Every year in the UAAP, the eight member-schools are given the chance to compete in various sports to determine which of them will emerge as the best. At the end of each season, the school that has accumulated the most points from the results of the 15 sporting competitions conducted by the league will be awarded with the UAAP General Championship (GC) title.
For a number of years, the UST Growling Tigers have remained dominant in the GC race, while the DLSU Green Archers remained close behind their trail. That remained true until Season 75 of the UAAP, when after trailing UST for four years, DLSU finally claimed the elusive GC, a feat that became possible because of the immense efforts that the La Salle sports teams put in to their respective crafts.
UAAP Season 75 was perhaps one of the most balanced years for La Salle in terms of the points gained by every team. DLSU had kept itself in the lead by consistently being in the top four of every sport despite UST’s five championships during the first semester, giving the Green-and-White an eight-point lead over the Growling Tigers’ 144 points.
The Lady Jins and Lady Paddlers contributed 15 points each from their championship wins. A total of 48 points were bagged from the runner-up finishes of the Lady Archers, Green Jins, Green Tankers, and Green Paddlers. Last but not the least, the DLSU Shuttlers, Lady Spikers, Lady Tankers, and Lady Judokas chipped in 10 points each.
DLSU did not let up during the second semester as they kept the surge going by adding three more titles to their two in the first half, eventually garnering 293 points and winning the GC for the first time in its history of participating in the UAAP.
A year after that, in UAAP Season 76, La Salle immediately secured five championships as early as the first half of the season from the men’s and women’s basketball teams, men’s taekwondo and table tennis, and women’s judo. In addition, DLSU had placed second in four competitions and third in two.
However, things didn’t go as well in the second half as most teams went down by a few notches and only a few showed improvements in their ranking or managed to maintain their spots. Nevertheless, La Salle still managed to land their second consecutive GC title mainly due to their first round performance, finishing the year with 289 points.
More than just a race
The GC race has been in existence for years but it was only recently that its presence has been made known, particularly when UST had been dethroned in 2013. Office of Sports Development (OSD) Director Emmanuel Calanog adds, “Right now, it’s not at the level where the community sees [its] significance.”
Calanog mentions how most people would tend to focus only on the popular sports, particularly basketball and volleyball, and that it is evident in the number of people who attend these sports as opposed to the others. “That’s why my goal, actually, for winning the General Championship is really for the community to see that the other sports are important and that the other sports are also exciting to watch,” he shares.
On the other hand, former OSD Director and current DLSU UAAP board member Edwin Reyes relays his idea on the significance of the race, “To me as an administrator, it is a barometer, one of the barometers, for us to gauge how healthy our sports program [is].”
Although DLSU lost the GC title last year, both officials believe that there is a high chance for the school to take it back this season. “As long as we continue what we’re doing, I think we will always be in contention. It’s now a matter of how the other teams are performing,” Calanog concludes.