I don’t know if it is really normal to really be a big fan of college basketball even if it has been years since you last graduated. But I am still a big fan of it. I know I have not blogged much last month because I had been busy but if you are following my twitter account, you probably have noticed that I tweeted so much about UAAP. UAAP stands for University Athletic Association of the Philippines. It is composed of eight of the biggest universities in Metro Manila namely, Adamson University (AdU), Ateneo de Manila University (ADMU), De La Salle University (DLSU), Far Eastern University (FEU), National University (NU), University of the East (UE), University of the Philippines (UP) and University of Santo Tomas (UST).
As you all know, I received my Economics degree as well as some units for College of Law in University of Santo Tomas and now I’m pursuing my Law degree in University of the East so in a way, the UAAP is very much alive in me. But you see, both in UST and UE, my classmates care little if not at all about UAAP. In law school, people hardly participate in school activities. Also, there is that big attachment formed in their undergraduate. I was told that your true love is your undergraduate school and not your post-grad school. Personally, I both love my schools so much. I scream equally on the games. I swear you wouldn’t want hearing me scream because it might damage your eardrums permanently. Though I really need to know more about UE—the history, the cheers and the school spirit. Did you know that I just learned today that UE was formerly known as Philippine College of Commerce and Business Administration? Well, I still have remaining two semesters to know my law university better.
Truthfully, it’s kind of depressing having no one to talk about sports in school but thank God for the Internet, I could still discuss the games with my college buddies and also at home because everyone in my family graduated from a UAAP school including my little brother who is a first year engineering student now in UST. Also, in Facebook and Twitter, you can easily air your views and read the views of another. It feels so good cheering for your teams as well as trash talking some schools at times though. Yes, trash talking shall never be parted from cheering your school.
I did watch a game live this season in the Mall of Asia Arena. It was between UST and DLSU and surprisingly, DLSU did win that game. But although I was sad that UST lost that game, the experience of me chanting UST Cheers and having that adrenalin rush all throughout the game made me feel younger again. Honestly, I cannot remember the last time I watched a game live but I’m happy that I relieved it in that game.
My UE Team did not fare well this season. They only won 3 out of 14 games in the eliminations. Nonetheless that includes one big win from this season’s champion, Ateneo. I was lucky enough to watch the game with the entire UE community in our lobby. I must tell you that the UE is crowd is one of the most passionate players in the league! Also, I just love it when the even Coach Norman Black’s face turned pale when they lost to the nothing-to-lose UE Team.
UST almost had it all. Almost. I was really sad hearing their loss to Ateneo. I really thought that the 2006 Championship would be repeated. I can never forget that season which some dubbed as a “Cinderella finish”. Why? It the first round of eliminations, all schools except FEU had defeated the lowly UST Team. Probably because of three things: First, they are still adjusting with their new coach, Pido Jarencio. Second, they lack maturity as a team. Third, their players kept on having illnesses. If I remembered it correctly, there was a dengue outbreak amongst the players. But coming into the second round of eliminations, they were a solid, strong team. They defeated all the teams in that elimination round and they were defeated by Ateneo only on the Game 1 of the finals. In the end, they emerged as champions. In this season, nobody is really expecting UST to reach the finals but they did. They were such a great team to watch and I assure you that they are not for the faint-hearted. They are usually lagging behind their opponent in the first three quarters but damn that fourth quarter of theirs. For some reasons, they could easily steal the ball and shoot them effortlessly. Unfortunately, they did not defeat Ateneo this time. So all bitterness aside, I congratulate the Hail Mary Squad, Ateneo de Manila University. Five straight winning basketball championships are not easy to achieve. I also salute the Atenean community for being extremely supportive of their basketball teams.
I hope in the future there shall be more teams included in UAAP. The season feels so short because we only have eight teams. Probably at ten teams, we could have a longer and more intense season. I heard that since San Beda College would be turning into a university soon, they are planning on joining UAAP. I would love that but I don’t like some super proud Bedans ask us Warriors to change our school colors because although San Beda was established way before UE, we were in the league as the fifth member of the UAAP. Also, Ateneo is now campaigning for their sixth title or the ANIM-O. I challenge all teams in UAAP to do something and halt them. I mean come on, five championships are way too much.
I just cannot wait for the next season. Generally, only a few good players from all schools are graduating so I expect a very good and quality basketball next season. I heard that UE have two ‘import’ players for next season and recently, Manny V. Pangilinan donated P5M for the UP Team so in a way, every team is stepping up and prepping up for the next season.
More than the school rivalry and the intrigues and protests this season, what shall linger more is the camaraderie, sportsmanship and mutual respect for all people under the UAAP member schools. UAAP is one of the biggest reason why I am proud being a Golden Lady Warrior or a Red Tigress. Probably, that is what made me addicted to it up to now. I can see that UAAP will really last for a very long time and could go on even after my death. But for now, I could imagine myself as a grandmother taking her grandchildren into the game and still shouting,”O, Defensa!” even with arthritis on.
Long live, UAAP!