Top-seed De La Salle-College of St. Benilde willed its way to a winner-take-all rubber match versus defending champion Colegio de San Juan de Letran in the National Collegiate Athletic Association of the Philippines Season 98 Men’s Senior Basketball Finals.
The highly anticipated NCAA Finals Game 3 is scheduled on Sunday, December 18, at the Ynares Center in Antipolo City, with a simulcast at 3 p.m. on GMA and GTV.
Last Sunday (Dec. 11), viewers were glued to their screens as the Letran Knights and Benilde Blazers both showed their will to outlast one another.
Based on Nielsen Philippines’ National Urban TV Audience Measurement (NUTAM) overnight ratings for Dec. 11, the NCAA Season 98 Men’s Senior Basketball Finals Game 2 posted a combined people rating of 3.8 percent (for GMA and GTV). It dominated rival shows which aired on TV5 (1.4 percent people rating), A2Z (1.4 percent people rating), and Kapamilya Channel (0.3 percent people rating).
Online, the livestream of Game 2 tallied 1.6 million views on Facebook, 265,000 views on YouTube, and 61,600 views on Twitter according to data from Tubular Labs.
Taking home the crucial victory last Sunday, 76-71, the Benilde Blazers kept its hopes alive with NCAA Season 98 Most Valuable Player Will Gozum and Miggy Corteza both delivering 21 points to turn the game around and force a Game 3 showdown this Sunday. Coming from an ankle injury in previous games, rookie Migs Oczon also stepped up big time to help his team stay alive in the best-of-three finals.
The three-peat seeking Letran Knights, on the other hand, tried to go for the sweep with key players Brent Paraiso and Louie Sangalang keeping the scores close until the very end. The Knights finished the game without team captain Fran Yu who was slapped with a disqualifying foul in the second period.
Prior to the heated Game 2, a special program was held to recognize exceptional teams and players of the season.
Gozum was named Season 98 MVP after averaging 16.9 points and 9.8 rebounds. He is the first Benilde player to win the award in 17 years.
He bested this Season’s Mythical Selection members that include San Beda University’s JB Bahio and James Kwekuteye, Letran’s King Caralipio, and Arellano University’s Cade Flores.
Flores was also awarded as the Defensive Player and Rookie of the Year. Joining the Chiefs star forward in the defensive team are Gozum, Bahio, Perpetual Help’s Mark Omega, and San Sebastian’s Romel Calahat.
Lyceum’s Shawn Umali, on the other hand, won the Most Improved Player award. The entire San Beda team was honored with the Sportsmanship award.
“It has been an exciting season for the NCAA. GMA Network, through GMA Synergy, is proud of our student athletes as they showcased their skills and sportsmanship throughout this season. Whoever wins between the Letran Knights and the Benilde Blazers truly deserve the championship. Indeed, the NCAA inspires everyone to ‘Achieve Greatness Every Day.’ We would like to thank the NCAA community for joining all the players and the teams in their journey this season, the sports fans who showed their support in every game, and all the Kapuso viewers who continue to make watching NCAA games their habit. We are also grateful for the trust of the NCAA Policy Board and Management Committee,” says First VP and Head of GMA Regional TV and Synergy and Acting Head of GMA Integrated News Oliver Victor Amoroso.
Game 3 of the NCAA Finals will be anchored by Synergy Sports host Martin Javier. Joining him is sports commentator Andrei Felix and Philippine basketball legend and analyst Coach Jerry “Defense Minister” Codiñera.
Sparkle artist Bianca Umali and popular girl group XoXo add excitement to the Finals during halftime.
Don’t miss the NCAA Season 98 Men’s Basketball Finals on Dec. 18 airing live on GMA and GTV at 3 PM. Get your tickets via www.ticketmax.ph.
Catch the livestream on the NCAA Philippines website (www.gmanetwork.com/ncaa), NCAA Philippines Facebook page and YouTube channel, and GMA Sports’ Facebook and Twitter pages. Kapuso abroad can catch all the action via international channel GMA News TV.