Last two overtimes

Leslie's only got roughly twenty days of waiting to do, but as it comes closer I'm still expecting that we'd end up reminiscing about how life was before we graduated. All that waiting for the weekend, for one. She once quipped that companies should follow DLSU's example, and implement a four-day work week, which isn't exactly a good economic indicator. Nonetheless, I get her point.

Sure, we're somehow trying to relive our more carefree college years, perhaps by meeting up with old friends or, as I did before, actually visit for a very arbitrary reason. Lately, however, it seems I've been taking a different approach: seriously watching the UAAP.

I'm not really a fan of the Green Archers, although I understand that everybody else around me are. (Of course, if you know people who claim to have entered the university solely for the basketball team, well, how extreme can it get?) I haven't seen a game live, I haven't fallen in line at the Yuchengco lobby for tickets, I haven't gone crazy for the players - although that's more of Kat's specialty - and I haven't closely followed the actual games. But you end up supporting your team by default; thus, I was rooting for them anyway, hoping that they'd win, especially in the crucial moments.

Oddly, it's only now, a full year after I've graduated, that I've really followed how our team has gone. I guess it's because my brother's really getting into basketball, being a varsity player in high school; every night I'd come home from work and see him slumped on the sofa, watching reruns on BTV. All his analysis with my dad has naturally gotten me curious, especially now that it's the UAAP, and with the PBA over, he can only turn to his peers from another level.

Now, he's literally against DLSU, and only because both of his siblings came from there. Of course, that adds an extra dimension to things. Include a cousin who's an ardent Archer supporter, and the two of us actual La Salle students, and you have some discussions.

We were at our grandparents' house last week, watching the Archers almost lose to the Falcons. Actually, I expected us to lose. I've always said I never trusted our line-up to make it far this season, and it's no dismissive grunt: their lack of experience and a go-to guy is pretty much a given. Then again, we were facing the Falcons, and after a two-game winning streak - both with down-and-out teams - it felt momentum and luck were on their side. We ended up winning when Adamson started panicking, and the close calls had me screaming at the right moments. Unfortunately, nobody likes noisy people, and when you're beside someone who makes odd sounds and the occasional expletive - how exactly do you spell pucha? - you're bound to get hissed. My brother always does that. He hates me, and yet we won the game by one point.

Today we were at our uncle's house, and the television was again tuned in to the UAAP games, and the Archers going against the Tigers. Now, I felt, we're going to break our three-game streak: we are the obvious underdogs. Jeanna, my Thomasian cousin, had enough reason to believe that they will beat us, and I thought the possibility wasn't a small one. Even my uncle, who's a Tamaraw-head, said the same thing. For a moment, they were right, when UST broke away with a sixteen-point lead after a fairly close game.

It was a new, empty house, and there wasn't much left to do aside from sleep and eat, so I ended up watching the game. You know what you get next.

There I was, a DLSU graduate who didn't really bother caring that much for our athletes, suddenly cheering really loudly in front of a television screen. And enough reason, too: the third quarter was hopeless, but the fourth was a different matter entirely. All those unknown names - well, not exactly, since Hyram Bagatsing was a classmate of mine at one point - managed to whittle down UST's lead to two points, and suddenly we had a real chance of winning the game. On the contrary, I was happy with us losing, as long as it wasn't a blowout win.

Tied at 82, UST took possession, finished up the shot clock, tossed a shot from the paint, and made it. So that is it, right? We were frantic, sure. Three seconds won't be enough. There was some commotion over the last shot, because the ball took its time bouncing around the rim, but for the most part, we've conceded that the Tigers won. Time to go home.

After watching most of our games this season, I've noticed that Studio 23's graphics have failed to update on time. Sometimes the score would remain at a certain point even if both teams have already made a shot. It got confusing when the television showed that the game had ended at 82-all. "End of regulation," it said. The game wasn't over yet, but we haven't figured that one out, oddly. Seems we didn't catch the commentary acknowledging the bad Tiger shot, or they didn't do the announcement at all. Hyped up and slightly wheezy, we filed a bid to stay until the game ends. Didn't happen. We were in Rizal and we had to go back to Cavite.

"Sinong nanalo?" I texted Jeanna, around twenty minutes later. Of course, overtime only lasts for five minutes, so unless there's been one hell of a commotion, it should be over. It took ten minutes for her to reply, and she didn't have much news.

"Wala pa," she said.

"Second overtime?" I answered in disbelief. She only said yes.

It was, somehow, a good decision to go home early. The game somehow dragged longer than we expected, because I didn't get any updates until when we were in Alabang. Of course, we can't go screaming anymore inside the car, plus there's no way to find out what's happening live - local radio can be so unreliable and out of touch - but her last update somehow summed it all up.


"I think we won," I told my sister.

Two crucial three-pointers and a four-game winning streak later, I have to get ready, somehow, for next week. It's the slightly-anticipated game against Ateneo,which actually ends up getting me more tired than excited, because from experience, it's the week our university stops and everybody goes in line to buy legitimate or scalped tickets. But my brother's an unabashed Eagles fan, again because he has two Archer siblings. We may not win, but it'd be nice to give him a serious one-up. Why this didn't happen sooner, I don't know.

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