UNIVERSITY of the Philippines team manager Dan Palami has fired back at critics of the bonfire celebration that followed the Maroons' win over Adamson, saying the end of a 27-game losing streak in the UAAP is worth celebrating.
The merriment at Sunken Garden that marked the Maroons' 77-64 win over the Falcons was not without critics who questioned if it was the bonfire party was appropriate for a school that has won just one game in almost two years.
Palami, however, was quick to come to the school’s defense.
“Siguro kung ibang school ‘yung nag-ganun (bonfire), OA (overacting) na. Pero there is this certain culture in UP na mga isko (scholar ng bayan) ang nakaka-intindi,” Palami said.
“For me, personally, what’s wrong with celebrating the end of a 27-game losing streak?”
The UP team manager also believed a lot of positives came out of the bonfire celebration, which he said united the UP community and attracted support for the school's basketball program.
Palami bared he has been deluged with calls from UP alumni wanting to support the Maroons following the win.
“The bigger win was being able to unite the community off the court. Maraming alumni na tumawag na, trying to set up meetings to ask kung ano ‘yung puwedeng maitulong," the businessman said.
"When you look at the bonfire and the number of people who were there, I thought it was just students. But I saw ‘yung mga alumni talaga nandoon.
“That’s a sign of the UP community waking up. Once we unite them, it’s going to be a force to be reckoned with,” Palami added.
The Azkals team manager said he is already used to being criticized, citing his experience with the Philippine men’s football team.
“There will always be people who will find something wrong with what you do. There are people who will keep finding something wrong with what we do in football, asking why I’m just helping football and not helping other sports,” Palami said.
Critics even abound within State U itself, Palami added.
“Bakit (daw) ‘yung binigay na bonus, binibigay lang sa men’s basketball na hindi naman nananalo lagi," he said. "It’s how you take those criticisms that matter. They (critics) don’t matter at all.”