Most of you may not realize it but for the 3rd year running the golfing bankers (or banking golfers) of southern Metro Manila have been engaged in the classic rivalry involving Ateneo and De La Salle. But instead of the hardcourt and hoops, the chosen milieu for these rivals compose of fairways and pin placements.
What seemed to have started as an alcohol-induced dare back in 2009, has gradually evolved into a full-fledged competition of one-upsmanship, from team uniforms and giveaways, to trophies depicting a kneeling archer ready to skewer a flying eagle, and tarpaulins announcing a pre-mature 3-peat victory for the DLSU team.
Since its inception the Captains have been Toto Hilado (RCBC) for DLSU, and Ed Bunyi (currently President of Vantage Equities Inc, and IBank and UCPB in the past) for the ADMU. They have been instrumental in organizing their respective teams, strategizing on partnerships, and formulating the order of play. The objective is to win the Ala-ALa trophy (short for Alabang Ateneo La Salle), but more than that it is to have a good time and to heckle, taunt, and ridicule your opponents in the process.
The first year it was held, it involved a total of only 15 golfers. The undermanned DLSU team of 7 golfers, narrowly defeated the ADMU team by an aggregate team score (net of handicaps) of +15 over, against +19 over for the best 7 golfers of the Ateneo side. Standouts for DLSU were Gino Gozo (ICAP) and Jovy de Ocampo (Citi) who both posted net scores of –3 under. Since they both are regular members of the Alabang Country Club, they banked (no pun intended) on their course familiarity. Mom Aquino (JPMorgan and ADMU) was the low net medalist after shooting a 68 (-4 under) despite holing out for a 9 on the last hole! Sandbagger you say?
In 2010 the DLSU team composed of only 9 golfers, again bested the 10-man squad of ADMU by a net aggregate team score of +16 over, against +30 over. The DLSU team was again bannered by Jovy de Ocamp (Citi), and by Monto Briones (ex-RCBC). Both posted rounds of 70 or net –2 under. Though the low medalist came from the Ateneo team, Rino Gomez’s (Tradition) sterling performance of –5 under wasn’t enough to stem the painful defeat.
This year’s edition was held on July 9, 2011 and it attracted a huge field of 16 golfers per squad. Amongst the participants were the country Treasurers of 6 banks and 1 Multinational Corporation. As is customary, the trash talking commenced as early as 30 minutes before the first golfer actually teed-off. Reuel Javier (PS Bank) started the DLSU campaign with a perfect drive amidst wild cheering from the DLSU team and jeering from the ADMU contingent. One by one as each golfer launched their drives, the initial hoopla was steadily replaced by a quiet tension amongst the golfers. Despite the intermittent showers the golf course played better than expected.
Much to the chagrin of the returning champions, the ADMU team was steadier this time around and wrested the Ala-ALa cup in a runaway fashion. More importantly they now possess bragging rights for the following year. Expectant father Toto Magsuci (ex-HSBC and now of BofA) shot the best round of –6 under and led the ADMU charge. The official photographer for the event Martin Rosadia (ING) posted the best score of –5 under for DLSU, despite having to shuttle between shooting his camera and/or golf club throughout his round.
With the overall tally now at 2-1 in favor of DLSU, the gauntlet has been thrown and next year’s Ala-ALa cup challenge will only encourage a more intense and heated competition as ADMU tries to level the score. But win or lose, whether we are cheering “Animo” or “One Big Fight”, we can always return to the clubhouse regaling at our miscues, counting our losses or winnings (if we are fortunate), while downing a cold sub-zero, and anticipating our next adventure around the links.
Roster of Participants
|Bunyi, Ed – CPT||ex-I Bank|
|Hilado, Toto – CPT||RCBC|
|Avante, Roland||Sterling Bank|
|Lazatin, Vitto||Channel 5|
|Ramos, Joey||China Bank|