It is the morning after, and yet, I couldn’t quite get over the happenings from yesterday’s blockbuster game pitting San Beda and Letran. The game was everything I expected the game to be. Blockbuster in every sense, the two teams going neck to neck, neither seeing the clear light of day till the buzzer sounded. Maybe this is how stages are set between age old rivals.
Despite the tattered lineup of Letran, slashed by the graduation of its main men over the years, Louie Alas came up with one hell of a fight, utilizing his young gunners to the hilt. He and his boys kept the game close, thwarting every instance San Beda got to pull away. Frankie Lim, on the other hand, nervously anointed his veterans to deliver him from the scare of defeat. The gamble paid off, sculpting new heroes out of captain Bam Gamalinda and new limelight boy JR Tecson. Noteworthy mention to steady performances by foreigner super rookie Sudan Daniel, smooth and savvy operators, Garvo Lanete and Rome dela Rosa.
Nonetheless, what caught everyone’s attention was what transpired after the buzzer sounded. Kevin Alas and Sudan Daniel got tangled in a scuffle, which brought both benches on the court, with each of their mentors acting as pacifiers. The crowd got rowdy after that. The players, coaches and officials docked low as bottles, coins and even plastic chairs were flying from all over. I got all nervous when the gallery right behind us joined in a fray of their own. It was like a jailbreak action flick. I had to seat my pregnant sister on one safe side, and shield her head with a pillow!
The Bedan players were ushered into the dugout almost immediately, but not without being chinked by a bottle or two. Clever thinking by the coaching staff, coz it was time to step out. They etched out a win. Another day at the office.
It was a sad sorry sight that San Beda Letran games would often come down to this, over the last two years. Maybe Letran was left to crumbles each time they lost to the Red Lions during this period. But heck, prior to this winning streak, San Beda failed to muster a win against the Knights for SEVEN FREAKING YEARS!!! Come on, the world is round. Mas feel kong sabihin sa tagalog. Bilog ang bola… Kayo ngayon ang nasa ilalim… Live with it.
But in all honesty, don’t we all love the action that this intense match-up brings?? That we live for these scuffles after the match? Aren’t we oh-so-tempted to throw debris into the court? To the Letran crowd, sing “Beda-Tulo-Laway” to your heart’s content? To the Bedan crowd, retort back with the emphatic “Is-kwa-ter” chant?
It is for real. An endearing old woman said to me after the game, “Mas masaya ang laban pag may rumble. Hinagis ko rin ung bote ko sa court!” Let this be the testament, that much as we don’t admit, it is part of what we all came for.
Truly, San Beda-Letran is not for the faint of heart. I’ve come to think that it’s not wise to bring children! (Note to Letran: pag-aralin nyo ang mga Grade 1 nyo!! Hindi yung kinukulong nyo sila sa Arena at pinapakain ng hotdog!) It was moments like these that painted the NCAA’s colorful history. Alumni hold on to these memories as vivid paintings on their walls. Yesterday was nothing like the rumbles of old, but it sure brought them back to their early years. Boy you should have seen the bright looks on their faces yesterday! Talk about giving in to life’s guilty pleasures…
The NCAA may be rough and wily, jologs daw o is-kwa-ter! But then, you keep coming back for more, don’t you?
Eto ang tikas ng NCAA…
Thanks to JC Laurito for the photos. For more pics, visit http://pulatography.multiply.com