FEU Tamaraws vs NU Bulldogs: Battle of The Underdogs


After two decades, neither Ateneo nor La Salle is in the UAAP (University Athletic Association of the Philippines) men’s basketball finals.  Who would have thought that this year's edition (season 77) will be a Cinderella episode in the rough and tumble world of basketball in this side of the planet?  Of course, Ateneans and La Sallistas were in disbelief at the turn of events.  Both teams have everything including talents, skills, financial budget, and all sorts of imaginable support.  In other words, these teams are the mighty ones.  Well, as players in this sport would say that the ball is round, “anything can happen.”  So it did.

FEU Tamaraws vs NU Bulldogs UAAP season 77
Already, the final match is a subject of speculation from humorous ones to serious ones.  One online kibitzer remarked that this championship will fill up the general admission area of the venue. This is a sad indication of how this league has turned basketball into drawing the lines between the rich and the poor.  Naturally, millions of Filipinos are eagerly watching for the finals as the general public is in need of inspiration from among their ranks.  Manny Pacquiao has already joined the elite by virtue of being a politician.  Smart-Gilas was a momentary idol of the masses but the public cannot ignore that these players are celebrities and they can only relate on the “Puso” factor.  Ginebra slowly slips into oblivion as it cannot muster championship crown for how long Sleeping Beauty is only curious to know when she wakes up.
 




Ateneo cannot say that they never saw it coming, but it happened.  They failed to beat the Bulldogs in six games prior to the final four and since last season.  The same can be said with the Archers as they were beaten by The Tamaraws in four out of five games.

And they have to force a rubber match in order for the Green Team to be humiliated by the basketball dudes from FEU.  But the limelight belongs to National University who never figured in any Top Four finish for over 40 years.  The idea of being in the finals is something only the stars can predict.  The question therefore, can NU complete their Cinderella finish or they might end up as the proverbial bridesmaid?
 
This is indeed an interesting match as it will hope to answer some questions such as can both teams fill up the rafters like the way Ateneo and La Salle did? Will this be as exciting as any finals where Archers and Eagles did in the last 20 years of UAAP?  Will the finals encourage celebrities to troop to the finals? Will the finals give pride to the alumni of both schools?


Place your bet now, and this writer is betting his pride for the National University to win.  They have the motivation. Imagine being away for 44 years and FEU was only gone for three years.  The crowd will definitely root for the most underdog team between the two. The 77th UAAP Men’s Basketball finals is historic indeed.   

Written by Alden I. Bula


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