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Disappearing wounds, lingering scars

There’s no other place to look for proof that time doesn’t always heal everything than in sports. Though instances such as LeBron James’ return home to Cleveland and Luis Suarez being an integral part of FC Barcelona’s treble may erase earlier “transgressions”, these outliers don’t mask the notion in sports that wounds may heal, but the scars remain forever.

Here on our home soil, one of the most painful moments that remain in Filipinos’ hearts would be when Korea shut the door on our championship dreams with their come-from-behind win over the Philippine National Basketball team during the 2002 Asian Games. To this day, the fans, the players who played on that team (such as Olsen Racela, who missed the two free throws that could have put the game away), and the Gilas players who suited up for the Philippine teams afterwards would always look back at that loss as one of the most heartbreaking moments in Philippine sports history.

Call it bitterness, file it under hugot, but if you think about it, remembering certain kinds of pain can actually help one move on. Family and friends always tell us that when we experience heartbreaks, we have to forget those moments that tore us apart. But sometimes, we keep a little reminder that helps push us to never experience that pain ever again. LeBron James won his first championship with the Miami Heat after experiencing the pain of going up 2-1 against the Dallas Mavericks, then losing the next three games. The Green Archers won their UAAP championship in 2013 a year after they were one possession away from snapping Ateneo’s then four-peat.

With UAAP Season 78 right around the corner, many of the storylines that will dominate the matchups, sports, and the season in general will center around bouncing back from the  heartbreaking moments of the past season. The DLSU Lady Spikers were set to take back the championship they had won three of the past four years against archrival Ateneo, and yet two knee injuries made sure they finished second. Season 78 provides them an opportunity to bounce back, and the setbacks they suffered last season will serve as motivation. The same goes for the Green Archers, who were one Mac Belo miss away from possibly winning in overtime and moving on to an NU team they dominated in the elimination round.

Despite forcing sudden death against FEU, the Green Archers failed to advance to the UAAP finals after Mac Belo hit a three pointer with three seconds left in the deciding game. DLSU had been playing from behind the whole series after failing to secure the twice-to-beat advantage and after trailing for most of the penultimate game.
Despite forcing sudden death against FEU, the Green Archers failed to advance to the UAAP finals after Mac Belo hit a three-pointer with three seconds left in the deciding game. DLSU had been playing from behind the whole series after failing to secure the twice-to-beat advantage and after trailing for most of the penultimate game.

No matter what people say or think, it’s pretty hard to forget, even after we’ve forgiven. The fact that you can still think about it means it’s still there. Does it mean we won’t get over it? Not necessarily. The most die-hard sports fans remember the highs and lows of the teams they support through thick and thin. For every time they can recount a time when a DLSU team won a UAAP championship, they also remember moments such as Belo’s shot, or when the Lady Spikers lost the finals to Ateneo despite entering with the thrice-to-beat advantage in 2013.

Losing sucks and no matter what one does to erase it, there will always be a speck of it left behind. Think of it in the same way one would think of dishwashing soap cleaning 99.9 percent of the germs; it can take away most, but unfortunately not everything.

They say championships cure everything yet a closer look at some moments that led to them show us that winning doesn’t mean forgetting. Jerry West may have won a championship in his last season with the Los Angeles Lakers but that could never make him forget the numerous times the Boston Celtics beat him to the title.

In what was a rematch of the UAAP Season 76 finals, the Green Spikers were swept by the Ateneo Lady Eagles in two games. Injuries to Ara Galang (in the semifinals against NU) and Camille Cruz hounded the team throughout the championship series and noticeably affected their rhythm in every game.
In what was a rematch of the UAAP Season 76 finals, the Green Spikers were swept by the Ateneo Lady Eagles in two games. Injuries to Ara Galang (in the semifinals against NU) and Camille Cruz hounded the team throughout the championship series and noticeably affected their rhythm in every game.

At the end of the day, there’s nothing wrong with not forgetting. It all depends on how you use it. The memories, if used well, could potentially mold you into a wiser, stronger, and more cautious person. When it comes to examples, look no further than the athletes who grind it out on the court. They remember the setbacks and failures they went through and what drives them to get better is the thought of encountering those obstacles again, something they never ever want to return to.

Not all of us are athletes but the lesson is still pretty universal: the worst moments make us who we were, who we are, and what we will be.

By Gio Gloria

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