UAAP Season 80: DLSU Green Archers win over the NU Bulldogs, 115-109 – 20170916

Recap by Yoyo Sarmenta / Feature on NU rookie Jordan Bartlett by Charmie Lising / Photos by Winston Baltasar

“The De La Salle Green Archers and National University Bulldogs were caught in a fast-paced, high-scoring game on Saturday, with the defending champions pulling out a 115-109 win to notch their second victory of UAAP Season 80.”

Links to write-ups here:

UAAP Women’s Basketball Championship Game 2: NU vs. DLSU – 20161207

Today, Sep. 16, 2017 at 8am, is the first rematch of the DLSU Lady Archers and the  NU Lady Bulldogs. Since I have other work, I can’t cover it but let me post photos from their championship game last year.

_S1A8139 Pre-game team huddle
DLSU Lady Archers pre-game huddle

The Lady Archers were defeated by the much taller Lady Bulldogs but they played with heart.


NU fielded several National Team players going for a three-peat championship.


_S1A8289 OSD's Gerry Achacoso comforts a distraught Joehanna Arciga
OSD’s Gerry Achacoso comforts a distraught Joehanna Arciga

Postscript: I have to run to shoot the UAAP Basketball games today so I have not completed error checks on this post. My apologies; I will correct tonight. I’ll also post more photos.


Internet speed

Call me old school, but I’m still amazed at how quick it is to publish now. In the old days, I’d send photos to a magazine several weeks before it is out in the newstands. For a breaking story for a broadsheet, you’d have to meet a 10pm deadline before the press run, in time for the newspaper to be out early the next morning.

Today, my editor messages me asking for a photo of PBA players at the Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas scrimmage that I shot the other day. I’m at a coffee shop with my laptop; it takes me a few minutes to find the photo, post-process it in Photoshop, and email it to my editor.

Quicker than lightning (mabilis pa sa kidlat), the photo is published on the internet.

img_3319 Coffee Shop

Here’s the full feature:

UAAP Season 80: UP scores in the last seconds to upend NU – 20170910

“Paul Desiderio called it.

The veteran guard hit the go-ahead triple with 1.4 seconds left to give the UP Fighting Maroons a 74-73 win over the UST Growling Tigers on Sunday at the Mall of Asia Arena.”

Recap by Yoyo Sarmenta / Photos by Winston Baltasar
Read more:

Teaching at De La Salle University – 11 Sep. 2017

I woke up early on the first day of class that Monday, 11th of Sep. Coming from a hectic weekend where I shot four UAAP basketball games and one PBA game, it was not easy to be wide-awake alert. But for my Alma Mater, it was a small sacrifice to make.


I am a pure green-blooded Lasalista, much to the chagrin of my Atenean wife. I studied at De La Salle College (Taft) for grade school, La Salle Green Hills for high school, and finally graduated in De La Salle University (DSLU), upgraded and still on Taft Avenue).

Navigating my way through the school was easy. I came in through the DLSU South Gate although my classes are in the Miguel building, closer to the North Gate. As usual, the memories flooded in at the site of the neo-classic architecture.


Here is where I used to play handball but the handball courts are gone. Here is where I punctured my palm on an errant nail on the criss-crossed wooden wall panelin while playing Habol-Taya. No more nails on the walls but I don’t run much anymore.


The gigantic Henry Sy building occupies most of the football field where I learned to goalkeep. I pass by it, suppressing a sigh as I recollect my bygone youth.

The Miguel building is at the far end of the photo above. I taught a class of Sports Photography there in the first trimester of last school year, 2016-2017. It is the first trimester of this school year and I wonder what awaits.

I’m teaching Sports Photography again, this time to two classes. All my students are athletes, which makes it especially interesting. Their sports are fencing, volleyball, track and field, badminton, taekwondo, baseball, tennis, basketball, even chess. It will be an interesting trimester. I look forward to shooting those sports I have not shot before, hoping to inspire these athletes to perform better.

Teaching is in my blood. My parents, aunts and uncles on both sides were teachers. There is a deep satisfaction in passing on knowledge to the youth. I get as much as I give.



UAAP Opening – 9 Sep 2017

Season 80 of the UAAP opened with pomp and circumstance as expected. UAAP greats, past and present paraded at the MOA Arena center court to the delight of the fans. 

Some of the DLSU greats feature in the Wall of Greats (see previous) blog post like Basketball star Ren Ren Ritualo were present. Also Senator Pia Cayetano of the last champion UP Volleyball team, Roni Magsanoc, Track & Field impesario Rio de la Cruz, former NU MVP Billy Ray Parks and many more. 

UAAP Season 80 Men’s Basketball Previews

UAAP Season 80 Opening is coming up on Saturday, Sep. 9! We will be at MOA Arena this weekend (both Saturday and Sunday) to cover the Opening Ceremonies and the Men’s and Women’s Basketball games. We are quite excited that we are going to sleep early Friday tonight to store energy for this exciting weekend.

In the meantime, here’s are links to Sports5’s previews of the Men’s Teams. Written by Yo Sarmenta with photos from Winston Baltasar.

_S1A8965 Can DLSU Ben Mbala and Kib Montalbo two-peat

_P2A9958 Ateneo Alma Mater with Chibueze Ikeh tearing up

_S1A6398 FEU's Comboy and Dennison battle for the rebound

_S1A4679 Adamson's Sarr, Espeleta, and Ahanmisi protect the ball

_S1A2807 NU's Alejandro and Salem

(UP Photo to follow)

Flashback Friday: Olympic Qualifying Trials (Basketball) at MOA Arena – July 2016

Words and Photos by Winston Baltasar

In July of 2016, I shot the Olympic Qualifying Trials (Basketball) for Sports5. On the first day of the games, when Tristan Thompson of Canada (and the then NBA Champion Cleveland Cavaliers) posterized the Turkish center, I was there to capture the moment.
Tristan posted my photo on his Instagram page. It garnered tens of thousands of positive reactions on social media but I’m just happy to have been in the right place at the right time.img_9560


On a somber note, a few days before the games, a bomb exploded in Turkey’s airport. In the pre-game vs. Gilas Pilipinas, the Turkish team was a picture of sadness when their national anthem was played. Our thoughts went to the people who died and were gravely wounded in this tragedy.img_9504

After the Turkish National Anthem was played, it was time for Lupang Hinirang. The poignant sadness of the Turkish Team carried over to Gilas Pilipinas.img_9488

The games were highly entertaining, nevertheless. The Philippines is still Basketball Country after all. One of my favorite shots is of spitfire Terrence Romeo flashing past the much taller French player. Boris Diaw, of the San Antonio Spurs, in the background with his mouth open is a bonus.img_9570

But all good things must pass. After a week with some of the best basketball players in the world, France beat Canada to win the qualifying tournament, which got them a ticket to play in the 2016 Rio Olympics.

The photo below was difficult to shoot as there was a phalanx of photographers in between the French team and me, since I had just come from the press room to send photos to my editor. I had to crawl on my hands and knees between the legs of the photographers, carrying the heavy (but fantabulous) Canon 1DX Mark II camera and an equally heavy 70-200mm lens attached it.

I saw a window of opportunity between someone’s knees and someone else’s thigh when the colored confetti flew. Tony Parker turned towards my camera with a smile and the rest is history. 

Bonus are two more NBA players in the frame, Nic Batum and the ubiquitous Boris Diaw. 

We welcome comments, questions, and suggestions. Follow us here for more of my photojournalist journey. 



The Magician Efren “Bata” Reyes defeats World Champion Wunderkind Wu Jian Qing – 30 Dec. 2011

Efren “Bata” Reyes is called the Magician because of his amazing skill, especially with his trick shots. To see him live, as we did in 2011, was astounding.


Bata was not expected to win against Wu, the young champion, but he played with confidence and aplomb.


Bata led early but we wondered if he was tiring because Wu was catching up. Then Wu scratched to the delight of the hometown crowd.


Despite the long match, Bata was still friendly with his fans. Truly an amazing gentleman.

img_2297 Efren after the game

I don’t often have my photo taken with celebrities but with Efren “Bata” Reyes, I was delighted to do so.

img_2295 Efren and I