Go Archers -

N.S.W.F. 1989

By AbsolutVerde

(a Eduardo Galeano, una sonrisa tímida)

Everywhere one looked, eras were ending and eras were beginning. Wood panels finally sealed the windows of the Benilde building, the last on the main campus to be fully air-conditioned. A VAX 8350 computer that cost USD 449,089 moved into its ground floor to lord over the five mini-computers and 240 microcomputers on the university grid. Behind green monitors and on floppy disks, the C-Brain and Pentagon viruses lay in wait. A “University Mall” rose over Syfu’s parking lot with Pizza Hut, Kentucky Fried Chicken, and Maxim’s Tea House on ten-year leases. Gone were the 280 parking spaces that the chickers and their bebis used for tambayan, tsibugan…and kangkungan. The administration suggested the front lot at the newly opened College of Saint Benilde across Taft. Bomalabs naman, the students complained: who would want to pay PhP 6 a day for parking?!

Alejandro Lichauco came to speak on Nationalist Economics. University Week celebrations featured a tribute to Jose Wright Diokno. Bienvenido Santos discussed how to tap the creativity of students and Isagani Cruz discoursed on Balagtas and Engleton. Someone from the Kabataang Makabayan painted an alibata symbol on the backstairs wall of the SPS building, warning of mayhem if tuition fees hit PhP 5,000 a term. One Brother yelled to another: “Stop running the University like ShoeMart!!!” La Salle Students for Democratic Action, PoliSci, Tapat, Malate and Plaridel demanded a democratic, autonomous, assertive, socialist, feminist, and nationalist education. Santugon, on a second consecutive year of Executive Board dominance, called for a “less snobbish and more approachable Student Council”. The La Sallian discussed the perfume choices of students.

Things were coming to a head. Discipline Officers had their hands full stopping students from sitting on the floor along hallways. Security guards were conscripted to quiet students who were “abusing the cool surroundings” of the new Library. The SPS building was the first to be declared smoke-free while the Campus Ministry Office tried harder to define “proselytising”. A Political Science thesis split the College of Liberal Arts: the failing grade given by the departmental panel was disregarded by the Dean, who appointed a new panel. C. Bautista, Abueg, Lota, and Gojocco protested in writing. A brawl broke out “at the flick of a switch” during the last 13 seconds of friendly match between La Salle and Ateneo on the third anniversary of EDSA. The venue was the Ultra, the game was abandoned with Ateneo leading 72-84, and team manager Atty. Rafael Dinglasan formally apologised. The rest of us were exhorted to be B.O.B.O. — to “Bring Out the Best in Ourselves”. Paul Zaldarriaga returned to campus to defend the trimestral system — it had been based on his IME thesis (a cash flow study) some years before.

For eight days in December, the fate of the Aquino government hung in the balance. Two reporters from The La Sallian followed the events with a Ricoh 135 and a Canon 110 instamatic. One of them was shot in the leg for his pains.

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From The La Sallian (September 1989 Issue)

Adamson University hosted the 52nd season of the UAAP, urging “Brotherhood through Sports”. Frederick S. Pumaren sent the following Green Archers to challenge for the crown: Richard del Rosario, Eddie Viaplana, Johnedel Cardel, Rafa Dinglasan, Teddy Monasterio, Jun Limpot, Jonas Mariano, Lincoln Lim, Joey Sta. Maria, Gee Abanilla, Arnel Guste, Dong Vergeire, Oliver Bunyi, and Jun Torral. Richard Bachmann, who started the previous year, suffered an injury and had to sit out the season. A cheering group called the Green Rooters was formed, with 31 boys and 14 girls. The girls wore skirts that were longer than Limpot’s shorts.

La Salle opened against the UST Glowing Goldies one Sunday at the Araneta Coliseum, and won handily 88-69. Against FEU, who had eight of its players also in the Philippine Amateur Basketball League (PABL), the Archers were nearly flawless, winning 111-101. Shortly after, Cardel, Pumaren, and a vastly improved Limpot would leave on national duty to play in the SEA Games. There they would team up with Gilbert Reyes, Jr. who had tormented them the year before. Everyone prepared for a first-round derby with La Salle missing its coach and two top players, and Ateneo missing the league’s reigning Most Valuable Player. But they all made it back for the showdown at high noon, which La Salle won 77-69. “Parang natanggalan ng tinik”, Pumaren said. In their second round meeting, La Salle were without their three aces, who were off to the ABC tournament in Beijing, but Ateneo kept Reyes home “to attend to his studies”. With La Salle shooting 29%, they succumbed to Ogie Narvasa’s Blue Eagles 61-67.

In the last game of the second round, La Salle met the FEU of Turing Valenzona, de Guzman, Postanes, Pablo, Punzalan, Pat Codinera, Cruz, Mondarte, Tiu, and a young Johnny Abarrientos for a twice-to-beat advantage in the Finals. Dinglasan of the Archers shot six triples in that game but FEU’s de Guzman only needed two free throws at the end of it to carry his team to the cusp of a championship. Pumaren was defiant: “We are not yet second”. His secret weapon? Senior second-stringer Gelacio Abanilla, who scored seven points — or eight or ten or forty — in the extra period of the do-or-die match, after Monasterio had fouled out.

15 October 1989, Rizal Memorial Coliseum. The end of the season, the parquet slick, the ceiling steamy. Someone hung an “Animo La Salle” streamer on the official scoreboard. In the crowd, halfway through a Grand Slam with the San Miguel Beermen, a young Franz Pumaren sat and watched. His coach Norman Black had given him leave that day. He remembered his first season in the UAAP: four wins, ten losses, including a heart-rending game against Ateneo in which his seven three-point shots were not enough. He wondered if he would ever see La Salle win a UAAP championship.

The battle was titanic. Neither team led by more than one point for the first six minutes until Pablo carved out a five point lead for his Tamaraws at the half. La Salle adjusted, assigning Monasterio to double on Pablo while he and Cardel alternated on FEU’s other threat, Alejandro de Guzman. The result — a 13-1 run, capped by a swooping Cardel lay-up off a Monasterio fastbreak that gave La Salle the lead for good. The game ended 74-69, with Eddie Viaplana nailing an open three point shot with 16 seconds left. Everywhere one looked, eras were ending and eras were beginning.

[Many thanks to ArcherPride.com‘s Rektikano for the clippings and the shoptalk.]

Photos below courtesy of GreenWithin as posted in Archerpride.com

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