The Basketball Ace

I just finished a basketball game.

Against a powerful enemy, Syd Salazar scored 27 points, 4 rebounds, 12 assists, three steals, and a block with 12-for-17 shooting from the field. He usually fouls out early but on that game, he managed to perform awesome feats to lead his team to victory and when he fouled out, the outcome was said and done.

Last season he averaged 20.3 points, 2.3 rebounds, 4.3 assists, 1.4 steals, and 1.1 blocks. He was also a 52 percent shooter with a 71 percent clip outside the arc (although as a point guard, 4-out-of-9 in 30 games are a bit far-fetched). His bad points are his constant fouls and turnovers. He also failed to lead his team to the playoffs even if he was the MVP and the Top Rookie of that season.

This season, his averages dipped. He still fouls out and his turnovers have worsened… but in seven games he is churning up 15.6ppg, 2.1rpg, 6.9apg, 1.6spg, and 0.7bpg in what is one of the worst starts of the Los Angeles Lakers.

What he had right now will hopefully return Syd Salazar to his awesome state.

But let’s face facts here – these stats are only good… on NBA 2k11.

In real life, I am nothing but an armchair jock. When I was thin, my Anime-crazed friends called me Kogure because this was the Slam Dunk character that rides the bench most of the time but still manages to exalt damage. Sure, I know a lot about basketball. I can name a lot of things with regards to either PBA, NBA, or in international play. I know the stars and the benchwarmers… the old people from the current breed…

I know a lot of things that other people can’t.

But like I said, I am a mere poser. It shocked me when three years ago, the actual jocks of the department hailed me as coach. They only named me for that post because “I know a lot about basketball”. Even when unguarded I can’t make a decent three-pointer and much less on a credible trip to the charity stripe.

A week ago, the boys from the office invited me to play. It was laughable at first but I thought they are conspiring to make me the extra guy that would pay. Of all of them, I’d probably have the least time inside the court because I don’t play the game, I am fat, and I am too lazy to even join the shootaround. When my officemates arrived to the scene and had jerseys, basketball shorts, and rubber shoes with them… I played wearing the statement I wore during work, the rubber shoes I wore during work, and the slacks I wore… yeah… during work.

Yeah, I know what you’re thinking…

I bet you’re convinced that I am a moron?

Look, back then our helper got knocked up and left us maid-less. I just thought that since I wore my slacks a second time that I can use it for a pickup game.

Besides, I saw how stylish it is to wear pants while playing hoops from Freestyle.

Although… thinking about it… it could be a bad idea for anyone to play basketball wearing a tuxedo or a superhero outfit…   

And yeah, I played ball.

Not warming up before engaging on a full-court battle was stupid! Offensively, I was a liability. My shooting range doesn’t stretch outside the free throw line and the only shots I can take are set shots. While defensively, I can take the bumps, I don’t jump high and my timing is off to block shots and claim rebounds and the only thing I can do in the shaded area is to merely box out the enemy.

There was a funny spot when I thought I can play without my glasses and my friend Isko launched an overhead pass since I was leading the fast break…

I never saw the ball until it was zooming past my head.

That play sucked.  

But you know what, I could hang! Sure, I wasn’t a pretty player to watch, but I saw a lot of action on me that I never thought I would see! I can screen and grind my ass to disrupt plays and I suddenly had the urge to attempt to block every fast break plays!

The bulge called my tummy was dragging me down but I think I successfully managed it. Now I know how Shawn Daniels plays! I don’t know if the cardio training I did when I was thin worked… or if the year-long absence from smoking paid off… but the huffing and puffing I did was due to moving around and chasing everything I can to make a stat!

I managed to sneak in a rebound or two and I did try to cross the halfcourt line via dribbling.

Call me a late bloomer but until this high has been spent (check in a week later), I think I’ll “try” to play basketball.

Maybe I can extend my shooting range and pull out a “Kogure”?

Although at this stage I am more of a Takamiya.

Game over!


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