The De La Salle Green Archers survived the Ateneo de Manila University Blue Eagles during the first two grueling games of the best of three series to bag the coveted 2016-17 UAAP Men’s basketball title and break a tie with the Eagles in UAAP championships won and broke a long slump in repeating as champions with their second crown since the 2007-08 season.
Their winning the latest championship gave the Archers the edge total UAAP titles won, 9-8 and broke a long slump in repeating as champions in relative sucession.
They also took down the Far Eastern University twice and caged the University of Santo Tomas Growling Tigers 2-1 in the best of three finals during the 2014-15 season. The last time they win titles in relative succession was during the 1989-90 and 1998-2001 seasons.
They also closed the gap in having bragging rights in their bitter UAAP rivalry by recording their second win in their UAAP head-to-head championship matchup.
The Archers, however, still trail Ateneo in their all-time head-to-head match-up. They are a championship down, 2-3, and 34-45 in UAAP games won.
The Archers finished the elimination round atop the team standings, losing only one game in 14 matches but had to face the team that dealt them their only loss in the entire tournament, rival Blue Eagles.
After winning the title in the 2007-08 season, the Green Archers suffered a four year silence including missing the top four twice and finishing only fourth in the other two seasons.
After their 2014-15 win, they again regressed to third and fifth for two years before coming up with the brilliant performance in 2016.
BY: ARMANDO M. BOLISLIS
See earlier parts:
Remembering 2016: The year of the “Never Say Die”s and Drought Busters, Part 1
Remembering 2016, Part 2: Hidilyn Diaz ends four PH Olympic droughts
Remembering 2016, Part 3: BEERacle, SMB engineers Mother of all Hoops Comebacks
Remembering 2016, Part 4: Cavs overhauls a 1-3 hole to the 73-9 Warriors, ends 45 year drought
Remembering 2016, Part 5: Wala Nang Kangkongan, Ginebra Ends 8-year championship drought