This year marks the 80th season of the University Athletic Association of the Philippines (UAAP). As in previous seasons, this year’s edition of the league draws fans with its famous (and controversial) marquee matchups.
Ateneo vs La Salle
Of all UAAP rivalries, the one between the Ateneo de Manila University (ADMU) Blue Eagles and the De La Salle University (DLSU) Green Archers is the first that comes to mind. The rivalry traces its roots to as early as the 1930s, when both schools competed in the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA).
Tickets easily sell out whenever Ateneo and La Salle meet in UAAP’s basketball and volleyball finals.
Ateneo vs UP
The little-known rivalry between Ateneo and the University of the Philippines (UP) began pre-NCAA and UAAP, when the then Padre Faura-based UP students would go to the old Intramuros campus of Ateneo for friendly basketball games.
That era saw the birth of Ateneo’s Blue Babble Battalion, the first organized cheerleading team in the Philippines.
The two schools were also foes in football. In the last five years, Ateneo and UP have faced off in the finals twice, with each school winning once.
FEU vs UE
The Far Eastern University (FEU) Tamaraws and the University of the East (UE) Red Warriors trace their rivalry to the 1950s and pride themselves in having numerous basketball championship crowns: 20 for FEU, 18 for UE.
DLSU vs UST
From exciting basketball championships in the 1990s to intense volleyball matchups in and out of the UAAP, DLSU and the University of Santo Tomas (UST) have treated fans to unforgettable court action.
While trash talk and jeers marked this rivalry, the latter part of the millennium has seen the two schools’ respective cheerleading teams—
DLSU’s Animo Squad and UST’s Yellow Jackets—performing together at halftime.
However, things heated up last year when the Animo Squad exceeded its own halftime routine, eating up precious minutes of the UST drumline.
Last May, officials halted a preseason game when players of the two teams nearly engaged in a brawl in the final seconds.
FEU vs DLSU
In the 1991 basketball finals, FEU protested DLSU’s win, claiming it competed with a disqualified player. Officials ordered a rematch, but DLSU insisted it had won fair and square and did not show up.
The trophy was awarded to FEU, and when DLSU organized a victory parade, it was bombarded with trash when it passed the FEU campus.
More recently, in 2005, DLSU assistant team manager Manny Salgado was slapped a lifetime ban from the league for hitting on the nape FEU team captain Arwind Santos.
And last August, a preseason game in Davao, players of the two schools engaged in a scuffle, causing the game to be stopped in the third quarter.
UP vs UST vs NU
Undoubtedly, cheerleading gets more popular each year, with more people watching and teams doing complex routines.
While UST’s Salinggawi Dance Troupe and the UP Pep Squad have each won eight championships, the National University (NU) Pep Squad has been a force to reckon with, winning four straight finals since 2013. —CONTRIBUTED