The 89th season of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) kicked off with a bang as host school De La Salle-College of St. Benilde (DLS-CSB) opened the festivities last June 22 at the Mall of Asia (MOA) Arena in Pasay City with a well-synchronized, choreographed performance, with the theme “Our Stars Will Shine in 89.” The festivities leading to the event did not disappoint, as Benilde also hosted a kick-off party on June 15 at their campus.
And just when you thought the crowd had had its fill of the school spirit brimming in the MOA Arena, basketball fans were treated to a thrilling showdown between reigning three-time NCAA champions San Beda Red Lions and perennial hosts College of St. Benilde Blazers. It was a match for the ages, as both Bedan and Benildean crowds were on their feet during the intense ball game, which San Beda won by only one point, 71-70.
Much has been said about the game, but it should also be mentioned that the Benildean crowd showed as much animo as their counterparts on the other side of Taft. San Beda, in spite of being champions, was outnumbered by the Benildean crowd, along with the other schools jeering for San Beda’s defeat. But after the heroic four-second play orchestrated by new coach Boyet Fernandez and executed by King Lion Rome de la Rosa, the red-and-white contingent escaped with the win.