Posted in Multiply Sep 29 07
I'm not much of a basketball fan EXCEPT when the Blue Eagles are involved. Let me make that more specific, EXCEPT when it's a game between ADMU and DLSU. These games trigger a sense of school spirit in me. Championship game or not, when it's blue versus green, I chant and cheer like there's no tomorrow. It doesn't really matter if we win, as our alma mater song goes, "Win or lose, it's the school we choose..." It doesn't matter -- but I chant and cheer because this is a team I truly believe in. This is the community that I belong to. And boy am I just so proud.
I just so love our team and what they represent to me. Let me share with you why this is so. In 2003, after a game I saw on TV, I wrote this email to close friends and family:
i just wanted to share how ecstatic i am at ateneo's victory over la salle in this afternoon's game. i wasn't able to watch it live at the araneta because tickets were gone even before i could stand in line. i just saw it on tv, which worked for me because i saw things that perhaps people in the stands wouldn't have seen.
la salle was superb in the game, especially their star player, joseph yeo. he makes most if not all his shots count and can get fonacier to commit fouls. he is really good. i'm not an expert in the game but i can see that their team's defense and offense were really good. it was obvious that they have prepared for this game. ateneo had so struggled to stay on top until the last seconds in this game.
in fact, i really think that our victory was nothing short of a miracle. ateneo didn't have one of their best players, la tenorio, and had only a few days to strategize for this game.
i do know though that between thursday's game and this afternoon's game, the Ateneo community has done its best to prepare for the game in all ways possible. they had obviously practiced well. but they had also turned to the One who made everything possible for the team. they turned to God in prayer. i personally wasn't able to attend any of the masses nor did i personally hear la's apology to the community and his family. i'm sure that a lot of other ateneans were far from the school when all of this happened, but like me, i know their hearts were also at the Church of theGesu.
i learned through the info sent by the school that this year's team's purpose is to give back to the Lord the glory. that each game they will play will be for the greater glory of God.
however, during the game, i saw the hand of God move amongst us. in the 4th quarter, near the dying seconds, la salle was still fighting and the chance that they still win was strong, the camera went over to the ateneo bench to check out what the players and supporters at the bench were doing. and right there, the players did not stand watching, they weren't shouting or panicking. they were all seated, hands clasped, fervently praying the rosary. the rosary. the rosary. they turned to prayer during the most difficult time of the game. they knew their strength would be coming from Him, and from her, Mama Mary.
and then i realized, these boys were not just after this for the fame, the glory, the admiration. they are here for a higher purpose, to show the world that God is behind every victory, that they turn to Him and her when wings are wounded and games are lost. that the team is Mary's team.
this isn't even the championship yet, but i cried. i'm so proud to be an atenean.
Last Thursday, Mary's boys won again. We won against the Green Archers. This gives us another chance to get closer to the finals. I know without a doubt that it was divine intervention at work again. I know that a lot of prayers from all over were heard.
Tomorrow, Sunday, is the big day. I will again wear an Ateneo shirt, to announce to whoever sees me which team I am supporting, I will once again cheer and clap when the Eagles make a shot or steal the ball, but I know that whatever the outcome of the game will be, that the Blue Eagle team would have served their purpose: to give the glory back to God. And to Mary.
"Mary, for you.For your white and blue, we pray, you keep us, Mary, constantly true. We pray, you keep us, Mary, faithful to you."