More than a month after these two teams battled it out for the UAAP championship. Two proud institutions will meet once again. This time to determine the one true National Champion. It’s UST vs Ateneo, España vs Katipunan, Gold vs Blue, Growling Tigers vs Blue Eagles Round 2!
These two teams are no strangers in the Finals of basketball, as these two teams met in the UAAP Finals this year where the Blue Eagles swept the Growling Tigers to win their fifth straight UAAP title which is the second longest championship streak in UAAP history behind the streak set by the UE Red Warriors in the 1960s behind legendary coach Baby Dalupan of seven consecutive championships (1965-1971).
More than a month later their legendary duel in the UAAP, these two teams will meet again, this time in the Philippine Collegiate Champions League. The road for these two teams to get to this point of the tournament were different.
The Growling Tigers began the tournament in the Luzon-Metro Manila regionals where they faced off against the runner-ups of the NCAA and their sister school, the Colegio de San Juan de Letran Knights who played without their father and son tandem of Coach Louie Alas who resigned after their defeat in the NCAA Finals against the San Beda Red Lion and Kevin Alas who is the main man for the Knights. Despite these absences, the Knights were able to push the Tigers to the limit, however the Tigers escaped with a 78-73 victory to advance to the Luzon-Metro Manila regional finals where the faced off against the UAAP’s Adamson Soaring Falcons who had gone through a long road to the Finals competing in the Metro Manila qualifiers defeating the JRU Heavy Bombers, La Finns Scholastica Lionhearts, De La Salle Green Archers, and the defending PCCL champions the San Sebastian Golden Stags to advance to the Luzon-Metro Manila regional finals. The Tigers blew out the Falcons 88-64 to win the Luzon-Metro Manila regional finals and advance to the Final Four.
In the Final Four the Growling Tigers finished with a 2-1 record where they defeated the Ateneo Blue Eagles (76-66) and the NCAA Champions San Beda Red Lions (63-60), but lost in overtime against the CESAFI Champions Southwestern University Cobras (91-93). Nevertheless, the Tigers advanced to the PCCL Finals for the first time in history.
Meanwhile for the UAAP Champions the Ateneo Blue Eagles, they advanced into the PCCL Final Four automatically. However, the Blue Eagles are not coached by champion coach Norman Black as they have interim coach Gabby Severino calling the shots in the PCCL. The Eagles lost their opening assignment against the Growling Tigers (66-76), but were able to bounce back as they rout both the Cobras (96-78) and the Red Lions (66-49) to finish at 2-1 and advance to the PCCL Finals for the sixth time in the ten year history of the tournament.
So here is the schedule for the PCCL Finals between UST and Ateneo:
Game 1: November 27, 4:00 pm
Game 2: November 29, 4:00 pm
Game 3: November 30, 4:00 pm
All games will be played at the FilOil Flying V Arena in San Juan
All games will be shown on Studio 23
Other PCCL games include:
Battle for Third: San Beda Red Lions vs Southwestern U Cobras
November 27, 2:00 pm
Ilog Pasig Benefit Game: FEU-Diliman Baby Tamaraws vs San Beda Red Cubs
November 29, 2:00 pm
With both teams having intact lineups from their UAAP title run, it will be an emotional series for players who will play their final games in their respective teams like Jeric Fortuna and Melo Afuang for the Growling Tigers as well as Greg Slaughter, Nico Salva, Oping Sumalinog, Justin Chua and Tonino Gonzaga.
It will also be a preview of what’s to come in the next UAAP season as the Tigers will feature a near intact lineup with Karim Abdul, Jeric Teng, Aljon Mariano, Clark Bautista, Kevin Ferrer, and Kim Lo to name a few. While the Eagles will be led by Kiefer Ravena and backed up with players like Juami Tiongson, Ryan Buenafe, Nico Elorde, Von Pessumal to name a few.
For the Growling Tigers, they want redemption for their loss in the UAAP Finals against the Blue Eagles and win their very first National Championship.
As for the Blue Eagles, they want to establish their dominance and claim themselves as the most dominant collegiate basketball team in the country.
Evey one knows who I’m rooting for, and we want PAYBACK! for the loss against the Blue Eagles in the UAAP. It will be another exciting Finals series in the Philippine Collegiate Champions League.
Go USTe! One for UST! Viva Santo Tomas!
Fueled for UST! Bring home the crown!