The Ateneo Blue Eagles are chasing for their fifth straight UAAP championship this 2012, a fitting finale for coach Norman Black who will be handing the reigns to Bo Perasol once Season 75 is over.
Before Ateneo’s four-peat title last year, two other teams have achieved the same feat for the past two decades – the University of Santo Tomas (1993-1997) and De La Salle University (1998-2001).
In the early 1990s, Santo Tomas, then led by a battle-tested cast of veterans like center Dennis Espino and power forward Rey Evangelista, guards Patrick Fran and Udoy Belmonte, had been making serious noise in the league with victories over equally strong squads like La Salle, University of the East and Far Eastern University.
The Growling Tigers had only one goal–win the UAAP crown and end the 26-year title drought with the help of head coach Aric del Rosario, who incidentally, was part of Santo Tomas that won the school’s last basketball crown.
During that time, tournament format rewards a team the UAAP championship, given that it sweeps the 14-game, two-round elimination.
Entering the final game of the two-round eliminations, Santo Tomas, already owning a perfect 13-0 record, needed just one more victory to accomplish the near-impossible task of scoring a 14-game sweep.
The Tigers faced the Adamson Falcons, which back then, had a platoon of big men led by seven-footer EJ Feihl, Marlou Aquino (6’9”), Erwin Luna (6’7”) and a reed-thin wingman by the name of Kenneth Duremdes.
Fighting tooth and nail, Santo Tomas did what was last achieved in the 1970s when it defeated the Falcons en route to the 14-game sweep.
Though sports league reward perfection with either championship trophies or a place in history, truth is, complete perfection can never be accomplished in life.
However, there was One who walked on earth, that did the impossible task of walking in perfection–Jesus Christ.
Though God didn’t promise perfection to us when we live for Him, He did promise that He can bring perfect peace into our lives when we completely trust in Him.
As Isaiah 26:3 says, You will keep in perfect peace, him whose mind is steadfast, because he trusts in you.