UP's long road back to UAAP respectability

ABS-CBN Sports on Sep 10, 2015 04:14 PM
UP's long road back to UAAP respectability
The UP Fighting Maroons' road back to to UAAP relevance has been long and hard but early in Season 78, they deserve all the attention they get.

The UP Fighting Maroons are undefeated so far in UAAP Season 78 and naturally, fans are ecstatic and eager to see just how far they can go, even those who are not students from State U.

Why? Because it has been a long time since the Maroons were fighting for championships and they have the longest Final Four drought among all eight teams.

Take a look at UP's year-by-year record since their last UAAP Final Four appearance in 1997.

Season 60 was the last time the Fighting Maroons made it to the Final Four as the fourth seed, they pushed no. 1 and eventual champions FEU to a knockout game before losing by five points. UP also made the playoffs in Season 59.

In Season 61, the Fighting Maroons almost made it three straight postseason appearances but lost to UST in the fourth-place playoff.

UP missed the Final Four again in Season 62 while Season 63 only saw State U win four games.

Season 64 was slightly better for the Fighting Maroons with a 6-8 record but it was only good for sixth place.

UP took a step back in Season 65, finishing at 5-9 while season 66 was worse, falling down all the way to seventh with a 3-11 record.

Season 67 was huge for the Fighting Maroons, making a legitimate case for the Final Four with an even 7-7 record. In the end, they missed postseason play by one game.

Season 68 saw UP at fifth place again, finishing with a 6-8 card after winning their first three games.

Season 69 marked the start of UP's fall to mediocrity. finishing sixth in a seven-team field after La Salle was suspended for the year. The Maroons won four games.

Season 70 saw the Fighting Maroons on the wrong end of history as they failed to win a single game in the elimination round the same year the UE Red Warriors did not drop a single match until the finals.

Seasons 71 and 72 marked some improvement for UP, winning three games each but finished dead-last in 2009.

Season 73 was extremely hard for UP as it suffered a second winless campaign in four years.

State U won two games in Season 74 but they still occupied last place.

Season 75 was another agonizing year for the Maroons, winning only one game for another eight place finish.

UP had its third winless season in seven years in Season 76 and Season 77 marked the "bonfire" game for the Fighting Maroons as they beat Adamson for their only win that year, snapping a 27-game losing skid.

Which takes us to Season 78 where the UP Fighting Maroons won their first two games and have a chance to occupy solo first should they win a third straight contest on Sunday against UST.

Since their last Final Four appearance, UP had three winless seasons and finished at eight place six times in the last seven years including five straight.

[Related:Ten-Year Throwback for the UP Fighting Maroons]

So yeah, the excitement for State U's current season is well-deserved and long overdue.

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