La Salle Wars (Final) IV – A New Hope

Whoa!!!! That was a battle of galactic proportions!!!!! And what a way to win!!!!! That was a Luke Skywalker use-the-force-blow-up-the-death-star win!!!!

Like the original movie, the emotions overflowed. No less than Jedi Jermaine and Apprentice Aljun gave in to the pressure of the moment. The pressure of the game, and the pressure we inflicted on them. Yes. Us.

I told you. That UST team is formidable. And they actually became more formidable with an additional weapon. CJ Cansino.

Yes. That was the difference in the first game and this one. CJ found his game and joined the barrage.

And it was very scary. It started out exactly like the FEU game. They shot the lights out from three, then fouled us and true to form, we missed a ton of free throws. A TON.

Well, admit it or not, WE are partly responsible for that. Those free throws were tight. Very tight. I don’t have to look at the stats for that. Watching that game live from the UST side (thank you for the ticket, my good friend, Edel from UST) all the more bore down on my emotional frustrations regarding our free throw issues.

We could have actually led and won with a greater margin had we made those.

But, unlike the last game, this one made me hope more. Despite them shooting like that and us flubbing one free throw after another, we were only down three in the first quarter, and 7 at the half. I knew that once the three point well dried up, we would strike back.

And strike back we did. And we did it the way I hoped we would do it. On DEFENSE!!! And epitomized by a Brandon Bates block on Chabi Yo, and playing our defensive guards, Jordan Bartlett and Kurt Lojera.

And when USTs three point shooting cooled down, our defense to offense running game took over. Built a 10 point lead and settled for a 7 point lead after 3 quarters. A 13 point swing.

Then we played percentage ball. Went exclusively to Justin Baltazar at the post on offense. Shut the door on Chabi Yo and their other bigs on defense, and built leads of as much as twelve points.

But lethal UST came back. Also with defense. A defense that we were familiar with. Mayhem. Pinning the ball recipient against the sidelines and forced two crucial turovers against us, one of which could have sent the game into overtime.

I am normaly not critical of the team, it’s players, and it’s coaches. Hell, our trolls are always here, always pressuring, always feeling high and mighty, always bashing.

But those two trap plays should have never happened. We knew it was an Aldin Ayo team. We knew that press pin was coming. And we almost lost it!!!!

And we have to thank a very unlikely person too. Thirdy Ravena. For giving Rhenz Abando “slightly larger shoes”. Shoes which stepped on the three point line and won the game for us. Hahahaha. Well, we cannot lose like that all of the time, now can we?

Ok so now we still have our fate in our hands. And it’s STILL a four way fight for the number TWO slot. And guess what? WE ARE STILL IN IT.

AGAIN!!!’ May I remind the holier than thous to please stop BASHING COMMENTS. NO ONE is preventing you from giving CRITICAL BASKETBALL comments. Hey READ THE ARTICLE. There is some criticism, correct?

But those are BASKETBALL comments. Free throw shooting and press break inadequacies are critical of the team. And I said it!!!!

What I mean is that comments like “walang utak yang player na yan”, or “spoiled brat” or “players have no discipline”. REALLY???

I made a previous article titled “The Young and the Useless”. The title was controversial and those who did not read it concluded that I called Brandon Bates useless.

The article actually supported Brandon. But he took that monicker as a challenge. And look at how he’s playing now!!!! I am so PROUD of Brandon, and for making that article.

Because of all our, sadly, internal bashers and trolls, look at the effect!!!! Free throws are thrown tightly. Errors at the end of the game. And the coach and our star player breaking down in tears!!!!!!

Guys, those tears were a let out of all the frustrations they feel when they lose and get bashed.

But those tears, ladies and gentlemen, are also their way of showing us that they HATE TO LOSE. That they HATE TO GET BASHED. And most importantly, that they BLEED GREEN. Literally.

So we have two more games left. Both are very winnable. We lost to UP by that last second shot. We won against Adamson convincingly. We have to work for it!!!

But more importantly, no matter what happens from UP to Adamson, STOP THE BASHING.

The galactic war is on the court. The opponents are on the other side of it. Don’t be Sith Lords against our team. You deal in absolutes. You high and mighty non-doers.

Be Jedis of our team. Teach. Point out the basketball side. The free throws improvement is legit. The press break issue is legit. You know that they get all the feedback. You’ve seen the reactions. You’ve seen Brandon Bates improve exponentially because of the feedback.

Which are you? A Jedi or a Sith? There is hope after all. A NEW HOPE.

Animo La Salle!!!!!