Both sides of being Blue

First-time Filoil Champs
(image by Joey Mendoza/

I’m all blue because Ateneo won the Filoil plum. Its first ever. It seems Norman Black has won every conceivable basketball trophy that a coach can win in the Philippines. And they did it in devastating fashion, humbling the San Beda Red Lions, 75-56. Wow. Harbinger of how things will go in Season 74?

Hope so.

But let’s not get ahead of ourselves. Let’s not celebrate too much. Not too elated. You will, however, be forgiven if you can’t help it. Just look at Greg Slaughter and Kiefer Ravena. Then think of them being together for two seasons. Add to that duo our championship core.

Is this the best bench in college ball today?
(image by Philip Sison/Ateneo Sports Shooters)
Wow. Champions on paper. I hope we can do it on the court too.

But being blue can also mean being dismayed. And I am dismayed. On the same day two of our recruits led the Eagles to the Filoil crown, one other recruit was “confirmed” to have left the aerie.

Mark Tallo could've been great as an Eagle :(
(image from
Good bye Mark Tallo. It was nice almost knowing you.

Man, that sucks. He would’ve been great. No doubt about it. Sayang.

But he did what he felt was best for himself. Haaay.

Here’s me speculating that he probably wasn’t happy with the lack of playing time. Maybe the fact that fellow PG Nico Elorde transferred to AdMU compounded things too. He’d have to compete hard in practice only to be confronted with a sliver of hope of playing in an actual game.

Now it seems other schools are after him. This is the burden of a loaded team. I say that without hubris, but rather, with the sense that no team composition is ever flawless. The flaw of a strong team (on paper) is that not everyone can be strong at the same time.

But good luck to Mr. Tallo. May you succeed wherever you go.

It was nice almost knowing you.

Nico Salva is primed to have another great season
(image by Philip Sison/Ateneo Sports Shooters)
Newly-minted AdMU President Fr. Jett Villarin, SJ graces the title match
(image by Philip Sison/Ateneo Sports Shooters)
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