Highlights of the 19th season of the ABL.
CHAMPIONS AGAIN AT 19
League pioneers Teams Cacho and Magpale participated in their 19th ABL season without a miss and both won a championship this season.
Teams Alcantara, Gamboa, and York who debuted in the ABL’s 2nd season in 2002 played in their 18th consecutive ABL season.
THIS YEAR’S BEST CINDERELLA STORIES
Team Castaneda became only the third 5th seeded team to win a title as they defeated all their 4 opponents in the step ladder knockout phase of the 2000-02 division.
As the 4th seed of the AHS 2005 division, AHS 4E 05 also defeated all 4 of their opponents in the step ladder knockout phase of their division.
NBA 1970 FINALS GAME 3- ABL VERSION REDUX PART I AND II
In game 3 of the 1970 NBA finals, Jerry West of the LA Lakers hit a 60-foot desperation shot to send the game to overtime. Although the Lakers would lose to the game to the NY Knicks in OT, the shot is considered one of the most famous ones in NBA history.
Following in Jerry West’s footsteps, Martin Mendoza of Team Mendoza sent the Dodie Agcaoili finals to OT with a heave from half-court. In the Chito Narvasa finals, Rene Flores of ACLC made a shot from even further to send the game into overtime. Like the NY Knicks, their opponents managed to buck the huge momentum shift and win the championship of their division. Still, both shots will be part of ABL lore.
BEST AGS FINALS AND SEMIS THIS SEASON
In its heart-stopping run to the Fr. Giron championship, Team Hernandez won their semis and finals matches by 2 points and 1 point respectively.
BEST ALUMNI FINALS AND SEMIS ONE DIVISION
The AHS 2008-10 division saw their two semis matches decided by 1 and 3 points and their championship match decided by 2 points.
Team Pilares and AHS 4J 09 of the Roco Division saw their semis match go to overtime. Team Maribojoc of the Parents C Division, Team Castaneda of the AHS 00-02 Division, and AHS 4K 00 of the Narvasa Division booked their finals slot with 1-point victories in the semis. All three teams would go on to win the championship of their division despite being on the brink of elimination in the semis.
THIS SEASON’S BEST DIVISIONS PART 1
By the 3rd playdate of the season, the Baby Dalupan Division had no team remain undefeated. Heading into the final day of the elimination round, the records of the teams were in pairs- 4-2, 3-3, and 2-4. On the final day, the teams with 2-4 records, Bayot and Limchutick clinched the last two semis slots with wins. With that, each team in the division won at least 3 games in the season. In the semis, 4th seeded Team Bayot lost only by 2 to eventual champion AHS 99 while 3rd seeded Team Limchutick defeated 2nd seeded Team Barracoso to enter the finals.
BEST DIVISION PART II- MOST DECEPTIVE BEST DIVISION EVER?
On paper, the AHS 2012-14 division did not look like a very balanced division. Heading into the final day, the semis cast had already been determined. One team would finish the season undefeated and one would finish winless.
A closer look though, would show that this was probably one of the most balanced divisions in ABL history. Of the 24 elimination round games, 12 of the games were decided by 5 points or less. 6 of those games were decided by 1 point and 3 of them by 2 points. The average margin of victory of those 2 games was 2 points. Team Payumo had perhaps the greatest season of a team that went winless in a season. Of their 7 elimination round matches, 6 of those matches had a total margin of loss of 9 points. 4 of those matches were decided by 1 point, 1 by 2 points, and 1 by 3 points. Fittingly, the semis and finals matches were decided by 1, 3, and 2 points.
Had some results gone another way, the division could make a case as the most balanced ever.
SECOND TO MVP DOUBLE FIGURES
Joe Manalac became the second ABL player to win 10 Most Valuable Player awards. Mon Tioseco added to his record haul with his 22nd and 23rd MVP awards this season.
THE 8,000 POINTS CLUB
Mon Tioseco became the first player to reach the 8,000 points mark in a career. Only one other player has reached the 6,000-point plateau.
Joe Manalac became only the 2nd player to reach 6,000 points this year. Jojo Gamboa became the 6th member of the 1,000 assists club joining Chiqui Reyes, JP Cabero, Charles Tiu, Mark Gamboa, and Vincent Cruz. Sandy Arespacochaga joined Carlo Poblete as the only players to have 400 blocks and Vincent Cruz joined Chiqui Reyes as the only to players to have 600 steals.
Several players came close to achieving historic first-time milestones and should reach them in ABL 2020. Joe Manalac is just 7 games short of becoming the first to play in 400 games in an ABL career. Others who are within striking distance, may join him as well. Joe is also 89 rebounds short of becoming the first player to haul down 5,000 rebounds. Chiqui Reyes is 22 assists shy of 2,000. Once achieved, he will be the first to have 2,000 points, rebounds, and assists in a career as well. With one more Best Defender award, Mon Tioseco will be the first to win at least 15 awards for MVP, Best Defender, and Mythical Five. Mon is also 1 Mythical Five award short of 40.
The official tally for the 2019 season was 150 teams in 30 divisions.
The alumni sector still accounts for the most teams and divisions with 94 and 18 respectively. This year, batches AHS Legends (silver jubilarians or older), 1992, 2000-02, 2005, 2008-2010, 2011, 2012-2014 formed divisions made up primarily of their batchmates from grade school, high school, and college.
The student sectors drew the following number of teams and divisions- grade school- 12 and 3, high school 16 and 3, LS- 5 and 1, and Law School- 5 teams. The parents of students and alumni had 18 teams in 4 divisions.
We would like to thank all the following for their contributions to the 2019 season of the ABL.
ALL THE ABL TEAM REPRESENTATIVES-Without your tireless efforts of organizing your teams, none of this would be possible.
- Gatorade c/o Mr. Ton Gatmaitan
- Molten GG 7X Basketball, the official basketball of ABL 2016 c/o Mr. Anil Buxani and Ms. Luz Ricardo of Sonak.
- Pascual Creamy Delight Yogurt c/o Mr. and Mrs. Em Lingao
- Ms. Jackie Silva
MEMBERS OF THE ATENEO COMMUNITY
Once again, we would like to thank everyone who made the 2019 season of the Ateneo Basketball League a success on and off the court. We look forward to seeing you again in 2020.
- Mr. Em Fernandez, University Athletics Office
- Ms. Erika Dy, University Athletics Office
- Fr. Emerito De La Rama, Headmaster, Ateneo de Manila Grade School
- Mr. Jonny Salvador, Principal, Ateneo de Manila Junior High School
- Ms. Maria Victoria Dimalanta, Principal, Ateneo de Manila Senior High School
- Ms. Geia Barrido, Ateneo Law School
- Ms. Monique Masambique, UAO
- Ms. Marilyn Franco, UAO
- Mr. Rick Du, UAO
- Mr. Rodel Cubos, UAO
- The staff and crew of the Blue Eagle Gym
- Ms. Millette Bonoan, Manager of the Moro Lorenzo Sports Center
- Ms. Zheillah Villuga of the MLSC
- Central Accounting Office
- All the ABL’s contracted service providers
Mr. Chiqui Paterno