The New MOA Arena
The Ateneo Blue Eagles avenged their only defeat last year with a masterful 73 - 57 win against the Adamson Soaring Falcons. The Blue Eagles started the game like a house on fire as Kiefer Ravena, Greg Slaughter and Nico Salva opened the game with a 10 – 2 run. The Falcons then called a timeout to stem the tide and re group as the Eagles were threatening to blow them out in the opening minutes of the game. The result was quite rewarding for the Falcons as they employed a half-court double team on the Eagles which found it hard to rotate the ball which resulted in botched plays and missed field goals. At the same time, the Falcon’s Rodney Brondial torched the net by becoming the recepient of drop passes by Alex Nuyles. Nuyles would penetrate, attract the defense of Greg Slaughter and then drop it off to Brondial. This paid dividends for the Falcons as they countered with a paralyzing 14 -5 run to end the quarter on top 16 – 15.
Nico Squeezes in
The second quarter saw the Falcons race to a 20 – 17 lead as the Eagles faltered anew. After regrouping, the Blue Eagles through Nico Salva would match the Falcon’s out put and eventually get the upperhand after two quarters of action 32 – 28. The Eagles poor shooting was very evident while their defense was tentative. Brondial erupted for 13 points which was mainly on drop passes and follow ups which the Eagles failed to neutralize. At the same time Nuyles who was the star in the Falcons win against the Eagles last year was playing decoy which was very effective for the Marcelino based team.
Introducing The comeback kid Ryan Buenafe
After the half, the Katipunan based team in Blue adjusted its defense which eventually led to a better free flowing game by the Blue Eagles. In this quarter Alex Nuyles was now playing lead and was not satisfied to pass anymore. His jumper with 8 minutes left gave the Falcons a 35 – 34 lead. The Eagles countered and Nuyles once again refused to let the Falcons fall behind as he scored on a nifty drive off Kiefer Ravena to make the score 39 – 42. It was at his point that the Blue Eagles shifted to overdrive as two key assists by Ravena shifted the game’s momentum. Ravena drove to the basket then found Oping Sumalinog who sank a three pointer, after an Adamson miss, Ravena once again passed the ball to a streaking Greg Slaughter who scored on a left handed lay up to give the Blue Eagles a commanding 49 – 39 lead.
Nico Elorde drew the hardest defensive match-up
but still shut down Alex Nuyles
The Falcons never recovered from that run, played catch up but never got things going. One adjustment that the Falcons failed to capitalize was when Coach Norman Black put Nico Elorde on Alex Nuyles. The Falcons never did fed the ball to Nuyles when he was posting and it was hard for the Adamson guard to score from thereon. At the same time the Blue Eagles put the cuffs on Brondial who never scored in the second half. In the end, it was the defense of the Blue Eagles that triggered their offense which enabled them to coast for their first win in the 75th UAAP season.
The Amazing Jumbotron - HD Indeed
Ateneo 73 – Slaughter 17, Salva 14, Ravena 9, Sumalinog 6, Buenafe 6, TIongson 5, Erram 5, Chua 4, Gonzaga 3, Golla 2, Elorde 2, Porter 0, Pessumal 0, Lim 0, Capacio 0.
Adamson 57 – Brondial 13, Nuyles 12, Camson 10, Cabrera 10, Cruz 4, Monteclaro 3, Trollano 2, Etrone 2, Cabigas 1, Julkipli 0, Agustin 0, Abrigo 0.
Quarter scores: 15-16, 32-28, 55-45, 73-57