Thursday, August 14, 2008

Olympians lose two in a row

Robbie Zablan once again buried the Olympians singlehandedly

The DLSU Green Archers and San Beda College Red Lions are having difficulties defending their UAAP and NCAA crowns respectively. As cliche as it may be but defending the crown as they say is easier said than done since all schools are forced to play their "A-Game" when they face the defending champs. Both these schools have already two defeats with the Red Lions adding another loss from the board room. Add to this list the defending champs of the NAASCU, the STI College Olympians who made an impressive opening day debut by thrashing 5 time league champs University of Manila Hawks but got a monumental upset from their 2006 tormentors - the AMACU Titans, and followed it up by a loss from last year's third placers - the San Sebastian Cavite Baycats.

Ace Gonzalez of AMACU and Ramon Mabayo of STI College

It was the perfect time for an upset, the Olympians were coming from a rousing win and ace scorer Mike Cabangon is serving a one game suspension from a closed fist foul in that opening tiff. STI main man Ramon Mabayo was nowhere to be found on opening tip as the Titans jumped the gun on the Olympians rightaway by burying two three pointers and a basket to start 8-0. The Titans relentless shooting and unselfish play gave them an early 19-7 lead which they never relinquished. Back in the starring role for the Titans is their speedy point guard Robbie Zablan who toyed with every Olympian guard tasked to guard him. Mabayo arrived late and was fielded in the second quarter, unfortunately it was not enough to stem the tide for the Olympians as Zablan quelled all rally attempts of the Olympians as he sank two crucial three pointers in the pay off quarter that doused cold water on the Olympian's rally.

Rebound battle

The result was a 74-63 win which the Titans rightly deserved. The Olympians on the other hand lost steam, were slow to react and were never the same team that won over the Hawks. Defense and hustle were the key in that win since the Titans lost 2006 MVP and Coach Boni Garcia from their team. The Titans have redeemed themselves from the opening day disgrace as they lost by default after the team brought the wrong set of uniforms. This time around they brought the right one, had the right attitude and eventually the right result in their game against their archrivals.

Ramon scores on a drive


If you were to write a movie script about this game the title of the movie would be CLASH OF THE TITANS! In the game there were bodies sprawling, high flying acts, countless banging of bodies and endless shouting of instructions as both teams would not let up nor blink for the action might just pass by them. The last time these two teams met, the Baycats got a royal beating via a 30 game rout and most of their players got hit here and there by physical game the Olympians employed. This time around, with fire in their eyes, the Baycats had fangs and sharpened paws as Kristopher Lucernas scored the insurance basket off the last foul of STI slotman Darryl Mendoza to give the Baycats an 84-78 win over the defending champions.

William eludes his defender

The game was close all throughout with neither team leading by more than 6 points. Oliver Villareal, Ricardo Gracilla and John Pantonia led the Baycats assault as Villareal sank countless three pointers and were all active on the defensive end that caught the flatfooted Olympians. The first quarter ended with the Baycats ahead 17-16. In the second quarter it was the turn of the Olympians to run and gun as they also played good defense, attacked the San Sebastian press and ended the second quarter with a 43 - 40 lead.

Macky on a jack knife drive

The second half was more of a catch me if you can event as STI would lead by 5 points and San Sebastian would catch up when the Olympians sleep on defense and the Baycats would score a three pointer. The crucial part of the game came when the Olympians were leading by four 74-70 with two minutes left and were forced to three consecutive turnovers which the Baycats capitalized on to level the score at 74-all. Then after STI failed to convert, the Baycats sank a cold blooded three pointer to give them enough distance to seal get their third straight win.

The Baycats, who we can also call "Ninjas" stormed to their third straight win while the STI College Olympians are now 1 - 2. Next stop for the Olympians are two perennial cellar dwellers, the University of Makati Hardy Herons and Holy Angels University. THe road back to respectability seems like a long one and hopefully the Olympians can get back rightaway.

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