkable competitor in his PBA heydays glowed brightly like fine gold in a fiery furnace. The Aljons of this world salute you!
Here, in the BBEAL 27’s first phase, the Gen. Luna-based Reds bolstered by the returning coach-tactician Flores dethroned the Gov. Pack Greens which boasted of veterans which beefed its past two championship campaigns in men’s basketball.
While not belittling title hopes of the humbled Jaguars, aspiring Navigators and rising Atoms next year, this title grab by the Cardinals signals the beginning of a tectonic power shift – back to Gen. Luna.
The UB dribblers, who once dominated the BBEAL for years before ceding the crown to CCDC and UC, are reportedly eager to regain lost glory. As Boston Celtics was to the NBA in terms of championship pedigree, UB Cardinals was to the local league. To what strategic extent other Baguio-based universities shall go to overcome the Reds’ resolve will determine whether or not the competition will be content with being perennial bridesmaids to the present men’s basketball champions.
CCDC won two crowns consecutively. UC’ followed suit with successive two championships.
Will 2014 belong to UB? A clear affirmative lies if the Cardinals’ zeal continues and unless other teams prepare against the wind to take their honor away. Otherwise, you will be Sadducees. What? Yes, you’ll be “sad to see” that this forecast made a year away from the next championship becomes a reality. It might become “it’ll all be “UB” there!” Congratulations UB and Athletic Director Ed Laureano!
Published in the Sun.Star Baguio newspaper on October 22, 2013.