The UAAP 73 Finals Primer
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