T’was a night for recognition. All the school I had played against were there, host UST, San Beda, Asian Institute of Management, arch nemesis De La Salle University (which happens to be my former school in college by they way) and of course my school Ateneo Graduate School of Business, the over-all champs. My only reason for being there is to share the night with my co-athletes and mingle with my friends who participated in the other events. I played in Bowling and Basketball, both champions in their own events. Being a member alone is already a fulfillment for me.
My best friend Blue Viray was there and we talked about various things, including current issues about the bowling team and future undertakings. Everyone was in a jolly mood. I was until a close friend of mine called me and became upset that she was not informed. I made the proper invitation in our Yahoo Groups but as I found out, she never accepted the invitation for some reason. Hencel, more than just a dear friend to me if she only knew (or does she?), was among the first ones I invited into the group, making it a lot weirder why she did not join the group. Her great boyfriend is not good buddy of mine, someone who despises me so much for more reasons than one, one of which was knowing I tried to court her girlfriend late last not knowing they were already on. Add to this that I made the basketball team and he didn’t all the more made him uncomfortable, but unlike him, I have been through many battled and even if I did not make the team, it wouldn’t be such a big deal geez. Charge it to experience. I was only invited to try out, but I did not set my hopes high like him.
Anyway, back to the party. I was surprised that I found myself receiving the basketball championship award for the school. The council president had to attend to something so he asked me to receive the trophy on behalf of the school. I was flattered of course, since for one, I was never instrumental in anyway for the team. I was content with making it to the team and nothing else. I suddenly had a dandy idea! I asked the whole team to come with me on stage to receive the award since they more deserved to hold it than me.
When our team was called, I led them to stage, receiving handshakes and high fives from UST players whom we fought in the finals. We all stood tall and received the award, something meaningful for the school. I was just glad to receive it for them.
What really gave me the sense of fulfillment was the fact that I was part of the team that regained the crown we lost last year. This is my last year with them, and being part of something important to them, and receiving it on their behalf was more than honoring. I have decided to retire from basketball to allow my injuries (hamstring and groin injuries, firsts in my entire playing career!) and focus on my writing and professional work. It was a year worth remembering and surely next year I will continue to support Ateneo, not anymore as a player, but as a loyal spectator in the stands! For Hencel, well we already talked and ironed things out, but as I told her, she is the LAST person I would not want to be with on such a special night. If she was there, I would have asked her to join me in accepting the award as well, since I am not known to hog the limelight for people who are more deserving than me. Congratulations Ateneo Graduate School of Business…. It has been a privilege indeed!