Monday, September 29, 2008

Blue Eaglets regain juniors title

We are the ChampionshipS!!!

Coming into the championship of the 70th season of the Juniors division of the UAAP, the Ateneo Blue Eaglets were favored to win the title. Unfortunately, they fell into the trap of engaging the DLS-Z Junior Archers to a war of words on who is better instead of the war on the court. As a result, the Junior Archers upset the Blue Eaglets in game 1 and wrapped up the series in Game 2. This year, the same scenario was in place as the Blue Eaglets once again found their way on top of the elimination round and then beat the Adamson Baby Falcons to barge into the finals. The lessons of the past are still in the minds of the Blue Eaglets, JV Dumrique is still feeling the pressure of his finals meltdown last year together with Juami Tiongson who was at the forefront of last year’s campaign. This year is different, focus was the key to the team as they used their experience to ram the FEU – FERN Baby Tamaraws 71-60 to win the 14th UAAP Juniors title for the Ateneo High School.

Chucky Dumrique's speed will be what AHS studes will await next year

As expected, the game was only close during the first few minutes of the first quarter. Although the Baby Tams opened the scoring in the fisrt quarter, JV Dumrique immediately waxed hot as he scored 11 of the first 15 points of the Blue Eaglets. JV drove to the hoop without any hesitation, scored on a jumper, a three pointer and on two free throws in a display of firepower reminiscent of his SBP days. Game 1's MVP Ivan Enriquez added four points in this quarter as he established his presence in the paint once again.  At the end of the first quarter, the Blue Eaglets have made their run and is poised to win the title again as they led the Baby Tamaraws 22-16 after 10 minutes of play.

Kiefer Ravena has two more years with the Blue Eaglets

The Baby Tamaraws on the other hand used the second quarter to come back to the game. Lou Bautista started the scoring parade with a three pointer followed by Five straight points by Chris Tolomia and a free throw by Chino Almario. In a wink of an eye the FEU Baby Tamaraws were already ahead 25-24 thanks to the offensive burst by Chris Tolomia. The Blue Eaglets battle back as sophomore sensation Kiefer Ravena scored on the drive and off a steal with a foul to boot. This was followed by baskets by the two Paolo's, Romero and Pe which gave the Blue Eaglets some breathing room to lead 33-25 with two minutes and fifty seconds to go. JV Dumrique closed the half with two free throws as the Eaglets went to the dug out with a 39-30 lead.  

Ivan the Terrible shows them how to howl

Getting the positive energy of their "Kuyas" who came to watch them, the fired up Blue Eaglets now started their onslaught as they opened the first five minutes of the quarter with an 11-5 run to give the Blue Eaglets a commanding 50-35 lead with 5:50 to play in the quarter. This time it was Juami Tiongson's time to wax hot as he scattered 10 points in this quarter after he sank two three pointers plus two more field goals to lead the Blue Eaglets to their biggest lead of the game at 60-39. From then on it was an uphill climb for the Baby Tamaraws since they had a hard time sustaining their second quarter salvo. The quarter ended with the Blue Eaglets comfortably ahead 60-44.

Two Titles in three years for these Seniors

Team Captain JV Dumrique and Kiefer Ravena teamed up to give the Blue Eaglets the needed scoring sock as they combined for 9 of the Blue Eaglets 11 4th quarter points to enable the team to just coast by after the BabyTamaraws tried for one final heave to turn the rout into a game. Chris Tolomia scored 10 points in this quarter but it was not enough as the help he needed from his team mates never came and all they can do was put the lead down to a respectable level. In the end the Blue Eaglets prevailed by 11 points and the first double championship in 32 years is now a reality.

A fitting finale for the season, Finals MVP JV Dumrique

JV Dumrique was adjudged as the finals MVP as his steadiness in the clutch helped the Blue Eaglets in making sure that this one will not slip away.  The Blue Eaglets learned a lot from their loss to the Junior Archers, at the same time they also learned a great big deal in their first round loss to the same team, the first time DLS-Z has won three straight against the boys in Blue.  Come the 2nd round the Blue Eaglets were all business as they secured the top spot enroute to the finals.  The four seniors would have made it a grand slam but unfortunately it wasn't meant to be. 

The last time an Ateneo team won the Juniors and Seniors in the same year was in 1976 when the Blue Eagles were still in the NCAA. Congratulations to the Blue Eaglets and to Coach Jamike Jarin.  Kudos too to the graduating seniors JV Dumrique, Ivan Enriquez, Kevnin Gamboa and Juami Tiongson. On to the next level.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

congrats to the eaglets! but tolomia is super amazing huh? galing! hindi lang niya ma-match ang firepower ng eaglets