They may not have won the UAAP gold, but they’ve certainly redeemed themselves this time around.
The UE Red Warriors clinched the championship of the Collegiate Champions League by downing the San Beda Red Lions, 66-59, in a tightly-contested game yesterday afternoon.
The Warriors played excellent defense that kept the vaunted Lions from properly executing their plays, while displaying smooth offensive sets of their own. However, I believe SBC could’ve won the title if not for the heroics of UE guard James Martinez, who put up a couple of treys from way beyond the arc, including two in the pivotal fourth canto.
Martinez, who topscored for the Warriors with 16 markers, was feted as the CCL Finals MVP. Curiously, Martinez was part of the San Beda Red Cubs who won championships in the NCAA Juniors. The sweet-shooting guard and his able UE teammates negated the sterling effort of SBC’s Sam Ekwe, who finished with an impressive 11 points and 23 rebounds (as well as a couple of blocks, which by now is ordinary for Sam).
Congratulations to both UE and San Beda for a well-played match! If the CCL Finals in the future are going to follow suit, we can expect the prestige of the tourney growing through the years.
Earlier in the battle for third, the Jose Rizal University Heavy Bombers held off a furious fourth quarter rally by the Mapua Cardinals to wind up as the tourney’s second runner-ups. In my opinion, the victory should serve as a notice this early that JRU will be a tough, tough cookie in next year’s NCAA hostilities. The Bombers entered the fray as wildcards, yet managed to defeat a couple of powerhouses (and almost stole a game away from San Beda) en route to this impressive 3rd place finish.
Many thanks to Ia for the graphics!
[tags]UE, red warriors, San Beda, red lions, CCL, sam ekwe, james martinez, jru, heavy bombers, mapua, cardinals, uaap, ncaa[/tags]