Your past UAAP basketball heartthrobs: Where are they now?
Barry Viloria on Sep 08, 2016 07:12 PM
They were the 'it' boys, back even when there was no Facebook or Instagram.
Back in the day when we fanboys split our vision watching the games—one eye on the ball, the other on the courtside reporters from the sidelines—these guys instead became the eye candy to our female counterparts. Their names filled up personal blogs and UAAP forums, back when Facebook and Instagram were still a concept. Their basketball games became instant epic matches, way before women’s volleyball took off as another spectacle altogether. If today you have the likes of Jeric Teng, Louie Vigil, and Kris Porter the UAAP then had these heartthrobs heating up the Big Dome—the MOA Arena wasn’t around at that time—in all sense of the word. Ask your ate or tita who used to scream over these dudes, as we look back at some the most favorite-d UAAP star players from 10 years ago or even more for some status update!
Chris Tiu, Ateneo Blue Eagles
Topping this list is, of course, someone so adored by many he launched an entire cult. (Iglesia ni Chris Tiu, duh.) The one-time UAAP champ and two-time Mythical Five honoree from Ateneo would move on to Gilas as a gold-raking cager, before deciding to suit up for the pros. Tiu almost called his PBA career off, but he has since renewed with Rain or Shine. Eventually, the host-businessman-public servant would go sending his fans crying after having a family of his own.
BJ Manalo, DLSU Green Archers
Manalo’s basketball career became the dream of the rest, being a UAAP Juniors champ then playing for the Ateneo Blue Eaglets and eventually a three-time UAAP Seniors titlist as he moved to bitter rival De Salle Green Archers for college. That was until he damaged his both his ACL and MCL, prematurely ending his then-already shining collegiate career. He ultimately recovered only to discontinue and then reject some pro offers. Why? He’d discover a potentially fatal sickness that would have worsened if he hadn’t discovered it sooner. And so he treaded something else for a career: He became a missionary, and is now a coach and sports consultant. He held the GlobalPort team manager post before being part of More Than Winning Sports Consultancy. (Photo taken from Manalo's Facebook account)
James Yap, UE Red Warriors
Star Hotshots’ Yap was the stuff of UAAP fans first, before becoming hounded by the entertainment press, courtesy of his then marriage to high-profile personality Kris Aquino. Along with Paul Artadi, he played as a reliable scorer and was one of the UE Red Warriors’ golden boys escorting the team to Final Four appearances and matches against then powerhouses Ateneo and FEU. On his own, he nabbed a Mythical First honor and a UAAP MVP title. Yap clearly shone brighter in the PBA, though, with at least seven league championships plus a couple of MVP awards, among other accolades.
Ren-Ren Ritualo, DLSU Green Archers
In his UAAP years alone, the Rainman nabbed the Rookie of the Year award, four consecutive titles, four Mythical Team honors, and two Finals MVP plums. What kind of girl wouldn’t have crushed on a former PBA player’s son who had also gone for the same path later on? Ritualo has since retired from the league to concentrate in coaching the Adamson Soaring Falcons and sportscasting for ABS-CBN Sports+Action.
Arwind Santos, FEU Tamaraws
A forefather of last season's UAAP champion squad, Santos definitely left a mark in his collegiate basketball years as a three-time champ, two-time MVP, two-time Finals MVP, two-time Defensive Player of the Year, and three-time Mythical First Five member. FEU retired his jersey #19 first before fellow alumnus Johnny Abarrientos. Aside from being skilled in playing ball, he is also a fitness buff and, well, a dad.
Joseph Yeo, DLSU Green Archers
Like Chris Tiu, this Xavier High School alumnus also rose to heartthrob status among the UAAP fans rather easily. Yeo contributed to the four-peat-completing La Salle squad in 2001, before being more recognized as the on-court bad boy especially with his then rivalry with Ateneo's Enrico Villanueva. The former Green Archer has since moved up to the PBA, playing for different teams while patching things up with his once-nemesis and one-time eammate Villanueva. Yeo, a father of two, is presently signed with GlobalPort.
Doug Kramer, Ateneo Blue Eagles
A public favorite as the patriarch of his ever-adorable family, Kramer already played the heartthrob part back as an Ateneo Blue Eagle. He was drafted for Air21 after graduation, got traded for various teams before his present contract with GlobalPort. Now, the #TeamKramer head is also a sought-after brand endorser and a social media star. Some fans might be thrilled at a new sight of a UAAP heartthrob from the Kramer brood, Doug’s younger brother Karl.
Christian Luanzon, UST Growling Tigers
Bruce Quebral, UP Fighting Maroons
Kirk Long, Ateneo Blue Eagles
Simon Atkins, DLSU Green Archers
(Photo taken from Atkins' Facebook account)
Mike Cortez, DLSU Green Archers
JC Intal, Ateneo Blue Eagles
Iago Raterta, UST Growling Tigers
Jens Knuttel, FEU Tamaraws
Paul Artadi, UE Red Warriors