Monday, May 07, 2007
Play by Play
The Coach is child-mischievous. In church today, while everybody else applauded an all-male ensemble who had sang a cappella In That Great Getting Up Morning—in a delightful fusion of barbershop music and black gospel—The Coach leaned over and whispered, “I’m going to clap like Paula Abdul.” And he bent his hands back, fingers splayed, and slapped his palms together—Paula Abdul style.
That kind of playfulness serves him well on radio. For some time now The Coach moonlights as commentator at Radyo PBA (918 on the AM frequency).
Radio suits him more. When he was commentating on TV for the Metropolitan Basketball Association (MBA), he had to mind too many things: wear a tie, follow the camera, and mind his facial expressions. Radio, however, allows him to banter about, say, the players’ hair, or poke fun even at himself. “Whew!” he whistled, when Olsen Racela sank in a shot after The Coach had pronounced Olsen one of the league’s best free-throw players. “Buti na lang. Otherwise, mawawalan ako ng credibility.”
In another game, after The Coach had kept insisting the Welcoat players should pass the ball to Alex Compton, Alex delivered the fifth of his seven 3-point shots that game, and The Coach cheered, “Naku, gumwapo ako dun ah.”
Of the few games I've listened in on, my favorite would be the Air 21-Welcoat game last April. Air 21 was miles ahead in scoring, and Welcoat struggled to make a shot, as if—according to The Coach—there was a wall blocking their shots. “Eh, ano pang dapat gawin ng Welcoat kung may wall, eh 'di pinturahan,” he joshed.