Episode three of Basketball crazy gave us the chance to talk a lot since there were so many Basketball Crazy happenings around the leagues in the country. So lets make a round robin check for the many basketball activities the past week. In the PBA, Air 21 overcame a 15 points deficit to beat the Magnolia Beverage Masters and advance to their first PBA Finals. Arwind Santos and Gary David who both guested on our show played good games as they ended the series 4 wins to 2 which means they will play the Ginebra Kings on wednesday. In the NCAA, the San Beda Red Lions starring Sam Ekwe gave a Royal beating to the erstwhile unbeaten Letran Knights as they ended the first round with a tie with their tormentors the JRU Heavy Bombers at 5-2. On the other hand, it was a wild and wooly UAAP as the FEU Tamaraws beat the only unbeaten UAAP Team, the Ateneo Blue Eagles, unfortunately their celebration was short lived because they lost to the only winless team, the NU Bulldogs in their last game in the first round which relagated them to third place. The Green Archers on the other hand lost to the UE Warriors and in a series of unfortunate events got two players seriously injured with Simon Atkins banging his head on the floor and Marko Batricevic reinjuring his ACL. Lastly, the centennial hosts ,UP Maroons got their second win over the Adamson Falcons as they ended the first round with two wins, same with their victims.
Our first set of guests were Dr. Jay Adalem who is the President of the NAASCU and also treasurer of SBP and Gameface.ph VP Marlo Rustia. Dr. Jay mentioned some differences between the top two leagues and the NAASCU and the most evident is the maximum age of players which is at 23 years old. At the same time he mentioned that there are twelve member schools which has a student base of more than 500,000 students. At the same time, the NAASCU is quite scattered and has more games since there are teams from as far as Subic (Lyceum), Pampanga (Holy Angel University) and Cavite (San Sebastian College). Gameface.ph is helping the league achieve additional basketball mileage by giving them a venue to have the games written by local sportswriters (NAASCU Students as posted in this Blog) and now television through the Makisig channel.
The 12 member schools are bannered by St. Clare College where Dr. Jay hails, the University of Manila Hawks which won 5 NAASCU titles, and corporate rivals AMA Computer University and STI College which won the past two seasons respectively. I will come out with a primer about the teams in a separate blog about the NAASCU. The 8th Season of the NAASCU will open on August 8, 2008 at 8:08 AM and the first two games will be telecast over the Makisig channel. The event will be hosted by Tracy Abad and yours truly with SBP President Manny Pangilinan as the guest of honor.
The San Beda boys almost did not make it on time since the rains and all made the roads quite unpassable and as usual traffic was horrible. For me Pong Escobal is the epitome of a student athlete, he speaks well and expresses his views in a calm manner. He mentioned that while playing for the UNIGames back in 2004, former SBC Coach Nash Racela approached him and offered him to play in Manila. The Coaches also talked to his parents and before you know it he arrived in Manila and was raring to play ball. Bam Gamalinda on the other said that when Pong arrived they immediately hit it off since both of them are from Mindanao, Bam came from Iligan city. When we tackled the issue of their two losses they mentioned that it really helped them a lot and it somehow showed that the only thing that can beat them is themselves. Pong mentioned that their most avid benefactor, Mr. Manny Pangilinan inspired them and motivated them when he talked to the team. MVP said that they should play hard, focus and put their game a notch higher come the second round of play. True enough, Pong said that during the start of the season they were taking it easy but when things went awry they suddenly woke up and bent all their ire on the unbeaten Letran Knights with which they said was some kind of a statement game. Because of those two losses they are now focused on winning as many games and hopefully get their third title. Bam added that all of them had a one on one heart to heart talk with Coach Frankie Lim and now they are raring to go back to the court to roar again and pounce on the rest of the NCAA teams. I hope we can guest Pong again in one of the future episodes (hopefully when they win the title again) since I believe there are a lot more stories to tell but given the limited time it was just what was put on the table that was talked about. Good Luck to the Lions.
The show ended with me eating raw coffee since I lost another bet to Joe Buduan. Hopefully next week I win the bet since I believe GInebra will pulverize the AIr 21 Team. Till the next week, remember that Life is a ball, so just shoot and score.