Ateneo honors Champion Athletes in Celebratory Bonfire
ABS-CBN Sports on Mar 22, 2015 09:28 AM
As has been a tradition in Atenean sports, the University held their annual celebratory bonfire entitled the "3-2-1 Bonfire" last Saturday, March 21 at the Ateneo de Manila University grounds to honor their UAAP Season 77 champions.
Hundreds of Atenean students, familes, friends, and fans filled the Ateneo Grade School parking lot to witness the program, which gave each champion team their due recognition for their accomplishments during the season.
The festivities kicked off with the Ateneo Juniors Blue Eaglets basketball team, which bagged the Season 77 Juniors crown, led by season MVP and Mythical Five member Mike Nieto, Finals MVP Jolo Mendoza, and Mythical Five member Matt Nieto.
Next to be honored were Juniors Judo team, who claimed back-to-back titles with six gold medals, one silver medal, and four bronze medals, led by MVP Christian Clemente and Rookie of the Year Jose Querubin.
Rounding out the Juniors champs were the ten-peat champions Juniors Swimming team, who racked up a total of 28 medals (12 gold, 8 silver, 8 bronze) and two new swimming records behind the efforts of MVP Miguel Arellano and Rookie of the Year Emilio Viovicente.
On an lighter note, the bonfire was scheduled on the same night as the Prom, so a few members of the champion juniors teams were all dressed up in suits, and even went on to give shout outs to their respective dates.
After a brief performance from the Ateneo Blue Babble Battalion, the ceremonies continued as the Men's and Women's Swimming Teams were given their recognition. The men's team compiled a total of 36 medals (18 gold, 11 silver, 7 bronze) and ten swimming records, while the women's team grabbed a total of 27 medals (15 gold, 10 silver, 2 bronze) and eight swimming records. The collegiate swimming teams also dominated the individual awards with Jessie Lacuna and Hanna Dato earning MVP honors, while Alberto Batungbacal and Ariana Herranz earning Rookie of the Year honors in their respective divisions.
The three-peat champion Ateneo Blue Batters were next to be celebrated, as they swept rivals De La Salle University in the finals. Andrew Tan took home season MVP honors.
The Men's Volleyball team was next to take the stage after winning their historic first ever Men's Volleyball title thank to the stellar play of back-to-back season MVP Marck Espejo and Finals MVP Ish Polvorosa. Blue Eagles coach Oliver Almadro thanked the Ateneo community for their unwavering support for the Men's Volleyball team.
"I just want to thank the whole Ateneo community. Even though hindi namin kayo kilala lahat, yung warmth, yung presence niyo through prayers, we really felt it nung Finals."
Finally, the stars of the night took center stage as the back-to-back Women's Volleyball champions came out to the applause the hundreds in attendance. The Lady Eagles went 16-0 en route to their second straight women's volleyball crown behind back-to-back season MVP Alyssa Valdez and Finals MVP Amy Ahomiro.
When asked why he decided to stay in the Philippines, Lady Eagles head coach Tai Bundit simply replied "I love Ateneo."
The event was capped off by the UAAP MVPs lighting the ceremonial bonfire.