Game 1 -- UM 78, STI 73.
Game 2 -- UM 68, STI 58.
THREE-time national inter-collegiate champion University of Manila is back on top.
And long-time team manager Atty. Ernesto de los Santos and former coach Ato Tolentino couldn’t be happier.
UM ended four years of frustrations by beating former titlist STI Colleges, 68-58, to complete a two-game sweep and capture the title in the 10th NAASCU men’s basketball tournament before a huge crowd at the Makati Coliseum.
UM also defeated STI, 78-73, in the opener of the scheduled best-of-three title showdown.
Rookie Eugene Torres provided a steady presence in the Hawks’ offensive game, finishing with a game-high 30 points despite tight, double-teaming defense thrown against him by the Olympians.
Last year’s top rookie Jeff Alvin Viernes added 18 points while Jay-ar Manuel contributed 11 points and hauled down a game-high 17 rebounds for the Jojo Castillo-mentored Hawks.
“We’re very, very happy to win the title again after four long years,” said De los Santos, whose partnership with coach Tolentino produced an unprecedented five straight NAASCU titles and three national inter-collegiate titles for UM.
UM’s title triumph also came at a righ time, with the university celebrating its 97th anniversary.
The triumph was also dedicated to the memory of UM’s three founding members -- Apolinario, Mariano and Helen de los Santos and to Dr. Virgilio and Cordella delos Santos.
Overall, the Hawks finished with 19 wins against two losses this year.
Hessed Gabo led the Olympians with 13 points, followed by Rama Morales and Henri Betayene with 10 points each.
In the battle for third place, Informatics International Colleges subdued Centro Escolar University, 75-69.
Mark Montuano and Lenard Castello fired 18 points for the Icons of coach Jonathan Reyes.
NAASCU president Dr. Jay Adalem awarded the trophies to the Hawks, assisted by commissioner Boy Cahanding.