A Peek Into The Future!
As Charles Dickens once wrote “it was the best of times, it was the worst of times” but at the end of the day I am happy to have a chance to get a peek into the future of La Salle basketball and it’s not hard to see that the future is bright.
The Green Archers, who were not even supposed to be in the Final Four, did not go quietly. They pushed the defending champions to the limit. Keeping close through the first two and a half quarters, La Salle went to Yutien Andrada who sliced through Ateneo’s defense like a hot knife through butter.
Early in the 4th quarter, La Salle’s lead went as high as 11. That’s when Ateneo’s maturity as a team came into play. Kiefer Ravena took control of the game and willed Ateneo to a close victory
Once again, the guards of La Salle proved effective with gutsy Thomas Torres and The Iceman Almond Vosotros controlling the pace of the game. It was the best performance from DLSU guards I have seen in a long time. They rebounded, defended and dished at the ball with precision.
La Salle’s game today belonged to reed-thin Yutien Andrada. His ability to find the smallest space and make that under goal stab caught Ateneo by surprise. They threw everyone at him but to no avail. With the help of Vosotros and Thomas Torres, he made Slaughter look like a lamppost. Adding rebounds to his offense, Andrada’s showed that he can have his day too.
I am also extremely impressed with Teng and T. Torres for not backing down against the foul mouthed Buenafe. From the start of the game Buenafe was trash talking the 2 rookies, to no avail. Teng and Thomas did not get intimidated.
There are many things that can be said on how we should’ve, could’ve, would’ve won this game. However let’s not lose sight on what was accomplished rather what was not.
I will not do the blame game as it will bring no positive results. As a Lasallian who has experienced the worst of times, I would like to believe that we as a community can look to the future with a smile on our faces.
I felt that Ateneo was definitely intent on ending this year with a bang. With the departure of Mr. Manny Pangilinan, Coach Norman Black, Nico Salva, Greg Slaughter and host of other players, Ateneo may just experience what La Salle went through in the last 3 years. The most I saw of Mr. Pangilinan today was a patch on Norman Black’s shirt that said “MVP”. Kudos to Coach Norman for his display of loyalty to the man who brought Ateneo to where it is today.
To all the members of this year’s team, I say thank you for giving us what we have missed for so long. We were there for the good times and we were there for the bad because we saw that you believed. The Lasallian spirit really showed with you guys. Even player/alumni came and showed you that they too believed. Look to the future with a smile but do not forget to look at the past and learn from it. No matter what happens, keep the faith and we will keep it with you.
We have to thank Ambassador Eduardo Conjuangco for his support. Many may say that his support to the team is purely financial. What many do not see is his presence during practices and his support at the bench during games. It’s easy to throw a wad of pesos into a sports program but to be there with the team through thick and thin is something I have never seen, except with Boss Danding.
It’s also easy just to see the players on the court who make the dazzling plays. Yet without a dedicated, patient and efficient coaching staff, the players would go nowhere fast. For that we have to thank the coaching staff of Gee Abanilla, Jun Limpot, Juno Sauler, Mac Cuan, Tyrone Bautista and Joe Ward.
I also am happy to see that we are finally well represented in the UAAP Board. I am very proud of my cousin Henry Atayde who is one of DLSU’s reps (together with Mr. Edwin Reyes) for standing up to the old boy’s club that is the UAAP Board.
Let’s also not forget all the members of the Office of Sports Development for their unending support not just to the basketball team but to all the athletes in the different sports DLSU participates in. I know for a fact that Br. Bernie Oca FSC, who heads the OSD, is looking at a banner year where DLSU has a good chance to bag the overall championship.
As the season comes to an end, this blog will go on. There are many more things to write about especially the road to Season 76.
(Follow me on Twitter: @the_green_mind)