|Host school||University of Santo Tomas|
|Duration||October 4-11, 2007|
|Finals MVP||JVee Casio and Pocholo Villanueva (co-awardees)|
|Winning coach||Franz Pumaren|
|Semifinalists|| Ateneo Blue Eagles|
UST Growling Tigers
|TV network(s)||Studio 23 and TFC|
The UAAP Season 70 men's basketball tournament is the flagship tournament of the University Athletic Association of the Philippines (UAAP) basketball championships.
The University of Santo Tomas (UST) is the season's host. The games began on July 7 at the Araneta Coliseum in Quezon City with the resurgent De La Salle Green Archers defeating the UP Fighting Maroons in the first game. La Salle, which was suspended on the previous tournament, went on to win the championship, sweeping the UE Red Warriors 2-0 in the Finals series. UE on the other hand, had the distinction of sweeping the double round eliminations 14-0, capped by a win against La Salle in overtime on their last elimination round game. JVee Casio and Pocholo Villanueva were awarded co-finals most valuable player honors, for leading La Salle to their seventh men's UAAP championship.
New coaches are Bogs Adornado for the Adamson Falcons (replacing Leo Austria who resigned to coach the Welcoat Dragons professional basketball team) and Glenn Capacio replacing Bert Flores as he became an FEU Tamaraws manager. De La Salle Green Archers coach Franz Pumaren, who had previously resigned after the PEPTCR scandal, was rehired by La Salle.
UE Red Warriors
After their heartbreaking semi-final loss against the UST Growling Tigers on 2006, the Warriors won several off-season tournaments, such as the Collegiate Champions League, where they beat the NCAA champions San Beda Red Lions.
On their first UAAP game, they beat the Tigers by a comfortable margin. UE then had to ward off NU in the endgame and survive Ateneo to remain unbeaten. In a game of unbeaten teams, the Warriors buried the Green Archers, as they broke the game wide open at the fourth quarter. UE then swept the first round with relatively easy wins against UP (31 points), FEU (29 points) and Adamson (25 points).
On their second round opener, the Warriors had to ward off the persistent Blue Eagles in the endgame to preserve their winning streak. UE then defeated UST, which had kept themselves in striking distance until the Red Warriors rallied in the fourth quarter. UE's closest win came against the Bulldogs which collapsed in the end game to lose by four points. UE then paraded with two more wins against Adamson and FEU. UE has swept the eliminations by beating La Salle via overtime and advanced automatically to the Finals.
De La Salle Green Archers
Returning from suspension, La Salle had an easy opening day win against the UP Fighting Maroons. After another relatively easy win against Adamson, La Salle had a scare when FEU managed to hang on but were ultimately defeated. On their next game against UE, La Salle managed to fight tooth and nail but where overwhelmed by UE's accurate shooting in the second half as they were dealt with their first loss. La Salle was then defeated by Ateneo who rallied in overtime. La Salle then put the game in protest but was junked by the Technical Committee. On their next game, the Archers kept their 7-year winning streak against UST alive via another overtime game.
After finishing the first round with a win against the Bulldogs, the Archers had the win on their grasp but the Tigers had a 13-0 run in the last two minutes to force overtime. The Tigers prevailed in overtime to stop their seven-year losing streak against La Salle. The Green Archers then had a four-game winning streak to assure themselves of a place in the Final Four. However, with a twice to beat advantage a win away, archrivals Ateneo snapped La Salle's winning streak via a defensive stand to deny La Salle the shot within regulation.
Seeking to prevent a sweep, La Salle managed to keep away UE in their last elimination round game but UE mounted a furious comeback to force the game into overtime - La Salle actually had the opportunity to win the game but Rico Maierhoffer tapped the ball last when he stood unmolested under the basket. Clutch freethrows from Mark Borboran and disqualifications of La Salle's Maierhoffer and JV Casio due to fouling out kept La Salle from coming back and resulted to the first sweep of the men's tournament since 1993, when UST did it.
The game was marred when La Salle player Bryan Ilad punched Mark Fampulme at the back of the head after a hard foul of La Salle's Rico Maierhoffer to Mark Borboran of UE during the first quarter. Ilad was ejected at the game and would be suspended for five games (details below). It was recommended by the UAAP board that Ilad would make a public apology to Fampulme, to UE and UAAP Community.
Ateneo Blue Eagles
Ateneo opened the season with an overtime win against Adamson, then a blowout win against neighbors UP. In the battle of undefeated teams, UE held on to win by three points to deal the Eagles with their first loss. After a last-possession win against NU, Ateneo had a controversial win against archrival La Salle, in which La Salle protested when two Atenean foreigners played at the same time. The UAAP Technical Committee junked La Salle's protest, since American Kirk Long didn't actually enter the playing court, hence did not affect the outcome of the game. However, Ateneo lost their next three games,against FEU including a game against last year's Finals opponent UST and UE in the start of the second-round.
Ateneo then rebounded with a five-game winning streak, including triumphs against FEU, Adamson, UST, where Kirk Long converted a walk-off buzzer beater, UP and archrivals La Salle where Chris Tiu converted a three-point shot in the dying seconds, and La Salle failed to convert a put-back within time limits.
UST Growling Tigers
The defending champions started the season with a 0-2 record, losing to UE and FEU. UST rebounded with wins against Adamson, UP and NU. Transferee Khasim Mirza made up for last year's Finals MVP Jojo Duncil's departure, with accurate three-point shooting. On a seven-year losing streak, La Salle had to win via overtime to break UST's streak. A win over last year's Finals opponent Ateneo assured the Tigers of an above-.500 record at the end of the first round.
On their rematch with the Green Archers, the Tigers forced overtime after coming up with a 10-0 run at the final two minutes of regulation. With a near-flawless game, Jervy Cruz led the team into victory, the first since 1999. With momentum on their side, the Tigers were humbled by a streaking UE Red Warriors, who staged their own rally at the fourth quarter to hold off any UST run. After a win against NU, the Tigers were beaten by Ateneo, thanks to Kirk Long's buzzer beater. Needing to win their last three games to assure of a Final Four berth, the Tigers made short work of doormats UP and Adamson, but were upended by FEU to force a deciding knockout game between the two to determine which team will advance to the playoffs.
Winning both of their elimination round games (81-66 at the Ninoy Aquino Stadium and 84-73 at the Araneta Coliseum), the Tamaraws forced the knockout game by winning their second round game. FEU started rather well, leading by 2 points at the end of the first period. UST on the other hand, pulled away, with inside plays of Jervy Cruz and defense against the Tamaraws.
Leading by as much as 20 points, FEU managed to bring down to lead to 16 at the third quarter but the Tigers answered back, bringing it back to 20. On the fourth quarter, the Tams, thanks to three-point shooting by Paul Sanga, cut the lead into ten; they'd ran out of time however as the Tigers advanced to the playoffs to assure of defending their title for a little longer.
Elimination round games:
Elimination round games:
With La Salle having the twice to beat advantage, Ateneo kept pace with La Salle, eventually ending the first quarter tied. However, Ateneo had a rally and led by as much as 4, La Salle care of JVee Casio scored five consecutive points in the final minute to nudge by a point. On the third quarter, La Salle had an 8-0 run to lead by as much as nine by forcing Ateneo several turnovers (Ateneo wound up with 24 turnovers at the end of the game). Ateneo eventually cut the deficit into five points at the end of the third.
Ateneo continued on their momentum, tying the score thanks to a Nonoy Baclao tip-in. However, La Salle countered with their own 5-0 run with 5 minutes to go; Ateneo caught up with another Baclao tip-in and a three-point field goal by Chris Tiu to cut the deficit into one point. With half a minute remaining, La Salle turned over the ball, Tiu drove hard to the basket and made the shot, giving the lead to Ateneo. With seven seconds left, Casio drove to the basket and kicked out the ball to Bader Malabes; Malabes missed the jump shot, then Rico Maierhofer missed the tip-in as time expired.
La Salle beat the Eagles in the sold out Araneta Coliseum for their fifth and last encounter for the year to advance to the Finals.
Elimination round games:
Last championship matchup: 1990 season (UAAP Season 53)--La Salle 78-74 UE (La Salle had the twice-to-beat advantage)
UE started out firing on all cylinders, leading as much as seven in the first few minutes of the ball game; however, De La Salle was able to recover and tie the game at 8 apiece, the only deadlock in the game. La Salle eventually took the lead and never looked back for the rest of the game en route to their seventh UAAP men's basketball championship (excluding the 2004 title).
UE, rusty from a three-week layoff, started strong, having an 11-0 run to close the first quarter leading, 21-14. La Salle battled back to trail by two points at halftime. La Salle maintained the status quo at the third quarter.
The Archers tied the ballgame 58-all with four minutes left; La Salle then overtook the Warriors 63-60 at the last minute. UE's Mark Borboran scored a three-point field goal to tie once again the score, 63-all, with 34 seconds remaining. At ensuing La Salle offensive, Rico Maierhofer was fouled as he went up for an offensive rebound. Maierhofer converted one of his two free throws to put La Salle up by one, with 14.1 seconds left. Borboran then shot a three-pointer at the top of the key after a UE time-out but it bounced off the rim. Bader Malabes of La Salle rebounded the ball as time expired.
The awards were given before Game 2 at the Araneta Coliseum, except for the Finals MVP award which was given after Game 2.