Sunday, July 20, 2008

Ateneo wins easily over UP

Coach Norman Black called a time out and Ateneo team captain Chris Tiu went to work. First he drives to the hoop, gets a foul and cans two free throws, in the next play he hesitates a drive and then continues it when he sees a clear lane the result was another 2 pts, then on the fastbreak Chris is confronted by 2 defenders, he then stops, puts the ball between his legs and drives strong to the hoop and bang another two points, then finally he fights through another screen and sinks two more his signature jumper from the free throw area and in a wink of an eye the Ateneo Blue Eagles are up by ten 21-11. Then the game was over as the Eagles went on cruise control in the next three minutes and three quarters to secure their fourth consecutive win with a 83-66 rout over the 71st UAAP Hosts.

With this Photo by Nonoy Yuseco
We can rename the Battle of Katipunan to
"Broke-bakan sa Katipunan"

When the second quarter came to play, the question was who will play good, who will heat up and what plays will be the topic over bottles of beer in the evening. Luckily the Blue Eagles did not disappoint as Ryan Buenafe started with a three pointer and attacked the basket relentlessly to topscore for the Blue Eagles with 17 points, 2 rebounds and 2 assists. His output tied the highest points scored by a rookie in the last 6 years, a record he shares with co-SSC Alum Eric Salamat who also scored the same number against also the UP Fighting Maroons two years ago. I have to verify but I think he is the first rookie to lead the team in scoring in a game.

The game was quite predictable when the Eagles opened up a ten point lead with a high of twenty points and all the Maroons could do was bring it down to nine at 51-42 on Arvin Braganza’s three pointer. From thereon it was a game of spurts as the Eagles would rack up consecutive points and the Maroons will rally and bring down the lead to just ten points until the game ended with the Eagles on top. Helping out Ryan on the offensive end was the big guy Rabah Al-Husaini who scored 13 points, Eric Salamat who added 12 and team Captain Chris Tiu with 11 points. The other team captain Yuri Escueta sat out the game after recovering from a fever. Fifteen Blue Eagles played including rookie Tonino Gonzaga who was inserted in the last 2 minutes of the game.

Eric Salamat scored 17 pts
against UP as a rookie in 2006

Now its Ryan Buenafe's turn

Ateneo finished with a nice 27-of-55 shooting clip (49.1%), as against UP’s 23-of-64 (35.9%) mark. The Blue Eagles also proved that they can run effectively, scoring 22 fastbreak points and 17 off of their opponent’s 21 errors. In contrast, the Fighting Maroons managed to score only two fastbreak points. Martin Reyes and Arvin Braganza topscored for UP with 12 markers apiece.

The Battle of Katipunan has been owned by the Boys in Blue this millennium and will probably be padding their 36-25 head to head battle against the Fighting Maroons in the next few years.

Individual Scores:

Ateneo 83 – Buenafe 17, Al-Hussaini 13, Salamat 12, Tiu 11, Salva 6, Baclao 6, Austria 4, Long 4, Nkemakolam 4, Reyes 4, Baldos 2, Gonzaga 0, Chua 0, Burke 0, Sumalinog 0.

UP 66 – Reyes 12, Braganza 12, Co 8, Lopez 8, Agbayani 7, Sison 7, Sorongon 6, Astorga 4, Marfori 2, Fortu 0, Gamboa 0, Hipolito 0.

Quarter Scores: 25-15; 43-33; 70-52; 83-66

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