It was a July afternoon. The UP Fighting Maroons opened their season against the host school, the De La Salle University Green Archers inside the Araneta Coliseum right after the opening ceremonies for the 73rd UAAP season.
The result wasn’t good. It was a loss.
The next game wasn’t much better: another loss.
And then another.
Until the streak reached an astounding 14.
Yes, the UP Fighting Maroons lost 14 consecutive games in the elimination round. Since it was an elimination round, of course the Maroons got eliminated (I mean, after losing all your games, how could you not be eliminated?).
Disappointing? Of course. After part of summer was spent training in the United States, expectations were high for this team, with their own coach even saying that the team will reach the Final Four.
But, lo and behold, this afternoon, UP broke that unparalleled streak of futility! After enduring 14-straight defeats in men’s basketball, the Maroons, like a phoenix rising from the ashes, burned through the Samsung Cheerdance Competition, soaring all the way to first place, besting defending CDC champions, the Far Eastern University Tamaraws and perennial CDC top 3 finisher, the University of Santo Tomas Growling Tigers. And this came right on the heels of a crushing loss to the University of the East Red Warriors yesterday, where at one point they faced a 20-point deficit.
But that was the basketball team. And this afternoon was the Pep Squad’s time. They didn’t seem fazed at all by the drubbing the ballers took at the hands of the Warriors yesterday, and it showed on the mats. The dancers executed perfectly. Sure, I only watched on TV, but even so, I didn’t see any hitches in their routine, unlike in other schools’ numbers where the flaws were looking me in the eyeball. Just an amazing performance by the Maroons.
This totally made my afternoon. I could’ve watched had I gotten the ticket my friend was offering, but it was grandparents’ day and I spent it with my family. And we watched the whole thing on Studio 23. It was sad both events had to be on the same day, but family always comes first.
Next year, I’m not going to miss this. Not after seeing their performance today. And after seeing the atmosphere of the Araneta Coliseum a while ago? Yeah, I’d definitely want to experience that, having 23,000 faithful fans of their respective schools around me, all screaming, cheering, chanting our school chants. I’d want to drown in the energy of that throng of people.
Maybe in the Ateneo-La Salle final? (In the event that this happens, which I hope does)