Wednesday, June 18, 2014

A Compressed Mind Battling Procrastination

How long has it been since the last post? Two months right? Today I find my fingers punching on the letters of my laptop again while I munch on Famous Amos cookies. Nothing really compelling to write about, but just trying to kick the habit of not writing. It's not that my mind just froze and suddenly I have no opinion about anything Earth. I do, as always, but procrastination always get the upper hand in what usually is a lopsided battle. But today, I am victorious, I am free. Today, I lend my voice again to the blogging world. My slight dilemma though is I have scattered opinions about a lot of things, perhaps due to the decreasing blogging sensations. So to capture all of them, I went to old-reliable subtitles. Yes, I'm going a little OCD with my opinions.


Let's face it. The San Antonio Spurs just showed the world how basketball should really be played, and I can't be any happier. It's about damn time. It was beautiful to watch, Spurs fan or not. As I pointed out in random conversations I had of the NBA Finals, in this time when individualism is becoming the mentality of a lot of uprising athletes, San Antonio reminded us that a better team trumps better talent. Could you imagine if all those mid-level teams can enforce a similar system like that of the Spurs, where ball movement is the key? How competitive would the league be? Instead, a lot of teams try to isolate there superstars in crucial moments and hope that they can bail them out of a loss. Not saying it haven't worked before but with better ball movement, you will have a higher percentage of getting the best possible shot all the time. Besides, if you do implement the Spurs system, you don't need to put your superstar in a position where he needs to win it for the team. I am sure by the time the clock hits zero, the team would already be winning by a decent margin. Kudos to the Spurs and to Tim Duncan for winning his 5th ring. Kudos as well for Lebron James for an amazing performance in the series. I think he showed up and brought his game but not the same could be said about his team. Miami got exposed. The once trouncing defense the Heat has willed on to the rest of the NBA teams was no match to the 5+ passes per possession the Spurs applied, tiring out the Heat enough for them to find the easiest of baskets. The better team prevailed and it is not in anyway a reflection of Lebron not being able to deliver when it mattered most. In fact in Game 4, Lebron scored 19pts during the third yet the Spurs were still plus 5 at the end of that quarter. I never liked Lebron. I'm one of those who wished he didn't win a ring. But the man deserves credit, no doubt. I still don't get why a lot of the basketball self-proclaimed "know it all" still bash Lebron when he has accomplished so much already and will probably accomplish a lot more for the rest of his career. I guess as they say, haters would be haters :) Which leads me to the future of the Big Three in Miami. My bold prediction is if they can acquire another superstar (say Melo which I doubt will happen), then James, Wade and Bosh stays. If not, Lebron is coming back to Cleveland, Bosh would look for a lucrative contract somewhere and Wade retires in Miami in the next few years. Now for Melo, I just hope he stays with the Knicks and give the Zen Master a chance to turn the franchise around with him as their cornerstone. But if Anthony decides to leave NYC, then his best destination hands down is Chicago. We all know the Bulls' struggle is on the offensive end which Anthony would surely fill in. With a really effective defensive system already in place and Joakim Noah manning the paint, Melo's flaw in defense can surely be compensated. The only caveat is IF Derrick Rose can sustain his health and be the 2011 MVP that he once was. For the rest of the league, Kevin Love signs with my Lakers. Durant and Westbrook takes another crack at the championship this 2015 season and if they fail once more, Durant goes to Houston to reunite with his pal Harden and Westbrook would team up with Love and bring the UCLA connection to the purple and gold, just in time before Phil swipes Kobe out of LA to become a Knickerbocker. Haha! Kobe in blue and orange? Not happening.

I know this is like a month late but that hologram performance by the King of Pop at the Billboard Music Awards was both creepy and awesome, right? I can't believe I'm saying this but I miss Michael Jackson.. or at least his voice. The once polarizing music icon who was plagued with so much controversies passed away about 5 years ago due to alleged overdose. And though I didn't pay much attention to Michael's music after he became "white", I sincerely missed his distinct voice, his art of music actually, that propelled him to stardom. I've always hoped he'd come up with a song that would remind me of his glory days when he donned that multi-zippered red jacket in Thriller and stole the hearts of millions. But that came to an abrupt halt that day he left the real world. From thereon, I was at peace just cherishing Rock With You and Off The Wall as my old time favorite MJ hits. Until I saw the Jeep commercial not so recently and heard a catchy tune. I can already tell by the first line that it was Michael resurrected. And the song itself was not just a song he sang. To me it was reminiscent of the 'fro haired Michael back in the 80s. The soul distinct classic voice of the King was back and Love Never Felt So Good truly felt so good. Even in post mortem, you delivered. Thanks Michael for letting me appreciate you once again in song.

I feel like I can end up being a motivational speaker some day. Well, sorta and so far I have motivated a bunch of kids to win the first 3 of their games convincingly. I started my coaching career for youth basketball a few years ago but not really to coach but just to team up with another coach so that both our sons can be on the same team and up our chances of winning. Since then I managed to stand on my own and have been sharing my best Gregg Popovich mantra to the Cypress Youth Basketball League. It's funny how I seem to amaze myself because I always scramble finding the right things to say when I am in front of my 12-14 year old bunch, only to end up sounding convincingly. I don't plan a speech ahead of time and normally I just wing it depending on the situation. So whether in practice or in a huddle, I come up with something I find very Stephen Covey-esque. By the end of the delivery I feel like I may have even made men out of them. Ok maybe not that far but I truly feel inspirational, or at least I think I do. I have come a long way in coaching youth basketball. Now I stand up and actually yell into my players as supposed to me being too timid before and just letting my players be when they are in the court. I used to never need water while coaching because my throat does not run dry of talking. But now I feel like I need Strepsils after every game. I'm proud a little bit of my evolution. Most particularly in our second game where I only had 5 players out of my usual roster of 10. No substitutions, long court, a very strong opponent (well at least by perception). So in practice and coming into the game, we were not very confident that we'll make it a close game, let alone a victory. But long and behold, as the final buzzer struck, not only did my team win the game, we beat our opponent by 14 points.  It was amazing how my team executed the defense and the way they were sharing the ball would for sure make the Spurs proud. The validation came after the game when one of the parents from the opposing team shook my hand and told me that I coached my team pretty well. He was impressed and was sincerely happy for my team for doing a great job despite the adversity. I almost blushed. Good thing my older kid was staring at me so I had to play it cool haha! So far I have my players believing in themselves and my goal is to ensure that their feet is still firmly planted on the ground. Hard to keep a bunch of puberty kids in check, especially if they are in a winning streak. There lies my next challenge. But to this point, I can give myself a nice pat on the back. Grade: A-

I got my Bachelor's Degree in San Beda College in the busy Metro Manila of the Philippines. I had a great run while I was there. A lot of ego tripping, fancy clothes, heavy drinking.. er.. studying I mean, and a lot of memorable faces to remember. I was very active in extra curriculars so I have met a handful of soon-to-be really famous Bedans. But none of those really compare to one symbolic face so synonymous to the academe himself, it would be a shame to call yourself a Bedan without truly knowing him. His name is Mang Roger. He is not a paid employee of the school, nor is he an alumnus, athlete or student. He is simply a vendor of what Filipinos call an aphrodisiac (among other things) and a truly ethnic delicacy -- the famous "balut" (premature duck egg). Honestly, I am not a big fan of the food but I have downed a lot of the "chicharon" that Mang Roger also sells. But what he sells is just a front of the man he truly was. He was always joyful, has a readily joke to share and has his way of marketing his goods that I have not seen in any other street vendors. His loyalty to the school is unparalleled as he exclusively (at least that's what I know) sells his merchandise in San Beda alone. He watches the NCAA games with the Bedan army and can be seen in almost if not all the social events in campus. It is almost impossible to have a Bedan event without seeing Mang Roger around. Students, faculty and even passersby would flock around him just to get a piece of balut (I swear he puts some sort of potion into those eggs that make it so irresistible to everyone). He was also, at one point, the only vendor allowed to sell his goods inside the campus. I guess due to sanitary reasons (too many eggshells around his corner and the smell of vinegar eventually getting pungent), he was booted out to sell with the rest of the street peddler symphony. He was a popular figure, a man recognized not only for his balut but for the personality and his pride of being a part of the Bedan culture. And to every Bedan who has witnessed Mang Roger in their tenure, he is part of the institution, no doubt. He is a honorary Bedan and the Red Army is so sad to see you go. I think I speak for every Bedan out there whom you and your famous balut have touched, that we will miss you and we are thankful for all that is you Mang Roger. RIP June 2014.


The good thing is I have my mind's motor running again and my hands on my tool (and by tool I mean on my laptop). I always find satisfaction in translating my thoughts into sentences and exposing it to the netizens of this world. It is just the act of typing (really) is what I find most difficult. It's almost like wanting to have six-pack abs but always succumbing to the mightier bacon cheeseburger. However, even if my posts do become sporadic, I am still glad I have them few. I feel like finishing a post is like taking a shot of steroid into your ego. Aaah, the sweet smell of accomplishment, how shallow it may be! So here's to another successful parting of ideas from my imagination to yours.

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