Lesson from DLSU vs UST

Last Saturday, De La Salle University edged out University of Santo Tomas to win the men’s basketball championship in the 76th UAAP season.

It was a first for me because I never had many opportunities or reasons to cheer for La Salle when I was in Ateneo. But since L.A. Revilla is a neighbor, I wanted to cheer for them.

DLSU looked pretty weak early on, even going down by as many as 15 points. But they battled back in the latter part of the 3rd quarter to force the overtime period and eventually win. It was a great game by both teams, the kind of game where an extra overtime period might have changed the outcome.

During the second quarter when, UST adding to their lead, DLSU looked so limp. They kept giving up offensive rebounds, were slow (or lazy) on rotation, and kept getting beat to loose balls. The commentator said something that struck me about life:

“Game 3, sudden death, is all about the intangibles: effort, focus.”


La Salle was getting beaten not by a lack of skills, plays, or talent. It was their weakness in the intangibles – hustling back on defense, boxing out, and diving for loose balls – that was killing them. Fortunately, they got back the championship attitude in the 3rd quarter and battled back to victory.

So much of life is about THE INTANGIBLES as well. We often see people who are successful. We want to attain their level of success and we make the mistake of copying their techniques. But we don’t often see the intangibles they’re doing that bring success.

Some examples of the intangibles include:

  • Coming on time. How can you succeed if you aren’t even present?
  • Working well with your team. Talented team + unhealthy relationships < Average team + healthy relationships
  • Learning and improving.Talented person who doesn’t learn < Idiot who knows how to learn(won’t stay an idiot for long)
  • Having a good attitude at work. Haven’t you met people who are so brilliant but are just so heavy, irritating, troublesome to be around?
  • Going the extra mile. Do you deliver results or excuses? Sooner or later, you will reap the benefits of what you constantly sow.
  • Taking responsibility for your mistakes.Don’t pass it on. Don’t make excuses. Don’t pretend it didn’t happen. Just say sorry and we can move on.
  • Helping someone else succeed. If our greatest efforts are only on the projects with our name on it, then our coworkers will (rightly) see us as selfish and small-minded. Good luck getting ahead then.

These are just a few examples. Most of them are difficult to measure or quantify. They won’t work if we keep having to be told. But if they’re part of our discipline, part of our lifestyle, then the results will speak for themselves.

Congratulations again, Green Archers!

And may we all make the most of life’s intangibles.

Join the discussion

  • Hi Pastor!

    Good blog entry. I never looked at it that way but coming to realization, these are good lessons learned from the DLSUST game.

  • Hi Pastor Joseph, the intangibles a person cultivate certainly stem from his personal beliefs which eventually manifest based on its outcome we see in his life.
    I call it the BDO principle which I learned from Pastor Andy Stanley
    These are: belief (values we hold on)
    decision (putting actions to those values/beliefs)
    outcome (fruits of those actions)

    May i ask your permission to share yourarticle to my coworkers through our Company’s intranet?

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