UAAP Season 78’s Most Inspiring Story: A Special Double Delivery for UP
Find out what makes UP’s conquest of the UAAP football tournament the most inspiring story of Season 78
The University of the Philippines completed a historic conquest of the UAAP Season 78 football tournaments when the Maroons and Lady Maroons ruled the men’s and women’s division, respectively to bag a rare double crown last May.
UP Lady Maroons nipped La Salle, 2-1, off a header by Ma. Angeliza Sta. Clara in the 67th minute to claim the women’s title and later that night, the UP men’s booters followed suit with a dominant 4-1 victory over Ateneo to cap the football double diadem.
While the feat is already spectacular, there are other reasons that make UP’s double crown the most inspiring story of the UAAP season.
1 Historic breakthrough for Lady Maroons
UP is just the second school to accomplish the double crown. FEU first did the feat eight years ago. What makes it more special, especially for the Lady Maroons is that they bagged their first ever championship in 20 years. And they also handed La Salle’s first loss in the season in the championship game.
2 Slow start for UP men’s squad
The UP men’s football team was off to a slow start in Season 78, bagging only their first win on their third match after opening with a draw against defending champs FEU and a loss to La Salle. The Maroons was inconsistent early on as they followed a three-game win streak with a draw and a loss to close the first round of eliminations. But they found their groove after as they went unbeaten in the second round (a draw and six straight wins), even ousting FEU in their final elims game.
3 Total team effort
The Maroons ended up on top of the men’s rankings despite scoring only 16 goals, good for sixth best in the eliminations. But they also managed to allow only five goals, which tops the league. The scoring came in the playoffs as King Miyagi had a hat trick and UP top scorer Daniel Gadia added another goal in the Finals to nab the title—their first in four years.
4 For Rogie
The most inspiring fact behind UP’s historic conquest is an event that happened off the field and just days before the football season began. Maroons football scholar Rogie Maglinas, who hails from Masbate, was diagnosed with rhabdomyosarcoma, a rare form of cancer affecting the skeletal muscles, in October 2015. Maglinas was said to be responding well to chemotherapy but had fallen into a coma by January. He passed away due to complications of his disease on February 2, five days before the start of the season, which helps explain why the Maroons struggled early.
#ForRogie became their battle cry for the entire season, and their inspired, emotional campaign carried them to the double crown. UP men’s and women’s team coach Anto Gonzales broke in tears after the game, saying in an interview with SPIN.ph, “I think yung death ni Rogie brought us all together towards one goal, which is to win the title.”
“For Rogie” banners were in full display when both UP teams celebrated their finals victories, as some players, coaches and supporters were in tears after the Maroons capped the double crown. “Rogie, salamat sa lahat. Sana kasama ka namin ngayon para makita mong lumaban yung team,” added Gonzales.
Words Omar Belo
Image by: IG @upmft, [email protected]