Just got home from the first ADMU-DLSU game of the season which Ateneo won, 76-72, in overtime. The victory was made extra special by the fact that today's game was dedicated to former President Cory Aquino. In her better days, I used to see her in UAAP games and from what I remember, she wore blue. Today, Ateneans and La Sallians exhibited solidarity in paying tribute to Cory, garbed in yellow and flashing the Laban sign (which also stood for Loser towards the end of the game).
It was nice to see a sea of yellow for a change. For those of us who didn't line up in LSGH or Manila Cathedral, trooped to Ayala or SLEX to see the cortege, today was our chance to participate in celebrating her life and thanking her for everything that she has done for the country. At the beginning of the game, representatives from Ateneo and La Salle offered prayers for Cory followed by the playing of Bayan Ko while videos and images of Cory were played on the screen. It was very moving. Some of her grandchildren also came to the game and more than paying tribute to the first president I knew (80s baby), their presence reminded me of the day I also lost the only lola I ever knew. It's tough what they're are going through but it's truly comforting to know that your grandmother touched the lives of a lot of people, in their case, a whole nation, and that alone can make the grief bearable.
Well, the solidarity didn't last long. As soon as the game started, we all remembered what we were really there for. For a moment, before the first half ended, there was a moment of uncertainty (tense!). Coming to the game, I was fairly confident that we would wing it but after seeing the first half, Ateneo seemed unable to catch up with the younger DLSU team. We weren't supposed to trail them by 10 pts. They weren't supposed to be leading every quarter! But that's over. Somebody woke up and we won.
One defining moment for me during the game was the unsportsmanlike foul given to Joshua Webb of DLSU (hogad, if you have a surname like that, you better protect it. There's a reputation, you know!). When he went down after a rebound (I think), he kicked one of the Ateneo players. It was caught on camera. They were leading the game then. Kung sa soccer, may free kick, meron din pala sa basketball! But what's the price of that kick? Well, isang tajak equals 2 free throws + ball possession for Ateneo. Y0n! Yun yon eh!