Wednesday, July 25

The Girlfriend’s Guide to Surviving the PBA Governors’ Cup Finals

Last Sunday, the PBA Governor’s Cup finals between Rain or Shine Elasto Painters and B-MEG Llamados took off to an exciting start. There was a great deal of pushing and shoving between players, technical fouls were called one after another, there were plenty of not-so-nice words exchanged, and a monobloc chair was thrown onto the court.

You can’t be bothered to care, really, but this presents an impending predicament: no thanks to this rather titillating Game One, your boyfriend is now pumped up for Game Two, and it looks like your usual quiet Wednesday dinner date is going to take a raincheck. And it’s a bigger problem, when he says, “Hey, this should be an exciting series.” Then count out your Friday and Sunday soirees as well.

Let’s face it. Not all girlfriends are created equal. Some are more understanding of their boo’s obsession with watching grown men chase and shoot a ball, while others sit at the end of the sofa, arms crossed and an eyebrow raised, everytime their boyfriends have the telly tuned to basketball.

It’s not a crime not to love sports, ladies. But since you’re with someone who eats, breathes, and thrives with the excitement sports bring him, you might want to come to terms with it.

The Dwight Howard Saga Continues

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

It all started with the running candidate for the world’s most awkward interview, and thus began the mighty, confusing, and for most part, annoying, Dwight Howard saga. Until before yesterday, it seemed like it was coming to an end. But like the Howard deals in the past, the potential four-team deal involving the Magic, Clippers, Cavaliers and Nets oddly fell apart.

Whether it was because Kris Humphries didn’t want to play for the Cavs (seriously, who would?), or because the persistent Mitch Kupchak came up with a better deal, the Magic has not been much farther than where they were at the start of the off season: coachless and stuck with a disgruntled superstar.

It’s a little bit embarrassing that as it stands right now, it seems like Dwight Howard is steering Magic’s future, instead of its new General Manager, Rob Hennigan. As we all remember, Howard played a crucial role in the unceremonious exits of then Magic head coach Stan Van Gundy and GM Otis Smith. That little antic left the franchise without a coach and with the youngest (not to mention the cutest! :p) GM in the league.

Instead of keeping his mouth shut and to just wait for his free agency out, Howard spent the better part of last season whining about not getting traded, opted in to his one year extension, and got his coach and GM fired. And now he’s demanding a trade ala Carmelo Anthony, by publicly wanting to be exchanged to the team of his choice, which in this situation, is the Nets. This, along with the fact that he refuses to sign an extension with any another team, has given Howard complete control of the whole Orlando Magic organization. (Don’t you wish you can do this at your job.)

Howard has given the Nets a lot of leverage for them to acquire him, even to the point of low balling the Magic, because the Nets know Magic will not keep a ticking time bomb like Howard. But that deal has since collapsed in a matter of hours. New talks of a possible trade scenario between the Lakers, Rockets and Magic have been unveiled today. In my opinion, and I’m not saying this just because I am a Lakers fan, if the teams involved are looking at rebuilding anyway, this might be slightly better than any other standing trade possibilities at hand. One thing is for sure: neither Howard nor the Magic management would want the superstar still hanging out in sunny Orlando.

If and when the indecision finally ends, Howard will easily pass LeBron James and Carmelo Anthony as the guy who handled his impending release completely and utterly wrong. Now that LBJ has finally secured a championship ring, most NBA hooligans are looking for a new person to hate. Sorry, Dwight. But it’s not too hard to hate on you after all the crap you pulled this season.

The Magic, on the other hand, will be known as the team that shamelessly gave away the keys of their franchise to a petulant superstar, only to have him drive the whole organization off of a proverbial cliff into the NBA wasteland.

After everything that have been said and done, the clear losers of this whole Dwight Howard fiasco, looking at it in all angles, are the Magic fans. I wouldn’t want to be caught in the middle of the ridiculousness of this situation as a loyal follower. I, too, hope that at the end of this week, a deal could be reached, so we can all let go of this useless anticipation and go back to living our normal, happy lives.

Because to tell you honestly, I’m so ready to wake up from this Dwightmare already.

*This post also appears on

Monday, July 9

Seventh Heaven

History met its match Sunday at Wimbledon. And he goes by the name of Roger Federer. The Fed is back at # 1 and all is right in the world again.

When Roger turned 30, most of his critics started writing him off, favoring the much younger legs of Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic. For a while, it seemed like the Federer Express was losing its steam. In 2011, he failed to win any of the four Grand Slam tournaments, the first time of such since 2003. Federer lost against Djokovic in straight sets in the Australian Open. The King of Clay Nadal showed him no mercy in the French Open. Most shockingly, even though he was already up two sets to none against Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in the quarterfinals of his favorite GS, the Wimbledon, Federer collapsed and squandered the win.

Then, in the 2012 US Open, he embarrassingly lost to Djokovic once again. This fueled the speculations that The Fed was on the decline, and a GS tournament win at the age of 30 is almost impossible. One day you're King, the next it seemed like the whole world was doubting you. The supposedly greatest tennis player of all time slipped to # 3 and was about to be done.

But Roger Federer is a champion of a different breed. While everyone was writing off his chances, he was busy preparinghimself.

He came back winning in Rotterdam, Dubai, Madrid, Indian Wells, and most especially, Wimbledon. A vintage Roger Federer showed up in England to dispatch Albert Ramos, Fabio Fognini, Julien Benneteau, Xavier Malisse, Mikhail Youzhny, and then current # 1 Novak Djokovic to secure his 8th finals appearance against Briton Andy Murray.

Murray was aggressive, but as they say, when you're playing Roger Federer at his best, you don't stand a chance. Federer's serve was back and he kept on hitting his corners. And in the 7th game, which turned out to be the crucial one, Fed sealed the 6th break point of the game to end the 26 point game to go up 4-2. And from then on, it was just Federer all over the court with his shots.

On July 8, 2012, amidst the swirl of the wind and the unforgiving London weather, Roger Federer won his 7th Wimbledon title-- his 17th GS title overall-- and reclaimed his rightful place as the best of the best, yet again.

It was the day that reminded us all that hard work and perseverance pays off-- and it pays off rather well. It also reminded us that no matter what the world thinks about you, if you stay focused, your will and your determination will carry you through.

I'm not sure who cried the hardest last night: him, me, or Andy Murray. Murray will not be disregarded. He fought well and my heart goes out to him. Someday, he will get his own GS trophy to lift. And rightfully, Andy, you're getting closer.

But for now, let the Swiss Maestro enjoy his date with history, in seventh heaven.