[Blueboard] Final Bulletin 2004
acatubig at ateneo.edu
Fri Oct 1 13:59:23 PHT 2004
Ateneo Blue Eagles
We wish to congratulate the Ateneo Lady Eagles who stunned the highly
favored Adamson Lady Falcons, 67-64, in a tightly contested first Finals
game yesterday afternoon. The Lady Eagles displayed the highly fabled
Ateneo spirit to secure the victory. Now, only one win stands in the way
of their first ever championship.
Before the game, Head Coach John Flores fired up the Lady Eagles by
asking them to imagine for a minute their hearts’ greatest desires,
needs and dreams. He then told them that only Adamson stood in the way
of achieving them. He also reminded them that at the start of the
season, there were those who questioned their heart and he expressed
confidence that through game 1, they would prove the doubting Thomases
wrong. “Today, we will prove to them what we are all about.”
At the end of this morning’s practice, Coach John told his players,
“Adamson will come back hard like a tidal wave. What is important is
that we stand our ground. Then when we have withstood their force, we
will be the tidal wave that will drown them.” Fighting words for our
fighting Lady Eagles!
Let us pray for them for their game at 10:00 a.m. in Araneta Coliseum
tomorrow, right before the side events of the UAAP All-Star Game. Ad
Majorem Dei Gloriam!
Meanwhile, the Blue Eagles who are eligible to play in the PBL trooped
back to court yesterday to join the try-outs for the PBL team. Tomorrow,
Paolo and JC will play in the UAAP All-Star Game. In the side events,
Chris and Magnum will participate in the 3-point shoot-out, Magnum and
Yuri in the 2-Ball competition while JC will delight the crowds with his
thundering dunks in the Slam Dunk Competition.
After their last game of the season on September 19, the Blue Eagles
proceeded for mass from the Araneta Coliseum to the Church of the Gesu
where waves of applause, continuing for close to a minute, greeted them.
Frs. Ben Nebres, Tito Caluag and Nemy Que, perhaps the three most ardent
Jesuit supporters of the team, concelebrated the mass. As part of his
homily, Fr. Tito read two letters to the team that had been received
earlier in the week, one from the Cebu Chapter of the Ateneo Alumni
Association and the other from a group of alumni including Chot Reyes,
multi-titled PBA coach, which expressed unwavering support for the team.
Fr. Tito also thanked Larry and Paolo and their parents and, in
appreciation, those present gave them a prolonged standing ovation. Fr.
Tito thanked all the team supporters – among them Mr. Manny Pangilinan,
the Blue Babble Battalion, the Ateneo Chamber Singers who had sung in
the team masses throughout the season, the Campus Ministry, the team’s
meal sponsors, those who came to mass regularly to pray for the team and
all those who trooped to the games or who watched on TV. Fr. Ben
expressed his own continuing support and that of many sectors of the
Ateneo community in that time of sadness and disappointment.
After mass, the team proceeded to the Chapel of the Immaculate
Conception to spend a couple of minutes in silent and group prayer led
by Coach Sandy. Dinner with the family followed at the Moro Lorenzo
After dinner, Coach Sandy addressed those present and thanked all the
players, citing specially Paolo and Larry to whom he expressed his
regrets that he was not able to lead them to a championship in their
last UAAP playing year. He expressed his gratitude to the parents and
families of the entire team for their support. He spoke also of his
trust and confidence in each of the players, asking them to continue
giving their love and support to one another.
A series of evaluation meetings was conducted the week after the game
separately by the coaching staff and management. The coaches met twice
and their evaluation was made part of the agenda of the management
meeting on September 25 among Mr. Manny Pangilinan and Mr. Ricky Vargas
from PLDT, Fr. Tito Caluag, S.J., Ricky Palou and Monchito Mossesgeld
from the Ateneo, joined by Frankie Lim of PDT and coaches Chot Reyes,
Joel Banal, Norman Black and Bill Bayno. Fr. Nebres was in the U.S. and
was not able to join the meeting though he was updated about the
discussions and agreements. The meetings identified achievements, areas
of improvement and directions for moving forward. A very constructive
atmosphere, i.e. looking objectively at the past season and planning for
the future, prevailed throughout all the discussions. Rather than finger
pointing and blaming, the focus was on clear-eyed, balanced assessment
and, based on it, identifying what should be done for and in the future.
Team management agreed that the third place achievement of the Blue
Eagles under Coach Sandy had really exceeded what should have been
realistically expected. On paper, the team, with Larry in the line-up,
had been ranked #3 by majority of sports writers and even by other
coaches, including those in the PBA. With Larry out for the season, the
team lost its main go-to-guy, crunch time player, and defensive stopper
and it should have ended up much lower than its final achievement. The
magical 7-0 run of the first round understandably raised perhaps
unrealistic expectations from many supporters, some of whom even then
started talking of a sweep and winning the championship. In a sense, we
may have made too much of winning, and to use the words of Coach Chot,
“We became the victims of our own success.” There was need to have
managed expectations better.
The consensus was that, over-all, Sandy coached well. He has learned
many lessons that will serve him well in the future. For his
development, he will need continuing mentoring and training for which
purpose his attendance in coaching camps abroad was planned and approved
by team management. Sandy is leaving next week for a coaching camp,
accompanied by Norman Black.
The coaching staff recognized the improvement among several players,
most particularly L.A Tenorio and JC Intal. LA matured as a point guard
and took on the leadership of the team especially in the last couple of
games when he was asked by the coaching staff to do so. JC raised his
game many notches higher this season and he showed everyone he deserved
a spot in the starting line-up. It was just unfortunate that he fell
victim to a viral infection right before the second-round game versus
FEU, affecting his playing for that and succeeding games. The coaches
also noted that Doug Kramer’s game improved throughout the season as he
willingly took on and did well in the role that he was assigned this
year. Recognizing, however, that all players have areas of improvement,
the coaches identified these in detail for these three players as well
as the others.
It was noted that for the first time ever, the team had a complete and
thorough conditioning program this year. The more than 100% increase of
strength and power of the players compared to last year, the absence of
low back pain injuries and minimal knee injuries (except of course that
of Larry) were evidence of the success of the program. Speed and
explosive movement training will however need added continuing emphasis
throughout next season.
An off-season strength and conditioning, skills and leadership
development program for all, based on the assessment done by the coaches
on each of the players, was discussed and approved. For the players of
the positions vacated by Larry and Paolo, much focus will be placed on
skill development. The coaching staff also has to work on providing a
stronger backup in the small forward position. A nutritional program to
build body mass and bulk will also be undertaken.
Finally, management decided to put in place a much more systematized
recruitment system to go hand in hand with out “home grown” approach.
Recruitment will receive special emphasis as it lies in the heart of
ensuring a competitive team in the next season and the coming years. It
was agreed that this function should be properly staffed and the systems
and processes for scouting talent as early as the grade school years and
bringing these students into the Ateneo system should be put in place.
There is much to do in the coming days, weeks and months but the blue
print for what needs to be done has been prepared. We will now move into
fleshing out the plans and implementing them in a disciplined manner.
We wish to congratulate LA and Paolo who were chosen members of the
Mythical 5 selection and JC Intal who was selected Most Improved Player
in the Senior Division. (Blue Eaglet Jai Reyes was included in the
Junior Division Mythical 5 selection while A.J. Barracoso was chosen as
the Rookie of the Year in the Women’s Division.)
This is the last season for Larry and Paolo and like Fr. Tito and Coach
Sandy who earlier had already expressed very deep appreciation for their
many years of service to the school through basketball, we wish to thank
them for representing and bringing honor to the Ateneo throughout their
high school and college basketball playing years. They have been great
examples to many of their fellow Ateneans, especially to those from the
grade and high schools. We wish Larry a successful recovery from his
injury and for both of them, much achievement and deep satisfaction not
only in professional basketball but in their personal lives. We trust
that they will always be guided by the values and principles that the
Ateneo has sought to instill in them. It has been a great ride with you
guys through all these years!!!
Finally, we would like to express our deepest thanks to all of you who
stood by us through thick and thin, through the highs and lows, and the
joys and heart-breaks of this season. Your support and encouragement
served as an inspiration to us in the team and will continue to do so in
In closing, as a reflection on all that has happened this year, allow me
to share these thoughts from Henri Nouwen, noted modern spiritual writer:
“We are really grateful for all the good things. We simply have to
accept or try to forget the painful moments.”
The attitude expressed in these words made me aware of how often we tend
to divide our past into good things to remember with gratitude and
painful things to accept or forget. Once we accept the division,
however, we quickly develop a mentality in which we hope to collect more
good memories than bad memories, more things to be grateful for than
things to be resentful about, more things to celebrate than to complain
about. But this way of thinking, which at first glance seems quite
natural, prevents us from truly allowing our whole past to be the source
from which we live our future.
Gratitude is not a simple emotion or an obvious attitude. It is a
difficult discipline to constantly reclaim my whole past as the concrete
way in which God has led me to this moment and is sending me to the
future. It is hard precisely because it challenges me to face the
painful moments – experience of rejection and abandonment, feelings of
loss and failure – and gradually to discover in them the pruning hands
of God purifying my heart for deeper love, stronger hope, and broader
faith. Jesus says to his disciples that although they are intimately
related to him as branches are to the vine, they still need to be pruned
in order to bear more fruit (John 15:1-5). Pruning means cutting,
reshaping, removing what diminishes vitality.
Grateful people are those who can celebrate even the pains of life
because they trust that when the harvest time comes, the fruit will show
that the pruning was not punishment but purification.
I am gradually learning that the call to gratitude asks us to say
“everything is grace.” When our gratitude for the past is only partial,
our hope for a new future can never be full. If we are to be truly ready
for a new task in the service of God, truly joyful at the prospect of a
new vocation, truly free to be sent into a new mission, our entire past,
gathered into the spaciousness of a converted heart, must become the
source of energy that moves us towards the future.”
Animo Ateneo. One big fight!
MONCHITO C. MOSSESGELD
Ateneo Blue Eagles
ATENEO BLUE EAGLES
Japeth Aguilar JC
Ford Arao Doug
Ken Barracoso Magnum
Paolo Bugia Jobe
Bajjie del Rosario Martin
Macky Escalona LA Tenorio
Yuri Escueta Chris
Larry Fonacier Johan
Assistant Coaches Coaching Staff
Gene Afable Chester
Tiongson* Strength & Conditioning
Jamike Jarin Sol
Gabby Severino Mick
Perez Team Psychologist
Jonjon Jacinto Video
Team Development Consultant Utility Staff
Norman Black William
Student Managers Doming Narisma
Fr. Tito Caluag, S.J. Team Chaplain
Ricky Palou Team Consultant
Monchito Mossesgeld Team Manager
*Concurrent Position: Assistant for Operations
Management Oversight Committee
Fr. Bienvenido F. Nebres, S.J.
Manuel V. Pangilinan
Jose A. Capistrano, Jr.
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