Championship is NU's b-day gift to owner Henry Sy

By Camille B. Naredo, ABS-CBNnews.com

Posted at Oct 15 2014 11:44 PM | Updated as of Oct 16 2014 07:45 AM

MANILA, Philippines - SM Prime Holdings Inc. president Hans Sy could not find the words to describe his happiness after watching the National University (NU) Bulldogs defeat the Far Eastern University (FEU) Tamaraws in Game 3 of the UAAP Season 77 Finals to win their first championship in 60 years.

"I cannot describe the feeling. There are no words to describe the joy inside me," Sy told ABS-CBNnews.com after the game.

The Sy family bought NU six years ago and since then, turned the former UAAP cellar-dwellers into a veritable powerhouse.

Its 75-59 victory over FEU was just the latest in a string of breakthroughs for the Bulldogs, and Sy said it could not have come at a better time.

"One thing na hindi ko na binanggit sa kanila, hindi ko na sinabi because I don't want to unnecessarily stress them, but I thank them very much because today is my father's birthday," said Sy, referring to mall tycoon Henry Sy, Sr.

"It's his 90th birthday. It's a very happy birthday, because my father, from the start of his acquisition six years ago and he saw the basketball team, he just felt that we should do something about this," he said.

Sy said he entered the game hoping for a victory, and considers it a "dream come true."

"The win was really a team effort," he said. "It's the whole team playing - we won it as a team. It's not any individual, and that was something that I think National U has over all other teams."

"Teamwork, it was teamwork," he stressed. "The trust for each other, the respect for each other is very much there."

The UAAP Season 77 championship was NU's first men's basketball crown since 1954. They also become double champions, as their women's team won their first-ever title earlier this month.