The Top UAAP, NCAA, and Amateur Basketball Stories of 2012

CKSC wins the MMTLBA grand slam!
The Chiang Kai Shek Blue Dragons put their mark on Metro Manila Tiong Lian Basketball Association (MMTLBA) history by notching an unprecedented grand slam, winning the title in all three MMTLBA divisions.

They were seeded third in the MMTLBA’s version of the Final Four, and they faced perennial powerhouse Xavier School in the semifinals. Xavier, led by the highly-sought-after Jeron Teng, carried a twice-to-beat edge, but it was all for naught as the Blue Dragons of coach Goldwin Monteverde all but obliterated the Golden Stallions. CKSC beat Xavier, 83-76, in the first game before deflating them, 70-50, in the decider.

The Dragons faced top-seeded Hope Christian High School (HCHS) in the Finals, and they surprised everyone by, once again, sweeping the more heavily-favored team. Burly forward John Kevin Baytan, who, reportedly, might suit up for Adamson University in the UAAP, normed 17.0ppg, 9.0rpg, and 1.5spg for Chiang Kai Shek in the Finals.

Other CKSC players who contributed significantly were Kimlee Bayquin, John Paul Nieles, and Carlo Young. Bayquin and Young are still playing for CKSC this season, and they should be interesting prospects for several collegiate programs mid-2013. Another interesting CKSC prospect is 6’6” tower of power Wilson Bartolome, who normed 5.5 blocks per game in the Finals while also averaging 9.0ppg, and 7.0rpg. He’s no Justin Chua, but he might develop into an intriguing big man in the seniors ranks.

On the HCHS side, Clint Doliguez, King Benemerito, Janrey Garrido, Errol Villar, and John Apacible all played well. Doliguez and Apacible are still currently playing for HCHS, and they played big as Hope Christian won the title in the inaugural Philippine Secondary Schools Basketball Championship (PSSBC) late in 2012. Garrido and Villar were both part of the UST Growling Tigers in UAAP Season 75.

NU wins the Filoil Tourney
The NU Bulldogs were supremely dominant in their 2012 Filoil Flying V Hanes Cup championship run, going through all their eleven games undefeated.

In doing this, Ray Parks and his pack sent a powerful message to the rest of the local college basketball scene. In the Finals, Parks was, once again, the hero of the day. The tournament MVP scattered 19 points, grabbed 4 rebounds, dished out 2 assists, and stole the ball twice to lead NU over the gritty and much-improved DLSU Green Archers. Emmanuel Mbe, adjudged the Defensive Player of the Tournament, also did well, finishing with 13 points, 15 boards, and 2 rejections, while Gelo Alolino stepped up with 10 points, 4 rebounds, and 2 assists.

Emmanuel Mbe and Ray Parks are all smiles after the
NU Bulldogs captured the 2012 Filoil Flying V Hanes Cup.
(image by Jan Dizon/Filoil Flying V)

LA Revilla and Norbert Torres led the Geen & White with 14 and 13 markers respectively. Both teams eventually did well in the following UAAP season, and they both returned to the Final Four. NU’s last time trip to the UAAP postseason was way back in 2001, while the Archers failed to make it in 2011.

San Beda dominates NCAA Srs & Jrs
Once again, San Beda was the undisputed #1 force in NCAA Basketball as the Red Lions and Red Cubs romped their way to the Seniors and Juniors titles respectively.

The Lions gifted rookie mentor Ronnie Magsanoc with an NCAA title, dominating the Letran Knights, 67-39, in Game Three of the Finals. The diminutive duo of Anjo Caram and Baser Amer led San Beda with a combined 31 points, while Jake Pascual tossed in 10 markers and grabbed 9 rebounds. San Beda shot just 36% from the field, but their defense held firm, holding the Knights to just 27% FG shooting. They also managed to shackle Letran shooter Kevin Alas to just 11 markers on 5-of-21 shooting.

This was San Beda’s third straight crown in the NCAA Seniors Division.

The Lions’ little brothers also copped the title in theJuniors Division, beating the San Sebastian Staglets in two games.

Red Cub Javee Mocon was adjudged Finals MVP after averaging 12.5 points and 14.0 rebounds in the Championship series. RP-Youth Team members Arvin Tolentino and Andrei Caracut also did well for Beda as they normed 16.5ppg and 15.0ppg respectively in the Finals. Mocon, Tolentino, Caracut, and fellow RP-Youth stalwarts Rev Diputado and Ranbill Tongco all have one more year to continue powering the Red Cubs. Another star Red Cub, Van Abatayo, is, reportedly, already practicing with the Red Lions' Team B next season, while 

FEU-FERN nails UAAP Jrs title
Finally, the FEU-FERN Baby Tamaraws of coach Michael Oliver were able to annex the elusive UAAP Juniors title, thanks mainly to the cut-above-the-rest play of graduating guard Jerie Pingoy.

Pingoy led the Baby Tams in a vengeful sweep of the NU Bullpups a year after the Bullpups defeated Pingoy’s crew in the Season 74 Juniors Finals. Pingoy normed 21.0ppg, 6.5rpg, 5.5apg, and 4.0spg for FEU in this season's Finals. The Baby Tams escaped the Ateneo Blue Eaglets in the Final Four, 70-67, before going through the wringer in beating NU, 78-77, in Game One.

Game Two was, quite literally, a marathon match. FEU and NU battled through three overtimes before a champion was crowned. Pingoy once again led the way for FEU as he spearheaded a decisive 8-2 spurt in the third extra session that all but sealed the title for the Baby Tams. Pingoy was co-scoring leader for the entire division during the elimination round with 21.0ppg. He was tied with De La Salle-Zobel’s Renzo Subido, who’s tagged to be one of the breakout stars in next season’s Juniors wars.

Pingoy, meanwhile, is being wooed by several college programs, but the ones that have made the most noise are the FEU Tamaraws and the Ateneo Blue Eagles.

Ateneo bags the 5-peat
The Ateneo de Manila Blue Eagles made history, exorcised their demons, and gave their decorated mentor a fitting farewell by copping their fifth straight UAAP Seniors Basketball crown after beating the UST Growling Tigers.

The Blue Eagles became the first ones to win five straight
Seniors basketball titles in the UAAP's Final Four era.
(image by Arvin Lim/

Super sophomore Kiefer Ravena led the Eagles’ drive for five in the championship-clinching second Finals game with 22 points, 5 rebounds, and 3 assists, while the towering Greg Slaughter registered 15 points, 11 rebounds, and 3 rejections. Senior point guard Juami Tiongson also stepped up with 10 points, 3 assists, and 2 swipes, including the critical steal off a Tata Bautista pass in the endgame to close out the match.

UST, meanwhile, was led by graduating playmaker Jeric Fortuna, who finished with 20 points, 8 boards, and 6 dimes in his final UAAP game. Nobody else scored more than 9 points for the Growling Tigers, who were hoping for a repeat of their 2006 title journey against the Eagles.

With this win, Ateneo did what no other UAAP program has been able to do since the Final Four was instituted in the early ‘90s. They went one up on UST and DLSU, both of whom achieved rare four-peats, by annexing their fifth Seniors crown in a row. This became Ateneo’s eighth UAAP Seniors hoops crown overall.

UST wins PCCL crown
The Growling Tigers of coach Pido Jarencio exacted a significant measure of revenge on their UAAP Finals tormentors when UST beat Ateneo in Game 3 of the PCCL National Finals.

Jeric Teng drilled in 22 markers as the Tigers won their first PCCL national crown. He shot three of his five three-pointers in the pivotal fourth period as UST kept Ateneo at bay. Teng was also named Tournament MVP.

He was ably supported by Kevin Ferrer, who ended up with 21 points, 9 rebounds, and 4 assists. Ferrer typified the Tigers’ aggressiveness in the game, as UST outrebounded Ateneo, 47-32, which resulted in 21 second-chance points for the España crew.

Ryan Buenafe and Kiefer Ravena scored 20 points each to lead Ateneo’s losing cause. Had they won, the Eagles would have snared their fourth PCCL trophy.

LSGH tops Milo BEST
The future superstars of Philippine basketball were on display in the National Finals of the Milo BEST SBP (Small Basketeers of the Philippines) and Passerelle tournaments, with the La Salle Greenhills (LSGH) Junior Blazers emerging as champs in both divisions.

LSGH drubbed University of San Carlos, 60-49, in the SBP Division, while LSGH also beat the University of the Visayas, 83-77, in the Passerelle Division.

Shan Exequiel Vesagas and Miguel Alfonso Santos paired up for 27 points to lead the Junior Blazers in their SBP conquest. Neon Chavez finished with 13 points for USC, which was the favorite after going 3-0 in the round-robin semifinals.

The LSGH Greenies -- SBP Champions of 2012.
(image from the BEST Sports Center Facebook page)

In the Passerelle meet, Carlo Abadeza and Michael dela Cruz combined for 28 markers to lead LSGH in the title-clinching match. Dela Cruz’s triple in the dying seconds ensured the victory for the Greenies. Dave Cabanilla led the Baby Lancers of UV with a game-high 20 points.

The LSGH Greenies -- Passerelle Champions of 2012.
(image from the BEST Sports Center Facebook page)

We would all do well to keep tabs on those aforementioned names as they will surely make waves in the UAAP and NCAA wars in the next five years or so.

Coaching Carousel
Coach Pido Jarencio of UST and coach Ronnie Magsanoc of San Beda surprised many fans when they tendered their resignations after this year’s collegiate basketball season. They were, however, not the only ones who bid their respective schools and programs adieu.

Here’s a list of the coaches who, as of this writing, will no longer helm their respective teams:

- Coach Norman Black announced his decision to end hisstint in the UAAP and return to the PBA after Season 75.
- Coach Pido Jarencio steps down as UST mentor.
- Coach Ronnie Magsanoc resigns from being the San Beda Head Coach.
- Coach Bert Flores steps down after failing to steer the Tamaraws into the Final Four.
- Coach Allan Trinidad was removed from his post by the San Sebastian administration. As he departs, his Kampangan recruits have also reportedly bolted Baste.
- Coach Richard Del Rosario resigns as CSB’s Head Coach.
- Coach Chito Victolero resigns as Mapua’s Head Coach.
- Coach Louie Alas steps down as the Letran Knights’ head tactician.

MVP pulls out of… then returns to Ateneo
In what will certainly be remembered as one of the most bizarre turnarounds in the local sports scene, long-time Ateneo patron Manny V. Pangilinan (MVP) completely detached himself from his alma mater after conflicting stances on sensitive social issues. This was, however, reversed a couple of months later with the announcement that Ateneo and MVP had mended their ties and have renewed their mutually fruitful partnership for the foreseeable future.

This is the last of a four-part “Top Basketball Stories of 2012” series. You may find the other parts (NBA, PBA, and International Basketball) by clicking here.

Next Post »
0 Comment