when wj gets the ball rolling

are you familiar with tasmanian devil or taz of the looney tunes series?

i bet you are. now, picture wj possessing the tazmanian devil’s energy last december 2, sunday morning.
from doing an hour’s training run from our village to pilar subdivision, i had to prepare the day’s breakfast right after removing my rubber shoes and changing my shirt. with this accomplished, i proceeded to tending our mini garden. finally, i was also able to place a different variety of ornamental plant in between the now tall and mature scarlett and bloody mary in front of our house. with the planting done satisfactorily, i had to sweep all the dried leaves which fell from a neighbor’s mango and avocado trees and were blown to our area.
perspiration had started coming out of my pores. i liked the feel of it. more sweat, more burnt calories.
i was still in the middle of my gardening when lancelot, my youngest son, went out of the porch with his basketball ball and a sad face. automatically, i had to inquire. he responded in an annoyed voice complaining that his twin brothers didn’t like to play with him. i sympathized with my knight. to be the youngest in the family would also mean being at the “mercy” of his older brothers when it comes to the time of doing a certain activity. playing basketball is one of them. seeing his enthusiasm to play that morning and i, not wanting to suppress it, had to tell him that i would play with him at the village basketball court right after finishing my task at hand. his reply was curt: “babae ka po.” i chuckled. here is my son, having a wrong notion that basketball is just for boys. i had to make a quick explanation. i told him, he still has to watch NBA women players to be convinced that they are as good as their male counterparts on the court. he kept quiet. i think his desire to play was stronger than doubting me. so he agreed to play with me.
since it was our first time to go there, i had zero idea on the rules and regulations as regards use of the court. when we arrived there, three teenagers were going out of the court and i saw that they unlocked the main gate. upon seeing me, one of them asked if we would be using it. with my affirmative answer, he handed me the key, then i immediately asked what i would be doing next with it. instructed to hand it to the guard of phase 2 after playing, i now concluded that the court is not available 24 hours a day.
so, we entered the court and locked it. there were already young adults who were actually gathered outside the court and i overheard that they were waiting for someone who would bring a ball. which means to say that they would be playing, too. i looked at knight and noticed that he became conscious of the unexpected bystanders, thus he did not start playing at once. i prodded him to start dribbling and shooting already and not to mind these unwelcome “audience”. he obeyed.
then, mother and son tandem, we started playing. what was funny was that he just wanted me to watch him and give him the ball everytime he would shoot it. as a result, he would complain everytime i would steal the ball from him. i guess, he could not yet accept the fact that i also knew how to play this sport.
i smiled. i had to do a flashback while assisting my son in his most loved game.
you see, i used to be a basketball junkie when i was still single. ooops…not that i would play it like a pro but as a watcher… a fan. i remember not missing any PBA games on tv (and for six times watched them live at ultra and cuneta astrodome) being a die-hard supporter of san miguel beer team because of norman black, ramon fernandez, samboy lim, allan caidic, hector calma, etc.
don’t ask me what team i “hated” most. i might start a word war here. hahahahaha…
pba tickets in my framed collage
pba tickets in my framed collage
anyway, watching basketball was a favorite pastime in our family having to support a common team. with a very sports-minded father (a blackbelter and instructor in judo, an amateur boxer-trainor, a table tennis champion, a swimmer) my exposure to sports was early.
papa in his 1981 overseas work
papa in his 1981 overseas work
in his best form
in his best form
doing body conditioning in preparation for his judo instructorship
doing body conditioning in preparation for his judo instructorship
he was the one who inspired me that’s why it was no suprise in the family if i became very much interested in sports especially during my heydays. ironically, he never encouraged me to take judo even if i was his constant companion in solztech where he would hold his classes during my elementary years. the possibility became even more remote when my older sister jovy almost hyperventilated the first time she did judo sparring. it signaled the end of obet’s budding “career” in sport.
 now, for basketball, he okayed my just being a fan. as a player, it was a big NO. as for having a romantic relationship with a PBA basketball player? a BIG BIG NO! hahahahaha…oh, dear. would you believe, wandering jouster had a taste of a para-celebrity experience in year 1991 because of basketball? i better keep mum on this. i don’t want my father turning in his grave if i would be narrating it here. well, it’s a part of my prime years. an affirmation that my papa succeeded in making a lady out of me by heavily guarding me as their youngest child and daughter.
 i stopped myself from reminiscing as i started to miss my father, my idol.
as i watched knight trying his very best to shoot the ball into the hoop, i uttered a short prayer to make one of his dreams — an excellent basketball player — be a reality .

i am sure if his lolo pong were still alive, he would have a very good and patient coach.


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