THE STI COLLEGE OLYMPIANS: Now A Force to Reckon With
By Mhel Garrido for Gameface.ph
In Greek mythology, there is a group of elder gods that ruled the earth known as The Titans. The ruler of the Titans was Cronus who was dethroned by his son Zeus. Most of the Titans fought with Cronus against Zeus and were punished by being banished to Tartarus. Zeus was the leader of the group that overthrew the Titans to rule the earth, they are called the Olympians.
Just as it was written in the books, the Olympians overthrew the Titans once again to the tune of a 68 - 64 come from behind win at the start of the 5th NAASCU Men's Basketball Tournament at the Cuneta Astrodome last July 2005. Leading the charges for the team of Zeus was veteran guard Marlon Martin whose consistency at the free throw line earned the Olympians their first win over their arch-rivals, the AMA Computer University Titans. That emphatic win showed the character and demeanor that the Olympians exhibited from the start of the tournament until the end of the elimination round. Coming from an 8th place finish in their maiden year, no one expected the once erratic Olympians would suddenly spring back to life and more so defeat a talented AMA team. Credit the turn around to veteran coach Vic Ycasiano and his hardworking deputies namely Asst. Coach Hubert delos Santos, together with team therapist JM Balboa and statistician Paulo Ycasiano. Their dedication in making sure that the team is well conditioned and at the same time mentally prepared for each battle reaped its dividends when the elimination round ended. The Olympians were led by three players who made it to the NAASCU Mythical 10: shifty point guard Jojo Belano, sharp shooting off guard Dexter Micutuan and the no-nonsense forward Ramon Mabayo. They ended the double round elimination with a card of 11 wins and five losses for third place and the right to meet 2nd Placer ST. Clare College—the only team to beat the eventual five-time NAASCU champion University of Manila. The band of Zeus was not to be denied their place in history as they came back from a six point (51-57) deficit with 2:45 left in the fourth quarter as they hit the Saints with a bolt of lightning with a crippling 13-0 run to barge into the NAASCU finals with a 64-57 hard earned win over a stunned St. Clare College.
That win suddenly put STI College in the basketball map of the Philippines! Fifteen months ago, no one has ever heard of STI as contender much more a team that will give any experienced university or college a run for their money. Unfortunately for them, the system placed by Coach Vic Ycasiano and team management has now come into fruition. The Olympians are looking at the Fr. Martin Cup as a means to hone their basketball skills through games against the country’s finest teams, preparing themselves for the coming 6th NAASCU season. According to top UAAP and NCAA teams like FEU, UST, Ateneo, San Beda, & Letran, its just a matter of time and STI will hit it big in the Philippine basketball scene. The Olympians are hopeful that it can repeat or even do better in the coming NAASCU with the exposure that they are having lately. As a result, the STI brand of basketball has gotten a big boost and management is currently designing a nationwide STI basketball development program through its more than 100 branches nationwide in search of future Olympians.
Here is a team with virtually no big named star that is continuing to make waves in the Philippine basketball scene. Expect more good things and surprises to come because in STI we make things happen.