Just a matter of Time

It’s quite unusual to see the Alaska Aces struggling to get their first win. I couldn’t even remember the last time they started a season, or a conference for that matter, 0-4. It’s been quite a long time.

The 120-84 blowout loss they suffered against a very deep and talented Rain or Shine squad have sent them further below the team standings. But more alarming than that is the indecisiveness and negative body language that can be seen on the team.

Perhaps the coaching change really left the players in disarray, inside the court and maybe in the dugout as well. This is not to say that coach Joel Banal is incapable of leading them to victory or is the wrong pick to replace the great Tim Cone but maybe, he and the players need to build more trust on each other and that is more than learning the X’s and O’s that he’s applying this season. But all that will be fixed in time.

Another factor would be the struggles of L.A. Tenorio. Though the Alaska’s floor general played his best game, so far this season, his shooting woes are still hounding him as he is averaging less than 20% FGs. I’ve always believed wherever L.A. goes, Alaska goes. He is nursing an elbow injury which is affecting his shooting, thus far. But that too will be gone in time.

The season is still young and there’s still enough time to get their acts together but it has to start in getting the first “W.” They should snap out of this rut and wake up from their slump and that elusive first win will come at the perfect time.

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No use crying over spilled milk

Wednesday last week marked my PBA “homecoming. ” It was the first time I watched a live PBA game since 2006 and it was nothing short of being surreal.

It was surreal because a seemingly eternal fixture was no more. Long time Alaska head coach Tim Cone was now calling the shots for the enemy.

It has been a month since the American coach called it quits with the Alaska camp but the reality of it really sank unto me upon seeing him on the other side of the fence. The equation “Tim Cone = Alaska” was like “Jaworski = Ginebra” or “Patrimonio = Purefoods,” “Bryant = LA Lakers” or “Duncan = Spurs.” It  was supposed to be like that… And so we thought.

During the pre-game warm-up, Coach Tim passed by the Alaska bench, exchanged warm greetings to his former players and coaching staff including the team mascot, E. Cow then continued walking towards the other end of the hardcourt. Towards the B-Meg Llamados bench.

I’ve been a solid Alaska fan dating back to the 1990’s and the night turned nostalgic and bittersweet, when the Big Dome’s giant screen flashed old videos of Cone’s memorable moments and accomplishments in his 22-year stint with Alaska then seeing him now with Johhny Abarrientos and Jeffrey Cariaso (his two hand-picked deputies in B-Meg) on the other side.

I should get used  to not seeing coach Tim on the Alaska bench. I should get used to seeing him giving the Aces a hard time winning.

The Aces led early in the ball game but the Llamados inched their way back into the ballgame and snatched the victory. I wonder how Cone really felt about everything because it’s hard not to be emotional about something that you’ve lived and breathed the last two decades.

Alaska owner Fred Uytengsu, being the upright businessman that he is, took everything in a very professional manner. An era has ended for his franchise and a new chapter is being unfolded. To him, it’s all about moving on for every party involved.

As for me, it was my loyalty to the team that prevailed. At the end of the day, I know, wala pa ring tatalo sa Alaska... Not even Tim Cone.

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Semerad Twin Trouble

I watched my first live NCAA game today because of the Semerad twins.

I popped in at the press room of San Juan Arena to look for our paper’s photographer, August dela Cruz. He was so shocked to see me on the venue that the first thing he said was, “Anong ginagawa mo dito?  Diba UAAP ka lang?  Diba UST lang ang kilala mong team?”

I had to laugh at that and answered, “Akala ko rin.  Pero kailangan kong gumawa ng storya tungkol sa Semerad twins.

One of the reporters butted in and asked, “Sino crush mo sa kanila? Si Anthony o si David?

I had to admit to them that I don’t really know them. ^___^

The San Beda Red Lions won their game against the JRU Bombers securing their spot in the Finals. I approached David Semerad if we could take a photo of him with his twin. He said they needed to get inside the locker room first.

I did my best  as a paparazzi and snapped a shot while they left the door open. Kaya naman pala

David or Anthony Semerad?

The team was treated to pizza.

We did get the chance to shoot them after they’ve changed.  I found them funny and even naughty.

Anthony Semerad

David Semerad

I’ll post a link to my story on them soon.  🙂

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