Dear UST Growling Tigers,
In just a few hours, you will face the most formidable foe you could possibly go up against for the UAAP crown. Make no mistake about it. This foe is tenacious, unrelenting, talented and well-coached.
I don’t mean the FEU Tamaraws that you swept in the elimination round. I’m referring to the other FEU Tamaraws, the ones who experts preordained UAAP champions even before the first whistle was blown, the first ball was jumped.
These Tamaraws are legit champs-in-waiting. Logic says you will get swept in this best-of-three Finals series, so go ahead, double-book those promises for ringside tickets to Game 3. Basketball sense says even if you force it to a KO match, you’re the one who’s going to get K’d the fuck O, so save up your preciously sparse allowance and don’t bother printing those champion shirts. Optimistic projections say you just might take a one- or two-point lead with a second remaining in Game 3, but even then, Mac Belo, hello.
Anybody with a tiger’s whisker worth of basketball IQ knows that this is a battle that cannot be won. And it would be crazy to believe that you could actually end this series with a trophy-hoisting frenzy in the center of a confetti-drenched court.
But see here, that’s exactly what I am. Crazy. Unapologetically, legitimately, undoubtedly cuckoo. My common sense is way out there, somewhere between outer space and the ganja-sphere.
Because you know what? I do believe. In my heart of hearts, I believe that there is a sliver of a chance that you just might actually pull this one off. It has nothing to do with basketball parameters. It has to do with the kinetic crazy bouncing around your insides like some sort of perpetual faith-energy hybrid that inspires an even bigger collection of crazy: Call it the Yellow Army.
They feed off you and you feed off them. And this infinitely alternating transference of a faith-energy construct causes such entity to snowball with every loop. Maybe, just maybe, that crazy faith-energy hybrid will overcome the depth of talent spewing out of that mean fighting basketball machine commonly known as the FEU Tamaraws.
I must admit, I prayed hard for Ateneo to somehow upset FEU to make things easier for your title quest. Yeah, I know, Ateneo actually took a game off you in the elimination round. But trust me, the Eagles would have been an easier title hurdle.
And then I realized that the sweetest victories are those achieved by the underdogs against impossible odds. If that proclamation were a mathematical formula, Victories = UAAP trophy, Underdogs = You, and Impossible odds = FEU.
So yeah, I believe.
I believe that you will lay down your every last ounce of sweat, every last drop of energy, every last mist of breath until you have no more to give to battle for the pride of the school. You will guarantee us the fight of a lifetime. You will make sure that there is no result that is preordained–heck the same guys who virtually handed the title of FEU also predicted you won’t make the Final Four, right?–and that if the FEU Tamaraws want the title they will have to go out there and take it. And they will do so, too, against the most formidable foe they could ever face for the UAAP title.
You will guarantee tigers on the court for the championship series.
And in return, we guarantee this: We will be with you every step of the way—until you have crawled your last inch, used up your last strength.
We are a formidable ally. You might not think so by the way the UAAP markets itself to the Ateneo-La Salle audience because our wallets do not have the purchasing muscle that the Blue-Green faithful have. But see there’s a reason for that. We pinch pennies, stretch our school allowances in a physics-defying show of elasticity and hold off on that pricey gourmet coffee so that we can save up for the price of admission to watch you play, to have your back.
Because you know we have your back right? A gang of yellow will make sure no Tamaraw is going to hurt you intentionally and make it out of the coliseum to talk about it. A thunder of yellow will make sure no big shot or dramatic win will go unappreciated, un-roared. And a solace of yellow will make sure no pain of defeat will be shouldered by just you. We will share in the heartache of any setback.
So yeah, I believe. We believe. You have heart, you have a chance.
Go out there. Fight. Give ’em hell.
Whatever happens, you will always be our proud, unyielding Tigers and we, ever your valiant, loyal legions.
Yours in pride, puso, palaban (I love you guys so much that I’d willingly adhere to an awkwardly crafted, cringe-worthy battle cry),
Francis (Thomasian always, yellow army forever)