POINT OF LAW
The ‘Kiefer’ of the flameBy Francis Lim
Philippine Daily Inquirer
Alas, the season for college hoops is again upon us. The University Athletics Association of the Philippines (UAAP) basketball tournament, the second oldest organized basketball tournament in the country dating back to the prewar period (and second only to the NCAA), has arguably become the most anticipated sports event in the country (perhaps along with the Pacquiao bouts and the recent Azkals football matches).
The UAAP games, like the ancient Olympiad, have provided a venue for the exhibition of physical and strategic athletic superiority; it has been a source of pride and entertainment for the schools the teams represent.
Fittingly, this UAAP season opened two weeks ago with the traditional PAR(e)ADES of teams and lighting of flame obviously inspired by the Olympic spirit.
As an avid follower of the league, I regard this season to be the most talent-filled tournament in a long time. The UAAP fans should expect a LONG arduous battle with no team expected to play a luckLESTER game. It will not be a walk in the PARK(s) for any team. Exhibit No. 1 is the victory of last season’s cellar-dweller, the UP Fighting Maroons, over the ever DURA(n)ble UE Warriors. The UP alumni can finally breathe a SI(n)GH of relief from the two-year storm that has hit them. May SILUNGAN na sila!
The Adamson Falcons, while losing a close match against the defending champions Ateneo Blue Eagles, bounced back by manSLAUGHTERing the FAB(ian)ulous FEU Tamaraws by a whopping 19 points. Despite this LOss, however, the Tamaraws remain the alfa ROMEO of their fans, with stars Aldrech Ramos and RR Garcia in their lineup.
The UST Tigers have likewise shown a lot of promise in their first couple of games. They are FORTUNAte, indeed, to have a strong crew of TEN(g)acious veterans mixed with hUNGR(ia)Y rookies. Surely, the Tigers are just waiT(E)NG for the right time to strike, as they did in 2006.
The NU Bulldogs are set to count at least LABING-ISA wins this year. Obviously, NU’s new owners, the fabled Sy family, have been preparing to host the 75th UAAP season in 2012 by recruiting stalwarts like Ray Parks and 2010 Mythical 5 Team member Mbe. To add excitement for the UAAP followers, the family will inaugurate the more than 15,000 seating capacity MOA Arena (with 1,500 available parking slots) in time for the opening of the 2012 UAAP season.
Despite the absence of Ateneo Star Ryan Buenafe, who is reportedly on the ATKINS’ diet, the Blue Eagles managed to BRING(as) home the BACON in their first two games, one against the Green Archers. The game was charged and exciting—like only an Ateneo-La Salle encounter can be. In the end, the Blue Eagles, who unleashed the PHENOM, 17-year old Kiefer Ravena, prevailed over their arch rivals, who were led by spunky guard LA Revilla.
The DLSU community, however, should not be mired in a WEBB of despair after last Saturday’s LOss. They have TORRE(s)-like players, Marata and Van Opstal, and ZAMAR-like LONG-range shooters who can REVI(lla)-talize the team any time. They have also proven beyond reasonable doubt their CAPACI(o)ty to play full court press which, coupled with their almost flawless free throws, nearly brought them SALVAtion from the RAVEN(a)ous Blue Eagles.
The Ateneo community, for its part, is hoping that the BLUE EAGLES will continue to SOAR HIGH and will land with a FOUR-PEAT at the end of the season. The Ateneo community has come up with ingenious slogans such as “Four-Ward Ateneo,” “Go 4 Glory,” “Mary 4 You” and “Ateneo, 4 the Win!” to pump up their Blue Eagles. Some say, in jest, that this season will be, PrESSUMA(b)Ly at least, a FOUR-mality.
Of course, the Blue Eagles are being threatened with antitrust suits for restraining their competitors from winning against them or trying to monopolize the UAAP market with a four-peat. My legal advice to them: Go FO(u)R it, as this is not the combination in restraint of trade or monopoly that is PE-nalized under the Revised Penal Code. It is a settled rule in law that a monopoly acquired by reason of superior skill is not an antitrust violation.
To GO(lla) 4 it, however, the Blue Eagles will have to demonstrate more than ordinary diligence throughout the season. In legal parlance, they have to show extraordinary diligence, always VIGILant that “FORTUitous event” can happen any time. JUST-IN case they have forgotten it, lesser teams man-for-(E)man in the years past, like the UP Maroons, have pulled the rug from under their feet.
Surely, all the teams are praying the Ateneo’s Hail Mary to make it to the Final Four and eventually emerge the 74th Season UAAP Champion.
At the end of the season, however, only one of them will be blessed with a decision, the dispositive portion of which will read “petition granted,” hopefully penned NUYLES than by the blue-blooded CJ Corona and “(Sgd.) Jesus Christ, S.J.”
The whole UAAP community is hoping for a level playing field throughout the season. The referees must stay NOBLE at all material times and avoid grossly ERRA(m)tic calls, much less conspire to commit any grave abuse of discretion against any team. Rightly so, as these acts will not only cast a BLACK eye to the whole UAAP system but may also expose them, together with their co-conspirators, to SHERIFF-like punishment under the law of SARA.
Let me end with this respectful submission. On the shoulders of the young men and women of our collegiate basketball program is this very special, if not sacred, responsibility: to keep alive the nation’s flame of hope to someday stand tall in the arena of world basketball.
In short, they are the ‘Kiefer’ of the Flame for Philippine basketball. Win or lose, they should take to heart this solemn duty with their eyes firmly cast on the future of Philippine basketball.
(The author, the co-managing and a senior partner of Accralaw, is a professor in the Ateneo Law School. He may be contacted at email@example.com.)
Short URL: http://business.inquirer.net/?p=8001