When I was in the Philippines last June, I met Fr. Franklin Beltran, OP on a plane from Tuguegarao City to Manila. Fr. Franklin was the most basketball active Dominican when I was a seminarian at the UST Central Seminary. He is the former sports coordinator of Letran during the time of Samboy Lim and he was the PE Director of UST during the high school days of Marlou Aquino and EJ Feihl. When I played as a Varsity of the Central Seminary (known as ECCLE in the intramurals), he was the manager of the College of Education Varsity. When, I asked him how the UST Tigers will fare on this year’s UAAP Basketball, he said “they will surprise everybody”.And so, the Tigers have, indeed, surprised everybody. From the cellar of the first round eliminations (they were at the bottom because one after the other, the great players were either sick or injured) they rose to 3rd for the final four. They have already made Thomasians like me proud by securing the no. 3 spot. At the Final Four play-offs, all the more they surprised everybody by beating the favored UE Warriors which enjoyed a twice to beat privilege. Reaching the Finals was already quite an achievement for a team that was never expected by experts to be part of the final four casts.Game 1 showed the inexperience of the young squad as they bungled a won game with that last one second defensive lapse as they lost 73-72. But in game two, they have proven that they are in the Finals not by sheer luck by clobbering the Blue Eagles 87-71. The game 3 overtime win has proven all pundits wrong. They bagged the Crown with a 76-74 win over the Blue Eagles. This UAAP Championship will be one for the books. It has all the elements of a classic that basketball fans will savor years and decades from now. It was a real Cinderella finish for a young team with a Rookie coach- Pido Jarencio who during his time as a Goldie (the tigers were Goldies at that time) was not able to bring the gold as a lonesome hero of the then UST Goldies in 1984 in a classic match with UE’s Allan Caidic for the 1984 UAAP Finals.The win brought the old glory we savored during the four-peat years from1993-1996. I was lucky to be at the UST Central Seminary in those years. I remember going from one Dominican priest to another to ask for most sought after UAAP Championship tickets in all of those years. There was even a time when I had to buy a ringside ticket from the driver of Dennis Espino. But it was Fr. Virgilio Ojoy, OP, the UST Secretary-General at that time, who pampered us with ringside tickets.I can imagine the Thomasians having a grand victory party at the UST Grounds at this very moment. During the four-peat years, there were roasted calves and packed dinner in each victory celebration. As they celebrate, I am sure they are shouting these cheers over and over again till their voices become hoarse: GO USTEGo USTe! Go USTe! Go USTe!Go! Go! Go! Go! (4x)(2x clap) U(2x clap) S(2x clap) T(2x clap) UST Tigers! 1, 2, 3, 4(5x clap) U(5x clap) S(5x clap) T(5x clap) UST TIGERS!BLACK GOLD BLACK WHITEL - Black Gold, Black WhiteA - Black Gold, Black WhiteL - Black Gold, Black WhiteA - Black Gold, Black WhiteBlack Gold (clap 2x)Black White (clap 2x)Black Gold (clap), Black White (clap)Go Fight, Fight, FightGo Fight (clap 2x) and win (clap 2x) for U (clap) S(clap) T(clap 3x) FIGHT!SANTO TOMAS SPELLINGL - Santo Tomas SpellingA - Santo Tomas SpellingL - Santo Tomas Spelling - Santo Tomas Spelling Ready 1, 2, 3 (clap)S-A-N-T-O T-O-M-A-S Santo Tomas Fight!VIVA SANTO TOMASVIVA SANTO TOMAS!!We are the Tigers the mighty, mighty TigersWe came to cheerAnd to win it with no fear (3x)We are the Tigers the mighty, mighty TigersWe came to cheer 1, 2, 3And to win it with no fearP-P-O P-O-W-E-R the POWER the TIGER POWER Whooh!And lastly they will be singing this Hymn with great pride:UST HYMNGod of all nations Merciful Lord of our restless beingSweep with your golden lilies This fountain of purest lightTrace with the sails of the galleons The dream beyond our seeing Touch with the flame of your kindness The gloom of our darkest night Keep us in beauty and truth and virtues impassioned embraceEver your valiant legionsImbued with unending grace Congratulations to coach Pido and the Tigers and also to the Tigresses for winning the women's championship too.
Congratulations as well to you g.c. and to your fellow Tigers!Check this post out time and again since if I find better videos, I will include them here as well.The blog will now start concentrating on other Philippine leagues like the PBA and the PBL. Of course the NBA too since it is very close to the hearts of Filipinos.
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