Sunday, October 11, 2009

UAAP Season 72: Back to Back

After a long and grueling season, the Ateneo Blue Eagles finally grabbed its second back-to-back championship, after defeating the UE Red Warriors in game three of the best-of-three series of the UAAP Season 72 Senior Men's basketball. The Eagles recorded a remarkable 16-2 win-loss record for the season.

Game One ended with a 7-point win for the Eagles, which showed that the series will be a neck and neck match up. UE proved to be an ultra tough opponent after defeating the Blue Eagles in game 2 with a 20-point spread (88-68). This gave way to a do-or-die match, which was decided with a 13-point commanding win of the Blue Eagles. Once again, Ateneo proved to be the toughest team of the season.

Despite having a season marred by controversies following Andy Barroca's alleged game-fixing in its second-round matchup against Ateneo, the season 72 was a fun and exciting one. In fact, Ateneo did not breeze through the season. It had at least 5 games which they came from behind. The league had equally-competitive teams in UE, FEU and UST. Even La Salle's slump was the season's biggest surprise turnout! Overall, it was a fun-filled season of college run-and-gun hoops.

The Blue Eagles ended their UAAP season with a bonfire held at the Grade School parking ground on Saturday, October 10, 2009. The bonfire celebrated several Ateneo teams' glorious championships in several sports fields, including the Juniors and Senior basketball championships.

Macky Escalona talking to the Rookie Eagles

Fashionista Jai Reyes with the Newspaper boy hat and shades

Future Leader: Eric "The Salutatorian" Salamat

Nameless wood burn in the Ateneo grounds

With Rabeh Al-Husseini, Nonoy Baclao at Jai Reyes graduating from the team, the challenge for the remaining players is to keep up the winning streak, and reach for the school's first-ever three-peat. In the bonfire, both soon-to-be superstars Nico Salva and Ryan Buenafe promised a three-of-a-kind championship. Hopefully, they'd be able to fulfill their promises.

Go Ateneo! One Big Fight!

The 2009 Ateneo Blue Eagles Official Lineup

Rabeh Al-Husseini (Finals MVP, Season Mythical Five)
Nonoy Baclao
Jai Reyes
Kirk Long
Eric Salamat
Ryan Buenafe
Nico Salva
Bacon Austria
Justin Chua
Emman Monfort
Oping Sumalinog
Frank Golla
Luis Gonzaga
Vince Burke
Chris De Chavez
Juami Tiongson
Head Coach: Norman Black

2009 UAAP Men's Basketball Awards

Rookie of the Year
Jeric Teng - UST Growling Tigers

Mythical Team
Rabeh Al-Hussaini - Ateneo de Manila Blue Eagles
Aldrech Ramos - FEU Tamaraws
Elmer Espiritu - UE Red Warriors
Paul Lee - UE Red Warriors
Dylan Ababou - UST Growling Tigers

Most Valuable Player
Dylan Ababou - UST Growling Tigers

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