Saturday, September 13, 2014

Fair Play: Why USC community should rally behind the Warriors

(This is my Fair Play column for Sun.Star Cebu's Sept. 13 edition)
WHEN I was still a correspondent in early 2000s, there were basically two questions that would start a long debate among colleagues as no one had a clear cut answer – how long is the UV Green Lancers’ win streak and how long is the USC Warriors losing streak?

Back then, covering the Cesafi basketball was as interesting as watching paint dry--UV would win all the games and the titles and all the Lancers need to do, it seems, is show up. On the other side of the coin, the USC Warriors would lose all games so badly that it was often suggested that the school drop the Warriors monicker.

I was a correspondent and a USC student at that time, and I’d always get ribbed by colleagues, “Kulata na sad imong San Carlos.”

Sure, a few years later, USC would make the final and thanks to a guy named Enrico Llanto, the Warriors would take the vaunted Lancers to the brink before losing in five games in 2007. But, after that, it was back to regular programming as the Warriors spent most of the time in the cellar, looking up as the Lancers won nine straight before the UC Webmasters got two. They were still looking up when UV and SWU took turns in winning one in the past season.

Right now, they aren’t looking up to anybody but are on equal footing with the SWU Cobras with a 9-1 record in the elimination round. It’s the first time for USC to be in this position.

This USC team’s rise is the perfect argument why alumni support is crucial to each sport. It is something Manila teams survive on but is only starting to take effect in Cebu. Celestino Martinez and the USC Warriors Alumni started backing the team and from a modest target of making the top four last year, they are now the top team in the elimination round. They could have been undefeated and at number one, if not for a lapse against SWU, but that loss has served the team well.

Officially, Martinez is the manager, but he’s more like the team godfather (They’re managers but with deeper pockets. Think MVP and SBP and Dan Palami and the Azkals) and I’m hoping the team wins it all, not only because I’m a USC alumna, but because this will show how successful a team could be if the alumni gets involved.

The alumni has done its part, now it’s the time for the school to do theirs, too. Get the students to rally behind the team, fill the stands with yellow when the Warriors play in the knockout round.

It can be done and it has been done in the past, when USC made the finals in 2007. All it took then was one teacher and his PE class to show up in the stands during the games. What more can this USC team get if the whole school supports it?

So Carolinians, why not make the Cebu Coliseum a sea of yellow shirts when the Warriors play their next game? That’s the smallest thing we can thank them for this 9-1 record.

The alumni, too, is starting to support the football team and I hope a successful run in basketball would mean more alumni support for football and the other teams.

Just imagine a major university such as USC teaming up with its vast pool of alumni? What new heights would the Warriors achieve?

USC TC at 75. USC TC is celebrating its 75th anniversary, and here’s a little known fact; the last four sports editors of this paper were USC TC products, and three of us were BS ECE students.

I wasn’t that bad a student, having made the Dean’s List in my first year (and the Drop List in my third) but there’s one thing about solving math problems that can help a writer-- There are many ways to skin a cat, the simplest way is the best, math teachers love to say. The same holds true for writing, keeping it simple is best.

Being a writer in an engineering class helps you improve your craft—and get a lot of freebies—because you’d spend most of the time writing your classmates’ essays, reports and reaction papers on the minor subjects.

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