WATCH: Letran celebrates NCAA championship with bonfire

Letran celebrates its first NCAA title in 10 years with a bonfire victory party inside its campus in Muralla, Intramuros. Alder Almo

MANILA, Philippines -- Like true Knights in shining armor, the triumphant Letran men's basketball team came home to a heroes' welcome inside their campus in Muralla, Intramuros after ending a decade-long of heartbreaks with an improbable championship run in the NCAA by dethroning and denying the San Beda Red Lions a record six straight title.

It was a night of merry-making as thousands of students, alumni and supporters packed the Letran campus on Friday night that extended until the wee hours of Saturday.

"Napaka-special ng team na 'to.  Sa lahat ng nag-champion na underdogs, ito ang pinaka-underdog," Letran Athletics Moderator Fr. Vic Calvo, O.P. told Philstar.com.  

With the exodus of its former star big man Raymond Almazan to the pros and an untested rookie coach, nobody seeded Letran to come out on top or even figure in the Finals of the NCAA Season 91. But Aldin Ayo, an ex-seminarian turned varsity player in college, used their doubters' words to feed the players and the community's hunger for a championship. 

Ayo, who was part of the back-to-back Letran champion team that featured Kerby Raymundo in the late 90's, thanked Fr. Calvo for believing in him when no else did. 

"Ipinaglaban ako ni Fr. Vic mula umpisa kaya laking pasasalamat ko talaga sa kaniya. Kumbaga parang may pinagawa sa 'yo yung kaibigan mo. Siyempre may care ka at ayaw mong mapahiya," Ayo told a group of sportswriters in the midst of the night-long celebration. 

 

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