Just an off-day for the Green Archers
An off-day. This was the perfect explanation of how the La Salle Green Archers groped in vain for their vaunted invincible forms and dropped an ego-deflating first loss of the season, 83-71, to their arch rivals, the Ateneo Eagles, last Saturday.
After humbling their first 12 opponents to raise the prospect of a first two-round elimination sweep since 2007, the Archers displayed poor shotmaking and defense while leaving their main man, the Cameroonian Ben Mbala, no room to wield his offensive magic by surprisingly refusing to give him the ball under the board.
The 6-foot-7 rookie Mbala, the leading candidate for this year’s Most Valuable Player award with averages of 21 points and 16 rebounds, scored only six points in the first half, all on free throws, and he added 11 points in the second half with Ateneo already beyond recall.
The Eagles seized control midway in the first quarter and went on to lead by as much as 18 at 76-58 to avenge their 97-81 loss to the Archers in the first round.
Despite the loss which La Salle would willingly take from any other team except from its bitter rival for the sake of pride, the Archers remained three wins from claiming the championship being defended by the Far Eastern University Tamaraws.
With the Final Four phase now in place, the 12-1 Archers, with still a final game set against the Tamaraws, are assured of the top seeding in the semifinals where they need only a win to reach the title series which will be a best-of-three affair.
The Tams stand a far second behind the Archers at 8-3 and, with a twice-to-beat advantage, will most likely face the Eagles, who are running third at 7-4, in the other Final 4 pairing.
The Adamson Falcons, at 6-5, need two more victories to secure the last semifinal berth over the National U Bulldogs and the University of the Philippines Fighting Maroons, both at 5-8.
Can a president of a national Olympic committee serve more than the tenure of the president of the International Olympic Committee?
I think this is the question that has to be resolved first in the light of the current controversy surrounding the coming election of the Philippine Olympic Committee where amateur boxing’s Ricky Vargas is contesting the presidential bid of incumbent Jose Cojuangco Jr. of equestrian.
Under IOC rules, the Olympic body elects its president to an eight-year term and can seek election for another term of only four more years.
In our case, Cojuangco has been elected POC president since 2004 and is now running for another term, exceeding the limit observed by the IOC.
Curiously, the IOC representative to the Philippines who should have a say on the election issue has remained silent.
She is Mikee Cojuangco-Jaworski, a daughter of the incumbent POC head.
She took over last year from Frank Elizalde, the chair of the present POC elections committee that has disqualified Vargas for failure to physically attend POC meetings in the past.
Mikee won the gold medal in equestrian in the 2002 Busan Asian Games in South Korea.