Blind mice in the NCAA?


SEN. Tito Sotto spoke in eulogy the other day in the Senate to honor our good long-time and valued common friend, Sen. Boy Herrera. Comforting. But, I read that Sen. Tito appeared in a noontime show I was/am unable to watch, garbed as a Muslim. Criticized by offended Muslims, he says he won’t apologize. That may be his human and constitutional right. As an ordinary citizen. But, as an incumbent senator? The paradigms in those celestial heights were Recto, Laurel, et al.. Should sitting senators be in showbiz given the demands of the office responsible for the welfare of more than 100M conejos?

We do not disparage the feelings of the offended, in my view.

Do we improve or lower our standards? From celestial heights to abysmal depths? Maybe one reason Manny Pacquiao does what he does is because widely-admired Tito has his TV show. Manny has long planned to run for Prez and talks about his next fight, not senatorial or presidential plans.

A priest wants to limit presidential candidates to two. (PDI Letters, Nov. 3, 2015, p. A12, col. 2.) Should we agree? Is it not one’s human right to dream and fantasize that in a democracy, anyone can be Prez? In the US some studes told me that in 2012 15 ran for Prez, other studes, more than a hundred. I had given an assignment drawing various responses, from 15 to hundreds. In 2000, Al Gore lost, thanks to the US Supreme Court, but graciously conceded. And the nation moved on. Of course Vince Lombardi said “show me a good loser and I’ll show you a loser.”

San Beda was a good loser – and therefore, a loser – to Letran (Tito Sotto’s alma mater, a distinction he shares with Sen. Freddie Webb, who deserted Mendiola for Muralla: taksil!)

Not to take away anything from the new champion, but Jude Roque, our new sports columnist, raised a question for the future, to avoid a repetition. We both agree that Muralla deserved every credit for toppling Mendiola. However, the TV monitor overhead repeated what Jude and I had noticed.

As I wrote to Arellano U’s Peter Cayco, who represents that school in the NCAA governing body, and beside whom I sat last week in the MOA Arena, “BTW, as to that game, Letran earned the title but we should not have a repeat of what Jude Roque wrote about with which I associate myself. Letran may have no import but it does not need two or three blind mice (refs) to help.

Letran’s many-splendored talents don’t need same. Full disclosure: Jude is a fellow Bedan (sore loser??? Ha, ha).”

So we hail Letran as it triumphantly passes by and join the chorus of praises for Mark Cruz and Coach Ayo but let’s avoid a repeat of what happened in the 45th minute of the decider last Thursday.

For my penance, as my driver had left due to a miscommunication, I walked from the Arena to Solaire, with my cane, for an appointment over Food Court sinangag. Via Dolorosa to complete the mourning. Will it ever stop?

Anyway, here’s Jude’s edifying viewpoint:

“Free throw lane violation in NCAA, UAAP Hoops state of mind.

“Moments after the game, I couldn’t hide my disappointment over what I thought was a dubious call that effectively shut the door on San Beda’s sixpeat hopes. On twitter, I posted, `Refs made sure the NCAA sees a new champion.’ “

[Sobra? – RAVS]

The call was something we often see in UAAP and NCAA games – the free throw lane violation. With 6.7 seconds left in overtime and Letran up, 83-82, Sollano was about to take his second free throw when teammate Luib entered the paint for a rebounding position. Lion Art Dela Cruz then followed but not after a moment of hesitation while looking at the referee, as if to check if it was okay (to enter). Sollano missed the shot. Both rebounders were inside the neutral zone before the ball left the shooter’s hand. Yes, there was a lane violation. But the refs ruled it as a double lane violation resulting in a jumpball situation via possession arrow. Possession to Letran. Left with no choice, the Lions fouled Cruz, who sank the first free-throw for a three point lead. He bungled the second with just 3.7 ticks left leaving little room for the Lions to heave a shot. . . .

“I was seated on the San Beda bench as Team Manager and saw Luib enter first. Later on, the Knights admitted to having planned the coup after realizing that the possession arrow pointed their way. They baited Dela Cruz into entering ahead of the shot. And the refs took the bait too.

“One expert, a retired FIBA Europe referee, said it best: `A double lane violation can only be called when both rebounders enter at the same time. But this is rarely seen in basketball. There’s always someone who comes in first, and his team gets the violation. Baiting an opponent is not within the spirit of the rules’.”

Anyway, a dream died for Bedans that night and let us hail the Knights as they canter in triumph. But, like our criminal law teacher taught us, a drunken guy mistakenly romanced his ma-in-law, who sternly told him after raging hormones quieted, “do not do that again!”

Deaths, not only of title dreams. Sen. Butz Aquino, last August. Sen. Joker, last month. And now, Sen. Boy Herrera. All long-time and valued friends I admired and respected. I last met Boy September 27 last in a bday party organized by Ate Lorna, widow of Kuya Teroy Laurel in Bayleaf Hotel (near Letran). So my generation frets: do we maintain the bonding as masasamang damo worrying whether we’ll go to heaven or where our enemies tell us to? An All-Just God I do not prefer to an All-Merciful One. Diyos na Mahabagin.

Doon sana po tayo sa All Saints Day. Not All Souls.

Undas. I associate in my mind in the practice of good-natured rustling of fowls during Todos Los Santos time. Mang-undas tayo. This was in Pasig but I have found no support from fellow Tagalogs.

Hmmm, Lorna. I saw Lorna Patajo-Kapunan in court the other afternoon. His father, Justice Lino Patajo I admired and respected. She should be in the Senate, whose main task is lawmaking. So should Leila de Lima, another audacious legal giant.

They have to ride shotgun over Senator Manny Pacquiao who may not really understand or relish the job, wouldn’t study, would not attend session and just erode standards. He should just settle for Sarangani Guv. And stop his two brothers from running as Congs, another incipient dynasty. If Manny drops boxing, basketball and showbiz now, who knows, he may be another Amang Rodriguez, not as schooled as his colleagues but made his mark as a senator anyway. He toiled, for the people.

No Lito Lapid, Amang was. Tolits Lapid now admits after nearly two terms that his place was not in the lawmaking and policymaking body that is the Senate. We don’t need another blind mouse.

Senator Amang Rodriguez was informed about a fire. He barked: “Call the bombers!” Josme, bombero po. Last Sunday there was a fire in our overcrowded Barangay Palanan. Streets are narrow so the bombers from Pasay and the famed Chinese volunteers had a hard time , I was told. Four or five people were burned to death. The response from the Makati Fire Department, “walang tubig” o “walang driver,“ again, I was told.


I want to hear its side of the story as its name is mud right now to some on the street where I live. In fairness to the New Kid on the block.


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