IT feels like ages ago since we last saw collegiate basketball in action.
In reality, it's almost two years to the day that the best varsity teams in the land jousted for the ultimate prize of winning their respective championships.
That's why it's only fitting that on Wednesday, the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) gave the clearance for college teams to resume training once they fulfill a four-step process.
Spin.ph couldn't help but look back at the last game days for these varsity teams at a time where things seemed normal and everyone packed the stadiums to see who will reign supreme.
To refresh your memory, it was the rare occasion for the NCAA and UAAP to have their deciding games occur in back-to-back days with the leagues adjusting their schedules to the upcoming 30th Southeast Asian Games.
The NCAA was the first out as on Nov. 19, 2019. Letran slipped past archrival San Beda, 81-79, in Game Three in front of 19,876 fans inside the Mall of Asia Arena.
Jerrick Balanza, the Knights' unquestionable heart and soul, fulfilled his promise and ended his collegiate career with the dagger three with 1:29 left to give the Muralla side the 79-73 lead.
It was a realization of a dream for Balanza, who skipped the past year after dealing with his brain tumor and graduated with a championship to boot thanks to his 27-point, 7-rebound, and 5-assist outing.
This also capped off Fran Yu's star turn with the gangly rookie sinking the crucial free throws with 15.9 ticks left. He was later named the Finals MVP.
Less than 24 hours later, it was Ateneo which completed its date with destiny and achieved the perfect 16-0 romp with an 86-79 Game Two triumph over the UST Tigers before 20,198 fans in the same venue.
Thirdy Ravena finished his impeccable collegiate run with another all-around performance of 17 points, seven rebounds, and five assists to lead his side to the championship. He later bagged his third Finals MVP award.
The Blue Eagles pulled off only the seventh perfect season in the UAAP - and the first since UST's 14-game campaign in 1993 under the legendary Aric del Rosario.
But it was SJ Belangel who stole the show, coming alive in a telling fourth quarter barrage to deny the Growling Tigers of the upset.
Who knew that those busy 48 hours would be the last time we'll see collegiate basketball in full swing?
After close to two years, it's not that far off that we'll see those sights again in the near future.
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