All Hail: NEU Hunters beats AdMU to win 2019 BBI Championship

July 13, 2019 | Information Office

Everyone loves a good underdog story. And in the morning hours of July 13, 2019, the best underdog story of the summer came to its fruitful, shining conclusion.

The New Era University Hunters triumphed over all adversity to win the 2019 Breakdown Basketball Invitational (BBI) Alcatel Summer League, besting Ateneo De Manila 93-84 in a hard-fought overtime game. The win was doubly sweet as it avenged a prior loss at the hands of the Blue Eagles; in that game, NEU suffered a 10-point loss. Led by Finals MVP Jefferson Comia, the Hunters played very rigid man-to-man defense against the Blue Eagles throughout the game.

For most of the game, it seemed that NEU will win running away, due to four of the Hunters scoring in double digits. But Ateneo were still able to make things hard for NEU, especially in the closing minutes of the 4th Quarter, when the Blue Eagles were able to erect a 5-point lead. With time winding down in regulation, it was Comia’s clutch play, capped with sinking two pressure-packed free throws, which helped NEU force overtime against the home team. From there, the Hunters finally took control of the game.

Part of the team’s success was the battle-hardened strategizing of Coach Adonis Tierra, who tightened his rotation to nine players. Both Comia and Joel Gonzallo had 22 points, with the latter adding 10 rebounds to his overall excellence, and punctuating the game with a thunderous dunk.

The Hunters had to run through a gauntlet of other basketball programs before reaching the Finals; teams like the University of Santo Tomas (UST) Growling Tigers, University of the Philippines (UP) Fighting Maroons, and Our Lady of Fatima (OLFU) Phoenix posed a number of challenges to the NEU Hunters. With other stalwart teams coming from the Technological Institute of the Philippines (TIP) and the College of Saint Benilde (CSB), it seemed that NEU will just be another scrimmage team against these pedigreed collegiate basketball programs.

However, these games end at the sound of the final buzzer, and the scoreboard never lies.

The Hunters, the team hardly anyone expected to win, stand tall as 2019 BBI Alcatel Summer League Champions.