UAAP overall crown vindication for DLSU
LA SALLE came back from the humbling experience of a season-long suspension to capture its first UAAP general championship at the close of Season 75 Saturday.
“It was an uphill climb to rebuild and it was the whole effort of the (La Salle) community,” said Br. Bernie Oca, FSC, La Salle’s vice chancellor for Lasallian mission and alumni relations, during a press conference after the Archers officially claimed the overall title.
With its women’s teams contributing heavily in the overall race, La Salle finally vindicated itself from a one-season suspension in 2006 for fielding two ineligible basketball players.
“That was just basketball but it affected the recruitment of all sports,” Oca said.
The former all-boys school snapped University of Santo Tomas’ 14-year reign in the league by amassing 293 points, mainly on La Salle’s title runs in women’s volleyball, taekwondo, tennis, chess and table tennis.
“La Salle was an all-boys school for a long, long time,” Oca said. It turned co-ed in 1972.
“Now, we’re very happy to have women in La Salle. Otherwise, we won’t have this general championship. It is a challenge to all the men in the other sports to do as well as their female counterparts.”
Edwin Reyes, La Salle’s representative to the UAAP board, said the overall title was “a five-year work in progress” that the entire La Salle community used as goal.
Officials said focus next season has also been on the recruitment of La Salle’s men’s basketball squad aside from the title-retention bid of all five women’s teams.
“With this general championship, the focus is not only on basketball,” said Henry Atayde, La Salle’s other representative to the UAAP board. “The alumni are also asking how they can help the other sports. It really invigorated the community.”
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