In the eyes of the faithful

Almost.

One word that summed up the Cinderella run of the Espana-based cagers in the recently concluded Men’s basketball Finals for the 78th season of the UAAP after the UST Tigers ran out of gas against the FEU Tamaraws on December 2.

But the A-word has gone like a broken record for the Yellow crowd in Espana for this is not the first time the Tigers had a bridesmaid finish for a season. In fact, this team was slapped with THREE runners up finishes in four years alone.

With that kind of pain and frustration lurking around the campus of UST, one can’t help but ask: Do the basketball gods hate UST so much?

“It was a bittersweet feeling,” Jerah Matawa, 3rd Year Marketing major said. Matawa was one who witnessed UST’s downfall for this year.

“You can see how much the players poured their hearts out during the game,” IICS freshman Isabel Macaraeg said.  “Seeing the results made it a thousand times harder to move on.”

But this UAAP season has turn the tables for this team.

In the beginning of Season 78, where sports analysts have predicted a “dismal performance” for the Tigers after missing the limelight in season 77. People “knew” that they will end in 5th or 6th place only. But where were the tigers after the eliminations? They were at the number one spot, armed with a twice-to-beat advantage.

Surprised? The UST Crowd was, too. But what is in the UST Tigers this season that turned them into a heat-building team in the court?

“UST’s line up this year was flexible,” Third year Computer Science major Kyle Cancio said. The Tigers sharing their roles and the ball inside the court made a huge difference this season. “Unlike last year, they rely on only on key players to make the play.”

UST lost key scorers in the likes of Jeric Fortuna, Jeric Teng, Clark Bautista and Aljon Mariano in three years. However, the Tigers still have their offensive sleeves intact lead by Kevin Ferrer and Ed Daquioag, two of the top scorers in UAAP today.

UST is fifth when it comes to offense averaging 68 points per game in the first round, while allowing their opponents only 61 pts a game,  thus, making the Tigers’ an all-around team to watch out for.

Nhuj Pascua, sports editor of TomasinoWeb, says the Tigers’ improvement on three-point shooting was an advantage despite being dead last in terms of rebounds. “Nagawan pa rin nila ng paraan para makarating sa finals.”

But UST’s line up wasn’t exactly that deep as compared to previous seasons, probably the reason why a lot of people predicted that it could be another season 77 for the Tigers.

For Mariejo Gabuyo, a Finance major, last season’s line up was better. “Behind tayo sa schools pag titignan yung line-up.” She says.

Even Joseph Silverio, a sports photographer and an alumnus of the UST Yellow Jackets, never thought that this year’s roster was ‘solid.’ “I am very impressed that Kevin Ferrer, and Ed Daquioag stepped up their game and lead the team to the finals. Louie Vigil also surprised me this year.”

But besides the basketball technicalities, what made the UST Tigers into the UST Tigers that everybody knows today? And what was their key in returning in the finals?

For some, the transition from team to “family” made all the difference this year. And it was team captain Kevin Ferrer who took initiative on taking the team’s connection in to a deeper level. The UST crowd took note of this, too.

“Mas coherent, mas close, mas bonded, mas united yung team ngayon,” UST Alumnus Cedrick Basco said. In most interviews with Kevin Ferrer and the rest of the Tigers, seldom they would say “team” or “teammates.”

Daquioag told ABS-CBN that it Kevin started this family tie between them during one of their team buildings. “Kapag buo talaga yung family mo, mahirap kang talunin.” He told ABS-CBN.

The Family mantra has done well for the Tigers. They finished the elimination round with only three losses and gave them an outright semi-finals berth.

Leadership was another missing piece filled in Season 78. Kevin Ferrer led the team like a big brother. He made his presence as a leader felt throughout the season. For Basco, Ferrer’s leadership has made a huge change in the team. “Nakikinig sa kanya yung mga teammates niya, kapag medyo di na naaayos yung play he would remind them o ganto gawin natin”

Aside from Ferrer, Daquioag also stepped up and became UST’s go-to-guys during games. After years of being in the shadows of Teng, Mariano and the like, Ed finally found his groove for the Tigers and became a monstrous scorer upon opening season. Rookies Marvin Lee, Embons Bonleon, along with Louie Vigil and Jamil Sheriff also delivered well for UST.

But behind every lay-up, every three pointer, and every game, and even after three runners up finishes. One thing has never changed in Espana: The UST crowd.

“Yun sixth man kasi yun talaga ang nagpapabuhay sa amin,” UST Head Coach Bong dela Cruz said. The UST crowd, or sixth man, has been a huge factor for the team for many years. Just this season, the crowd filled half of the Mall of Asia Arena, the entire Quadricentennial Pavillion and lobbies of the UST buildings.

“Dapat din natin i-commend yung crowd kasi parang sila ‘yung nagtataas ng morale ng players especially pag down sila,” Pascua said.

The UST crowd has also taken its support in social media, creating hashtags on twitter to show their support for the Tigers. In 2013, they used #NotToday in facing three do-or-die games to reach the finals. For this year, it was #WalangIwananUST, a cry to keep the support alive despite the loss.

“We will forever be the best crowd, kahit wala sa araneta or MOA, kahit sa office, school or kahit san there will be a Thomasian na sumisigaw sa bawat shoot ng Tigers.” Basco said.

With the graduation of Ferrer, Daquioag, Abdul and Sheriff and with season 78 written in the books, what lies ahead for the Tigers?

For Gabuyo, she’s not expecting a repeat of season 77, where the Tigers settled for 6th place with a 5-9 card. However, she’s not putting up high hopes considering the other schools’ new coaches.

Silverio wants the “No heart. No chance” mantra to stay with the tigers. “I expect them to still have that killer instinct and the heart to win.”

Next season will be another tough road for the Tigers. An elusive championship could be a little farfetched for now, but miracles may happen. The test of loyalty for the Tigers and its sixth man continues. But the UST faithful has one answer to the question: Will you be there for next season?

The answer will always be “Yes.” #

__________

This was my Final examination for Narrative Journalism last semester.Thank you to Nhuj Pascua for editing this article. 😀

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“Damit”

Binuksan ko ang cabinet ko at inilabas ang pinakamagandang damit na nandito. Espesyal ang araw na araw na ito kaya kailangan ayusin ang sarili. Sandali kong dinaan ang kamay ko sa tela ng damit ko.

“Pare, sigurado ka ba?” Tanong ng kasama ko.

“Oo naman.”

“Pwede ka pa mag-backout.”

“Bakit naman ako magba-backout?” Tanong ko habang isinuot ang magarbo kong damit.

“Pare, kasal ‘to.”

“Alam ko.” Mahina kong sagot. Nagbuntong hininga ako at sinara na ang pinto ng kabinet ko.

Biglang may kumatok sa pintuan ko. “Sir, nagsisimula na po sila.”

“Pare,” pahabol n’ya. “Wala ng atrasan ‘to.”

Tumango ako. “Mauna na ako.”

Nauna na ako ko sa altar, pinanood ko ang mga abay na naglalakd sa gitna ng simbahan. Nang bumukas na ang pintuan ng simbahan. Naaninag ko na s’ya. Ang kaisa-isang taong minahal ko, at ang dahilan kung bakit ako nandito ngayon.

Nakarating na s’ya sa Dambana. Kahit medyo malayo ako, nagkatagpo ang aming mga mata. Isang ngiti ang ibinigay n’ya sakin.

Tinignan ko lang s’ya. Hindi matatapatan ng ngiti ang nararamdaman ko.

Nilihis na n’ya ang kanyang tingin, sumabay rito ang pagkirot ng dibdib ko.

Ngunit hindi. Kailangan kong magpakatatag. Iyon ang kailangan n’ya. Iyon ang kailangan ko dahil ito ang dapat kong gawin.

Itinaas ko ang aking kanang kama’y, tumingala, at nagsalita.

“Sa Ngalan ng Ama, Anak at Espiritu Santo. Amen.”

Nutshell 2K14

Happy New Year to all! ♥

2014 will be ending in a few hours (OMG, I know right?) and I must say that this has been one of the fastest years that went by in my life. It seems only yesterday it was only January 1st and everyone (including me) were looking forward to face 2014 on a high and positive note. Some of us may think that this year has been the continuation of 2013’s horror (Okay, most of us do.) While some think that it’s been 12 months of new experiences and stories to tell. It’s the usual roller coaster ride, but with a different route for all of us. Now, before I face a new page of my life with you guys. I’m assuming that people are actually reading my blog. Here are 14 remarkable things/events/people/activities/realizations that will some up my bumpy roller coaster ride for 2014.

PS: These events/people/things/activities/realizations may be either positive or negative (I honestly didn’t have a really ‘good’ year)

PPS: If you’re here just to insult/judge/make fun of me and my writing like why do I have to write or post this anyway? The close tab button is right there do feel free to click it.  🙂

  1. Night classes

“I’m not an owl!” would be the coolest line to match up with this. It was in 2014 when the second half of my college career began. We were already given a warning that senior classes usually get the dreaded 6-9 PM class schedule. We got two (Originally one but apparently fate had other plans). I am not really a night person (really, I’m not) and my attention span is really short, this has made me really uncomfortable. Although, now I have adjusted to the clock and I really can’t sleep at an earlier time (except when I’m really tired). So, cheers to more late night daydreams and readings!

  1. Hello Tomweb!

Finally! After two years of trying, I am now a member of a school organization, and the name is TomasinoWeb! It didn’t go as planned, though, since I was aiming for the Writing Department, but I’m in #FabComm right now. But maybe that’s what’s written for me. I may not be in the field related to my degree (it’s still related, somehow) but I have met wonderful people and my potential for public relations are being practiced through this, it’s really a win-win situation for me.

  1. BlogCon 2014!

It’s my first UST event on which I’m part of the staff (yay). It may be not of a big deal, but it is for me. I’ve always wanted to be a part of an event as a staff and not an audience. During blogcon I was able to caption a lot of promotional photos and write witty stuff about people (I was a part of the promotions team) and I had a lot of fun. I’m hoping to join more events in the years to come.

  1. Harrison Craig

Met this guy in April. Found his blind audition online and poof! Instant fangirl right here! If you guys don’t know, Harrison is the winner of the Voice AU in 2013. He grew up with a stutter but he sings really well, I have goose bumps every time I see him perform.  You can watch his blind audition here. He has taught me that fulfilling your dream is possible despite all the limitations given to you. Definitely he’s one person I’ll be looking up to in the years to come. (Plus, he’s really cute. Head’s up, girls. This one’s a keeper.)

  1. Darren Espanto

Another talented cutie adding up to the ‘long’ list of my fandoms. This kid is the runner-up for the first season of The Voice Kids. He’s really talented and an all-around performer which makes a lot of us wonder why he didn’t get the title (Hello, sympathy vote), but nevertheless this kid has proven everyone his worth as he had two concerts in a span of five months alone (and that’s just here in Manila) This kid is someone worth watching in 2015. If I should describe him, he’s somewhat a Gary Valenciano, Jed Madela and Sam Concepcion in a body of a 13-year-old. Common denominator? Pure god damn talent.

  1. SHINee

IMG_6619

Since I already have begun on the people I fangirl about, let’s put these five wonderful children next. Ha Ha! It even ended up at number six on my list, and their group has been standing for six years. SHINee is a veteran k-pop group that began in 2008. Why them? I stan Choi Minho. Lol. Minho has been my K-pop crush since ‘To the Beautiful You” and I found out he is a member of the group, so I checked them out. Ever since then, I’ve become a huge fan. The funny story here is that in 2010, I really loved their ‘Hello’ music video and I guess that’s where it (unintentionally) began. My love for these guys went into full blossom after three years, I have absolutely no idea why it took me that long.

PS: SHINEE’S CONCERT IN TOKYO DOME FOR NEXT YEAR JUST GOT SOLD OUT TODAY. It’s a dream come true for these pabos! Congratulations, Shinee! I am so proud of you!

  1. Merch and Online shops

A good friend taught me the glory of online shopping (Hello, Nadine). It was this year when I learned how to shop online. Initially, I was afraid of shopping online because I might end up buying on a hoax site or something, but so far, it hasn’t happened to me yet, and I hope it won’t. Another reason why I so love online shopping because of the Shinee merchandise that I can only buy online. Guess who’s having her own copy of SHINee’s “I’m your boy” in a few weeks? ME!

  1. I don’t think so.

I almost wanted to shift. Yep, you read that right. Since I wasn’t able to pass any of my publication exams that I entered this year, it made me realize that maybe writing is not for me. Or at least, the type of writing a journalist should do. I had a hard time writing about any kind of news (well, except crime, which some say the ‘easiest’ type of writing) for my major subjects. It has dawned to me that maybe I’m not meant for this field since I’m not excelling in anything (I nearly failed, too) I am faced with. And I must admit that it has affected my writing confidence. But this shouldn’t stop me, I’m graduating in three sems (I do hope so) and there’s absolutely no way I’m stopping now.

  1. SPORTS

Okay, I admit. If it wasn’t for Jeric Teng I wouldn’t be in to sports right now. Lol. I have always wanted to try sports writing since I began my interest in basketball. Since I’ll be writing for a living (I do hope so), might as well write about something I love. This semester (and three of my subjects) gave me the opportunity to try out sports writing for real, and I had the most amazing time. I hope I can do more sports articles in the future, too. I want to thank my editors (Yes, po) for giving me this chance to be a sports writer. I hope I didn’t fail you guys.

  1. Goodbyes

I hated this the most. Goodbyes are the hardest, especially when you know that it’s the last. This year, I lost people whom I never thought I’d be losing. In May, my adviser from fourth year high school passed away due to lung complications. What makes it sadder is that we saw him the day before he died. He was only 31 and he could still do a lot of things in life, but sadly, the author has closed the book. A few months after, my grandfather said goodbye as well. It was really shocking, and even until now I can’t accept the fact that he’s gone. He was really strong and death seemed really far away for him. Who would have thought that he could leave us just like that? Honestly, I can’t put a positive spin on this since a lot has changed when they left. Another goodbye I went through is from someone I loved dearly (weh) and yet he treated me aside. (Yes, I’m bringing this up again) but he made me realize that I’m worth more than what I think of myself, and that I deserve better. (Self-proclaimed)

  1. Downfall

Permission to rant: granted. What the freakin’ hell happened to the UST Growling Tigers this year? I wasn’t able to post a blog about the tigers this season so this is for them. I will not hide the fact that I’m really disappointed with the run that the Tigers had, but can I just say thank you for not giving up despite the fact that you know that it’s over. The big challenge now is to get back on your feet next season. PS: Change the freakin’ head coach please.

  1. Debuts… lots of them.

2013-2014: Year of womanhood for my awesome barkada. We all turned 18! Weee! And yes! Debut parties all over. I don’t really know the exact number of debuts I have attended but rest assured I had a blast with all my friends and all the amazing food (Of course, to quote Shinee’s dubu leader Onew: I’m really living just to eat.)

  1. Toothless and Baymax

           Second childhood happened, and I am not ashamed of it. These two kiddie movies really melted my heart. The plot was light and heavy at the same time and really heartwarming. These movies taught me that friendship comes in all shapes and sizes, you just have to find someone you’re compatible with. Plus, it made me want a night fury and a walking marshmallow in my room for cuddling and comfort. I mean, come on. Who doesn’t want that?

  1. Goodbye Teen

2014 also marks the end of my teenage life. In 2015, I’ll be saying goodbye to the teenage mark, as I will be turning 20 in October. I still look like an elementary student, though. Shame. 2015 will surely mark a new beginning for me as a legit adult, which means it’s time for me to grow up as well. No one’s in a hurry, though. I’ll still be enjoying my youth the right way and definitely mature through every day.

That wraps up 2K14 for me. As 2015 will come in a few hours, I’m going let it surprise me. But just like every year, I’ll be seizing these 12 months with all I’ve got and see what’s in store for me this time!

Happy New Year, everyone! #

Mahal kita, pero…

Bakit hindi ka mahal ng taong mahal mo? 

Of all the things I could get asked about, It had to be this. It had to be about the pain I’m going through. It had to be when I was ready to move on. It had to be when I’m convinced that I feel no more. It had to be about you.
Of course, everything begins with friendship. The most naive of all feelings. But as the saying goes: “A man and a women can never be just friends. Eventually one will for the other.” In this case, I was the one.
It had to be me. It had to be that one person that’s less likely to fall. It had to be someone you’re less likely to see. Of course, I had to be the casualty.
Why did it had to be you? Yes, we WERE close. Close at the hip at most. And I don’t want to blame you for giving the initiative (but, you did). But the thin line between friends and lovers became too thin for us.
Or maybe it’s just me.
I know where I stand. Back up plan lang ako.

Leaving all the pain behind

Leaving all the pain behind

And it’s true. You’re with someone else. And yet you treat me as if I was yours, as if I was the one you love, as if it was just me.

I don’t know what to do anymore. I tried to forget, I did. But it’s as if you can read my mind, you come back just when I’m ready to go. You make me feel that this is right, that this is what I’m supposed to feel.
I’m tired of this. I’m tired of being that someone you run to when you have nothing else to do. For once I want to be the first. For once I want to feel loved. For once, I want to be the ‘other’.
What do I need to do? I don’t know either. But I do know one thing: I’m through. I’m through loving you. I need to go and there’s no way you can get me back.
But nevertheless, Thank you. Thank you for making me feel loved, even though it’s all a joke to you.
Thank you for making me realize that I’m a nobody to you, and that I will be a somebody to someone soon.
Maybe this will be the last time. Do take care of yourself. And do make sure that your lady won’t end up like me: The back up plan.

Sam and Carlos

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(Photo from Facebook via Google)

 

 

#SamConcepcionInMMK

#BigBreakForSamC

 

 

 

Those were the reasons why I watched the October 19 episode of Maalaala Mo Kaya. But apparently, there was a message behind it.

 

 

On that same day, our grades for the first semester were released. I know that I didn’t do well this term because I was completely distracted and went “petiks” on most of the subjects. The results were ‘okay’ but my GWA just completely collapsed. And I’m not supposed to talk about this.

 

 

 

Anyway, the main reason why I watched MMK is because Sam will portray, no more no less. I’ve let my fangirl feels take over my system while watching. I didn’t even bother knowing the storyline itself.

 

 

 

But the way the ‘mother’ acted in the story caught my attention. Ngayon lang ako nakarinig at nakakita ng isang nanay na ayaw pagaralin ang isang anak. At s’ya pa mismo ang nagpapatigil sa kanila. And the children themselves, including Sam’s character were the ones convincing their mom that they want to finish their studies. It was like I was watching a family living in an alternative universe.

 

 

 

I had to count how many times she told her children to stop schooling and just work in the farm. I had to count how many times she told her children education wont to any good to them. I had to count how many times she broke her childrens’ hearts because of this.

 

 

But what I can’t count are the jobs Carlos had to work for just so he can help his mom for the family’s needs. I can’t count how many times his classmates would make fun of him. I can’t bear the pain he went through just so he could prove his mom wrong. But those were never enough.

 

 

But what inspired me here the most is that despite everything Carlos went through, he still managed to stay on top of his class. Although he wasn’t able to finish on time, graduating as Summa Cum Laude while working everywhere you could think of, it seems unbelievable. But he did it.

 

 

Now going back to my grades. (It has a connection, who knew?). If Carlos can have grades like that while working, why can’t I? I’m not a working student. My parents are in full support for my education. I have undivided time for my studies. Why can’t I be the same?? Well, not the Summa Cum Laude standard, but at least with ‘good’ grades, not just passing.

 

 

Carlos inspired me to work harder for my studies. I want a bright future for my family as well. I know it won’t be an easy drive. It might be even harder that Carlos’, but it’s worth a shot.

 

 

As I begin this new semester, let’s see if I can bear the “Carlos Attitude”. I can’t bear it, I have to. I have to work my ass off to get satisfying grades this term. If Carlos’ burden during his Student life is his social status, his mom and his time; my burden to bear, fight and resist is LAZINESS, COMPLACENCY and DISTRACTIONS.

 

 

Burdens are there for you to do your best in what you do, not for you to give up on it.

 

 

PS: who would have thought my fangirling would be the root cause of my motivation. Ha ha!

In a Carnival

carnival

She lived her life in a Carnival

With rides she never knew exsited.

She’d go from one ride to another

Just to try something different

Inside the snow world she went

Shivering cold with no one to hug her

as much as she wants to ride again…

Never alone, ever again.

She rode in some sort of car ride

She screams and shouts

Oh the joy she feels inside

Go back in line and do it again

The roller coaster she feared to ride

she still did, but afraid of heights.

her eyes were closed the entire time

‘Once is enough my friend, goodbye’

The horror house scared her out

The tombs she never dare to look at

Frightened she cries, wanting to get out

When she saw the ‘exit’ sign. “Oh, Thank God”

Now the water slides she really adored

She wasn’t afraid to get splashed

Careless moves she didn’t mind

She’s a kid again, it shows.

the food stands caught her eye

sweets everywhere, her weakness

she ignored the dull, weird and bitter.

and focused on what she wanted.

As the sun sets, the carnival’s about to close.

But she’s fine with, she had fun, I know.

Her life is a carnival, she’s aware.

There’s more to enjoy, than to despond.

The ROAR of a Tiger’s HEART

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(Photo From Mr. Paul Ryan Tan)

It’s been almost 5 days but I just have to do this.

Almost every Thomasian heart was broken last Saturday, when the UST Growling Tigers failed to bring the crown back to España as the DSLU Green Archers blocked our way.

Tears were shed, whether you were sitting in the UST bench or not. I was doing my job as a part of UST’s sixth man at home, when the confetti for the Archers exploded in the air, my eyes watered at the thought that the celebration was green.

Overreacted? Maybe. But what UST went through this year and the thought of being too short yet again? That combination will just leave your heart torn.

But going back to what the Tigers went through this season got me thinking, Should I really cry? Apparently, NO. But I knew deep inside that I should be proud.

The Tigers had an awesome start last June 29 versus the DLSU Green Archers in MOA. Team Captain Jeric Teng firing 23 points to get a one-point win IN OVERTIME against our brothers in Taft is just amazing. But UST’s fate changed in mere 3 seconds.

July 10, 2013: The first face-off between our Tigers and the NU bulldogs. It was in the second quarter after back-to-back threes from Teng, Ferrer and Daquioag and an easy lay-up by Jeric; everything just went black.

NU ball, everyone was going for a rebound and was focused on the ball and the basket. When forward number 5 from NU just gave the biggest nightmare no Thomasian ever imagined. Jeric Teng was on the floor grasping his shoulder in pain. I believe you all know this. This rare, tragic moment just gave the biggest turn for UST. We lost that game, leaving the Tigers with a 2-1 standing. Not bad, not just yet.

It was an alternate win for the Tigers after that. We won against UE, lost against FEU, won versus UP, lost to Ateneo. That leaves UST with a 4-3 standing, safe in the second spot at the end of the first round.

Second round was a nightmare. Beginning with the UE game, we lost by one point by a Roi Sumang lay-up. Not just that. Aljon Mariano, who has been stepping up since the absence of Jeric Teng, sprained his ankle during the game. I believe it was the same ankle injured during the pre-season. (Do correct me if I’m wrong.)

A week after was the NU game yet again. Jeric came back to play (or so we thought). He was running after a fast break when he injured his right hamstring. This was the game where UST just lost its momentum, leaving us with a 4-5 standing and crashing to 6th place. This game was the beginning of lost hopes for a final four slot.

But the nightmare ends here.

With the remaining five games, UST proved all doubters wrong especially during the second meeting with FEU.

Who would forget Mariano’s saving three during the regulation to send the game to overtime? And who would forget birthday boy Clark Bautista’s sharp three to send the game to its second overtime? We won by ONE POINT. And yes, the final four hopes are alive.

We won against UP but lost against DLSU. This leaves us with a 7-6 standing tied with 5-peat champions ADMU. This made the Sept. 18 game a do-or-die for the last slot in the final four.

I was there in Araneta Coliseum. The tension was dominant. The fear of not making it to the final four was there but the screams of every Thomasian changed it. I can’t remember much of the game. No, not even the score. All I remember is that UST won and it was not our last game. The echoes of the “Go USTe” chant still shiver me. Now I realize, UST just ended a reign and killed a possible 6-peat.

Final four? Check. But a new challenge came forth as we went against first seed National U. According to UAAP history, no team has beaten the number one seed since the final four system was introduced. UST changed that. We made history yet again.

Yes, we won 2 games against NU. We made it in the finals. Would you believe it? I didn’t. Coach Pido didn’t. Remember he was already in tears during the last 16 seconds. And during the press conference, no jokes were made. The Coach Pido, who even made a Moon cake Festival  joke during game one, was overwhelmed when he thought we wouldn’t make it. But we did.

Let me say what Boom Gonzales tweeted: UST’s ‘Not Today’ mentality really worked — it did.

FINALS vs. DLSU: No need for a recap. This series? It’s still fresh in our minds, I believe.

Long story short: We won game 1, lost game 2 and 3. We lost the championship. Jeric Teng cried. Kevin Ferrer was near the ring holding back his tears. The yellow crowd was stunned as the Archers were celebrating.

So what’s my point with the long recap? (Okay, I’m sorry it’s that long.) Maybe, it’s this. Allow me to speak Tagalog here.

1. UST went through 3 DO-OR-DIE GAMES

Oo, paulit-ulit na pero sino bang magaakala,di ba? You knew that one wrong play can make you lose everything. But then again, the ‘not today’ mentality made UST a scary team just in time for the Semis.

2. We were rattled by Injuries

Teng, Ferrer and Mariano had injuries. Syempre, makakalimutan niyo ba yung mga games na naging batman si Kevin? Hindi, di ba? Kung sino pa yung mga veterans, sila pa yung nadali. Aminin niyo. You thought UST was done for.

3. HEART

One word. UST had it. At hindi nawala yan from the coaches down to the players. Kahit malas na, tuloy pa rin.

4. THE 6TH MAN

Witness right here! It does make a difference. Manalo o matalo, the 6th man got UST’s back.

All of these factors made me realize that UST’s journey is something we should definitely be proud of. We came short this season but, indeed, lessons were learned.

Never give up.

It’s cliché, I know. But keep in mind that these boys rose from 6th place to 2nd. They had an amazing mindset that “It’s not yet over until you say so. This is not just for sports. I remember clearly my journalism professor using the UST Tigers as an example and inspiration for us to never give up on news writing. The Tigers are the best example of the don’t-give-up attitude.

No one to blame.

“Wala nang sisihan.” — exact words from Jeric Teng. True story kasi wala namang mangyayari kung magsisihan pa. Learn from it and move on.

To the sixth man: Win or lose, walang iwanan.

No generalizations here pero kasi yung iba kapag natatalo kung maka-bash, wagas.Wag ganun. Coach Pido and the team didn’t call you their sixth man for nothing. Win or lose, dapat all-out. If you’re complaining na nakakapagod mag-cheer, puwes, mas nakakapagod maglaro dun sa baba. Think about it. They need you. You should feel special. Ha ha!

Before I end this, may mga gusto akong sabihin for the Growling Tigers (Yes, mababasa nila to.)

To the team captains Jeric Teng and Clark Bautista,

Thank you for the 5 years of amazing basketball you have given for UST. For your final season, the Thomasian blood in you was clearly shown. Rest assured that you will remain an inspiration to every Thomasian as you graduate. Good Luck with the PBA Draft and the PBA! Hoping for a Gilas stint for you guys! 🙂

To Kevin Ferrer,

Yo, Batman! Ha ha! Kidding. Keep working hard. Maintain that awesome defense and offense. Keep those sharp three-pointers coming, dude. And the tongue? Uhm, ha ha! Ikaw na bahala doon. 🙂 Good luck, future king tiger! 🙂

To Karim Abdul,

Okay, I know it hurts because Jeric is graduating. Ha ha. Kidding. But seriously, big man. No words can describe how amazing you played this season. Keep that up. You’re my bet for the MVP next year! Grab it! 🙂 (And get that championship along the way.)

To Kim Lo, Ed Daquioag, Jamil Sheriff and Paolo Pe,

Asahan namin kayo next year, guys! Naging matunog kayo this season! Keep it up! 🙂

To Aljon Mariano,

I know things have been rough for you this season. Bounce back! I’ve seen you play last year at alam kong kayang mo yan! Prove them doubters wrong! I believe in you!

To Coach Pido Jarencio,

Maraming Salamat po! Hindi magiging ganito katibay ang Tigers kundi dahil sa inyo! Naguumapaw na ang pasasalamat at respeto ng UST Community sa inyo. We wish you all the best for your dream to be a PBA Coach! Suportado po kayo ng mga Tomasino!

Now that this is out of my chest, I can now finally put this at the back of my mind and move on. I can forget the pain and sorrow but I will never forget how loud UST roared this year. I’ll never forget how they made history. I’ll never forget how proud they made the yellow crowd wear a brighter yellow in the years to come.

YOU’VE HEARD US ROAR? HEAR US ROAR MORE. WE WILL COME BACK STRONGER!