‘All worth it’: Ateneans take break from final exam preparations to watch UAAP finals

MANILA— With final exams coming up next week, students at Ateneo’s cafeteria had their noses buried deep in their readings and laptops a few minutes before the Blue Eagles faced the University of the Philippines Fighting Maroons on Wednesday.

But books were closed and computers were shut the moment starting players were announced, signaling the start of what turned out to be the final game of the season for their beloved basketball team.

The Ateneo cafeteria turned into a spectators’ gallery on Wednesday, as students and university staff watched Game 2 of the UAAP Season 81 finals. TJ Billones, ABS-CBN News

It was not long before the Gonzaga cafeteria was filled to the brim with students and personnel eager to cheer for the Blue Eagles even if they would not be heard through the tall LED screen.

Every point was met with howls and applause, even if the team pulled away from the Maroons. And when UP was in possession, they shouted “Get that ball!,” as if one with the crowd at Araneta Coliseum in boosting the boys’ confidence with every play.

Somehow, in those 2 hours, they were part of the team’s “sixth man”, not students gearing up for the last leg of the first semester.

Lia Quiaoit, a freshman psychology major, rushed from her dormitory to the Rizal Library to catch the last few minutes of the game. 

“It was all worth it, going up the stairs was all worth it,” she told ABS-CBN News.

Avy Salvador, also a freshman, went immediately to the viewing event at the library’s study hall in the fifth floor after her classes to cheer for the Blue Eagles, especially anticipating a win that would bring the team to a back-to-back championship.

“I think it’s really worth it because it shows your school support and you’re really just anticipating what’s going to happen in this game. Especially because if Ateneo wins, it means a lot for us. As a freshie, it feels different to watch the game as a student of Ateneo rather than just an outsider,” Salvador said.

Although she wanted a third game, which would have been scheduled for Saturday, so she could watch live, Salvador said she’s still happy that the Blue Eagles wrapped up the title already.

At the Gonzaga cafeteria, though the livestream failed to catch the last few moments of the game, the crowd roared with glee upon seeing the boys win 99-81.

Quiaoit, Salvador, and their friends headed back to their respective homes and return to studying, but with a fresh vigor brought about by the Blue Eagles’ win. They now anticipate their first bonfire celebration, a school tradition honoring the champion athletes.

For more sports coverage, visit the ABS-CBN Sports website.

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