Last weekend, I was struck with a feeling of nostalgia. I suddenly felt the urge to watch NCAA and UAAP bits and pieces on Youtube. After scouring different channels, I found myself reliving the moments of 2006. The year that was for me, the most dramatic of college basketball in recent memory.
Astral travel to 2006….
In the NCAA, San Beda, trouncing all rivals but PCU in their campaign during the 82nd season. The Red Lions were on the brink of throwing it all away. Scoreless in at least 8 minutes of the fourth quarter. Squandered a 20 point lead. Thanks, but no thanks to Jason Castro (demm, I hate the guy… Just had to say it) I remembered how I almost had a heart attack when Beau Belga threw a 20 footer…
Well, I didn’t exactly see it. I had my hands over my eyes, trembling in my seat, my throat sore, my voice hoarse… I couldnt even peek at that last play. I was perhaps the sole spectator sitting down, while everyone around me were tiptoeing on their seats. Then, in a few seconds…I just heard people in red shirts, screaming. Men from all walks of life, all grown up to teenage kids, hugging, tears flowing.. Like nothing I’ve ever seen. The pandemonium was unbelievable. Even when I watch the footages on youtube. It never fails to give me goosebumps. When Bill Velasco echoes out, “Aljamal has the ball. San Beda has won an NCAA championship.. for the first time since 1978..” As if on queue, here come the goosebumps. Try it if it works on you.
YAN! Ang Madrama!!!
UAAP: People said how much money the UAAP lost that year due to the DLSU suspension. No Ateneo-La Salle games in 2006. But I guess they made up for what they lost in the 2007 season. The archrivals met a total of 5 times in Season 83. We all know how this all ended. DLSU, after a lackluster start, and after sporting the bald look, ran away to snatch the title.
But the 69th season.. Boy! What a season! 2006 was the year of the tigers, the mighty mighty tigers… Well, they weren’t mighty at all that year. Everybody else didn’t bother to take a second look at the yellow shirts (with lousy black and white stripes on the side, really lousy uniform) But who had the magic formula? Two words. PIDO. JARENCIO.
Interesting that he never won a title as a player. But won his first title as a coach in his first attempt. After seeing the clips below last night, it came to me. Pido might be the Big J resurrected, minus the badmouth, perhaps.. Pido just ignited the fire within his boys. Turning them from lost tiger cubs, to the Growling Tigers, Kings of Season 69.
The championship series was one for the books. Ateneo won Game 1. Thanks to the final play, Macky Escalona with an inbound pass to Doug Kramer for the undergoal stab. All of that in one second! Watch…
All I can say was WOW! Look at Norman Black, trying to compose himself. My Gosh!!! I would shouting like hell if I was him.. But of course, Im just good old hysterical me… Kudos Coach! Pinabilib mo ko dito..
But the Growling Tigers raced right back, winning Games 2 and 3, clinching the title. But not without an overtime. Watch this…
My heart went out to JC Intal after the game. He was crying like a baby right after. Imagine missing the shot that could have delivered the title to the Blue Eagles in regulation, and the set play that went sour during the dying seconds into overtime. I dont know quite how one recovers from this kind of setback. But all is well in his PBA career.
These 2 momentous sports blockbusters will forever be inked in my memory, and on playback mode in Youtube, during dull and boring moments. The drama, the exhileration.. Love ko ‘to!