FAR Eastern University, paying tribute to its finest student-athletes who gave the school honors in domestic and international competitions, yesterday unveiled the FEU Sports Hall of Fame Room.
Among those featured memorabilia of FEU’s greatest athletes and winning moments are UAAP trophies and medals, old newspaper and magazine clippings, photographs from the school’s championships, and the individual awards that the players won after college.
The FEU Sports Hall of Fame Room is located at the first floor of the university’s Admissions Building in Morayta, Manila.
Glenn Capacio, who was a part of three-peat team in UAAP men’s basketball from 1979-1981, is very thankful that the school has given a special spot for their achievements.
“We have a good team, we had back-to-back (12-0) sweep in 1980 and 1981. Maganda ang samahan namin. Maganda ang tradition ng FEU,” said Capacio, who also coached his alma mater in 2007-2010, making the Final Four three times and the Finals once.
A member of the 1991-92 back-to-back men’s basketball championship squad, Johnny Abarrientos donated his 1996 PBA MVP trophy to the FEU Sports Hall of Fame. During that year, Abarrientos led Alaska to a rare Grand Slam.
“Sobra kaming blessed. Until today, Kahit wala na ako sa FEU marami pa rin akong natututunan,” said Abarrientos, who along with Arwind Santos had their Tamaraws men’s basketball jerseys retired by the university.
“Walang FEU championship ng 1991 at 1992 kung wala si coach Turo (Valenzona),” he added.
There are also memorabilias from one of the Tamaraws’ greatest UAAP men’s basketball eras from 2003-2005.
Playmaker Denok Miranda, who is currently a part of FEU’s men’s and high school basketball coaching staff, knows that the memories his school’s dynasty during that time will live forever.
“Yung communication, yung kumustahan nandoon. Yung pinagsamahan namin noon, hanggang ngayon, nandoon pa rin. Hanggang sa dulo,” said Miranda.
FEU remains as the most successful UAAP men’s basketball program with 20 titles.
Not only the Tamaraws have made their mark in basketball.
Volleyball superstar Rachel Ann Daquis, whose framed No. 3 FEU V-League jersey is now with the FEU Sports of Hall of Fame, thanked the school for molding her to become one of the sport’s biggest names.
“Si coach Kidd (Santos) ang unang naniwala sa akin. Yun ang motivation ko. Kung hindi dahil sa FEU, hindi ko makakamit kung ano ang mararating ko ngayon,” said Daquis, who powered the Lady Tamaraws to a record 29th championship in 2008.
Daquis, who is currently with PVL team Cignal HD, had her jersey retired by the university in 2017.
FEU also takes pride of having great athletes in boxing, which was part of the UAAP calendar in the early days before it was discountinued.
One of them was Ricardo Fortaleza, who gave the Philippines its lone gold medal in the 6th Asian Games in 1970.
“I’m happy that we brought honors not only for our country but for FEU,” said Fortaleza, whose brothers Renato, Reynaldo and Rogelio were also products of the school.
Among those who donated their memorabilias are Janelle Mae Frayna, the Philippines’ first women’s chess Grandmaster who gave her 30th Southeast Asian Games silver medal, and the FEU Cheering Squad, which had its props and costumes during its 2009 UAAP cheerdance championship run in the FEU Sports of Hall of Fame.
“I will be always thankful and grateful for FEU,” said Frayna, a two-time UAAP women’s chess MVP and a Athlete of the Year winner in 2015.
Mark Molina, the school’s athletic director and UAAP Board of Managing Director member, is expecting more memorabilias to fill in the FEU Sports of Hall of Fame.
“The room is still a work in progress,” said Molina.