UST Tigers, FEU Tamaraws battle for UAAP title after 36 years
They own the most number of championships in the league, yet it surprisingly took 36 years before these two storied squads face off again for the UAAP men’s basketball crown.
University of Santo Tomas and Far Eastern University—who boast a total of 37 titles between them—emerged as the last teams standing after keeping a tight hold of the top two spots all season.
“Maturity and character, those things, you built those through time and I think that’s something we have now,” said FEU coach Nash Racela.
Game 1 of the best-of-three series is set at 3:30 p.m. Wednesday at Mall of Asia Arena.
UST and FEU last fought for the crown in 1979 where the Tamaraws emerged triumphant, 100-89, behind players Anthony Williams, Bai Cristobal, Rad Pascua, Alfredo Amador and coach Arturo Valenzona.
The Tamaraws of 1979 bagged the 10th of their league-best 19 championships.
The Tigers remain tied with University of the East at second with 18 titles.
UST coach Bong dela Cruz remains wary as the Tamaraws got a huge confidence boost after a thrilling triumph over Ateneo in the Final Four, 76-74, on a Mac Belo buzzer-beater.
The No. 1 Tigers easily bundled out last season’s champion National U, 64-55.
“The championship is different,” said Dela Cruz. “Even if we beat them twice, it doesn’t mean anything. We have to be prepared.”
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