Thrilla in Manila

Araneta Coliseum

October 29, 2013

Thrilla in Manila

Memory is a way of holding onto the things you love, the things you are, the things you never want to lose.  ~From the television show The Wonder Years

Oh how we all love memories.

This one great story by Lito Tacujan, one of the country’s best sportswriters in this era, is hard not to share with you Sportsmaryosep readers. It’s about a recollection of the great past. And we’re talking about “The Thrilla in Manila.” And it is with great honor to encapsulate in this blog another masterpiece by my Philippine STAR boss. And I will not prolong it any longer, so here it is:

The ‘Thrilla’ revisited (October 1, 1975)

Lito A. Tacujan

Two images remained embedded in the mind, on top of a myriad of sights and sounds that gave a surreal mix for the Thrilla in Manila that October day 38 years ago.
There was the bespectacled Ed Schuyler, the noted boxing writer of the Associated Press, leaning over to our side at the apron of the ring at the end of the bout. “ You should be proud, this fight happened here.. 25 years from now they would still be talking about this fight and Manila, “ he said.
The other was of a throbbing sea of humanity on the bleachers of the Big Dome ebbing and flowing as momentum shifted during the fight: “Ali!Ali! Ali”, thundered the crowd as the champ dominated the challenger and just a quickly there would be a roaring “ Frazier! Frazier! Frazier! ” as Smokin’ Joe came back the next round full of steam and fury.
Thirty – eight years ago this month. It seems like an eternity. But it came as vividly as If it happened only yesterday. The ‘ Thrilla’ would later rank as one of thetop three all-time best fights. I couldn’t recall the very best but am certain the Joe louis- Max Schmeling showdown – enshrined in the prose of Bob Considine — was one of the three..
(And before fight purists would raise hell, am sure one of manny pacquiao.s ring masterpieces would rank high in the New Book ofBoxing , according to the Ring).
But the ‘ Thrilla ‘ for sure had sealed itself a niche in the book of prizefight. And it got better, and better in the retelling, , in the remembering , like a treasured piece of music.
And yet, until Ed Schuyler made the verdict, we never realized that the 14 rounds of white- knuckle action and drama, which Ali aptly described as fate “worse than death ‘ was one epic bout for all time. How lucky we Pinoy scribes could get!
It was sheer two weeks of exhilarating experience. The gods and wordsmiths of sportswriting were in our midst… Red smith, will grimsley, dave anderson, dick young, schuyler. Mark Kram, and The Man himself , Norman Mailer (with a svelte of a nymphet in tow ) all in flesh and blood , driven to these distant shores by the promise of sweet mayhem of the ‘Thrilla ‘.

THE SWELTERING DAY
There were close to 27,000 fans at the Big Dome -renamed Philippine Coliseum by the Marcos regime at that time seeking legitimacy to its martial rule. The bleacher section was packed to the last seat as early as 3 a.m as fans poured in from all over.
One fight fan took an eight-hour bus ride from daet in Bicol , watched the fight from the nose-bleed tiers and endured the same travel time back home for the experience of a lifetime.
” he never got tired of talking about it. It was one of the highlights of his life,” said STAR business writer Rica Delfinado of her father’s doggedness to witness the bout and unwittingly gained a piece of sporting history.
By dawn there was a mammoth crowd in cubao Which was crawling with security, cops highly visible everywhere and presidential l guards looking mean in every corner.
Writing for AP, will grimsley, would fire a one – liner of a fight -day lead: ‘Everybody was searched at the gate.’…he would move on to describe how the protagonists motorcades would reach the coliseum for the fight. Coming from across town, the long line of cars would be headed by black limousines which ferried Ali and Frazier. From a distance, one read grimsley, it looked like a funeral. In a sense, It is, but for whom? That’s the question. ( oh the joy of sportswriting! ).
The thrilla was a duel at midday.television prime time inUS decreed it would be held close to 11a.m. And with a capacity crowd restless and impatient, and all the tv cable lights and ring lights trained on the two, it was humid, sweltering day and with 14 rounds of brutal punishment, it was as Ali would later say .. ‘ closer thing to dying that I could think of ‘
Some of the phrases that came out Afternthe fight would pass the test of time.
Who could ever forget mark kram ‘ Lawdy, Lawdy, he’s great”‘ and ‘ I hit him with blows that could have felled the walls of the city’.
An all-out Frazier man… Red Smith would say ‘ when time heals the passion of the sweltering day, an objective historian would say joe frazier was still standing in the end.’
Bludgeoned, battered to black and blue, Ali might have drawn some inner strength from the devil himself as he hit the canvas the moment smoking’ joe’s trainer Eddie Futch decided his boy, with an eye beaten to a pulp and now half shut from the constant drilling from Ali’s hands, have had enough.
By noon, most of the local media have bannered Ali’s win. Looking back 38 years later, one could still hear the roar, the grunts, the sickening thud as leather found flesh, the cacophonous cackle in the corner between rounds and the full- throated rhythmic chants from the upper chambers of the darkened coliseum-‘Ali! Ali! Ali!’ and ‘ Frazier! Frazier! Frazier!’
Yes, it ‘was the best there ever was!’.. Lito A Tacujan.

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( In photo are lito tacujan, Eddie alinea, Ed schuyler, will grimsley, teddy benigno, Ruben alabastro , back row- red smith, partly hidden.)

Phil is not a Young Husband just yet

SM Lipa
October 28, 2013
Phil is not a Young Husband just yet

Oh it hurts.
Hearing my favorite football player, Phil Younghusband, and my second favorite showbiz personlity next to Juday, Angel Locsin, had just separated after a well-publicized fairy tale relationship that lasted about a couple of years honestly breaks my heart. I’m a sucker for love stories. And this one by Phil and Angel is one of them. For the uninitiated, the Phil-Angel love team is my second favorite tandem next to Vic Sotto and Dina Bonnivie. Remember “Bakit Ba Ganyan” and “Ipagpatawad mo?” Yes, that’s their theme songs. Of course, like their successors, Bossing and Dina separated too.
That hurts too.
Now we Phil broke his long silence on the break up after he posted on his Instagram account about it. Phil, like the gentleman that he is says the decision was mutual and there was really no regrets about it. And here’s what he said: “We enjoyed each other’s company and really made the most of it. There are no faults in this, it was not an issue of who did or didn’t do something, it was a mutual decision and although it was difficult we just both felt that this would be the best thing to do given our circumstances.”
It was good when it lasted. So many kilig moments. There was even a fan page of their love team on Facebook that drew about 30,000 followers. Well, Phil has about 600,000 followers on Twitter while Angel has about 4 million.
But all things must come to an end.
As they say, the love affair started on Twitter and ended on Instagram.

Did I say it hurts?
Sportsmaryosep’s prognosis: We’re no love expert like Dr. Love. If Phil and Angel want advice, I’ll probably refer them to Papa Jack, or maybe Dr. Margie Holmes. I’ll probably throw in Xerex for good measure. But we will try to draw something good about it. Like after Phl decided to sooth his aching heart by drowning himself in football. And boy, he drowned himself. In just a span of 28 minutes, Phil exploded with six goals against a poor, Angel-be-damned Phl Navy in the recent United Football League Cup action at the Emperador Stadium (How Ironic liquor comes into conversation as if its a remedy for broken heart when its not!). Yes, six. A double hat-trick. Not to be pushy, but I hope Phil could sustain this kind of form we our Azkals fly to Maldives next year. I’ll probably remind him myself of his love lost in case he forgots. Like this sports official we use to call “ampaw” for being one, “Para sa Bayan!”
Follow Sportsmaryosep on Twitter: @JoeySVillar

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(Photo courtesy of Phil Younghusband and Angel Locsin Facebook official fan page)

Let’s do the Koga

Lipa City, Batangas
October 27, 2013
Lets do the Koga

Sportsmaryosep has been in hibernation for weeks solely because my pregnant wife is due for our first child any time this month. But because of a sudden turn of events, we were forced to come out of it needing to write this one.
You see, San Beda could be in…how can we put it? Trouble? Deep shit? This is because there are allegations that its guard, Ryusei Koga, was said to have been found to have played a basketball game outside the ongoing 89th NCAA cage season, which is in direct violation of league rules prohibiting all the players from doing so. There were allegedly videos to prove Koga indeed played. If it is true, then all the Lions’ games will be forfeited. Meaning, San Beda, which just sealed the top seeding for the eight straight seasons, could end up one and done.
Sportsmaryosep didn’t get to see the video but we dug deeper into the case and asked people. In an interview by The Philippine STAR, a source privy to the league board has this to say: “There were talks that he (Koga) played somewhere in Paranaque. It should be verified because the league rule states that it if indeed he played there during the season, San Beda games where he played from the time he committed the violation shall be forfeited.” The said source says the league Management Committee, however, has yet to officially sit on and discuss the issue and no official complaint has been lodged yet so the possibility of the Koga accusation may not prosper. The only chance of the matter be taken in the Mancom’s Tuesday board meeting, he stresses, is if someone raised it up for discussion. “Not all the Mancom members have knowledge about it but there are five board members who are already aware of the issue. The Mancom will meet on Tuesday but its not in the agenda. If someone raised it, it may be discussed,” the source adds.
We also asked the San Beda people and only one cared to reply. And its San Beda athletic director Ato Badolato. His response: “Still investigating.”

Spin.ph’s controversial and enemy-riddled Snow Badua got to talk with San Beda team manager Jude Roque and the 19-year-old Koga himself. And here’s how it went. “Hindi, may sakit lang kasi siya. Two days siya hindi nakapag-practice. Although he was feeling better yesterday, hindi na namin siya pinaglaro. Nadinig nga namin yung claim na ‘yun kahapon. Pero kami naman maghihintay lang kami ng report from the NCAA mancom. Wala pa kaming natatanggap na complain o protesta. Hindi rin kami aware dun …. Pero meron na kaming narinig na tsismis na ganoon.”

As for Koga, he has these to say: “Noong summer pa po ‘yun. Matagal na po ‘yun. Hindi ko nga po alam kung bakit naging issue pa.Kung may tanong po kayo kay Sir Jude na lang.”
Sportsmaryosep’s prognosis: Of course, Koga should be punished if it is true because San Beda will carry the burden of his mistake, which, just what I’ve said, will mean the season for the Lions. But I couldn’t imagine if its indeed true and the league, with all its bravado, punishes San Beda with forfeiture of all of its games. And knowing San Beda, the dynastic rule of this generation, it will not fade into the night quietly. All hell will break loose for sure. I’m also not discounting the possibility of a legal battle. That will be destructive for everyone in the NCAA, which is already being ridiculed in Twitter with this irritating albeit deserving hashtag #HindiPaTaposAngNCAA. Before anything else, I wish everyone to stay calm, wait for official word to come out and not make hasty conclusions. Because if things got blown out of proportion, its going to be World War Z.

Update: After this blog was written, San Beda coach Boyet Fernandez texted Sportsmaryosep. He was calm about it. Here’s his message: “We are still waiting for the official advice from the NCAA.”
Follow Sportsmaryosep on Twitter: @JoeySVillar

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(Photo from University Basketball League)

Pido Dido

The Arena, San Juan
October 15, 2013
Pido Dido

After just a few days, the pain caused by University of Santo Tomas’ Game Three loss to La Salle in UAAP Season 76 still lingers. There was a heated discussion at this San Juan City venue, which hosts the Shakey’s V-League Championship between Smart and Cagayan in an hour, about what went wrong. Sportswriters like Marivic Awitan of Balita, Theodore Jurado of People’s Journal, Mark Giongco of Inquirer.net, Kristel Satumbaga-Villar of the Manila Bulletin and even strong-opinioned photographers August dela Cruz of the Philippine Daily Inquirer and Jun Mendoza of The Philippine STAR discussed, debated and almost killed each other debating about the matter. Thankfully, cooler heads prevailed and all decided its probably not meant to be for the Tigers.

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After my previous blog Gone USTe where we shared The Philippine STAR sports editor Lito Tacujan’s UST eulogy, I will share another beautiful piece written by another seasoned sports scribe, Ding Marcelo, sports editor of the Manila Bulletin. It’s titled “So near, yet so far.” He has an interesting point. And here it is.

“So near, yet so far”
by Ding Marcelo
Manila Bulletin
October 14, 2013
I feel sorry for University of Santo Tomas coach Pido Jarencio. The UAAP basketball championship was, as they say, so near yet so far.
UST, which Pido had coached with tactics marked by benign cajoling to brutal screaming, was seconds away from what would have been one of UAAP’s greatest championship runs.
The team survived three must-win games and then had two big chances to win that trophy.
But it was not to be. Their fourth must-win game fell agonizingly short.
Thanks to one of his stars, Aljon Mariano, and the fellow’s unexpected decision to become a hero, UST will spend the rest of the Christmas season wondering what went wrong.
There are many reasons.
While the TV sideline reporters were eagerly interrupting the coverage with their nonsense, UST’s Karim Abdul was being given his third foul in the third quarter.
That third foul, which went unnoticed and under-analyzed by TV commentators, was one of the key reasons why UST lost.
When Abdul continued to play with three fouls, he became tentative, ineffective on defense, and apparently shackled by strict orders not to commit another foul under any circumstance.
That was disastrous. What followed was painful to watch. The Green Archers saw blood and, like sharks, swallowed Abdul whole and decimated the rest of the Growling Tigers without pity.
It was then that the Archers quickly erased a 15-point deficit and brought the game to overtime.
The game was still on the line until Aljon Mariano made the mistake that will haunt him and UST forever. After grabbing the rebound, UST ahead 69-68, Mariano passed the ball to no one, in an error that led to a La Salle basket and proved to be the game’s winning shot.
Earlier, it was again Mariano who made the final shot in regulation, missing badly and sending the game to OT.
What was Mariano thinking?
What was Pido thinking?
Under most circumstances, with the title on the line, the ball would go to the star of the team. That would be Jeric Teng or Karim Abdul, or perhaps even Kevin Ferrer. Should they miss, that would at least be easier to live with.
In the NBA, or in any important game in any conference, the ball would be in the stars’ hands. That would be Kobe or Jordan, Durant or Tony Parker.
I now wonder what Pido told him after the game. Unless, of course, it was Pido’s order to have Mariano take the ball and take the most important shot of the day. If that be the case, Pido should find another job.
Some observers are also now critical of Pido’s decision to let Jeric, his star shooter, deliver the in-bound pass in the final seconds of regulation and overtime.
That decision deprived Jeric the all-significant seconds to get that ball. True enough, it was not Jeric who would take what could have been the winning basket, not once but twice!
No question, the UST fan base would have accepted the bitter loss more philosophically, or less grudgingly, had the final shot been made by Jeric or Karim, the two players most responsible for bringing them at the doorstep of history.
But Mariano? The guy had never been a factor and had not even made a field goal the entire game. He took matters into his own hands anyway, failed miserably, and now deserves to spend his Christmas somewhere where good cheer and merry wishes are not expected.
But this is not to devalue the Green Archers’ victory.
They played their guts out, rallied from a 15-point deficit in the third quarter, and proved themselves real champions by staying focused under the most trying conditions.
Following their win, the Archers are sure to be hot favorites to do a repeat or make history or even create a dynasty.
As for UST, an opportunity like last Saturday’s will probably take a long time to come. Maybe, long after Pido and Mariano are gone.

Sportsmaryosep postscript: Happy birthday to The Philippine STAR’s Abac Cordero, one of the best in the business. Alakpa! Hik!
Follow Sportsmaryosep on Twitter: @JoeySVillar

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(Photos by Paul Ryan Tan and Jun Mendoza of The Philippine STAR)

Gone USTe

UST Campus
October 13, 2013
Gone USTe

I was traversing Espana towards Morayta, Manila when traffic gridlock greeted me. As I crawled my way inch by centipede inch to Lacson, I was greeted by MMDA enforcers pointing to either go right or go left because that stretch up to P. Noval in front of University of Santo Tomas was close. I thought, after last night’s painful Game Three loss by the Tigers to the La Salle Archers, the pontifical school decided to close shop and dragged that part of the street along with it in bitterness. I was wrong, of course, as my pregnant wife, who attended high school at La Salle-Lipa before braving the bustling, dangerous streets of Manila by going to college at UST, told me later it was exam week for law students, that’s why it was closed.
But this blog isn’t about the traffic nor the law exam at UST. It’s about a piece I read in our Facebook page at the Philippine Sports Association, a group of the country’s top sportswriters mostly from print and some from online. It was a piece written by Lito Tacujan, one of the best, if not the best, in the sportswriting business today. Incidentally, he is also my sports editor at The Philippine STAR. You know The STAR, the paper your read from cover to cover. Pardon my shameless plug.
You see, my boss has been in the business for about four decades now. And just like every single one of us sportswriters, he breathes sports and basketball. He’s also a UST alumnus, the reason he wrote this masterpiece, another one of his many collections. And it’s my honor to share it with you guys.
And here it is:

Gone USTe
Sorry for these private thoughts but being a Thomasian, I know how bad we felt about the UST loss. It is even painful for one who after over 40 years of seeing cliffhangers and thrillers felt he would be jaded enough not to react to this kind of heartbreak loss.
But I would rank this in the same level as the 2006 Busan shock defeat. Not so much of the trauma of losing big, not unlike being felled by a Pacquiao KO punch. At least that kind of a killer blow you don’t see coming.
But this UST loss to La Salle, you feel like being short- changed– despair and disgust taking over on top of the frustration and woes of blowing a clear won game, like some Greek tragedy ready to unravel to its sad ending.
As if we’re destined to lose.
Consider: KarimAbdul was missing crucial shots in the last period because he had spent himself keeping the initiative for the Tigers earlier. This was further compounded by the early fouls incurred by UST big man Paolo Pe.
Coach Pido, who rose above talks on his coaching ability and subtleties in the preseason, i felt, got ‘ lost in transition’ , squandering a 15-pt lead n the same quarter it was established.
And the most galling. Aljon Mariano refusing to pass the ball to Jeric Teng, who was ready to do or die for one last shot at history, destiny, UST.
and as the crowd held its breath, Aljon took the stupid trey when a high percentage perimeter shot would have settled the issue. This coming from a huddle!
And the same guy fired the errant pass that led to turnover and la salles game-winning play. It made you think something was amiss in the team, particularly in the endgame.
How sad. You cannot help but grieve for the the Tigers and UST fans. It was our championship to win or lose ..no, more than a championship..losing it this way literally opens a chasm in us, probably where our pride was, for the wars in UAAP do not only involve school interplay for excellence but all the things we believe in and embraced in USTe– hope, faith, loyalty.And losing it leaves us somehow on a low ebb and empty. Until the next season.
Lito A Tacujan

Follow Sportsmaryosep on Twitter: @JoeySVillar

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(Photo by August dela Cruz of the Phl Daily Inquirer)

Green Lantern, Yellow Submarine

MOA Arena
October 12, 2013
Green Lantern, Yellow Submarine

Jeron Teng won it for La Salle.
Someone lost it for University of Santo Tomas.
Teng practically carried the Green Archers on his shoulders and cramping legs in turning back the Tigers in a gripping 71-69 overtime victory that sealed the Taft-based dribblers the UAAP Season 76 senior basketball title at the packed MOA Arena in Pasay City to the delight of the green-clad fans who have been bleeding green after a six-year title drought.
Congratulations La Salle.

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You too coach Juno Sauler, for sticking to your guns and making the right call. Gilas Pilipinas coach Chot Reyes said it best on his Twitter account @coachot and it reads “My final tweet in this Final is to commend Juno Sauler’s coaching. He has d perfect demeanour for this team. It’s not all Xs and Os.”
Hats off to Almond Vosotros, who made the clutch triples when the Archers clawed their way back from a 15-point first half deficit.
Kudos to Jason Perkins for a mammoth 13-point, 18-rebound effort, also despite hobbling with cramps in crucial situations.
Arnold Van Opstal too. Or should we say Arnold Van Awesome?
Most especially to Jeron. What can we say, his stats spoke for itself. 25 points. Nine of 19 from the field. Seven of nine from the foul line. Eight rebounds. Six assists. Two rebounds. One steal. One block. His idol, Kevin Durant will be proud. AND three clutch plays in OT. He responded to elder brother Jeric’s huge bucket with a split, fed Vosotros for the go-ahead basket then bothered Karim Abdul’s attempt with 2.3 seconds to go. So if there’s someone who deserves the Finals MVP more than anyone from La Salle, its Jeron. Mr. Clutch to the last.
And then it was all pandemonium.
The Archers and their legions of fans whopped it up.
You deserve it all.

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My heart broke for Jeric Teng. Was a man in a mission. Played each and every game is if it’s his last. Class act. Finals MVP in the making if UST had won. Happy for brother Jeron for winning it for the family.
Sad for UST coach Pido Jarencio. He did the best he could and what is right. Ended Ateneo’s dynastic reign to catch the last semis bus, tamed a heavy favorite in National U in the Final Four, came through with an effort to remember in Game One and was 6.1 seconds away from clinching his first title since steering the Tigers to the crown in 2006. We all know what happened? Someone blew it for him. And Jeron Teng happened. Again, as Coach Chot said: “Coach Pido has nothing to be ashamed of. He coached a perfect game til d last play in regulation when his instructions were not followed.”
And that one who lost it?
Was he the one who took the shot by his lonesome against the play designed by Jarencio for Jeric Teng? Was he the one who went for the triple when a shot nearer would suffice? Was he the one who had the gall to take that last shot when he was like throwing bricks like he was trying to build a stone house? Was he also the one who threw the wild, outlet pass that led to a La Salle interception when he should have played it safe since UST was leading by a point anyway? Was he the one who sucked the whole series?
Oh forget about him.
Let’s just talk about the Tengs instead. Or Sauler and Jarencio. Or maybe the brilliant referees. For heaven’s sake, let’s talk about the NCAA. The league that has lasted forever. Please give me my tranquilizer now.
Follow Sportsmaryosep on Twitter: @JoeySVillar

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(Photos courtesy of spin.ph and Jun Mendoza of The Philippine STAR)

Bird Watching

Robinsons Place, Ermita
October 11, 2013
Bird Watching

I’m thankful for the NBA experience the night before and the days past. It’s one of the best moments of my life. I saw the Indiana Pacers and the Houston Rockets. I saw Boomer and Clutch, the Pacers and the Rockets’ mascots, jumping up and down the court and making crazy, fun dunks while bombarding the fans with shirts and freebies. Got a glimpse of the Indiana Pacemates (Wink to Francis Ochoa and Waylon Galvez). Witnessed how NBA commissioner David Stern make people around him comfortable. Noticed the striking similarities between Indiana coach Frank Vogel and back-to-back NBA champion Miami Heat coach Erik Spoelstra. Cringed at the site of Houston coach and Boston Celtics great Kevin McHale dragging his right leg. Felt how Paul George wants to win a championship. Awe-struck by the man behind Linsanity himself, Jeremy Lin. Felt like a dwarf standing beside Roy Hibbert. Nearly fainted at the site of Dwight Howard talking championships. Impressed with Luis Scola’s high basketball IQ. Mesmerized by Danny Granger’s wit and class. Giggled after chatting with ’90s idol Marcus Camby. And was with TJ Manotoc when we made Chandler Parsons admit he and pretty showbiz star KC Concepcion dated.
And the best moment of them all: Staring greatness eye to eye, Larry Bird. One of the greatest NBA players that ever walked this Earth.
You and I know Larry Bird right?
These two know-it-all claimed they do. One I’ve never even heard before, the other a radio jock masquerading as a “basketball expert.” They were on Twitter dissing this poor lady reporter who asked Bird something about pressure. Bird, as we all probably know by now, answered “Pressure? I don’t even know what that word is. You obviously didn’t see me play.”
Let’s name these two dissers Arny (The never heard off) and Tidy (The basketball poseur).
Arny: Seriously, why would you ask Larry Bird if he feels pressure while playing basketball?
Tidy: I do believe whoever asked that question needs to give up their pass to either of us. Just seems fair!
Arny: willing to take turns bro. first half sa akin, 2nd half sa ‘yo. Whichever half Asik plays more minutes in.
I’m sure Arny and Tidy are feeling good about themselves now, thinking they’re smart about their basketball. Round of applause to you.
How do we name the lady reporter who popped the question? Let’s call her Utah.
Now to diagnose who is the better person, let’s do a head (Utah)-to-head (Half head for Arny and the other half for Tidy).
Arny–Google points at someone who is from Ateneo, works for GMA News and SLAM Phl. And that’s about it. He’s probably good at recess and dismissals during his time. But we’ll never know. For sure, he’s bum in basketball otherwise he’ll be playing in the pros right now or in the NBA.
Tidy–Wikipedia tells us he’s from La Salle where he is an AB Communications graduate and a radio jock who got a break to call UAAP basketball games about four or five years ago. He is also doing some football gigs on TV. And that’s about it.
Utah–She’s an Ateneo commnunications graduate. Former sports editor of The Guidon. And hear this Arny and Tidy, a RAUL LOCSIN AWARDEE FOR JOURNALISM. She is from The Phl Daily Inquirer. Strings sports stories for FHM. Organized the (UAAP-NCAA) Collegiate Awards for years now. Wrote billions of stories by now, perhaps a million times more than what Arny and Tidy talked about.
Sportsmaryosep’s prognosis: You be the judge people. But it would be nice to have these three–Arny, Tidy and Utah–sit together in one table. Perhaps talk about basketball, non-basketball issues and even music and see who’s the smartest. I’ll bet my house on Utah, who knows more about Omer Asik and even music than what Arny and Tidy could imagine. Veteran journalists Mico Halili, Chiqui Roa, TJ Manotoc, and many others told Utah it was a great question  and a great moment. There was even this one American journalist who told her they never saw Larry Bird like this since he played in the fabled 80’s Boston dynasty. It’s short of saying Utah’s question loosened Bird up. And oh, the reason Utah is INSIDE the MOA Arena COVERING the NBA game is because she was ASSIGNED to cover it. She wouldn’t be assigned there if she isn’t worth it right? But where are Arny and Tidy? Watching it on BTV or Studio 23? Why? You’re bosses didn’t trust you enough to cover NBA games and maybe fear you’ll end up asking PRESSURE-less, kiss-ass questions. Francis Ochoa, the assistant sports editor of the Inquirer, best said it. “So meron na rin palang mga God’s gift to sports journalism. #NotRappler Calling out someone in public “insinuates” you can do a better job…So let’s see. I’ll keep track from now on. You better be motherfuckin’ good. No. You better be fuckin’ perfect.” That’s an angry bird over there.

P.S. By the way, Twitter’s logo is named Larry in honor of guess who? Larry Bird!

Sportsmaryosep update: Utah tells us Arny and Tidy have both apologized. I guess all’s well that end’s well.
Follow Sportsmaryosep on Twitter: @JoeySVillar

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(Photo courtesy of wikipedia.org)