Lessons from the UP Maroons

Published May 16, 2022, 12:05 AM

by John Tria


John Tria
John Tria

The long awaited championship of the University of the Philippines Fighting Maroons Mens basketball team is no accident. It was a methodical, measured ascent using a program that patiently recruited talent and implemented strategies. Kudos to coach Goldwin Monteverde, and program director former head coach Bo Perasol, and others including Ricky Dandan and Poch Juinio. The hard work and team effort that patiently built the program paid off.

After winless seasons (yes, the only team in the last two decades to have had them), the UP community bravely and consistently insisted that the team had #nowheretogobutUP in 2015, a battlecry serving as a framework that harnessed support. I believe the decent wins in the 2016 and 2017 season strengthened the team. Their victory in the 2017 Araw ng Davao tournament over DLSU was a foretaste of the tenacity and drive the team would be known for.

The first victory of this effort was their first semifinal appearance in 2018 after a 14-year drought, capped by a dramatic entry into the finals after defeating the Adamson falcons. Though losing to Ateneo in that tournament, this when the #atinito boomed, and set the stage for the underdogs to loom large in the next UAAP basketball tournaments, culminating in the Friday the 13th 2022 win against fourpeat- seeking Ateneo, making the Maroons the only team to beat the Loyola team in a UAAP game in more than two years.
What lessons do we derive from the UP Maroons experience? The major one is that success needs patient preparation and the implementation of lessons over time, studying what you need to do, charting a path forward and the courage to implement the tough changes and measures and impose the self discipline needed to stay true to the path. This allows you the agility to make adjustments given the shifting nature of the terrain upon which this path is drawn.

As a country and as enterprises, we just need to keep growing despite the headwinds.
Last week’s announcement of 8.3 percent GDP growth in the first quarter, on top of impressive 2021 GDP and GRDP growth rates ought to inspire us to keep growing our economy to help us recover further. Apart from increased economic opportunity, high growth assures government of sufficient revenues to help us fund measures, manage debt and provide necessary services especially to the vulnerable.

The same will be true for our businesses. Some of us have had to incur debt to keep afloat or pursue expansion in the new normal. As higher levels of economic activity and demand returns the lesson for many entrepreneurs is to be innovative in delivering superior service or quality within cost limits while being prudent in spending. All of this, while saving more than usual. These mean tough measures and changes to adapt and pursue recovery.
On a personal level, growth must continue especially with personal defeats and challenges. The most emotionally mature people are often those who have dealt with and overcome personal challenges such as disabilities and disease. Such maturity is the result of a strong mind that can maintain tenacity , resolve and focus and will not buckle to distractions and setbacks.

The important thing is that like the Maroons, growth can and must continue through tenacious discipline and the implementation of change measures to address new realities and recent reforms that strengthen the economy. And grow we must through all the setbacks, headwinds and obstacles.