Where in the world is "Go USTe?"
Massive "Go USTe!" chants filled arenas as recently as UAAP Season 78. In UAAP Season 79, with UST as host no less, not so much.
For the first time in what felt like forever, the UST crowd was severely overmatched in a UAAP game.
Last Sunday at the San Juan Arena, supporters from the University of the Philippines obviously overwhelmed their counterparts from Espana, a far cry from as recently as a season ago when opposing teams basically feared the Tigers' growling sixth man.
Well that was not the case against the Maroons over the weekend. That has not been the case for most of this season as well with UST as hosts no less.
A lot of it has to do with the Tigers' dismal 3-9 record probably.
It has to be.
"Hindi ko naman sila masisi kasi kung ako rin Thomasian student na nagche-cheer sa school, pag nalalaman kong natatalo na, alam mo yun hindi ko ipa-prioritize na manood," team captain and senior Louie Vigil said on UST's unusually small crowd.
Vigil, who will be missing the Final Four in his last UAAP playing year, understands why the crowd support died a little bit for his team this year.
However, he would prefer that the community have the Tigers' back during this tough transition period. Through thick and thin right?
"Syempre nakakalungkot, kasi sad to say pero I think nandiyan lang sila pag nanalo. Syempre ganun naman lahat ng sports eh, pag nanalo talk of the town ka, pag talo pinaguusapan ka pero hindi pina-prioritize," he said.
"Hindi nage-effort na suportahan yung team na live," Vigil added.
With UST's general hunger to bring back a men's basketball title back to Espana Boulevard and the ridiculously high expectations set after the Growling Tigers made three of the last five UAAP Finals including this season, you can say that the black and gold army might have no time for a lost year.
But still, Vigil and the rest of the Tigers probably still want to see some yellow shirts at the venues.
"Nakakalungkot but it's basketball so okay lang, frustrated din naman sila na nagtatatalo yung team," he said.
So in case you were wondering why you can't hear the familiar "Go USTe!" chant, at least last Sunday, it was drowned out by loud cheers of "UP Fight!"