Thursday, September 25, 2008

UAAP Men's Basktball Season is over

The UAAP Men's Basketball Championship for Season 71 is over. Crummy that there's nothing to look forward to on TV every Thursday, Saturday and Sunday afternoon.

Congratulations Ateneo. You have a real good team this year and you played well. We had so many chances to score and close the gap, but again, the shots just didn’t fall. It just wasn’t meant to be.

Personally, I am happy that our team got this far and anything more is just gravy. But never did I imagine that it would end this way.

In all my years of playing and watching basketball games, I am usually not one to blame the officiating. But on this occasion I’m in shock at how the game was manipulated by people other than the players and in such blatant fashion. If they wanted to decide the outcome of the game, then they could have spared us all this drama.

It’s not that Ateneo does not deserve the victory, they do. But what gets my goat is that our team was not even given a chance. The officiating controlled the game rather than letting the players play. Calling that second technical on Rico decided the outcome of the game. And what was it for? Something that LOOKED LIKE taunting! I painfully watched the replay of the game just to see if Rico Maierhofer did make a dirty finger on Rabeh AL Husseini, you would see Maierhofer doing that same signaling to his teammates for most of the game, and at that instant right before the refs called the T, he was signaling at Jvee Casio.

So, I wonder if the ref will get suspended for that? Throughout the season, referees were suspended for making supposedly erroneous calls (incidentally on teams playing against La Salle). This one should take the cake, but since the Commissioner is from Ateneo, let's see if any form of action is taken.

Though it may seem sweet to Ateneo, I can't help but feel that this victory is somehow hollow because someone else helped win it for them. Still, enjoy your victory. You deserve it if we will base it on the whole season. NOT on this game.

I feel most for Jvee Casio. I saw his game face (one I don’t remember ever seeing before) when he received his Mythical Five award. And I saw the frustration and the mumbled words (which looked like “patay ako”) when he got his 4th foul.

I commend the team, especially those that stepped up until the very end. Keep your heads up! We are all proud of you!

The intensity that most of us have been waiting to see from our team was shown in the 1st quarter…now THAT was La Salle basketball (a little over emotional maybe, but that Animo, the hustle, the desire was there)…it was what I have been waiting to see all season long…but it possibly came too late…and as we saw, didn’t last long enough.

And as we have done in the past, from the ashes we must rise up and learn from this. Massive player build up/training should be priority. Is it possible that we were caught flat footed because most were still celebrating last years victory? May be, may be not. But it’s definitely a wake up call.

Nevertheless, there’s nothing to be ashamed of. Let’s give it to the Blue Eagles to relish this one as it will be another few years before they feel this way again.

278 days to go until Season 72!

It will always be ANIMO LA SALLE!

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