[Blueboard] Final Bulletin 2004

Lyn Catubig acatubig at ateneo.edu
Fri Oct 1 13:59:23 PHT 2004


Ateneo Blue Eagles

Season 67


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 
Sports Center.


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 
the future. 


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!



Team Manager

Ateneo Blue Eagles



Season 67




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 


Head Coach                                       


Sandy Arespacochaga                         


Assistant Coaches                                         Coaching Staff


Gene Afable                                                     Chester 
Tiongson*        Strength & Conditioning

Jamike Jarin                                                      Sol 
Alcantara                Physiotherapist

Gabby Severino                                                Mick 
Perez                   Team Psychologist

Jonjon Jacinto               Video


Team Development Consultant                    Utility Staff


Norman Black                                                  William 

Amor Aguilar

Student Managers                                         Doming Narisma

Teteng Tepecio

Marga Ocampo

Roy Palafox

Antoinette Montelibano

Paolo Gilbuena

Marc Rivera


Team Management


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

Cecilio Pedro

Jose A. Capistrano, Jr.



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