The Games that Play Us: LOL

Ray Parks had the last laugh against the Red Warriors.
(image by Diana Moraleda/
NU Bulldogs over the UE Red Warriors, 91-51

Late in the fourth quarter with the game’s result beyond doubt, Lord Casajeros launched a three from the right quarter court. After the ball swished thru the net, Casajeros backpedaled in front of NU’s packleader, Bobby Ray Parks. Casajeros flashed him a big smile and made a bang-bang gesture directed at Parks.

The funny thing is that Casajeros’s team wasn’t winning. In fact, they were down, way down, at that point. And yet he was the one seemingly laughing out loud.

A guy who didn’t think it was funny, however, was the referee, who tagged Casajeros with a technical foul.

Suddenly, not even “Mr. Bang-Bang” was laughing. The joke was on him, and the rest of the UE Red Warriors.

Coach Jerry Codiñera and his wards probably came into this game with high hopes that they could at least hang with the Bulldogs. Maybe somewhere deep inside his heart he even believed they could miraculously repeat the upset of the year.

But it just wasn’t in the stars. Heck, the Warriors’ game wasn't even in the same vicinity as the Bulldogs’.

Two things were crystal clear after this game:
1) Coach Eric Altamirano made the proper adjustments after last week’s debacle, and

2) UE’s win was a fluke.

Adrian Santos tried, but failed, to rally UE.
(image by Diana Moraleda/
Here’s the weird thing, though – by the numbers, it seems UE played a hell of a defensive game. They had 8 steals compared to NU’s 4, they had 4 blocks to NU’s 1, and they forced the Bulldogs to commit 21 turnovers while the Warriors themselves turned it over just 11 times. UE even had 19 more attempts at the basket.

But another look at the box scores reveals where UE went wrong. NU outrebounded them, 52-28, had more assists, 22-11, and had 27 more free-throw attempts. How’s that for free-throw discrepancy? (Where are the conspiracy theorists now?)

Plain and simple, UE, with the talent they have, just cannot win at this level. The possibility of the basketball gods going crazy again to grant UE another fluke is there, but it’s as remote as Michael Jordan going back to play pro ball in the NBA.

If Parks and the Bulldogs play this well every single time,
then the rest of the league better watch out.
(image by Diana Moraleda/
The interesting thing here is that if this is the NU squad that we’ll see for the remainder of the season, then the 6 teams they’ve yet to play must watch out. The Bulldogs have seemingly retooled in the midseason, and are primed to give each title contender and wannabe a, well, dogfight.

And UE? From the heights of ecstasy, to the throes of despair.

So, is it still funny? Are you still laughing out loud Mr. Casajeros?

NU 91– Mbe 21, Parks 18, Javillonar 10, Terso 10, Villamor 10, Alolino 8, Ignacio 7, Neypes 2, Celiz 2, Eman 2, Singh 1, Khobuntin 0, Labing-isa 0, Roño 0
UE 51– Casajeros 8, Santos 7, Javier 6, Zosa 6, Enguio 4, Sumang 4, Zamar 4, Sumido 4, Duran 2, Tagarda 2, Chavez 2, Sabangan 2, Noble 0, Flores 0, Montelibano 0, De Leon 0
QS: 20-14, 40-20, 69-38, 91-51
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