We are the ChampionshipS!!!
Coming into the championship of the 70th season of the Juniors division of the UAAP, the Ateneo Blue Eaglets were favored to win the title. Unfortunately, they fell into the trap of engaging the DLS-Z Junior Archers to a war of words on who is better instead of the war on the court. As a result, the Junior Archers upset the Blue Eaglets in game 1 and wrapped up the series in Game 2. This year, the same scenario was in place as the Blue Eaglets once again found their way on top of the elimination round and then beat the Adamson Baby Falcons to barge into the finals. The lessons of the past are still in the minds of the Blue Eaglets, JV Dumrique is still feeling the pressure of his finals meltdown last year together with Juami Tiongson who was at the forefront of last year’s campaign. This year is different, focus was the key to the team as they used their experience to ram the FEU – FERN Baby Tamaraws 71-60 to win the 14th UAAP Juniors title for the Ateneo High School.
Team Captain JV Dumrique and Kiefer Ravena teamed up to give the Blue Eaglets the needed scoring sock as they combined for 9 of the Blue Eaglets 11 4th quarter points to enable the team to just coast by after the BabyTamaraws tried for one final heave to turn the rout into a game. Chris Tolomia scored 10 points in this quarter but it was not enough as the help he needed from his team mates never came and all they can do was put the lead down to a respectable level. In the end the Blue Eaglets prevailed by 11 points and the first double championship in 32 years is now a reality.
A fitting finale for the season, Finals MVP JV Dumrique
JV Dumrique was adjudged as the finals MVP as his steadiness in the clutch helped the Blue Eaglets in making sure that this one will not slip away. The Blue Eaglets learned a lot from their loss to the Junior Archers, at the same time they also learned a great big deal in their first round loss to the same team, the first time DLS-Z has won three straight against the boys in Blue. Come the 2nd round the Blue Eaglets were all business as they secured the top spot enroute to the finals. The four seniors would have made it a grand slam but unfortunately it wasn't meant to be.
The last time an Ateneo team won the Juniors and Seniors in the same year was in 1976 when the Blue Eagles were still in the NCAA. Congratulations to the Blue Eaglets and to Coach Jamike Jarin. Kudos too to the graduating seniors JV Dumrique, Ivan Enriquez, Kevnin Gamboa and Juami Tiongson. On to the next level.