A SEASON OF GREATNESS: A UAAP Season 80 Round-Up (Part 1)

Ateneo bannered Season 80 with a near-flawless run to the men's basketball crown. (Dennis Jerome Acosta / Dugout Philippines)

By Ricky Manliguis

As UAAP Season 80 draws to a close, let’s look back at all the winning and record-breaking moments in all sporting disclipines, and witness how our UAAP student-athletes lived by the this year’s theme of “Go For Great”:

Basketball: Ateneo returns to winning ways, NU Lady Bulldogs still unscathed
Ateneo went back at the top of UAAP men’s basketball supremacy after claiming the title at the expense of bitter rivals La Salle in three grueling games to end a near-perfect season.

After getting folied in its 14-0 bid in the elims, boys of former national team mentor Tab Baldwin got their payback in the finals against the Green Archers, and with series MVP Thirdy Ravena and Isaac Go firing, the Eagles pulled off an 88-86 win in Game 3.

The win was Ateneo’s first since its five-peat drive from Seasons 71-75 under coach Norman Black.

National U, on the other hand, continued its dominance in the women’s basketball competition, completing another flawless season capped off with a series sweep of Univeristy Of the East in the final.  The girls of coach Patrick Aquino has already won 64 straight games, cementing themselves as the best women’s basketball program in league history.

With season MVP Jack Animam at the forefront, NU continued its winning ways in the women's basketball competitions. (Dugout Philippines) 

Badminton: NU snares 4-peat in men’s play, La Salle foils UP in women’s final
National University continued its dominance in the badminton courts, registering another perfect season for its fourth straight men’s title at the Rizal Memorial badminton halls.

Bannered by tournament MVP Alvin Morada and Season 79 best shuttler Leeward Pedrosa, the 
Bulldogs whitewashed University of the Philippines, 3-0, in the final for its 35th straight win and tying its victims with five titles.

In the distaff side, however, it was a different story as De La Salle pulled the rug from under three-peat champs UP in a thrilling finale, 3-2, with come-backing Nicole Albo providing the crucial win in the final singles match. The win is the Taft-based lady smashers’ first since Season 72.                                             

NU, UST dominate in Beach Volleyball
Over at the sands of MOA, National U and UST collared their respective titles in contrasting fashion.

With Bryan Bagunas leading the charge, the Bulldogs dethroned UST in the winner-take-all Game 3, 21-15, 14-21, 15-13, for the school’s fourth beach volley win.

Sisi Rondina and Caitly Viray avenged their male conterparts in the women’s gold medal match, disposing FEU tandem Bernadeth Pons and Kyle Atienza via sweep to successfully defend their title.

Table Tennis: La Salle notches 4th straight women's crown, NU spoils men's play 
With their former captain on their minds, De La Salle continued its dominance in the women's table tennis competitions, bagging their fourth consecutive title, while National U shocked the rest of the field by snaring the men's title.

The Lady Archers, playing in their first year of the post Ian Lariba era, bucked a Game 1 loss to beat University of Santo Tomas, 2-1, in the final. The team later offered the victory to the Rio Olympian Lariba, who was diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukemia in May of last year.

NU snatched the men's crown, its first in the competition, stunning defending champions UST in the deciding third game. 

Taekwondo: NU scores Kyorugi double, UST rules poomsae
NU ruled both the men's and women's kyorugi (combat) events, registering perfect seasons at the Blue Eagle Gym. The men's team swept all of its six assignments to claim the men's crown. The Lady Bulldogs then hacked out the golden double via similar 6-0 sweep, punctuated by a 5-2 win over UP.

UST meanwhile, banked on veterans Jocel Ninobla and Rodolfo Reyes Jr. en route to its third poomsae title for the EspaƱa-based jins. 

Swimming: Ateneo dominates with double championships
Ateneo stamped its class anew in both the men’s and women’s catergory at the Rizal Memorial swimming pools.

Bannered by two-time Olympian Jessie King Lacuna, the tankers from Katipunan accumulated 567 points to beat out La Salle and UP for its fourth straight men’s tiltle and fifth over-all. DLSU was a distant second with 328 points, while Up had 191.

The Lady Eagles made it a double celebration with 328 points enough to dethorne UP and get back the crown it last won in Season 78.

UST and La Salle, meanwhile, both scored repeats in their respective juniors’ competitions. The Growling Tigers kept its boys’ plum while La Salle had the girls’ version.

Judo: UST still growls
Another UST win came from judo, as it produced another golden double in the competitions at the De La Salle Zobel Sports Pavillion.

The men's team had to share the title with Ateneo after posting identical 30 points after the two-day festivities. The women's, team, on the other hand, annexed the women's crown with 45 total points, edging out closest pursuant University of the East.

The Golden Judokas now has 13 judo titles, while their women counterparts had their 10th crown.  

After a podium finish a season ago, Adamson U finally nailed the cheerdance title (Denver Lachica / Dugout Philippines) 

Cheerdance: Adamson U soars to championship with 80s theme
History was etched in the centerpiece cheerdance competitions as Adamson University collared its first-ever CDC win in front of a sell-out Mall Of Asia Arena crowd Dec. 7. Bringing in an “80s for 80” vibe, the dancers from San Marcelino grooved their way for a total of 663.50 points en route to bagging the P340,000 cash prize.

The win improved ADU’s third-place finish last season. UST Salinggawi Dance Troupe returned to the podium, finishing 2nd place, while Univeristy of the East notched third.  National U failed in their attempt for a record-tying fifth straight title as it placed tied for fourth with hosts Far Eastern U.

(To Be Continued)

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