A fangirl on 0-3 and moving on

Tricia Robredo on Sep 18, 2015 11:01 PM
A fangirl on 0-3 and moving on
EXPERT OPINION. NU fangirl Tricia Robredo thinks the Bulldogs should move on from their championship last season to be able to move on from their 0-3 start this year.

When the ongoing UAAP season kicked off, my boss suggested that I write about the differences between being a courtside reporter and a fan (Which I haven’t really done yet. Hehe. Sorry, sir!). It should have been easy considering that I’ve been a fan way before I joined the broadcast team, but when I was preparing to compose my article, my mind drew a blank. 

It’s not because I have nothing to say because I actually have a lot! Putting them down into writing was the difficult part because that would probably take me on another sentimental roller coaster ride. (I guess those of you who know me have figured out just how emotional I could get.) 

It’s been some sort of a running tradition among courtside reporters who’ve already graduated from duties to come to the first game of the teams they once covered for. As for me, I dreaded opening day. A LOT. 

Don’t get me wrong. It wasn’t because I didn’t care for the Bulldogs anymore nor and suddenly completely uninterested about what’s going on there. In fact, it was the complete opposite. 

I’ve said it a million times already and although it would be quite appropriate, I’ll say it again anyway – I’ve grown overly (and quite dangerously) attached to my job and my team of two years. Hence, coming back to the arena as a spectator was a tough pill for me to swallow (I can only imagine how it’s like for the athletes once they move forward from collegiate sports. Kung ako dalawang taon lang, hindi pa player, tapos nagkakaganito ako, paano pa kaya sila?)
My dad always said, “Mahirap masanay sa isang bagay dahil kung mawala ‘yun, hahanap-hanapin mo na.” I guess that’s exactly what I’m going through now.

I may have been a fan of the UAAP since grade school, but I was a National University courtside reporter first before being a National University fan. So it’s that life I’ve gotten used to – visiting practices, entering dugouts, listening to huddles, learning from defeats, and celebrating victories together with the boys and girls. 

It’s disorienting being once more on the outside looking in. Don’t get me wrong though, it does have its perks: I get to watch the games more; I’m less pressured because I no longer have to write reports; and I’m freer to feel what I want to feel and actually show it without getting so conscious about how I look. However, I’d definitely be lying if I say that I don’t miss being on the job.  

Kristelle Batchelor, the former University of Sto. Tomas courtside reporter, and I have become good friends with former University of the Philippines star Mikee Reyes. It’s funny how he would always lecture us whenever we’d get emotional by saying, “Tapos na kontrata niyo. Hindi naman kayo tinanggal, okay. Hindi katulad ng iba sa atin!” (We love you, Mikes! Hehe) In all seriousness, however, he’d tell us to accept that our time is up and just gracefully let it go. 

At first, I planned on completely detaching myself from the UAAP. But then I got involved with this website which requires me to cover the league. Still, even if I weren’t a writer for ABS-CBN, feel ko ‘di ko pa rin matitiis eh.

Because although a lot of things have changed, one important thing remains – a heart that beats for the blue and gold.

When I was courtside, I used to get inexplicably and extra stressed whenever NU and Ateneo de Manila University played each other. It was a battle between “my” school and MY school.

I thought I wouldn’t be as affected this time around when they met last Wednesday, but when I was watching the game on television, I realized that I thought wrong. More than that, when the Bulldogs dropped to 0-3, it actually stung. 

I think what sucks more than the record, however, is how those who once “supported” these guys and hitched to the NU bandwagon are now the same people very unforgiving of the team’s performance. 

Sa totoo lang, napakamot din naman ako ng ulo. I sometimes wonder what is happening with the defending champions as well. Then you start to realize that this isn’t the same group as last season’s. They did lose to graduation a total of four guys, including PBA-bound Troy Rosario and Glenn Khobuntin.

At this point, maybe the task of acceptance and letting go isn’t just for me. Maybe it’s something that the Bulldogs, and everyone else for that matter, should deal with. (Hindi yung hindi na ako courtside ah. Ang feeling ko naman nun. LOL.)

As long as the boys hold on to the idea of the championship a season ago, I think it would be difficult for them to discover the identity and the potential that this new group really holds. More importantly, they would probably always feel afraid to risk making mistakes. Instead of playing the game they love, it would seem like they’re out just to prove something to others. 

I think what made them as bold as they were back in Season 77 was the nothing-to-lose mentality. Although the situation is different now, maybe that’s something they should bring back. 

Another thing I’d like for them to bring back is not really the heart of a champion, but the hungry heart of a Bulldog – the kind that refuses to back down from anyone or anything no matter how great of a challenge; the kind that does not seek vengeance, but simply wants to keep fighting for the ones it loves and for the One above; the kind that fights together in faith despite all odds.

If it’s taking some time for me to transition from being a courtside reporter to a fan, I guess it’s natural for them to take a while to adjust to new dynamics. I get a little surprised myself when I look at the stat sheet and see the once defensive specialists making the shots for the team.

But hey, there is progress and they are getting there. (All biases aside, I think their performance against Ateneo was a great leap from the one against UE!) And I’m sure they’d move forward a lot faster than I will. (No hugots here! Haha.) 

And if I still have a strong beating blue and gold heart in my chest, I’m sure as heck they still do as well. Things have changed, but there are those that remain constant. So mighty heart and bounce back, boys!


Follow this writer on Twitter, @jpgrobredo.

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