July 29, 2008


It's that time of the year when the NCAA becomes relevant; no, not on September when it's the championship series. Not even when it's cheerdance competition, like as if they can fill up the San Andres Gym even on a weekend. Not even the time when a member school goes to court to sue the league to bully theirselves for a title.

The NCAA becomes relevant when both Letran and San Beda plays each other. The two remaining predominantly boys' schools, the only schools that can boast an alumni following, the only schools that can say they've filled up the Big Dome on a weekday. In fact it is the only game in which Studio 23 even produced a teaser:

Even this season's first Ateneo-La Salle game didn't have this treatment.

So lemme hype this game for you, as if this game didn't have more hype than it deserves.

First let's have a dose of history. The only time prior to 2007 that both schools met in a championship game was on 1950. The Big Dome didn't exist, your parents may have been a dirty thought of your grandparents, and it has been 4 years since a Letranite was in office (for your info, a Bedan was never in office although we all know one should've been on 2004). SBC overcame LC in a nonbearing game to deny the sweep even though LC won the title already (it seems that if a team wins both rounds of eliminations they've won the title outright). Apparently this was such an historic moment it was billed by FHM as the #1 moment in collegiate basketball. Either they're all Bedans or they hate Ateneans and Lasallians with a passion.

Moving forward, SBC and LC made other enemies and beat them up silly although they themselves never met each other. SBC made Ateneans cry and LC made Lasallians go to Tarlac to find their mercenaries. So Blue and Green went away and made the UAAP their hunting grounds where they are currently wreaking havoc now. And Bedans will be the first to tell you that there was, is and will never be any rivalry between these two schools. They only consider Ateneans their rightful rivals and to say otherwise means that you should expect the wrath of St. Bede and all of Lions in the African savanna.

SBC last won the title on 1977 over who else, the Ateneans. The Ateneans got so distraught so they bolted out of the NCAA and went to the UAAP. After that SBC never won a title again. Either it's the curse of Pons Valdez or they just plainly sucked. Meanwhile, after the Tarlac bullies beat up Letranites silly, La Salle bolted out and had to wait for half-a-decade in order to be admitted to the "other" league. With Lasallians and their mercenaries away, Letran found a more fitting rival, one that does not use mercenaries, in the name of San Sebastian. The two used pillboxes and brownouts as weapons of mass destruction as they pretty much carved up much of the NCAA's championships since then.

Until, in the oil-rich country of Nigeria, some Bedan on a safari spotted a Nigerian behemoth that can topple the likes of the ever-so-handsome Mark Andaya. Too bad Andaya was a 2-year deal and they weren't able to meet; that would've been awesome. So the behemoth named Samuel Ekwe arrived in the country and made the NCAA his playground. The Red Lions just suffered 4 (PCU twice, LC and JRU once each) on-court losses out of 25+ games in two years enroute to back-to-back championships. He pretty much made Gabby Espinas look like Stewie Griffin and Jason Castro look like Stewie Griffin before he was Stewie Griffin.

The league wasn't able to find an answer (it's on Denver) and to actually beat SBC nowadays is like the feeling of Air21 if they've beaten Magnolia in Game 1 of their semifinals.

So that what makes the game on Wednesday special. It's like David going against Voltes V where even though SBC has a a worse-looking record, LC is still the underdog and SBC will make sure they'll win or else, they'll see each other on court, inside the court room, I mean.

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