IN THE records of the UAAP battleground, the Tigers stand out.
A founding member of the league, UST has dominated the general championship race for 12 straight years for a total of 37 overall titles.
Through the years, UST has etched its place on the history pages of both the local and international sports scene. Here is a refresher of some of the most iconic and unforgettable UAAP moments in the school’s history—a reminder of the grit and power the Thomasian athlete is known for.
Tigers roar ‘four-ward’
Legendary coach and ex-Glowing Goldie Aric del Rosario was in tears when the Tigers carried him to an emotional victory ride, minutes after grabbing the UAAP crown at the Big Dome against the Adamson Falcons in 1993. Neither did they suspect that it was the prologue of a monumental ‘four-peat’ era of the most feared basketball team in the ‘90s.
In 1993, the Tigers began the first of those four titles with an immaculate 14-0 sweep in the elimination round. The next season, the Tigers dominated all three divisions of UST’s basketball team after winning all three championships in the men’s, women’s, and juniors’ category. Two markers at the gates of the decades-old UST Gymnasium commemorate these historic achievements.
Del Rosario coached many great talents, who later became established names in the PBA, like Dennis Espino, Siot Tanquingcen, Bal David, Cyrus Baguio, and many others who had honed their game under his tutelage.
The soaring homerun
In a match against Far Eastern University in 1955, Golden Sox’ ace swatter Arturo Pagsisihan swiped the second pitch of Tamaraw Manuel Marikit over the left field wall that sent the ball circumnavigating in the adjacent football field—resulting in the farthest hit ever made by a Filipino that time at approximately 400 feet.
However, luck was not on UST’s side in its next meeting against FEU, which ended via a 3-4 verdict in seven innings as Pagsisihan missed a homerun in the lower seventh “by the difference of a cruel foot.”
Avenging that bitter loss in the Manila Bay Baseball League, the black-white-gold squad stole the UAAP crown from FEU on January 23 of the following year. UST has the most number of championships in UAAP Baseball with 24.
Tennister breaks UP domination
Wimbledon junior veteran Nilo Natividad of the then “Golden Cuppers” led the ’82 Benavides Awardees for sports, after pulling off one of the biggest upsets in history against the favored University of the Philippines (UP). Natividad came from behind to emerge victorious in a stirring three-hour classic against perennial contender McArthur Convento, 1-6, 7-6, 6-4, in men’s singles.
After spending his five playing years for UST, leading the school to three straight championships from 1981 to 1983, he won the National Open in 1984, two years after making it to the national team.
Fencing team at last
Twelve years ago, an unofficial UST fencing team led by Roman Sotero and two national fencing stalwarts Rizza Bauzon and Osie Tiangco proved its mettle in different exhibition games and local tournaments. Unfortunately, these Thomasians cannot carry the name of their own alma mater.
But after two years of fighting to be recognized as a legitimate squad, the youngest UST team was finally given its well-deserved birthright.
In February 2008, the UST Male Fencers’ eight-years-in-the-making championship dream came to reality as they bagged their first ever UAAP title at the Blue Eagle Gym with a superior 3-1-2 medal haul.
Shuttlers make mark
After 10 long years without a championship title, the UST Male Shuttlers took their rightful claim to the throne in Season 67 (Academic Year 2004-2005) of Badminton wars, the first since the sport was introduced in 1995.
National team members such as Wilmar Friyas and Lloyd Escoses were upended by the likes of Thomasians Reynaldo Selga, Alfredo Mailon, and current UST badminton assistant coach Ricky Bartolome.
The team carried on the following year defending their title and the team of 2009-2011 repeated the same campaign recently in Season 72 and 73 with back-to-back titles.
Then called “Galloping Goldies,” the UST football team made early success in the collegiate scene, but it was only years later that it finally made history.
UST held the title from 1963 to 1969, the longest championship streak in the UAAP. The likes of Juan Camahort, Serafin Gabriel, Domingo Tui, Enrique Rey, Juan Cabarrus, and Eduardo Dueñas broke UST’s two-year losing spell after a grand slam in 1960.
In 1964, six members of the Galloping Goldies were picked to beef up the Philippine Youth team in the Asian Youth Soccer Championship in Tokyo.
Strong but not dominant
With only eight titles in the men’s division and four titles in the women’s, UST was anything but dominant in athletics. Still, both its men’s and women’s squads recorded three-peat performances in 1953-1956 and 1999 and 2002, respectively.
In Season 56 (AY 1992-93), both squads won the championship.
Injured star saves title
The Judokas were the toughest Tigers to beat, especially during their record championship run from 1998 to 2004. The feat is yet to be surpassed.
For coach Jojo Arce, each year was relatively easy during this dominant streak except for the third campaign. The Judokas had to subdue a persistent UP squad, which was tied with UST at 3-3. Best player Jason Domino, then nursing an injury, broke the tie.
Golden era of Golden Sharks
Unrelenting as they are, the Golden Sharks were in complete domination for twelve long years from 1956 to 1968, which makes this the longest championship streak in any sport for UST.
It was in the year 1956 that the España-based tankers snatched the crown from the National University Seals. Rudy Agustin, Agapito Lozada, and Alfred von Giese then led UST’s pool charge in defending the title until 1959.
In 1963, Golden Shark Pedro Cayco bested Berlin Olympics standout Nils Christensen’s 1:09.5 record with his 1:09.2 time in the 200-meter backstroke.
A residency issue regarding Mustapha Sailin in 1965 almost cost UST its championship haul against National University, but a quick remedy enabled the Golden Sharks to grab their monumental tenth-peat. Unfortunately, Far Eastern University broke the spell of their decade-long pool supremacy.
Win for coach August
Carrying 10 UAAP titles under his belt, coach August Santamaria manoeuvred the Lady Spikers to greatness. Santamaria had an eye for great volleybelles that includes UAAP commentator Mozzy Ravena, who was a key player of the team from 1987 to 1991, and assistant coach Vilet Ponce de Leo, a former skipper for the Lady Spikers who is now the UST beach volleyball team’s tactician.
In the recent years, Santamaria led the pack to its Season 69 title but had to give up his coaching stint due to a partial stroke in 2008.
With Santamaria as their chief inspiration, the Lady Spikers snatched the Season 72 crown after trouncing their rival De La Salle University. The scintillating feat was immediately followed by a ‘three-peat’ title in Shakey’s V-league against San Sebastian College-Recoletos Lady Stags.
The Taekwondo Jins recorded triple crown from 2003 to 2007, where they bagged the gold in all divisions for four consecutive seasons.
It was in Season 69 that the Dindo Simpao-mentored scored a ‘five-peat’ even as the Lady Jins’ had a ‘four-peat’ of their own.
In the previous season, World Olympian Tshomlee Go, who studied in the UST Graduate School, grabbed the bantamweight title in 2006 en route to the Tiger Jins’ fourth consecutive title. He played alongside SEA Games veteran Alex Briones, who aced the middle/heavyweight division.
Another Olympian, Donald Geisler gave UST its first championship in UAAP Taekwondo way back in 1996, eventually bagging the MVP title in the same year.
UST’s Chess-piece Queens
The Lady Woodpushers also shared the grand-slam trends in the España army’s history books as they reigned as champions in UAAP for three years in Seasons 68 to 70, (2005-2007) mentored by International Master Ronald Dableo.
The women’s team hauled their first gold away from Season 67 titlist University of the Philippines by just three points after tallying 33 points, to cop their first championship.
UST’s ‘three-peat’ chessboard belles were composed of current women’s team captain Ma. Zayrah dela Cruz, Geneline de Ramos, Anabelle Garcia, Romelyn Guerra and the sisters Shercila and Sherily Cua who were both national players. Sports Team
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