Thirdy Ravena, SJ Belangel turn sentimental as Ateneo’s ‘historic’ BEBOB era ends
MANILA, Philippines — With Matthew Daves opting to turn professional, the BEBOB (Blue Eagles Band of Brothers) era of Ateneo has ended as all members of its 2018-19 championship team have graduated.
Thirdy Ravena, SJ Belangel, and other members of the UAAP Season 81 championship squad turned sentimental after Daves opted to forgo his final playing year.
“We are #BEBOB 💙 glad to have been part of this amazing and historic team!” posted Ravena on Facebook. “Nakakasenti isipin na tapos na kami lahat, parang kahapon lang nung dumating si coach Tab sa Ateneo tapos nagpa open tryouts siya sa Moro.”
(It feels sentimental to think that all of us are no longer with Ateneo. It seems like yesterday when coach Tab arrived in Ateneo and held his open tryouts at Moro Lorenzo Gym.)
BEBOB was the battle cry of Ateneo since Baldwin took over the program in 2016 when they made it to the Season 79 Finals but lost to the Ben Mbala-led La Salle. The Kiwi-American coach got their sweet revenge the following season to win his first UAAP crown.
The BEBOB 2018-19 squad dominated the next two UAAP years, winning their second championship in Season 81 and completing a ‘three-peat’ with a perfect 16-0 season in 2019.
Belangel also took to Instagram to pay tribute to their group.
“BEBOB 2018-2019 signing off! Miss you and good luck my brothers,” wrote Belangel on his IG story.
Ravena has been thriving in Japan B.League with the San-En NeoPhoenix, while Belangel was a trailblazer for Filipino players in the Korean Basketball League playing for Daegu KOGAS Pegasus.
Tyler Tio, Aaron Black, Gian Mamuyac, Anton Asistio, Jolo Mendoza, William Navarro, Adrian Wong, Isaac Go, and brothers Mike and Matt Nieto are playing in the PBA, while Raffy Verano, Jolo Mendoza, and Vince Tolentino are seeing action in other club leagues.
Ange Kouame, BJ Andrade, and Daves, the remaining members of BEBOB, brought back Ateneo’s lost glory after dominating the University of the Philippines Fighting Maroons in Game 3 of the Season 85 Finals.
Kouame, the Finals MVP, will play for Strong Group Philippines in Dubai and undergo knee surgery before pondering on his professional career, while Andrade and Daves will also try their luck in the pros.
Baldwin will lean on a young squad, led by holdovers Kai Ballungay, Forthsky Padrigao, Geo Chiu, and Sean Quitevis, as they defend their crown in Season 86 this year.