Thursday, September 24, 2009

Red vs. Blue

We'll be seeing a new set of colors this year, as the 72nd UAAP Senior Men's Basketball Championship will be a contest between the defending champs, The Ateneo Blue Eagles, and the 2007 finalists UE Red Warriors. This was after the Red Warriors' come-from-behind victory over the FEU Tamaraws this afternoon. The Tamaraws had a great elimination round, finishing second in the team standings, only to suffer from the third placer UE. The Tams were plagued with another game fixing controversy that involved superstar point guard Andy (Mark) Barroca. This led to the team's decision to pull out Barroca from the team just to avoid the controversy to spread deeper into the team's chemistry. Well, so they say.

FEU ended up losing twice to the pesky Red Warriors, who struggled early in both their games, but ended up triumphant. All these were due to the heroics of their mighty P.E.P. squad, veteran Paul Lee, high-flying Elmer Espiritu, and most improved Pari Llagas. Coach Lawrence Chongson's debut mentoring of the Warrior was a success.

We will see another epic battle between these two strong teams. The Warriors have to content with the Ateneo's powerhouse cast led by last year's MVP, the towering Rabeh Al-Husseini, alongside defense minister Nonoy Baclao, the quick and cunning Eric Salamat, the sophomore phenom Ryan Buenafe, and the sweet-shooting El Capitan Jai Reyes. The supporting cast who are equally talented like Kirk Long, Nico Salva, Bacon Austria, Emman Monfort, Openg Sumalinog and Justin Chua are sure to provide the needed bench support. The Warriors will have to check on how they can overcome Ateneo's extremely deep bench.

It's a battle between the two contrasting colors of our nation's flag. The champs will take home the highly-coveted UAAP crown and another year of bragging rights before we once again wait for the following year's new surprises in rising stars and future league leaders. What's good about a non-La Salle finals is that it's easier to get tickets. But we terribly miss our beloved arch-rivals. Coach Franz, hurry up and get back in shape!

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