The Araneta Coliseum came alive last Sunday, when the FEU Tamaraws defeated the DLSU Green Archers in the UAAP Season 74 men’s seniors basketball tournament’s opening game. The Tamaraws defeated the Green Archers with a final score of 74-65.
While the players were battling it out in the court, another battle was taking place high above them as the students from both universities try to out-cheer the other side.
Since my understanding of what was going on in the basketball game that I paid to see is close to nil, it is this battle of fans trying to out-cheer the other team that I paid attention to. The fact that the drums of both teams are closer to my seat than the players are may have something to do with that.
As I have observed, the FEU fans had an overwhelming advantage in numbers that day, with people in yellow filling up most of the Araneta Coliseum’s seats in the upper boxes. The green-shirted DLSU fans mostly occupied the lower boxes, which is closer to the basketball game. The way the audience is seated would let an observer sitting at the right position see the rough pattern of Pac-Man in the process of eating a green coin.
As a result of their greater numbers, the fans of the Tamaraws cheered more loudly than those of the Green Archers. The yellow-dominated crowd would practically go wild whenever an FEU player scores, a DLSU player misses a shot, a foul is called on DLSU, and generally whenever something happens that would give the Tamaraws some sort of advantage. Of note here is the instance when the fans cheered when DLSU player Yutien Andrada came down with a knee injury in the game’s second quarters.
The fans’ cheers were accompanied by the teams’ drums, as it had been in any basketball game that people told me they saw. The Araneta Coliseum’s dome structure allowed sound waves to bounce all throughout the building and the drummers took advantage of that, constantly pounding at their drums in order to urge their team to victory. Or to simply out-drum the other team.
The patterns of the teams’ drum beats and the audience’s cheering can be used to tell the story of the game. The drummers will play a lively beat when the ball is in the hands of their team , a tense beat if the ball is in the other team’s hands, and would do a very good imitation of a rapidly beating heart during a free throw. DLSU’s drum beats have more variety than those of FEU. That’s how it seemed at least, since the Lasallian drummers are more active than their counterparts in FEU.
I originally planned on watching the UAAP on TV and fall asleep in the middle of the game as I always have, but upon watching the real thing I realized that I only see half a game whenever I watch one from TV. I miss the other half- the reactions of the audience, which certainly kept me awake during the game.