Do’s and Don’ts While Watching the Finals Live

It’s the tail end of the season, and we have at two games to go. Of course, I’m assuming that we’ll take game 2 and drag the Blue Eagles into a winner-take-all game 3 on Sunday. Ok, so you’re one of the lucky few to have obtained a precious ticket to the championship game, and you’re in the line to enter the Araneta Coliseum. Just what should you do or not do?


Come early

If you have a patron or lower box ticket, lucky you, your seat’s reserved. Otherwise, if you have an Upper A or B, or a General Admission ticket, it’s best if you come early. I joined gang green yesterday in the line, and we were there before 11am to make sure we could get a space big enough to allow the core group to sit together. By 1pm, the better Upper A sections were occupied, but you could still get a seat facing the base lines of the court behind the basket. Of course, if you come this early, your lunch fare will consist of whatever is available inside the stadium, because Araneta doesn’t allow anyone to bring in any kind of food or drink, even those that you can buy from the establishments located outside Araneta like Starbucks. Ok, you’ve got a nice seat, hunker down and conserve your energy for the game. It’s axiomatic that even if you have a good seat, you won’t occupy it much during the game.

Cheer ’til you drop

The Green Archers have said in the past that our cheering helps them immensely during the game. That’s still true today. When they’re on a run, the cheering helps fuel their drive. When they’re behind, our cheering spurs them on and gives them a jolt of energy that helps them overcome the opponents’ lead. They need us most when the opponents take the lead, to re-assure them that we’re still behind them when they’re not playing at their best. The worst thing for them is when our stands are quiet – it almost seems like we gave up on them. So let our team know that we support them. They haven’t let us down often in the past, and if we cheer them on in the remaining games, they will do their best not to disappoint us.

Sing the Alma Mater

It’s a La Sallian tradition to sing the Alma Mater Song at the end of each game, win or lose. In fact, according to those who researched into the history of this tradition, La Salle started this practice in the Philippines, and it’s now been adopted by all UAAP and NCAA schools. Singing the Alma Mater Song together is our way of showing our pride in our school, our team, and ourselves as La Sallians.

Help protect our perimeter

During yesterday’s game, the Ateneo crowd started settling inside our half of Araneta even before their sides were fully occupied. They’ve done this in the past, and to be fair, nothing really prevents them from doing this. If they’re successful, they can create an impression that they care more about their team than we do about the Green Archers because of their sheer number and presence. Yesterday I estimated that the split was 55-45 in Ateneo’s favor. So if you come early, sit near our perimeter and help reserve seats for our supporters.


Watch only the Ateneo games and the playoffs

Some people only watch the “glamorous” games against Ateneo and the playoff games, particularly the finals. During our playoff against FEU, our side of Araneta wasn’t even filled, but lo and behold, everyone wanted to watch yesterday’s game. The team (and the other varsity athletes, for that matter) need to know that the La Sallian community supports them and appreciates their efforts in representing La Salle. Those who watch only the Ateneo and championship games have been called “fair weather” La Sallians – they’re out only when the team’s winning or when it’s Ateneo. Otherwise, they stay away from the games against all other schools.

Come late and expect to find a good seat

It’s a mystery how some people can come in late, find the seats mostly occupied, and still have the guts to ask people who are seated in the nice areas whether the seats beside them are free. Yesterday, a stout woman clad in a green tshirt and shorts attempted to occupy the 2 seats temporarily vacated by classmates of my son, perhaps emboldened by the security guard who repeatedly stated that it was forbidden to reserve seats. I intervened and categorically stated that the two boys had gone to buy something to eat, and that the lines at the food outlets were very long. The guard subsided after that, and the stout lady had to settle back on the aisle steps, but she kept giving me dagger looks throughout the run up to the game. She only stopped when her male companion arrived with some food – it figures. Getting a good seat is simple – come early. Those who get the nice seats don’t chance upon these seats by luck – they take the time to get in line early so they can choose where they will plant their rear ends during the game. On Thursday and on Sunday, be in line to enter by 11am. If you get in by 12:30, better resign yourself to a view from the sections behind the goals.

Leave before the Alma Mater Song

Leaving before the Alma Mater is sung is like leaving Mass before the final hymn. It a tradition that true La Sallians respect and honor. It is also our way to thank the team for their efforts during the game. Perhaps the ones who leave aren’t aware of the custom, or they’re really not La Sallians. There’s no excuse for leaving early.

Act like a zombie

Unfortunately, we have our share of zombies, particularly in the lower box and patron sections, but some of them also occupy the upper box areas. They sit passively throughout the game, stuffing their faces with food and not mustering enough energy to help the team by cheering. They’re the ones who hiss “upo, hindi kami makakita” when we’re standing and yelling our team on. For all the energy and noise they put out, they could be watching a movie. To the zombies, why not watch the game on tv at home? You’re sure to get an unimpeded view of the action.

Rant and curse at the opponents/refs

Hey, they can’t hear you for all the noise we generate. Either that or we’re too far for the refs to see or hear us, and and we know how how sharp (or dull) their senses of sight and hearing are. It’s a waste of energy, and doesn’t give others a good impression of you or your values. The refs won’t change, they’ll call it like they see (or like they’re told to), so ranting and raving at them during the game is useless. Let’s focus on the positives instead and cheer our team on. They’ll need it, particularly on Thursday, so we can repeat the whole process on Sunday.

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