RAH RAH RAH is not the usual cheering chant

Have you been watching games of the PBA (Philippine Basketball Association) on the cable tv lately?  I have.  I have known a long time ago that basketball is the acknowledged national diversion of many Filipinos, and today the PBA is the biggest sporting event in the Philippines in terms of the number of viewers who watch the games, both in the playing venues and on the boob tube.  Its success is simply amazing that fans and the various broadcast media covering every game have obviously been carried away a great number of times by the torrid, faced-paced actions and the superb athleticism exhibited by many of the players that they completely altered the meanings of a lot of words offered in the English language dictionary!

For example, when you are watching a PBA game and suddenly hear the words COOL CAT, you will be surprised that these do not refer to a dispassionately calm feline.  When DYNAMITE aims at its target, you need not scamper because it is not the explosive that contains nitroglycerin.  FAST may be swift, but this one knows when to apply the brakes too when needed, while FEARLESS is challenged time and again inspite of its being brave.  There are several names of petrol stations, but when you hear the FLYING A dashing downcourt, this certainly is not one of those.  You may sometimes find FURIOUS not as intense as it should be, and the H-BOMB missing its target completely.  Bill Gates can’t possibly charter this JET to fly across the United States even if he tries to pay a quarter of his fortune for it.  If MAJOR PAIN is indeed a serious physical suffering, then it must be to the players of the other team.

How can MAN MOUNTAIN be synonymous to being a behemoth when bigger and taller creatures simply put up an umbrella-like defense to obscure its view of the goal?  Possibly but again only to the other team, MENACE brings constant threat.  When MIGHTY MITE tries to save the ball from going out-of-bounds and lands on your lap, you will be relieved to note that this is not the pestering, extraordinarily powerful arachnid.

RAH RAH RAH is not the usual cheering chant, but hey it just evaded three guards and scored a basket!  There is no need to ask for a bulldozer to move the ROCK aside.  A double-team effort can do the work effectively.

What about a number of firemen with special equipment to reach high altitudes?  Should they be called upon in case the SKYSCRAPER gets on fire?  I don’t think that is necessary.  It very seldom does now.

In all likelihood, SLASHER will get the job done!  Never mind, it’s not the dreaded killer who uses an edged blade.  If SLICK is something smooth or slippery, how come those on the other team hate it so much?  When you do watch a game during the tail part of a weekend, try to look for the SUNDAY SPECIAL.  No, it is not an ice cream treat, silly.  It is a three-point specialist!  And while you’re at it, remember to watch out for the THRILLER.  But this one is not the usual fiction with a high degree of intrigue, adventure, or suspense.  It is a fact.

How would you like to travel back in time when some words, not much heard of anymore during PBA games of the present days, were twisted of their true definitions?  Consider the following:

1. The AERIAL VOYAGER did not require a Boeing 747 to glide to the basket for a twinner.  It seemed it had its own wings to soar.
2. BIG J was not necessarily the letter ‘J’ written in uppercase.  It was instead the most charismatic local figure to have played the game.
3. It was not the military rank that we know, but the CAPTAIN did hold the line firmly during crucial situations.
4. Forget about the DESTROYER.  It can’t do much annihilations under the condition it is in right now.  It’s in a sorry state, and very sad indeed!
5. The DIRECTOR did not supervise the stage or screen production of a show.  But it did direct the 1989 Grand Slam spectacle.
6. FLASH then rushed and dashed, but an ugly knee injury sent it to an unexpected early retirement.
7. Would you have preferred your FORTUNE COOKIE handed to you before or after a meal?  It probably did not matter much if the strip of paper inside it indicated real good luck, like if it invited you out for a candlelight dinner.
8. What would you have done if FRANCHISE smiled at you?  You would have surely smiled back intently, but remember that it is neither a privilege nor a right granted.
9. Do you think a Marvel comic superhero roamed the playing courts then?  Well there was IRON MAN, but it was not the one you know.  It was the one that held the record for sometime for playing the most number of games in succession.
10. There was a MAGICIAN around then, but it was not obviously in the league of the wizard Merlin of King Arthur.  It just was able to convert incredible shots.
11. MR. CLUTCH was not a salesman of a certain driving mechanism, although he changed gears a lot of times to make his team win.
12. POINT LAUREATE was evidently not an honor earned for writing prose and poetry.  It was for point-making, in case you did not notice.
13. This PRINCE chose to man the backcourt rather than play atop a horse in a polo game for his sovereign father’s royal team.
14. Many wondered why the SCHOLAR was not a student holding a grant-in-aid.  In fact, it taught many not to attempt "in-your-face" shots while it was the one holding fort.
15. It appeared like it was taking steps in the air as it flew to the basket.  This was SKYWALKER, not Luke though of the famous Star Wars series.
16. If it merely stole balls away from the opponents’ hands, why was the SULTAN OF SWIPES called as such when it was never a master of sharp, critical remarks?
17. Smaller bodies dared to stop the TANK on its tracks since it was not an enclosed heavily armed and armored combat vehicle anyway.
18. Who among you remember the 1960′s Motown band specializing in soul music?  Yeah, you’re right – TOWER OF POWER.  I still do not understand to this day why there was one who did not sing one tune, yet jammed one too many goals out of shape.

Finally, would you like to call someone out from retirement to accomplish what both DYNAMITE and H-BOMB cannot consistently do?  Try the TRIGGERMAN.  He can shoot the lights out in every game – but none of those guns of course!

PBA – The Philippine Basketball Association is the first and oldest professional basketball league in Asia, having been founded in 1975.  It is the second oldest professional basketball league in the world after the United States’ National Basketball Association (NBA).  Its rules are patterned after those of FIBA and the NBA.

COOL CAT – is Mike Cortez, the starting point guard of the Alaska Aces team, wearing jersey no. 11.  He was a product of Carson HS and played for the Golden Eagle basketball team.

DYNAMITE – is Danny Seigle, the 1999 PBA Rookie of the Year awardee.  He was a product of Wagner College, plays forward for the San Miguel Beermen, and is a member of the current Philippine National Basketball Team.

FAST – is JayJay Helterbrand, selected starting point guard of the current Philippine National Basketball Team.  He dons jersey no. 13 for the newly-crowned 2007 PBA Philippine Cup Champions Barangay Ginebra Gin Kings.

FEARLESS – is Ronald Tubid, a product of the University of the East Warriors.  He is also with the Barangay Ginebra Gin Kings, plays forward and wears jersey no. 71.

FLYING A – is Johnny Abarrientos, another member of the Barangay Ginebra Gin Kings team.  He was the 1996 PBA MVP awardee – the shortest player to have won that prestigious award.  He played for the Far Eastern University Tamaraws team in the UAAP (Universities Athletics Association of the Philippines).

FURIOUS – is Mark Caguioa, also nicknamed "The Spark".  He wears jersey no. 47 and is considered the heart and soul of the Barangay Ginebra Gin Kings team’s offensive plays.  He is another one of twelve regular members of the current Philippine National Basketball Team.  He played collegiate ball at the Glendale Community College in California.

H-BOMB – is Rudy Hatfield, a forward at the Barangay Ginebra Gin Kings team wearing jersey no. 99.  He was selected to play for the current Philippine National Basketball Team but begged off due to personal reasons.

JET – is Jeffrey Cariaso, the 1995 PBA MVP awardee.  He currently plays for the Alaska Aces team and was many time member of past Philippine National Basketball teams.  He played collegiate ball with the Sonoma State University Seawolves.

MAJOR PAIN – is Eric Menk, considered the anchor of the powerhouse Barangay Ginebra Gin Kings team.  He was the 2005 PBA MVP awardee and was also a member of past Philippine National Basketball teams.

MAN MOUNTAIN – is Ali Peek, who alternately plays the power forward and center positions for the Coca-Cola Tigers team.

MENACE – is Dennis Espino, plays center for the Sta. Lucia Realtors team.  He played college ball with the University of Sto. Tomas Glowing Tigers team.

MIGHTY MITE – is Jimmy Alapag, the starting point guard of the Talk N Text Phonepals team.  He was named the 2003 PBA Rookie of the Year.  He was also recently picked to play for the newly-assembled Philippine National Basketball Team.

RAH RAH RAH – is Roderick "Olsen" Racela, the starting point guard of the San Miguel Beermen.  He played college ball with the Ateneo de Manila University Blue Eagles team.

ROCK – is Paul Asi Taulava, the star center of the Talk N Text Phonepals team.  He was chosen to be the starting center of the current Philippine National Basketball Team.

SKYSCRAPER – is Marlou Aquino, the other half of the "Twin Towers" of the Sta. Lucia Realtors team.  He played college ball with the Adamson University Falcons team.

SLASHER – is Rodney Santos, another member of the Barangay Ginebra Gin Kings team who is probably in the twilight of his playing career.

SLICK – is Mick Pennisi, perhaps one of those underrated players and who currently plays for the Red Bull Barakos team.  He is one of the players selected to play the center-forward position for the current Philippine National Basketball Team.

SUNDAY SPECIAL – is Sunday Salvacion, the starting small forward of the Barangay Ginebra Gin Kings team.  He was named the 2000 NCAA MVP while playing for the College of St. Benilde team.

THRILLER – is Willie Miller, considered by his own coach at the Alaska Aces team as the team’s local ‘import’ for his ability to pile up points and win games for the team.

AERIAL VOYAGER – was Vergel Meneses, the top pick in the 1992 PBA Draft.  He last played for the Talk N Text Phonepals team.

BIG J – was Robert Jaworski, the 1978 MVP and was both coach and player of the Ginebra team.  He later became a member of the Philippine Senate.

CAPTAIN – was Alvin Patrimonio, one of only two four-time PBA MVP awardees.  His entire playing career was spent with the Purefoods basketball team.  He is currently the Team Manager of that very same team.

DESTROYER – was Rudy Distrito, a former player of the Ginebra team.  He is currently standing trial for a murder case at a Las Vegas court.

DIRECTOR – was Hector Calma, arguably the best point guard who ever played in the PBA.  He was the star point guard of the San Miguel Beermen and is currently its Team Manager.

FLASH – was Bal David, started and ended his playing career with the Ginebra team.  He sported jersey no. 1.

FORTUNE COOKIE – was Fortunato "Atoy" Co, the dreaded sharp-shooter of the defunct Crispa Redmanizers team, which swept all three conference titles in 1976 enroute to the first of four PBA Grand Slam recognitions.

FRANCHISE – was Ramon Fernandez, also invariably nicknamed "El Presidente" and "The Money Man".  He is the only other four-time PBA MVP awardee.  His most memorable stint was with the defunct Toyata Tamaraws team.

IRON MAN – was Jimmy Noblezada, a member of the defunct U-Tex Weavers team which was a pioneer team-member of the PBA in 1975.

MAGICIAN – was Dondon Ampalayo, who was the 1986 PBA Rookie of the Year while playing for the Ginebra team.  He last played with the Alaska team.

MR. CLUTCH – was Francis Arnaiz, the "Robin" in the "Batman and Robin" tandem with Robert Jaworski of the defunct Toyota Tamaraws team, and later of the Ginebra team.  He retired permanently in 1986 and currently resides in the United States.

POINT LAUREATE – was Ronnie Magsanoc, who was the star point guard of the defunct Shell Turbo Chargers team.  He is now a member of the coaching staff of the Purefoods Tender Juicy Hotdogs team.

PRINCE – was Vince Hizon, who saw action briefly with the Boise State.  He played for the Purefoods, Ginebra and Red Bull teams in the PBA.

SCHOLAR – was Philip Cezar, also known then as "Mr. Stretch".  He was the terror shot-blocker of the defunct Crispa Redmanizers team.  He played college ball with the Jose Rizal Heavy Bombers team.

SKYWALKER – was Avelino "Samboy" Lim, now the Team Manager of the Barangay Ginebra Gin Kings team.  He was once the star forward-shooting guard of the San Miguel Beermen.  He played college basketball with the Glendale Community College in California.

SULTAN OF SWIPES – was Bernard Fabiosa, one of the first ‘real’ point guards of the PBA.  The best years of his playing career were spent with the defunct Crispa Redmanizers team.  He is one of the 25 PBA Greatest Players of all time.

TANK – was Noli Locsin, who was the star power forward of the Ginebra team.  He last played for the Red Bull Barakos team.

TOWER OF POWER – was Benjie Paras, the only player to have won both the MVP and Rookie of the Year honors in a single season (1989).  He spent most of his professional playing career with the Shell Turbo Chargers team as its star center-power forward.  He played college ball with the University of the Philippines Fighting Maroons team.

TRIGGERMAN – was Allan Caidic, currently the Team Manager of the Coca-Cola Tigers team.  He was formerly the Head Coach of the Barangay Ginebra Gin Kings team.  While playing for the San Miguel Beermen, he set several all-time records including the record for the most points scored in a single game (79).  He played college hoops with the University of the East Warriors team.