The Blue Eagles — 2008 UAAP Champions!!!!!

After a 6-year drought, Ateneo de Manila University finally clinched the 2008 UAAP Championship with a win in Game 2 against its long-time arch rival, De La Salle University, 62-51.

C1 and C2 had classes in Ateneo but were able to get out in time to run to Escaler where they joined other schoolmates for the final moments of the game. I still need to find out where my sister and her family were all this time. My BIL used to be captain of the Blue Babble Battalion during his days; their only son and oldest daughter both graduated from ADMU; and my sister and their 3 younger daughters are naturally just as loyally blue. At championship games like this, they are almost always there in full force at Araneta too.

I was at home, watching on TV, dressed all in blue down to my blue & white Adidas gym rubber shoes.

I went into lotus pose to try & relax while watching the games. Didn't work!

Tried the lotus yoga pose to relax while watching the games. No dice!

M1 came home in time to catch the 4th quarter. Initially the lead of Ateneo widened to as much as 15 points at the end of the 2nd quarter (26-41) but in the 3rd quarter, La Salle cut this down to as narrow as 3 points and that really made me nervous. I felt a bit of relief when Maierhofer got his second technical foul which meant he was out of the game; and in the 4th quarter, JV Casio fouled out as well, leaving La Salle bereft of 2 of their star players.

This championship is so much sweeter as it comes when Ateneo is also preparing for its 150th anniversary, its Sesquicentennial, on December 10, 2009.

Ateneo also swept up majority of the UAAP and Studio 23 awards handed out as follows:

1. Finals MVP – Nonoy Baclao

2. Season MVP – Rabeh Al-Hussaini

3. Part of Mythical 5 – Rabeh Al-Hussaini, Chris Tiu

4. Rookie of the Year – Ryan Buenafe

5. Most Improved Player – Rabeh Al-Hussaini

6. Defensive Player of the Year – Nonoy Baclao

Several special sponsor awards were also handed out to some of the Blue Eagles.

The sweet smell of victory will only start to sink in beginning tomorrow and over the weekend. Already, my girls and I are excited to be at the bonfire which usually caps an Ateneo UAAP victory (It’s now definite – the bonfire will be on Tiu’s-day, Sept. 30, 7PM! It will be preceded by a thanksgiving Mass at the Church of the Gesu at 6PM. Watch out for more details!).

I found the final moments of the 4th Quarter on the ABS-CBN sports site:

[ appKey=MarbachViewerEmbedded&uri=channels/71599/227500&embedId=49260108]

I am happy that my girls were able to experience a UAAP Championship during their school years in Ateneo. The school spirit and pride, I am sure, is now welling up in them. It is something they will remember forever.

C1 using her Blue Eagles tee

C1 using her Blue Eagles tee

And even if I am just the mother of 2 Ateneans (and hopefully 2 more waiting in the wings), I will always be one of those who will shriek and root excitedly every time the Blue Eagles play a UAAP game.

CONGRATULATIONS TO THE BLUE EAGLES TEAM (and that goes not just for the players but for coach Norman Black, the coaching team and everyone else who did so much behind-the-scenes work for the team).  You truly are champions in every sense of the word.

Update: Found this on inboundpass’s YouTube channel. A view of the after-game celebration and a short clip of Norman Black: