“Ayoko nang umasa at masaktan na muli,” I texted Tokwa Boy– pure, visceral, jinarteritic words I never thought I would tell anyone, much less to someone named Tokwa Boy.

It was in response to his text message: “Kapit bayan!”

We were of course talking about the latest Ginebra VS Purefoods game, a once-a-conference duel dubbed as Manila Classico for its historic undertones. Ginebra was down by 19 points but eventually got the lead, which was taken over again by Purefoods after one quarter. I don’t know why I stuck with Ginebra all these years even as the line-ups have inevitably changed and the popularity of the league has continuously dwindled, but for better or worse I did. Other than Tokwa Boy I don’t know anyone who knows anyone who knows anyone who still watches PBA. And I’ve avoided participating in any online conversations about it because good lordy you would believe that those fans could really kill someone.

Ginebra of course lost miserably. I turned off the TV when they were down by 7 points with 30-seconds left. The supposed superstar Korean import Kim getting I think just one out of more than five 3-point attempts, Mark Caguioa doing all sorts of turn-overs and eventually an injury, Gregzilla never having been able to get back into the groove after a prolonged absence etc. etc. etc., it was enough to make me cry.

The last time I watched a game live was in 1997. It was in Cuneta Astrodome, it’s that game where Allan Caidic fell on the floor and vomited and the camera caught Jaworski sort of laughing. After that game we ate in Wendy’s where we had Wendy’s fried chicken and I asked my mom if I could have frosty but she said we had no money left. No matter, we were in high spirits because Ginebra won. Allan Caidic would eventually coach Ginebra. In med school I missed the career-high years of Caguioa and Helterbrand, the people said they were really great, because by the time I got back into the fold they were being overshadowed by the younger players.

Ginebra will get eliminated in this round, they won’t be able to even proceed to the quarter finals. The last time this happened TV5 interviewed a man who cried and cried in front of the camera and asked that there be a change in the coaching staff. They changed the coach all right, they pulled Cariaso in, who was fired after two conferences because he couldn’t rally the team and he was replaced by Ato Agustin who hasn’t fared any better. In came Frankie Lim but it looks like it would goodbye for him too.

So in the last few minutes last night I didn’t make asa anymore and I think it softened the blow somewhat. Coincidentally this came in the heels of watching for the first time the movie Starting Over Again in channel 2 a few hours before the PBA game, One of the learning points of the movie is: don’t be addicted to hope.

Dragged these two in 2016

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