Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Olympians lose game 1

Jeff Viernes vs. Storm Riva

The Makati Coliseum has never been friendly to the STI College Olympians. Prior to the final four game of this year’s NAASCU where they won against the Informatics Icons, the Olympians lost their title to the San Sebastian College Cavite Baycats in 2008 in the same venue where they missed 20 free throws. Today, 11 missed free throws spelled the difference as the five time NAASCU Champions University of Manila Hawks eked out a hard earned 78 -73 win over the 2007 champs, the STI College Olympians.



Cedrick Ablaza scores

The Hawks and the Olympians battled on equal footing in the first quarter with no team leading with more than four points. The Olympians went inside with Abby Chavez creating havoc through his drives to the hoop. When the Hawks were trying to pull away after leading 6-2, the Olympians would fight back to lead 9-6. Randelle Colina, the Hawk’s number one gunner came into the fray and immediately made his presence felt with a booming triple. Colina made the score 13-11 after going coast to coast on a drive with 3 seconds left. Unfortunately for them Olympian guard Hesed Gabo converted on a miracle half-court heave to put the Olympians ahead after a quarter 14 – 13.

A steal and a lay-up

The second quarter was pretty much the same, everytime the Olympians would try to pull-away, the Hawks would rifle out a three pointer and immediately get back in the game. Colina and Torres would always keep the Hawks at bay while rookies Jasper Melaño and Abby Chavez would pump up the Olympians offense. The half ended with the Olympians still on top by one 32 – 31. After the first half, the Hawks got a lucky break when the Olympians Cameroonian center Henri Atanga – Betayene was called for a technical foul after fouling UM’s Eugene Torres. The Hawks scored five points on that turn which they used to put a gap between them and the Olympians, the superb passing of the Hawks eventually got them easy shots and by the end of the third quarter the Hawks were already on top by 10, 60 – 50.


RK Morales topscored

In the fourth quarter, the Olympians would come back through the efforts of ace point guard RK Morales, forward Jasper Melano and Hesed Gabo. The three would erase a 67- 55 UM lead by limiting the Hawks scoreless for the last half of the quarter and threaten to within one point 74 – 73 with five seconds to go. The Olympians then fouled the Hawks and the five time champions converted five free throws to end the game.

Game two is on Friday October 1, 2010 at the Makati Coliseum.

UNIVERSITY OF MANILA (78)

Colina 29, Torres 18, Manuel 12, Tamayo 6, Ibay 6, Viernes 6, Pateno 1, Rabalo 0, Tan 0.


STI (73)

Morales 15, Gabo 10, Melano 10, Chavez 8, Bautista 8, Beteyene 7, Ihalas 5, Alcantara 4, Sabelina 3, Ablaza 2, Riva 1, Daguplo 0.


Quarter Scores: 13-14, 31-32, 60-50, 78-73.


Jasper Melaño scores

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Blue Eagles near three-peat

The Blue Eagles ready for the bonfire

Championship experience is something that is earned and used at the right time and executed to your advantage. Throw away all those two losses in the first and second round, what matters is how you will play in the finals. This was what Coach Norman Black did as his championship experience gave him and his team the proper motivation to come out pumped up and ready to put the clamps on the opposing team. As a result the Ateneo Blue Eagles came out huffing and puffing as the two-time defending champions dumped the top seeded Far Eastern University Tamaraws 72 – 49 in Game 1 of the UAAP Finals.


Kirk Long outran everyone

Kirk Long came out with a superb performance on both ends of the court again as he typified the Blue Eagle’s strength by scoring on fastbreaks and on jumpers, he scored 14 points had 5 rebounds and 2 steals. Long jumpstarted the Eagles offense and helped shutdown virtual MVP RR Garcia and rookie sensation Terrence Romeo. The big revelation however was rookie center JP Erram who was called in for duty today because of the suspension of Jumbo Escueta on his second unsportsmanlike foul. Erram swatted away four Tamaraw shots that eventually made the FEU big men think twice whenever they went in the paint.


Justin Chua outclassed his two rivals

Third year center Justin Chua and Nico Salva manned the paint well as both big men scored 13 and 10 points respectively. Emman Monfort came up with a superb defensive job in matching up with RR Garcia as his speed made it difficult for Garcia to run rings around everyone. Monfort also came up with 9 points and 7 rebounds as his spunk and determination was shown when he hit Carl Cruz of FEU after he was plastered in the previous play. When Erram established himself on defense in the first quarter, the Tamaraws were never the same as the Blue Eagles put their fastbreaking game on overdrive to race to a 26 – 8 first quarter lead. All the Eagles did in the next three quarters was fend off all rallies made by the Tamaraws.


Eric Salamat was his usual self

A lot of people were saying that the problem with the Eagles is that unlike last year they knew that Rabah Al-Husaini and Jai Reyes were the “go –to guys” and this year this isn’t really anyone who has ably filled in that slot. Unfortunately for their critics when everyone is clicking for the Blue Eagles it is impossible to stop them. Veteran Erik Salamat for instance played for only 15 minutes, scored 8 points but also rifled off six assists and had two steals. Erram would end up with 4 points, three rebounds and five blocks in 13 minutes of action – not bad for someone who replaced a center averaging the same points.


Nico Salva for two

In contrast, the best offensive team in the league never knew how this time around is was harder to score. RR Garcia had zero first quarter points and ended up with 11 while Terrence Romeo had 10 points with five coming in the fourth quarter when the game was already beyond recall. FEU big men Reil Cervantes and Aldrech Ramos was nowhere to be found as the two had 7 and 6 points respectively. Their wingmen JR Cawaling and Paul Sanga combined for three points as both shot miserably from the field. The Blue Eagles on the other hand had the advantage in almost all statistical category. The Eagles had more rebounds (46 – 40) assists (18 – 9) Steals (5-3) Blocks (6 – 3) and Fastbreak points (15 - 0). The only category that the Tamaraws had more was in turnovers 14 – 13.

Bacon Austria came off the bench
to score 8 points

The Blue Eagles will definitely go out to win their sixth UAAP Title as they add another milestone to their storied basketball program. Game time is 4:00 pm on Thursday September 30 as the Eagle vie to become the first school to win three double championships. GO Ateneo, its smells like another bonfire!

The scores:

ATENEO (72)

Long 14, Chua 13, Salva 10, Monfort 9, Austria 8, Salamat 8, Erram 4, Gonzaga 2, Golla 2, Buenafe 2, Tiongson 0, dela Cruz 0.

FEU (49)

Garcia 11, Romeo 10, Cervantes 7, Noundou 6, Ramos 6, Cawaling 3, Exciminiano 2, Cruz 2, Bringas 2, Guerrero 0, Mendoza 0, Knuttel 0, Sanga 0.


Quarter scores: 26-8, 42-21, 60-38, 72-49.


Tabs Tabora, Dato Arroyo, Momoy Lopez &
Andy Maquiling enjoy the game

Blue Eagles near three-peat

The Blue Eagles ready for the bonfire

Championship experience is something that is earned and used at the right time and executed to your advantage. Throw away all those two losses in the first and second round, what matters is how you will play in the finals. This was what Coach Norman Black did as his championship experience gave him and his team the proper motivation to come out pumped up and ready to put the clamps on the opposing team. As a result the Ateneo Blue Eagles came out huffing and puffing as the two-time defending champions dumped the top seeded Far Eastern University Tamaraws 72 – 49 in Game 1 of the UAAP Finals.


Kirk Long outran everyone

Kirk Long came out with a superb performance on both ends of the court again as he typified the Blue Eagle’s strength by scoring on fastbreaks and on jumpers, he scored 14 points had 5 rebounds and 2 steals. Long jumpstarted the Eagles offense and helped shutdown virtual MVP RR Garcia and rookie sensation Terrence Romeo. The big revelation however was rookie center JP Erram who was called in for duty today because of the suspension of Jumbo Escueta on his second unsportsmanlike foul. Erram swatted away four Tamaraw shots that eventually made the FEU big men think twice whenever they went in the paint.


Justin Chua outclassed his two rivals

Third year center Justin Chua and Nico Salva manned the paint well as both big men scored 13 and 10 points respectively. Emman Monfort came up with a superb defensive job in matching up with RR Garcia as his speed made it difficult for Garcia to run rings around everyone. Monfort also came up with 9 points and 7 rebounds as his spunk and determination was shown when he hit Carl Cruz of FEU after he was plastered in the previous play. When Erram established himself on defense in the first quarter, the Tamaraws were never the same as the Blue Eagles put their fastbreaking game on overdrive to race to a 26 – 8 first quarter lead. All the Eagles did in the next three quarters was fend off all rallies made by the Tamaraws.


Eric Salamat was his usual self

A lot of people were saying that the problem with the Eagles is that unlike last year they knew that Rabah Al-Husaini and Jai Reyes were the “go –to guys” and this year this isn’t really anyone who has ably filled in that slot. Unfortunately for their critics when everyone is clicking for the Blue Eagles it is impossible to stop them. Veteran Erik Salamat for instance played for only 15 minutes, scored 8 points but also rifled off six assists and had two steals. Erram would end up with 4 points, three rebounds and five blocks in 13 minutes of action – not bad for someone who replaced a center averaging the same points.


Nico Salva for two

In contrast, the best offensive team in the league never knew how this time around is was harder to score. RR Garcia had zero first quarter points and ended up with 11 while Terrence Romeo had 10 points with five coming in the fourth quarter when the game was already beyond recall. FEU big men Reil Cervantes and Aldrech Ramos was nowhere to be found as the two had 7 and 6 points respectively. Their wingmen JR Cawaling and Paul Sanga combined for three points as both shot miserably from the field. The Blue Eagles on the other hand had the advantage in almost all statistical category. The Eagles had more rebounds (46 – 40) assists (18 – 9) Steals (5-3) Blocks (6 – 3) and Fastbreak points (15 - 0). The only category that the Tamaraws had more was in turnovers 14 – 13.

Bacon Austria came off the bench
to score 8 points

The Blue Eagles will definitely go out to win their sixth UAAP Title as they add another milestone to their storied basketball program. Game time is 4:00 pm on Thursday September 30 as the Eagle vie to become the first school to win three double championships. GO Ateneo, its smells like another bonfire!

The scores:

ATENEO (72)

Long 14, Chua 13, Salva 10, Monfort 9, Austria 8, Salamat 8, Erram 4, Gonzaga 2, Golla 2, Buenafe 2, Tiongson 0, dela Cruz 0.

FEU (49)

Garcia 11, Romeo 10, Cervantes 7, Noundou 6, Ramos 6, Cawaling 3, Exciminiano 2, Cruz 2, Bringas 2, Guerrero 0, Mendoza 0, Knuttel 0, Sanga 0.


Quarter scores: 26-8, 42-21, 60-38, 72-49.


Tabs Tabora, Dato Arroyo, Momoy Lopez &
Andy Maquiling enjoy the game

Olympians back in the NAASCU Finals

The Olympians take the court

Who are the cagers behind the success of the Olympians this season. Jerald Bautista was a mythical 5 selectee last year while Maclean Sabellina is the one manning the middle in this year’s STI College Olympians team. Add to that the playmaking brilliance of 18 year-old rookie point guard Hessed Gabo whose skills is way beyond his age and Power forward Ivan Moreno who likes to get those offensive rebounds, score on put backs and defend well.

Jasper on the drive

Imagine having these four players on your team, that would be instant offense and good defense on your part. Now imagine them not playing on your team in one of the crucial stages of the tournament – the final four. Gabo was whistled for two unsportsmanlike fouls in the game against Fatima while Sabellina was thrown out for fighting. Moreno and Bautista left the bench in the heat of the action to help out Sabellina but were also thrown out – all merited a one game suspension.


Abby Chavez played big

But then again, it’s just another challenge for the Olympians who had to face the hottest team in the league, the Informatics Icons who beat the Olympians and league leading UM Hawks in succeeding days. The Olympians on the other hand didn’t mind having the four sit the game out as it went to veterans Norman Ihalas and Cedric Ablaza while rookies Abby Chavez and Jasper Melano came out with their A games while the rest of the Olympians ably supported the band of Zeus in the game that eliminated the Informatics Icons via a surprising 82 – 48 win. The Olympians wanted to make a statement and they really did in this game which a lot of NAASCU fans thought was going down the wire.

Cedric Ablaza floats for two points

The Olympians started the game like a house on fire as they rattled off 10 straight points with veteran Norman Ihalas scoring points off the fast break and Cedric Ablaza scoring inside the paint. The Icons then sued for time, scored a field goal but was never into the game. Rookie Abby Chavez continued what Ihalas started as he buried a three pointer to make the score 13 – 2. The Icons behind main man Mark Montuaño would come back with a 9 – 6 run to narrow the gap at the end of the first quarter as the Olympians went up 19 - 11. The start of the second quarter saw the Icons inch closer as rookie Jan Baltazar started to penetrate the stingy Olympians defense to inch closer against their rivals 16 – 23 with four (4) minutes and forty seven (47) seconds to go in the quarter. That was the cue that forward Abby Chavez needed as he sank a three pointer and a jumper to spearhead an 11- 0 STI run to close the half 34 – 16.

Norman Ihalas on the drive

The start of the third quarter was a signal that the Olympians would not be denied as Norman Ihalas opened the third quarter with a three point shot and that was it. The Icons never knew what hit them as the STI team took away their “mojos’ in this game as they would succumb to the pressure of the final four – their first one. The Icons would miss badly from the free throw line and from the field and their offense was in disarray. The Olympians on the other hand played excellent defense which enabled them to coast along the fourth quarter.


Storm Riva's pesky defense annoyed the Icon guards

Veteran guard Norman Ihalas came up with his best performance so far in the season as he scored 21 points to lead the team while Abby Chavez is steadily becoming another go to guy by the Olympians added 15 points on 3 of 3 shooting from beyond the arc. Cedric Ablaza on the other hand was the steady force inside the paint as he added 13 points while Jasper Melano also came up with superb driving plays to add another 11 points. The four alone accounted for 60 points, more than what the entire Informatics team scored. This is the fifth game that Coach Vic Ycasiano has not coached since he is with the RP 18 and under youth team in Yemen, Coach Hubert delos Santos together with the other coaches, Raymond Tiongco, Pau Ycasiano and Ralph Dizon made superb adjustments to which the Olympians responded.


RK Morales goes to the hoop

Focus now shifts on the Finals where the Olympians will meet five time champion and top seed University of Manila who themselves scored an impressive 89 – 61 win over the Centro Escolar Scorpions. Game one of the finals will on Wednesday September 29, 2010. The last time the Olympians were in the finals, they missed 20 free throw shots to lose game 3 against the San Sebastian College Baycats in 2008. This time, with the four suspended players back, look for the Olympians to avenge their two losses to the Hawks. Go STI!

STI COLLEGE (82)

Ihalas 21, Chavez 15, Ablaza13, Melano 11, Morales 5, VIlladoz 4, Bocablo 4, Betayene 4, Daguplo 3, Po 2, Riva 0, Alcantara 0

INFORMATICS ( 48)

Montuano 13, Baltazar 9, Leonida 5, Teodoro 5, Santos, JP 4, Corpuz 3, Limpat 2, Carlos 2, Ungco 2, Acuña 0, Limin 0, Santos K. 0, ,Ubalde 0

Quarterscores: 19 – 11, 34 – 16, 55 – 28, 82 - 48


Lester Bocablo scores

Monday, September 20, 2010

Blue Eagles back in the finals


The Adamson Falcons point guards are one of the best in the UAAP as the sharp shooting Lester Alvarez leads the pack and Jerrick Cañada follows his lead in making sure that the Falcons are flying the skies with the greatest of ease. Unfortunately for the duo, two falcons could not match up with the smallest eagle from the Ateneo- Emman Monfort. The combined efforts of Alvarez and Cañada is 13 pts, 4 rebounds, 4 assists, 0 steals, while Monfort scored 22 pts on 3 added 7 rebounds, three assists and three steals. The former Ateneo de Iloilo star went three for three from beyond the arc, four of six from two point distance and five of six from the free throw line to lead the Ateneo Blue Eagles back to the finals with a masterful 68 – 55 win against the Adamson Falcons.


Eman is the man

Both teams were gearing up for another tight game and both teams were pumped up to at the start of the game with the Falcons getting a 5 -2 lead after Lester Alvarez canned a three pointer. After that the Blue Eagles went to work and Monfort ignited a 14 – 0 blast to tie the count and then eventually give the Blue Eagles 11 more unanswered points to give them a 16 – 5 lead until Austin Manyara scored on a jumper with 2 minutes left in the quarter. The Falcons would come back by scoring seven straight points as Roider Cabrera scored on a drive and a three pointer for the Falcons to come closer 12 -16. The Blue Eagles courtesy of Eric Salamat and NIco Salva closed out the quarter to give the Blue Eagles a 22 – 12 lead and control of the game.


Beam me up Scottie

In the second quarter the Falcons came back to life and cut down the Ateneo lead to four after Eric Camson scored on a put back which cut down the Ateneo lead to just four 20 – 24. In the next play Coach Leo Austria’s son Bacon Austria drove through the middle of the court to score on a jack knife bank shot that gave the Eagles a six point lead, that was enough cushion for the Blue Eagles who suddenly exploded on offense. With 4:49 left in the second quarter the Falcons didn’t know what hit them as Eman Monfort converted on a three-pointer from the a pass by Kirk Long. The Blue Eagles then forced a 24 second violation and then Monfort hit another jumper off a Justin Chua screen. Adamson scored on another play and afterwards Monfort converted another three pointer and in the return play it was Eric Salamat who scored his only three pointer to give the Blue Eagles a commanding 37-25 lead.


Frank scores

In the third quarter, Monfort continued his hot shooting as he scored on another three pointer and in another play a tear drop to give the Blue Eagles a commanding 47 – 30 lead. After that shooting assault by Monfort, the Eagles would hold on until the fourth quarter as they limited the Falcons to another 13 point fourth quarter which was just enough for them to squeeze out the win. Lester Alvarez eventually went 2 for 10 from the field and his shooting woes affected the team and the chances of the Falcons to extend the final four series. The Blue Eagles advances to the finals of season 73 and a chance to defend their title. With this convincing win, the Blue Eagles have shown that they can come back big time and more importantly show what their defense can do. Good luck to the Blue Eagles, the Grade school team has won its fourth consecutive SBP Title, the High School team has brought home its third conscutive HS title and now the Seniors are two wins shy of making history. Bring it on.

ATENEO (68)

Monfort 22, Long 13, Salva 11, Escueta 7, Salamat 7, Golla 2, Chua2 Buenafe 2, Austria 2. Dela Cruz 0

ADAMSON

Alvarez 11, Stinett 7, Camson 7, Cabrera 7, Manyara 6, COlina 6, Nuyles 4, Lozada 4, Cañada, Galinato 1, Etrone 0

Quarterscores: 22 – 12, 39 – 29, 60 – 42, 68 - 55

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Blue Eaglets get Three-peat

The Ateneo Blue Eaglets
Three Straight UAAP Juniors Titles


Ateneo High School spitfire Kiefer Ravena got the best defenders on him so he faked one defender to the left, went right and when a third defender was about to meet him on the drive Keifer issued a bullet pass to freshman center Jay Javelosa who went strong to the basket and got a foul from UST Tiger Cub center Kevin Ferrer, foul and counted. This signaled the passing of the torch from one veteran phenom to another as Senior guard Keifer Ravena led the Ateneo Blue Eaglets to a masterful 76 – 59 conquest over the University of Santo Tomas Tiger Cubs. It was third straight UAAP Juniors title for the Katipunan based high school squad and they have finals MVP Kiefer Ravena to thank.

Finals MVP Kiefer Ravena scores

In a duel of two MVPs, Kiefer Ravena more than showed who the real MVP is as he went toe to toe with co-Mythical 5 member, under 18 youth team teammate and season 73 UAAP Juniors MVP Kevin Ferrer of the University of Santo Tomas. Ravena scored 24 points, 5 rebounds, 3 assists, 3 steals and no fouls after playing for all but five minutes of the game. In striking contrast, Ferrer was limited to 13 points but had 10 rebounds and 1 assist and 1 steal, a far cry from his 35 point outburst in their first game last week. Both players will join the RP 18 and under national team in the FIBA 18 and under basketball tournament in Yemen.


The Battle of Kiefer Ravena and Kevin Ferrer

The Blue Eaglets started the same way they started in game 1 as they took an early lead as the four graduating seniors who were holdovers of last year’s team went berserk and established an early lead. Kiefer Ravena scored 8 first quarter point while fellow seniors Von Pessumal added 6 points, Center Paolo Romero canned four points and former Grade school main man Chuck Dumrique scored 5 points. Dumrique gave the Blue Eaglets a 23 – 14 lead after he nailed a three pointer at the buzzer. UST Tiger cubs wingman and three point specialist Jaypee Sarcia who did not play in game 2 because of the penalty given him because of his punching foul, scattered 5 points together with Ismael Corre, Ferrer only had 4 points as the three accounted for the 14 points of the UST team.



Chuck Dumrique scores on a reverse lay up

In the second quarter, defense was the key for both teams as the Tiger Cubs would double team Kiefer Ravena and the phenom would respond by letting his other team mates to score as five Blue Eaglets scored in the 2nd quarter with while the troika of Ferrer, Corre and Sarcia continued their way for the Tiger Cubs, the Eaglets outscored the Cubs in the second canto 12 – 11 to lead the first half by ten, 35 - 25. In the third quarter the Blue Eaglets threatened to blow the game out as Ravena and Pessumal combined to put the give the Blue Eaglets their biggest lead 50 – 35 with 5 minutes to go. Ravena was simply unstoppable while Pessumal hit his jumpers as the Tiger Cubs sued for time to recover. The Tiger Cubs eventually came back as Jaypee Sarcia, Ronino Mison and five other tiger cubs as they threatened the Blue eaglets as they cut the 15 point lead to three 50-47. The quarter would end with two more Ateneo baskets to give the Blue Eaglets more breathing room 54-47.


Von Pessumal on a jumper

Come the fourth quarter, it was just a matter of formality as the Blue Eaglets shut down Ismael Corre, forced Jaypee Sarcia to missed three pointers and limited Kevin Ferrer to just one three point field goal as the Blue Eaglets defense went to work again. Chuck Dumrique scored 7 fourth quarter points as the four seniors holdovers held their own against the Tiger Cubs to become the second Ateneo Juniors team to win to win three titles in a row, the last one was in 1985, that team eventually won a fourth one in 1986. Just when you think that UAAP Season 73 Finals MVP Kiefer Ravena’s graduation would be a big loss to the Ateneo campaign next year , well think again since the Ateneo pipeline is so loaded and there are so many players coming in next year to signal another era for Ateneo High School basketball. Just as the torch was passed to Kiefer by the senior players when he was a freshman, Kiefer has just passed the torch to Javelosa and the rest of the Blue Eaglets as he, Pessumal, Romero and Chuckie Dumrique join 1985 Blue Eaglets Randy Sevilla as the only Blue Eaglets to be a part of a three-peat. Congrats to the Blue Eaglets including the coaching staff led by Coach Jamike Jarin. See you again next year.


Paolo Romero was 7 of 9

from the field for 14 points

ATENEO (76)

Ravena 24, Pessumal 15, Dumrique 14, Romero 14, Tenorio 5, Javelosa 3, Sacluti 1, Vitangcol 0, Suarez 0, Puno 0, Mercado 0, Lim 0, Gamboa 0, Gadia 0, Austria 0,

UST (59)

Sarcia 17, Ferrer 13, Corre 9, Mison 7, Lazaro 6, Cabauatan 5, Gooh 2, salas 0, Ilarde 0, Florentin 0

Quarter scores:

23 – 14, 35 – 25, 54 – 47, 76 - 59


ATENEO UAAP JUNIORS CHAMPIONSHIPS

1978, 1979, 1983, 1984, 1985, 1986, 1995, 1997, 1999, 2000, 2003, 2004, 2006, 2008, 2009,

and 2010



Chuck Dumrique off Kevin Ferrer