Sunday, January 25, 2009

When things get tough, just smile :)

I cannot remember the last time i fouled out in a basketball game. Maybe the last time was in high school. After playing 5 years of UAAP games and other college leagues, I never fouled out. And just in my 3rd PBL game, where the referees supposedly allow significant contact to take place before calling a foul, I was left helpless in the bench practically throughout the most part of 4th quarter. That was the thought that came into my head as soon as i sat in the bench after being given my 5th foul in our game a while ago against Harbor Center. When I push and bump the opponent, they don't call fouls. But when i try to avoid the opponent, i get called for the foul.

For those who did watch the game, i couldn't help but laugh and smile out of extreme frustration with the way referee #21 was picking on me the entire game. In the 3rd quarter, i get slapped in the wrist by Barua while attempting a 3-pointer, it misses the rim, no foul. Then they have a fast break attempt and I avoid Barua, he misses the shot but then a whistle blows. My 4th foul care of ref #21. I ask him how that became a foul and he said i hit Barua in his arm. I gave him the benefit of the doubt, he probably didn't see it. Bad call. So during the free throw attempt, i tell him nicely to check the replay and he says they review the tapes for mis-calls after every game. Deep inside I was thinking, "wow, what can reviewing the games do now that i have my 4th foul in the 3rd quarter?" So i sit on the bench til around the 7 minute mark of the 4th quarter...

Lead now balloons to double digits and Coach G calls me to get inside the court. After one minute, right in front of the Harbour bench, Ben Fernandez drives tries to absorb contact from me, but i avoid him with my hands raised and he looses his balance and throws the ball out of bounds. A whistle blows, I look to my right and again it's ref #21 who calls a blocking foul on me. My 5th foul. I'm out of the game. I was saying to myself "Is he serious?? is this real??" Our coaching staff goes bezerk! Hapee fans go wild. I could see the faces, talagang nalugi! I knew that reasoning out could not reverse the call anyway, so i just smiled it out and walked to the bench to try to cool me down. I've experienced poor officiating many many times, but normally it would be against a team and not a specific person. But this one seemed like a personal matter. Very unusual.

At the end of the day, we lost to the better team. I'm not saying that the outcome of the game would have changed if i stayed on and finished the game. We were down by like 6 or 8 or 10 points when that happened. Obviously, Harbour played well and they deserved to win. But at least we gave them a tough fight and the effort was there. We missed a lot of easy shots too!

In fact, from the owner, to the players, to the utility boys of Harbour, all of them are friends and or acquaintances. I was even invited by boss Mikee Romero to join them in the RP-Harbour team that participated in the 2007 SEA Games. There, I was teammates with players like Al Vergara and Boyet Bautista. I also currently train with Mark Barroca and JR Cawaling in the National Team pool under coach Toroman. That's why I have high regard for their team and I know what they are capable of.

It just really puzzles me why situations like this can occur. I don't question the integrity of the PBL because I know it is run well by professionals with good moral character. My only wish is that this game be investigated and reviewed to avoid future similar instances. And i pray that ref #21 just made two honest mistakes, and nothing more! For me, I think it's a more noble deed to just admit that a mistake was made rather than to try to reason out and defend oneself. After all, it's just a game and there's more to life than just winning a basketball game. (Except if it's against DLSU! Haha kidding!)

I'm not writing this to criticize or put down any particular person. That's not what this blog site is for. That's why I didn't put the name of ref #21. Let's just leave it at that. I merely wrote this entry so i can vent out and share my thoughts. It's hard to keep it in all by myself, especially since it's Chinese New Year and we all want to celebrate and wish for another prosperous year. At least now I can sleep well, relax and most of all, SMILE :) Thanks for listening!

To all the Chinoys, Happy Year of the OX!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009


By the way, I now have a new way of communicating with you guys so I don't have to keep logging in my computer to update you through this blog. I can just send daily updates through my phone which will go directly to your phones. Cool? It's called Fanatxt. You just have to key in "Christiu" and send to 4627 . It only costs 2.50 pesos and you will receive updates from me. I'll try to text you guys around 2 to 3 times a day. If you have questions, you can also type CHRISTIU (your message) and send to 4627. I'll try to reply as much as possible. It's something new to me, it was just activated this Monday and i find it really cool. Hope you guys subscribe :)

A HAPEE first Game

Again, I have to apologize for a very very long disappearance. I've been busy as usual trying to finish all my commitments and also getting back in playing shape. I've practiced with the National team a couple of times and also with Hapee Complete Protectors, as some of you already know. In fact, I've played my first game already which was a do-or-die game. Fortunately, we won and advanced to the semi-finals against Harbour Center. Game 1 is tomorrow at 3pm in Ynares Center in Pasig. Please watch if you can! :) We need a lot of support!

Anyway, my first game was pretty rusty. I missed shots and made some mistakes but we won, so it's all good and we're all very HAPEE! :) I honestly thought that playing the PBL would be very different from the UAAP but basing it on the last game, it was not very far. The intensity was high for both teams and there was a strong desire to win! Aside from the smaller crowds and physicality of the game, both the UAAP and PBL are fun for me! I'd like to think i'm not disillusioned based on what previous players have been telling me about the PBL or PBA.

Many have been asking me what i'm gonna do next in my life. I've decided that I want to play basketball for another couple of years, of course if God wills it. I haven't decided whether I will be joining the PBA draft or the National Team instead. I'd appreciate it if you can give your comments and opinion regarding that matter. Here are some more details: the PBA draft is going to be around August and of course, nobody is sure to be drafted. On the other hand, the RP team is inviting me to join the them for 3-year term, quite similar to that of a PBA team. In terms of compensation, both are pretty much the same. It is this National team that will join the 2011 Asian Games to try to qualify for the Olympics, that's the ultimate goal. There are many other pros and cons to be taken into consideration, but let's just leave it at that for the meantime.

Thanks for reading again :) I'll try to post more often from now on.


Thursday, January 1, 2009

Happy New Year!! Here's 2008 in Review

2008 will surely be marked as a milestone year for many. There are so many memorable events that occurred and some not so memorable ones. Let's take a look at some highlights of the past year.

Barack Obama becomes the first African-American President of the world's most powerful nation defeating Republican John McCain.

Earthquake in China's Sichuan province kills 70,000 and leaves millions homeless.

Cyclone hits Burma and kills about 100,000.

Sub-prime crisis. Wall Street collapses. Fall of giants Lehman and Bear Stearns.

Philippine Peso broke the 50:1 barrier to the dollar.

Oil prices reached $147 per barrel

Beijing produced the world's greatest show during the opening and closing ceremonies of the Olympics.

Cancer victim Randy Pausch gave life lessons, via YouTube, to millions. He died in July.

Russia invades Georgia causing global anxiety.

OJ Simpson is sentenced again for robbing a hotel in Las Vegas.

Pope Benedict 16th pays his first visit to the US and claims that American power won't solve religious conflict but American values might.

The Dark Knight grosses $988 million and makes Hollywood's 4th biggest hit in history.

New York Giants, with quarterback Eli Manning, upset undefeated New England Patriots in the NFL Superbowl.

Tiger Woods played the greatest golf game of his life by beating Rocco Mediate in the US Open by a comeback victory with an ACL.

Boston Celtics defeat the LA Lakers in a fantastic finals series between the NBA's two greatest rivals.

Rafael Nadal defeats Roger Federer in the greatest tennis seesaw Wimbledon finals in 5 hours.

Michael Phelps sets a world record by winning 8 golds including a come from behind split second victory.

Usain Bolt set another world record by winning both the 100-m and 200-m sprints in world-record times.

Manny Pacquiao wins his fourth title in four different divisions by defeating Diaz in June. He also embarrassed the Golden Boy in December 6 and was named the No. 1 Pound for Pound fighter in the world.

And lastly, my favorite, Ateneo de Manila Blue Eagles defeat arch-rival de la Salle Green Archers in the 71st season of the UAAP. :)

Obviously 2008 was a great year for sports but it also hosted some tragic events. I guess at this point in time, we just have to be grateful to the Lord for all the blessings that have come our way during the past year. And at the same time, it is a time to reflect and learn from the lessons of the past in the hopes of improving ourselves, our country and our relationships with people and most of all, with God for the coming year. Let us make 2009 another milestone year! Happy New Year to you all! :)