De La Salle-College of Saint Benilde Blazers: Leading the way
Published on March 17, 2022 at 7:43 p.m.
Updated on March 17, 2022 at 7:43 p.m.
De La Salle-College of Saint Benilde may not have been among the first members of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), but it didn’t take them long to prove they were.
Saint Benilde joined in 1998, not too long ago against the backdrop of the league’s rich 97-year history. But it only took them two years in the league to win their first NCAA men’s basketball championship, which had an instant impact on the league.
In Season 76, a team of underdogs under the banner of 1999 Rookie of the Year and future NCAA MVP Sunday Salvacion, future Mythical Five member Jondan Salvador and Mark Magsumbol, and coached by Dong Vergeire, started the season 0-3 before putting up an unlikely run to finish the knockout round in third place.
It earned them a semi-final clash against a favorite Perpetual Help University DALTA system armed with an advantage twice, but the brave Saint Benilde side even overcame that to reach the final against San Sebastian. Stags, whom the Blazer stunned to cop their first-ever NCAA title with Magsumbol emerging as the Finals MVP.
Salvacion and Salvador went on to make names for themselves in the professional ranks with Salvacion bringing his hot shot to seven different clubs, including Barangay Ginebra, where he played from 2003 to 2010 after being selected 11th overall in 2003. In the Overall, Salvacion is a five-time PBA champion and was an All-Star once in 2007.
(Sunday Salvacion in the PBA. File photo: Jeff Venancio)
Salvador, meanwhile, was picked fourth overall by Purefoods Chunkee Giants (now Magnolia) where he would play from 2005-2011 before moving to three other franchises after that. With Purefoods, Salvador became a double champion.
Since their basketball feat in 2000, they have never looked back.
CSB continued to produce future basketball pros such as Carlo Lastimosa, who worked with Barako Bull, Blackwater, NLEX and Columbian (now Terrafirma), and Palo Taha, who is currently a backcourt mainstay at NorthPort .
But the Taft-based school has also produced athletes outside of their basketball program.
In fact, the school’s excellence in multiple disciplines has seen them win a total of five overall championships, proving that the school absolutely belongs in the winner’s circle.
Benilde is home to a number of volleyball aces like Jeanette Panaga, who currently fills the frontcourt of Creamline Cool Smashers in the Premier Volleyball League. With CSB, the 6-foot-tall Panaga was hailed as the best forward and best blocker of the ’91 season, while she was named best blocker and MVP of the ’91 season finals, where they beat the San Sebastian Lady. Internships.
John Vic De Guzman, meanwhile, is the current captain of the men’s national volleyball team and is also a valuable product of CSB, which he led to the championship in the ’92 season. title race, De Guzman was also hailed as the MVP of the season and the best opposing Spiker.
With the national team, 28-year-old De Guzman helped the country win the silver medal at the 2019 Southeast Asian Games.
The Benilde Green Paddlers, their table tennis team, won five consecutive men’s championships in the 90-94 season, behind their five-time MVP Ryan Jacolo.
The school also shines in the chess tournament, where it currently has eight championships in the women’s category, which resulted in eight consecutive titles from 2005 to 2012, as well as seven in the men’s event for a total of 15, the third most in the league after the 29 of Letran and the 20 of San Beda.
The CSB women’s tank team also successively led the swimming tournament in 2009 and 2010.
—JMB, GMA News