Let’s hear it for NCAA basketball

This was a season that was definitely for the history books


THE RED Lions celebrate moments after their win.

MANNY Pangilinan congratulating rookie coach Ronnie Magsanoc

The NCAA has always been known as the “other collegiate league,” always living in the shadow of the more popular UAAP. Little do people know that the older generations still claim that the NCAA was the top collegiate league of their time.

Things haven’t changed much—the NCAA has a good season, but no one gets to be in the limelight for too long, unlike the other league, which is jampacked with features from elimination games. The Final Four of the NCAA barely gets enough attention.

Now a whole new game is being played. AKTV on IBC recently got hold of the TV rights for the NCAA, and they were reportedly getting higher ratings than the other league being televised on Studio 23. The good part here is that the time slot is newer and a whole lot better, because it is on prime time. That could mean that even those who are not students who have nothing better to watch could switch channels and see one of the most popular sports in the country. Time slots could have contributed a lot to its rise in ratings—the basketball fans who arrive home from work or school.

The new face of the NCAA is much better than before. A lot of people expected the season to be just the same, with the stronger teams holding on to their spots for most of the season with nothing much happening. But they were sure surprised with this one. The fact is, the games don’t always turn out as expected.

CUTE couple after the game. LEANDRO VILLAR FETALINO


One example was  the game between San Beda and University of Perpetual Help where, in the last few seconds of the last quarter, Baser Amer of San Beda threw a Hail Mary from half court, which tied the game and sent it into overtime. University of Perpetual Help ended up winning the game, to the surprise of some basketball fans.

CARMELO Lim, on his last playing year

On the topic of some notable players, Jett Vidal put on a show this year, shooting  from the three-point range the whole season and even putting in a buzzer-beater here and there.  Kevin Alas, with his much-improved performance, came up with a 43-point game against San Sebastian in game 1 of the semifinals, generating a lot of noise.

Speaking of noise, the crowd in the NCAA has gotten way more intense. The sad truth is, the NCAA crowd had been considered bastos, or as the “jeje” crowd, sometimes you’re wary to wear a school shirt—fans from other schools might gang up on you. Maybe they were just looking at it all wrong. The rival schools hunger not just for a win, but they also want to make their opponents know that they’ve lost, rubbing it in their faces because they have every right to do so. That means more pressure for the players on court.

People just have to understand that the competitiveness of the NCAA was not meant to be compared with that of the UAAP. But maybe people cannot help but be involved in the heated battle of these schools. That also includes online opinions and comments made by students, alumni and faculty. That happens in every league. Most of the people who watch the games live tend to be more vocal and sometimes very demonstrative with their feelings about their school  winning.

THE SAN Beda Alabang high school pep band

This was a season that was definitely for the history books. The epic finals game was between San Beda College and Colegio de San Juan de Letran, who fought not only to win the championship, but to finally break their 16-all tie for total Senior’s basketball titles won. San Beda ended up winning in a very dominant showing by blowing away their opponent in game 3 of the finals series.

BEDAN alumnus and former cheerleader leading the crowd

A few hours afterward, the Internet (more specifically, Facebook) was filled with Internet memes, some from the Bedan community congratulating the teams. The depressing part was seeing the Letran memes Facebook page showing so much disrespect before the end of the finals.

What changed that for everyone was a Letran student who posted a picture of the Bedan crowd, and in a move that surprised people, thanked the school for an exciting finals series and told his fellow Letranites not to leave before they could sing their school hymn. That was a good sign of things to come, considering that the SBC-CSJL match-up was violent a few years back.

The NCAA definitely put on a good show this year. People may want to watch  and scout for talent from this league.

Get Inquirer updates while on the go, add us on these apps:

Inquirer Viber

Disclaimer: The comments uploaded on this site do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of management and owner of We reserve the right to exclude comments that we deem to be inconsistent with our editorial standards.

  • RiverHorse

    not to mention san beda college getting all the help they can get (from league officials and referees) to win games and championships… the recently-concluded finals series is a testament to that. and this has been going on since 2006!

    • cristobtosnas

      stop eating too much ampalaya.  get it over with. 

      • RiverHorse

        what did edmund burke say? “when good men do nothing that is evil enough,” am i right???

      • cristobtosnas

        i dont know what mr burke really said, but i’ll verify it in google tomorrow. 

        on a different note, maybe we should stop blaming the ball for not being too round and just try shooting it through the rim?

      • RiverHorse

        like we say in the vernacular, “mas mahirap makakita ang nagbubulag-bulagan kaysa sa totoong bulag.”

  • Louie Chamber

    this article make me think… are we talking about NCAA as a whole or just San Beda in particular?

  • Less54321

    You don’t even have to ask. They say, in journalism, the pictures accompanying the article tell the story. Hmm. To remind this “writer”, it was not just Letran who created “negative” memes on Facebook, Twitter, etc. Bedans also have their share of bashing and that is something we are not taking seriously. Asarang bata lang. And yes, Mr. “writer”, we did stay up to the very last word of our Alma Mater hymn and even clapped our hands for our players after.

  • denille pascual

    San beda is great but this is a pointless article! Whatever happened to the fine art of feature writing? This article is poorly written with way too many false assumptions.

  • our daily bore

    Mr. writer, you wrote “The NCAA crowd had been considered as the “jeje” crowd..” — Really? By whom? By you? Can you please make it a complete thought? Considered as the jeje crowd by whom? Plastering all over the article are San Beda pictures and yet you mention jeje crowd? Something’s not right with your research.
    “Sometimes you’re wary to wear a school shirt..” Really? Who’s wary? Who told you? Ask any student or former students of any NCAA school and it will be hard to find one saying that he/she is cautious of wearing a school shirt. In fact, we are very proud!

    Thank you Roy Steven Eriga for writing about San Beda and the NCAA but this was a badly written article not worthy of an Inquirer space.

    By the way, your ending lines were “The NCAA definitely put on a good show this year. People may want to watch and scout for talent from this league.” For the love of your profession, can you not think of something more interesting to end this article? 

To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.

Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:

c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City,Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94