Blue Eagles as blue chips
Fund managers and stock market players have a go-to advice: Invest in blue chip stocks when diversifying your portfolio to decrease risks and increase the probability of gains. Blue chips are stocks in companies that have gained a reputation for being stable, financially sound and reliable. This reputation was built, thanks to a long history of success as a company.
Blue chip companies, or simply blue chips, typically possess the same overarching trait that separates them from the rest. Indeed, with strong fundamentals come strong structure, stability and the ability to withstand and persist.
Strong fundamentals are usually anchored on a solid management team whose principles are cascaded to support services and then to the consuming public and other stakeholders.
Still, blue chips are not immune to market shocks, challenges and other difficulties. They, like any other, undergo crises and challenges, but it is their ability to weather and rise from these challenges that make them champions in their own right—winners, in the true sense of the word. Trust a winner, and you will have a good return on investment (ROI).
As we come to the culmination of what was truly a memorable 2017 basketball season, we can say that the 2017 Blue Eagles are the blue chips of the sports world. The Ateneo fan has probably gotten used to success, as the Blue Eagles have been perennial semi-finalists and then finalists in the UAAP.
The recent rise in the number of talents has sidelined the Blue Eagles in the last five years, where it has found itself playing catch up in the recruitment process. However, as in business, a turnaround sometimes comes by way of the unorthodox.
In 2016, Ateneo engaged brilliant tactician Tab Baldwin to steer its campaign back in the right direction.
When coach Tab took over, he did the unorthodox. He imposed strict discipline, a byword often uttered in sports circles. But this coach meant every letter of the phrase.
Gone was the starting five of talented recruits. In their place were unknowns.
Yet, the unknowns became the Blue Eagle Band of Brothers or “Bebob,” as Tab himself called them.
The 2017 Ateneo Blue Eagles is a special group. The perceived weakness of having no superstar became the team’s strength. Guided by Baldwin, the “Bebob” reached new heights not in their success alone, but in their ability to weather adversity.
While winning 13 out of 14 games (93-percent winning clip) is an undebatable achievement, it is ironically their one loss that built their character. The dominant La Salle team was expected to win, as it did at the end of eliminations, but it was Tab’s management of the loss and disappointment that impressed the most.
Similar to good business leadership, Tab then proclaimed that the last possession play that Ateneo missed was done correctly.
In two games in the Final Four, the “Bebob” had the pull from deep within to escape with a victory. In an exemplar of great ROI, the perceived heel in the La Salle loss in the second round became Ateneo’s biggest hero.
George Isaac Go, Ateneo’s big man, may have missed one shot in an elimination round game, but he repaid the investment of confidence in him with no less than four crucial baskets in the Final Four and finals games.
To be sure, the “Bebob” will be remembered, in large part, because of Go’s crucial three-pointers and a literal Hail Mary shot on a bended knee. That’s what confidence does to a true blue chipper.
Coach Tab and the rest of the coaching staff are the reliable management team behind the success of the Blue Eagles. According to graduating team captain Vince Tolentino, Baldwin is the “shining white light” that led the Blue Eagles to victory. His team-oriented “next man up” mentality proved to be the potent antidote to La Salle’s mayhem basketball. This fundamental team principle was clearly shown in Coach Tab’s trust in his players and vice-versa.
Like all great leaders, Baldwin was able to see and develop the potential in each of the members of his team.
Like the blue chips that they are, the “Bebob” gained victory by relying on each other, on Baldwin and the rest of the assistant coaches, on the Ateneo community and the Blue Eagles’ most valuable player (MVP) through the years (PLDT boss Manny V. Pangilinan) and especially on their fundamental principles of planning, teamwork, discipline, grit and trust.
Congratulations and great job, Blue Eagles! One big fight!
To the La Salle Green Archers and their entire community, congratulations on a great season and for bringing out the best in the Blue Eagles. Your gesture of bathing your school in blue is clearly a show of what Fr. Jett Villarin called “graciousness and bigness of heart.” You surely did not fail in keeping your school’s glory bright. Let’s continue to work harder to be the best of ourselves in order to make our country a blue chip in world competition. After all, this is what our competition is all about.
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.