Friday, September 30, 2011
Thursday, September 29, 2011
Sunday, September 25, 2011
In 2009 FEU Center Aldrech Ramos put up numbers that almost gave him the UAAP MVP of that Season, his exemplary season earned him a spot for the SMART Gilas team. The following year it was his team mate RR Garcia who pocketed the MVP as he led the Tams to the finals. Both players led the Tamaraws to the much needed wins to get another finals berth and were tasked to put up good numbers for the Tamaraws to overcome the three time defending champion Ateneo Blue Eagles.
The Blue Eagles had no stars who could match up to their numbers but only had one thing going for them which is no secret to the whole league – their team defense. The Blue Eagles limited the high scoring pair as Ramos scored 9 points and pulled down only three rebounds while Garcia missed all seven of his three point attempts to settle for six points. This is the signature defensive game that the Blue Eagles have employed in all its finals games since 2008 as the Blue Eagles swoop down on the hapless FEU Tamaraws enroute to a convincing 82 – 64 win in Game 1 of the Best of three series for the 74th UAAP Basketball Tournament.
The Blue Eagles started hot by scoring six straight points in the opening two minutes as Greg Slaughter scored on an inside feed, Nico Salva on a runner and Kiefer Ravena on a baseline jumper to give the Blue Eagles an early 6 – 0 lead that led to the first ceasefire called by the Tamaraws. The Tams regrouped and countered with their own 6 – 0 run with RR Garcia scoring off a jumper and Sophomore Guard Terrence Romeo canning two jumpers that tied the count at 6 – 6 with six minutes left.
The reason the Tams sued time as early as the first two minutes is to make sure that the first quarter meltdown of the Tams last year won’t happen again and that is is hard to play catch up with the Blue Eagles. The Tams pounced on the Blue Eagles once more to end the quarter on top 19 -14. Terrence Romeo scored 10 first quarter points to pace the Morayta based Tamaraws that weathered the early Ateneo avalanche on points.
The second quarter controlled the game early as the tandem of Chris Tolomia and Rusell Escoto provided additional scoring to the Tamaraws as Ramos, Garcia and Exciminiano combined to give the Tams their biggest lead 28 – 18 with four minutes left in the half. In came the game changer – Mr. Jepoy Erram. Erram’s intimidating presence was felt after he blocked the shot of Tolomia that sent a message to the Tamaraws. The Blue Eagles finally got their game going as as their defense forced the Tamaraws to turnovers which Nico Salva and Kiefer Ravena took advantage by scoring on avalanche of points to preside over a crippling 12 – 0 run to give the Blue Eagles the upperhand 30 – 28. Chris Tolomia scored on a three pointer to give back the lead to the Tams and the half ended with both teams tied 33 – all.
The third quarter started with Captain Kirk Long coming alive by finally showing the chink in Terrence Romeo’s defense. Kirk exploited that match up that made the Tams adjust right away. Long scored 6 points to counter the hot shooting Romeo as both teams fought nail to nail until the final stand still at 45 – all. Just when the Tams thought they had the Blue Eagles covered the three time champions made a decisive run in the last five minutes and the proud fighting Tamaraws never knew what hit them. Nico Salva sank four free throws, scored on a runner and capped it out with a dunk shot to preside over a remarkable 20 – 4 run that the Blue Eagles used to end the third quarter on top 60 – 49 and in more importantly was in full control of the game.
There was no more looking back for the Eagles in the fourth quarter as the Salva put the icing on the cake by scoring six points, Monfort finally hitting a three pointer and Greg Slaughter dunking the ball twice on two great feeds from Ravena and an alley-oop from Long. The biggest lead of the game was established at the 1:43 mark with the Blue Eagles opening a 78 – 58 lead. Dejavu. The Blue Eagles blew out the Tamaraws just like in 2010 with good defense and great teamwork.
The gorgeous 80’s beauty Bo Derek once came out with the number 10 as the perfect number. But today, the perfect game was dished out by the Blue Eagles’ number eight as he went eight for eight for both on field goals and on free throws which is the first perfect game in a championship by an Atenean as the fourth year forward never missed a shot which is just shows that he has taken the lead role for the Blue Eagles in the finals.
Game two is on Tuesday, the only time that the finals will be held on a Tuesday. This a chance for the Blue Eagles to avenge the losses of the Blue Eaglets that lost out in the final 4 to the Baby Tamaraws and to the Grade School SBP team which lost out to Lourdes in the SBP semifinals. The past three years, all three teams won in their respective divisions, now it will only be the Blue Eagles who is on the brink of setting a school record. Go Ateneo One Big Fight!
Justin Chua for two
Ateneo de Manila (82)
Salva 24, Ravena 17, Slaughter 12, Monfort 11, Long 8, Erram 4, Tiongson 4, Chua 2, Gonzaga 0, Golla 0, Austria 0
Far Eastern University (64)
Romeo 23, Escoto 12, Ramos 9, Garcia 6, Exciminiano 6, Tolomia 5, Pogoy 2, Cruz 1, Sentcheu 0, Bringas 0
Quarter scoring: 14-19, 33-33, 60-49, 82-64
Tuesday, September 13, 2011
National University Coach and former National Youth Coach Eric Altamirano is blessed with good deputies during his time with the National Team and now with the Bulldogs in the UAAP. Two of his assistants are now strutting their wares in the National Athletic Association of Schools Colleges and Universities as Vic Ycasiano has been handling the STI College Olympians since 2004 while Mon Jose is on his third year for the Centro Escolar University Scorpions. Both coaches see to it that the RP Team is smoking when it comes to defense. That is why when both the Olympians and the Scorpions collided for the solo second spot, both teams employed similar defenses as if one team mirrored the other. In the end it was a game of wills as the STI College Olympians veterans came through to carve out a hard earned 67-63 win to gain solo second spot in the ongoing 11th NAASCU.
2009 Mythical 5 selectee Jerald Bautista and 2010 Mythical 5 selectee Rama Krisna (RK) Morales combined their forces in the third quarter as the Olympians finally caught up on the hard fighting Scorpions and more importantly gain the much needed momentum going into the pay-off period. The Scorpions started the game with more intensity as they forced the Olympians to turnovers and bad shots. The Mendiola based Scorpions racked up six straight points in the first three minutes as the Olympians could not buy a basket. The Scorpions were still leading 12 -5 with 4:36 left when the Olympians finally awoke from their slumber to put up a 7 – 2 run to end the first quarter just behind by a basket 12 – 14.
At the start of the 2nd quarter, The Olympians inched closer to the Scorpions as their fastbreaking game got going and gave them a 17 -16 lead with just 49 seconds gone in the 2nd canto. Unfortunately for the Olympians, the Scorpions stepped on the gas pedal as Leymund Babad and John Orbeta combined to give the Scorpions a paralyzing 12 - 3 run. The Olympians never knew what hit them as the Scorpions were threatening to blow the game wide open with a 28 -20 lead. The Olympians then closed the gap to a more manageable six point deficit at the half 30 - 24.
At the start of the second half, the Scorpions unleashed their shooters as they took a 36-25 lead with seven minutes and thirty seconds left. Orbeta, Babad and Gabe Rublico found a crease in the Olympians defense to give them their biggest lead in the ball game. Just as the Scorpions were about to blow the Olympians out, the Taguig based band of Zeus immediately woke up from their nightmarish start to counter with a crippling 11 - 0 run in the next two minutes. RK Morales led the onslaught with his hustle defense as he stole the ball, scored and gave out assists to give the Olympians more breathing room as the 2007 champions tied the score 36 – all on an emphatic fastbreak dunk by Maclean Sabellina. From there on it was a see saw battle until the Olympians seized the momentum once again after Noel Ohandja put them back on the driver’s seat once more 48 - 47 on a buzzer beating put back.
At the start of the fourth quarter Jerald Bautista went to work as he scored six unanswered points. Bautista scored on a drive, on a jumper and on two free throws to hike the STI lead to seven 54 – 47 with 8 minutes left in the game. The Scorpions would cut the lead to four 53 – 57 with four minutes left but the Scorpions suddenly lost their sting as the Olympians once again went on an 8 – 0 blast to practically put the game beyond recall as they led 65 -54 with a minute and 21 seconds left in the game. The Scorpions still managed to put up a gallant stand but their game ending 9 -2 run was not enough to salvage the win. In the end, it was Coach Vic Ycasiano’s charges that won over Coach Mon Jose’s team as both coaches shook hands, the veteran smarts of the STI head coach finally breathed a sigh of relief for the hardest battle to win is when both of you come from similar backgrounds. The Olympians are now in solo second with a 9 -2 slate just a game behind the University of Manila who is at 10-1 and a full game ahead of CEU at 8 – 3. Informatics is at 7 -4 while Our Lady of Fatima is at 6 – 5 and the sixth placed team AMACU is 5 – 6.
STI COLLEGE (67)
Bautista 15, Morales 15, Melano 10, Ohandja 8, Ablaza 7, Sabellina 7, Moreno 3, Chavez 2, Riva 0, Gabo 0, Bocablo 0,
CENTRO ESCOLAR UNIVERSITY (63)
Orbeta 17, Babad 17, Rublico 7, Dumapig 5, Lobaton 5, Garcia 3, Guillen 3, Garcia 3, Mejos 3, Magbitang 0, Gallardo 0, Parale 0, Jsamin 0, Chua 0, Lamosa 0,
Quarterscores 12-14, 24-30, 48-47, 67-63.
Sunday, September 11, 2011
There has been a lot that has happened in the past fourteen years in the UAAP. Ateneo has won 4 championships in that span while UST has gone from a final four team to a not so good team and then a champion team. UE has gone up and down a lot of times while DLSU got their share of the player scandals and you can also say the same with FEU, NU has risen from the bottom to become a darkhorse team while UP has gotten two 0 -14 seasons. For the Adamson Falcons, they had their own share of ups and downs and one of their priorities is to end a streak that has been hounding them the past 14 years, their 14 game losing streak agains the Ateneo Blue Eagles. Today, Coach Leo Austria finally found the right formula to will his team to a convincing 62 – 46 win against the sweep seeking Blue Eagles.
“I noticed that during the round robin that the Blue Eagles were quite tight, different and there was no fire in their eyes!” That was a good observation of the Falcons mentor as the all-business Falcons pounded on the Blue Eagles from the opening minute until the final horn as they led from start to finish to carve out their historic win. Lester Alvarez paced the Falcons in the opening quarter as he was virtually unstoppable as every defense the Blue Eagles threw on him did not work as Alvarez burned the Eagles for 10 first quarter point, as a matter of fact he had more points than the Ateneo team as the Falcons seized control of the first quarter by getting a 14 - 8 lead.
Right when the Blue Eagles were about to take the lead after Bacon Austria was awarded two free throws on a foul with the Falcons on top 16 – 15, the Eagles were denied once again as Austria missed his two free throws and the Falcons starring Alex Nuyles surged ahead once again to take a precarious 27 – 24 lead at the half. At the start of the third quarter, the Blue Eagles hopefuls were waiting for a run that would give the Ateneo team control of the game. Unfortunately for them it was the Falcons that came out more determined and relentless on their defense in the third quarter. The Falcons limited the Eagles to 7 third quarter points while soaring to 23 themselves. Their defense and the offensive onslaught led by Alex Nuyles catapulted the Falcons to an insurmountable 50 – 31 lead.
In the fourth quarter, the Eagles were still waiting for the Falcons fourth quarter meltdown but unfortunately for them that never came. Lester Alvarez was cramped out in the fourth quarter but the rest of the Falcons stayed focus as the Blue Eagles were shooting blanks and in the end the Falcons just clearly outhustled the Blue Eagles. Today, the Falcon soared higher than the Eagle. With this win, the final four will be set with the Eagles still at #1, the Falcons solidified their claim at # 2 while FEU and UST will fight it out for # 3 and 4.
Nuyles 21, Alvarez 14, Camson 6, Manyara 4, Brondial 4, Lozada 4, Colina 4, Etrone 3, Cañada 2, Cabrera 0
Slaughter 10, Ravena 9, Long 9, Gonzaga 7, Salva 5, Monfort 4, Chua 2, Tiongson 0, Golla 0, Austria 0,
14 – 8, 27 – 24, 50 – 31, 62 - 46