LONG after the game had ended, when the trophy presentation was finally over, there gathered at midcourt of the Davao City Recreation Center Saturday are the young players of Ateneo de Davao University. Exchanging high-fives and sporting wide grins, the boys celebrated their basketball conquest as the Queen's famous melody "We Are The Champions" resonated inside the gym.

Joining the kids in the merriment were their parents, members of the coaching staff led by Henry Asilum and supporters, most of them clad in Ateneo shirts and holding videos and cameras to capture the moment. Their sons, the boys of mini basketball, had just won the championship and they wouldn't want to let the momentous vista pass without recording it's every detail.

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There were the kids receiving the championship trophy from the organizers, the sight of Daryl Mangliguez holding aloft his MVP trophy and the look in the eyes of the parents savoring every moment of glory. This was just basketball, but to the parents the joy of seeing their sons being honored on the hardcourt was gratifying.

Yes, the Ateneo de Davao dribblers are champs, winners of the first-ever Royal Manadaya Hotel 2010 Cup Inter-School Mini Basektball Tournament which finally ended to a resounding success.

Not only them. Even players, members of the coaching staff and parents of second placer University of Immaculate Conception, third finisher Doña Pilar Learning Center and losing team for the battle for third place Holy Child School of Davao scurried at midcourt not only to receive their trophies and prizes, but also to have their own photographs and videos taken.

They, too, felt like winners for having participated in the tournament and playing their hearts out and displaying their skills that mesmerized their parents and relatives no end. Never mind if they ended up losing the championship, the important thing was they competed and represented their schools well.