UAAP Basketball

LOOK: UP Diliman lights up with long-awaited UAAP basketball title bonfire

JR Isaga
LOOK: UP Diliman lights up with long-awaited UAAP basketball title bonfire

FIRESTARTERS. The UP Fighting Maroons celebrate their long-awaited title with a fitting bonfire celebration

Inoue Jaena/Rappler

Check out the best moments of the UP Fighting Maroons' bonfire celebration on campus after toppling the Ateneo Blue Eagles basketball dynasty to end UAAP Season 84

MANILA, Philippines – For the first time since 2014, a bonfire was lit up in UP Diliman to honor the Fighting Maroons men’s basketball team.

This time, however, it is no longer a celebration of a one-win season to end a years-long losing streak, but rather, a party to herald the return of the UAAP title after a three-decade search.

Despite having less than 24 hours to prepare since winning the championship in an all-time cardiac fashion over the Ateneo dynasty, the school and the team’s handlers delivered for their fans with a simple “street party” at the UP Baseball Field near the College of Human Kinetics gym.

Thousands flocked to the see the Fighting Maroons celebrate their well-deserved championship in what was the largest mass gathering inside the campus since the pandemic started two years ago.

There were free-flowing drinks and food for everyone, and various famous alumni like Senator Kiko Pangilinan and music industry legend Noel Cabangon graced the festivities.

Not even a rainshower stopped the arrival of the upbeat Fighting Maroons, who were welcomed with the timeless victory song, “We Are the Champions” by Queen.

From finals heroes JD Cagulangan and CJ Cansino, to Finals MVP Malick Diouf, to Mythical Five members Zavier Lucero and Carl Tamayo, and finally to graduating players Ricci Rivero and Noah Webb, everyone got a chance to profess their love for the UP community, and be showered with love back.

Former NU high school champions Gerry Abadiano and Terrence Fortea carry their winning tradition to the UP seniors team.
CJ Cansino bites back pain from a right leg injury to help UP’s Game 3 rally with crucial three-pointers.
Carl Tamayo finishes as the first Rookie of the Year to enter the Mythical Five since Jeron Teng in 2012.
Graduating star Ricci Rivero shares a tender moment with new girlfriend, actress Andrea Brillantes.

By the end of the program, the dark night sky was finally disturbed by a blazing fire, signifying the end of a long, exhausting, and oftentimes heartbreaking wait to once again reach the top of the UAAP basketball world.

A searing fire tears into the night at UP Diliman to end the Fighting Maroons’ basketball title celebration.

– Rappler.com