Olsen Racela - low post defender
Greg Slaughter is the most fearsome center in the collegiate rank today. Unfortunately, the former UAAP kings who once wore the Blue and White took turns in teaching him a thing or two when it comes to scoring and defense. Imagine 2002 UAAP MVP Enrico Villanueva and 2008 UAAP MVP Rabah Al-Husaini playing together! The end result is a masterful 68 -63 by the Ateneo Alumni Blue Eagles as the former kings once again took centerstage in an event hosted by our batch, the Ateneo High School 1987 – this year’s Silver Jubilarians.
Greg slams one in
Leading the Alumni Blue Eagles is playing coach Olsen Racela who was part of the1987 and 1988 UAAP champion teams. Olsen started the game together with former three point king Rainier Sison who together with Gec Chia complemented the inside games of Rabah and Doug Kramer. At the turn of the quarter came more problems for the Blue Eagles as Magnum Membrere, Bacon Austria, Macky Escalona, Jason Escueta and Nonoy Baclao showed their wares and the result was a 18 -11 quarter for the Alumni Eagles as the young Eagles searched for answers that did not come.
Enrico Villanueva monster slam
The second quarter saw a more spirited Blue Eagle team as the comebacking Ryan Buenafe sparked a comeback that made the Blue Eagles equalize at 20 – all with five minutes left in the half. Then Al-Husaini went to work once again and together with Doug, Gec, Magnum and Macky the Alumni Eagles would close the quarter with the lead 31 – 27. During the quarter, Enrico Villanueva was warming up since he just arrived from his practice with Ginebra at the end of the first quarter which means more trouble for the Blue Eagles.
The Blue Eagles once again groped for form at the start of the third and who would have thought that Enrico Villanueva and Rabah Al-Husaini, two UAAP MVPs of different eras would be able to play together as one. Remember, Rabah is the brother of Carlo Sharma who was Enrico’s nemesis in the 2002 UAAP Finals. Both made matters hard for Greg Slaughter as Enrico would bump him and thump him whenever Greg was on the low post. It’s just like one tough guy toughening up another. Rabah would find the hoops again with his high looper finding the hoop which gave the Alumni Eagles their biggest lead 43 – 33 with 5:49 left in the third period. The Blue Eagles once again came alive and after trailing 40 – 48 with 1:54 left in the quarter, the Blue Eagles with Frank Golla, Ryan Buenafe and Tonino Gonzaga closing the quarter with a 7 – 0 run to put the Blue Eagles within striking distance 47 – 48.
Rabah challenges Greg
The two teams eventually battled toe to toe in the opening minutes of the fourth quarter with neither team giving an inch or two. Then the Alumni Eagles waxed hot as they opened up a five point lead on a run presided by Eric Salamat as the Alumni led 60 -55. Salamat showed why he was once known in Katipunan as the man of steal as he stole the ball from Tonino Gonzaga, raced the length of the court against rookie Nico Elorde and gave a great pass to the trailing Enrico Villanueva who scored on a monster slam that brought the house down as the Alumni Eagles led 66 - 58. On the other side of the court Salamat’s former Juniors team mate Ryan Buenafe scored on a three point shot to cut the lead down to three points.That was the last stand by the Blue Eagles as Salamat closed the game with a dagger jumper off a pick set by Nonoy Baclao and the Alumni Eagles went on to win the game.
Mr. Comeback Ryan B.
There were 24 Alumni Eagles invited to the event but unfortunately the other eleven were not able to make it. Larry Fonacier, Japeth Aguilar and Rich Alvarez had a game against JC Intal’s B-Meg team. LA Tenorio (who by the way was the first to confirm), Eman Monfort and Chris Tiu were all carrying the nation’s colors in competing in the SEABA meet abroad. Jai Reyes is out of country playing in Bangkok, Ford Arao is injured and Wesley Gonzalez had to fly to the US on a family emergency. Paolo Bugia although injured was also there to cheer on and watch the Alumni get the win.
Nico eludes defenders
The Ateneo High School batch 1987 mounted the event as a fund raiser for the Ateneo Homecoming on December 8, 2012. Part of the proceeds will also go to our beneficiaries namely the Tulong Dunong foundation and the Jesuit Infirmary. A million thanks to those who witnessed this once in a lifetime experience now were off to support our beloved Blue Eagles to the forthcoming UAAP. Ateneo - Come Alive, Feel the Vibe, Glori-5.
The Blue and White Eagles