Thursday, April 19, 2007

Savage: The Game of the Chosen Few

by: Roxy

The heat was intense, almost cruel. Spectators, including myself, settled at the bleachers. Our brilliant strategy against the summer sun screams: “… then we will WATCH in the shade!”

As I pour tons of precious sunblock on my exposed skin, I look at the seven, green warriors beside me. Russ the Captain seems dazed; Bokie looks relaxed and eager to play; Carlson is smiling and checking out girls’ butts (my guess is that they’re correlated); Pia is chatty as usual, Jo is exploding with energy and inspiration (thanks to the presence of her supportive family, or could it be because of the new phone?); Dave is chatting with Flo; and Chris, the last minute on-call player, is sleeping.

I wonder what’s going on in their heads. Fighting sunstroke is one thing to worry about; the heavy competition under a no-substitution rule is a whole different matter. I seriously think these guys are nuts.

WTF is Savage?

The word “savage” in Ultimate implies the type of game wherein a team can only field seven players for an entire game, the length of which is 30 minutes. Normally, a team’s roster has nine players, but only seven can play in a whole game. The other players can play savage the next game. However, during last Sunday’s ION Savage Ultimate Tournament ’07 at the Alabang Country Club, the word “savage” was stretched to the limit. A team can only register seven players who will play five to six games, no subs, the whole day. Again, I seriously think these players are nuts.

The Savagery Begins

Six teams registered under the Open Mix Division (TODA, Cocoy’s Thunders From Down Under, Donald’s PULA Team, Askalz, Disc Devils, and Breakfast Club), while there were five teams registered for the Intercollegiate Division (Olym PIA, UP-A, UP-B, Disc Devils B, and Xavier). The teams arrived at 8am, and were entertained by hotness hosts, Mikee Evers and Will Devaughn (the guy in the McDo rice burger commercial), while ION organizers busy themselves scheduling of games.

At 10am, the tourney started. Armed with a borrowed digicam with zooming features intended for stalking purposes, and not for action photography, I eagerly watched TODA’s first fight against Cocoy’s Thunder from Down Under (Alabangers). The bleachers were occupied by screaming TODA fans, which comprises of me, Tisha, the whole BC team, and Jo’s family (who claps and screams every time Jo catches or successfully passes a disc). It was super riot – we were cheering for TODA at the top of our lungs while completely oblivious to the fact that our voices were echoing and being transmitted from the nearby sound system for everyone to hear. Whoops, sorry po! We couldn’t help it, eh. *hic* “One more shot, please, Mamu.”

On the second half, Cocoy’s Thunder started picking up their game, while Toda continued on with their good offense flow. It was a close fight! Mamu and Flo started gulping Ion mixed with Ginebra, grumbling every time the Alabangers score. Unfortunately, Cocoy’s Thunder gained enough momentum to win the game, but TODA went out the field in good spirit knowing they played one of their best savage games ever.

The smooth and impressive play of Team TODA continued to their next game against BFF (Best Friends Forever) Team, the Breakfast Club. It was sheer fun watching these two teams play savage. Competitive-but-friendly-to-boot was the kind of game played. TODA was BC’s first fight, but apparently, their fresh legs worked to TODA’s advantage since the green machines were already warmed up and running full speed. Add to this, TODA’s offense flow were still smooth as silk. They worked the disc to the endzone with short-but-sweet passes. Good cuts, minimal drops, and mean Ds. Believe it or not, Mikee Evers was following TODA’s games and even announced on the microphone: “Oh, the green team is playing here on Field 1, Will. You know, I’ve noticed that TODA (pronounced as “Towdah”) is really good, and their fights are usually intense!”

After winning against BC, the physically depleted TODA players went back to the bleachers to refresh. A few minutes after, Mikee Evers climbed up, approached Russell (to Bok’s obvious dismay) and interviewed him. Hoots from the crowd drowned Russell’s reply – so yeah, we don’t really know how he answered Mikee Evers’ questions. As soon as she left, Chris Ng started teasing Russell about Mikee, to which Russell’s simple reply was, “Wala syang pag-asa sa akin!” Yabang! Tamaan ka sana ng kidlat! Ka-baaaam! Joke, Russy!

Aside from the free flowing supply of water, ice, plastic cups, and ION Energy Drinks, lunch was also served: Brothers Burger with fries and iced green tea for the players, unlimited ION Energy Drinks for the onlookers. Boo! The sugar rush gave me migraine. After lunch time, I went to Rico’s car to rest, watching TODA’s game against Askalz from afar. Using the same “open space, safe throws of dump and forward pass” strategy used against BC, TODA beat Askalz 9-2 . Astig noh?!

The team played one and a half more games after the Askalz game. They played versus Donald’s PULA Team. Even though the team lost, 8-2, they gave Donald’s team some hell of a great fight! Their last (and “a half”) game was against Disc Devils. They played a light 6-on-6 game, since Devils already has a sure seat at the championship stake (against Donald’s team), while TODA, although still itchy to play, was spirited enough to let Devils save their energy for the upcoming finals game. After 15 minutes of scrimmage, Capt. Russell called off the game, and TODA wished the Devils good luck.

Hats Off to TODA!

Deeply impressed over TODA’s performance that day, I tried to analyze what could be the things they were doing right. For one, almost all players in the team know how it is to be a “handler,” and therefore, know the right areas to cut in order to make Dave’s and Boks’s (their primary handlers) lives easier. Everybody, except for the designated long, Chris, were also cutting towards the handler instead of running towards the endzone. Although this made each point challenging to earn, it reduced the risks involved, especially since most of the players in other teams were tall and experienced endzone hustlers. I’m sure there were other reasons for the great play day, but then again, this kikay spectator isn’t much of a pro disc player. So I’ll leave the insiders’ testimonies to Russell, Bok, Jo, Pia, Dave, Chris, and Carlson.

We ended the day all tired and drained. Hey, Tish and I didn’t play, but it wasn’t easy being photographers and lone cheerers for the team, (damn you, Papi!) especially since we had to double our yells and cheers with that awesome display of teamwork and disc skills shown by TODA. After seeing them, and the other savage teams, play – I change my mind. I don’t think they’re nuts at all. I think they rock!!!

Congratulations to the Champions!

UP-A for intercollegiate division
PULA for the open mix division

Salute to the runner ups for putting up an awesome fight!
OlymPIA for the intercollegiate division
Disc Devils for the open mix division
Big cheers to the Breakfast Club for winning the Best Cheer Award! =D
ION CHEERS to all disc addicts who played savage!
To hell with cramps, nose bleeds, heat stroke, and hella-huge blisters! Awoo!

Monday, April 09, 2007

anawangin beach adventure

april 7-8, 2007

claire, jb, jc, jo, pia, russel, david, eugene, soki, teban and sol went out camping at anawangin beach at zambales, and a sidetrip to capones island.

claire pics here.

jb's pics here.

david's pics here.

this is the 2nd toda of toda's annual adventure trip. last year it was at mt. daguldol, batanggas. (pics here and here)

Thursday, March 22, 2007

TODA training at San Lo - March 08, 2007

by Jo

Hmmm attendance was not that good, usual addicts were there practicing their throws and doing drills on their own for strengthening and skill enhancement.

What we did:

At 730 we started the usual dynamic stretching, followed by the static stretching. Since there are only a handful who were present, girls and boys did drills together.
25 back hands and forehands – person gets a partner and do game throws (full extension). This drills enhances muscle memory on throwing and even catching, so during the games, focus will be shifted in more important matters (i.e. focus on identifying best receiver/cutter).
20 crunches - and for the others, more challenging abs strengthening exercise with free peep show!  leg raises with spotter :D

The lecture: TRAVELLING!!!

Conducted by the animal kingdom of TODA: Crab and Cricket  with samba chocolates for smart asses and sweet tooths!

Crab did demonstration of the different scenarios on catching the disc (although, its really hard to tell the difference, good thing there's cricks to save the day! heheh peace crab! You did a good job!)

Main points.

1. The thrower must establish a pivot foot at the appropriate spot in the field and may not change until the throw is released.-->avoid dragging your foot before the release of the throw.

2. If a player speeds up, changes direction or obviously takes more steps than are required to stop after catching a pass and before establishing a pivot, that player has traveled.

3. If a receiver is running or jumping while catching the disc, the receiver may throw a pass before the 3RD GROUND CONTACT after catching the disc without attempting to stop.

What else did we do??!?
go-to drill forehand and backhand – player runs straight and cuts hard to the open area where the thrower gives a lead pass just within the boundaries of the cones. In this drill, we focus on the timing of our throws as well as reading the skill level of the cutter thus adjusting our throws and making them catchable. Though most of us still need to perfect this skill.
Huck drill – handler throws the disc and there were an offensive and defensive players who went for the disc. (with sound effects c/o Jhong ninininininininininini)
Since this is the only time I can continue this write-up, i forgot if we had some other drill after this, I just remembered el capitan ordering us to do pushups, again - and for others painful leg raises.
The usual pick up game. Since there are only few of us, the game was mixed. i have no more memory of what happened after this… oh yeah, Dave A. didn’t come for practice, I wonder why?

“late Tuesday evening, Yakal cor P.Tamo… Dave A: Noooohhhhhh!!!!!!!”

I think that’s about it…

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

…of practicing and getting better

by andy

March 6, Tuesday, headed to San Lorenzo Park for our regular ultimate frisbee practices. I was looking forward for more disc throwing actions… I need to be trained on other types of throws, work on my backhand and forehand, assist and, well, score more.

Warm-up: We jogged making at least two lapses, which involved high knees jog and one sprint around the field to warm up and a couple varieties of Ultimate Frisbee as we waited for a few more people to show.

Huddle……This time around, we were gathered for the night’s lecture. Here’s what we have learned so far:

1. Focus - concentrate on every aspect of the game. Think of nothing else but the game.
2. Space – give enough space for cutting to avoid clogging.
3. Weight – learn to shift weights, on faking throws, pivoting, cutting, etc. Stay balanced.
4. Communication – learn the art of communication, through eye contact or body movement
5. Efficiency – read and catch disc with accuracy.
6. Possession – do whatever it takes to gain possession of the disc

Drills: We were paired up to do 25 forehands and backhand each. Somehow, I finally figured out my backhand throw by the way, (thanks Cricks). We also did the 3-man drill to practice our offense and defense and improve on our “game throws”. How to D: It’s basically saying “y’aarrr”, definitely what we just needed. The IHOS and the HIJAS then each had a separate drill, which is, the “Go To’ and Dump drill.

Looking at the way we do our regular drills, I figured that what we are doing is not just practicing, but actually about getting better. We look at areas to focus, identifying weaknesses and attacking them. Do some reflections on why we were not able to achieve what we yearn for and what we can change or improve to achieve that goal. It might be frustrating, but that’s what it takes to achieve greatness.

Finally, another huddle to strategize on the play, before promptly walking away to play Ulitmate Frisbee in the dark…..

:) andy

Monday, February 19, 2007

amihan07 week 1 results

Week 1 - February 18, 2007, Camp Aguinaldo





8:00 - 9:00 am

32SP v Roaches
(9 -11)

Manwhores v Askalz
(11 - 0)

Devils v IHOS
(11 - 5)

9:10 - 10:10

CUTE v Xavier B
(11 - 0)

DICE v Xavier A
(11 - 5)

Pendejos v Ratbu
(5 - 7)

10:20 - 11:20

Manwhores v Roaches
(5 - 11)

32SP v Underdogs
(11 - 4)

Devils v Askalz
(10 - 7)

11:30 - 12:30

DICE v Xavier B
(11 - 5)

(6 - 11)

Pendejos v Xavier A
(6 - 10)

12:40 - 1:40 pm

DDDS v FlagFooted
(11 - 3)

Jeepney v Ratbu
(8 - 5)

Huck U v Undergdogs
(9 - 7)

1:50 - 2:50

Jeepney v Undercats
(11 - 0)

Dontcha v Dbirgins
(11 - 0)

Pokeumon v Hijas
(4 - 6)

3:00 - 4:00

Dontcha v Undercats
(11 - 0)

Jeepney v FlagFooted
(7 - 3)

Huck U v Jeepney
(2 - 10)

4:10 - 5:10

Pokeumon v Dbirgins
(4 - 8)

DDDS v Hijas
(11 - 1)

Undercats v FlagFooted
(0 - 8)