The Start of a New Tiger Era
Angelique Manto on Nov 24, 2015 08:12 PM
The family that plays together, wins together.
UST has been through that for numerous times over.
The transition from being named ‘Glowing Goldies’ to ‘Growling Tigers’ drew from an embarrassment during the presentation of mascots during Season 54, but they overcame it.
The sudden transition of post from Coach Pido Jarencio to Coach Bong Dela Cruz wasn’t a breeze in the beginning, but they overcame it.
The transition of the Growling Tigers from a team to a family took some time and effort, but they overcame it.
And in all ends, everything was worth it.
Coming from a season of adjustments, transitions and heartbreaks, to say that the Growling Tigers had enough boost returning to this new season wouldn’t quite make such sense. If we asked people if they saw the team propelling in Season 78 back then, most wouldn’t have given a nod, basing from the season that had been.
But for the purpose of motivation, all those reactions didn’t put much pressure, giving them space instead to work at their own pace, which worked well on the then ‘team’.
Yes – in quotation marks, because this was how they saw themselves then, this was how everyone perceived them to be. But this season, it’s an all-new story; and we have to give props to Coach Bong for being the main motivator, instigator, and pioneer of the tight-knit streak of Tigers, giving a new definition to the family they have created.
It is in the way Coach Bong approached his boys in such a fatherly manner – and the boys have all but affirmed when I asked them so – that they realized they were already forming a family. He sat them down, talked to them individually, took note of each one’s progress and insufficiencies, protected them, and even took all the bullets for them; but it was not just him – everyone in the coaching staff became their parents in the course of the season. Kevin Ferrer even stopped using the word ‘team’ when describing the Tigers but used ‘family’ in relating to them – all as a result.
For many times over, I have included the word ‘family’ in my reports, some may find it overused, but for all reasons I could give, one stands out: this family is what they strongly hold on to – when times get rough, when things get better, when all is yet to be known.
This family is the start of the new tiger era, a glimpse of the future Growling Tigers we have yet to witness. And just like all the transitions UST has been through, it wasn’t and wouldn’t be easy for all we know, but they overcame and will still overcome it and as always, it will be worth it.