The University of the Philippines Manila campus announced that it will be suspending its afternoon classes on Wednesday to allow members of its community to tune in to the do-or-die match against Adamson University in the UAAP Season 81 men’s basketball semi-finals.
The school’s administration in a tweet announced that classes starting 12 noon onward would be suspended, following a message from Chief Administrative Officer Norina Esmillarin.
The UP Manila Campus in Ermita, Manila is only a few hundred meters away from the campus of Adamson University along Taft Avenue.
Days before the scheduled showdown, Adamson also suspended afternoon classes to allow their students to support the team.
The UP Fighting Maroons and the Adamson Soaring Falcons will be battling for the last ticket to the UAAP men’s basketball fans at 3:30 p.m. Tickets to the game have been sold-out since Monday, according to the Araneta Coliseum’s ticketing office.
Fans of the Fighting Maroons, former cellar dwellers who rose to become contenders in the past season with the arrival of new talent, are excited to be given the chance to team for their squad.
My college self would never have predicted this wild timeline where UP tanked at cheerdance then suspended classes to watch a basketball game.
— Paolo S. Macasaet (@paolosmacasaet) November 28, 2018
CLASSES ARE SUSPENDED NA SA UP MANILA LEGIT NA UP MEN'S BASKETBALL TEAM WOO LABAN LET'S GET THIS BREAD
— jae #뉴이스트W_마지막_컴백 | G/A 📌 (@URIW00ZI) November 28, 2018
Students from other UP campuses in the school system are also hoping for suspensions in their branch.
pwede suspended pud ang classes sa up min tom?? gusto pud namo mag support sa finalsss. one up bayaaaaa
— Russel Ladios (@samsaruss) November 27, 2018
Tensions ahead of the action
Fans from the two squads have been embroiled in taunting and banter in the hours before the showdown.
so taga-Adamson yung kapatid ko and wOW MAY SERVICE PA SILA NA BUS PAPUNTA NG ARANETA BUKAS
AND ANOTHER WOW NAMIMIGAY NA LANG DAW NG 1,200 PIECES OF GEN AD TICKETS SA KANILA SA ADU! SUSPENDED CLASSES PA
BUTI NALANG MAY TIX NA KAMI SA UP SIDE, MAGTUTUOS TAYO BUKAS!!!!!! #AtinTwo
— Chriztina Madlangbayan #LabananAngAbuso (@fighTINNNN) November 27, 2018
Some fans have even pit the rallying cry hashtags of the two schools against each other.
See, the context of “Atin ‘To”, which later evolved to “Atin Two” is not just a battlecry from the fans, it’s not us claiming the title. It was adopted by UP because IT’S PAUL’S BATTLECRY AND PROMISE. CONTEXT MATTERS MY DUDES. pic.twitter.com/GGZXx7dEHM
— ana (@visiblenoise27) November 27, 2018
Wednesday’s semi-final match is a special occasion for fans of both squads, who were once derisively pit against each other in previous years in a battle to not end up in the last place in the elimination round standings.
UP this season finished in third place with an 8-6 record while Adamson finished second with a 10-4 slate and the twice-to-beat advantage.
The two teams have struggled in the past decades in the men’s basketball tournament.
After making final four appearances in 1996 and 1997, the Fighting Maroons’ basketball program floundered, missing out on a semi-final slot for 21 years. They finished last in the league six out of seven times from 2007 to 2013.
Adamson on the one hand first made the final four in 2006, 12 years after it was implemented. Despite sporadic appearances at the podium in the years since then, they have on every occasion been eliminated in the semi-finals.
UP won its last trophy in 1986 while Adamson last held championship gold in 1977.
The winner will face defending champions Ateneo de Manila Blue Eagles in the finals.