And so finally, the most recent DLSU – ADMU game came to pass this afternoon, ending in a database botching 90 – all tie. Of course, I will now explain why I call it ‘database botching’. See, if you were a programmer like myself, and you were to make a system for archiving basketball games, you would likely base the output of the ‘winner’ as the team that scores the most number of points in a game. That way, you do not have to encode this over and over again. You just enter the correct score, and the system will determine who the winner is. Other systems dependent on this will similarly be updated, such as league rankings, overall standings, and other stats dependent on a team winning the contest.
However, today’s game ended in a 90 – all tie, because, well, they probably rented the Araneta for only a little more than 48 minutes, the duration of a professional basketball game. Hence, no extensions. And so, if you made a system like that, it still ‘thinks’ the game isn’t over, because the score is tied, and will therefore not function properly.
Ok I know that’s lame, but hey, this is what I do for a living, so you can’t blame me for doing system analysis while watching a ball game. Anyway, that’s not all I thought about:
If your game is boring, put in Olsen – Veterans are great. In a team of ‘young ones’ and ‘not too old’ ones, the vets always shine. Olsen Racela is retired, but not old enough to require crutches yet, so he put up a show when ADMU really needed it. It’s only 15 minutes since the game ended from the time I’m writing this so there are no published stats in the papers yet, but I assume he did his damage sometime in the middle of the 3rd Q, turning what could have been a yawner to a thriller by taking charge.
I guess this is what they say about putting in a veteran to help steer the team. Previous to him, Villanueva, Tenorio, Kramer and the rest were all peers, equal in age and equally wondering what the hell to do since DLSU was starting to tear away with (I think) a 12+ point lead. But Olsen went in there and started coaching from the floor, telling them what to do, bringing in energy and scoring himself. In this case it wasn’t a matter of being a better player, it was a case of being a leader. You don’t question Olsen if he wants you to do something just as much as you won’t question your elder brother. So everyone followed and it paid off. Barring any physical issues I wish he played a little longer.
DLSU’s Vet, Mark Telan also shone – I approximate he scored at least 10 points and collared 5 – 7 boards. Not much, but pretty loud and impressive ones I think. I’ve always liked Mark Telan, and now that he flexes his muscles and talks garbage, I like him way even more. If it weren’t for a dark period early into his pro career when I didn’t hear from him for a long time, and his relative on again off again performance, Telan is a mean, talented dude who can bring it. I just wish he’d bring it with more consistency such as today’s performance.
It’s been a while since I’ve seen good endgame scenario – I love good endgame scenarios because they become thinking games. At this point, the results are 90% dependent on the coaches who have to deal with foul trouble, matchups, plays, number of time outs and clock issues. The last 2 – 3 minutes of the game had me at the edge of my seat, wondering what Uichico and Reyes were gonna do.
If Yeo and MacMac played in the end game, DLSU would have won – At the dying seconds, DLSU needed someone to drive and either score or get fouled, and who better than the Ninja or Hookshot Headband right? By saying that though, I think I’ve finally said what I’ve always feared – I don’t think Mike Cortez (the guy Uichico was hoping to score) is a big time player anymore. This is sad because I’ve always held him in the highest regard, but really, what has he done lately? It’s taken me many years to admit this and strangely enough, the first person to make me even consider that he wasn’t playing up to a par is a long time teammate of his, who told me he has ‘no idea how good he is if he only tried‘. Honest truth.
Where’d they dig up JR Aquino? – Seriously.
Anyway I can go on, but essentially just like what I said in my previous post, it was a nice, fun and exciting way to spend an Easter Sunday afternoon, especially not being lucky enough to go out of town during the Holy Week, and especially since it was for a good cause. What better way to shake off a scorching hot week than to hang out at Araneta and watch a ball game, right?
However, that’s only half of it. The other half is a nagging, near indistinguishable annoyance I felt about the whole affair, which I couldn’t put my finger on except only after I heard the team cheers.
Let me explain.
See, even when I wrote my earlier post about this game, I didn’t understand why I wasn’t completely comfortable with it. This is why I added ‘..Yeah Why Not?‘ at the title’s end. I sometimes felt like asking ‘what about the other schools?’, wondering how many previous FEU, UST, UE or UP players feel being left out. I also wondered about relevance and continuity. I mean if DLSU wins, so what? And can ADMU be given a chance to avenge a loss if they do? How more relevant can it be other than being an interesting basketball game?
However none of those reasons felt strong enough to be a good reason not to have an ADMU DLSU ‘showdown’. Then I heard the team cheers, and finally it hit me.
I realized that for the Ateneans, the Fight Fight Blue and White is a very important, crucial cheer. And to the La Sallians, so is Derecho La Salle. These are sacred, generations old cheers that go back to our grandfathers, and hearing them, especially in the solemnity and itensity of a basketball game, never fails to make my hair stand.
Only at one time of the year do I feel that incredible rush of adrenaline again, when all the rust and gunk of old age is wiped away in one sweep, when everything is polarized and you are represented by just two colors, in my case the green and white.
As I grew older, whenever I hear a school and it’s students cheer, such as UST’s powerful ‘Go USTE‘ and UP’s ‘Matatapang, matatalino, walang takot kahit kanino..‘, I see and breathe in something true, something pure, something well beyond a mere basketball game. I see a future of young Pinoys actually knowing who, where and what they are, and standing proud because of it.
An ADMU – DLSU game is a microcosm of that fact. An integral part, but just one part nonetheless.
For me, replaying that rivalry over and over does not bring justice to that fact. ADMU and DLSU rivalries done for the heck of it forgets the fact that there are a legion of schools and students that are a part of that same phenomenon, all of which just as important to be heard.
And THAT is why, initially, I did not favorably react to an ADMU DLSU showdown. For it to have the flavor of the original showdowns, it has to have meaning. In order for it to have any meaning, it has to be taken in the context of the six other teams that are competing for the same crown. Ergo, in order for it to have the same effect as that of a true ADMU DLSU showdown, you have to bring in FEU, UP, UE, NU, ADU and UST as well.
Ok I know that’s not gonna happen. They don’t even have time enough for a five minute extension. But today, let’s put it in context. Olsen and Telan played well, the game was 1/4th exciting. As expected from players who probably only had one practice together, there was little cohesion, and at times it looked like a weekend ballgame at the village park. But the last 3 minutes ADMU tied the score and the endgame techniques were interesting. After which the 90-all tie made it anti climactic, and makes it look like it was contrived. But that’s ok, considering they only had only a little time anyway.
So tomorrow the newspapers are going to make it sound like it was ‘just the way ADMU DLSU games really are‘. I’m telling you now, No It Is Not. ADMU – DLSU games are important in our lives because it is part of a much greater thing. Something that involves not just loyalty to our schools, but a belief that because we are associated with something, we can cheer it and by such, will it to win. It is something we share with thousands of like minded individuals like us, cheering for their respective schools. In effect then, all of us are cheering and celebrating each other.
You can’t contrive that in a mere DLSU ADMU showdown. These things can only happen a few times in our lives, and only when everything is in place. Tonight was fun, but not even 1% as fun as the real thing.