UP takes the gold as UAAP 81 top story
After the University of the Philippines snatched its first UAAP finals berth in 32 years, there were calls for the epic match against Adamson to be voted game of the year.
That’s perfectly fine, but do they give out such honor hereabouts?
Countless neutral fans would swear they’ve never seen a match in the national basketball landscape with such purity and noble impact.
It was a classic battle for the ages, clean, even, a true delight.
Truth is that UP, despite the great feat, is already considered a goner by many before its best-of-three crown battle with defending champion Ateneo Blue Eagles could start (Saturday).
As things and odds stand, the Ateneo Blue Eagles could retain the UAAP basketball crown trouble-free.
UP will definitely play and fight with great pride and dignity.
A UP title win is farfetched, but the UP Maroons also face the horrible threat of being scattered and crushed.
Ateneo should soar high and prevail, but can it create an unforgettable impact greater than what UP did in outlasting mighty Adamson on Wednesday?
UP can safely claim the tag as the golden story of UAAP 81.
At the same time, UP has a duty to fight all out, surpass itself, and prevent the humiliation of being decimated.
If UP slips and fails easily, that could partly cause it to fall from its newly-claimed elite perch.
Going back to last Wednesday’s great match at the Smart Araneta Coliseum, UP senior star Paul Desiderio was hands-down the most brilliant man for the Fighting Maroons.
He was a stalwart from the start who scored the winning (89-87) goal against incredible odds in overtime.
The 5-foot-10 wonder worker from Cebu, who skipped the last PBA Draft to serve a final season with his varsity team, also provided leadership and was credited for hollering the magical win-win battle-cry “Atin ito” that helped hold his team intact in the impossible moments.
There were many other deserving heroes in the UP team, like coach Bo Perasol.
But away from the spotlight, there were silent supporters from the alumni community who worked behind the scenes in helping make it happen for the Unibersidad ng Pilipinas.
These selfless supporters, like the daughter of a tycoon who started soliciting support when her team was down on the floor, a perennial laughing-stock, deserves the biggest ovation.
There’s also mention of a former UP football player, now a major supporter of the national football outfit, who reportedly managed to involve other individuals from outside the alumni community.
The UP victory was a gift and a form of gratitude to those who long and care for purity and true dedication in sports.
It’s a reward and fulfillment for the unknown stakeholders.
This indeed is the start of something great.
It goes without saying though that the UP team must stay solid, it should shine bright through thick and thin.
Let the magic last.
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