Last Saturday, on a rainy day across entire metropolis with Typhoon Lando bound to hit Luzon bringing heavy rains and gusty winds over the horizon. It was an opportunity for me to do something I haven’t done in the last three years. Watch my beloved UST Growling Tigers live in action.
I’m writing this blog entry with an heavy heart. After all that happened today and all the heartbreak and bittersweet thoughts that I have over the past couple of hours, as the basketball season of UAAP Season 76 all came down to one game. As the UST Growling Tigers battled with the De La Salle Green Archers for the right to be crowned the new UAAP men’s basketball champion in 6 years.
But before we got to that moment, let’s look back at the events that led to this moment.
UST came in as the 4th seed in the Final Four after finishing 9-5 in the elimination round where they were hampered with injuries and tough losses. But they peaked at the right moment after they picked up a huge win over the FEU Tamaraws in double overtime, then surviving three knockout games which included a win that dethroned the defending champion Ateneo Blue Eagles to end the elimination round, and defeating the top-seeded NU Bulldogs twice to become the 1st #4 seed to knock out a #1 seed in the UAAP Final Four thus returning to the Finals for the second consecutive season.
As for La Salle, they struggled in the first round of eliminations finishing only at 3-4, but they found their groove in the second round as they finished with a 7-0 sweep to give them a 10-4 record, since they were tied for 1st place with NU and the FEU Tamaraws, NU got the top seed due to the quotient system. So the Archers and Tamaraws battled for 2nd place and a twice-to-beat advantage in their Final Four matchup. La Salle won that game handily, then when the Final Four began, the Tamaraws fought hard, however the Archers pulled off the breaks to book their ticket to the Finals for the first time since 2008.
Once the dust settled, UST and La Salle were left standing for all the marbles. One thing that made this matchup special is the battle of the Teng brothers as older brother Jeric of UST battles his brother Jeron of La Salle in what would be their first and last battle in the UAAP Finals. Aside from that, it’s the battle of the coaches with very contrasting personalities as the emotionally charged Pido Jarencio of UST went to war against the calm and calculated Juno Sauler of La Salle.
In Game 1, UST won by a solitary point 73-72 after Karim Abdul blocked the possible game winner of LA Revilla in the winding moments of the game. While in Game 2, La Salle won by 7 points 77-70 led by their twin towers of Arnold Van Opstal and Norbert Torres which set up this moment. Game 3 between the Tigers and Archers, one game for all the marbles.
As the game went along, both teams played with everything they have. The Tigers started hot in the first half while the Archers struggled to score baskets. King Tiger Jeric Teng and Karim Abdul led the charge for the Tigers in the first half and the Tigers went in with 8 point lead at halftime. Then in the second half, the Tigers kept on scoring big against the Archers, but everything changed as the Archers mad a furious rally to take the lead before John Sheriff bailed the Tigers out with a shot at the buzzer to keep the lead heading into the fourth. In the 4th quarter, both teams traded baskets. With the game tied at 65, the Tigers had a chance to win with 6 seconds left. But Aljon Mariano, missed the shot. Thus we went into overtime. Fatigue came into play as both teams struggled to score baskets. Then Jeric Teng gave the Tigers a two point lead with over a minute to go. Jeron Teng got into the lane and drew the foul where he split his free throws but Mariano who got the rebound turns the ball over setting up a clutch jumper by Almond Vosotros to give the Archers a one point lead. Then LA Revilla split his free throws to extend the lead to 2 for La Salle. The Tigers had their chances to tie or win the game. But Abdul missed on a tough trey as the Archers survived and won the game 71-69. The Archers win the title for the first time since 2007 and La Salle coach Juno Sauler did what UST coach Pido Jarencio pulled off in 2006 by winning the title as a rookie coach in the UAAP.
It was an emotional moment, as both the Teng brothers went through a lot of emotions, especially Jeric Teng who played out his final game in a Tigers uniform in the UAAP and the fact that he will not walk away with the championship. Jeron would win the Finals MVP trophy and had some nice words for his older brother. One special moment after the game was when the runner-up trophy was given to UST, the Lasallian faithful in attendance went on to cheer “Go USTe!” and when La Salle got their championship trophy, the Thomasian faithful went on to cheer “Animo La Salle!”. Well this shows, that the DLSUST friendship is alive and indeed true.
It’s an heartbreaking yet bittersweet moment for myself, heartbreaking with the fact that I will not get to experience the celebration of a championship for UST as a student, added to the fact that I wasn’t watching the game live at the Mall of Asia Arena which meant that I wasn’t able to watch a single game this UAAP season. While, it’s bittersweet since I said to myself that even if La Salle wins the title. I would still be happy for them.
At the end of the day though, it was indeed a championship series to remember, and I will always be proud to go all in for the BLACK GOLD, BLACK WHITE!
Congratulations to the De La Salle Green Archers, you deserve the championship.
A big kudos to the UST Growling Tigers, you’ve been through a lot of challenges this season and you made it a series to remember. To the graduating players Jeric Teng and Clark Bautista we will miss you putting up a UST jersey in the UAAP.
All hope is not lost though, we still have the chance to defend our PCCL title this year.
But for now, UAAP basketball for 2013 draws to a close.
Go USTe! Animo La Salle! Thank you for a great series.
My recent illness the past couple of days has been keeping me on the shelf, as much as I tried to come to school to finish the week off, the illness still bugs me today. Even so, I’m writing this entry today to regain my confidence back and to write again after a long hiatus due to my schedule loaded with a lot of schoolwork. Besides, I’m getting better with every hour.
Picking up from where I left off, the journey through this whirlwind of a semester went through a massive detour once the results of the preliminary examinations came out last month, and it wasn’t a pretty sight as the struggles I endured during the first half of the semester finally showed up. Despite the setback, there is still another half of the semester to bounce back and recover. I’m not giving up and will give everything I can to finish the semester strong so that we can move forward into taking up practicum at a tourism establishment.
In addition, once the preliminary examinations were done, my training resumed for the competition at hand which is the Final Round of the 5th PHILTOA Tourism Quiz Bee. The bad weather prior to the competition took out most of my training time as class suspensions came along the way. But, I just had enough training to get me prepared for the big day. Then on September 7, it all came down to one afternoon at the SMX Convention Center as I competed with 10 other contestants in the Final Round. I was happy that my family and friends were there to support me in the competition. It was a tightly contested battle, the questions as expected were pretty tough especially those involving manual computations. Apparently, I almost won the event. However, I ended up in 2nd Place since the champion was able to answer a difficult question which was worth more points. Despite that, I’m happy with what I achieved in this competition, especially the fact that last year, I didn’t made it to the Final Round and in the semi-finals this year, I barely made it through the Top 10. To quote Mr. Cesar Cruz, PHILTOA President: “Bumawi ‘tong bata na to.” “This kid came back.” The following day, I came back to receive the award and winnings that came along with the victory.
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
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!
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
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!
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!
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!
Until next season.