Big games call for big players to do the big time move for the big time win.
And in Game Two of the UAAP Season 73 Basketball Finals, it was Blue Eagle Ryan Buenafe who went big time.
The former Rookie of the Year awardee sank a cold-blooded three pointer that put the nail in the coffin for the struggling FEU Tamaraws, and gave the Ateneo Blue Eagles their third back-to-back championship in the UAAP, with a final score of 65-62.
Blue Eagles coach Norman Black now joins the likes of Baby Dalupan, Aric Del Rosario and Franz Pumaren, coaches who all led their college teams to three-peat championships.
In the final minute stretch of the game, Tamaraw Paul Sanga was fouled on his three-point attempt, which gave FEU the chance to tie the score. Sanga, however, foiled two of the three charities, which meant they would need one more possession to catch up with Ateneo.
As possession went to Ateneo, Buenafe was given the leather, and for sometime tried to orchestrate a play.
But when his defender backed down by just a little bit, Buenafe saw enough room for a shot, took the opportunity to get the ball flying in the air for a trey, and the rest was history.
The swish of the net’s end as Buenafe’s shot sank served like a white flag of surrender for the broken-hearted Tamaraws.
FEU absorbed the losing sweep, after being the number one team in the elimination rounds, having defeated Ateneo both times. The Tamaraws endured the last quarter minus Coach Glen Capacio, who was rushed out of the court for high blood pressure.
As fate would have it, Coach Glen didn’t need to see the heartbreak at that moment, and so he was spared from witnessing the dissipation of a dream that he has yet to achieve.
But the Tamaraws, with all gallantry and fierceness, tried with all the strength that they could muster to claw their way back into contention. It was the stifling defense and the clicking offense of Ateneo that spelled doom for FEU.
Once again, congratulations to the three-time Juniors and Seniors Men’s Basketball Champions of the UAAP–the Ateneo Blue Eagles!
Among the best and greatest tacticians of Philippine basketball, a throng of UAAP-bred coaches stand out among the rest. Here, in the second of our blog series on the best of the UAAP in the sport of basketball, we take a look at the roster of PBA coaches and assistant coaches since 1975 who were products of the UAAP.
Bogs Adornado of the UST Growling Tigers, the same player who was the first winner of the PBA’s MVP Award, coached the Alaska Aces in 1989, before giving up the post to Tim Cone, who has since been the only coach of Alaska.
The former La Salle Green Archer Gee Abanilla, is currently the assistant coach of the San Miguel Beermen. He had a collegiate coaching stint with the CSB Blazers in 2008 before giving the post to Caloy Garcia.
Though now coaching for an NCAA team, Letran’s head coach Louie Alas was a former Adamson Soaring Falcon. His short and controversial stint as head coach of Mobiline 2001 opened up a door for him to coach the Letran Knights, which immediately won a championship under his tutelage. Alas also holds the distinction of leading the Manila Metrostars of the now defunct Metropolitan Basketball Association to 22 straight games, the most by any ball club in basketball history.
Perhaps unknown to many, while Benjie Paras was the face of the UP Fighting Maroons when it won its championship in 1986, it was Eric Altamirano who won the MVP Awards that year. His first try at college coaching for UP resulted in the Fighting Maroons entrance to the Final Four ten years after he had won as a champion Maroon himself. That was the last of UP’s Final Four appearance since then until now. Altamirano has also successfully led the Mobiline Phone Pals to winning the PBA Centennial Cup in 1998.
Altamirano’s predecessor was the bemedalled Joe Lipa also from the UP Fighting Maroons. Lipa was the coach of UP when it won its 1986 championship. Lipa, who is currently UAAP’s commissioner, coached the now defunct Formula Shell in 1987 and in 1994. He also had a stint with Air21.
Each of the eight current schools comprising the University Athletic Association of the Philippines (UAAP) have a claim in basketball history here in the country. It’s nice to take a sweeping view of how our college ball clubs have made a significant impact in the history of the sport since it was introduced here in the early 20’s.
For this first in a series of blogs about the best of the UAAP Schools in Basketball, we’ll take a look-back at the past MVP’s of the Philippine Basketball Association who were graduates of a UAAP school.
The first ever MVP of the PBA was Bogs Adornado of the Crispa Redmanizers, and he was a proud University of Santo Tomas alumni. He also won that award thrice, the second best record in league history, next to Ramon Fernandez and Alvin Patrimonio, each with 4.
The University of the East boasts of producing the most number of distinct MVP’s coming from the same school. The “Living Legend” Robert Jaworski, triggerman Allan Caidic, and the recent awardee of the MVP award, James Yap, were all Red Warriors.
Benjie Paras, the only PBA player to have ever won both MVP and ROY awards in the same year, is a product of the UP Fighting Maroons.
Danny Ildefonso, on his way to winning back-to-back MVP honors from 2000-2001, won the Best Player of the Conference award five straight times, the most by any player in the PBA. Ildefonso was a product of the NU Bulldogs.
13 of the 35 times that the MVP Award was given went to former UAAP players. Johnny Abarrientos from the FEU Tamaraws, and Kenneth Duremdes from the Adamson Soaring Falcons complete the list of players in the PBA who have won the MVP honors, all coming from the UAAP.
In summary, the following PBA MVP Awardees were from the UAAP:
1. Bogs Adornado (UST, three times)
2. Robert Jaworski (UE)
3. Allan Caidic (UE)
4. James Yap (UE, two times)
5. Benjie Paras (UP, two times)
6. Kenneth Duremdes (AdU)
7. Johnny Abarrientos (FEU)
8. Danny Ildefonso (NU, two times)
Our church, the Metropolitan Bible Baptist Church and Ministries just had one of the toughest, most challenging, but eventually one of the most historic anniversary celebrations in its 35-year history, as we held our “Acts 2 Revisited Campaign” all throughout last week.
From September 19 to September 26, 953 workers from all of our congregations, mission works and organized daughter churches both here and abroad went out to share the Gospel and follow-up new believers to obey the Lord in the waters of baptism.
Everyday for 8 days, from sunrise to sunset, all of our brethren from the MBBC was just all abuzz to getting the message out, and bringing the harvest in. It was the busiest, most productive week ever in the history of the MBBC, albeit in the history of Baptist churches.
After all the results have been sealed, the more than 900 workers, coming from 36 different MBBC works here and abroad, by the grace of God harvested 21,673 professions of faith and 680 believers obeying the Lord in the waters of baptism! Amen to that! Praise be to God!
The obedience campaign will continue on until the entire month of October, to harvest the remainder of the baptism goal that wasn’t reached, which is 1,000!
Thanks be to God for His amazing grace!
Usually during a Finals game, the outcome is decided either by one team who performed good, or the other performed bad.
In the case of the UAAP Finals Game One between the FEU Tamaraws and the Ateneo Blue Eagles, it was both: Ateneo performed good, and FEU performed bad.
If it were only one of the two factors, then it wouldn’t have ended with a 72-49 score. The Tamaraws, the hungrier team of the two, should have seized this day by having a good field day with their well-known offensive edge. But by the end of the first half, the Tamaraws were trailing by as much as they have already notched behind Ateneo, 42-21. Guys like Noundou, Cawaling and Sanga only combined for 9 points, while the leading candidate for MVP, RR Garcia seemed tentative with all his shots, and managed to score only 11 points for all the minutes he clocked. The game went so bad for FEU, if the top five scorers of Ateneo were the only ones scoring, FEU would still lose by one point.
As for Ateneo, they made sure the stigma of their two loses against the Tamaraws during the regular season will be erased with a dominating performance. The two incurred defeats of Ateneo in the hands of FEU were only by small margins. Getting back at their tomentors, the Blue Eagles handed the Tamaraws a heavier dose of their own medicine as early as the first quarter 26-8. And things can only get better for Ateneo, as their leads per quarter increased each time, from 18 in the first, 21 in the second, 22 in the third and 23 in the fourth. Sheer domination.
I was reading a forum tackling the FEU-Ateneo match-up for the Finals, and I found two guys debating over who’s got the real experience factor. The pro-FEU was quick to dispel experience factoring in for Ateneo as a back-to-back champion. Apparently, he ended up eating his words, as the pro-Ateneo he was up against in the forum lambasted him like flaying someone alive. Indeed, the stronger, more experienced team came up with the crucial first game win.
On Thursday, either FEU does something to make the series go the distance, or Ateneo notches a three-peat.
A man was urgently needing a thousand pesos, and he had nowhere else to run to. He turned to prayer and asked God, “Lord, please do something that I could have that 1,000 pesos right now. I just need the money so urgently…”
As the man was praying, a policeman apparently heard the prayer. Touched by the man’s plea, he reached into his pocket, got his wallet out, pulled out 700 pesos, and walked up to the praying man.
“Sir,” said the policeman, “I heard your prayer from way over there. I hope this will help,” as the policeman handed over the bills amounting to 700.
“Oh, thank you so much Mr. Policeman!” said the praying man.
Just when the policeman had walked a good distance away, the needy guy prayed again.
“Lord, thanks a lot for this money. But would you please, next time, send it through someone else other than that policeman? He took the other 300, I suppose!”
Moral lesson: Couldn’t we just shush, and be thankful?
It’s just two teams now in the UAAP: FEU and Ateneo.
Who will win the championship for the Senior Men’s Basketball?
In the end, the top two teams of the UAAP earned their way to their finals match-up–the hard way, of course.
The FEU Tamaraws had to endure a 5-minute extension in overtime to finally dispose the surprise team La Salle Green Archers last Thursday, while the Ateneo Blue Eagles emerged victorious in the Battle of the Avians against the Adamson Falcons, who pushed the series to the ultimate do-or-die game, after winning game one against the defending champs last Thursday.
The face-off features a match-up between the champion team who are seeking a three-peat, and the heartbreak team who has been into the final four series since 2007 by virtue of their being a top seeded team, but has found their season always ending in the semis.
It will be very interesting to see these two teams go up against each other. The Tamaraws last won a senior men’s championship in 2006, which was a three-peat win. Since then, the Morayta squad managed only to get into the final four and nothing more than that. It was the very same year that Glenn Capacio took over the reins of coaching the team. Now, the time has come for him to finally make his mark, not anymore as a magnificent basketball player, but as a coach. A win for the Tamaraws will earn them their 20th senior’s basketball championship trophy. Right now with 19, the FEU college basketball franchise is the winningest men’s team in UAAP history. One more win will give them a two-win edge over UST and UE, each with 18.
As for Ateneo, they are aiming for their first three-peat championship. Since Norman Black headed Ateneo’s basketball program, they’ve won two of the three times they made it to the Finals. While they lost their usual hold of the top spot during regular season, the Blue Eagles are nonetheless a strong, veteran team, whose championship experience for the last two seasons can make a difference against a team suffering a four-year drought in championships.
A win for the Tamaraws will distinguish Glenn Capacio as the only former UAAP MVP and a winning coach as well. Capacio was the MVP of the 1983 season, which also they won as champions. The only other former UAAP MVP who went on to coach for his alma mater is UP’s Eric Altamirano.
A win for Ateneo will give Norman black his college version of a grandslam in the PBA. Black has won a grandslam season with the San Miguel Beer team as a coach in the pro-league. A win in the UAAP will further add to his illustrious career as a bemedalled tactician.
The weight of history is bearing upon both these teams, as they face on September 25. Two teams, both hungry for the championship trophy, will square off. One team will go home the winner. Will it be the team hungry for a win after four years of heartbreak, or will it be the team seeking a place in history with a third straight championship?
Get ready for their much anticipated tip-off on Saturday