Tomorrow, we’re expecting another “UAAP Classico” match between long-running rivals Ateneo Blue Eagles and the La Salle Green Arches — and this time, the stakes run high.
Ateneo is looking to defend their title as champions of the Women’s Volleyball for a third time, while La Salle is looking to trounce Ateneo in its fifth attempt to reclaim their lost glory. Yup, the stakes are off the charts.
But before we witness UAAP history in the making tomorrow, let’s take a trip down memory lane on just how deeply-rooted this blue and green rivalry is on the court.
According to reports, both La Salle and Ateneo were co-founders of the NCAA. While not yet considered as rivals at the time, games between the two parties have always been strongly contested.
Before the foundation of rivalry between these two were formed, smaller rivalries with other teams in the NCAA were formed like the rivalry between Ateneo and San Beda, as well as La Salle and Letran.
However, it was reportedly during Ateneo’s loss to La Salle in the championship game of NCAA season 16 (1939–40) that the rivalry planted it’s roots.
The switch over to UAAP
It was during the 1930s when the university of the Philippines (UP), University of Santo Tomas (UST), and National University (NU) left the NCAA to form the University Athletic Association of the Philippines (UAAP), but Ateneo and La Salle only followed suit later on.
Ateneo made the move to the UAAP first (1978); eight years later, La Salle followed (1986). The two teams continued to fan the flames of their growing rivalry, even in the UAAP.
Eventually, the rivalry grew a huge-fans base; and whenever these two teams meet in the finals of the UAAP games, an immeasurable crowd flock the arena, rooting for either the team in blue or the team in green.
While the deeply-rooted rivalry of the two teams can be traced to NCAA season 16, there is ONE myth that no one can seem to bust or confirm.
According to reports, the myth involves a group of LaSallian Students slinging fried chicken at the gate of the old Ateneo Campus in Padre Faura. The incident allegedly took place after LaSalle won the NCAA Championship in 1939 (NCAA 16)
Whether this incident really did happen, we will never know.
Sources: Spot.ph, Wikipedia, Philstar
How well do you know the history of their rivalry?