Ateneo Blue Eagles – 2008 UAAP basketball champions!

Ateneo Blue EaglesCongratulations to the Ateneo de Manila University Blue Eagles for winning the UAAP Season 71 men’s basketball championship series today against the De La Salle University Green Archers! YES!!!

The Loyola-based Eagles pulled off a series championship sweep to dethrone the Taft-based Archers, who were last year’s champs.

The Eagles last won the seniors championship in 2002.

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Related News:

1. Inquirer.net – Ateneo bags UAAP crown
2. GMANews.TV – Trademark ‘D’ catapults Ateneo to top of UAAP
3. ABS-CBNNews.com – Six year wait ends as Ateneo wins UAAP basketball crown

Boxing: Manny Pacquiao defeats Marco Antonio Barrera

Filipino super featherweight boxing superstar, Manny Pacquiao (45-3-2, 35 KO’s), won a unanimous decision over Mexican fellow superstar, Marco Antonio Barrera (63-6, 42 KO’s) this morning at the Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino in Las Vegas. The scores were 118-109, 118-109 and 115-112. This is the second time that they fought in a sanctioned bout.

“Pacman” continued to show his mastery over Barrera as he simply outboxed and outgunned MAB, the “Baby-faced Assassin”, for most of the fight. MAB showed flashes of brilliance on some rounds but it wasn’t enough to overcome Pacman’s power. In addition, MAB announced his retirement during the post-fight press conference. Here’s wishing the best to MAB, one of my favorite boxers, as he goes through a new phase of his life.

And congratulations are in order for the “Pambansang Kamao” for doing the country proud, as usual. “Mabuhay ang Pinoy!!!”

NBA Update : Eastern Conference finals

The NBA Eastern Conference Finals between the Detroit Pistons and the Cleveland Cavaliers has turned out to be very interesting. And I was deeply impressed by Lebron James’ memorable performance.

Cleveland is now leading the Best-of-Seven series, 3 games to 2. Although the Pistons are one of my favorite teams, I think that the Cavs could put off a major upset here.

The winner of the series will take on Tim Duncan and the San Antonio Spurs, the reigning Western Conference champs, for the NBA Finals championship series.

Ginebra Gin Kings – PBA Philippine Cup champions

If you’re a Barangay Ginebra fan like me, then you’ll be absolutely delighted to know that the Barangay Ginebra Gin Kings bagged the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) Philippine Cup last night via a thrilling, 96-94, come-from-behind victory over the San Miguel Beermen at the famed Araneta Coliseum.

Ginebra fell behind 0-2 early in the series, but they would win their next four games, with games 3 and 4 being blowouts. This makes Ginebra only the fifth PBA team to win the title after losing their first two games. Ginebra point guard Jayjay Helterbrand was adjudged Finals MVP, while Mark Caguioa won the Best Player of the Conference plum.

To coach Jong Uichico and the entire Ginebra team, congratulations! πŸ™‚

Of books and trees and Reyes leather

This weekend was pretty interesting. We didn’t go out today. And it was because of Manny Pacquiao. We usually go on picnics or go joy riding on a Sunday. But the routine for this Sunday was sideswiped by the Manny Pacquiao and Erik Morales fight, among others.

Item one: I’ve started reading a very interesting book on investing (Rich Dad’s Guide To Investing -What The Rich Invest In by Robert Kiyosaki). I was so engrossed with reading it last night that I didn’t realize that I was able to peruse half of its contents in one sitting. The book pretty much reminds me how far I still have to go to be successful in financial investing and in putting up a business. I was able to put up a business once. It didn’t pick up as I had initially envisioned it to perform. But reading the book helped me put things in perspective. I now know that there are a lot of lessons to be learned from this initial failure.

Item two: We were also finally able to put up our christmas tree. CJ went ‘berzerk’ when we switched the christmas lights on. He really loved it. His ear-splitting shrieks and coos and finger pointing were dead giveaways. And now for the toughie question of the week (or year): “How the hell are we supposed to protect the tree from CJ?” Ha! Now that’s a tough one. Firewalls and ACL’s won’t work brotha…..

Item three: Going back to boxing. I was expecting Pacman to win the fight in 8 or 10 rounds and was really surprised with the outcome. Morales looked really tired while Pacquiao looked menacing and I knew that ‘El Terrible’ would lose via KO. In retrospect, I’m glad we didn’t push through with buying pay-per-view tickets for the Pacquiao fight. The three-round demolition job is too quick a ‘movie’ for me to realy say if I got my money’s worth. Ha! Sour grapes! Who am I kidding? I wished I could have seen it live. Anyway, congratulations Manny! Mabuhay ka!

Tsk. Tsk. ‘Twas a routine weekend gone awry…. who cares? πŸ˜‰

World Cup Watch

The ongoing FIFA 2006 Soccer World Cup in Germany has brought back good memories of my childhood.

Football, or soccer, as most people call the game, is one of my favorite sports.

I’ve been hooked on it since I was a kid. When I was in gradeschool, we used to play it during recess and lunch breaks in any one of (then) Don Bosco Pampanga’s three football fields. I was even a member of the school’s varsity team at the time. Although I wasn’t the star player of the team, I could pretty much hold my own.

Before basketball’s popularity took over the sporting scene in the country, there was a popular school saying that went: “Hindi ka Bosconian kapag hindi ka marunong mag football.” — “You’re not a Bosconian if you don’t know how to play football.” — which I took to heart.

And being a Bosconian had an influence in my choice of soccer teams. Since St. John Bosco, and the Salesian order, came from Italy, it was but natural for the Italian Salesian priests, and most Bosconians, to root for Italy, the Azzurri.

And my stint as a player soon allowed me to study and follow the soccer world in detail. Which led me to discover the legend that was, and is, Pele, who became my sporting idol. This again led me to pick up another favorite team, the mighty Seleção, the Brazilians.

I have my list of favorite professional clubs too. On the top of the list is Ajax of Amsterdam. Then there’s Real Madrid, Manchester United and Juventus.

Going back to the World Cup, now that both Italy and Brazil made it to the next round, I hope that either one of them wins it all. Although it could be a rough road to the finals with the powerful Argentines and the inspired Germans.

Should neither team make it to the finals, which I hope not, then it’s still fine with me, as long as the sport that is so dear to my heart will reach and inspire the world’s people from all walks of life, and most especially the youngsters.

When that happens, then old coconuts, cloth-filled socks, makeshift cardboard shin pads, and empty lots would have served their purpose-filled days showered with children’s laughter, soaking up some rain, or basking in the sun.

White hot Heat!

Congratulations to the Miami Heat for winning the 2006 NBA Finals!

Since both teams are my favorites (along with Phoenix), it doesn’t really matter to me whichever team wins. Although my preference shifted a little bit towards Miami’s way since I wanted its veterans, Payton, Mourning, Williams, Walker, Anderson, and the rest, to finally win one. They should have won it last year.

I am a big Shaq and Dwyane Wade fan. D-Wade was totally awesome! He’s a certified superstar, there’s no doubt about that. And he deserves to win the NBA Finals MVP plum. Shaq and Riley have really been great influences. 15 strong does it! Wooooooooooooooooott!!!

To Nowitzki and the rest of the Mavs, you have every reason to hold your heads up high. It was a wonderful series. And besides, there’s always next year! Way to go coach Johnson! And way to go Mark Cuban! πŸ™‚