Monday, July 11, 2005

The Ateneo way

So we lost to La Salle, and let’s face, we deserved to lose. Our boys came out strong, but wilted too early… about 76 minutes too early. What looked like a promising start, with impressive defense and strong drives to the basket, quickly petered out into one of the sorriest Ateneo collapses in recent memory.

It’s always easy to point fingers and try to pin the blame on someone: the team for not playing well, the coach for committing errors in judgment, the referees for making bad calls, Badjie del Rosario for being the dumbest player on the floor. It could have been any, all or none of the above (but I think I can safely say that everyone would agree Badjie really was colossally stupid). Bottom line: La Salle massacred us.

But if anyone knows how to lose well, especially to La Salle, it’s Ateneo. At one point during the slaughter, when it became painfully apparent that La Salle was going to trounce us, my friend Yang wailed, “Hope is all we have.” I heard her words over the triumphant roar of the La Salle crowd as an Archer sank another stab-to-our-already-bleeding-hearts basket. I looked over at the sea of green and thought, it must be nice to be so used to winning, but if you’ve never really known despair, can you ever really know the wondrous power of a tiny flicker of hope? And in the heart of a staunch Atenean, hope is capable of turning a humiliating 30-point deficit into moments of fierce fervor and quiet redemption.

To illustrate: During halftime, despite the glaring 20-50 score flashed overhead, the Ateneo crowd responded thunderously to the Blue Babble Battalion’s rousing cries of “Halikinu” and “Blue Eagle Spelling.” In the third quarter, the Blue Babble guy assigned to our section was yelling with a bright smile, “It’s only 26 points, guys!” in a laughable but admirable effort to keep our morale high. Angelo, Yang’s eternally acerbic hubby, kept cracking jokes about our impending loss, but at the same time would scream “FIGHT!” at the top of his lungs. As the clock wound down to the game’s inevitable conclusion, we were still applauding and cheering every point our players could scrounge, as if we were actually leading and winning rather than on our way to a miserable loss. And besides, as Yang’s cousin cheerfully pointed out when she saw him after the game, we actually beat La Salle in the second half, 40-28. Now that’s what I call seeing an empty glass half-full.

My dad, former team manager of the UST Tigers during their "four-peat" glory days, has seen his fair share of UAAP games. He’s a big Ateneo critic, but he always concedes that we have the strongest fighting spirit of all UAAP schools. As I told my students who were writing their Ateneo application essays last week, Ateneans are all about HEART. We do everything with passion, even losing. We give everything one big fight, even if we end up losing. And we keep our heads held high, even after losing. That’s why win or lose, it’s the school we choose… because even when we lose, we lose with spirit.

Oh, and to the La Salle scum who sounded a horn while we were singing our school hymn: you made your school look unclassy, and you degraded your team’s victory with that cheap shot. Congratulations.


At Monday, July 11, 2005, Anonymous kassiewassie said...

i didn't watch the game. i didn't even know there WAS a game until i heard my blockmates talking about it this morning. u know how much i love being a Lasallian but wala talaga akong alam.. or pake, sa basketball haha! thanks for being a good sport though =D

btw, what that guy/gurl did while u guys were singing ur school hymn was really rude ah.. nakakahiya! he/she obviously doesn't know how to be a gracious winner.

ms lim, i've been meaning to tell u pala. i really love reading ur blog. it's soooo refreshing to read stuff written in perfect english.. especially when u come from a school where a LOT of people insist that bi-weekly means every other week (or twice a month).

At Monday, July 11, 2005, Blogger Ailee Through the Looking Glass said...

Haha, thanks Kassie. But you and "a lot of people" are both right, actually. Biweekly can mean either twice a week, or every two weeks. When the term is used for publications, it usually refers to the latter definition. Your fellow LaSallites aren't such idiots, as much as we Ateneans would love to prove otherwise. :)

At Tuesday, July 12, 2005, Anonymous kassiewassie said...

wala palang dash yung biweekly haha!

really?? why? they should make a distinction kaya.. it gets confusing kasi eh. sa la salle, the term wasn't for publications.. according to the office of student activities, bulletin boards are checked on a biweekly basis, meaning the 1st and 3rd monday of every month.. eh since nde publication, considered wrong yun diba??

At Wednesday, July 20, 2005, Blogger Ailee Through the Looking Glass said...

Um, technically I think it's still correct. But yes, it is confusing, and a brighter La Sallite (i.e. an Atenean, hahaha) would use a less ambiguous term.


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