MANILA, December 23, 2005 
(STAR) SPORTING CHANCE By Joaquin M. Henson - Here’s an interesting, if not intriguing, letter from a reader named Clint (kamahalmahalan@yahoo.com) reacting to our recent column on Houston Rockets assistant coach Pat Ewing. The letter was forwarded by Amanda Sandoval of amanda940806@yahoo.com.

The column related how Ewing waved off sports broadcaster Janelle So who asked for his autograph after the Rockets game against Portland at the Rose Garden last Dec. 11.

"I’m an avid basketball fan of the PBA and NBA," wrote Clint. "I’m now based in Southern California. I came to know a story about Ewing even before he was recruited to play for Georgetown.

"Well, the bottom line is the guy is illiterate. Yes, that’s right. He can speak English very well but can he read and write" The only thing he knows to write is his name. Georgetown had to teach him to write his name for the university’s function. Maybe, this will be a consolation for the Bedan guys, Janelle and especially you. That’s the basic reason he is a snob — to cover his 3 Rs problem (reading, ’riting and ’rithmetic).

"Joyeux Noel and a blessed 2006 to our beloved mother country and more power to the Philstar group. P.S., I would like to congratulate my friend and roommate, Atty. Herbert Dilig, and his beloved and sumptuous wife Alen and their only one A.L., from Puerto Princesa, Palawan, a Bedan for being the newest and brightest fiscal (prosecutor/D.A.) in Palawan."

Thanks for the letter, Clint. As for your use of the word "sumptuous" to describe your friend’s wife, I hope she takes it as a compliment. Otherwise, you’ve just lost a friend.

* * *

The other day, former La Salle Alumni Association president Eduardo (Danding) Lucero sent in this letter on Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism writer Charlene Dy’s two-part series entitled "How far can college cage teams bend the rules" published in The STAR recently.

Lucero cited this paragraph in the first of Dy’s two-part series as a disturbing indicator of bias:

"Yet when asked if other schools in the UAAP had also investigated themselves for possible document falsification, league secretary and Adamson representative Dr. Ricardo Matibag replied sharply, ‘No, no, no. Because the anomaly is only La Salle, why (would) they want to do (that) with other schools? The anomaly is only with La Salle because La Salle has the motto of winning at all costs.’"

Lucero commented on Matibag’s retort:

"As a La Sallian, I find this position taken by Dr. Matibag both disturbing and irresponsible for the following reasons:

"First, Dr. Matibag is a member of the UAAP fact-finding committee which reported to the Board last Dec. 14 that it had not concluded its probe. If the statement (by Dr. Matibag) was made before the committee started its investigation, then he clearly has prejudged the issue; if it was made after, then am I to presume that the committee has finished its probe and is he now announcing its findings?

"Second, to my knowledge, La Salle has not asked the other UAAP schools to ‘investigate themselves’ for possible document falsification. Obviously believing the opposite to be the case, Dr. Matibag said, ‘No, no, no. Because the anomaly is only La Salle, why (would) they want to do (that) with other schools?’"

"La Salle has voluntarily disclosed the ineligibility of two of its players, returned its season 68 championship trophy and forfeited all its season 68 games, including its runner-up position. I understand that the penalty for unwittingly fielding ineligible players is the forfeiture of games.

"After an almost daily run after this hit the papers in October and now with this PCIJ article, Dr. Matibag should have been able to discern where La Salle was coming from. If he has not, he has no business imputing motives until he proves otherwise.

"Dr. Matibag is not only a member of the UAAP fact-finding committee but also a member of the Board that will ultimately mete the possible sanction(s) on La Salle. I see his bias and can only conclude that he is an unfit judge."

The UAAP Board of Trustees will decide on La Salle’s fate early next year.

Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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