Sunday, July 27, 2008

ATENEO gets back at NU

Blue Eagle fanatics
are not ALL BLUE with the win!

The Spirit of season 70 still continues to haunt the Blue Eagles as their wounds that were inflicted by the Bulldog’s fangs are still fresh when both teams met for the first time this season. Energized by the fact that they can score a big sized upset, the Bulldogs started the game with a 13-7 lead. The Eagles then regrouped and used a 10-0 run to end the quarter as Jai Reyes and Nico Salva scored 5 points each to give the Ateneo a 21-15 first quarter lead. Looking back, that run gave the Eagles enough distance as the Blue Eagles executed well in the fourth quarter to avenge their horrible overtime loss last year and win 74-62.

The Bulldogs gave the Eagles a little scare as they moved to within four points 60-64 with four minutes left in the game and Edwin Asoro on the line for two free throws. Unfortunately Asoro misses the two free throws and then the Blue Eagles summoned their suffocating defense and translated these defensive stops into offense as they unleashed a crippling 10-2 run to end the game. The run was started by a jumper by Tiu off a screen by Nonoy Baclao with 3:30 left as he outsmarted Edwin Asoro by faking the shot, passing the ball to Nonoy and then getting it back for the jumper. The next play, the Eagles get the ball back off a miss by Jhanke, then Rabah Al-Husaini fills the lane, misses the shot, gets the offensive rebound and then fights the triple team with a basket and then completes the three point play with a free throw. After that play, the Eagles play good defense and steals the ball. After that steal Jai Reyes finds Nonoy Baclao filing the lanes which he translates to two fastbreak points. In the wink of an eye, the Eagles were up by 11 points. The final nail on the coffin was when the Bulldogs paid the price of flopping and leaving Chris Tiu free from beyond the arc, with that Chris cans the three-pointer with 1:19 left and gives the Blue Eagles their fifth consecutive win. Now let’s talk about the three stand outs of this game.

CHRIS TIU 17 points

With all those points he scored the best thing about Chris is that he is not a ball hog. First of all he makes sure that everyone has his game going. He creates situations for his team mates and more importantly takes over when the team’s offense is in disarray. Like in the UP game he strung consecutive points to give some degree of separation for the Eagles. Today he hit back to back triples to give the Eagles enough breathing room. In the fourth quarter he faked off Edwin Asoro to score on a jumper and fuel the Eagles crippling windup. To cap it all up he ends the game with a steal. Truly the team’s Most Valuable Player.

12 pts., 5 assists, 5 steals, 3 Rebounds

Since Gary Valenciano is not in the UAAP, we would like to ask if we can borrow his monicker and give it to Eric who we now can call Mr. Pure Energy. Whenever he comes in the Ateneo gallery becomes all the more excited with what he does in the game. His nickname can also be Perpetual Notion for he has a nose on where to tap the ball and steal it and more importantly convert it to two points. In this game he got 5 steals and help shut down Jonathan Jhanke. He is clearly Mr. Energy and Excitement rolled into one.

16 points, 10 rebounds, 4 assists, 4 block shots

He is the only Ateneo Blue Eagle who insists that Volleyball and Basketball are alike in so many ways. Imagine being a role player and scoring this much and more importantly leading your team to victory. He can shoot from 15 feet, post up and lay it in but more importantly battle for rebounds and tip the ball in with which he earned a living doing it. Was there anything else that he did not do in the game? This just shows that Nonoy is there on both ends of the floor which he has consistently shown in the past five games. He is the Team’s Most Important Player, Nonoy Block-Lao.

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