Monday, September 9, 2013

I hope Ginebra and San Mig Coffee never kiss and never make up. By JC Pelagio.

It was a Friday night. With the tons of folders and papers tucked inside my bag, it appeared I was headed for a working weekend. However, there was a proverbial marshmallow amidst the bottomless pit of paperwork: MANILA CLASICO!

Manila Clasico - the rivalry that made my 7-year-old self hate my uncles for cheering for Alvin Patrimonio and his troops while I was on the verge of tears, praying for a Ginebra miracle shot. It's the same rivalry that got me into debates with annoying boy classmates. Today, it's the rivalry that brings out the better, and at times the bitter, for those who insist their basketball god is either Mark Caguioa or James Yap.

Why should I not be overly excited with this game?

There's always something extra in every Manila Clasico. Gate attendance reaching close to 19,000. A brand of intensity designed to suck the air out of my lungs. The buzz on social media. And for some, the risk of losing Php 2000.00 on a bet.

The game last night did not disappoint. It was the espresso shot I needed after pulling an all-nighter. Perfect. 

The Beatdown

Air Force Ellis. Girls swoon (is it just me?) when he steps on the court. Girls died from kilig (or was it just me again?) when he stole the ball and went straight for a dunk OVER Marqus Blakely in the opening moments of the game.

Allein Maliksi: Out for Revenge? He got the memo. When you play against a former team, you have to perform well. Maliksi scored on jumpers, attacked the defense and surely made Coach Tim Cone smile during his blitz in the second quarter. He killed Ginebra’s momentum.

The L.A Times. It's refreshing to see LA donning that red and white uniform with a smile. But it's even more refreshing to see him dishing out assists to teammates and scoring on runners and sneaky lay-ups. He led Ginebra's 3rd quarter comeback after scoring 5 straight points.

MC47 vs JYap18. This is the never ending debate. Who is The King? Last night, however, Big Game James proved worthier of praise. James led a Mixers team without Marc Pingris and Joe DeVance to victory. There were no “Ang lala!” fade-away jumpers but Yap's shooting took off early on. (Ginebra fans will quickly point out that Ginebra played minus Japeth Aguilar and Kerby Raymundo as well)

”One Express-o shot coming!” from Starbarrucks. The cafĂ© that launched a thousand shots. Mark Barroca's two consecutive jumpers in the fourth quarter...those were huge. Icing on top of your Manila Clasico frappe. Sweet.

So will this rivalry end? Will San Mig Coffee and Barangay Ginebra kiss and make up? I don’t think so. But that’s okay. I prefer it that way. You prefer it that way too, right? JCP

You can follow @_jcpelagio on Twitter

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