Back in 2001 (or was it 2002), I remember being in Marriott hotel, Cebu for a sales conference. A colleague of mine, after his business presentation, put up his last slide. It shows the king blue eagle soaring high with the text: “It’s our turn.” He was from Ateneo and it was during those years when we (yes, I am also from Ateneo) were still in the process of developing our basketball team that can finally win the UAAP championship.
This afternoon was the first of two regular season games featuring decades old rivals Ateneo and La Salle. For years, Ateneo has lorded it over the UAAP for the past 5 years. I don’t even remember the La Salle Green Archers winning against the Blue Eagles in that span. Anyway, being the basketball fan that I was, I tuned in on Studio 23 to enjoy the game. It was a fast start for the Blue Eagles. For a moment there, it didn’t seem like they were missing their ace guard, Kiefer Ravena. While Ateneo was playing well, the Green Arches were tentative and couldn’t get their offense and defense going. At the end of the first half, Ateneo was leading by a wide margin. At this point, I took a peek at Facebook, and as expected the Ateneo hopefuls were frantic. You can feel their optimism and glee. We were winning.
Now, I happen to have many friends from La Salle because I studied there for one year back in college before I transfered to Ateneo. They were not exactly silent, but they were hopeful – for a comeback.
We all know what happened. In the third quarter, La Salle made a comback behind Teng, Van Opstal, Thomas and Vosotros and probably the whole of the La Salle team playing like a well oiled machine. Before the final tally, there was a valiant effort from Tiongson, Buenafe (my favorite player from Ateneo. You gotta love the grin), and Newsome. It was not enough and La Salle won. The Blue Eagles are now down 3-0 at this stage in the season.
Before we entertain thoughts of Ateneo losing it’s basketball supremacy, however, there’s an interesting comment made by a La Salle fan before the start of the game. He was asked who he thinks is going to win. He said, “La Salle, probably. Kiefer is injured and won’t be able to play.” Hehe. Talk about team pride.
In the post game interview, Van Opstal said something that reminded me of my colleague back in 2001. Van Opstal said, “They’ve had their time. Now it’s ours.” How things can turn around in time. 12 years ago, it was the advent of the Blue Eagles’ reign. Now we’ve had our time. La Salle is coming (not if UE and UST can help it, by the way).
Speaking of time, it’s time to think that the weekend is about to end. The game is over and tomorrow you kids are going back to school. Here’s a nice tweet of a reminder from Fr. Dacanay:
Time to study kids. For the alumni, time to prepare for work.