March 11, 2015
What Sports Teach Us
“Do not let what you cannot do interfere with what you can do.” -John Wooden
On this one gloomy Wednesday, Alyssa Valdez and the Ateneo Lady Eagles crushed a crippled La Salle Lady Archers in Game One of their best-of-four 77th UAAP title series with plenty to spare. The result was ghastly, 25-18, 25-19, 25-19. It pushed the Loyola-based spikers a win away from a historic title sweep.
Not to take away the credit from Ateneo, but it is the losing that inspired me to write this blog.
You see, La Salle was without their backbone, Ara Galang. In case you’re hiding in a cave or kidnapped by aliens, Galang suffered a season-ending injury. She tore an ACL (anterior cruciate ligament) MCL (medial collateral ligament) and meniscus. Please don’t ask me the severity of that injury. All I can tell you is that it’s painful. Like hell. Now multiply it in three.
So Galang is out of it.
But in the first game of the finals, Galang wore her uniform and, in crutches, sat at La Salle’s bench, alongside coach Ramil de Jesus. She did not do a Willis Reed, but her presence alone served as an inspiration not just for La Salle, but the rest of us. Nevermind the helplessness she felt during the game, agonizing over the possibility that she could have helped her team had she not sustained the injury. She was just there. For her teammates, coaches, team and her legions of green-clad fans screaming “Animo La Salle!”
Sadly, Galang’s presence did not translate into a win.
Worse, La Salle’s woes were compounded by the fact that Camille Cruz, who is back after an ACL injury that cost her a year, hurt her knee. Reports have it that Cruz, like Galang, suffered multiple ligament tears. Ouch. Make it a double blackeye for La Salle.
And former La Salle captain Abby Marano helping Galang as the team exits the court following the defeat.
So on Saturday, unless Armaggedon occurs or Galang and Cruz suddenly gets the same quick self-healing power of Wolverine, expect Ateneo to turn the MOA Arena in Pasay City La Salle’s crematorium by bringing out the broom and securing the Jesuit-ran school a back-to-back UAAP championship.
So congratulations in advance, Ateneo.
But more so on La Salle. For teaching us these lessons of faith, friendship and sticking to your teammates until the end. And for soldiering on despite being aware that defeat is inevitable. That is hope, ladies and gentlemen.
And these are just what sports teach us.
So I’m ending this blog with another John Wooden quote.
“Success is never final, failure is never fatal. It’s courage that counts.”