UAAP Final Four
SPORTS EYE - Raffy Uytiepo (The Freeman) - October 29, 2019 - 12:00am

When the smoke cleared in the battle for the UAAP season 82 Final Four, the De La Salle Green Archers missed the last bus after a heartbreaking loss to the University of the Philippine Fighting Maroons last Sunday. But it was a gallant stand for the Green Archers who were down by 16 points in the first quarter.  But La Salle knowing that there’s no tomorrow, clawed it’s way back and even led by five points  until Cebuano Jun Manzo nailed a three-point shot to close the half with a one point advantage for the Maroons.  It was a see-saw battle in the third quarter with the Maroons again leading by 10 points.  In the fourth quarter, La Salle refused to die as they even took the upper hand in the dying minutes but Bright Akhuetie was just unstoppable as he dunked for the lead.  Manzo, after being fouled, executed the final nail on the Green Archers’ coffin.  “Na wala ang Animo sa La Salle”.  As I have said before, I’m still sticking to my prediction that the Ateneo Blue Eagles will win this year’s crown.

Did you know?

JOHN KELLY  (father of Princess Grace of Monaco) who would go on to win three Olympic  rowing gold medals, was refused entry to the 1920 Diamond Sculls at Henley, England, because as a bricklayer, he had an unfair advantage in developing bigger muscles than his gentlemen competitors.  Princess Grace was formerly known as Grace Kelly, the movie star.

CASSIUS CLAY  was not really the author of the line “I am the greatest”.  Just before his 1964 fight with Sonny Liston, Clay used the line borrowed from wrestler Gorgeous George.  After more than a decade, Clay now known as Muhammad Ali, lived up to his self-titled superlative.

 LEON SPINKS was mugged on January 16, 1982.  The former heavyweight champion did not only lose his money and jewelry, but also his two gold front teeth”.  “Gitangtang sa mga kawatan ang iyang gold nga ngipon”

JACK JOHNSON After returning to his dressing room on October 16, 1909, after knocking out Stanley Ketchel in the 12th round to  retain his heavyweight title,  Johnson found two of Ketchel’s teeth lodged in  his glove.  Ketchel should be singing “All I Want For Christmas Is My Two Front Teeth”.  If he were alive today.

BOB KURLAND was the first seven foot player in basketball who played in the mid-1940’s.  Nicknamed “Foothills”, he is credited as being the first to dunk the ball.  When he was 13 years old, he was already 6’6” but was uncoordinated and didn’t play basketball until he was in high school.  In college, he would swat the ball from offensive players even as the ball flew downwards.  On his sophomore year, a rule was drawn making it illegal to touch the ball on its downward path.  That was the birth of goal tending.  The penalty of the rule was simple, the basket would automatically count.  After his college days at Oklahoma A&M, he was offered a two year deal worth $30,000 (good money back then) to turn pro, but he elected to remain an amateur.

LEW ALCINDIOR at 7’2” Lew Alcindor then playing for UCLA,  dominated college basketball in the NCAA and was a dunking machine. Soon, the NCAA banned the dunk for nine years and lifted it for the 1976-1977 season.  Instead of a one-dimensional dunking monster, Alcindor now known as Kareem Abdul Jabbar, developed his awesome “skyhook”, a shot requiring more finesse.  It became a deadly and dependable weapon that nobody could defense (or ban).  In 1969, Jabbar single-handedly brought  Milwaukee from last place to second place in 1970.  Then in 1971, the Bucks became NBA champions. 

Famous quotations

“IT AIN’T OVER TILL THE FAT LADY SINGS”

Dick Motta coach of the Washington Bullets rallying cry with his team down two games to one to the Seattle Supersonics in the 1978 NBA Finals and he was right!  The Bullets won the series in seven games.

“HE CAN RUN BUT HE CAN’T HIDE”

Joe Louis warning before beating Billy Conn in their heavy weight title fight

“I AIN’T GOT NO QUARREL WITH THE VIET CONG”  

Muhammad  Ali’s explanation for his decision not to report for the draft in 1966.

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