MANILA, Philippines – Dynasties rise and fall.
For sports teams in the UAAP, each consecutive championship title is immortalized in history as the colors of their respective schools are brought under the spotlight of the collegiate league.
In 2017, we had 10 teams from the 8 UAAP schools that continued to establish themselves in their respective sports and bring honor to their school.
Ateneo Men’s Volleyball team (3-peat)
Prior to Season 77, Ateneo Men’s Volleyball had never recorded a championship title in history. That was until the Marck Espejo-led team denied the National University (NU) Bulldogs their 3rd straight title and started a streak of their own.
Since then, head coach Oliver Almadro has continued to fortify his arsenal in order to achieve his players’ champion form. The Blue Eagles were undefeated throughout Season 79, claiming their 3rd championship title after two grueling finals games against the NU Bulldogs in May.
Espejo continued to dominate the individual rankings as he emerged as the undisputed 4-time Most Valuable Player (MVP) of UAAP men’s volleyball. Ateneo setter Ish Polvorosa also claimed his 4th straight Best Setter award.
NU Women’s Basketball (4-peat)
In Game 2 of the UAAP Season 80 Women’s Basketball finals, the University of the East (UE) Lady Warriors threatened the National University Lady Bulldogs’ reign atop the league, nearly ending their record of 63 straight victories.
The Lady Bulldogs still had enough magic to top the Lady Warriors in the fourth quarter, outscoring them 28-14 to clinch their 4th consecutive UAAP title and keep their undefeated record at its best of 64 wins and produce another perfect 16-0 season for the 4th straight time.
Jack Danielle Animam secured her first MVP title, keeping the award with NU for the 4th straight time after the graduation of 3-time MVP Afril Bernardino in Season 79. Rhena Itesi and Ria Nabalan joined Animam in the Mythical 5 as well this Season 80.
DLSU Women’s Table Tennis (4-peat)
Unfortunate news dawned onto the team when Olympian and 3-time UAAP MVP Ian Lariba of the De La Salle University (DLSU) Lady Paddlers was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia in May 2017.
With their famed Lady Paddler as their motivation, the DLSU women’s table tennis team powered through Season 80 and established themselves as the best team in UAAP table tennis despite ending their 14-game winning streak in an opening game loss to the University of Santo Tomas.
Emy Rose Dael claimed her second straight MVP title while veterans Jamaica Sy and Mardeline Carreon will be graduating with the 4-peat.
UST Women’s Judo (4-peat)
The UST Lady Judokas were so close to establishing a 4-peat after their championship runs in Season 73 to Season 75, but the rookie-laden team landed on a 4th place finish instead in Season 76.
It was that heartbreak that made their 4th straight championship in Season 80 sweeter. The team exceeded all expectations they had from the title-less season to garner a total of 45 points with 4 gold, 4 silver, and 5 bronze medals in Season 80.
Lady Judoka Almira Ruiz was awarded the MVP honors of the women’s division. She redeemed herself this year as she was disqualified in Season 79 for missing her weight limit in the -52kg category. In Season 80, Ruiz returned to the competition in the -57kg category and bested her team mate Devrah Devaras for the gold medal.
NU Women’s Tennis (4-peat)
Despite seeing the men’s team fail to clinch another double championship in the Season 79 tennis tournament, the NU Lady Bulldogs still managed to win their 4th straight title and set a record of winning 24 straight ties since February 2015.
The daughters of PBA legend Alvin Patrimonio were vital once again in keeping the women’s tennis title in NU as Clarice Patrimonio bagged her second MVP award in 3 years. She sealed the title for the Lady Bulldogs she cruised through a 6-1, 6-3 victory over Erika Manduriao in the second singles match of the finals.
Christine Patrimonio, also a two-time MVP in the UAAP, and 4 other graduating members capped off their collegiate tennis careers with a championship.
NU Men’s Badminton (4-peat)
The NU Bulldogs’ 4th championship in a row this Season 80 has allowed them to match University of the Philippines (UP) in recording 5 titles in the UAAP Men’s Badminton tournament.
The Bulldogs recently have been a dominating force in the UAAP men’s badminton scene as they concluded their campaign with a 35-game winning streak and they swept the Season 80 finals 3-0 in both games of the best-of-three series.
Alvin Morada was secured the MVP award and he will be expected to continue NU’s reign next season with a goal of surpassing UP in the most number of titles in UAAP men’s badminton. In Season 81, the team will remain intact and Season 79 MVP Leeward Pedrosa will return to banner the Bulldogs for another crown.
Ateneo Men’s Swimming Team (4-peat)
After clinching Ateneo’s first UAAP title in the men’s division in Season 75, the Blue Eagles plunged two steps down the podium in Season 76, surrendering the top two spots to UP and DLSU.
Two-time Olympian Jessie Lacuna finished serving his residency and debuted in the collegiate competition in Season 77, which saw him banner the Blue Eagles in his next eligibile seasons. The Blue Eagles successfully returned to Katipunan with a title in their hands and have been keeping it within the blue and white up to this day.
The Ateneo Blue Eagles also continued to sweep the individual awards in the recent seasons as Season 80 team captain Aldo Batungbacal was named the Season 79 Most Valuable Player and Athlete of the Year for shattering records in the 1500m freestyle, 200m breaststroke and 100m breaststroke. Lacuna won his 3rd MVP title in 4 years, whille Miguel Barlisan took the Rookie of the Year honors in Season 80.
UE fencing team (double 5-peat; women’s 10-peat)
The University of the East fencing team continues to bring their international level of play to the UAAP as the men’s team are the running 5-peat champions while the women’s team remain as the queens of UAAP fencing with their 10th straight championship.
Both teams topped the competition as they won 4 golds, 2 silvers and 2 bronze medals each. Nathaniel Perez from the men’s team completed his UAAP career with the Red Warriors and secured his 3rd MVP award in Season 79.
The Lady Warriors, on the other hand, achieved a UAAP record of 11 championships in 12 years as they only lost the title once to Ateneo in 2007, where Lady Eagle Victoria Garcia emerged as the MVP.
FEU men’s track and field (7-peat)
Far Eastern University continues to be home of national team-caliber athletes as the men’s team nabbed their 7th straight title and their 25th men’s track and field championship for the school.
Janry Ubas captained the team to keep the title in Morayta as he broke the high jump record (2.05 meters) during the decathlon and the long jump (7.39 meters) and nabbed 4 golds and one silver medal, that merited him the MVP award for the second time since Season 77.
Season 78 MVP Clinton Kingsley Bautista followed Ubas with 3 golds and 2 silver medals, who will be expected to fill in the shoes of the graduating MVP.
Adamson softball (7-peat)
The queens of UAAP softball persist to defend their throne as they annexed their 7th straight championship that now adds to a total of 16 championships for the Falcons.
The Lady Falcons dominated the individual awards as UAAP Season 79 athlete of the year was awarded the MVP honors as well as the Most Homeruns (4 homeruns) and Best Slugger awards. Krisha Cantor nabbed the Most Stolen Bases (5 stolen bases), Florabelle Pabiana had the Most Run-Batted-In (with 18 RBIs) and Lyca Basa earned the Finals MVP trophy.
During their dominion, the Lady Falcons once achieved a 73-game winning streak from Season 73 to Season 78. – Rappler.com