FIBA and fibs

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I have not met Dr. Roger Posadas. I heard about him in the early 70’s for being a political detainee while much of the nation slept, earning for us the epithet of being a nation of 40 million cowards and one son of a bitch (and one bitch, I would add). Only the religious and the human rights advocates moved visibly, pretending they were not afraid, while the political leaders of the Opposition chose to be, well, prudent, and slept. Visible wide opposition came only after Ninoy was salvaged; the nation awoke from its slumber, joining the few who stood from the start on their feet, rather than live in shame on bended knees. Roger did not bend his knees and clearly deserves better. A pardon?

Had we more Rogers, we may have nuke plants. I remain unconvinced that we should put on line the Bataan nuke plant. Not roger, because we don’t have enough Rogers, given our backwater culture which tolerates dyipnis and trikes, while they have the Lexus, Hyundai, etc. in Japan and South Korea. Put dyipnis and trikes in New York City: anarchy, which we had on May 8, 1954, when we fought Taipei in the Second Asiad which we hosted.

I watched the game in MOA last Tuesday against Qatar, which we beat, but despite our comfortable lead at the start of the last quarter (ahead by 19 points), we had a close to tenterhooks ending.

The win was not as convincing as the one over Japan last Monday night. Why?

Jojobama Binay, present during the first loss last Saturday, was present again last Tuesday, when we got seated next to each other. Jinx, I would have called him, had we lost again. He noted the temperamental player in Qatar, who drew boos from the gallery. But, nothing like the game nearly 60 years ago, when a Japanese ref miscalled an alleged foul by Paing Hechanova, with a minute to play in the first half. We had a four-point edge at lemon time, 26-22, but the game ended at 34-27. Coach Herr Silva ordered his patented freeze; there was no time clock yet. We passed and dribbled near mid-court while the Chinese didn’t bother given the electricity in our home court.

There had been a ruckus involving our gentle, sportsmanlike Paing Hechanova, triggered by a miscalled foul on him, and there was bottle-throwing.

Stuff was thrown by the gallery, including a bottle that wounded the right temple of a Chinese player. The PC and the police had to be called to restore order. Mayor Arsenic Lacson went to the Chinese dugout to apologize. But, after lemon time, both teams only scored 13 more points together.

I saw the RP-Japan game on May 6, 1954 and the RP-Chinese Taipei title game on May 8, 1954. I was then 14, a Rizal High junior. The first I saw in oven-hot Rizal Memorial. Not the second for I could not get a ducat for love or money.

So I sped home in half an hour (possible then even in public tranport) and saw the game on TV, then new-fangled, black and white, owned by Tio Ayong Cruz in the barrio (Sto. Tomas) adjoining ours (Munting Calzada or Sta. Cruz). The Japanese were like robots in cartoons in 1954. Not anymore. Fluid. Japan is major league in besoboru.

Caloy Loyzaga led us then. I had lunch the other day with with a teammate of his, Red Lion Ting Cuna, who Boom-Badion called “Balyador ng San Beda.”

In front of me inside the MOA Arena last Monday was Sen. Alan Cayetano. In his row, a few seats to the right, was Sen. Bobby Jaworski. Hans Sy was in our row. During the halftime break, Sonny came over; we chatted while he signed autographs. Followed by gracious low-key Hans. Brief chat.

Edgar Terejero, an SM Senior Veep, arranged for us to sit where we did, mooting our box arrangements with Jay Ignacio, a Bedan classmate of my son, Atty. Reb. Edgar is also a high school Bedan campus contemporary of Reb (a year ahead). School ties help. Faith, a pretty Bedan alum, working as an usherette, was helpful.

Odious comparisons I have to make. MOA Arena is spacious, air-conned, without posts, which I could not say of historic Rizal Memorial Coliseum (RMC). Now there is The Wave, unknown in 1954 (The Wave I must have first seen in Seattle), when I could remember no dunks like those rousing ones made by Japeth Aguilar.

The game was close last Monday until Sonny sat next to me. Talk of lucky charms.

Good night Japan, I thought then, our invader and oppressor in 1941, now our ally versus China, which should watch out. There is always the risk of winning. No permanent friends or enemies, only interests (Lord Palmerston).

Another innovation: A woman ref! You’ve come a long way baby! But, same old hotdog and cola drink. She looked Japanese and I was reminded of pert Atsuko Nambu, the beauteous Japanese sprinter who became the unofficial Queen of the 1954 Asiad. Her father Chuhei was 1932 Olympic Triple Jump gold medalist. Crush I, with countless others, had on Atsuko, now gone to a better world.

Alan, full of cheer, must not have heard yet last Monday that the Court of Appeals had ruled that the Fort is Makati territory. Taguig will move to recon and appeal. How nice if Makati and Taguig would compromise by splitting the area of 729 hectares, 300 each for Makati and Taguig, with 129 going as balato to poor postage-sized Pateros. Un mal arreglo superior to un buen pleito with neighbors.

What’s this spate of new issues against the Aquinos well-wired Macoy, Manong Johnny, and RAM did not raise in their time against candidate Cory and Prez Cory?

Defaming the dead decades after passing away may not be cricket. They can no longer give their side of the story, not a concern with Hitler, and Macoy, whose kin would have long talked about her supposed thievery. Mahjongg? As her spokesman, I asked her in 1986; she said she played very occasionally with her mother in her dying days, to make libang. In the Guest House we had no time to relax as RAM, egged on by the Macoy Loyalists and the extreme left – right and left, I perceived to have gone to bed together for the Mendiola Massacre – kept shooting at us. Sec. Perez as lover?

Obviously the wrong “President” – per tsismis – who was never mine. Psinakis? Now too old and weak to fool around. So, fibs, lies or terminological inexactitudes.

Sayang, I could have othewise for mahjongg balato. When the idea was floated to send me to Hawaii to see Macoy, Uncle Jovy Salonga strongly advised that I say NO! It is the PCGG who should talk about the Marcos’s recovered ill-gotten wealth.

Addendum: I was back in MOA the other night, arriving late and planning to leave at halftime my fellow billionaires Hans, MVP and Willy Ocier, foolishly assuming that we’d be leading HK by the proverbial country mile by then. Not so. Only in the closing minutes could we breath normally. Talaga pong bilog ang bola.

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