Mendoza: One miss, one wish

Al Mendoza

I MISSED the one that I had wanted the most: the Grand Slam that San Miguel Beermen should have won.

The Beermen had lost grip of it when they shouldn’t, transforming 2019 as “The Year That Wasn’t.”

I’ve said it before but no harm saying it again.

The slide began when San Miguel shipped Christian Standhardinger to Northport for Mo Tautuaa.

While Northport basked in glory with Standhardinger’s stellar performance, the so-so team nearly even snaring a first-ever stint in the semifinals, not so with San Miguel.

Sadly, the Beermen barely extracted any creative juices from Tautuaa.

Add that “basketbrawl” during practice that sparked headlines and the Beermen got virtually buried to the pits of infamy.

Four Beermen involved in the fracas, including the prolific import Dez Wells and ex-MVP and still topnotch gunner Arwind Santos (the other two are Ronald Tubid and Kelly Nabong), were swiftly canned by management.

And with the quartet’s indefinite suspension serving as deadweight, the decimated Beermen miserably got mangled in the quarterfinals.

So suddenly, as in a mega-quake of Intensity 9.0 hitting Japan in 2011, San Miguel transformed from great to grief.

The joy of a two-conference sweep in 2019 ended with a big thud in the season’s concluding third conference, almost copying the same Beermen finish of two conferences won and of missing the third jewel of a Triple Crown feat in the 2017 season.

Thus, SMB remains stuck with its lone Grand Slam scored in 1989.

I can only wish for a San Miguel rebound this year but, to be honest, my chief wish is for us to win our first Olympic gold ever in Tokyo in July.

Call me selfish but I pin much of my hopes on Carlos Yulo to win it through his favorite event, the floor exercise, which made him the first Filipino world gymnast champion in October in Stuttgart, Germany.

With that, he pocketed millions from government/private incentives, amassing more in the 30th Southeast Asian Games with his twin gold victories.

My sporting prayers for 2020?

Yulo winning in Tokyo, if not weightlifter Hidilyn Diaz.

I wish no more.