The Blue Eagles Grabs the 2008 UAAP Championship Crown
Manila, Philippines – Ateneo survived a determined La Salle team to win 62-51 and clinch the men’s basketball championship of the University Athletic Association of the Philippines at the Araneta Coliseum. According to the fans, the game was very exciting and intensifying that would be considered one of the best games in league’s history. The game was very intense especially when the La Salle Green Archers scored 15 point lead in half-time of the game. But the Star Player shooting guard Chris Tiu, came to the rescue and led the way for the Blue Eagles with 16 points. This is the second time for Ateneo Blue Eagles since 2002 and fourth time in the UAAP Championship.
The games between the Blue Eagles and the Green Archers are amongst the most anticipated matches in every UAAP season. During the 1988 season, Ateneo was the defending champion and they faced La Salle in the Finals. A deep Ateneo lineup ended up winning the crown and triggered the start of their UAAP rivalry that remains as hot as ever. Recently, the rivalry has picked up once more as both Ateneo and La Salle have become frequent UAAP Final Four participants, even clashing in the UAAP Finals in 2001 (won by La Salle), 2002 (won by Ateneo), and 2008 (won by Ateneo). The UAAP is often guaranteed high TV ratings and high ticket sales when Ateneo and La Salle clash on the hardcourt.
The blue and white combinations are the team’s notable colors. The team logo “Eagle” symbolizes power which is also a reference to the “high-flying” basketball team which would “sweep the fields away” as a dominating force. All in all, Ateneo currently has 45 combined UAAP and NCAA basketball titles, which includes titles in juniors and women’s basketball. In men’s basketball, they have won 14 NCAA titles, and 4 UAAP titles, for a total of 18. In juniors’ basketball, the Ateneo Blue Eagles have 9 NCAA titles and 16 UAAP titles and 2 UAAP titles for Ateneo Lady Eagles.