After a season long hiatus and inactivity, it's good to be back in the groove. I can't really say if I missed all the action but I do admit that I missed the camaraderie the most. Being relegated to a couch potato, I think I'm close to developing a carpal tunnel syndrome malady due to the frequent use of the TV remote control watching a variety of sports, from NBA finals and WNBA games to tennis, World Cup soccer and bicycling's Tour de France. I also became a TFC subscriber for the first time enjoying " Wowowee" just to find out that it was replaced by a new show. Anyway, it's still a "win na win" situation. So far, we might call this season a summer of discontent with all the heartaches as Lebron James bolts out of Cleveland to join Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh in Miami and the numerous blown calls in baseball and soccer; not to exclude the flops and the noisy sounds of vuvuzelas, it certainly gives a mixed review of sorts.

Kobe Bryant is arguably the best shotmaker in the game today but he couldn't singlehandedly overpower an excellent team like the Celtics. He needed help from Pau Gasol, Ron Artest, Andrew Bynum, etc. to win it all just like Magic Johnson with Kareem, James Worthy and Byron Scott; Michael Jordan with Scottie Pippen, Steve Kerr and company; and Larry Bird with Kevin Mchale, Robert Parish and the great Celtic team of the 80's. .....Just wondering if Kendrick Perkins was healthy enough for that seventh and deciding game of the NBA finals. I am not so sure Kobe will be wearing his 5th championship ring......Watching World Cup soccer, it's unbelievable to see a lot of players flopping, faking injuries and whining so much. Maybe they took the cue from NBA players......Vuvuzela versus wang wang. I'll take neither one. That deafening cheering gadget from South Africa sounded like a swarm of bees and just became annoying, taking out the pure excitement .of the sport. No wonder it's banned in other soccer venues including the next World Cup in Brazil. Mind you, I'll take samba music anytime. As for wang wang, that blaring siren sound is just a symbol of fickle power gone overboard, that's all. ......OLE! OLE! OLE! Viva Espana! That's the dominant chant heard around the world these days. With Pau Gasol of the Lakers winning the NBA championship, Rafael Nadal taking the French and Wimbledon crowns in tennis, Spain ruling the World Cup of soccer and the victory of Alberto Contador in the Tour de France, the Spaniards are the real champs of the world. The Philippines' mother country is really celebrating in style with lots of vino, tapas and paellas. What does it take to win at the highest level like all these guys? A lot of theories will surface but perhaps it's Paul the Octopus as one answer, which correctly predicted all the winners in the World Cup, a remarkable eight out of eight times! However, it may not ring true for Filipinos noting our penchant for "pulutan". Paul might just wind up on the table like fried calamari! If that doesn't work, perhaps I'll just try to change my first name to Goodluck like the president of Nigeria......Whatever happened to AI? Allen Iverson once played for coach Larry Brown while with the Sixers and famously shunned practice. Well, he's having a hard time landing on any team as he's no longer the "ANSWER" to their needs. Maybe he needs to change his monicker to "practice" and hope for the best. Tsk! tsk! tsk! Maybe it's karma but who says attitude doesn't play a significant role at times?

Thinking of a summer getaway? Why not join the PBL's annual camping trip to Sonora, CA at the Tuttletown Recreation Area, not far from the Yosemite National Park on Labor Day weekend? You can reconnect with mother nature, away from all that job stress and the maddening crowd and enjoy the camaraderie, fun, food and lots more with our very own circle of PBL families and friends. For once, you can experience the hiking trails, sweeping panoramic views of the pristine wilderness and sleeping under the crescent moon and bright-lit stars alone or with your loved ones.

The regular season is over and the playoffs begin this weekend. In the Open Division, LBC and CPA Heads sit atop the standings with identical 7-1 records. Bulaga 7, Dickies and Ten Eager are jockeying for position to be the top seed in the Selection Division. The next Tidbits column will cover the playoffs as well as the consolation and championship games. Finally, we would like to extend our deepest sympathy to Linda Gragasin (Tom "Rocky" Gragasin's better half) and her family on her mom's passing recently. Over the years, Manang Linda has been a constant and generous benefactor to PBL causes even allowing their beautiful home on Simpson Drive in Daly City to be a regular haven for many a postgame activities. On a positive note, many happy birthday wishes and returns to Manang Linda Gragasin and our very own commish, the Big Kahuna himself, Oscar "Big Daddy" Estipona who are celebrating their birthdays this month. See you all on the court!