As of last Wednesday, the Red Lions has dropped their chances to sweep the elimination round in Season 83 of the NCAA. Ouch, it felt like a heartbreak. But we have to move on…
In a few hours, San Beda will take on the Mapua Cardinals as the 2nd round of the eliminations open in Arena, San Juan City.

Last Wednesday also saw the largest crowd that the San Beda Red Lions, has drawn since opening day. The Arena, a venue with a seating capacity of 5,000, was easy for the Red Army to fill. The game was originally scheduled at the Araneta. But the ManCom decided to just play safe with a smaller venue. We know how this ended.. the Knights winning by the slimmest of margins, 70-69, bringing Letran at the top of the standings, tying San Beda with a 5-1 win loss card.

I noticed several things about how the Red Army reacted through out the game. I commend the San Beda Cheerleaders Association (SBCA) for the various improvements in the positioning of cheerleaders throughout the venue, bringing back the original cheers, slowly reviving the roaring Bedan cheers of old. I’m also happy to see the recruitment for the SBCA is at an all-time high. They have exponentially grown from 6 to about 30. Good job!

So many things have changed since the long dark years of the San Beda title drought. One thing remains the same, though. You can buy the latest and most expensive instruments and have the biggest and the loudest pep squad, but if the crowd just comes to the games to watch and cheer when the team is leading, the Red Army cannot hold the distinction of being the most powerful Sixth Man in college basketball.

Now, let me talk as a diehard here. Those who cannot relate at this level, can freely skip this paragraph.

Sure, we all come in drones, wearing red to watch our team play. But during those times that our team trails its opponents, we stare in blank space, our butts heavily glued to our seats. Yes I know, it’s human nature to feel demoralized. But part of being there during games is to egg our team on to victory. It is the only thing you can contribute to help them win the game. Well, everyone else can argue that they paid for their tickets. Hence, they can do whatever they want while occupying that seat corresponding to their ticket. I say, if you want to just sit comfortably, the sofa in your house or the bed in your room is much more comfortable. Hehehe I’m getting carried away. I hate to admit it but the Bedan spectator has had this attitude for decades. Maybe because we have lost so many games in the past, we can’t just simply shake off the habit. But things have changed, we’re defending champions now. We have the tools to rally back from 10,20 points down. We’re the best there is. The crowd must be the best there is, as well.

I’ve seen how the Japanese and Koreans cheer their team on during international competitions held in their homecourts, like the 2002 World Cup. They never wavered, not one second in the entire game. How they cheered from tip-off was the same until the buzzer sounded. Whether they won or lost, the cheering had the same intensity. It may seem too impersonal, or robotic to a point. But maybe it is their patriotism that propels them to cheer that way. Love of school can be equated to love of country, too. If only we could replicate that tenacity into one of our games, wow! That would be so incredible!

How about recent attendance during San Beda games? Oh… really disappointing!

In our quest for a first back-to-back title since 1978, Bedans have come up with this silly excuse, “No challenge, we’re sure to win it all! It’s too boring to come out and see the boys play.” Now eat all of those words back. We crashed back to earth with that 1 point loss against Letran. If it would mean the return of interested spectators to see how the Red Lions will bounce back from hurting their ego last Wednesday, I will thank my lucky stars for that loss. Maybe we’re being taught the forgotten virtue of humility. I hope we learn it well.

What transpired last Wednesday completely changed the complexion of this year’s wars. Now, the other teams realized they are capable to crack the Lions down. It is up to Coach Frankie Lim and his pride of lions to bounce back and prove to everyone else we still deserve that back-to-back! B2B@83!

As a fitting conclusion, let me quote some lines from a great Bedan chant:

Polly wolly wanna
Polly wolly woo
We’re from San Beda
Who are you?
If you cannot hear us
We yell a little louder…..

Come on guys, it’s time to yell a little louder, GO SAN BEDA FIGHT!

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