UAAP: 'Atin 'to, Papasok 'to' is no more for UP; long live '16 Strong'

Norman Lee Benjamin Riego on Oct 24, 2018 09:03 PM
UAAP: 'Atin 'to' is no more for UP; long live '16 Strong'
Captain Paul Desiderio has come up with the mantra for UP in their last two seasons (Photos courtesy of Kath Zamora of UP Maroon Club, Juan GDL's Instagram)

A season ago, Paul Desiderio uttered four words that will forever be linked to him.

During a timeout in the dying moments of the University of the Philippines’ first game in the tournament against University of Sto. Tomas, the captain had a message for his teammates.

“Atin ‘to, papasok ‘to,” he said.

This is what happened next.

From that point, those four words became the battle cry for the Fighting Maroons.

Ultimately, however, it wasn’t “Atin ‘to” and it didn’t “Papasok ‘to” for State U.

Fast forward to now and apparently, there’s a new battle cry for the maroon and green.

Last Sunday, needing a win to get back on track, Desiderio sported a black shirt with “UP” on the front and then “16 Strong” on the back.

As it turns out, that’s the new mantra for UP.

Since then, they have won back-to-back games.

Asked about their brand new battle cry after their most recent win, Desiderio answered, “’16 Strong’ kasi gusto ko, kumbaga, sacrifice na. Ako, nag-sacrifice na so gusto ko, lahat kami, papasok at gagawa. Pantay-pantay lang.”

He also added, for good measure, “’Di na ‘Atin ‘to.’ ’16 Strong’ na.”

Basically, “16 Strong” is the skipper’s challenge to the entire lineup composed of 16 players – himself, Bright Akhuetie, Diego Dario, JJ Espanola, Javi Gomez de Liano, Juan Gomez de Liano, Will Gozum, Janjan Jaboneta, Jarrell Lim, Pio Longa, Jun Manzo, David Murrell, Jerson Prado, James Spencer, Jaydee Tungcab, and Gelo Vito.

And those teammates have only heeded Desiderio’s call.

“Most definitely, whether starters or from the bench, we should do our job,” Juan GDL said. “It should be total team effort. It’s not just Paul, it’s not just me, it’s not just Bright. Everyone has to step up.”

That is nothing but a welcome development for the UP captain himself. “Tinanggap na nga nila. kumbaga, sinabi nila, lalaban sila para sa lahat,” he said.

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Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo.

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