THE glory that was UST.
It appears gone are the days when University of Santo Tomas (UST) woud lord in over in the UAAP by force of habit as the Dominican school lost the overall championship to La Salle for the first time last season after winning it for 14 straight years.
That’s why this Christmas, former UST athletes have only one wish to Santa Claus – for the Espana-based institution to be back on top.
Dylan Ababou, part of the 2006 men's basketball champion team that upset highly favored Ateneo in the finals, hopes for a healthy body and spirit for all UST players.
“Wish ko lang maging malapit sila kay Lord para God's favor will be upon them," said the Ginebra forward. "More strength, perseverance, positive attitude kasi nothing will come easy talaga kasi mas masarap `yung mananalo ka na sobrang pinaghirapan ninyo at saka good health para kumpleto sila lagi pag naglalaro. Tapos wisdom to make good decisions inside the court."
"Wish ko may dumating na malalaki na dependable," he added regarding the composition of the men's basketball team.
High-flying guard Cyrus Baguio wishes his alma mater will discover a new breed of Tigers to bring the school back to where it belonged.
Although Baguio fell short of a UAAP title in 2000, he remains hopeful about the school’s incoming recruits.
"Kailangan unang-una mag-scout ng mga potential na mga bata lalo upcoming freshman sa college," said Baguio. "I'm sure kaya naman ng UST na maghanap ng mga bata, yun lang masasabi ko para bumalik tayo sa taas, umangat ulit."
Mozzy Ravena, mother of amateur basketball stars Kiefer and Thirdy and who wore the Tigress uniform from 1988-1992, also hopes for a better future for her alma mater.
The former two-time volleyball champion wants the current UST athletes will always give their hundred percent on the court.
"I wish the athletes will continue to persevere and have focus both in school and their sport," she said. "Whatever the outcome is, as long as it was from their best effort, the school will always be proud of them.”
Mary Jean Balse, who carried the women's volleyball team in the early 2000's, wishes the athletes will play with a heart hungry for victory.
Balse is the other half of UST’s dreaded 'Double B' tandem along with Venus Bernal.
"Sa nakikita ko more on bago silang lahat ngayon sa (volleyball) team kumbaga sa kanila kaya naman sila basta may sipag lang talaga at tiwala sa isa't-isa," she said.
"At saka andon pa rin 'yung puso sa UST dapat maging buo sila na communication kahit mga bata sila ipakita nila na kayang-kaya nila manalo, gawin ang best nila para sa UST."