The EKWElizer

11 10 2007

The EKWElizer


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?

NCAA finals scenarios

16 09 2007

Maybe some of you won’t like my personal views regarding the NCAA Finals between defending champion San Beda College and Letran. But these are the possible things that could happen whether you like it or not.

Both teams met 57 years ago. And if you compare the era between 1957 to 2007. They are totally different. Although most of us don’t know what happened in the last 57 years when San Beda and Letran collided.

San Beda won the 1957 NCAA title with the legendary Caloy Loyzaga leading the pack.

Now, let’s get back to the present – the NCAA 83rd season. Actually, there are two worst case scenarios in the championship.

San Beda, considered the most heavily-favored team in the Finals series, is definitely the league’s Goliath – a powerful giant who can break the Knights’ armor to retain the title.

But there is an old saying: “the bigger you are, the harder you fall.” What if, Letran is the league’s David?

The Knights might consider this aspect: San Beda is not a threat too big to hit, but a target too big to miss!

Most of the time, it is not the situation that is complicated… It is the way we see things that matter. And sometimes in can determine the victor.

There is no doubt that the Red Lions is expected to count on pro-bound Yousif Aljamal. How can you question Aljamal’s capacity?

He was the Red Lions’ leading scorer with 16.9 points per game and 9.2 rebounds per game average by the end of the elimination round.

Then Samuel Ekwe, the last year’s rookie-MVP, is also there providing the bulk and heft. He is San Beda’s main defender in the paint – he scores, blocks and rebounds.

Ekwe ended the elimination round averaging 14.6 points, 16.2 rebounds and 3.2 blocks per game 11 games.

Brave and bold Rogemar Menor has shown maturity since the season started and it looks like he is going to take the leadership position next season without Aljamal.

In 12 games this season, he improved his last year’s output 7.8 to 13.4 points per game. He is described by head coach Frankie Lim as the squad’s spark-plug.

Guard John Paul Escobal, the Red Lions’ hotshot, is the team’s best offensive player who can shoot or attack the basket. He averaged 13.4 points per game in 12 outings this season.

But don’t count out the other members – Bam Gamalinda, Raymond Maggay, Dave Marcelo, Borgie Hermida, Jay-R Taganas and Garvo Lanete, among others.

Without them, San Beda would not end on top at 11-1.

The Final Four series turned out to be a ‘warm up’ session for the Red Lions. You saw what happened, they easily dumped the Cardinals, 74-64 despite Frankie’s post game comments last the last time. But it could also happen to Letran in two games. Letran could become the lonely Knights.

But Louie Alas has his own ace in Rafael Jazul, an MVP contender this season. He has proven that he can take over in big games. Jazul finished 12 games with an average of 16.1 points per game.

Dino Daa, averaging 10.5 points and 8.8 rebounds per game, is also expected to come out strong against San Beda. Bryan Faundo, with an 11.3 points and 8.1 rebound average, is a reliable force to reckon with.

John Melegrito, Raymark Gutilban, Andro Quinday, John Cabonce and Carlo Reposar, will definitely to step up for Letran.

In fact, it is not Letran’s offensive awareness that worries Frankie Lim but its paralyzing defense which limits opposing teams below 60 points.

I know you will say maybe to all teams except San Beda, but let’s see.

Letran defeated San Beda last July 25, 70-69. But the Red Lions came back strong to even their elimination round series in their second meeting last August 31, 87-84.

It’s a tie for both of them. And the series remain unpredictable. Though San Beda has the upper-hand to keep the crown, but Letran has the edge to dethrone the reigning champion.

Let’s support our respective team peacefully by watching the game on September 19.

God Bless you all and see you at the games.

NCAA Weekly with Coach Jude Roque Episode July 8 2007

11 07 2007

Mike Abasolo and Coach Jude Roque talks about the Red Lions without Sam Ekwe, Mapua’s Kelvin de la Pena, Letran’s Raffy Jazul, the Blazers and more last July 8, 2007.

Jazul sparkles for Knights, ties Red Lions on top

6 07 2007

Everybody took notice about the next go-to-guy for the Letran Knights. “Yes, it’s me” – Rafael Jazul.

Jazul poured in 20 points – probably his best game ever in the NCAA – to help the Knights beat the Stags, 71-61, and share the same card with San Beda College on top of the leader board of 83 rd NCAA men’s basketball on Friday at the Arena in San Juan City. Aside from Jazul’s impressive performance, Letran also achieved their goal by limiting their opponent below 60-points.

“I just have enough playing time and I’m thankful to coach Alas,” said the 5-foot-10 guard who also had four three-pointers in the game. “Everybody is watching and supporting us so we have to play our best basketball.”

After a tight first quarter, Letran pulled away in the second period, as they built a huge 32-17 advantage courtesy of Bryan Faundo’s under-goal stab at the 3:05 mark.

The Knights were way ahead at the start of the final quarter, 48-35, when the Stags unleashed a fiery 9-3 run, capped by a triple courtesy of rookie Egel Zulueta, to inch closer, 44-51, with 4:36 remaining.

San Sebastian’s rally, however, went for naught when Coach Jorge Gallent was thrown-out of the ballgame at the 4:19 mark by committing two technical fouls due to excessive complaining at the referees. Gallent will be automatically suspended in the Stags’ next assignment based on NCAA rules.

San Sebastian never recovered from the beating and Letran ran away with the win when Jazul poured in 5 straight points for a 67-50 bubble with 1:44 remaining in the final period.

“We have achieved our goal. That is to limit our opponent within the 60-point range. That’s the kind of game we want defensively,” said Knights coach Louie Alas. John Melegrito added 16 points while Faundo had 10 points, 6 rebounds and 2 steals for the Knights. Dave Najorda and Zulueta shot 11 points each for the Golden Stags.

San Sebastian fell to a 1-2 slate along with College of Saint Benilde and University of Perpetual Help.

Individual Scores:

Letran (71) – Jazul 20, Melegrito 16, Faundo 10, Daa 8, Guevarra 4, Latonio 3, Reposar 3, Cabonce 2, Gutilban 2, J. Foronda 2, Del Rosario 1, Dangcal 0, Ranises 0, C. Foronda 0.

SSC-R (61) – Najorda 11, Zulueta 11, Viray 8, Bulawan 7, Aquino 6, Saquillo 5, Ballesteros 4, Delgado 4, Quiamco 4, Raymundo 1, Dela Cruz 0, De Leon 0, Del Rio 0.

Quarter scores: 14-15; 32-21; 46-35; 71-61

Versus the Red Lions, how do you defy the odds?

24 06 2007

The San Beda College Red Lions, the defending NCAA champs, played good.

The Jose Rizal University Heavy Bombers, didn’t even compete. But it is never too late for the blue and yellow Heavy Bombers to show up. It was only an opening game and there are 12 games left to play in this double-round elimination tournament format.

It seems Coach Frankie is so excited to coach this team. In fact, his body language in last Saturday’s opening game were not cool unlike his from the other bench, Ariel Vanguardia.

Vanguardia just told this writer after the game that they failed to match the Red Lions’ strength, although the best way to do now is to prepare themselves against San Sebastian – their next assignment.

Lim, being on the winner side, praised all his players who came up smoking up most of the time to easily manhandle this year’s host team.

He didn’t know what to say during interviews. “I didn’t know what to expect, but my players were really awesome,” he told reporters.

Anyway, there are four effective tips to beat the reigning champs. And these might be:

No. 1: Teams should keep Sam Ekwe out of the shaded lane. You can push him outside or force the 6’8 Ekwe to get the ball outside and quickly surround him with a double-team.

No. 2: Don’t let other players get their range particularly Yousef Aljamal, Rogemar Menor and Pong Escobal. Whole and half court trapping defense are the key to cripple the teams’ offense. I also advise you to limit your use of the zone defense. It will give their shooters open looks to shoot the three.

No 3: Attack the paint. Force their big guys to early foul trouble. Use the old Stockton-to-Malone pick-and-roll plays. Don’t take too many attempts from the outside.

No 4: Don’t let the Red Lions reach 60-70 points.

I have to admit, since Philippine Christian University is out for this season, for me, San Beda College is probably the best team so far. It’s will be difficult to determine whose second best.

The ball is round. An upset, of course, does not choose its place in time. My appreciation and hats-off to Letran College coach Louie Alas and newly-appointed San Sebastian College mentor Jorge Gallent for winning their 83rd debut. Both coaches defeated their separate rivals to join San Beda in win column.

See you at the games.