The Letran Knights (Left) with the Letran Squires (Right), winning the NCAA Basketball Titles in a historic show of strength. Photo courtesy of Allen Velasquez and Letran-Manila Senior High School.
Colegio de San Juan de Letran are kings of NCAA Basketball as both the Knights and the Squires took the throne in the Seniors' and Juniors' divisions in Season 98.
This feat was last achieved by the Muralla-based team in 1983 when they were led by then-collegiate stars Samboy Lim and Romeo Ang, and high school standouts Fritz Webb and Gene Afable.
Also this season, the Seniors bagged their 20th title, the third of a three-peat, while the Juniors secured their 13th title, a first since 2001.
Both head tactitians of the two squads received the Coach of the Year awards as well, as the Knights' Bonnie Tan won his third consecutive one, while Squires' Allen Ricardo received the first of his career.
A different Blue vs. Green rivalry.
Both teams faced and beat similar opponents in the Finals, with the Knights defeating the CSB Blazers in three games last December 2022, while the Squires swept the LSGH Greenies on March 2023.
Juniors Finals MVP Andy Gemao even quipped on how they beat their La Salle counterparts, poking fun at the three-game series the Knights faced against St. Benilde.
"Shoutout kay Kuya Pao Javillonar, Kuya Louie Sangalang, Kuya Brent Paraiso. Sa mga kuya’s ko po nag 1-1 kayo, kami sweep," Gemao said.
Only time can tell if this then-40-year-old record would be repeated next season, but for now, Letran can surely claim that they are the Kings of NCAA Hoops. Siempre Campeones! Siempre Letran!