underdog |ˈəndərˌdÃ´g; -ˌdäg|
a competitor thought to have little chance of winning a fight or contest.• a person who has little status in society.
(source: Macbook dictionary)
Why would anyone choose to root for an underdog team? Is it because they want uncertainty? They believe in going against the norm? They are Pinoy? They were inspired by the movie 300?
In my case, because its a family tradition - I've rooted for Ginebra Kings since grade school because my family religiously watch their games - and UST Growling Tigers is my alma mater's team.
Saturday. Although I've graduated 6 years ago, I try to follow UAAP basketball/ UST Tiger's games when I can. Once again, the UST Tigers are dubbed as the wild card for the 75th Season of UAAP Senior Men's basketball. I have to emphasize that because some people, usually those who dont come from any UAAP school, think that UAAP=basketball. UAAP is composed of several sporting events and UST has been the overall champ for UAAP even when I was in college back in 2002. This year, Coach Pido Jarencio will rely on the veterans Jeric Fortuna, Jeric Teng, Clark Bautista and the new force on the center Karim Abdul. This sounds like a solid lineup but the team can only be considered as a possible final four contender because of the strong lineups of NU, Ateneo, FEU and DLSU.
On their first game for the season, the tigers showed their shooting prowess and led from 1st quarter to the last 30 seconds of the 4th quarter. Due to end game mistakes, they lost by 1 point. Ouch!
Sunday. Ginebra kings wanted to secure their finals stint by sweeping their semis games. They won 3 out of 5, unfortunately, their 4th assignment, B-Meg, has other plans. Not a good basketball weekend in the life of Mei.
Wednesday. Its a do or die game between Talk'n'Text and Ginebra. Once again they showed that they invented the "never say die" phrase and attitude in the PBA via a 1 point win. They got the 4/5 won games incentive which allows them to have another chance for a finals stint. They have to go through another knockout game against, surprise... B-Meg!
Thursday. "Twatching" is an act of monitoring a game thru Twitter and it can be a pain especially when you're a Globe subscriber. Amidst the unreliable 3G connection, I was on the LRT when I read about tweets on how the Tigers overcame a 19point lead powered by Aljon Mariano's offense. He's a come-backing junior who sat out last year because of injury. Refresh, refresh. It was an amazing 30-11 run in the 3rd quarter but its too good to be true! The last time that the Tigers won over the Eagles was on 2007, since then Ateneo won 4 straight championships. UST led by as much as 7 or 9 points but of course you cant expect a champion team to give up just like that. But before I got off the train, the Tigers won by 1 point.
Friday. I was on a weird timezone for two days and I knew I can still catch the replay so I chose sleep over a do or die game of the kings. BUT, NO!! My internal body clock woke me up just in time for the last 2 minutes of the game. It was a close fight, BMEG led by 2 points then Kerby Raymundo got the ball. twice. and missed a 3 point attempt. twice. The kings lost by 2 points, the finals stint was so close yet so far. Plus it could've ended Mark Caguioa's MVP campaign. Double whammy. Ouch!
The UST Tiger's current standing is 1-1. Anything can happen but I hope their win over Ateneo can give them confidence on their next games and throughout the season.
As for Ginebra, the loss stings but oh well. The title drought continues, for now I have to stop lurking on PinoyExchange' thread, I have to unfollow Ginebra related twitter accounts. But come September 30, its a new season and new hope for my underdog team.