The Cold Shoulder on THIS GUY

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It’s been days since the new season of the National Basketball Association (NBA) began and I still refuse to recognize that guy as a player of the Golden State Warriors (GSW) whenever news of the Warriors winning or losing pops up on my social media accounts.

One of my reasons for giving that player wearing number 35 the cold shoulder is he made a weak move by moving out of the Oklahoma City (OKC) Thunder to win an NBA title that bad. Another reason of mine for giving him that kind of treatment is the blue and yellow does not suit him. He broke the core of the Golden State Warriors by having Harrison Barnes traded to the Dallas Mavericks together with Andrew Bogut and other core players like Mareese Speights to the Los Angeles Clippers, and Festus Ezeli to the Portland Trailblazers.

More important is he turned this lovable Bay Area team to a villain team in the NBA, the new team to hate like the Miami Heat when LeBron came first to Miami. I no longer have to go to the details on what happened to LeBron before he got to Miami.

I don’t care if the rumor that the Warriors front office made a bigger offer to number 35 during the offseason just like what a friend told me because he is a fan of the Celtics and how bad he wanted him to be there. Because to see him play in a Warriors jersey is not an adjustment period for me but a reason for me to put my enthusiasm out of the Golden State Warriors just for this season or whenever he is out of the team.

It’s too early to compare his move like LeBron’s move because it’s premature and LeBron already succeeded after Miami. But if I were to do it just for the sake of comparing it to LeBron’s move, I just think the Warriors won’t succeed in their first season with him and the seasons to follow with that guy wearing number 35.

One thing I regret in doing this NBA season is printing their full schedule for this season. The only thing that keeps me from taking their full schedule out of the whiteboard here in my room is ignoring him, and to keep thinking that the Splash Brothers tandem of Klay Thompson and Steph Curry is helping the team a lot together with Draymond Green, and Shaun Livingston.

Number 35 may have best of the Thunder with 39 points in their first meeting against OKC this regular season, this is only the beginning of the ridicule on him with that trash talk made by Enes Kanter. The middle will be set on GSW’s road game to OKC on February 2017 together with its climax that will be set on their third meeting in March all the way to the playoffs next year if they get to face each other in the postseason.

It’s no surprise to basketball fans if he gets booed so loud when the Warriors visit the Thunder in February. Because for a guy who was the face of a franchise from its last days as the Seattle Supersonics to a transition team that we know as the Oklahoma City Thunder, the guys deserves the hate.

Suddenly, I’m even more excited for this season’s all-star game and see if Russell Westbrook will pass the ball to this guy or any player of the Warriors. Russell Westbrook might even find a way to downplay and shut him out the way Magic Johnson and Isiah Thomas did to Michael Jordan with his prime and popularity during an all-star game many years ago.

Whoever will be coaching this team, good luck to him in making his rotation with the west all-stars in the NBA all-star games in 2017.

More important is will he still get that many votes to be part of the Western Conference all-star team? Because the way I see it, Golden State fans would still give him a chance but OKC fans or whoever hates 35 will do everything in their power to keep him out the West all-stars.

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To Sweep or Not To Sweep

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From Go Archers Facebook page (C) Alex Macam

With a record of 12-0, the De La Salle University (DLSU) Green Archers have a rare chance to sweep the eliminations by beating the Ateneo de Manila University (ADMU) Blue Eagles tomorrow on November 5 and the Far Eastern University (FEU) Tamaraws the week after that on November 12.

First round review

Despite the absence of  head coach Aldin Ayo in his first La Salle-Ateneo match due to his suspension from a stunt he pulled off to a referee, the Archers won convincingly against their rival with a score of 97-81 on October 2, 2016.

It was not only Ayo that was out of the game against Ateneo in the first round of eliminations, DLSU team captain, Jeron Teng was also out due to injury that’s been plaguing him since the offseason. The man in-charge of coaching DLSU for Ayo was assistant coach Louie Gonzales and prized recruit Ben Mbala stole the show with his dunks part of his 28 point, 13 rebounds, five steals and a block.

The FEU Tamaraws was the opening assignment of the Taft Avenue-based team. In that victory on opening day, the Archers made a comeback victory over the Morayta-based team with a score 83-78, and as expected, Jeron Teng led the Archers with 28 points, 6 rebounds and a steal and two crucial free throws with 2:14 remaining in the game to keep FEU away from winning.

The facts and odds

            With a lot of momentum on DLSU after beating the University of the East (UE) Red Warriors; 95-66, the long break brought by Halloween and All Saints day won’t seem to slow them down.

Ateneo and FEU who are vying for a final four postseason, are two teams preventing La Salle from a regular season sweep as well as a step-ladder postseason. Ateneo who is currently at third place in the UAAP standings has momentum on their side after winning against the National University (NU) Bulldogs on October 23, 2016. While FEU is at second place in the standings also has momentum after escaping a shocker from the University of the Philippines (UP) Fighting Maroons, 63-60 on October 22, 2016.

After Ateneo’s victory over the NU Bulldogs, the Blue Eagles are truly expected to beat the Archers. If not expected, they are pressured to do so by the whole league not only from the pressure of their alumni and students because of die hard Ateneo supporters who want to see their team replicate an upset over their rivals since 2002, wherein a La Salle team that was coached by Franz Pumaren (current coaching Adamson) with players in his lineup like Mike Cortez, Joseph Yeo and Mark Cardona were on the verge of becoming the first team to sweep the eliminations since the implementation of the Final Four format in 1994. Then a Joel Banal-mentored Ateneo lineup forced a final four postseason with players like LA Tenorio, Larry Fonacier, and Enrico Villanueva. A season that Ateneo eventually won by beating the UE Red Warriors twice in the semis with James Yap as one of its star players for UE, then defeated La Salle in the finals.

We’ll never know how La Salle is preparing against Ateneo for Saturday but La Salle will have to triple their preparations for tomorrow and their game against FEU the following week, for them to have a step-ladder postseason.

A step-ladder has not happened since 2007 after the UE Red Warriors coached then by Dindo Pumaren swept the eliminations but eventually lost to La Salle in the finals that was coached by no other than Franz Pumaren and the whole of DLSU sporting teams coming back from a one year suspension.

The chances of DLSU sweeping will depend on the mayhem brought by Aldin Ayo’s system. If they get to limit Ateneo in all ends by halftime, it will be over for Ateneo. As for their game with FEU, it will be a grudge for the Tamaraws to force a final four.

The Man Who Made His Last Sting Before Floating Like a Butterfly: A Tribute to Muhammad Ali

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It was Saturday morning here in Manila when I first saw a link posted on Bleacher Report’s Facebook page that Muhammad Ali is in his critical state. Later that day, I was on my laptop trying to find inspiration for something to write and I was thinking of a way express my true feelings to someone, until I switched on our TV and streamed on the channels then I saw a headline on Aljazeera that says “The Greatest” Muhammad Ali has already passed away.

The next day, I didn’t really know how to react towards the photo that Michael J. Fox posted on his Twitter account, in which he wore a boxing gear posing as if he is about to punch Ali, while Muhammad Ali was just standing defending himself by holding his head. Basically it shows two people battling Parkinson’s disease but unfortunately, the other just ended his fight.

 

I was not born yet when Muhammad Ali proclaimed that he is “The Greatest” and also when he said the immortal words “Float like a butterfly sting like a bee” in an interview while he is at the gym — training. And I was not born yet when he beat Sonny Liston and George Foreman in different occasion and even when he lost to Joe Frazier especially when he beat Frazier in ‘Thrilla in Manila’ held at the Araneta Coliseum on October 1, 1975.

As a kid growing up, I got to know Muhammad Ali as a fighter that a gamer can play in Fight Night on PS2 or Xbox. It didn’t matter to me if I win or lose with Muhammad Ali, because back then, my only goal was to make a good hurl of combos and give that knockout punch.

 

As I grew up, I got to know more about Muhammad Ali, as more than just a game character that you get to play in a video game or watch in a highlight reel on YouTube from his best fights against Liston, Foreman and Frazier. Because like Jackie Robinson and Martin Luther Kingmuhammad_ali_dr._king_ap_img; he was also an advocate of civil rights during the civil rights movement, in and out of the ring.

 

In his prime and the height of the civil rights movement in the 1960s, his sporting counterparts in each sporting league in North America were also fighting for their rights and not just climbing their way up.

 

Jackie Robinson is starting to pave the pave way for African-Americans to join professional sporting leagues, breaking baseball’s color barrier in April of 1947 when he was called by then Brooklyn Dodgers to play in the Major League. But this won’t be as steady as it seemed.

In those days, African-American a basketball player like Bill Russell had to play his best in both ends of the court and if it wasn’t for Boston Celtics legendary head coach Red Auerbach, the Celtics may not have built that Celtic dynasty from the1950s to the 1960s, and many others would soon follow in each sport and in each decade that came by.

 

It has been said that he refused to fight in the Vietnam War, because he does want to be involved in a war that America should not have fought. Since America was fighting the threat that is communism at that time. Sooner or later America ended up losing lives until it gave up in the early 1970s.

Ali paid the price for his refusal which cost him his world title and he was prohibited from fighting, until he got the green light to fight again then eventually reclaim the title that was deprived of him.

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The meeting of top African-American athletes in June 1967. Seated from the left most side; Bill Russell of the Boston Celtics, “The Greatest”, Cleveland Browns’ running back Jim Brown, and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar who was then Lew Alcindor an undergraduate and playing basketball for the UCLA Bruins.

Muhammad Ali is a larger-than-life figure. He is beyond sports.

He did not just inspire fighters that wanted to fight like him and become world heavyweight champion. Muhammad Ali is a life coach himself and we just don’t know it. Even if we do not hire his services, just like how Bruce Lee is often quoted for saying “Be water, my friend” or how others also quote Biblical verses.

Ali and his quotes serve as motivation in all aspects. More important is that it leads us to a certain perspective that we must understand the best way that we can.

 

The man who has no imagination has no wings.”

As an aspiring writer, I try my best to imagine, and create ideas for me to get that wings Muhammad Ali speak of.

I do not just want to write with what I’m really capable of doing right now, since I started writing for this WordPress account. I try my best with my best friend and former EIC to start up ideas, and be able to write short stories that I hope to finish for a certain season later this year.

More important is that we must imagine something that would really give meaning to our lives for us to fly with those wings.

 

“Service to others is the rent you pay for your room here on earth.”

True enough because Muhammad Ali as boxer has already maximized that. As a humanitarian he has done more than enough through for the marginalized anywhere in the world that made his stay worthwhile. Most important is the help that he provided in finding the cure for Parkinson’s disease.

As ordinary people, no matter what the line of work is, we must serve everyone to the best of our abilities so we can really make our stay on earth truly great.

 

“The man who views the world at fifty the same as he did at twenty has wasted thirty years of his life.”

In connection with the previous quote, we must always have a different view of the world as we grow old so we can truly pay for our rent here on earth.

We should not just view the world differently at fifty simply because we aged and reached that particular age. We must always change our views or perspective. So we cannot waste the remaining years that we have before some of us reach fifty.

I’m twenty seven years away from fifty. I do not just want to waste my time and life by writing for this website. Because there will come a time, that I may have to stop and do something else. In which I have to discover for myself along the way.

 

“I know where I am going and I know the truth, and I don’t have to be what you want me to be. I’m free to be what I want.”

This quote from The Greatest just brought me back to the moment when I was deciding on what I really want to take up before I set foot on college. Also in deciding on what I really want to study in college. Then my issue of shifting or transition from being a psychology major to journalism major.

Other than that, this is also standing up for what you really know is right. It’s giving one’s self that freedom on what they really wanted to be. Or what really want to do with their life.

This is also reflective of how Cassius Clay became Muhammad Ali when he decided to change his spiritual belief to Islam in the early sixties. Another is his decision not to join the army after he was drafted for Vietnam.

Lastly, the truth in that quote is that Ali’s war is in the ring, not in Vietnam. More important according him, Cassius Clay is his slave name and as a citizen of a free country like the United States, he had the freedom of changing his spiritual and political belief.

 

“He who is not courageous enough to take risks will accomplish nothing in life.”

He did take a risk and again it’s his decision not to join the army after the draft.

He is more than courageous to trash talk before and after his fights, because his fighting style truly back up his trash talk.

He is the grand daddy of trash talking I must say.

The trash talks of UFC fighter Connor McGregor to undefeated boxing champion Floyd Mayweather Jr. (vice-versa) in any medium are nothing. Even Baron Geisler’s trash talk towards Kiko Matos here in the Philippines,  whether it is scripted or not are nothing to what Ali has said to anyone that he has fought throughout his career.

With all the trash talk that he has said, he did accomplish a lot in the ring.

 

“Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee.”

I was not really going to include this because it’s overly used, like some song to become a soundtrack for a movie.

Ali truly lived up to these words because of his hand speed, agility, and footwork that many have tried to replicate particularly, Floyd Mayweather Jr.

Unlike Mayweather Jr., Ali does not give a lot of hugs the way Mayweather Jr. does when he fought Manny Pacquiao until his last fight. More important is the punching power.

This quote is not only applicable in the context of sports particularly boxing and mixed martial arts. This quote can also be applicable to any team sport like basketball and volleyball. For teams to have that Muhammad Ali state of mind, of course not to the point where players also have to do the trash talking and punching towards their opponent in each game.

Outside sports, we can apply this towards love for both boys and girls. Who seemed to look like wallflowers then one day they become dressed so good, and so beautiful that you can’t recognize them.

That’s really floating like a butterfly and stinging like a bee.

 

With that, may he inspire more people not only people who dream to become world champion in any sport but also in all aspects of life.

 

REST IN POWER

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A WHOLE LOT OF HISTORY

 

If you’re a fan of basketball, you would have a hard time deciding on what to watch on this day April 14, 2016 (April 13, 2016 in the US). Two historic moments will take place and that is the last game of the Golden State Warriors in the regular season which could tie or surpass the win-loss record of the 1995-1996 Chicago Bulls and Kobe Bryant’s last game.

If you’re a baseball fan, there’s nothing that much yet as the 2016 season of the Major League Baseball just got started but if you’re a fan of the Boston Red Sox, it’s David Ortiz’s last season. If you’re a fan of volleyball particularly college volleyball, there’s a whole lot of people graduating in the UAAP (Universities Athletic Association of the Philippines) in each team and the most hyped with those graduating or players playing their final UAAP season are Mika Reyes of the De La Salle University and Alyssa Valdez of the Ateneo de Manila University.

For now we will focus on basketball.

I can’t wait for the Golden State Warriors to win it in their home court so I can write 73-9 all over their printed schedule of their regular season games that I have here at home then maybe if there’s still time to switch channels, watch Kobe Bryant’s last game against the Utah Jazz.

Like what I’ve said before in a post that I dedicated to Kobe Bryant, I am not a fan of him or the Lakers because when the final buzzer sounds for Kobe, win or lose basketball will never ever be the same again.

 

In a interview of Derek Jeter on the Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon that I watched on You Tube, his last game with the New York Yankees for him was like attending his own funeral because fans were either sentimental of Jeter as a Yankee because Jeter is the first player in the long history of the Yankees to reach three thousand hits, surpassing Lou Gehrig as the all-time Yankee leader in career hits. Another issue is fans could not let him go. More important is a five time World Series champion.

I only hope that Kobe Bryant does not feel the same way as Jeterkobe-bryant-triangle-2-e1420697292229.

The one thing amazing about Bryant and Jeter is that they are both praised by His Airness, Michael Jordan. In his last season, Jeter wearing Jordan gear for most of his career was honored with a Jordan ad that fits his exit in the Major League. As for Kobe, Michael not did not just release a set of Jordan shoes from the first pair of Jordans to the latest pair with color ways that fits his mamba personality and Michael Jordan being a big boss in the Charlotte Hornets office, retired the number eight in the Hornets franchise since he was first drafted by Charlotte before getting traded to the Lakers on the day he got drafted in 1996.

With his season coming to a close, we will never know how long it’s going to take for the Lakers become a contender again in the playoffs and with Shaquille O’ Neal getting inducted to the hall of fame soon, I only hope Shaq welcomes Kobe five to ten years from now after this season.1246629_1280x720

 

For the Warriors, win number seventy-three win is within reach and with the last game of their regular season going to be played in their home court, the chances for them to surpass the ’95-’96 are high.golden-state-warriors

121514-NBA-michael-jordan-steve-kerr-LN-PI.vresize.1200.675.high.29The fact that Warriors head coach Steve Kerr was part of the 72-10 lineup is amazing and if the Warriors can get win 73, Steve Kerr is now part of two amazing lineups. If they get win number 73 and do not reach the NBA Finals then become champions their regular season win-loss record will be useless if they don’t put up a fight in the postseason.

As of this writing the number eight spot in the Western Conference has yet to be determined because the Utah Jazz and the Houston Rockets are tied for the last playoff spot at 40-41. If Utah does not win against the Lakers, the Houston Rockets will be number eight to face the Warriors and facing every team in the Western Conference is not a walk in the park if you ask me and in the games Golden State faced other Western Conference, Portland was able to beat the Warriors after the All-Star Weekend. They almost loss to Memphis but none of those matters with the NBA Playoffs fast approaching and the competition in the West will be tougher once the post season starts.

 

So for basketball fans it will be a bittersweet day. Two games for the ages with a bittersweet season to end with.

WHEN THE GAME WAS HIS

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Amazing Kobe Bryant Wallpaper 03 from http://www.walldes-download.com (CREDITS TO THE OWNER)

I never thought I would see the day but it’s always hard to see everyone go, particularly professional players who are going to retire.

There are a lot of professional athletes who have gone to the process of retirement and playing their final game in their league from Derek Jeter and Mariano Rivera of the New York Yankees, Michael Jordan from his first retirement with Chicago then finally settling down with the Washington Wizards, Randy Couture in the UFC, and a whole lot more in the world of sports.

For this season in the NBA, Kobe Bryant finally announced that this will be his last season in the NBA. I am not really a fan of Kobe or the Los Angeles Lakers because when Kobe finally plays his last game, basketball will never be the same. The same goes to players past their prime like Tim Duncan, Paul Pierce, Ray Allen and Dwayne Wade.

We will never see ball hogging the way Kobe does and scoring a lot of points and carrying the Lakers by himself. We will never see memes that really makes Kobe Bryant the most selfish player in the league and such.

In reflecting his highlights, we would surely miss double-double performances and that night he scored 81 points against the Raptors which could have been better if he scored those 81 points on the road than his domain in Staples Center. We would never forget the night he has surpassed Michael Jordan’s career points against the Timberwolves last season then Michael Jordan himself making his statement congratulating Kobe surpassing his career points afterwards. The game in the Beijing Olympics where he really carried the team 2008, scoring big against Spain and China and for Laker fans, the season where the Lakers got their sweet revenge against the Celtics in 2010 in which Kobe earned his fifth NBA championship which drove him to pursue his sixth title that would place him next to Michael Jordan. I give a lot of credit to Kobe Bryant for reviving the Celtics-Lakers rivalry not just the Celtics big three of that year with Ray Allen, Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce when the two teams met each other in 2008 and 2010.

Every player comparison in the NBA is a never ending debate because at first, two players would only start with Bryant and Jordan then someone would bring up LeBron James, even Stephen Curry (who is really on a role recently).

If we would only talk about Kobe and Michael, they are generations apart, even if they have played against each other when Kobe was getting started with his career in the NBA because for others (myself included) Kobe is the only player worthy to be compared to Michael Jordan when it comes to performance or how they play on the court. Kobe has attempted to play like Michael in several games and it’s not that hard to find those side-by-side video comparisons of Kobe and Michael playing on You Tube. As for their achievements, they are far apart even if Kobe has surpassed Jordan’s career points because the six rings of Michael truly sets them apart.

When it comes to Kobe and LeBron, I hate them both but on a serious note they only show passion and precision on the court carrying their team to win almost every game and the go-to guys of their teams. But if there’s one thing that makes LeBron different than Kobe, it’s loyalty. Kobe no matter what has happened with the Lakers never wanted to go out of L.A. and be with a group of better teammates. Unlike LeBron who went to South Beach to be with team mates who can really help him then earned his first title in 2012.

As the NBA season goes on, Kobe is on his farewell tour. I haven’t watched any Laker game just to see if teams are giving him farewell gifts like a rocking chair which Kareem Abdul-Jabbar received during his retirement ceremony at the Forum, Mariano Rivera also got a rocking chair made of broken bats that he broke during his tenure, and Derek Jeter got farewell presents also from various teams like his teammate Rivera and standing ovations especially when Jeter played his last game at Fenway Park where Red Sox fans showed him respect and appreciation despite that he is a Yankee and in a basketball context, I’m looking forward on how Celtics will receive Kobe in his last road game at the Garden later this month on December 31 (Manila Time) and other teams that might honor him. With the NBA already down with one month, I don’t see the Lakers going to the playoffs again with that kind of lineup and dead last in the standings (3-15) of the Western Conference, relying only with key players like D’ Angelo Russell and Jordan Clarkson may not seem a fitting exit for a player like Kobe for some people but like many players before Kobe who have gone through the process, many of them did not have a Hollywood ending.

We can’t tell how many highlight games will Kobe have in the next couple of games or how many points will he put up to keep the Lakers in the hunt for the NBA Playoffs but one thing’s for sure, the NBA will never be the same again when he goes. As for retiring a jersey number, retiring number 24 is only fitting him since he made a lot of moment wearing number 24 for Laker fans.

When Kiefer Played

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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.

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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.