Tamaraws light up Morayta with victory celebration
ABS-CBN Sports on Dec 10, 2015 04:27 PM
Far Eastern University celebrated its 78th UAAP men's basketball championship with a colorful and bright victory party.
It was a celebration worth a decade of wait.
Students and alumni flocked the Far Eastern University campus in Morayta as the Tamaraws held their victory celebration Wednesday night after claiming the throne of the 78th UAAP men’s basketball a week ago.
With an overflowing crowd, the school was forced to close its gates as hundreds more settled to join the merriment outside the campus.
Fireworks lit up the sky as players and fans savor the hard-earned title the Tamaraws bagged after a grueling three-game series against the gritty University of Sto. Tomas Tigers from nearby Espana Boulevard.
Sponge Cola performed for the crowd and overflowing lechon were served courtesy of Kapamilya host and comedian Vice Ganda, a graduate of FEU and die-hard fan of its cage squad.
It was a bittersweet celebration for the FEU community as it also served as a farewell party to six players that played a pivotal role in the Tamaraws' championship run.
These players were part of what was considered as the deepest roster of recruitment FEU ever assembled back in Season 74. In the last four years, the Tamaraws fell short in the finals thrice after bowing to Ateneo de Manila, De La Salle and National University.
But Mac Belo, Roger Pogoy, Mike Tolomia, Russell Escoto, Achie Inigo and Francis Tamsi made sure that they will leave a legacy in FEU in their last year by winning it all for the Nash Racela-mentored green and yellow troop.
“Laking pasalamat namin sa mga fans, sa walang-sawa nilang suporta. Kung wala sila wala kami,” said Belo, the Finals Most Valuable Player and cold-blooded assassin that slew the Tigers with his inside-outside offense and solid defense.
Heady guard Tolomia credited the FEU fans for being the heart and soul of the Tamaraws to rise above adversity and for pushing the team to achieve its goal after years of heartaches, frustrations and hunger since the Arwind Santos-led squad hoisted the title in 2005.
“Gusto talaga naming pasalamatan ang mga fans,” said Tolomia, considered to be a first round pick in next year’s PBA Draft. “Grabe ‘yung energy nila every game at ayaw namin sila ma-let down, kaya bigay-todo na talaga kami this year.”
With the departure of his key players, Racela said that the challenge of protecting the crown becomes harder.
But all that could wait for now.
“For now we will just enjoy this (victory) with the rest of the FEU community,” he said.