Dear UST Tigers,

Yesterday our very own team  lost 67-62 to the FEU Tamaraws, It was truly a heartbreaking loss for every thomasian. I literally felt like sitting down the sidewalk in front of TYK to cry. I couldn’t imagine all the hardwork you did, and the kind of heartbreak you’re going through. For a time I was speechless.

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Photo By: Varistarian, Alvin Joseph Kasiban

Then I asked myself as I was eating my consolation siomai in Dapitan, What did we get from all of these?

Then I realized that the Tigers’ defeat was not in vain, that you might just have given us important lessons we won’t forget:

The prize of winning

The prize of winning can take years to accomplish, it can take generations. It won’t be easy, it will be full of heartbreaks, pain and suffering.

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Photo By: Carmelo Culvera

For our UST Tigers, it seems that three generations has gone by when we felt like it was our time and we still haven’t achieved that prize. Mark my words, that day will come. For the FEU Tamaraws, they’ve worked hard, and came out on top, they also know how to pay that prize and this time it was theirs to take.

This will not be a one day thing. It’s going to be an everyday thing, a habit of tanking hurt and hardwork. But that day will come because

Faith is more than talk

It’s easy when your relationships work, it’s easy when you have a good job or you’re able to pass your subjects, it’s easy when the tigers win, it’s easy to have faith during those circumstances.

But having faith under defeat, and heartbreak and loss. That is when you have found true faith. That is power!

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Faith is the moment Kevin Ferrer released that ball from behind the 3 point line and you believed 100% that it will count. I realized that I had faith.

I was not just capable of seeing to believe, but more than that I was capable of Believing to see.

The moment we walked out of our houses sporting a yellow attire waving our yellow balloons/banner going to MOA Arena or the UST campus to watch the game. You gave us reasons to have faith in you! that faith is stronger than ever because you taugh us…

It’s more than just winning

Yes, it’s about winning, but that’s not what it’s all about. It’s also about being better than who you were. If you did that, then you have found the champions inside yourselves.

It was ourselves we were fighting with the whole time. Just like the tigers preparing for the game, I can only imagine the long hours of training you had to endure, the greatest enemy you had was yourselves. When you were tired they had to fight against yourselves to push on and be better than who you were yesterday.

“If you make sure there is no enemy within, the enemy outside can do us no harm” – African Proverb

Goals are there to help us start the journey, but it’s also about the WHY! In the middle of your journey when you feel like giving up, you have to go back to your WHY. Your team gave their heart to this game, WHY? Because you love basketball and you want to give hope to every thomasian watching you play with all your heart. Same with the FEU squad. It was a pretty strong WHY for all of you to give us that kind of game.

Acknowledging defeat and moving forward makes a champion. You gave us more reasons to fight other than just winning. You did just that and you showed us once again…

The power of the Thomasian Spirit

The thomasian spirit is powerful, It’s hard to kill the thomasian spirit!

The first time I witnessed with my own eyes the thomasian camaraderie in Araneta Coliseum during one of their games when I was in first year college, I was mind blown! Seeing for the first time the sea of yellow and becoming one with the roaring waves! It was unforgettable, it still is.

But more powerful is the human spirit of camaraderie

How Mr. Tiger, Kevin Ferrer was able to congratulate Mac Belo from FEU as the Final’s MVP was truly a sight to behold. It kinda gives you more faith in humanity. There you see how the fight went, where you go all out against each other, then you see the same fire inside of you in your oppnent and out of that clash, respect is born.

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Photo by: Carmelo Culvera

The thomasian spirit is more than just a fiery-wild fire that burns, it’s a gentle flame that warms. It’s a brilliant flame that illuminates and acknowledges the strength in others. You showed us all of these.

“Better to illuminate than merely to shine” – St. Thomas Aquinas

The effect you had in others

At the end of the day, ask yourself. Was I able to inspire my brothers and sisters? Was I able to contribute something to their lives?

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Photo By: Alvin Joseph Kasiban

Yes my dear tigers, you have. You had your team mates fighting along side you, almost becoming one body, the embodiment of the Thomasian spirit. You gave the FEU Tamaraws a run for their money, you gave them an unforgettable fight. You inspired the whole stadium to cheer for you and against you. You had a whole nation watching as you fought hard and long.

The growling tigers showed us that day, that we can face odds and take it head on. That we don’t have to be afraid of failing as long as we give it our all. We can fight knowing we have nothing to lose. You taught us these valuable lessons and finally…

What success truly is

The way you had us roaring, the way you had us shouting GO USTE! at the top of our lungs is a testament to the your success. This day might be forgotten but the fire you set ablaze within us will echo through our lives. This I think is what success looks like.

In my book and the book of my fellow Thomasians you are heroes, you are champions!

You showed us passion, you showed us courage against insurmountable odds, you taught us how to accept and learn from defeat. You showed us what it means to be a true Thomasian and a true Filipino.

You made us look forward to something more. You made us ready to shout again when the time comes to celebrate with everyone when the tigers finally claim their crown!

Sincerely,

Juan Miguel G. Alvarez,
Proud Thomasian Alumni
Batch 2014

What did you learn from the game? Share it to us in the comments section below!

All photo credits to: Varsitarian’s Alvin Joseph Kasiban and Carmelo Culvera