One of the best articles I’ve read so far about the UAAP finals series. ^_^
UST defies a Commandment to win
By Recah Trinidad
Last updated 05:42am (Mla time) 10/04/2006
Published on Page A24 of the October 4, 2006 issue of the Philippine Daily Inquirer
NO, IT COULD not be openly claimed as a case of the better team winning.
Far from it. The University of Santo Tomas Growling Tigers reclaimed the UAAP basketball crown on Monday because they were the better escape artists.
They won because they dared to defy the odds.
Pushed closest to the cliff, they kept their nerves when everything had looked lost.
They won because they were braver, steadier.
The Ateneo de Manila University Blue Eagles?
They had everything to regret, nothing to be ashamed of.
They had lost to a more blessed team.
* * *
No, for Ateneo, it could not be the case of the favorite dropping what had looked like a won championship game.
Okay, UST had lost its team pillar, the powerful center Jervy Cruz, with a minute and 16 seconds left in regulation.
UST was also being outplayed and outscored in stretches.
However, the Tigers simply snapped back and snatched the title after the Eagles had started to run away with the silverware.
Of course, UST’s steadiness would not be defined by the horrible misses from the foul line at the most crucial period — when half a point could spell victory or defeat.
* * *
Add to that the fact that Ateneo had the sharper heroes, like the duo of JC Intal and Macky Escalona, who carried the scoring load in the killing homestretch.
Everything had appeared to be going wrong for the Tigers
But in an incredible twist, Jojo Duncil, eventual series MVP, took over scoring chores.
Once the Tigers had caught up, the Eagles tried hard as they did but could no longer shake them off.
Ateneo had all the chances in the world to win it but Intal also started firing duds.
Meanwhile, Santo Tomas, hideous with free shots, suddenly found the mark from the foul line.
* * *
It could be said that UST reclaimed the UAAP basketball kingship because it also dared violate one of the Ten Commandments.
It was a big steal for the Growling Tigers, originally known as the Glowing Goldies in the days of Renato Reyes, Danny Florencio and other elder legends of the varsity circuit.
UST grabbed victory from the Ateneo Eagles with one of the finest heists in Philippine basketball lore.
Of course, the Tigers had to ride on greater resourcefulness, stronger nerves, to avoid being caught.
* * *
Anyway, it would indeed be corny to suggest that they should request the Vatican to assign a team to investigate UST’s miracle win.
But then, was this not a case of the Dominicans having a better system of worship than the Jesuits?
There must have been some supernatural intervention out there at the Big Dome Monday evening.
For proof — after the deafening hysterics, the endless jumping, the fearless clawing and shoving — the game was inexplicably decided in the quiet and sanctity of the foul line, when most of the fans were praying, clasping rosaries, their eyes averted from the playing court.
- There were more Thomasians at the Big Dome. More prayers from the Yellow side. Special mention: Mac Cuan (Japs’ brother) who was shown clutching a rosary while Japs was on the FT line. Dapat daw magkaroon pa ng maraming championships para daw mas maraming kabataan ang magdasal ng rosaryo ^_~
- Dinamay daw ng UST si Pope John Paul II. Noticed that poster of him? ^_^