Wednesday, July 4, 2007

(UPDATED) Ateneo gets athletes ready for UAAP

by Allan Lazaro

QUEZON CITY, Philippines -- Almost 600 athletes from 19 varsity teams were sent off to battle in this year’s Big Blue Eagle Cheer Rally held here on June 29 at the Ateneo de Manila University College Covered Courts.

“Our athletes this year are like warriors and we’re sending them off to battle for the next season,” explained Collegiate Society of Advertising President Mia Ferrer, one of the event’s organizers.

The athletes will compete in the 70th season of the University Athletics Association of the Philippines (UAAP) scheduled to open July 7.

A celebrity shootout and the three-point shootout replaced the much-anticipated basketball exhibition game between the current Blue Eagles team and the Ateneo Legends team.

Ateneo Association of Communication Majors President Anj Santos said the exhibition game was scrapped because today’s generation of Ateneans is not very familiar with the alumni members of the Legends team.

Younger alumni such as Enrico Villanueva, Larry Fonacier and LA Tenorio were also unavailable because they were busy with their Philippine Basketball Association semifinals games.

“It was well-attended and it was more interactive than the cheer rallies before because we had events on two sides of the covered courts,” Santos said.

With the tagline “Prepare for glory,” this year’s cheer rally was inspired by the recent Hollywood box office hit “300”. The movie told the story of 300 Spartans who held off the Persian army in the Battle of Thermopylae.

All the teams posed ala-“300” to the delight of the crowd when they were presented in the Athlete’s March.

Performances from local Ateneo bands Spaceworld, Milano and Saranggola ni Pepe highlighted the event. Rivermaya guitarist Mike Elgar led the singing of the Song for Mary.

Most freshmen students, however, left early because they also had their Math diagnostic exams later that evening.

“The cheer rally was very entertaining but at the same time a hassle for us freshmen because we had a diagnostic test the same day,” said Communication freshman Guada Tagalog.

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