Five years after leaving the UAAP, Jeric Fortuna still keeps UST fan gifts
Ceej Tantengco on Jan 06, 2017 02:19 PM
“’Yung UST students, grabe ang support at pagmamahal sa players nila,”
“’Yung UST students, grabe ang support at pagmamahal sa players nila,” says Jeric Fortuna. The 5’8” point guard ended his collegiate career as co-captain of the UST Growling Tigers with Jeric Teng in 2012, but his parts of his bedroom are still decorated with UAAP medals and gifts from UST fans and former teammates.
Here are some of the coolest UST keepsakes in Fortuna’s crib.
The box score of his last UAAP game
On a corkboard above his desk, Jeric has pinned a pristine copy of the box score for his last game with the Growling Tigers, their finals match against the Ateneo Blue Eagles. They may have lost, but the game still holds good memories for Fortuna. The Growling Tigers later had a rematch with the Blue Eagles in the Philippine Collegiate Champions League, this time emerging victorious.
Speaking of that last game, Fortuna also kept the shoes he was wearing in the finals. “Ang dumi nga eh!” he laughs. “Hindi pa ‘yan hinuhugasan.” The black-and-green shoes sit at the very top of a shelf beside Fortuna’s bed, alongside a pair of yellow UST-themed flip-flops with the tag still attached. “Never ko sinuot, remembrance ko na ‘yan,” he says.
Back in 2012, the most popular fan props were giant boards printed with the faces of your favorite player. Every school had them. At the end of Fortuna’s collegiate career, the Growling Tigers wrote each other notes on the back of their doppelgangers.’
Half of it is boyish banter. “Ulo!” read Kevin Ferrer and Ed Daquioag’s messages; the team had been teasing Fortuna about the size of his head. Half of it is sincere. “Labyu cap!” they say.
“Ganoon kami eh, puro asaran,” Fortuna explains. “Pero may lambing din naman.”
Possibly the cutest fan gift we’ve seen: Little tiger stuffed toys, one of which has Fortuna’s face. “Ang daming binigay sa amin ng mga UST fans,” he recalls with a smile.
It’s not like he doesn’t have memorabilia from his pro career—he’s got team photos from the PBA and a scratch map that shows where playing with Alab Pilipinas in the ABL has taken him—but UST will always have a special place in Fortuna’s heart.
“Iba ‘yung you’re playing for school pride,” he shares. “It’s not about the money. Basta alam mong may pasok ka kinabukasan at gusto mong masaya ‘yung mga kaklase mo.”