Chasing History: Letran Knights versus Benilde Blazers GMA Network airs NCAA Season 98 Finals

Will defending champion Colegio de San Juan de Letran (CSJL) finally nail a three-peat crown or will this season’s top-seed De La Salle-College of St. Benilde (CSB) bounce back to stay alive?

It’s definitely an exciting Sunday afternoon on December 11 as broadcast giant GMA Network airs Game 2 of the much-awaited face-off between the Letran Knights and the Benilde Blazers at the National Collegiate Athletic Association of the Philippines (NCAA) Season 98 Men’s Senior Basketball Finals live from the Araneta Coliseum with simulcast at 3PM on GMA and GTV.

Game 1 of the best-of-three championship series not only saw a jampacked Araneta Coliseum but also beat rival TV shows last Sunday, December 4.

Based on Nielsen Philippines’ National Urban TV Audience Measurement (NUTAM) overnight ratings for Dec. 4, the NCAA Season 98 Men’s Senior Basketball Finals Game 1, which aired on both GMA and GTV, posted a combined people rating of 4.0 percent. It dominated rival shows which aired on TV5 (2.2 percent people rating), A2Z (1.6 percent people rating), and Kapamilya Channel (0.3 percent people rating).

Online, the livestream of Game 1 generated 2.6 million views on Facebook, 193,000 views on YouTube, and 58,600 views on Twitter according to data from Tubular Labs.

Banking on its experience, the Knights trumped the Blazers, 81-75, in Game 1, inching closer to a historic 3rd straight NCAA title. Expected to lead the charge for Coach Bonnie Tan’s team anew are Team Captain Fran Yu, Brent Paraiso, and Tommy Olivario, together with Louie Sangalang, Kurt Reyson, and King Caralipio.

The Blazers, meanwhile, will look to extend the series to a winner-take-all Game 3. Coach Charles Tiu’s team is set to prove why they are this season’s top performers with team captain JC Cullar steering the ship with Will Gozum, Miguel Oczon, Frederick Pasturan, and the rest of the Blazers.

“GMA Network, through GMA Synergy, brings another historic basketball season for NCAA closer to our Kapuso as we continue to air the NCAA Season 98 Men’s Senior Basketball Finals this Sunday, December 11.  We thank the NCAA Policy Board and Management Committee for trusting GMA as their broadcast partner. As the country’s first athletic collegiate league, the NCAA indeed inspires everyone to ‘Achieve Greatness Every Day’. We are excited for the final games between the Letran Knights and the Benilde Blazers–two of the best teams this season–and we hope that they further uphold the values of being student athletes,” says First VP and Head of GMA Regional TV and Synergy and Acting Head of GMA Integrated News Oliver Victor Amoroso.

Game 2 of the NCAA Finals will be anchored by Synergy Sports host Martin Javier. Joining him is basketball analyst “The Tower of Power” Benjie Paras.

Adding fun to the halftime excitement during the finals are Kapuso actress Sanya Lopez and popular girl group XoXo.

Meanwhile, San Beda University dominated the NCAA Season 98 Swimming Tournament. The Red Sea Lions topped the standings with 1,573.50 points in the women’s events and 1,496 points in the men’s events to take home the overall championship last December 3 at the Teofilo Yldefonso Swimming Pool in the Rizal Memorial Sports Complex. The return of the swimming event kicked-off last December 1 with three-time Olympian and eight-time Southeast Asian Games (SEA Games) gold medal-winning swimmer Akiko Thomson-Guevara as the guest of honor during the competition’s opening ceremonies.

Don’t miss the NCAA Season 98 Men’s Basketball Finals on Dec. 11, and Dec. 18 (as needed) airing live on GMA and GTV at 3 PM. Get your tickets via

Catch the livestream on the NCAA Philippines website (, 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.

For more updates on NCAA, visit its official website Follow @ncaaphilippines, @gmasynergy, and @gmasportsph on social media.