December 1, 2014
Ynares Gym, Pasig City
San Beda won its first ever Philippine Collegiate Champions League title Monday with a 73-67 victory before a big crowd at the Ynares Gym in Pasig City. It was a clean sweep in two games by the Lions.
And I have several thoughts.
1. The PCCL was established in 2003 with hopes of determining the best collegiate team not just in the National Capital Region but the whole Philippines. In 12 years of its existence including this season, UAAP teams have won all but one editions. San Sebastian, then led by the “Pinatubo Three” of Calvin Abueva, Ian Sangalang and Ronald Pascual, snatched the crown in 2011. Until San Beda came into the picture to make it two. So sorry UAAP, NCAA has the best college team this year.
2. The first one is always the sweetest. And it ran true with the Lions, who finally won the big one after years of disappointments.
3. Nigerian Ola Adeogun of San Beda owns the best defense of ALL college players in the land. Bar none.
4. Cameroonian Ben Mbala of La Salle has the most offensive arsenal among the current batch of reinforcements.
5. Adeogun is better than Mbala. Adeogun utterly dominated Mbala in this series–both on the basketball court and in Twitter. Here’s how their word war has transpired:
“Sbc u can get game 1 but expect no mercy and sympathy for the last 2 games we will get back stronger #AnimoLaSalle #PCCL2014— thekidfromCameroon (@benmbala) November 27, 2014”
“Parang tsamba lang yun panalo namin ah, kawawa naman kami sa game 2 #AnimoSanBeda #RedLion #PCCL2014 #AnimoSanBeda pic.twitter.com/4SAtaV2zam — Adeogun Olaide (@AdeogunOlaide10) November 27, 2014”
“Lets see who will have the last word today rather tweeting girly stuffs on the net pink cat oupps sorry i mean red lion— thekidfromCameroon (@benmbala) December 1, 2014”
“U just made it a personal affair #Pccl2014— thekidfromCameroon (@benmbala) December 1, 2014”
“You just got beaten by the PINK CAT, stay humble kid, you got a long way to go,you good. #AnimoSanBeda #AnimoLasalle pic.twitter.com/hqkYB6pfQo— Adeogun Olaide (@AdeogunOlaide10) December 1, 2014”
And we all know the ending of this right? Adeogun having the last laugh and Mbala getting shoved down and humiliated upon. We all know Mbala has greatness in him. But he’s still a little bit raw. Maybe next year. But not now. Moral of the story? I will leave you with this quote for Mbala to gnaw the rest of the year:
“…talent means nothing, while experience, acquired in humility and with hard work, means everything.”
― Patrick Süskind, Perfume: The Story of a Murderer
6. Don’t give me that garbage that La Salle played without Arnold Van Opstal, Jason Perkins, Almond Vosotros and Norbert Torres. It’s not an excuse and it will not hang. San Beda, in case you haven’t noticed, also missed Kyle Pascual and Semerad twins Anthony and David. And oh, didn’t Mbala play?
7. Jeron Teng and Mbala couldn’t do it all.
8. Unless someone comes in and started to play like Russell Westbrook or Stephen Curry, Thomas Torres is a shoe-in to take the point guard duty. Kib Montalbo is a distant runner up.
9. Roldan Sara served old team La Salle a dish best served cold–revenge. He’s back playing beautiful music with Baser Amer. his former running mate during their San Beda Red Cubs days. He shouldn’t have left in the first place.
10. Baser Amer did the right thing on deciding to return next season for his fifth and last eligibility year. It will do him well and boost his stock as one of the amateur point guards to salivate about.
11. Athur dela Cruz should have a breakout season next year.
(Photos courtesy of spin.ph, Baser Amer and San Beda Red Lions)