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The new NATIONAL COLLEGIATE ATHLETIC ASSOCIATION (NCAA) logo introduced in the 2004-05 season;
the five colored bands represent the five colors used by the member schools.




The old NCAA logo. The eight circles are the logos of the eight member schools.
The "NCAA" logo is the same as that used by the American NCAA

Almost all of the rivalries of the NCAA originated from the basketball court, since basketball is the sport most covered by the media, especially on television. Most of the rivalries started due to the schools' compositions, because four of the old-timer six were schools exclusively for males from affluent families. These rivalries have declined in recent years with the withdrawal of two of the old-timer six, Ateneo and La Salle.

With the addition of new members to the league, rivalries shifted to more of a geographical nature. However, the former members would still face their old rivals in other leagues during the off-season, such as the Home and Away Invitational League, the Collegiate Champions League, and the Shakey's V-League.


School colors of Ateneo and UP.
School colors of Ateneo and UP.
School colors of Ateneo and UP

A rivalry between the Ateneo de Manila and the University of the Philippines existed even before the formation of the NCAA. University of the Philippines students would troop from Padre Faura to the Ateneo campus in Intramuros to play basketball with the Ateneans, which led to the Ateneo de Manila forming the first organized cheering squad and pep band in the Philippines and what is now known as the Blue Babble Battalion. This would later become "UAAP's Battle of Katipunan" when the Ateneo de Manila and the University of the Philippines transferred to their campuses to Katipunan Avenue, Quezon City and when the two schools began competing in the UAAP.


School colors of Ateneo and La Salle.
School colors of Ateneo and La Salle.
School colors of Ateneo and La Salle

Arguably the most popular rivalry in Filipino sports was forged in the NCAA: The Ateneo-La Salle rivalry. Historical records are unclear on when the rivalry began, although there are arguments pointing to La Salle's 1939 defeat of a top-seeded Ateneo de Manila basketball team and their being dethroned by the Ateneans who beat the Lasallites in the elimination round. While La Salle held their victory parade, they threw fried chickens at the Padre Faura gate of the Ateneo. However. the La Salle cage team was disbarred for fielding an ineligible player the following year (although the title would not become Ateneo's until 1941, two years after the defeat).

Ateneo-La Salle games were always heated, for both schools were exclusively for males. However, La Salle during its stint in the NCAA was not as strong a contender as Ateneo de Manila was (see Ateneo-San Beda rivalry), with Ateneo de Manila not meeting La Salle again until the 1959 Finals, where Ateneo de Manila prevailed. Ateneo-La Salle games are now some of the most anticipated games of the UAAP season.


School colors of Ateneo and San Beda.
School colors of Ateneo and San Beda.
School colors of Ateneo and San Beda

With the departure of University of the Philippines, the Ateneo de Manila and San Beda College fielded the dominant basketball teams for several seasons, having one the last six titles between them. It was in this context that the fierce rivalry between the Ateneo and San Beda emerged. The two teams traded championships in the 1930s that was halted when La Salle scored an upset over Ateneo in the 1939 season. By the time World War II began, Ateneo de Manila already had the most number of NCAA senior's basketball titles with six, whereas San Beda had five titles to its name.

The ensuing years saw the two schools trade championships and end one another's winning streaks. The rivalry between the Blue Eagles and Red Lions continued and there were memorable games in the 1950s that ensued between the two teams. Carlos Loyzaga's San Beda Red Lions toppled the Blue Eagles of the Ateneo from 1951 to 1952. Then, the Blue Eagles under the leadership of Frankie Rabat captured the 1953 and 1954 NCAA titles. 1955 was the year when the Crispulo Zamora trophy was awarded to San Beda when they defeated Ateneo de Manila for the coveted crown. The Blue Eagles again prevailed with 1957 and 1958 back-to-back crown only to be defeated by San Beda in 1959.

The rivalry continued in the 1970s, when their sons, Chito Loyzaga and Louie Rabat met in the NCAA. The rivalry came to an end in the 1977 Finals series. On Game One, a brawl ensued against fans of the competiting teams, which led the third game being held on closed doors, with San Beda winning the basketball championship, after Ateneo's last second shot was ruled invalid. The violence surrounding this championship series, coupled with the violence that was plaguing the league, led to the withdrawal from the NCAA of both Ateneo and San Beda. The Blue Eagles left with 14 seniors titles, a record for the most number of seniors titles that would only be tied and surpassed decades later. San Beda later won its 12th title in 2006. The Ateneo de Manila joined the UAAP, while San Beda College eventually came back to the NCAA.

To date, Ateneo and San Beda seem poised to rekindle their sports rivalry, less the animosity, via friendship games and off-season tournaments even though both teams belong to different leagues.


School colors of La Salle and Letran.
School colors of La Salle and Letran.
School colors of La Salle and Letran

In the 1970s, La Salle started its own rivalry against Letran. The rivalry came into a climax on a August 16, 1980 La Salle-Letran game. The Letran bleachers were totally unoccupied minutes before the scheduled 3 o’clock start. Letran school authorities would not let their students in unless De La Salle's team manager's "guests" leave the south end bleachers that are part of the Letran stands.

The group moved over to the north end (La Salle side) after talks between Ambassador Eduardo Cojuangco then Ferdinand Marcos-appointed project-director for basketball and De La Salle Team manager and Letran Rector Fr. Regino Cortes. Only then did the Letran bleachers fill up.

Letran toting a 22-18 lead called a time-out halfway through the first half.

The south end reserve section (Letran side) erupted with at least five burly men (part of the guests of La Salle's team manager) ganging up on a hapless Letran high school sophomore student for a full minute before police could intervene. But for the mauled student, none was picked up. Almost simultaneously, the La Salle bench suddenly stood up, the players hunched and protecting their heads with towels and jackets against various missiles pelted on them.

Yesterday’s incidents climaxed those in August 6 when La Salle defeated Letran 124-111. It must be noted that the "guests" of De La Salle's team manager were also present during that time.

Also involved in the play-offs is San Beda which lost to Letran earlier. A victory by Letran over La Salle gives it the first round flag. Should La Salle win, it still has to face San Beda and win to clinch the round championship.

Cojuangco never explained why his "guests" just happened to be positioned in the Letran side of the Coliseum.

La Salle for its part, said that it was La Salle students who beat up the Letran student, and both teams went immediately to their respective dugouts. A large number of spectators were hurt, and a great portion of the coliseum was damaged. The game was called off by the NCAA and ordered a replay behind closed doors, but the then-FIBA basketball federation, the Basketball Association of the Philippines ordered the remainder of the season to be canceled. La Salle then announced on a press conference on September 1980 that they will withdraw from the NCAA effective at the end of the 1980-81 season.


School colors of Letran and San Sebastian.
School colors of Letran and San Sebastian.
School colors of Letran and San Sebastian

After both Ateneo and La Salle left, San Sebastian (frequently shortened to "Baste") strengthened their basketball program. The acquisition of Paul Alvarez to San Sebastian and Samboy Lim to Letran provided several close games in the 1980s which led to the birth of the rivalry.

In the 1980s, Letranites were notorious for yelling profanities at the San Sebastian players, and on one occasion, led to a rumble at Vito Cruz Avenue when at the last second, a power interruption occurred, causing confusion on what team won the championship. The rumbles between the two schools have become more frequent which solidified the intense rivalry between the two schools. Paul Alvarez would later play for the Pennsylvania Valley Dawgs of the United States Basketball League.

The rivalry continued in the turn of the millennium when the Stags, met the Knights in the finals twice. This led to several memorable games in which the Knights won the 1998 edition with a game-winning three point by Letran's JP Pacheco with few seconds reamining to win their 13th championship and in the 2003 edition the Stags (defending champs) made a rally in the 4th quarter in the 3rd game of their series keeping Letran scoreless for almost 6 minutes that led them to take the lead but Boyet Bautista started the comeback by tying the game at 48-all and then his teammates Jonathan Piñera and Aaron Aban finished to win their 15th cahmpionship again at the expense of the Stags. In 2004, they renewed their rivalry in the second round of eliminations wherein Letran denied Baste's Final 4 hopes and eventually broke their streak of Final Four appearances (Since 1996 San Sebastian is always in the Final Four) making it their worst performance in 8 years.

LETRAN - Mapúa

School colors of Letran and Mapúa.
School colors of Letran and Mapúa.
School colors of Letran and Mapua

The "Battle of Intramuros," which is so named because the two schools are three blocks apart from each other in Intramuros, is the name given to the Letran-Mapúa games. The Cardinals have had the mastery of the Knights in recent years, as Letran failed to beat Mapúa in eight consecutive years in the eliminations, even though the Knights were more successful in the league.

The Knights were finally able to beat Mapúa in the first round of the 2005 tournament, but the Cardinals avenged that loss in the second round when they dealt the Knights with their first defeat of the season.

The only instance where Letran and Mapúa met in the Finals was in the 1979-80 season, where the Knights prevailed.


School colors of Letran and San Beda.
School colors of Letran and San Beda.

School colors of Letran and San Beda

The rivalry started in October 28, 1950 wherein Letran and San Beda meet in the finals for the first time. Letran then was led by Lauro Mumar while San Beda was led by Carlos Loyzaga who eventually became legends of Philippine Basketball. During the second round of eliminations Letran is on the verge of sweeping the tournament to become eventual champions (the Final 4 format was not yet implemented), but San Beda spoiled it and beat them to arrange a championship showdown with the Knights. In the finals Letran got their sweet revenge as they beat San Beda to get their second title in the NCAA. The Letran team was called "Murder Inc." by the late Willie Hernandez because of their merciless brand of basketball, very unforgiving. After that historic match San Beda kept on winning many championships until the 70's while Letran ended the 70's with only six championships. During the 80's the NCAA has seen the downfall of the San Beda basketball program while Letran peaked and became a powerhouse team that will continue until the millenium decade.

Some say the rivalry has died down because of their heaven and earth situation not until in 2006 the Lions recruited Sam Ekwe (who is the greatest contributor for their success) to help them win their 12th championship after 28 years. During that same year San Beda won twice against Letran (prior to that, Letran was 10-0 against San Beda)and denied the Knights to gain a twicw-to-beat advantage in the Final Four.

This year (2007), San Beda and Letran are playing for the championship for the second time and is considered "The Dream Finals" because it features two NCAA teams who has a very rich basketball history and tradition and in this series San Beda has a championship score to settle with Letran (to avenge their defeat in the finals 57 years ago). Right now they are the most anticipated games in the NCAA which led to bringing the games at the Araneta Coliseum.


School colors of JRU and SSC-R.
School colors of JRU and SSC-R.
School colors of Jose Rizal and San Sebastian

The rivalry started in 1972 where Jose Rizal was playing in the championship againts new member San Sebastian. The Heavy Bombers was bannered by Philip Cezar, David Cezar, Ed Carvajal, Jess Sta. Maria, Cris Calilan, Olimpio Santos, Jimmy Santos and Norberto Rivera. San Sebastian has their own superstar with the like of Dave Supnet. JRU (JRC then) captures the NCAA crown which up to this date is the last time Jose Rizal win a championship. Years later the two team are again figured in a mini rivalry, San Sebastian's Paul Alvarez and Jose Rizal's Vergel Meneses figured in a PABL Slam Dunk contest in 1987. Meneses won the contest and during regular NCAA games these individual are giving their best shot for their own personal rivalry and to entrtain the fans and students who watched the game. San Sebastian become one of the successful team in the NCAA and wrote a history when they won 5 straight championships in a row and also produced number of players in the PBA. Jose Rizal continues to struggles in the years to come and not until 1999 where the Heavy Bombers made it to the finals but lost to the defending champion Letran Knights. The finals figured a free for all to both students, alumni's and players at the ULTRA that resulted officials to stop the game in the middle of the regulation.

In 2001, They met in the Finals for the second time this time JRU was bannered by Ariel Capus, Ernani Epondulan and Joel Finuliar while San Sebastian was led by Mark Macapagal, Christian Coronel and Jam Alfad. JRU lost in the series convincingly.

The rivalry continued during final four appearance of both school from NCAA seasons of 2000, 2002, 2003. Not until 2007 NCAA season when San Sebastian final four chances was denied by Jose Rizal via a 7-point winning margin in a come from behind victory. The Stags was ahead by 7 points against the Heavy Bombers 1:10 to go in regulation. Jose Rizal capitalized on the errors of San Sebastian and force an overtime to win the game. This allowed JRU to grab the no. 3 spot in the final four and towed Mapua at no. 4. Alumni and students of both teams are very much part of the game which conclude by some NCAA insiders predicting that both schools will likely to renew their rivalry in the next NCAA season.


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