One win at a time | Inquirer Sports
One Game At A Time

One win at a time

/ 02:19 AM August 11, 2014

Social media erupted with University of the Philippines alumni and students thrilled with the Maroons finally ending a 27-game losing skid in the UAAP men’s basketball tournament last Saturday.  UP beat an equally winless Adamson side, 71-62, for its first win since beating University of the East in 2012.

Facebook entries raged from glee, relief and to even playful puns.  The reported bonfire at the school’s Sunken Garden was probably more symbolic than anything else.  There’s nothing wrong with a community finding a reason to celebrate, even if it’s the first win after a really long wait.

One can only imagine if the State University was a stronger contender in basketball like it was when it won its only title in 1986 and figured occasionally in the final four in subsequent years.  The UP community is huge, given its alumni base that covers many disciplines.


UP’s gallery has a cheer in Filipino that’s a joy to hear at games.  Other schools have a strong American tradition and that’s why their cheers use a lot of “sis boom bah” and “fight.”


One UP chant talks about how gutsy and smart the students are and how they’re not intimidated by anyone.  It goes something like this: Unibersidad ng Pilipinas!  Matatapang, matatalino.  Walang takot, kahit kanino!
If you studied at UP or worked with graduates of the school, you know that the cheer isn’t far from the truth.

Of course, UP relishes its dominance of the cheerdance competition through the years.  For some time now, the UP Pep Squad has been the gold standard of the annual cheering showdown.  Even if teams occasionally get past UP in the scores and final places, the team simply bounces back with aplomb the following year. Whether through costumes, haircuts or intricate moves, the UP cheerdance team renders the competition stunned and wondering why they couldn’t think of such great moves.

UP takes the basketball competition at face value and does what it can.  Supportive alumni lend a hand on an individual basis or through fraternities.  One can only imagine the great things that can happen for UP if a really strong core of alumni would work hand in hand with the school to strengthen the basketball program on a consistent and continuing basis.

For now, UP will relish snapping its losing streak. It was really beginning to feel like the losing runs of heartbreak teams like the Chicago Cubs or the Boston Red Sox of baseball who couldn’t break through for a long time.  The Red Sox finally broke their curse against the New York Yankees and have already won titles.

UP is hoping that some of the Red Sox magic will spill over to its basketball team soon.  For now, it’s just about one win at a time.

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TAGS: East, students, tournament, UAAP

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