Ateneo's season ended last Sunday, after losing its knockout game against the PEPT Squad, for the right to play undefeated UE in the championship round. After winning two consecutive elimination games against No. 4 UST and No. 2 PEPT Squad, the team simply did not have enough gas in the tank this time, to complete its turnaround after losing its last elimination round game to NU, which turned out to be the turning point of the season (note to the Eagles: can we please beat the living shit out of NU twice next year?).
The emptyness of moral victories notwithstanding, Coach Norman Black pointed out to reporters after the game, that nobody predicted the Eagles to be one game away from playing for the championship when the season started, considering that it just lost Macky Escalona, Doug Kramer and JC Intal to graduation. Yet, there they were (No, it doesn't really help).
Ateneo will lose Ford Arao and Zion Laterre to graduation this year. Everybody else (including, hopefully, Chris Tiu), is expected to return. NCAA Juniors MVP Ryan Buenafe, and Justin Chua from Tiong Lian champions CKSC, will reportedly join the team as its rookies next year. These two boys, along with Nonoy Baclao, Eric Salamat and Kirk Long should provide the core of the Hail Mary team for the coming years. The future looks good. At least, on paper.