As the defending champions the Blue Eagles were favored but were handicapped by the loss of the popular Chris Tiu. The Tamaraws, on the other hand, were coming off an excellent preseason where they won the Fr. Martin Cup and the Filoil Flying V Cup, and three of them also suited up for the PBL Unity Cup-winning Oracle Residences Titans and the Smart Gilas Pilipinas national team that competed abroad.
Fate had different plans, however.
FEU, hampered by the loss of a key player on game-fixing allegations, fell to the UE Red Warriors in the Final Four round. Ateneo, on the the other hand, only lost twice and beat the Tamaraws' tormentors in a three-game championship series.
Collegiate basketball fans were therefore tickled when Ateneo and FEU made it to the finals of the 2009 Philippine Collegiate Championship. The two teams did not disappoint: the Tamaraws claimed Game 1, but Ateneo struck back in Game 2 before finally claiming the title in Game 3.
Eagles rule Champs LeagueThe newest addition to the Blue Eagles' trophy case will sit next to the 14th UniGames men's basketball title they won in late October.
Ateneo nips FEU in series decider; Jai named MVP
By Cedelf P. Tupas
Philippine Daily Inquirer
MANILA, Philippines—Ateneo de Manila University collected one more major title in a season replete with achievements.
The Blue Eagles, winners of back-to-back UAAP crowns, captured the Philippine Collegiate Champions League title for the second time in three years by nipping the Far Eastern University Tamaraws, 74-70, Sunday night at the Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig City.
Diminutive guard Jai Reyes ended his collegiate career with a flourish, finishing with 17 points to win the Most Valuable Player award of the tournament that gathers the best collegiate teams in the country.