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CAMPEONE! UST GROWLING TIGERS: 2012 PCCL CHAMPIONS

UST Growling Tigers
2012 PCCL CHAMPIONS
Photo ©GMA News Online


Last Friday, 57 days after suffering a bitter defeat in the UAAP Finals. The UST Growling Tigers got their revenge on the the team they lost to in the UAAP Finals this year, the Ateneo Blue Eagles as for the first time ever the Growling Tigers are the “NATIONAL CHAMPIONS” and the “BEST COLLEGIATE TEAM in the PHILIPPINES” this year as they win in the 2012 Philippine Collegiate Champions League Finals in Game 3 of the Finals series 81-76 at the Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig City, taking the Finals series 2-1. Their win in the PCCL brought cheers to the Thomasian community who came out once again in full force at the Ynares Sports Arena and the Growling Tigers never disappointed the strong contingent in YELLOW, bringing them something to celebrate, after their tough defeat in the UAAP a few weeks back.

Jeric Teng led the Growling Tigers in Game 3 scoring 13 of his game-high 22 points in the critical fourth quarter, Kevin Ferrer added 21 points while Jeric Fortuna added 11 points in his final game in a UST Growling Tigers uniform.

Kiefer Ravena and Ryan Buenafe led the Blue Eagles with 20 points each, while Greg Slaughter who played his final game in a Blue Eagles uniform added 11 points.

After the game, in a show of sportsmanship. Karim Abdul traded jerseys with Slaughter and wore it as a tribute to the battles these two men faced in the last two years.

Teng was named the Finals MVP of the tournament, while Fortuna and Karim Abdul were named in the Mythical Five alongside Teng and Ateneo’s Ravena and Slaughter. While UST Head Coach Pido Jarencio was named Coach of the Year.

The Growling Tigers took home the Manuel V. Pangilinan Perpetual Trophy which they will keep for one whole year, as well as a replica of the trophy, and P700,000 worth of prizes for the school.

“Nakabawi din sa kanila.Jeric Teng

“It’s nice to play our last game for UST with a championship. – Jeric Fortuna

“I’ve always wanted to have his (Slaughter) jersey.” Karim Abdul

“This one’s for the UST community and the people who supported us all along.  – Coach Pido Jarencio

Box score:

UST (81) – Teng 22, Ferrer 21, Fortuna 11, Abdul 8, Bautista 7, Daquioag 6, Afuang 4, Mariano 2, Hainga 0, Pe 0, Lo 0

Ateneo (76) – Ravena 20, Buenafe 20, Slaughter 11, Salva 9, Elorde 7, Tiongson 5, Sumalinog 3, Chua 1, Golla 0, Gonzaga 0

Yes! The Growling Tigers cap off 2012 with a BANG! A National Championship to cap off the careers of the two graduating players for the Growling Tigers in “The Captain” Jeric Fortuna and Melo Afuang. It is also a prelude of what is to come for the Growling Tigers next year as they will move on to preparations for UAAP Season 76 with a virtually intact core led by Jeric Teng, Karim Abdul, Aljon Mariano, Clark Bautista and Kevin Ferrer.

For now, the Thomasian community can now savor the taste of victory the have long been waiting for to happen. Finally, as a Thomasian, I can savor a victory in basketball. After the bitter defeat in the UAAP Finals, I am very happy and delighted for not only these guys, but also to all my Thomasian PEEPS. FINALLY! We are the CHAMPIONS! With the victory, my FAITH in Philippine collegiate basketball has been RESTORED!

CAMPEONE!
K-Smoove

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One win away from payback!

The Finals of the 2012 Philippine Collegiate Champions League tipped off today at the Filoil Flying V Arena in San Juan City, the Finals this year features two teams who battled in the UAAP Finals this year. The UST Growling Tigers and the Ateneo Blue Eagles.

For the Growling Tigers, it was a shot for redemption as they enter the PCCL Finals for the first time in the history of the tournament and going up against the team they lost to in the UAAP Finals, the Blue Eagles who aim to continue their long dominance in Philippine collegiate basketball.

However in Game 1 of the Finals today, the Growling Tigers drew first blood as they defeated the Blue Eagles 82-76

The Growling Tigers were led by Kevin Ferrer who scored 18 points, 5 rebounds and 4 assists on 9-9 shooting from inside the arcincluding a dunk which threw me out my seat with joy. It was a balanced scoring effort for the Tigers as many players Melo Afuang, Karim Abdul, Jeric Teng, Aljon Mariano, Clark Bautista (who came in at the arena from UST in the 3rd quarter)and Jeric Fortuna(who was riddled with foul trouble)all contributed to the victory. The Tigers also played without head coach Pido Jarencio who was out with the german measles and is questionable for Game 2 on Thursday. Assistant coach Estong Ballesteros called the shots for the Tigers in Jarencio’s absence.

The Tigers are now up 1-0 in the best of three finals series and can win their first PCCL Championship in Game 2 on Thursday, 4pm once again at the Filoil Flying V Arena in San Juan City and will be on live telecast on Studio 23. Prior to the game, the FEU-Diliman Baby Tamaraws will face off against the San Beda Red Cubs at 2pm.

Gusto naming bumawi, ito yung payback namin.” – Kevin Ferrer

Box score:
UST (82) – Ferrer 18, Abdul 12, Teng 12, Mariano 11, Afuang 10, Fortuna 9, Daquioag 4, Vigil 2, Pe 2, Bautista 2

Ateneo (76) – Buenafe 15, Tiongson 13, Slaughter 12, Gonzaga 12, Ravena 11, Salva 8, Elorde 3, Golla 2, Pessumal 0, Chua 0, Porter 0, Capacio 0   

Meanwhile, the San Beda Red Lions finish third in the PCCL for the second straight season as they defeated the Southwestern U Cobras 64-56, Kyle Pascual and Art dela Cruz led the Red Lions with 14 and 12 points respectively while limiting SWU’s “King Cobra” Ben Mbala to 16 points after scoring a PCCL-record 41 points in their game against UST.

Now the Tigers are one win away from exacting revenge against the team that broke the hearts of the Thomasian community last month in the UAAP. The entire Thomasian community as shown all-year long will be there to give their prayers and show their support for these players. I can feel it, we all can feel it! The time is now! Why not wait for next year when it can be done now! and the PCCL championship will be a way to cap off the collegiate careers of “The Captain” Jeric Fortuna and Melo Afuang. I’m really hoping, it all ends on Thursday.

Well I could not write a full breakdown of the game, because I started watching the game in the second half. My apologies for that.”

KEEP CALM and PAYBACK will be SERVED on THURSDAY!
Go USTe! One for UST! Viva Santo Tomas!
K-Smoove

Here we go again! España vs Katipunan Round 2!

Photo ©Spin.ph


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!
K-Smoove

Tiger to a Knight: "I feel you."

For all the marbles. For championship #17. For the history books. It all came down on one game at the historic Smart Araneta Coliseum. An old rivalry renewed as archrivals squared off once again in the hard court. It‘s the Colegio de San Juan de Letran Knights battled against the reigning champions the San Beda Red Lions. BLUE against RED. San Beda and Letran once again in the big stage. Let’s get to it!

Photo ©Karl Carandang
This is the very first NCAA game I got to watch live and living up to the history between these two proud institutions both the Letran and San Beda faithful at the Big Dome were all out cheering for their schools at the same time jeering on their opponents. One thing was, security guards were “demarcation lines” between the Letran and San Beda sides of the Big Dome because of the heated rivalry and the history of brawls between members from both institutions. I was seated on the Letran side of the court since I was with one of my former professors in UST who is now teaching at Letran.
 
In the game however, it was completely a one-sided affair from the get-go until the end of the game as the Red Lions had full control of the game from start to finish. 
In the first quarter, the Red Lions led the Knights 10-18 even if San Beda’s Nigerian import Ola Adeogun was plagued with foul trouble as San Beda’s backcourt of Baser Amer and Anjo Caram caught fire for the Mendiola-based cagers. It was still manageable for the Knights, however the Red Lions doubled the Knights’ output in the by halftime with the score of 34-17. At halftime, only San Beda’s cheering squad were able to perform as Letran’s cheering squad was banned to perform in Game 3 for breaking an NCAA rule for half-time performances. Despite that, the Letran faithful on hand managed to find a way to pump themselves up even though the deficit by their team was huge. Once the third quarter began, the Knights came up swinging as they were able to cut the deficit to 11. Unfortunately for them, they were not able to sustain their momentum and the Red Lions took full advantage of Letran’s sloppy game as they took a 45-25 lead heading into the fourth quarter where they never looked back. Well, I never got to finish the game, because with less than 8 minutes left in the 4th quarter and San Beda. Me and my old prof left the arena for good knowing the game was already decided. We couldn’t bear the burden of witnessing a lopsided defeat. By the time the game was done the Red Lions secured their second three-peat in 7 years and the score was not even close:
 
San Beda 67-39 Letran
Box Score:
Letran (39) – Cruz 12, K. Alas 11, Cortes 6, Racal 3, Almazan 3, J. Alas 2, Almario 2, Belorio 0, Gabawan 0, Luib 0, Cudal 0
San Beda (67) – Caram 17, Amer 14, J. Pascual 10, Adeogun 6, dela Rosa 5, Koga 4, K. Pascual 4, Mendoza 2, Abarcar 2, Ludovice 2, dela Cruz 1, Bonsubre 0, Lim 0, Villaruz 0, Moralde 0
With their 6th championship in 7 years. San Beda overtakes Letran for the most number of men’s basketball championships at 17. Sophomore guard Baser Amer won the Finals MVP trophy for the Red Lions which is his first in his collegiate career after winning two Finals MVP trophies for the Red Cubs in 2009 and 2010. It was also rookie coach Ronnie Magsanoc’s first championship as a head coach in the collegiate ranks. Magsanoc took over from then head coach Frankie Lim who was handed a 2 year ban by the NCAA the previous season. It is also a sweet ending for the three graduating players for San Beda namely Anjo Caram, Jake Pascual and Melo Lim. As Caram and Pascual leave the Red Lions with four championships while Lim earned three championships. Just like in Katipunan this year, there will be a Bonfire for a third straight seasonat Mendiola today.
Apparently, in all years of my collegiate life so far. It has been the same champion from first year until today in the UAAP and NCAA. In the UAAP it’s Ateneo and in the NCAA it’s San Beda. I hope by next season there will be a new champion in both leagues. I have nothing against Ateneo and San Beda, yet it’s time for a change.
Also with the win, the San Beda Red Lions clinch a spot in the Final Four in the Philippine Collegiate Champions League as they are joined by the UAAP Champions Ateneo Blue Eagles. The other two teams who will complete the Final Four will be the winners of the Metro Manila/Luzon bracket and the Visayas/Mindanao bracket.
As for the Letran Knights, it was a valiant effort from them this season.Outside of the players, the coaching staff and the whole Letran community, nobody expected the Knights to enter the Finals. They even started the season bad. But were able to bounce back and make it back to the Final Four with the #3 seed. In the Final Four, they defeated the San Sebastian Golden Stags twice to punch their ticket to the NCAA Finals. In the Finals, they pushed the Red Lions to a decisive third game. However, their dream run came to a bitter end as theylost Game 3 in a lopsided game which makes it look like a game in the elimination round more than a Finals game.
This was also the final game for two players of the Knights as Jam Cortes and Jonathan Belorio will end their collegiate careers without a championship. 
Today also marked the final game for Letran head coach Louie Alas who announced his resignation after the game. Alas called the shots for the Knights since 1998 where he won a championship in his rookie season as head coach as well as two more championships with the Knights (2003 and 2005). So I give a big salute for the man who was not even an alumnus of Letran (Alas came from Adamson University) as he brought glory to the Muralla-based squad in his 12 seasons as coach for the Knights.
THANK YOU COACH LOUIE!
Also another guy from Letran whose future is uncertain is Coach Louie’s son Kevin who is the “heart and soul” of the Knights and the main reason for Letran’s magical run to the Finalsas he is pondering on whether to return to the Knights on his final playing year next season or not at the heels of the immediate departure of his father as head coach of the Knights.
 
Well, Letran suffered the same fate as the UST this year, both are Dominican institutions who made it to the finals of their respective leagues but both teams were unable to bring home the championship. Both Letran and UST fought opponents with a lot of experience when it comes to the finals. Both teams played their hearts and gave all their own on the harcourt.Both institutions suffered from painful defeats in their bid for championships. Both lost against apparently “Manny V. Pangilinan-backed institutions” (San Beda is MVP’s Alma Mater, while he supported Ateneo until this season when he severed his ties with the university). I even got to say to my former professor’s current students in Letran whom we caught up after the game: “I feel you.” As a fellow Dominican, both Thomasians and Letranites shared the same feeling. However, I believe both the Tigers and Knights will be back even better next season.
An interesting note, in the PCCL, there will be a “Battle of the Dominicans as the runner-up in the NCAA, the Letran Knights will face the runner-up in the UAAP,the UST Growling Tigers to determine one of the two teams who will compete in the Finals of the Metro Manila/Luzon bracket.
 
Meanwhile in Bacolod City, our heroes the UST Growling Tigers faced off once again, against the Ateneo Blue Eagles at the Sandugo Unigames. The game went into overtime, however the Growling Tigers fell short as hometown hero Clark Bautista missed a potential game winning three pointer as they lost to the Blue Eagles 56-58.
So that ends another season of NCAA Basketball.
Once again, Congratulations to the San Beda Red Lions for their second three-peat in 7 years.
Congratulations as well to the Letran Knights for a valiant effort all season long. They literally came back from the grave at the bottom of the standings to make it back to the Finals.
Until next season.
 
Arriba Letran!
Animo San Beda!
K-Smoove