‘Animo’: Ateneo glows in green as archrival La Salle wins in UAAP finals

December 7, 2023 - 5:16 PM
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Church of Gesu
The Church of Gesu in the Ateneo de Manila University bathed in the school color of De La Salle University on Dec. 6, 2023 (ateneodemanila/Facebook)

As a show of solidarity following the win of De La Salle University in the UAAP Season 86 men’s basketball finals, Ateneo de Manila University lighted up some of its structures in the school color of their archrival.

DLSU’s Green Archers won against the University of the Philippines’ Fighting Maroons in the third game of the Season 86 finals on Wednesday at the SMART Araneta Coliseum, Quezon City with a score of 73-69.

Reports said Lasallian Kevin Quiambao lived up to his lofty Most Valuable Player (MVP) billing by anchoring the Green Archers’ defensive masterclass in the clutch to score the gritty final win and complete a reverse series sweep for their first title since 2016, or seven years.

It was the 10th UAAP title for the Taft-based team, which suffered a 30-point defeat in the finals opener against the Fighting Maroons.

While Green Archer head coach Topex Robinson admitted to having self-doubt following the team’s loss in the first game, he  added that seeing his players gave him “courage to move forward” since he draws his “strength from them.”

DLSU was last hailed as the overall champion of the UAAP men’s basketball in 2016.

ESPN Philippines said that the Green Archers and the Fighting Maroons “were seen as the favorites” in the UAAP Season 86, with both “easing past their respective Final Four opponents in just the first try.”

“Never in the 85-year history of the UAAP have UP and La Salle met in the men’s basketball championship round,” the sports website said, explaining the intensity of the match between the two teams.

La Salle was usually pitted against Ateneo in college leagues, tracing its generations-old rivalry to the early 1930s when both schools competed in the National Collegiate Athletic Association.

Meanwhile, following the Archers’ victory, its Katipunan-based archrival showed solidarity by lighting its Church of the Gesù and the Areté building in green — the official school color of La Salle.

“Tonight, the Church of the Gesù and Areté are lit up in green,” the Facebook page of Ateneo said on Thursday.

“Congratulations to the De La Salle University Green Archers! Animo!” it added, echoing the Taft-based university’s traditional school cheer.

DLSU acknowledged the post by sharing it and tagging ADMU’s page in its comment.

“Thank you, Ateneo de Manila University!” the Taft-based school said in response.

DLSU president Bro. Bernard Oca expressed his gratitude to Ateneo following the lighting initiative.

“We are thankful, that we are one in beating UP,” he said on Thursday.