UAAP Season 69 men's basketball tournament

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UAAP Season 69 Men's Basketball
69th season logo.
Host school University of the East

Men's Finals 1 2 (OT) Wins
Ateneo colors.svg Ateneo Blue Eagles 73 71 74 1
UST colors.svg UST Growling Tigers 72 87 76 2
Duration September 24 to October 2
Arena/s Araneta Coliseum
Finals MVP Jojo Duncil
Winning coach Pido Jarencio
Semifinalists UE school colors UE Red Warriors
Adamson school colors Adamson Falcons
TV network/s Studio 23 and TFC
< Season 68 2006 Season 70 >

The men's basketball tournaments of UAAP Season 69 (A.Y. 2006-07) started on July 8, 2006 at the Araneta Coliseum and ended on October 2, 2006 also at the same venue with the UST Growling Tigers defeating the Ateneo Blue Eagles in the third game of their Finals series. Ateneo finished first in the elimination round. They eliminated the Adamson Soaring Falcons, who are in their Final Four debut, in the semifinals. UST finished tied for third in the eliminations and had to beat the 2nd seed UE Red Warriors twice in order to qualify at the Finals.

2005 losing finalists De La Salle Green Archers were suspended when it was revealed that two players used spurious documents to enter college. All of their wins from 2003 to 2005 were also forfeited. La Salle's suspension also caused the suspension of the 2005 juniors champions De La Salle Junior Archers. All La Salle teams would return in the 2007 season.

Preseason events[edit]

In a meeting held at Adamson University on April 21, 2006, the UAAP Board unanimously voted to suspend De La Salle from all UAAP events on both divisions for the 2006–2007 (69th) season due to negligence.[1]

New coaches include the comebacking Joe Lipa for the UP Fighting Maroons, Leo Austria for the Adamson Falcons, and Pido Jarencio for the UST Growling Tigers.

Since Joe Lipa was tapped as the new coach of UP, Elmer Yanga, former team manager of the RFM franchise in the Philippine Basketball Association, was chosen as the new basketball commissioner for the season.

All of the elimination's first round games after Opening Day was held at the Ninoy Aquino Stadium in Malate, Manila. Second round games were held at the Philsports Arena and the Araneta Coliseum. The Final Four and the best-of-three Finals are set at the Big Dome as well.

Elimination round[edit]

Team standings progression in the men's basketball tournament.
# Team W L PCT GB Tie
1 Ateneo school colors Ateneo Blue Eagles 10 2 .833 --
2 UE school colors UE Red Warriors 8 4 .667 2
3 UST school colors UST Growling Tigers 6 6 .500 4 Symbol confirmed.svg
4 Adamson school colors Adamson Falcons 6 6 .500 4 Symbol unrelated.svg
5 FEU school colors FEU Tamaraws 5 7 .417 5
6 UP school colors UP Fighting Maroons 4 8 .333 6
7 NU school colors NU Bulldogs 3 9 .250 7
8 La Salle school colors De La Salle Green Archers Suspended

Host team in boldface.

Tiebreaker: UST defeats Adamson on the playoff for the 3rd seed, 85–71.

FEU Tamaraws[edit]

At the end of the elimination round, the FEU Tamaraws, with team captain and eventual PBA superstar Jonas Villanueva, became the first defending champions in league history not to make it into the Final Four, under the same coach, Bert Flores, who was then replaced by Glenn Capacio for the following season. They lost a chance for the #4 spot to Ateneo, through JC Intal's drive that gave the Blue Eagles the win. Flores became an assistant coach in Season 70.

Rivalry games[edit]

These are the results of the different rivalry games:

July 16
89–98 Ateneo school colors Ateneo Blue Eagles
August 20
98–88 UP school colors UP Fighting Maroons
July 15
84–92(OT) UE school colors UE Red Warriors
August 20
76–63 FEU school colors FEU Tamaraws

Statistical leaders[edit]

  • Points: Kenneth Bono (Adamson, 21.8)
  • Rebounds: Jervy Cruz (UST, 12.8)
  • Assists: Japs Cuan (UST, 6.3)
  • Blocks: Elmer Espiritu (UE, 2.1)
  • Steals: Marvin Cruz (UP, 2.0)
  • Turnovers: Bonbon Custodio (UE, 4.3)

Postseason teams[edit]

Adamson make their first Final Four appearance since the format's first application in 1994. Ateneo and UE continue their streaks of playoff appearances, as UST returns after a three-year absence. The FEU Tamaraws were the first defending champions not to qualify for the semifinals.

Ateneo Blue Eagles[edit]

The Eagles entered the season as one of the preseason favorites. After winning a nailbiter against lowly NU Bulldogs on Opening Day, the Eagles went on an 8-game winning streak, sweeping the first round, and surviving squeakers against Adamson and FEU, and blowing out UST by 36 points, 114–78 on the first round finale through a high scoring second quarter.

The second round was more of the same, when Ateneo again survived another 1-point game against the Falcons. However, they were dealt with their first setback in an overtime loss against the Growling Tigers, who were without three players due to injuries and ailments. Despite the loss, the Eagles were already assured of a twice-to-beat advantage at the semi-finals. They also dropped their last assignment, a no-bearing game against the Warriors at the last day of eliminations.

UE Red Warriors[edit]

Returning with an intact lineup, the hosts also emerged as one of the preseason tournaments. However, the first round was mixed, as they were beaten by UST and Ateneo, but they finished second.

On the second round, UE was unbeaten, winning four straight (including the last game of the first round). However, UE was beaten by Adamson in an overtime thriller. After UST's victory of Adamson in the game, UE is now assured of a twice-to-beat advantage at the semifinals.

UST Growling Tigers[edit]

The Growling Tigers opened the season with a stunning loss against the UP Fighting Maroons on a buzzer-beater shot by Marvin Cruz. However, they beat the defending champions Far Eastern and top seeds East in two closely fought games. With setbacks against National, Adamson and a blowout loss against Ateneo, their Final Four aspirations were cast in doubt.

Santo Tomas opened their second round with another loss against UE. But they broke the .500 barrier with successive wins against National, Far Eastern, and an overtime win against Ateneo. Flirting a possible twice-to-beat advantage at the semifinals, the Maroons dealt the Tigers another defeat. With their fates not in their hands, they've beaten the Soaring Falcons in a tightly contested game. With Ateneo's drubbing of Far Eastern, the Tigers entered the Final Four for the first time since 2002.

Adamson Soaring Falcons[edit]

The Falcons is the only team not to enter the men's Final Four since the league instituted it in 1994. Seeking to end the streak, the Falcons had their first win against the Bulldogs, after being demolished by the hosts in their opening game. But Adamson still faced a rocky ride, losing to top contenders, Ateneo and FEU but beating UP and UST to end the first round with an even 3–3 record.

Opening the second round, Adamson was beaten again by FEU and Ateneo. But with center Ken Bono posting MVP numbers, Adamson brought itself in the hunt for that elusive Final Four berth. They were able to demolish UP and upset UE in overtime. They lost to UST before closing out the second round with a win over NU. With Ateneo's defeat of Far Eastern, Adamson barged outright into their first Final Four appearance.

Third-seed playoff[edit]

September 14
85–71 Adamson school colors Adamson Falcons

Bracket[edit]

  Third-seed playoff Semifinals
#1 & #2 have twice-to-beat advantage
Finals
Best-of-three series
                               
    1  Ateneo school colors Ateneo 76    
    4  Adamson school colors Adamson 73    
   
 
 UST school colors UST  85       1  Ateneo school colors Ateneo 73 71 74
 Adamson school colors Adamson  71         3  UST school colors UST 72 87 76*
 
 
  2  UE school colors UE 75 81 Asterisks (*) denotes the number of overtimes.
  3  UST school colors UST 79 82  

Semifinals[edit]

Ateneo-Adamson series[edit]

This was the Soaring Falcons' first Final Four appearance. Adamson gave Ateneo two one-point victories in the elimination round, with the Eagles escaping due to their endgame heroics.

September 17
73–76 Ateneo school colors Ateneo Blue Eagles
Ateneo wins series in one game

A see-saw game until the fourth quarter, when Ken Bono of the Falcons converting a three-point play with 18.3 seconds remaining, to cut the Ateneo lead to, 74–73. On the inbound pass, Blue Eagle Chris Tiu threw an errant pass to Macky Escalona who failed to retrieve it. On the next possession, Soaring Falcon Patrick Cabahug missed a fadeaway jumper, which led to an Atenean rebound. The Falcons left with no choice but to foul Chris Tiu, who calmly sank his two freethrows, thereby eliminating the Falcons from contention.[2]

UE-UST series[edit]

Season host was favored in this matchup, with several veterans in the lineup. The Tigers have no players with playoff experience, save for Jemal Vizcarra who was out of the season by the second game due to an Anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injury.

UST won the first game 91–77, while UE won the second game, 74–63 in the elimination round. UE's loss was the third time in tournament history where they were booted out of the semifinals armed with the twice-to-beat advantage (1994, 2002 and 2006). UE's last Finals appearance was on 1991.

September 17
79–75 UE school colors UE Red Warriors
September 21
82–81 UE school colors UE Red Warriors
UST wins series in two games

First game[edit]

UST led for much of the game, when the Warriors started making inroads by the third quarter. With 21.1 seconds left in the fourth quarter, and with UST up by two points, June Cortez of UST converted a three-point play that gave the Growling Tigers enough breathing space to force a deciding elimination game.[2]

Second game[edit]

With the Tigers off to a hot start, the Warriors kept within striking distance. In the fourth quarter, the Warriors forced a 70-all deadlock - the first in the game. UE then led by as much as five points, but the Tigers fought back, forcing turnovers and grabbing offensive rebounds, to tie the score at 79-all. After a UE turnover, Jojo Duncil missed the shot, but Jervy Cruz grabbed the offensive rebound, missing the put-back; Duncil then tipped in the ball for a two-point field goal, plus a foul. Duncil completed the three-point play. On the next possession, UE's Marcy Arellano drove unmolested to the basket, cutting the lead into one point. With a UST turnover and several seconds remaining, Red Warrior Jorel Cañizares missed a medium range jump shot. Cañizares grabbed his own rebound but missed on a short stab; Warriors team captain Robert Labagala grabbed the rebound as time expired.[3]

Finals[edit]

The Growling Tigers and the Blue Eagles met each other for the first time in the UAAP Finals. The last time they met in the Finals was in the 1931 NCAA season, in which the Ateneo won.

Game One[edit]

September 24
4:00 p.m.
72–73 Ateneo school colors Ateneo Blue Eagles
Scoring by quarter: 15-19, 20-16, 22-22, 15-16
Pts: Jervy Cruz 20
Rebs: Jervy Cruz 13
Asts: Japs Cuan 3
TOs: Espiritu, Cuan 3 each
Pts: J.C. Intal 21
Rebs: Doug Kramer 13
Asts: Chris Tiu 4
Blks: Zion Laterre 4
Ateneo leads series, 1-0

The game was close all throughout, with neither team leading by double figures. It ended in the fourth quarter with two crucial plays. With 4.3 seconds to go, Tigers forward Allan Evangelista made a tough fadeaway shot over the outstreched arms of Doug Kramer, pushing UST ahead of Ateneo, 72–71, with 1 second to go.

Ateneo coach Norman Black immediately called a time-out over the tumultuous din of the rejoicing UST fans. In the inbound play, Macky Escalona found a wide open Doug Kramer on the paint, and the Ateneo forward calmly banked the ball in for the win, sending the Ateneo fans, in turn, into a wild frenzy.[4]

Game Two[edit]

September 30
4:00 p.m.
71–87 UST school colors UST Growling Tigers
Scoring by quarter: 20-21, 18-27, 19-17, 14-22
Pts: J.C. Intal 23
Rebs: Doug Kramer 13
Asts: Intal, Escalona 4 each
TOs: Chris Tiu 4
Pts: Dylan Ababou 22
Rebs: Jervy Cruz 13
Asts: Jervy Cruz 6
FG%: Dylan Ababou 82%
UST ties series, 1-1

The Eagles, although led early, were down by a point at the end of the first half. The Tigers broke the zone defense by hitting outside shots and by grabbing offensive rebounds off their misses. JC Intal kept the Eagles at striking distance but his supporting cast wasn't enough as the Tigers cruised into a Game 2 victory, and forced a winner-take-all Game 3.[5]

Game Three[edit]

October 2
3:00 p.m.
76–74 OT Ateneo school colors Ateneo Blue Eagles
Scoring by quarter: 15-17, 16-20, 20-13, 13-10, OT: 12-10
Pts: Jojo Duncil 18
Rebs: Jervy Cruz 13
Asts: June Cortez 4
Bench pts.: 24
Pts: Macky Escalona 28
Rebs: Zion Laterre 11
Asts: J.C. Intal 5
TOs: Ford Arao 5
UST wins series, 2-1
UST gallery at Game 3.

With a tightly contested first quarter, the Intal-Escalona connection of the Eagles threatened to pull away at the second quarter, leading by as much as ten. In the third quarter, the Tigers stormed back, keeping in touch with the Blue Eagles. In the dying minutes of the fourth quarter, rookie sensation Jervy Cruz fouled out with 1:16 left; Evangelista, the almost-hero of Game 1, fouled out two minutes earlier. With a 64–59 Ateneo lead, Anthony Espiritu scored a three-pointer on the UST offense. Mark Canlas scored a put-back to tie the game. Intal missed a short jumper at the other end for force overtime.

With the score tied 74-all, June Cortez missed a jumper; Dylan Ababou was fouled as he grabbed the rebound. Ababou split his charities, which led to another JC Intal miss in the final seconds. The rebound was hotly contested, and the referee called for a jump ball; the possession arrow pointed to UST. Eric Salamat was forced to foul June Cortez, who converted his first and missed his second, which led to the Ateneo rebound with 3.6 ticks left. Jai Reyes heaved a desperation three-pointer that missed the ring completely, causing jubilation to the golden half of the Coliseum. An estimated 20,000 packed the Araneta Coliseum including United States Ambassador to the Philippines Kristie Kenney and Senator Richard Gordon .

Jojo Duncil was named Finals MVP award. Pido Jarencio won his first UAAP title for UST.[6]

Awards[edit]

2006 Men's Basketball Champion
UST colors.svg
University of Santo Tomas
Eighteenth title
Nineteenth title including NCAA championships

Suspensions[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ UAAP Suspends DLSU For A Season, UBelt.com. Retrieved June 12, 2006.
  2. ^ a b Payo, Jasmine (2006-09-18). "Blue Eagles in finals; Tigers stay in hunt". Philippine Daily Inquirer. Retrieved 2008-08-07. 
  3. ^ Payo, Jasmine (2006-09-22). "Tigers oust Warriors, seal duel with Eagles". Retrieved 2008-08-07. 
  4. ^ Payo, Jasmine (2006-09-25). "Last-gasp Kramer shot lifts Eagles". Philippine Daily Inquirer. Retrieved 2008-08-07. 
  5. ^ Payo, Jasmine (2006-10-01). "Tigers maul Eagles, forge rubber match". Philippine Daily Inquirer. Retrieved 2008-08-07. 
  6. ^ Payo, Jasmine (2006-10-03). "UST Tigers grab 19th UAAP title in overtime". Philippine Daily Inquirer. Retrieved 2008-08-07. 

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Season 68 (2005)
UAAP men's basketball seasons
Season 69 (2006) basketball
Succeeded by
Season 70 (2007)