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Jawo Felt Horny, Basketball-Horny

Last Sunday night, my manyak friend messaged me in Facebook.

“Bro. Muntik na ako labasan.”

No, it’s not what you think. He wasn’t telling me how he almost pulled off a Cream Pie Surprise on his girlfriend. It wasn’t even about my friend touching himself and practicing the Squeeze Maneuver over a 5-minute movie co-starring Lisa and Julia Ann (No, they’re not sisters).

He was actually trying to make me comprehend the depth to how much pleasure he had over watching the Ginebra-Petron game, and Sonny Jaworski’s jersey retirement that preceded and catalyzed it.

Shit. I don’t blame him, or any other human being who reached basketballgasm; because that game, more than any other I remember this season, was the most brutally beautiful of all!

You can bring up the Hands-on-Fire Game by Gary David vs. the Llamados, or Game 7 of the 2012 Commissioner’s Cup Championship between TNT and B-MEG (The Denzel Bowles Game), or every game of the TNT-Petron Semis of the Philippine Cup, as the most exciting and the most emotional games of this season; but that Ginebra-Petron game was the most beautiful to watch.

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Let me explain.

Think of a time when you brought your chick to the basketball court to see you play. You felt hyped right? It was like you drank 10 bottles of Cobra. You wanted to show how much machismo you had. You wanted to impress her so much to the point that she felt horny. And with all that energy to please her, you actually felt focused and you played better than you normally would.  Last Sunday night, that chick was JAWO; and everyone on the basketball court, even the players and coaches on both benches tried their darn hardest to impress him.

What happened when everyone played to get Jawo basketball-horny?

  1. Arwind Santos seemed like he cared for the first time this conference. He also threw the sharpest elbow in the business at Enrico Villanueva’s chest for good measure.
  2. For the first time in a long time, Enrico Villanueva didn’t suck and he reminded us that he was once a legit MVP contender.
  3. We saw “Hey, I’m for real.” games from Dylan Ababou and Rico Maierhoffer.
  4. Siot Tangquincen and Ato Agustin both coached their socks off. They played a chess match fit for the PBA Finals — it was as if they were down to King vs. King.
  5. Mark Caguioa played the best defense I have ever seen from him. That just showed how much he wanted to win the game for Jawo and for the People.

Above all these, what struck me the most was how the game was played. It was played at a fast and graceful pace that highlighted every player’s skill set. The players played hard like they were college kids once again and they were unbelievably physical too. The more I recount what happened in that game, the more I start to realize that the game was resembling of my father’s description of how Crispa-Toyota games were played.

The depth of line-ups, the physicality, the pace, and the energy with which the game was played harks to the PBA’s golden era. And it was only fitting that Jawo was there sitting, watching, smiling like a girl, and feeling basketball-horny — because he deserves to. He knows that’s how he played the game; and that’s how Pinoy basketball should be played.

I bet, like my friend, muntik narin siya labasan.

 

 

 

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WARRIOR OF THE HIGHEST ORDER


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The biggest domino of Boston’s off-season just fell, signing a 3-year $34M brand new contract. Stephen A. Smith had this to say:

KEVIN GARNETT IS A WARRIOR OF THE HIGHEST ORDER! IF THERE’S ANYONE WHO DESERVES EVERY CENT, IT’S HIM! HE DOESN’T CHEAT THE GAME OF BASKETBALL!

Yup. Stepehn A. hit it right on the exclamation point. That’s why KG is my boy. He NEVER EVER cheats the game of basketball.

Walang Basagan Ng Trip: How my Mamita and everyone in my family found out that I am schizophrenic

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My Mom, utterly bored from the Pacquiao-Bradley undercard, decided to watch Game 7 of the Heat-Celtics Eastern Conference Championship with her three sons and two of my Am-boy cousins. I don’t know what the hell went into her mind, but this was like me watching Englebert Humperdinck with my Lolo and Lola.

 She sat beside me on my cousin’s Lazy Boy couch. Mamita witnessed how I was screaming at the screen, at a certain Brandon Bass, trying to teach this NBA player the proper way to defend Cyborg LeBron. “Tangina Bass! Bobo mo! Sag lang, sag off! Make him take the jumper! Fuck!” (#HOFSHMH hand on face, shake my head)

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Yes, I was repeatedly going ballistic at the TV screen, as LBJ kept on leaving B-Bass in the dust during the waning moments. (as if he was an MMDA official trying to flag down an 18-wheeler driven by someone hell-bent on running him over). For me, the very slim chance of my rage magically sending electric signal to knock some sense into him was the only thing I, and the Boston Celtics were hanging on at that point. That was dumb, but I was counting on it out of desperation.

But LeBron finally figured it out. He knew he was the best player on the court and he was acting like it; so much so that Mother compared her to Michael Jordan (maybe the only basketball player she knew before LeBron and James Yap, and after the Crispa-Toyota guys). At that point, with The King going berserk, all what’s left was for that deep Mortal Kombat voice (FINISH HIM!) to prompt His Highness and Friends to send my C’s to their Fatality.

Their apparent demise was causing involuntary movements on my body. It seemed like I was a schizophrenic on an insane interval, and I could FEEL everyone laughing at me with restraint. Even though my eyes were as focused on the screen as if I was watching HD porn, the gravity of them taking pleasure at my vulnerability was annoying, because I thought it was affecting the outcome of the game. Their reactions pushed me to my emotional edge. I was about to break down.

And then, with less than sixty ticks left in the game, my eyes started to get full and puffy. And then I saw Doc Rivers teary-eyed. I was teary-eyed too. And then out of nowhere, Mamita tried to comfort me, “Bab (her term of endearment and short for “Baboy” because I used to gobble two Big Macs when I was a kid), Okay lang ‘yan.” And just like that, IT happened. Those three words hit home.

I started to sob. I tried to hold them back, but the tears kept falling like Shane Battier’s 3’s. Everyone instantly stopped laughing and there was awkward silence in the room. They were shocked that I cried over a basketball game. I’ve created a force field that repelled everyone from me — including Mamita.

So she silently left the room like a ghost. I guess my sadness pushed her away. But if there was one certain thing she walked away with, it was this realization: Wow. That’s how much my son cares about the Boston Celtics.

——————-

Tsismis spreads like cold peanut butter (uneven with some details left out) and fire in the Raya clan. That’s why I was prepared to take the crybaby jokes the next day.

With the typical all-girls private school accent, my sister launched the barrage, “Ku-yuh, why do you care-uh so much about Boston?”

I stared them down with KG eyes and said, “I’m a Celtic!!!”.  And then I pumped my chest so hard and followed up with, “Bakit ikaw baliw na baliw ka kay Katniss?! Walang basagan ng trip!”

World of Red Bull Commercial

“I want to wake up every morning with a passion. I want to wake up with a smile on my face on my face, and be able to say I love what I do…. You can dream about it or you could go out and make it happen.”

Isn’t this what we all want?

Farewell Denzel Bowles, I Hope You Don’t Come Back

 

There was too much pressure. The moment scared the shit out of him. His wits were just blown outside The Big Dome. His face, stricken with so much fear, reminded me of Primrose Everdeen’s (after she got chosen as District 12’s tribute at the Reaping). Only this time, there was no Katniss to step in for him.

Unfortunately, unlike Dirk, Denzel Bowles doesn’t hum David Hasselhoff songs at the freethrow line. It was he, the 15-foot line, 21,046 live pairs of eyes on him, and the chance to send Game 7 of the PBA Finals to overtime. It can’t get any bigger than that. The result of one miss? Disaster. Heartbreak. Depression for B-Meg Planet. The Llamados’ championship dreams would instantly crumble like an Uno-Stacko.

I bet you expected him to miss. I did too. Tim Cone did. Only a man as brave as Andres Bonifacio could make those freethrows. Only a man as audacious as Larry Flint could lose himself in that moment. Young Denzel Bowles was bound to miss.

But he didn’t.

Somehow, some way, he made those freethrows.

It turns out that despite the scared look, Denzel Bowles was as brave as Andres Bonifacio, and as audacious as Larry Flint.

2 ginormous freethrows at the end of regulation and a couple of jumpers in OT put Denzel Bowles on the map. It was, by far, the biggest triumph of his career. He led the Llamados past a Machine, past a Dynasty. He now belongs to the pantheon of PBA imports. Billy Ray Bates. Norman Black. David Thirdkill. Tonny Harris. Kenny Redfield. Lamont Strothers. Sean Chambers. Denzel Bowles.

More importantly, he shot his way to NBA training camp invites from the Spurs, Warriors and Raptors. It was his size, his ability to make medium-range j’s, his capability to understand such an idiosyncratic offensive scheme, and most of all, his heart and character that triggered NBA scouts to ring him up.

Farewell Denzel Bowles, I hope you don’t come back.

A LEAGUE OF THEIR OWN

It felt eerily familiar; two distinct types of decibels going at each other at full speed.  The cheers, the jeers, old bald men cussing the air, the drums and the vibrations it brought forth magnified the stark contrast between green and blue. It was Ateneo-LaSalle for the nth time and the ever-reliable The Arena in San Juan was registering seismic trembling. But it wasn’t basketball. It was Game 3 of the UAAP Season 74 Women’s Volleyball Finals between familiar foes from Taft and Katipunan. The first were the defending champs while the latter were enjoying the culmination of a mountain climb to relevance over the past few years.

As you may know, DLSU won Game 3 and the championship. The La Sallians had just too much length and athleticism for the Lady Eagles. They exhibited confidence backed by championship experience and talent while the Ateneans projected faces of confusion and maybe fear, proving that they needed one more year. The Lady Archers seemed like surgeons about to perform a routine operation —– been there, done that.

But the day was bigger than the back-to-back feat DLSU accomplished, or its budding rivalry with its ultimate nemesis. Game 3, the Finals series, showed that UAAP Women’s Volleyball has officially arrived like the NBA’s OKC Thunder.

For former UST standout and current volleyball analyst Mozzy Ravena, the recently concluded championship series proved a lot of things. For one, women’s volleyball has never been more popular, “Volleyball has been getting a lot of following since 8 years ago when the Shakey’s V-League started. It televised all its volleyball games with three conferences a year, which meant almost all year round,” Kiefer Ravena’s mom shares. “At the start, most of the following were from the provinces, then in the UAAP it was school-based, but now it’s mixed with fans from all over.”

Mozzy says that because of volleyball’s greater following these days schools are now giving importance to winning; and the first step to doing that is having a good recruiting program. Take for example the ADMU Lady Spikers who quietly built the second best team in Season 74 over the past few years. Ateneo inch-by-inch went from cellar-dwellers to title-contenders crossing paths with its greatest rival in basketball and bringing the no-love-loss relationship to the volleyball court.

“A new rivalry is born. It used to just be UST vs. FEU.” Mrs. Ravena adds. “Because of the rivalry, there is more awareness that volleyball is an exciting sport which leads to more support from the community and the fans nationwide.”

This burgeoning rivalry if sustained, will definitely fuel the league for years to come but as to any rivalry or any league it’s the players who are the mermaids of the circus. Lakers-Celtics had Magic vs. Bird. Ateneo-La Salle had Tenorio vs. Cortez. It’s Messi vs. Ronaldo in La Liga. The players make the team and the superstars are the league. And it’s now becoming apparent that UAAP Women’s Volleyball has its own superstars who will keep the fan base growing. As long as the fans see enough substance combined with an abundance of pizzazz in these girls, they will keep on coming. According to Mozzy Ravena, that combination has been drawing fans for the past few years, “Personally, I think Filipinos are iconic.  Even in sports they like to see personalities, pretty faces and success stories,” Ms. Mozzy who was a multi-titled volleyball player herself with UST explains. “When pretty girls started to play, and play really well, they started to draw fans.”

Rachelle Ann Daquis was the "Chris Tiu" of Women's Volleyball and started the wave of "pretty girls who can play".

Pretty girls who can play and interesting characters were on full display in Season 74 and the Finals series. You had Michelle Gumabao of DLSU who was relatively as intimidating as Shaq and who had the angas factor of Mark Cardona. She took on the enforcer role for her team and was seen as a swash buckling, taunting villain by the opponents’ fans. There’s her teammate, Finals MVP Cha Cruz who has a nice combination of timing, length, jumping ability and charming beauty: the prototypical Filipina volleyball superstar. On the other side, you had Lady Eagles captain Fille Cainglet who has Sarah Geronimo-appeal and feline jumping ability to back it up. Then there’s Gretchen Ho —- pretty, unassumingly talented and intense at the same time.

Pinoy sports fans always fall for athletes like these —- athletes with talent, character, and good looks —- attributes that have to be mutually inclusive. They know superstar quality when they see one.  They have to be able to relate to the sport and its stars. That’s why they’re like very coy girls; they’re so hard to get. But with a sport as exciting as volleyball and with athletes as interesting as these girls, I don’t see any reason why they won’t let their guard down; in fact, they already have. So it won’t be long until future volleyball stars will be compared to Cha Cruz and Rachelle Ann Daquis; not to celebrities like Shaq and Sara Geronimo.