When Kiefer Played

KIEFER ABSCBNPR
Courtesy of abscbnpr.com

It’s always bittersweet to see your favorite player go no matter what the sport or the level play.

On November 21, 2015 the UAAP had the most thrilling win for the FEU Tamaraws but a dramatic and sad exit for Ateneo Blue Eagles superstar Kiefer Ravena together with his team mate Von Pessumal. Both players have been team mates since their playing days in the Blue Eaglets and for a guy like me it’s quite tough to see two players go. I just wish one of them had left the team first the way closing pitcher Mariano Rivera did with the New York Yankees when he left in 2013 then Derek Jeter the following year. Their departure from Ateneo and the UAAP is more of Tim Hudson and Jeremy Affeldt retiring this year with the San Francisco Giants.

I haven’t watched so much UAAP since I started college in Letran (obviously because my school is in the NCAA) but since Ateneo’s last championship in 2012 the Blue Eagles revolved the team around him which is good and his leadership is not like any other from a fan’s standpoint.

When my brother was still playing varsity basketball for San Beda, I would always see Kiefer together with his team mates in their age bracket to the other basketball courts in Xavier School (the regular venue of the tournament that has four basketball courts with three concrete courts and a hardwood court) getting ready and as he starts playing you know that he would give his best for his school. As I try to recall everything in those days, he did not experience a championship because of a stronger San Beda that time in the division which had Arthur Dela Cruz who now plays in the pros for Blackwater. Like my brother in their respective age brackets they would end up winning their third-place games the next weekend in 2006.

A player like Kiefer is one of a kind because as early as first year high school he already began playing for the UAAP juniors division in 2007. He may have started his collegiate career with a championship in 2011 but not in his first year in the juniors with a De La Salle Zobel team of Joshua Webb and Nico Elorde in the lineup and La Salle coming back with a vengeance from their suspension that caused their absence in 2006. He is also one of the few players who have played for pride and country with the RP Youth before then he played for pride and country again for the recent Southeast Asian Games together with players like Baser Amer, Troy Rosario, Glenn Khobuntin, Earl Scottie Thompson, Norbert Torres Kevin Ferrer, Jiovani Jalalon, Almond Vosotros, and Mac Belo who ironically made that last shot yesterday that led Ravena and Pessumal’s exit in the UAAP and the Blue Eagles. Many even consider that his kind of play is already PBA ready that could make him a direct-draft from high school player like Kobe Bryant or Kevin Garnett in the NBA but that was just an exaggeration. You cannot just put raw talent in the PBA especially with a point guard like him.

KIEFER 003            His collegiate career for me is a game-changer. With a player as good as Kiefer playing for Ateneo, college basketball in the Philippines became a venue for marketing and business ventures particularly in the UAAP marketing not just on Kiefer but also for other good players as good and popular as him in each UAAP member school. His popularity in the collegiate level individually draw the UAAP endorsements not just a side-by-side commercial with Jeron Teng of La Salle for a vitamin advertisement. It also led Kiefer to guest in numerous TV shows and magazine covers throughout his five years in the UAAP and for sure there will be more as he prepares for the big leagues. The best part is you are not just a good player playing for Ateneo, playing against La Salle is without a doubt the best and win against the rival team. His game play brings out the joy and hate for some people. He would go out and score as many as twenty points and dish some plays then win it then leave a highlight play like that one slam dunk he did against Karim Abdul of UST or that red hot game he had just this season.

 

Ferrer Ravena
Courtesy of Ernie U. Sarmiento, Manila Bulletin

Like players who had intense individual rivalries like Magic Johnson and Larry Bird, Kiefer’s most intense rival for me is not Jeron Teng of La Salle but UST’s Kevin Ferrer. It may be a mismatch but these two players have been going at it since playing for the juniors of the UAAP. The most intense between Ravena and Ferrer was when the two met in the UAAP juniors finals in which both players were playing for their last playing year in the juniors with Kevin Ferrer already awarded the juniors MVP but then Kiefer would win the UAAP juniors championship and eventually becoming the finals MVP of the that series in 2010. Their matchup in the junior finals revived the Ateneo-UST “exchange rivalry” in that division in which UST won first in 1994 then Ateneo in 1995 then UST again in 1996 and so on but by 2000 the Blue Eaglets faced the Tiger Cubs and seal the deal to show which team was really the best of that era by then in 2001 the UST Tiger Cubs would win it showing that they are still a force to reckon with in the juniors. After the juniors, the two players would meet in 2012 playing for the same team and Ferrer would lose to Kiefer again after two years. In all of the games that Ravena and Ferrer met in the UAAP for Ateneo and UST respectively Ravena would always have best of Ferrer. Other than Kevin Ferrer, Baser Amer is also worthy to be called Kiefer’s rival since they play both the same position. KIEFER 002Ateneo and San Beda maybe leagues apart from each other since the 1970s, the rivalry that was Ateneo-San Beda lives on during tournaments like the Fil Oil Flying-V pre-season invitational and the Philippine Collegiate Champions League (PCCL) that showcases the UAAP and NCAA teams altogether. When Ateneo goes against San Beda in tournaments like these, Ravena and Amer would show the same kind of passion, heart and determination to win the game then leave everything on the basketball court become friends again.

When he plays, he will always give his best for the team. The number of points that he does on the floor will only show how bad he wants to win. Love him or hate him, he’s just out there to play for his team and doesn’t care about what other people would say about his game especially when he flopped on those crucial games that almost made me lose my respect for him because for a good player like him why would he flop? I’ve never been a fan of the Blue Eagles but why would he do such thing because Kiefer’s flopping for me became evident in 2012 especially in the first game of the 2012 finals in UAAP Season 78 and with me not being able to watch the UAAP the way I did before college I wouldn’t really know how often has he flop since then. A Kiefer Ravena flopping is a no-no because as a good player and role model for some, he won’t just do it.

KIEFER 005

As Kiefer leaves the college basketball scene it’s not yet over for Ateneo because Ateneo would still be playing at the PCCL being a UAAP final four team and that Kiefer would still wear his Ateneo uniform one last time time for that tournament since he didn’t make headlines that he will be part of the PBA draft for this PBA season. Speaking of the PBA, I don’t know what team will require his services but I do hope that team will make it worth drafting Kiefer. Other than basketball he should no longer do acting jobs like that one sitcom he did on one channel with Ogie Alcasid because it only shows how basketball players are truly bad actors and “acting” on court is a different story. With that, I wish Kiefer the best and that he would start strong when he reaches the pros.

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Anything and Everything APEC

APEC 2015

With the APEC Summit drawing to a close and with the things that I see thus far in the summit is nothing but a show. It doesn’t seem that the country won’t benefit so much in the long run. It’s bothering that they always show the issue on how the rerouting affected the citizens terribly, activists protesting that the APEC is nothing but a big show, the President of Mexico and Prime Minister of Canada as media eye-candy for some especially my sister who volunteered in ushering and picking up delegates from NAIA to that hotel in Makati where me and my friend sneaked-in reminisce a bit. The saddest part of this for me from the very beginning is that there is no Vladimir Putin.

The APEC Summit did nothing wrong to me but it definitely made my life more difficult with my enrollment because I could not have my subjects pre-enrolled since I handled my shifting from psychology to journalism.

 

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Courtesy of Inquirer Group on Twitter, @inquirerdotnet

With issues surrounding the summit, some companies should have just given everybody a break so that everyone was spared from the dreadful Metro Manila traffic. The APEC lanes are definitely a show of insensitivity for others making the very citizens of this country truly third class citizens I mean come on, we’re already third class citizens on a ordinary day whether you are in the working class or not. Making them walk long miles truly made it the worst day of their lives.  More important is that some people should have just stayed home and have some family time by watching some movies whether it’s in the cinemas itself or watch a DVD legally and illegally.

The activists again ranting again that the APEC is a joke but that’s just the activist in me doing the typing. For me, when will these people stop? How many demonstrations has it been that these guys raised signs, yelled hard and sparred with the police? BUT WHAT CAN I DO? It’s their so-called “right” that makes them fight for it.

Justin Trudeau

Should I even write about it? I get it that some people in the media want to make the APEC Summit less serious by talking about the good-looking president of Mexico, President Enrique Pena Nieto and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau but again, seriously? Is it the first time that these media personalities saw a good-looking diplomat and on different side of things, if Mitt Romney’s running mate Paul Ryan ran for president instead of him then won that election in 2012 against Barack Obama it might have been a big deal for others and I’m just glad some reporter from that network in Mother Ignacia raised the issue to Prime Minister Trudeau turning this country into Canada’s waste bin and as I type this, I suddenly feel bad that the former mayor from one of his cities is a drug abuser then mocked on Saturday Night Live. Suddenly after all that delight for watching the Toronto Blue Jays trying to beat the Kansas City Royals in the ALCS for me I think the Blue Jays deserved that loss but any way the Royals were already a strong team with their whole team intact.

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As for President Nieto, the Philippines and Mexico should be strong partners again in trade after all the Philippines and Mexico goes way back to the days of the Galleon Trade and the two countries are just an ocean apart. He and the president should also find a way to bring back Mexican soap operas back on Philippine television.

 

 

 

 

putin-gun

For Vladimir Putin ditching the APEC for more serious matters all I can say to him is, DUDE I UNDERSTAND AND IT’S OKAY. I know that you’re this serious and bad axe president of one of the world’s most powerful country with the most powerful army and arsenal, again dude it’s okay. Knowing your military background that dates back to the Soviet Union, I know that you’re also doing your best to eradicate terrorism and I know you can eradicate them better than the United States. Suddenly, Putin suddenly

        One more thing Xi Jinping of China, KNOW YOUR PLACE. Don’t just place your boats elsewhere.

The fault in our posts

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There have been numerous tragedies and events that shaped the world way before the rise of the internet. In those days not everyone in the world have been able to express grief, sympathy and even joy from breaking the wall in Berlin in 1989, the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1990, the recount between George W. Bush and Al Gore’s that eventually led to George W.’s presidency, of course there’s 9/11 and many other events that follow. A simple moment of silence was more than enough and a little TV coverage were enough to express it and flags that are half-mast.

At this point I am not being insensitive but in this modern world expressing thoughts about everything is sometimes relevant and sometimes annoying just to tell the world that you give a damn about everything especially the recent attacks in Paris but before these recent attacks there was Charlie Hebdo earlier this year on January. I get the point that someone expresses grief but seriously, are you in Paris right now? Do you know someone or do you have some relative in Paris right now that died in that event? Because last time I checked, you are not KC Concepcion who has lived and comes often to Paris at her free time. What I don’t understand here is why Paris? In my perspective, it is the last city to be attacked by a bunch of extremists that is disturbingly growing to huge numbers.

Before we even express our grief to a different part of the world, how about expressing on our own territory first when something as bad as Paris happens here in our country? Why can’t we express sympathy to the Lumads? Why can’t we rage over the military to leave the lands of indigenous groups like them and leave them in peace not just rage over the government’s incompetence.

The internet may be an avenue to express everything but let us remember that not everyone gives a damn about your Facebook status, your tweet or photo in Instagram (expressing it through picture) because someone has already done it for you and that someone could look smarter online and offline, also he has a more meaningful post. What’s most disturbing about it is someone just joining the bandwagon of grief without knowing the facts. Because for all I know the bandwagon effect of social media often happens in sports or watching that noontime show and those hit primetime shows you always watch.

Sometimes I just want to turnoff my device or deactivate my social media accounts because of someone posting for the sake of it.

FIVE YEARS OF NO ROCK

FIVE YEARS SINCE THE SIGNING OFF NO NU ROCK

The year 2010 was truly the start of brand new decade. The change from one president to another in which it had a rocky start on its first one hundred days. A college basketball that made history for having a perfect season and another college basketball team from a different league showing their dominance for a third straight title. But on November 7, 2010 it was a sad day for the Philippine radio and rock scene and it is the day NU107 signed off.

It’s been five years since the last broadcast of NU107 and everything truly feels like everything happened like it was yesterday.

At the time when I heard of NU107 closing its doors and signing off for good I could not believe the news. I just thought that the they will no longer held the annual NU107 Rock Awards, in which I had my first taste of Red Horse and the first time I lost a phone because of my pants having a hole in its pocket. But when I confirmed it from various news outlets, I felt like the music world caving in because it’s just the only event I get to see various bands since I’m prohibited to go to various gig spots in Metro Manila like SaGuijo in Makati, Route 196 in Katipunan and 70’s Bistro in Anonas at the time.

It was very unfortunate for me that I did not get to see the last Rock Awards because the tickets were no longer for sale and as I type this, I’m cringing because I listened to NU107 but I never had the chance to go to their station when they were still in the airwaves. The first and last time I visited their station was on their last day of their broadcast and during the day they broadcast the last NU107 Rock Awards, I listened to it online thru the station’s website together with a former classmate and friend who lives in Alabang I just told her to bear with me for while for this is historic moment and the rest went on.

As I listened to the last Rock Awards with Gabby Alipe of Urbandub getting the honor of vocalist of the year, Franco getting the honor of song of the year for ‘This Gathering’, listener’s choice and album of the year for their self-titled album. In their last broadcast of the Rock Awards, I don’t remember which award was being presented but I just find it funny that KC Concepcion and Anne Curtis (If not mistaken) were throwing some Eraserheads puns to Ely Buendia. For Franco, I also don’t remember exactly which award but Jay Contreras of Kamikazee was ridiculing yet at the same time joking while former Franco guitarist Ocho Toleran makes his thanksgiving speech in which Jay said, “HUWAG KAYONG MANINIWALA SA MGA YAN!”

After that, the rock radio scene in the Philippines almost died making Jam 88.3 the lone rock station in the Metro or in the country because there was also RJ Underground along with NU107. The OPM scene is missing its luster because icons nowadays rarely release hits that truly rock the airwaves and some bands disbanding. One of the few bands that disbanded after NU107 left the ariwaves is Sugarfree in 2011 for the reason that front man Ebe Dancel wants to go solo. Bamboo disbanded for some reason that left Nathan Azarcon, Ira Cruz and Vic Mercado hanging and Bamboo Manalac pursuing a solo career under a major label.

Since NU107 left the airwaves, I myself also took a break I finishing my studies and until now, I haven’t gone to a gig. So with me not being able to see a gig, I was shocked to know of Urbandub going to a hiatus and Kamikazee planning a farewell tour in which I thought they would just announce a upcoming album but didn’t.

It’s really depressing not having an annual award show just for rock and it really feels crappy to listen to just one rock station.