THE Ateneo de Davao University Blue Knights reclaimed the men's basketball title after routing St. Mary's College of Tagum, 86-68, in the championship match of the just-concluded 2017 Davao Association of Catholic Schools Sports Festival College Basketball Tournament held at the St. Mary's College in Tagum City last Saturday afternoon, September 30.
The Pochollo Elegino-coached Blue Knights, who last won the Dacs crown in 2015, also defeated SMCT, 86-68, in the double-round robin quarterfinals to secure an outright semifinals berth against the bracket B top seed St. John Paul College of Davao.
But SMCT subdued Philippine Women's College in another quarterfinals clash to secure the second seed in bracket A and to arrange a clash with bracket B second seed Holy Cross College of Sasa (HCCS) in the crossover semifinals.
Elegino, in an interview with Sun.Star Davao yesterday, admitted to have underestimated St. Mary's as they were rooting for HCCS in the finals.
"All along we thought HCCS ang mudaog that's why when we scouted their semifinals game (between HCCS and St. Mary's), my preparation was on HCCS," Elegino said.
Elegino said it turned out to be the rejuvenated St. Mary's dictating the game and setting up a championship match with them.
It was a see-saw affair in the first half of the finals.
"I was expecting of doing a good start like we did in the quarterfinals because we wanted to take them early para dili ma take over sa crowd ug pressure ang mindset sa mga bata (So during the half time break, I told the boys not to be pressured by the crowd)," Elegino said.
Thus, they were able to pull away in the third period and never looked back to clinch the title.
The Blue Knights will next compete in the National University Games in November.
Elegino thanked Addu Athletic's Office, the parents, his family for the inspiration as well as his players who gave their best. He was pertaining to Edz Luman-ag, Daniel Kent Fanlo, Dave Angelo Sotto, Dean Axl Garcia, Dondy Juan Abada Salvacion, Edward Misa, Edward Romeo Blanco, Elwin Toraja, Ivan Sandiegao, James Doblado, Leo Lasola, Mahloney Tarranza and Miguel Pacheco.