Sabaldon: My own “Wade”

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By Romy Sabaldan

Davao Beat

Sunday, June 23, 2013


RAY Allen and the sounds of his game-winning shots reverberated in and around the ascending, descending hills of the Upper Session Road going to SM City Baguio where it is colder outside than inside at 20 degrees.

The unassuming, sympathetic Allen is one of the world’s best in the rainbow territory. He is the unsung hero of the hard grind campaign of the successful back-to-back championship of the Miami Heat in the National Basketball Association.

LeBron James and Miami Heat, no doubt, deserve to hoist the mighty Larry O’Brien Trophy.

My 14-year old farmhand in the bukid which I had left to tend for my affectionate Azkal and a Terrier has acknowledged the greatness of James in his tongue-twist excitement naming of the Bill Russel Trophy recipient as “LeBROOM” James. According to him James swept the Spurs into oblivion. All that is needed is a header James. In basketball, it means lots of intelligence, brawn and muscles.

In the different collage of rave reviews the day after, Tim Duncan led Manu Ginobili and Tony Parker in the procession of the most weary team in the frantic test of human endurance and basketball par excellence where everybody is trying to catch their breath except for the cool and composed Spider Man of the San Antonio Spurs.

Even LeBron has acknowledged the greatness of Tim Duncan by hugging him so close when the dust of battle cleared and Ray Allen had given the most heartbreaking loss in the history of the NBA.

The NBA is unmistakably the Gates of Hell, where everybody shoots, rebounds, blocks and runs like hell and Baguio City is the world’s greatest and most joyous NBA fan of the world. And whoever said that you can come to the City of Pines through the gates of hell in Metro Manila has never been to the Mall Of Asia Arena where the smiles of Pam Lastimosa and Aiko Sweet Urdas are heavenly.

Away from home of Glenda Gregg Agang and Jam Salazar of National U, is 260 kilometers north in traverse of Pozzurubio on the way to Kennon Road where even in the heart of urbanidad of Baguio abounds the glorious golden bells in bloom.

The golden bells are majestic, magical and acrobatic as Kawhi Leonard and the taxi driver of the Lower Session Road was just as astonished as you can be on SuperMario Chalmers from way, way beyond the dividing line of no return.

I was even surprised that Baguio farmers had successfully grown lychees aside from strawberries and grapes. What is even more surprising is the low price and it is much sweeter eaten while strolling along the placid lake of Burnham Park.

And you have been missing one hell of a lifetime if you have not been to Davao City like Kris Aquino, who after a meeting with Rody Duterte and a taste of the cheesecake of the Davao White House has acknowledged that it is really more fun in the Philippines saying “it is just so heavenly”.

Some eleven kilometers farther west from Microtel Baguio, the neon light says 3:03 p.m. at 20 degrees. In the place previously known as Camp Allen it was so serene and the glorious moments of the afternoon mist with its intermittent showers softly caressing our faces. We had two pictures taken with the courteous 22-year old Cadet 3rd Class Mary Grace Santos underneath the Philippine Independence Day Flag.

The scenes of the darkened bark of sturdy strong pines and foggy white vapor blends with the combat green raincoats and the silence broken with the marching order of the platoon leaders of young cadets engrossed in the art of soldiery around Asia’s premier training camp of the Philippine Military Academy.

My own “Wade” John Philip Sabaldan, currently point guard of One Network Bank, would have been Captain of the Army by this time if his mother had not vehemently opposed him from pursuing one of his most cherished purposes in life. My wife is no Puritan.

Heartbeat: But as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD. – Joshua 24:15

Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on June 24, 2013.

Sports

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