‘Like champions:’ UST posts emotional win to end nightmare season
University of Santo Tomas may have had a tumultuous season, but Marvin Lee found relief after the Growling Tigers escaped the ignominy of ending UAAP Season 80 without a win.
“It feels good to win. It’s like we feel like champions. I just thank the Lord because he fulfilled my wish for us to win at least one, that we won’t be 0-14,” said the UST captain a thrilling 88-85 victory over University of the East on Sunday.
The win also marked the end of one of the darkest times in the school’s rich basketball history after the Tigers dropped their first 13 games of the season-17 straight dating back to last season-easily their worst performance in the UAAP.
After the buzzer, Lee shared a moment with his coach Boy Sablan, who took majority of the flak for all the losing.
“We endured a lot and that made us players closer to coach because we always want to make up for the losses,” said the 5-foot-8 playmaker.
“We were beaten, but we continue to fight until we get the win. We always fall short, but even though we’re losing, we still stick together, go back in training, and try to correct our mistakes.”
The 20-year-old was also touched to see the support of the UST community, which came out at the Smart Araneta Coliseum for the team’s final game.
“For me, whenever they cheer, it’s really a big boost for us, especially when we got the lead. I feel like we have someone backing us up and won’t let us down. So we don’t want to let them down,” he said.
And as UST turns the page and move on from this nightmare of a campaign, Lee is hopeful that the Growling Tigers will be a much better team.
“This is not just for coach Boy, but also for the whole UST community,” he said. “I hope whatever we endured will be a lesson for us, an inspiration for the next season. I hope we can recover next year.”