This, above all:

This, above all: To be God's best for The Coach and for Anna

Friday, August 18, 2006

Or forever keep your peace...

The Coach and I have received a few nudges for me to continue posting about UP Men’s Basketball games. Apparently there are two forums* that provided links to this blog. I read in one discussion how my post was considered “evidence” to back up an allegation. One forum shut down a thread last Monday, and then suspended all remaining threads last Tuesday, to hose down incendiary comments and obiter dicta, hopefully not stoked further by my posts here.


I just wanted to write about what The Coach and I look forward to each July since 1980 (for The Coach) and since 1986 (for me). Basketball is The Coach’s passion. For the game he would skip sleep. For the game he would spend time and money on training. The game has even cropped up in many a quarrel between us.

But what to write about? I hesitate to write not because UP has been losing its games, but because of the quality of those losses. Almost all of those losses should not have been, and the reasons are sad and…well, I will stop there. There’s not much I can say at this point without raising anyone’s hackles.

Still, there are other things I can share, including stuff I learned or remembered the last few days:

  • We UP alums and students love our school. We will even fight each other to prove that. Which is sad, in a funny kind of way.
  • At the stadium many of us fans cheer loudest when our team is leading, but predictably fall silent—perhaps in sympathetic dismay, anxiety or shock—when the team falls behind. Well, I say this is the moment our team needs our support the most. I say we should be noisier when our players are not doing as well as we hope. I say we support the team not because it’s winning, but because it’s our team.
  • Many fans, even the most loyal among us, don’t know enough about basketball. Yes, including me. We cheer, jeer and analyze, but very few know the technicals of the game. We criticize and second-guess from our accountability-free vantage point, but we know so little.
  • Sometimes the fan—or, yeegads, an occasional interfering parent or even a well-meaning university officer—who knows some about basketball is the more destructive. A little knowledge is a dangerous thing. Which leads me to my next point…
  • Coaches know best.
  • A coach’s job is highly political, perhaps more so for a UP coach. He has to contend with so much. More than the X’s and the O’s, he has to deal with different personalities with different perspectives and different agendas.**
  • Alumni support is more often than not a Catch-22 situation, with shades of Field of Dreams: you build it, they will come. Except that to build it—a good team—you need alumni support. Which usually doesn’t come unless the team wins games. How’s that for a Gordian knot? UP, in particular, needs our support because it cannot fund its own sports programs. Many times our fundraisers entice support by proving that ours could be a winning team. But why? Support is not a commercial transaction that requires a give-and-take. We support the team, regardless. We paid a measly P500-semestral tuition in the 1980s, dagnabbit, and we can’t give back?
  • A good college basketball program takes a few years to develop. We can never demand a strong finish in a coach’s early years unless the previous coach laid the foundation for a victory, and all the present coach has to do is take the pickings. There must be good recruiting beforehand, something that the Maroons, alas, will have to make up for since we didn’t do solid recruiting the last two years.
  • It’s a given: schools with strong alumni support are more likely to attract the better players. Alums are crucial to the basketball program. Like I told The Coach: half of the game is won outside the court and before the season.
  • The “university” portion in UAAP (University Athletic Association of the Philippines) is often overlooked and overshadowed by “athletic.” Sad.
  • And, on a haha-hee hee note: the UAAP games are rated PG: Parental Guidance required. Check it out below. I can offer many reasons why, but that would violate my self-imposed gag order.

* My sparring partner Jonski, lest you flinch, I checked first if it’s all right to use forums. Heh.

** Alas, Jonski, the intricacies of using Latinate forms. I’m junking agendum and treating agenda as singular.


paul said...

horribly unrelated, but...

i see that you're infected by the footnote germ. been living with it for sometime now.* some months back i thought i had a remission. now it's back,** and will maybe never go away.

* stating the obvious.
** (!!!)

kilcher said...

i've been wondering about what prompted a forum to shut down everything. and then my friend told me it's all about that *thing*.

anyway, i applaud you and The Coach for the passion you have for the game. I am just a fan and I play with my friends once in a while but I can definitely relate to the would-skip-sleep-for-the-game thing.

keep writing, ma'am janet. :)

Bitoy said...

i learned about the issues currently hitting the UP Fighting Maroons through that forum. whether those issues are true or false, i am really saddened with the things are turning out in the league. such issues are but proof of how corrupted basketball in the Philippines really is.


i hope that everything is not yet late for Philippine basketball, the UAAP and the UP Fighting Maroons.

Ma'am Janet, thank you for the love of the game. the league really needs people who has this genuine passion and love for basketball. :-)

bitoy said...

Ma'am Janet, pahabol lang...

please convey to the UP coaching staff that i, along with so many other supporters of the team, are wishing the team the best next year. i am hoping that UP MBT 2007 can do a San Beda MBT 2006 in UAAP Season 70. :-)

janet said...

Paul: I even speak in footnotes, long dashes and parentheses. Mahilig sa obiter dicta kasi! :)

One of my classmates last sem asked Chari how come I use parentheses often in one of my stories, what the significance could be. I think Chari said something like (I'm hazy about this part--aack! Parentheses!): it sometimes is lazy writing, when the author (me) just tries to cram information in one portion coz she can't do it elegantly elsewhere. Hweh.

Kilcher: I think you're more passionate about the game than I! We admire your grasp of the technicals. And you play pa. :)

Bitoy: Sige lang. It's like that Japanese proverb picked up by the Nike ad: Fall seven times, stand up eight.

bitoy said...

Ma'am Janet, i hope you and The Coach can comment on this "wild" idea of mine.

do you think it will be feasible for the UP basketball team to undergo training with top NCAA USA teams such as those of UCLA and the University of Florida? if such plan will push through, would it be possible for an all-UP community fund-raising campaign to fund their training in the US?

janet said...

Hi Bitoy. I started writing my answer to your "wild idea," then erased what I just wrote, then began again, then paused, then decided to just first talk with The Coach about it. Para matino ang sagot ko. :) He's pretty busy right now. Give me until Monday?

I'll be Araneta on Sunday. If you can recognize me in the crowd (what with just my profile photo to guide you), do wave hello. :)

bitoy said...

sure Ma'am Janet. i'll say Hi to you when i see in Araneta tomorrow.

good luck to the Maroons on Battle of Katipunan II. :-)

bitoy said...

UST just won over NU this afternoon. the Tigers' win over the Bulldogs (UP should have upset NU in that previous game) placed UP at a very difficult situation.

tomorrow's battle against Ateneo will be UP's battle for life should the Maroons still want that Final Four slot.

i really wish the best of things for the Maroons and UP coaching staff on Battle of Katipunan II.