After an exhausting week of twice a day training sessions, my teammates and i finally got the chance to see each other not on the hardcourt wearing practice jerseys and rubber shoes but elsewhere wearing jeans and dress shirts. We scrimmaged from 1 to 4 that afternoon then we headed straight to the NBC Tent in the Fort for the launch of TEAM ATENEO - a fundraiser event for the 3 Ateneo basketball teams namely the Eaglets, Lady Eagles and Eagles. Proceeds would be allocated for scholarship fund and other expenses of the athletes. Despite the heavy rains, present were the very generous alumni who purchased tickets that were sold at 3,500php each that included buffet dinner, a comedy presentation and live band performance all by Ateneans. Of course, the players from all 3 teams were presented on stage with Mel Garrido and Gabe Mercado as the hosts of the event. The turnout was pretty successful with a good mix of politicians, businessmen, sports icons, executives and families. It was also real touching to see the 2002 Champion team present (Rich Alvarez, Rico Villanueva, LA Tenorio, Larry Fonacier, JC Intal, etc.). In fact, they even gave words of encouragement for us current Blue Eagles. Whether they were forced or not to purchase the P3,500 tickets, it was great to see them all there! Thank you Tita Debbie Tan for putting this all together and congratulations for a very successful event! Of course, SMART was our major sponsor :)
But the night didn't end there, of course we had to celebrate our NSL Championship! and where else but in the closest and hottest club nearby - EMBASSY! I have to say that clubbing is not exactly my preferred way of socializing, but once in a while will do! And what better excuse to give than using the 'team bonding' line. Besides, the boys deserve a treat after going through tough battles in the NSL. Thanks to Tim Yap and Bingo Manahan (both apparently graduated from the green side), we were given VIP stamps to roam around the jam-packed lounges. Since I was the eldest or one of the eldest, I had to stay behind by the reception area and make sure that all 30+ (Team A and B) players get to enter smoothly. Imagine almost all male 6 footers and above walking in, we stuck out like a sore thumb! Good thing we had a couple of beautiful girls with us too so it didn't seem like a sausage fest! When i finally went up the stairs and entered the lounge, i saw all of them just sitting down chatting without any drinks. Unfortunately, as the only captain present (Nonoy and Yuri had other engagements) I didn't want to disappoint the boys so i got them two bottles of Vodka with mixers of course just to get them going. I know it was gonna make my wallet much lighter afterwards but thanks to the smallest guy on the team, we halved the bill into 2. Jai will probably be next year's captain as it will be his last as well. We waited for the R&B Wing to open because they said guests can only enter by 1. When it finally did, we were all separated into small groups and I lost track of each one. I haven't spoken to them since but i hope that everyone will have their own stories to tell come practice tomorrow - pleasant stories at that! I, myself sat by the sofa in the wing with the House music chatting with our new Physical Therapist, Andre, who apparently sat along the Archer bench last UAAP season as their therapist. By 2 am, we decided to leave the boys and let them party on their own. My stomach started grumbling so I grabbed a bite at McDonalds with my good friends Sam and Cons before heading home. It's been a while since I've gone home past 12.