San Beda Cheers and Hymns now on CD

9 10 2007

“Music offers the most sublime experience when it engulfs the singers, musicians and listeners in something greater than the individual, it can resonate with traditions, histories, and futures far beyond that immediate moment in which our ears bear witness.” – Cover of Umpah Umpah, San Beda College Battle Hymns and Cheers.

San Beda College, now back to back champions after 28 long years, very rich in basketball tradition, would like to share to everyone the cheers and battle cry hymns that kept the Bedan Community together after a long, long, long wait.

The San Beda Alumni has an old saying, “Once a Bedan, Always a Bedan”. If you have a classmate, a schoolmate, a bestfriend, an officemate, a compadre, a brother, even a former Red Cub or Red Lion, who have one way or another have been able to experience the Bedan way of Life, he, now including a she, will tell you about the Bedan brotherhood. It is something that a only a Bedan can explain. This CD is an outlet for us to express our passion and tradition that kept us together thru all those years of waiting and weeping. That hope every Bedan has been waiting for.

The CD comes with a glossy poster type insert and 25 tracks including 6 instrumental versions to sing your own rendition of the hymns that made Bedans Bedans.

Proceeds will go to the San Beda Cheerleaders and San Beda College Band.

For a sampler, just click on the play button below for your choice:


Hungry like the wolf?

29 09 2007

Don’t be deceived. The NCAA Finals for the Back to Back Champs San Beda Red Lions did not come easy. With a talent laden team like that, it can make things happen. In Game 1, every Bedan had the scare of their lives. The Red Lions could not seem to find its rhythm. For three successive quarters, the Letran Knights stood toe to toe with the most talented team in the NCAA. Coach Louie Alas, as good as he really is, had found the rarest solution to slow down the Red Lions. They denied Sam Ekwe breathing space inside the paint, denied the entry passes and forced San Beda to slow it down and play half-court.

But in the 4th Quarter, it was a different story. Yousif Aljamal, Borgy Hermida and especially, Ogie Menor, broke loose and delivered the most crucial game of the series.

During that lull towards Game 2, I also had my doubts if San Beda can sustain that kind of a run with an experienced coach in Alas running the show for Letran. In a championship series, especially in a close game. To remove my feelings of uncertainty, I went to visit the Red Lions den in practice to observe how will they adapt to counter Letran’s strategy. It turned out that Game 1 was a blessing in disguise.

For those who watched the game up close, the San Beda coaching staff was able to witness the line of attack of the Knights for 30 minutes. Letran, however, only saw San Beda’s counter move in the last 10 minutes. The Red Lions are just talented enough to thwart off any aggression by Letran. In other words, the Red Lions were on higher ground and they can see what’s ahead.

In Game 2 the story was very different. The Red Lions made Sam Ekwe the decoy and the 2nd or 3rd option on offense. Ekwe focused his efforts in controlling and patrolling the shaded area. The main focus of the offense were on Yousif Aljamal and Ogie Menor. And, the difference from the 1st game was, the Red Lions were able to go up tempo. In the open court, the Red Lions are unstoppable. That was were Coach Frankie Lim maximized his bench. And they delivered.

I hope the win erased the doubts that clouded over Coach Frankie Lim’s campaign. And besides, there is absolutely nothing wrong with surrounding yourself with able assistants.

But there are burning questions, not doubts, to San Beda’s next campaign.

The 1st time was sweet. The 2nd time was sweeter. The 3rd time, will be the ultimate coronation. There is no doubt that San Beda will go for it next year – a three-peat.

Will Frankie Lim coach the Red Lions next year? Does he want to do this again? Aljamal and Raymund Maggay will vacate Red Lions locker after this season, who will replace them? If the socks are available will they be ready in time for the next challenge? Can the Red Lions stay hungry?

What’s your opinion?

Guess UE’s UAAP Season 70 Finals opponent and get a FREE Petron Shirt

21 09 2007

Let’s throw away the stats book and lets see who among the final three will have the right to challenge the UE Red Warriors for this seasons UAAP finals.

UST Growling Tigers vs. Ateneo Blue Eagles

The reigning UAAP champs, the Growling Tigers, are once again out to prove their critics wrong during the initial stage of the season. Coach Pido Jarencio would love to have this situation. Have you seen his last post game interview? He believes he’s ready, he’s confident that he can pull it off one more time and his comments are borderline arrogant but that’s what the UST community like about him, his positive attitude and his faith in his players. With Jervy Cruz leading the way, with an MVP performance to boot plus a great cast, the Growling Tigers’ sortie is just beginning.

Why Ateneo will NOT win over UST? Again, let me make you remember. That game against the Bulldogs was no excuse. In that game, the Blue Eagles expected NU will just roll over and die. They don’t have to say it, it’s in their body language all game long. They didn’t have that aggression, that fire, the poise that made them who they really are – a prime candidate for this year’s finals. If they only had that same hard line poise in thier La Salle game with the Bulldogs, they won’t be in this predicament and the situation will be much simpler for the Blue Eagles.

Maybe, just maybe, but I hope I’m wrong, they wanted to have another crack at La Salle. They did it the hard way just to face La Salle? This attitude might confirm why the Blue Eagles will not ever, I say again, not ever win a championship title unless they face La Salle in a UAAP finals match. This might be the same kind of attitude why they lost to the Bulldogs. Ateneo needs its appetite of defeating their “archrival” and let the situation be handed to them in a silver platter, but it sounds like a movie fantasy doesn’t it. HELLLO!!! Earth calling “the” Ateneo!!!

Why will Ateneo WIN over UST? Simple, its motivation, its desire to once again face its “archrival”. Ateneo has worked long and hard during the off season to prepare for this? Just for your “archrival”. If I were La Salle I should be touched. I hope I’m wrong. I’ve heard it too – It’s ok to loose to any school, but not La Salle. I hope I’m wrong.

The De La Salle Green Archers

Started strong. Midway had a bump on the road. But managed to clinch the twice to beat advantage after their loss against UE. They almost had the win until JV Casio missed from the free throw line with 3.5 seconds left. But that’s history. The Green Archers are just waiting. The Green Archers are a battered. Rico Maierhofer has a frail ankle. Brian Ilad is now suspended. The back court will not be a problem for La Salle, but the availability of athletic big men to match up is thin and will pose some difficulties for Coach Franz Pumaren.

So who will challenge the UE Red Warriors for the UAAP Season 70 Title?

I have in my possession 20 Petron Shirts to be given for FREE if 20 people can predict the Red Warriors’ opponent in the UAAP Finals. Just send an email to and the first 20 correct answers will receive their Petron T-Shirt.

NCAA Final Four Preview – Letran Knights vs. JRU Heavy Bombers

9 09 2007

Letran Knights vs. Jose Rizal Heavy Bombers (elimination round 1-1)

Colegio San Juan de Letran Knights

The Letran Knights is not your typical power team. The Knights are a very efficient basketball team. The know their roles and they know how to play “as a team”. Coach Louie Alas has a very deceiving line-up. He knows that for him to win this series and go all the way, they have to do it together. The extras will definitely count for the Knights – the extra passes and the extra hustle. Coach Alas normally starts with: Bryan Faundo, Rey Guevarra, Dino Daa, RJ Jazul and Kirk del Rosario. RJ Jazul, having a splendid season thus far, will carry the scoring load and will definitely be the go to guy for the Knights. Bryan Faundo’s 16-footers will provide the space for the Knights perimeter, Guevarra and Jazul will mostly benefit from Faundo’s soft touch from the outside. Daa will also provide some muscle inside with some reliable perimeter snipping. Plus the fact that the Knights can also give you some speed to get out on the break. On defense, they are above-average single coverage defenders both in and around the shaded area. Backing up the Knights starting five will be Andro Quinday, Reymar Gutilban, Reynaldo Dangcal and probably their feistiest perimeter defender in John Melegrito.

Jose Rizal University Heavy Bombers

The JRU Heavy Bombers have been criticized for being overly physical at times. But that is the nature of the beast. In fact, in my opinion, the Heavy Bombers is the most physical team in the NCAA today. James Sena, Alvin Se and Mark Pradas comprise the frontline of the Heavy Bombers. John Wilson and Mark Cagoco will initially man the backcourt. But at times, you will see Ildefonso Bulangis dictate the tempo for the Heavy Bombers on occasions as a starter. The Heavy Bombers’ main weapon is defense. They rely on a lot of defensive schemes to give their opponent a different look in their offense, and in some instances to stop your primary scoring option – shut you down. Backing up the main crew will be Jason Nocom, Marvin Hayes, John Agas and Rene Cunanan.

Pick: Letran in 2 games

The NCAA Final 4 Preview – Red Lions vs. Cardinals

7 09 2007

September 12 will a day of reckoning for 4 semifinalists. Only two will remain to dispute this year’s plum. Who will they be? Let’s take a look at the first two protagonists.

San Beda College Red Lions vs. Mapua Institute of Technology Cardinals (0-2 elimination round)
Mapua Cardinals

The moment these 2 were matched up everybody conceded that the Red Lions will eat the Cardinals alive. Don’t trust your conscience yet. The Cardinals are peaking at the right time and they are learning to play as a team. Even Coach Frankie Lim acknowledged that Coach Leo Isaac is a good coach if not, in my opinion, an excellent mentor to lead the Cardinals to the land of milk and honey. The Cardnilas have yet to show their potential but they have to do it as soon as they hit ground with the Red Lions. The main man chores will definitely go to combo guard stud Kelvin de la Pena. De la Pena will be surrounded by supporting casts namely: Jerby del Rosario, versatile Sean Co, Neil Pascual and Hermes Sumalinog. Jonathan Banal is usually in Coach Isaac’s starter list but I reckon, Banal will most likely be the sixth man for the Cardinals for this series, in a game like this, the Cardinals will have to start strong and Coach Isaac might initially stick with his veteran core. Teree Guillermo will most likely get his chance to show how good a shooter he really is. The Cardinals cannot afford a let down on offense if they want to keep up with the Red Lions. But who knows, lady luck might be on thier side, and a possible upset looms over this series.

San Beda Red Lions

During the absence of Yousif Aljamal, the Red Lions have proven that they can win shorthanded. There is no doubt the Red Lions boasts of a formidable line-up this year. Coach Frankie Lim’s usual starting five combination of Borgy Hermida, Pong Escobal, Ogie Menor, Yousif Aljamal and Sam Ekwe, after 2 games of waiting, will be back in this series. I might be pushing the stock of the Red Lions too much if I ask you how can the Cardinals match-up with the Red Lions in this series. We already know the Red Lions can go 9 to 10 deep – Raymund Maggay, Garvo Lanete, Riego Gamalinda even Chico Tirona and Jay-R Taganas might be given some minutes to give the others some time off the court. Last year, other teams used to double team Ekwe and that paid a lot of dividends for the rest of his teammates. Since he has possessed an array of shots just a foot away from the shaded area, I believe, and Coach Lim and the rest of the coaching staff should be confident about this, that last year’s ploy to contain Ekwe with double coverage will work for the Red Lions’ advantage. And this will pose problems for the Cardinals’ defensive rotation.

Pick: San Beda College in one (1) game.

Ringside 109, who’s accountable?

2 09 2007

It was San Beda vs. Letran. Before the start of the ball game the NCAA member schools initiated ceremony to signify their togetherness. San Beda and Letran exchanged tokens – the Animo San Beda scarf and the Letran jacket. And so the game went on.

During the 3rd Quarter, while I was seated in the front row at Ringside 109 while enjoying the game, Mel Alas apparently caught fire with someone from the stands. And he was really upset. I have never seen Mel Alas in that mood except when he was coaching the Adamson Falcons in the UAAP but that’s another story. Sources said that someone threw something at him. Nothing big, but enough to catch his attention.

Letran Coach Louie Alas tried to pacify his brother. So far, he succeeded, and so we believe. Coach Louie asked the San Beda fans in R109, without pinpointing at anyone, and generally asking politely to impede whatever they intend to do next. And so the game went on peacefully with everybody enjoying the action. But eventually, the Knights would loose to the Red Lions in another classic encounter.

Right after the game all hell broke loose at R109. While I was at the dugout preparing to take a post game footage on the winner coach, I heard riot noise. I ran out and saw pet bottles, popcorn, empty cola cans and some coins were being thrown at the Letran Knights coaching staff and even players. It was a sight not to see. At the same time a nightmare in a time were hooliganism was a fad in the NCAA.

Now who’s responsible? From the San Beda spectator to Mel Alas, who should be responsible? Araneta security? the spectator? We can always point to whoever, but we know in our conscience who should take responsibility. Between the Letran Coaching staff and some players and the San Beda spectators, who should take responsibility? Araneta security, NCAA Mancom, spectators, who?

The NCAA Mancom’s treatment on this is – it happened right after the ball game. Probably the highlights of that incident that happened at the Palace in Auburn Hills between Detroit and Indiana are now running thru your mind. And it is true that there is a demarcation line between the spectators that pay to watch the game and the people that give you entrainment, in this case, the teams on the basketball court. You can even call it the 38th parallel. But whatever you call it, there is a clear boundary.

According to the NCAA Mancom, since there are no rules and penalties for this kind of “melee”, the Mancom will follow their line of thinking, for the sake of consistency, their reprimand on the previous incident that happened between Coaches Lim and Vanguardia – a STERN WARNING.

Too bad somebody got injured. But according to league sources charges will not be filed, maybe that someone knew they should take responsibility of the what ifs? – What if I just sat there, watch the game and keep the pockets to myself? Plus all the what ifs. The security was able to round up some of the spectators, got their names and will be banned from watching the games live in any venue. So how will this affect security? Thousands of fans will enter the venue how will and can you identify them? What will be your security strategy?

College Basketball, combining passion and tradition, is a sensational ride to experience. Emotions run high because you believe and fight for something – your school alma mater, your school spirit. But if your concept of school spirit is to translate your emotion to anger and your means to express those feelings is to turn to violence, man, get a life, you are in the wrong business.

According to the NCAA Mancom, they have warned the Araneta security personnel about an instance like this might happen. They even requested ropes and some kind of equipment to aid them in their crowd control efforts. But I guess the security personnel took it for granted and R109 turned out to be a UFC Ringside venue without the barricades.

But again, who is accountable?

At 9-0, UE sweep possible?

21 08 2007

The UE Red Warriors are 9 and 0. When the season started all eyes were on the DLSU return, expected to take the league by storm because it was assumed they were hungry. Coming from a painful defeat last year in the hands of the defending UAAP champions, it was a lesson learned, for both the players and the coaching staff. To be in this situation, we wonder why if this run will ever end. Will it be another cayote adventure? We hope not, because the Red Warriors are in the ride of their lives.

And so we ask. Why the sudden change of scenery for the Red Warriors? Let’s analyze first what happened in their game against (the win or loose is the school we choose) Ateneo. If anyone will tell you that the Blue Eagles have no size, well, they do. The Red Warriors had a hard time taking out the Blue Eagle via the blowout route because Ateneo made sure they control the boards (41-36), and with their size, the Blue Eagles are second in rebounding (49.8 rebound ave. in the 1st round). BUT, the Blue Eagles had 17 turnovers (13 for UE) and UE had 17 turnover points. UE, however, finished the game with only a 5-point margin, 73-68.

Now, with their game against UST. Double Double performer and No. 1 league rebounder Jervy Cruz, in that game, contributed 17 points AND 6 rebounds. His 1st round average was at 16.7 rebounds per game. Cruz was seriously taken out of his normal kill zone – the shaded area. Japs Cuan that averaged at least 9 points per game by virtually attacking the paint only had a measly 5 points.

When Coach Dindo Pumaren took over as coach, they had to get used to his system – defense first and share the basketball. The coaching staff had projected for a long and arduous journey ahead. With each passing game moment, the people behind the Red Warriors always come prepared. Always ready to do battle. They also had to deal with the lapses and even manage the fear and anxiety of crucial games. 2 years after, they made it to the final four and on their 3rd year, they almost made it. Kelvin Gregorio, Mark Borboran, Elmer Espiritu, Joel Canizares, Narciso Llagas, Hans Thiele and James Martinez were all there to share the agony and the pain of defeat. This crew had grown up as players only knowing one thing – to play the Pumaren Way. They have embraced Coach Dindo’s system and I can tell you that they enjoy playing together as a team. In other words, after all these years of playing together, they have matured both as individuals and as a team. Critics will know longer question thier readiness to take their game to a whole new level.

Going back to their game against Ateneo. To counter the Blue Eagles superior size advantage, they had to make a quick double on the Ateneo bigs on the low block in the hope that, with their inferior passing skills, will cause some turnovers, because that is were UE makes its living -thier opponents’ mistakes. The Red Warriors also took advantage of the Blue Eagles’ lack of foot speed and quickness because UE’s smaller line up can surely run you down the floor.

In the case of UST the strategy was different. The Red Warriors had to go single coverage on Jervy Cruz because anyone of the Growling Tigers can hit you, almost from anywhere. But the UE bigmen were able to hold their own against Cruz. Cruz had to work for his points and catch the ball on the move instead of being static in the post area. The Red Warriors perimeter defense also did a good job in denying the entry passes intended for Cruz, at the same time, preventing Japs Cuan from getting into the paint by staying in front of him. This shows the athleticism and explosive qualities that the Red Warriors possess.

Coach Dindo has been proud about his team’s commitment to defense. 80% of what they do has always been a way on how to stop their opponent from scoring. I’m sure coaches in this league preach defense first. But the Red Warriors made defense a commitment, their so called team identity. The Red Warriors are a thorn on any execution. And to show proof, they are 1st in the league on turnover points (22.4) and 2nd in steals (5.6). They tighten the floor, they crowd you, they raid the passing lanes and they challenge every shot. For their lack of individual defensive ability they make it up on playing team oriented defense.

Offensively, anybody in the Red Warriors line up can log in the stat sheet. Anyone can make a contribution and what’s good about them is that – they share the basketball. With a league leading 19.6 assists, almost everybody makes the extra pass. UE is the leader in 2-point Field Goal % (48.8) and 3-point Field Goal % (36.2) and that makes them a very balanced team on both ends of the floor.

Most people say the Green Archers is probably the only team left that stands in the way of the Red Warriors for making a sweep plus an automatic Season 70 Finals entry. The rest of the opposition is a bonus. Can the Red Warriors not think of a sweep at this point? Can they stay hungry long enough for the hunt?