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UAAP Season 82 is right around the corner and we’re counting down the days until the opening! For this series, The Ampersand looks back on favorite UAAP moments. 

UST Championship (2006)

Gio, Faculty of Engineering

My overall favorite is probably the last championship that UST won in Season 69. I was in 3rd year high school then.  An “average” to “good” lineup of UST beat the powerhouse lineup of Ateneo that time. It was shocking. But at the same time, I was also happy because of the team’s Cinderella story going into that championship. 

The Ampersand Note: In 2006, the powerhouse De La Salle University was suspended and so its rival, the Ateneo Blue Eagles became the clear favorites.

The 2006 Growling Tigers championship is often regarded to be a Cinderella run. It also started Pido Jarencio’s battlecry: “Puso. Pride. Palaban.”

The Tigers were a relatively young team then and they lost their senior Jamal Vizcarra to an ACL injury on their very first game that season. Many critics have written them off after their 1-6 record in the first round. But they proved them wrong when the Tigers won enough games and earned a Final Four berth. They lost in the first game of the Finals in heartbreaking fashion, but they took the next two games to eventually win the championship.

As for a common favorite moment, it’s when the Tigers do a comeback win: when the opponent leads and the Tigers catch up and even end up winning the game. The UST Yellow Jackets will then start playing the “Go USTe!” beat and the crowd would go wild cheering for the Growling Tigers.

Expectation for Season 82: Simple. Better results than the last season. If possible and if the team can pull it off, then a spot in the Final Four. The lineup is too young and there have been many changes in the team, so we cannot demand for too much after all. 

UST Championship (2006)

Ryan, Faculty of Arts and Letters

I was a college freshman when UST last won the title in Season 69, so it’s hard to top that. But what made that season special was that UST was not even in the Final Four radar that year.

I consider Kevin Ferrer’s performance in the third quarter of the Finals Game 2 in Season 78 as perhaps the best individual performance in a quarter in recent UAAP history.

Expectation in Season 82: The growl was back in the tiger’s lair last season, coming from a one win season 80 I used to joke about a 500% improvement last season. 

Realistically looking at how the other programs have improved, I’ll be happy to see the team contending again for a spot in the Final Four. Roster wise, the entry of Chabi Yo, Brent Paraiso, and Mark Nonoy teamed up with a healthy CJ Cansino and a seasoned vet in Renzo Subido could give any team a run for their money. I hope the Tigers pull off surprises as they embrace the underdog tag anew.

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