They did it all #ForRogie

Santino Honasan on May 05, 2016 11:59 PM
They did it all #ForRogie
“Rogie, salamat, sana kasama ka namin ngayon, nakita mo kung paano lumaban yung team.” - UP coach Anto Gonzales

From the first huddle of the season, up until the final time on the pitch, there was always that dedication, that message that began to sound like a battle cry for the University of the Philippines football teams.

“FOR ROGIE.”

It was on their shirts, it was on their armbands, it was what drove them this season. It was what pushed them through the setbacks and it was what motivated them to the victories. The memory of one of their own, Rogie Maglinas, the 19-year old UP football scholar from Masbate, who succumbed to Cancer earlier this year.

For the Maroons, they didn’t just lose a teammate. They lost a brother. They lost family.

Fast forward a full UAAP season later, the Maroons teams were once again parading banners which read “FOR ROGIE”, but this time in victory. The UP Men’s and Women’s football teams emerged as champions for Season 78.

Before cheering for the school, before cheering for themselves, the Maroons cheered for Rogie. After all, one common sentiment was shared everyone in maroon and white that Thursday evening at the Rizal Memorial Stadium. “It was all for Rogie.”

“Everything, all of this, it was all for Rogie, and my teammates. He was our extra motivation, every time we stepped inside the pitch, we knew that we weren’t playing just eleven.” Senior and Women’s Most Valuable Player Molly Manalansan told ABS-CBN Sports. “He was there with us, our number twelve.”

Lady Maroons keeper AJ Javier, who stepped up in a big way on defense against the heavily-favored De La Salle Lady Archers, also felt that they had Rogie by their side every step of the way.

“Rog, para sa’yo ‘to. Hindi ka nagkulang sa amin, gui-nide mo kami all the way, so sobrang gusto talaga namin ‘tong championship na ‘to. “

For the Men’s team, the loss of Rogie affected the start of their season. One of the most emotional about the whole situation, even before the season, and even before Rogie’s passing was Ian Clarino. This time around, while definitely overcome with happiness, the gritty defender couldn’t help but get even more emotional when talking about his fallen brother.

“Hindi namin magagawa  lahat ‘to kundi dahil kay Rogie. Sobrang saya namin. Gusto naming ibigay, hindi lang itong season na ‘to, tuloy tuloy pa, hanggang matapos yung career ko, yung career ng mga members ng UP, lagi naming tatandaan, lahat ng games namin, lahat ng paghihirap namin, sa acads man, on and off the field, gagawin namin para kay Rogie.”

For Clarino, he hopes to one day share the pitch with Rogie again.  

“Rog, miss na miss na kita, sana makalaro ko ulit ikaw balang araw. Balang araw, makakalaro ulit kita, antayin mo ako diyan, Rog. Mahal na mahal kita pare, lahat ito para sayo. Thank you talaga, Rog, I love you.

Team captain and Men’s Most Valuable Player Daniel Gadia spoke about how Rogie was happiest when playing football. It was Rogie’s dream.

“Binigay ko talaga lahat, para kay Rog, kasi pangarap niya yan eh. Pangarap niya maglaro ng football, walang makakasabi kung gaano kasaya si Rog pag naglalaro siya ng football.”

Gadia says he’s taking it upon himself to purse the dreams and wishes that Rogie left behind.

“Rog, alam kong masaya ka na diyan sa taas. Para sa’yo to lahat, someday, tutuparin ko yung mga pangarap mo.  Sa paglalaro ng football, masaya siya eh, so yung mga pangarap niya, pipilitin kong makapunta roon, para sa kanya.”

The men’s team and the women’s team both earned championships that night, but arguably the biggest winner of them all, was coach Anto Gonzales, who handled both squads. Gonzales coached the women’s team to their first title, while bringing the men’s team to their sixth title.

He was also probably the most emotional when it came to talking about Rogie. Visibly holding back the tears in his eyes, Gonzales thanked his ward for everything.

“Rogie, salamat, sana kasama ka namin ngayon, nakita mo kung paano lumaban yung team.” Gonzales said, voice cracking. “Yung iniwan niya, mananatili yun parati para sa amin. Yung fight, yung sipag, yung appreciation sa mga maliliit na bagay. Sana masaya siya kung nasaan siya ngayon.”

From rough start to storybook finish, the teams from Diliman proved that they were indeed the best booters this season in the collegiate ranks.

When they celebrate their wins in the coming days, it will definitely be, as how the season started and ended, all #ForRogie. 

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