The Challenge

In the driveway I saw you this morning,

I pass under where you’re standing,

Lording over as if you’re taunting,

You look down at me silently mocking,

Daring me that I got no more hops,

That I have also lost the touch,

I may have slowed and I have aged,

But I’m still up for a challenge.

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the takeoff

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the propulsion

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hang time (as in time for the old man to hang it up?)

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the release

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Goooaaal!!!

PS: Were you expecting a dunk? Maybe in 10 years when I am 60.

 

Who is Tiagong Tigas?

I was watching an NBA game on TV the other night, when a flash of insanity (or genius) hit me. And it’s not even a full moon.

I wondered if NBA basketball players would play for the Philippines, would they take on a more local-sounding name?

Back in my childhood days, during Toyota vs. Crispa rivalry, and during Robert Jaworski’s heyday, an American import played for Toyota. His name was Andrew Fields. However we joked around that his adopted Filipino (Tagalized) name was Andres Bukid. As you know, San Andres Bukid is a district in Manila.

So here’s my list of Filipinized names of current NBA players:

1. Tiagong Tigas – James Harden (Houston Rockets)

2. Juaning Pader – John Wall (Washington Wizards)

3. Dong Tampisaw – Dwayne Wade (Chicago Bulls)

4. Esteban Sabaw – Stephen Curry (Golden State Warriors)

5. Gurang Kaladkarin – Goran Dragic (Miami Heat)

6. Atincupung, Ging-ging – Antetokounmpo, Giannis (Milwaukee Bucks)

7. Kebong Pag-ibig – Kevin Love (Cleveland Cavaliers)

8. Jimeno Mayordomo – Jimmy Butler (Chicago Bulls)

9. Damong Luntian – Draymond Green (Golden State Warriors)

10. Tonying Pumarada – Tony Parker (San Antonio Spurs)

11. Kembot Lumakad – Kemba Walker (Charlotte Hornets)

12. Dekdek Bulaklak – Derrick Rose (NY Knicks)

13. Tiagong Biyak – Tiago Splitter (Atlanta Hawks)

14. Rodeng Bakla – Rudy Gay (Sacramento Kings)

15. Pablong Saksak – Paul Pierce (LA CLippers)

Can you think of anybody else? I like to hear from you.

NBA: Indiana Pacers at Houston Rockets

(*photo from the web)

Crash the Board

One late afternoon, when I arrived home, I noticed something lying in our driveway. It was not the fallen autumn leaves that needed to be swept, that caught my attention, but something more strange.

It was a dead bird.

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My son was actually the first one to see it and pointed it out to me. As we looked at it closely we have concluded that it was a robin. It also looked healthy and well nourished, so we wondered what caused its demise. Its feathers did not look ruffled so it was unlikely that it was attacked by a predatory bird, like hawk, which abound in our area.

Then like detective Sherlock Holmes and his friend Dr. Watson, we looked at the evidences available to us and formulated a theory of what caused the poor bird’s death. We could have done an autopsy but there was no need for that.

We looked at the dead bird’s body location and its relation to the other surrounding structures. The hard driveway pavement. The soft grass lawn. The nearby garage. Our big oak tree. And the fiberglass basketball goal.

The bird was lying right underneath the basketball goal. And there was some smudge in the fiberglass.

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Here is our conclusion: it was a clear sunny day; the robin was flying spiritedly heading to our oak tree; the bird mistakenly looked through the clear fiberglass and flew directly into it; the robin fell to the hard pavement and died.

That, or Dwight Howard swatted it down from its flight.

We know that skyscrapers have caused several birds to crashed to their death when they fly smack into the glass windows. The wind turbines that we erected to generate energy has caused many winged wild life deaths as well. On the reverse side, there are several reported airplane accidents, especially small aircrafts, crashing down when they hit a flock of birds. I suppose that still is unfortunate on the part of the birds.

I like my basketball goal though. I am not going to take it down. It has given me and my son so many hours of fun playing on it. But to this poor creature, it caused its death. Life can be cruel at times, I guess.

In basketball, there is a term “crash the board,” which means to get the rebound, or the act of rebounding the ball. This little birdie gave that term a whole new meaning.

I will remember and will pay respect to this poor soul, every time I play and crash the board.

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(*all photos taken with iPhone)

Lahing Jaworski

my son, future Jaworski?

Ngayon at tag-init na dito sa Iowa, ay lagi akong tinatawag ng aking anak na mag-basketball. Ako ay nagpatirik ng basketball goal doon sa aming driveway. Naalala ko tuloy nuong ako’y bata pa……….

Bago pa ako pumasok sa eskwela ay natuto na akong magbasketball sa silong ng aming bahay. Kinabitan ng tatay ko ng basketball goal yung isang pader. Dito ako natutong mag-dribble, mag jump shot (kahit parating tumatama ang bola sa kisame), at mag lay-up. Naging mahusay maglaro. Parang Jaworski.

Nang ako’y lumaki-laki na ay sa kalsada na ako nag lalaro ng basketball. Naging kalaro ko ang aking mga kapitbahay at paminsan-minsang mga batang dayo. Kahit ang basketball goal namin ay binaluktot na bakal at pirapirasong tabla lang, ay talo-talo na kami dito. Kasama sa aming laro ang hindi maiiwasang “intermission” kapag  may dumadaang kotse o tricycle. Dito nagkapigtas-pigtas ang tsinelas kong Spartan (“Nasaan ang tibay mo?”). Iba ang basketball sa kalye -kasama ang gulangan, sahuran, balyahan at paminsan-minsang suntukan. Dito ako natutong lumaban. Parang Jaworski.

Sa eskwelahan naman ay panay din ang laro namin ng basketball. Nuong nasa elementary pa ako, ay katanghaliang tapat kung kami ay mag-laro. Ito ay dahil kapag hapon na ay hindi na kami makasingit sa mga estudyante ng highschool sa basketball court. Nang kami ay highschool na, kami naman ang sumu-swapang sa court. Kahit nakabalat na sapatos o kahit naka-combat boots pa, sige pa rin ang laro. Natigil lang ang aming paglalaro sa eskwela nang lagariin ng principal ang mga poste ng basketball goal, dahil sanhi daw lagi ng away ang basketball. Ngunit hindi pa rin naawat ang aming hilig sa basketball. “Never say die”, ika nga ni Jaworski.

Sa harap naman ng aming simbahan ay may masikip na half court. Tatlong dipa lang yata ang luwang nito, ngunit solb na kami sa paglalaro duon. Maraming hapon hangang gabi rin kaming naglalaro ng aking mga kaibigan doon. Nagkakalabawan. Nag-aasaran. Nagkakapikunan. Sa masikip na basketball court din na iyon, marami kaming pinagdaanan. Tuwa, galit, gasgas at pasa, pagod, inis ng pagkatalo, at saya ng panalo. Dito din lumakas ang samahan ng aming barkada. Natutong maglaro at makisama, bagama’t kami ay magkaka-iba. Natutong maging isa – parang basketball team. Team Jaworski.

Hindi lang basketball ang aking natutunan sa larong ito. Kahit ngayon, na ako’y nasa bayan na ni Michael Jordan at Lebron James, ipinagmamalaki kong ako’y lahing Jaworski.