Thankless job for winning UST athletes

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from-downtownIT IS undeniable that the Thomasian community feels disappointed with the sloppy performance of the UST men’s basketball team. Following their three finals appearances in four years, the Tigers have slowly established their identity as a powerhouse team.

But this year, when UST is hosting the UAAP, they looked hapless, even surrendering a 43-point blowout loss along the season en route to last place.

Bad timing. Bad luck.

The Tigers may have been a complete embarrassment, but the other UST teams—unheralded and unappreciated—have made UST proud.

The Tiger and Lady Spikers, Tiger Jins, Male Paddlers, Male and Lady Judokas, teams with little fanfare, were responsible for the University’s six gold medals in the first semester, sparking hopes that UST would recover the grand championship from La Salle this year.

Women’s table tennis, women’s taekwondo and poomsae teams have also contributed to UST’s bid to recover the overall championship bagging silver medals.

But sadly, the efforts of these low-key athletes have gone unnoticed, because Thomasians, like most Filipinos, hardly care for any sport except basketball or volleyball.

I have noticed that the University of the Philippines is the lone university that cheered for all of its sporting teams. When the Tigers lost nine of their last 10 games this season, UST’s famous “sea of yellow” was nowhere to be found. However, the decrease of supporters was understandable because who would want to watch their team get humiliated by other competing squads?

The case of UP supporters, however, is baffling but admirable. The Fighting Maroons have won only 10 games in the last three seasons, which is under the 11-win total of UST last year, but UP students and alumni are always present to cheer for their team in defeat and in loss.

Also, there have been times when UP supporters voluntarily chipped in money to help other teams in their expenses and food.

The lack of interest for sports aside from basketball, indoor volleyball and cheerdance competition is a problem not just in UAAP schools but in the nation as well.

Filipinos have always shown support for Gilas Pilipinas, a team that has barely carved a niche in international basketball, but displayed little to no interest for other Filipino athletes even if they bring home medals from major international competitions.

Last year, the University administration scheduled a “Yellow Day” to show support for the Tigers who were playing in the UAAP finals at that time.

This year, UST has already won six gold medals and three silvers but nothing has been done to celebrate that success.

Just like the Tigers, UST’s other sporting teams have shed blood, sweat and tears to put the University’s name at the top of the UAAP pedestal.

It is just rightful for the Thomasian community to show that they are appreciated and recognized.

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