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THURSDAY, DECEMBER 9, 2010

INQUIRER SPORTS

TELLING THE FILIPINO STORY TO THE WORLD

The Filipino’s time to shine
From page W3

sports association) with 12 gold medals, followed by athletics and aquatics with nine each, billiards and boxing with eight, traditional boat race and taekwondo with six, fencing with five and bowling with four. Metro Manila served as the main hub of the 23rd edition of the Games. Other events were held in Bacolod, Cebu, Los Baños and Canlubang in Laguna, Tagaytay, Angeles City in Pampanga and the Subic Bay Freeport Zone in Zambales. The Philippines previously hosted the 1981 Games where it placed third behind Indonesia and Thailand and the 1991 edition, which the Indonesians topped by a mere two gold medals over the Filipinos.

Unbeaten romp sparks UST 4-peat
FOR FOUR straight years, chants of “Viva Santo Tomas” reverberated in the UAAP community as the OF Tigers dominated the basTHE ketball scene from 1993 to BEST 1996, an unprecedented feat at that time. UST started the run by sweeping all 14 matches of the 1993 season, automatically handing the Tigers the crown. The following year, the Final Four format was started. UST’s title-clinching win in 1993 was made at the expense of Adamson before it frustrated La Salle in the next three championship fights. The 14-0 team, coached by Aric del Rosario, starred Dennis Espino, Bethune “Siot” Tanquingcen, Rey Evangelista, Rudolph Belmonte and Patrick Fran, with alternates Bal David (point guard), Chris Cantonjos (center) and Edmund Reyes (forward). All eight Tigers climbed the pro ranks, with Tanquingcen even becoming head coach of Ginebra and San Miguel Beer. To date, only Espino is still playing (with Powerade) while Evangelista (B-Meg Derby Ace), Fran (Meralco), Tanquingcen (San Miguel) are assistant coaches. Prior to 1993, UST’s last solo title came in the 1964-65 season while in 1967-68, it shared the championship with University of the East after both schools refused to field their players in the second half of Game 3. Overall, UST and UE have 18 men’s basketball titles each, next only to Far Eastern University’s 19.

THE PHILIPPINES’ FIRST Jennifer Rosales (left) and Dorothy Delasin celebrate winning the Women’s World Cup over powerhouse South Korea in South Africa.

AFP

Green Archers nail own four-peat
A NEW coach heralded a new era. Years of heartaches came to an end as coach Franz OF Pumaren transformed the THE La Salle Green Archers BEST from perennial bridesmaids to fierce champions. It seemed like beginner’s luck for then firsttime coach Pumaren, a recently retired professional cager who took over as La Salle mentor in 1998. But boasting a solid program and a roster stocked with talent, the Archers ruled the UAAP men’s basketball tournament from 1998 to 2001 to slay the ghosts of their forgettable runner-up finishes. La Salle won back-to-back titles in 1991 and 1992, but soon became the league’s heartbreak kids after finishing as runners-up six times in seven years, three of which came during University of Santo Tomas’ own four-peat from 1993 to 1996. But the players eventually basked in glory, and impressively, three La Salle standouts—Most Valuable Player Don Allado, point guard Dino Aldeguer and triggerman Renren Ritualo—made it to the 1998 Mythical Five. La Salle capped its record championship run with no less than a 2001 finals victory over fierce rival Ateneo, where Ritualo again shone along with prized guard Mike Cortez, Carlo Sharma and Willy Wilson. A final feat that, unquestionably, sweetened La Salle’s phenomenal run.

FILIPINO baseballers celebrate their victory in the 2005 SEA Games.

ROMY HOMILLADA AP

RENREN Ritualo on cloud nine after the La Salle Green Archers completed their UAAP four-peat.
The Warriors went into the title series looking to nail a third straight championship, but they were clearly not the team they were in the two previous seasons, losing chief gunner Allan Caidic to graduation. Still, Codiñera, who split time with UE and the national team, had ample support in the likes of collegiate standouts Boysie Zamar, Vernie Villarias and Ting Hojilla. But with Altamirano leading UP’s scoring charge—he finished with 26 points in the final game of the season where he won MVP honors—the Maroons simply outclassed the Warriors, 98-89. Paras, Magsanoc, Joey Mendoza and Joey Guanio helped keep the UP machine humming at the Ultra (now the PhilSports Arena) to lead State U to the crown. Back then, it was a huge story—it made the INQUIRER’S front page and merited an editorial to boot—because of the length of time it took before the Maroons clinched the premier basketball varsity crown in the country. Today, with UP still unable to duplicate the feat, that victory remains etched in hoop history as the day the Fighting Maroons were No. 1. The acid test came in the All-Filipino, against a Purefoods squad that would make winning the league’s most prestigious trophy a part of its tradition. Still, the Beermen defeated the Alvin Patrimonio-led Hotdogs in six games. The Beermen got off to a poor start in the Reinforced Conference, losing its first two games with import Keith Smart in tow. But the Beermen brought in Ennis Whatley as replacement and went on to defeat Añejo Rhum in the finals to seal one of the greatest seasons in PBA history.

Aces record fourth PBA grand slam
ALASKA COACH Tim Cone summed up his team’s 1996 virtuoso act in five words: “Special people OF achieve special things.” THE Johnny Abarrientos, JoBEST jo Lastimosa, Bong Hawkins, Jeffrey Cariaso and Poch Juinio certainly proved in one season just how special they were, leading an Alaska charge that saw the team win the PBA’s last Grand Slam thus far. Alaska opened up its triple crown by defeating Alvin Patrimonio, Jerry Codiñera and the Purefoods Hotdogs in the All-Filipino. Its toughest challenge, though, came in the Commissioner’s Cup finals against a veteran Shell squad coached by Perry Ronquillo, who matched wits with Cone in a seven-game series that went the distance and featured verbal jousts between both camps. In the end, Cone, who likened Alaska to “sharks,” defeated Ronquillo’s “dolphins” for the title. Shell, whose import Kenny Redfield guaranteed a victory, was led by Benjie Paras and Vic Pablo. Alaska, meanwhile, was led by Sean Chambers, who played in the Commissioner’s Cup despite the height handicap after Derek Hamilton was tested positive for drugs. When the Governors Cup rolled around, Alaska could virtually smell the Grand Slam, with Chambers returning for a tour of duty. Alaska simply continued its winning ways as other squads needed a couple of games to jell with their imports. The Milkmen’s final hurdle was Gordon’s Gin, but the Boars did not offer much of a fight. Alaska won the first three games before easing on the gas pedal the next two. In Game Six, though, it was all over as the amazing Alaska Aces finally sealed their own special season.

Stags’ NCAA five-peat
HALF a decade of dominance. San Sebastian practically owned the ’90s as the OF Stags, boasting a nucleus of THE the country’s top amateur BEST standouts, strung up an unprecedented five consecutive NCAA championship crowns. The Stags steamrolled their way to the men’s basketball pinnacle from 1993 to 1997 with Romel Adducul, the 6-foot-6 center as cornerstone of a powerful lineup who went on to bag the Most Valuable Player plum thrice. San Sebastian, indeed, made the rest of the field seem like minnows with a roster that also featured 6-foot-5 Aramis Calpito and 6-4 Brixter Encarnacion patrolling the shaded lane and wily guards Ulysses Tanigue and Jasper Ocampo manning the backcourt. And like a sweet championship fairytale, the Stags even marked their historic fifth title with a perfect season. With still 11 holdovers in the fold, the Stags streaked to 13 straight victories to complete an unbeaten season and record the first fivepeat in the country’s oldest collegiate league. The Stags cruised past the San Beda Red Lions, 84-72, in the 1997 Finals. Adducul, unstoppable underneath, defied the help-defense thrown against him and

Grand-slam Beermen roll out barrel
VERY FEW people may have noticed it, but San Miguel Beer’s Grand Slam in 1989 was actually set in OF motion in the previous THE year. The Beermen ruled the BEST Open Conference but failed to prove it could win without an import, as its glut of talented young stars needed a different type of veteran leadership than the one Abet Guidaben provided. After finishing fourth in the All-Filipino in 1988, the Beermen made their move, trading Guidaben for controversial but all-around big man Mon Fernandez. And the 6-foot-4 beanpole proved his worth immediately by helping the San Miguel win the 1988 Reinforced Conference. When the curtains were lifted off the 1989 season, the Beermen looked sharp, deep and poised to dominate. With Fernandez were the likes of Samboy Lim, Hector Calma, Elmer Reyes, Yves Dignadice, Alvin Teng and Franz Pumaren. Coach Norman Black had in his disposal a collection of talent very few teams could match. The Beermen defeated Shell in the Open Conference, silencing the tandem of Benjie Paras and Ronnie Magsanoc in a 4-1 trashing.

MIKEE CojuangcoJaworski carries the Philippine flag shortly after clearing the final barrier and completing a perfect ride that clinched for her the gold medal in equestrian’s jumping competition at the Busan Asian Games in South Korea. The gold she snatched on the final day of the Games sent the national delegation home on the wings of victory.

Tanigue, barely 5-foot-8, struck from the outside to trigger a 13-point avalanche that buried the stunned Lions, 62-48, for good.

Victorious Maroons paint the town red
BENJIE PARAS, Ronnie Magsanoc and Eric Altamirano couldn’t have grasped the kind of history they OF were forging one October THE afternoon in 1986. University of the PhilipBEST pines, the country’s premier academic institution whose foray into college basketball had been filled with heartache, was suddenly stood at the cusp of hoop glory. Against the University of the East’s vaunted machine, led by King Warrior Jerry Codiñera, the Fighting Maroons had removed one hurdle to the championship. UP won the first game of the series and moved to within a victory of its first UAAP crown in 46 years.