UP victory
PERSPECTIVE - Cherry Piquero-Ballescas (The Freeman) - December 6, 2018 - 12:00am

This article was written an hour or more before the start of the best of three UAAP basketball games between the University of the Philippines and Ateneo. We do not know how the game ended; we do not have a crystal ball to see ahead and predict the outcome. What we do know with confidence is that UP can claim victory even before today’s games.

Of course, with much prayers and hope, we are rooting for UP to score more and come out as winner in today’s (yesterday’s) game and the final game. However, victory is never just about scores. Victory is also never just about winning. In a more profound sense, we can already now shout to the world about UP’s victory.

Atin ito! UP’s players have raised the level of their games beyond the basketball court. The Maroons have offered their games for all.

The Maroons have shared with all the meaning of not giving up. Imagine years of losing and imagine the euphoria of being in the top two, being in the finals! That is already sweet victory for the Isko and Iska, the scholars of UP. By staying up, rather than preferring to remain at the bottom, UP demonstrated to all the meaning of the battlecry “UP FIGHT! NO WAY BUT UP!”

One may be down now, even at the pits, but it is one’s choice not to remain down. It is one’s choice to go up, not stay down. And the UP Maroons did just that. Rather than giving up, rather than remaining at the bottom, our UP basketball players decided to give their best yet again. And this time, they not only made it up, they made it to the top 2, and who knows, may even come out the better scorer and the winner.

All is possible. That’s another message of victory from the fighting Maroons. Never give up, try and try again. Clichés you may say but when practiced, as the Maroons did, look at where they are now. Wow. Make that a one big wow!

Never give up on paying back. Always remember to pay back and show your gratitude. Desiderio from Cebu could have turned his back on UP but he decided to give back yet another year to play for UP as his way of saying thank you. What a beautiful, inspiring gesture on his part. What a beautiful lesson to share with our youth, with our people.

UP’s oblation has been interpreted in many ways -- the open arms to represent openness, service, back to the people, back to the ones who supported you through the years. Selfless service. That’s another victory point shared by the fighting Maroons para sa atin!

The determined, persevering spirit of our UP basketball players woke up the rest of the UP community to selflessly give up, in turn, all the support they could share with the fighting Maroons. Finally, our basketball players are being taken care of very well, not like the lean years when they had no meals, no water, no fare, no cheerers, no UP community with them. That is an immeasurable victory won for UP as a whole.

UP Naming Mahal is being recalled, di rin magbabago ang damdamin. And UP”s sense of humor is making the rounds on social media. With laughter adding years to one’s life, the Maroons have added more years to all UP scholars who are now laughing and joking and savoring the precious moments of victory after the decades of drought. Padayon, UP.


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