After 13 long years of heartbreaks and setbacks, the DLSU Baseball Team finally reclaimed the elusive championship from the Ateneo Blue Eagles in the UAAP Season 78 Baseball Tournament. The Softbelles have also gained ground in establishing themselves, following a sixth-place finish in the UAAP Softball Tournament that saw them stay close with the tourney’s top contenders despite entering the competition with a revamped roster.
With a slew of veterans hungry for redemption following two years of runner-up finishes coupled with a handful of prized rookies, the Green Batters set their sights on the title from the opening bat. They eventually finished the elimination round touting a 7-3 win-loss record, just behind their archrivals and three-time defending champions, the ADMU Blue Batters.
Led by co-finals MVPs Diego Lozano and Boo Barandiaran, the Green Batters were able to execute all the correct plays in timely situations. Their stellar play carried over to the finals, where they swept Ateneo in two games behind good field play and strong offense. With only team captain Carlos Muñoz graduating, the team will be left in good hands as many of its best players have at least three years of eligibility left.
Meanwhile, the DLSU Softbelles ended their campaign with a 4-8 win-loss record, highlighted by back-to-back wins against the Ateneo Lady Eagles and the UP Lady Maroons. Pitcher Jamica Arribas and catcher Pat Belarmino led the way for the Softbelles throughout the tournament, with the former providing the defense and the latter shouldering the offense with consistent batting.
Though the Lady Batters failed to make it to the Final Four, the Adamson Lady Falcons continued their dominance in the tournament after prevailing against the resilient UST Softbelles in their best-of-three finals series. Despite seeing their 73-game win streak dating back to previous seasons come to an end against UST as well, the Lady Falcons captured their sixth straight UAAP championship, which was also their 14th title overall.
Even if the DLSU Softbelles did not bring home the championship, the team did make great progress towards fulfilling their quest for their first championship in the sport. While a 4-8 win-loss record is not something to boast about, the team showed grit in both its wins and losses.
Without the outstanding work of both teams, the GC might not have been brought back to Taft Avenue. La Salle came away with a slight edge on GC points, 19-18, behind their championship victory in baseball and their sixth-place finish in softball.