A day after the Azkals-Brave Reds match, though I could spend a whole day at home, taking my sweet time editing JPEGs, and in between playing PS3 games. Turns out the UAAP Press Lunch was to be held at The Topaz Room at the Gateway in Araneta center on that day.
Seeing my media colleagues again, having a catered lunch, getting souvinier tees, getting primed for Season 74 [Opening Day ceremonies were to be held 6 days later at the Marikina Sports Complex], possibly making new acquiantances, and of course taking photos [this time I brough a handy cam too], having some participating hoopsters from all the 8 Universities all together in this salo-salo of sorts is something a sports photographer and die-hard UAAP fan like me simply couldn't miss. Not only that, being relatively new to the UAAP Basketball circuit, it would the FIRST time ever for me to attend such an affair.
There are only a small handful of hoopsters that I address by their first names - JaiR, SimonA, EmanM, JustinC, ChrisC, AlexN, LesterA plus acouple more guys that I occasionally have small talk with. I call Boom Gonzalez "Boom". I address TJ Manotoc as Mr. Manotoc. I don't want to be "presko". That's just me. Maybe, after Season 74 I can have a couple of more acquiantances in the UAAP "family"- and so the more fun it'll be for me come any UAAP event. My media colleagues, those guys, I call by their first names of course.
Botom line -- Archer, Bulldog, Eagle, Falcon, Maroon, Tiger,Tamarraw, or Warrior -- hoopster, footballer, swimmer, volleyball jock, or softballer -- die hard fan, coach, TV crew, photographer, commentator, writer, referee, -- all have roles to play in making the UAAP work, promoting different sports, while upholding the Ideals & Values of the league. I look at it as one big family, where school fanaticism gives way to sportsmanship and fair play, where concern for one's ego gives way to teamsmanship, where one doesn't have to know everybody, - one just has to do his part the best one can - in order for the league to stay healthy, [also for some organizations to generate business] and for everyone to be better athletes, photographers, trainers, TV producers, students -- at the end of each day. And if one makes a few or a lot of friends along the way - Great. Even better.
Here are some RANDOM snaps from that lunch.
Jerich [Ready as he's ever gonna be]
U.P.'s new courstide reporter [a looker no less]
Simon [On his last playing year]
Kirk [Keeping the faith]
Chris [Jay-R look alike].
Janus & Lester [Proud . . .
Alex & Jeric . . .Falcons]
Coach Austria [Enjoying the moment].
Coach Altamirano [Cautious optimism?]
Coach ["Itagalog mo na lang"] Flores.
Coach Codinera [Now a Warrior]
Coach Pido [Hands down, the most humorous of them all].
Mr. Hard Ball himself [Boyet, the Sison]
Asst. Coach Trillo [Light moment]
Mike Gamboa [Still haunted by Season 73's nightmare?]
Mike Silungan [Time to move On].
Coach Black [Looking Fourward].
Coach Pumaren [Rarin to go]
Coach Dandan [Break the streak Coach!].
I just love this guy ! Must be great to have a few beers with Coach Pido.
Joey Villar [Grizzled columnist].
Bacon [In focus].
The Dynamic Duo [Terence & RR].
Once more, for the photogs.
On the eve of the UAAP Board decision -- [Bobby P Jr.-2nd fr the right]
Will this Bulldog be let out to play ?
Mr. TJ Manotoc [Take five].
U.S.T.'s new courtside reporter
[She's on the cov of the latest issue of Sense & Style].
The Board [An unguarded moment].
The Ball is in your Court, Gentlemen.
[Roughly 2 years ago, It was Mr. Richard Palou
who gave me my first Official UAAP Media Pass - for soccer]
Gotta thank this man, Mr. Olivares,
for giving me a lot of Opportunities.
[I wouldn't be where I am now if not for Rick]
Someone once said, good company makes any meal a FEAST.