Beauty and the Beast

The Arena, San Juan
June 28, 2016
Beauty and the Beast

Today is the 42nd month since my wife and I decided to get married in simple rites. It was the best decision of our lives because God blessed us with Iago Sebastian, who was born on Nov. 1 the year after.
So I thank God for the gift of love and family.
Also, this same day is somewhat historic for the NCAA Press Corps, a group of sportswriters and photographers consisting of expletive-speaking men and women who take joy in admiring both sexy women and handsome and muscled players and coaches including Sportsmaryosep’s favorite, former Letran coach Aldin “Jooooeeey follow your heart” Ayo.
Historic because we just did our second Fantasy League drafting at the newly renovated, head-smashing media room. It will also be the first time that a female member, veteran scribe Marivic Awitan of Balita and Bulgar, joined us. Fittingly, she drew the first overall pick. And guess who she picked? The Bus Driver himself, Jio Jalalon of Arellano U. The photo below is the complete draft results.

ncaa fantasy.jpg
May the best team wins.
This blog though is about, two things, beauty and, yes, the beast. Let’s start with the beauties.
On June 25, the NCAA Season 92 was officially ushered in with a grand opening ceremony that was highlighted by honoring the late great Carlos “The Big Difference” Loyzaga, whose jersey No. 14 he used during his San Beda days in the 50s was retired by the host school. Aside from the introduction of players from all 10 participating squads and the entertaining opening number, we were also greeted with the league’s most beautiful faces. And as a treat, we will let these photos from Jan Dizon of ncaaph.org do the talking. As they say, a picture paints a thousand words. So enjoy.


Now let’s talk about the beast.
I mean “The Beast.” Calvin Abueva. One of the two players recently cut from Gilas Pilipinas seeking nothing less than a slot to the Rio Olympics when it plunges into action in the Olympic Qualifying Tournament the country will host on July 5 at the MOA Arena. Many, including Sportsmaryosep, raised hell over the recent decision by coach Tab Baldwin.
Before we comment even further, let’s first look at the valiant 12 who made the team–Andray Blatche, June Mar Fajardo, Jayson Castro, Gabe Norwood, Terrence Romeo, Ranidel de Ocampo, Japeth Aguilar, Marc Pingris, Troy Rosario, Ryan Reyes, Ray Parks and Jeff Chan.

gilas-pilipinas-final-12-player-roster-fiba-oqt-475x297
There were some who asked why rookie Troy Rosario was there. Some criticisms were also hurled at Parks, Japeth and even Reyes. But most was aimed at Rosario, who a lot of people think should have not made the team because of simple reasoning that he is just a newbie. Fair reasoning.
Let’s compare. Rosario is taller and has more range. Abueva is smaller but has experience and athleticism. You also can’t question his heart. Proof of it was in Gilas’ gold medal game against powerhouse China. He stared eye to eye with the Chinese and their fans. In China. Abueva showed guts and balls, ladies and gentlemen. Hard to question his heart. And oh, Abueva happens to be the second best player in the PBA today next only to The Kraken.
While we bleed over the decision, it does not mean we will not be supporting Baldwin and Gilas. In fact, we will. 100 percent. To the end. I will be there screaming myself hoarse. With or without Abueva.
For the love of country.
Go Gilas!

Follow me on Twitter: @JoeySVillar

Abueva

(Photos courtesy of Jan Dizon of ncaaph.org and Smartgilasbasketball.com)

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