By Michael Angelo S. Murillo
Senior Reporter

MEDIA covering the top collegiate leagues in the country are to hold their annual awards on May 27 at the Amelie Hotel Manila in Malate, with the awardees headlined by champion basketball teams Ateneo de Manila University and San Beda University.

Presented by SportsVision and supported by Chooks-to-Go, Amelie Hotel, Northport, World Balance, and AXA Team EDS, the 2019 Collegiate Press Corps Awards is set to gather and fete anew top performers last season both in the University Athletic Association of the Philippines and National Collegiate Athletic Association.

Headlining the awardees are Ateneo and San Beda, which repeated as men’s basketball champions in the UAAP and NCAA, respectively.

The Blue Eagles won back-to-back titles after defeating the University of the Philippines Fighting Maroons and their magical run.

Thirdy Ravena and the rest of the Ateneo men’s basketball team proved to be a handful for the Maroons, sweeping the latter in their best-of-three finals after topping the elimination round with a 12-2 record.

San Beda, meanwhile, won its third straight NCAA title in Season 94 on the lead of veterans and now-pro players Robert Bolick and Javee Mocon.

The Red Lions met the Lyceum Pirates for the second year in a row and the result was the same with San Beda claiming the title via sweep.

The annual collegiate awards are given by sportswriters from print and online outfits covering the UAAP and NCAA.

Meanwhile, Olympian and champion swimmer Jessie King Lacuna of Ateneo was the recipient of the UAAP Athlete of the Year, his third in five illustrious years with the Katipunan-based school.

In closing ceremonies for UAAP Season 81 at the Mall of Asia Arena on Tuesday, Lacuna got his award for athlete of the year in individual sports, joined by University of Santo Tomas Golden Tigresses volleyball star Sisi Rondina who got hers for team sports.

In the juniors’s division it was basketball player Kai Sotto of Ateneo High School who won for team sports with swimmer Philip Joaquin Santos winning in the individual sports category.

Bestowed once again with the prestigious honor, Lacuna said he is very thankful of the recognition, more so on his final year in the UAAP.

“I’m very thankful for this award. It is such a humbling experience to be given this award once again. Honestly, I wasn’t expecting this. I thought I was just going to receive the MVP award. I’m very happy,” said Lacuna, a graduate of interdisciplinary studies, after receiving his award.

“Season 81 was one of the best seasons for me. It was my final year and I needed to perform. There were a lot of good rookies and I had to take on the challenge,” he added.

He went on to say that he is very thankful of the opportunities he had with Ateneo and the UAAP, and believed he was able to do his part in improving the level of competition and the skills of the athletes in the league.

“Being in the UAAP and Ateneo, as an athlete I put up a high standard I think. As a swimmer you want to lift the competition and I think I was able to do that,” he said.

With Ateneo, he led the school to five titles in men’s swimming and won 35 gold medals and four MVP awards.

Lacuna is now focusing on the Southeast Asian Games happening in the country later this year as a member of the national team.