Ruby Soho (1996 – 2011)

A couple of months ago, I talked about Ruby Soho’s Final Destination. Unfortunately, the last hurrah did not end the way we had hoped as we lost in the finals. Despite that, it was truly a remarkable run and it was worth all the sacrifices (not attending company outings, canceling out-of-town trips, etc).

Mike wrote something that I could relate to including #2 because Ruby Soho was certainly a brotherhood.

by Mike Villar

5. FIVE (5) CHAMPIONSHIPS (1996-98; 2005-06)

Out of 10 Finals appearances, we won 5 championships. Not bad for a team, where its main strength are not the talent and skills, but the team’s immeasurable heart. Yes, we are all fixated with the idea of becoming the best every year (In my part, to become a champion on my last year), but when I view it in a wider and more mature perspective, I realize that achieving 5 championships were actually too much of what I’ve really expected. So I am very thankful for that rare achievement.


From the Original Ruby Soho team (“Uncle Boys’ Boys), The Alvin Verdijo-Allan Felixmena-Marc Sevilleno trio, KC Inong and the “Veterans” era, up to the ENEMA years, one common denominator each team had was we knew how to play as a team. We have proven that over the years, and i feel that every player who became a Ruby Soho, has brought the attitude of being a team player, whatever team he plays for and whatever he faces in life. I am happy and proud to say that all the teammates I’ve played for has become my friends too…and that’s something i am always thankful for.


I am happy to be a part of numerous classic games through the years. From our intense battles against arch rival, Air Destruct (which eventually became our “sister” team- a product of maturity over the years), the unforgettable “Glory Road-type” series versus Escapade, and even in our losing effort against Trifecta in Game 1, i am proud to be a part of memories that we can always talk about during inuman sessions and reunions.

I wonder how many times are we going to talk about Mac-Mac’s career ending injury during the pre-game warm up 🙂


The hypothetical question of “WHAT IF MERV, TON and I’s basketball peak have come at the same time, maybe we would dominate the league by storm?” There’s a lot of “What if’s” and “Could have been’s” that would surface, but the truth is i am very thankful that we played together in one team for 5 years. (3 out of 5 years, we entered the finals). The results may not be according to what we envisioned, but we cannot deny the fact that playing together is already a milestone… maybe not like Boston or Miami’s “BIG 3”, but Village East’s own version…with a lot of heart.

I honor Merv for having a big heart and carrying the team in so many games, and Ton-Ton’s mental toughness and positive outlook in life.

We are remembered not because of our failures, but because of who and what we are together as ONE BROTHERHOOD.


Like Pow of Kung Fu Panda, this is the best thing i have achieved individually this year. I got inner peace. When i asked the Lord to bless me with good health this year despite being overweight, out of shape and two steps slower compared to my peak years, I promised him to overcome my history of violence against my former “enemies” on the court. In case you noticed, i’ve never clashed with anyone this year. i may have lost some aggressiveness and intimidation factor on the court, but i never lost my competitive spirit in the game. Because of that, i learned to be patient and mentally tough. If i were who i was before, then i would have been bitter until now because i was not used to losing 2 consecutive years in the finals.

But i am not.

And will never be again.


Inner peace.

I have overcome my personal demons of violence. Soon, I will get married, and will start my own family. I will never allow my future kids to see me as a violent dad or husband. Achieving inner peace is something i will have in life because of basketball. That is more important than the championships, medals, MVPs, and other personal goals.

To the Enema, you may not understand me now, but in the future, you will. And for the record, i never underestimated your ability to become champions in the Senior level. I’m sure you will. Believe.

I am happy that I have made peace with people i fought before. As much as i would like to become a champion before i retire, i am much happier that I’ve achieved something an egoistic champion will very hard to accept…


In the “world’s” point of view, RUBY SOHO’s destination is indeed unknown… or if ever known, it’s the team that placed 2nd best against a team, who deserves to be champions.

But in God’s point of view, RUBY SOHO’s destination has been already known right from the start.

A Champion in life beyond basketball.

And that’s how to view the real destination of Team Ruby Soho.

Thank you for all the memories. (Ruby Soho 1996-2011)

Next year, Team Enema will have this first season in the Seniors Division and I hope that they will carry on the lessons they have learned from us. Good luck, Enema!

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Coach Rye

Head Coach at Coach Rye
Ryan Salvanera is an Executive Coach who helps teams and individuals maximize their unique powers, taking them from good to great to AWESOME! Ryan is the Founder of Coach Rye and a Co-Founder of Wissen Solomon and StrengthsCoach.PH.

Ryan’s top five talent themes are:
Relator, Arranger, Learner, Maximizer and Individualization.

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