With less than three months remaining in the 75th Season of the UAAP, De La Salle University continues to lead against last year’s General Champion, the University of Santo Tomas, in the University’s quest for its first ever General Championship (GC).
As of press time, DLSU is 10 points ahead of UST. The volleyball, baseball, softball, football, chess and tennis tournaments are still under way.
If DLSU wins the GC, it will be the University’s first since it joined the UAAP 26 seasons ago. Moreover, a win will end UST’s 15-season winning streak, which started after the latter won the 1997-98 GC. La Salle placed second to UST in the last four years,trimming the latter’s lead each year.
UST is the only university, which has the chance to spoil La Salle’s run for the University’s first GC. FEU and Ateneo, sit at third and fourth respectively; both are now quite far in terms of score and standings.
Sprint to the finish
The Lady Spikers, the Lady Woodpushers and the Lady Tennisters are expected to strengthen the University’s grasp at first place as the teams are currently performing better than their Thomasian counterparts. The Green Woodpushers and Spikers are currently tied with UST while the Green Tennisters is a notch below the team’s rival at third place.
After falling to the Lady Tigers in the first outing, the Lady Spikers bounced back, winning nine straight games since the team’s opening day defeat. Meanwhile, UST has limped to a 6-4 record with just four games remaining for both squads.
The Lady Spikers’ male counterpart, the Green Spikers, has tied with the Growling Tigers. Like the Lady Spikers, the team lost against UST in the first match. Both teams will face again at the end of the elimination round in what looks to be a key battle for Final Four positioning.
The Green Woodpushers managed to place the team in a deadlock with UST as both teams have 17.5 points to date. The España-based squad though currently holds the upper end of the tie break due to the latter’s five wins as compared to La Salle’s four. On the ladies’ end, the Lady Woodpushers outclassed the team’s Thomasian counterpart, doubling La Salle’s score with a tally of 20 as compared to UST’s 10.
The Lady Tennisters continued to reign over the rest of the league with a clean 4-0 slate, but UST is hot on the team’s trail at second place with just one loss. In the men’s division, the Green Tennisters secured third place as the team continues to follow its black and gold rival by one spot after the first round of play.
Left behind the Tigers’ tracks
While DLSU continues to gain ground in the mentioned sports, the lead may not last for long as UST is performing better in the diamond.
After a promising 2-1 record in the early stages of the season, the DLSU Softbelles entered a losing streak. Adding salt to wounds, two of the team’s seven setbacks came from the Tigresses.
The Green Batters has also performed behind the team’s Thomasian counterpart, which may just enter the finals. Moreover, DLSU’s 3-5 win-loss slate places the team in danger of falling deeper to sixth with the emerging UP baseball team just narrowly behind DLSU’s record.
In the football tournament, the DLSU and UST teams are tied in terms of the aggregate contribution to the GC race. La Salle, however, holds a slight advantage.
The Green Booters, with the aid of UP’s 1-0 win against UST last Sunday, earned a Final Four spot this season. In addition, the preseason favorite is also setting sights on breaking into the top two. On the other hand, UST is a game away from being knocked out.
The Lady Booters, which remains to be in the running for a seat in the Women’s Football Finals, currently sits at fourth place, four points adrift of the defending champion UST. The latter is tied at second place with Ateneo. Fortunately for the Green-and-White XI, the Tigresses played a game more than La Salle, which provides room to catch up.
Since the current tournament format was introduced 19 years ago, UST has won every single General Championship except the Season 60 championship where the University of the Philippines emerged supreme.
UST has a total of 39 General Championships while La Salle has yet to win one since the University’s departure from NCAA for the UAAP, making this truly an underdog story for the books.
La Salle has captured five NCAA GCs before moving into the UAAP.