Sunday, October 14, 2012

2012 BonFIve Highlights

Me and my co - Emcees
Jai , Gretchen & Gabe 

My Batchmates Tent



Dave, Face, Dato & Momoy
enjoying the drinks

Moi with Ur & Rhea Rodrigo

With 4E Classmate 
John Tanjangco


4 AM & still
partying the 5th











Friday, October 12, 2012

Ateneo - GLORI - 5!

5-Peat Complete

When the 75th season of the UAAP was on the homestretch, a lot of Ateneans were praying that either FEU or NU would make it to the finals since we have beaten them convincingly the past three years. But as fate had it, in the last season of Coach Norman Black he was given the chance to redeem himself and avenge his only finals loss to a team that is by nature all heart and almost similar to the team his 2006 Blue Eagles lost to – the UST Growling Tigers.  Early in the season assistant coach Gene Afable told me that this team is the hardest to motivate and rightfully so the loss to UST in the first round was a good motivation  for team because finally the team has found a worthy adversary in the UAAP finals. In the last four finals that the Blue Eagles played, the average winning margin against DLSU in 2008 was 9.5, UE in 2009 was 10, FEU in 2010 was 13 and FEU in 2011 15. Their 5 point win in game 1 was their lowest lead in a championship opener in the last 5 years.

The Avenger - Coach Norman

Vengeance was the plot that a lot of scribes were writing about as they said Coach Norman‘s team was out to avenge their 2006 loss to the Growling Tigers. But Coach Norman was quick to answer “ none of my players were on that team!” But looking at some subplots, some of the players had payback on their mind on some of the Growling Tigers for one.  Kiefer Ravena, Juami Tiongson and Frank Golla were part of the 2007 team that lost to the DLSZ Junior Archers that was bannered by UST’s ace point guard. On the other side of the fence, Justin Chua’s senior year in the Tong Lian tournament was foiled by a then junior scorer from Xavier who is now  the King Tiger. As they say, getting back at your tormentor is one of the most gratifying emotions one could ever feel.

Nico Salva, Finals MVP

The Ateneo Blue Eagles rewrote history by capturing its fifth straight UAAP Seniors basketball title by defeating the UST Growling Tigers 65 – 62 in game 2 of the UAAP Finals at the SMART Araneta Coliseum.    The win was a fitting send-off to the five players who have used up their eligibility with Salva, Chua and Gonzaga being there in all five teams and to their Coach Norman Black who will go back to the PBA to coach the Talk and Text team.  With the win, Coach Norman has slewed the ghost of 2006, the only Ateneo title run that has haunted him and for some it was 2006 all over again the way the Tigers came back in the game but Coach Norman is wiser this time and happier as he leaves a legacy that all Ateneans are praying would happen again in the future.
Kiefer Ravena flies high

The other subplot in the Ateneo – UST tussle made Kiefer Ravena, Frank Golla and Juami Tiongson pumped up to get back at the remaining main man of that 2007 DLSZ team that beat them– Jeric Fortuna. On the other hand Justin Chua’s grand exit in High School was foiled by the other Jeric – Jeric Teng. As fate would have it, Juami, Kiefer and Jeric would provide endgame heroics to their respective teams with neither one buckling and no one giving up.  Juami Tiongson was the budding star of the 2007 Blue Eaglets then but back then he seemed to be always out of control, this time around he paced his game well and more importantly made shots that mattered the most like his back to back baskets in Game 1, fortunately all of Juami's heroics came during crunch time. 

Juami shows the Magic of Tiongson

After his Game 1 heroics once again Juami showed what stuff he is now made off when crunch time came. In the fourth quarter with less than 90 seconds to play the ball rotated to Juami who was at the three point area. With the time winding down the last four seconds, Juami faked off Kevin Ferrer and with time winding down  to 2 seconds the man they call Magic Tiongson scored off a running shot to push the Men in Blue ahead 62 -58.  After free throw exchanges, it was Kieferime this time as Kiefer who was being guarded by Clark Bautista made a crossover move to give hime some driving space as he surged ahead, stepped back and elevated to score to make the count 65 -59 with 50 seconds left. Not to be out done, Jeric Fortuna who was sizzling all night long let go a three pointer that hit the back board and went in and just like that the Tigers were back in the ball game 62 – 65.  In the ensuing play, Juami Tiongson was about to ice the game with two free throws but uncharacteristically missed both to give the Tigers another chance to tie the game.  In 2007 the Junior Archers forced overtime after a  buzzer beating three pointer, they eventually won that game. With that in mind, Tiongson made up for his flubbed freebies by covering Fortuna well and stealing the pass by Clark Bautista to send the Ateneo crowd into howls of victory as the Blue and white has come alive as the drive for five is now reality.

Kiefer dagger

The drive for five would have not been realized if not for the efforts of the 34 players who have don the Blue and White the past five years with Nico Salva, Justin Chua and Zags Gonzaga playing in all those five teams.  Ryan Buenafe, Juami Tiongson and Frank Golla can follow it up next year. But for now, Nico Salva is on top of the UAAP as he has been voted as the first back to back Finals MVP since the inception of the award in 2001.  Nico scored 30 points in game one and 8 points in game two and the missing piece in Game 1, Greg Slaughter rebounded from a subpar game to score 15 points and hauled down 11 rebounds. 
Ryan posts up

Ryan Buenafe on the other hand had to battle tonsilitis and his body was not 100% come game time. But just like any seasoned veteran, he played like he was about to score so that he can attract a double team or other defenders for him to give a good pass to an open team mate. The Buenafe pass of the day was when he took a shot and when it hit the front rim and was about to go out of bounds, Ryan chased the ball and with him almost going down he was able to see a cutting Greg Slaughter who got the pass and was able to finish the play.  These intangibles are what makes the Ateneo Blue Eagles the best the past five years and as an era ends, another window opens for the Blue and White. Next year they will not be favored which will work to their favor but before we go into that, lets congratulate the five peat champions once again, Ladies and Gentlemen,the 2012 UAAP Seniors Basketball Champions  - the Ateneo Blue Eagles.  As i have said all season long, Ateneo, Come Alive, Feel the vibe, Glori-5!!!
The scores

Ravena 22, Slaughter 15, Tiongson 10, Salva 8, Chua 6, Gonzaga 3, Sumalinog 1, Buenafe 0, Elorde 0, Golla 0,

UST (62)
Fortuna 20, Teng 9, Lo 8, Abdul 8, Ferrer 7, Bautista 6, Mariano 4, Vigil 0, Pe 0, Afuang 0

Quarterscores: 13 – 14,  29 – 29, 47 – 46,  65 - 62
 Ateneo: Come Alive, Feel the Vibe

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Blue Eagles win Game 1

Two of Nico Salva's 30 pts.

"Everything negative - pressure, challenges - is all an opportunity for me to rise." Maybe that was what Kobe Bryant said to Nico Salva for the latter to earn the nickname NIKOBE! Salva, rose to the occasion as he rebounded from his subpar 2nd round encounter against the Growling Tigers to score 30 points to lead the five-peat seeking Ateneo de Manila Blue Eagles to a masterful 83 -78 win against the upset conscious University of Santo Tomas Growling Tigers in Game 1 of the Season 75 Seniors Basketball finals. 

Ryan scores off Jeric Teng

Salva has helped the Blue Eagles keep pace with the Growling Tigers in the first half as he scored 15 of the 31 points of the Katipunan based Blue Eagles.  The Tigers waxed hot in the first half as Aljon Mariano and Jeric Teng both brought their “A” games to the finals.  The Blue Eagles could not match the energy that the Tigers exuded and like a well oiled machine the Tigers ran the floor smoothly and shot the ball well. In contrast, the Blue Eagles had 10 turnovers in the first half with most of them unforced.  Former Juniors MVP Kevin Ferrer was doing a good job denying Kiefer Ravena the ball and the result was a two point first half for the former rookie of the year. Greg Slaughter on the other hand and Karim Abdul were both non factors in the game as they were constantly double teamed and the ball hardly got to them as Slaughter and Abdul had 5 and 7 attempts in the game respectively. UST led by as much as 11 points in the first half 36-25, as Mariano and Teng repeatedly torched the hoops for a 38 -31 first half lead by the EspaƱa based Tigers.

Justin scores off Karim 

The difference between the first half and the second half for the Blue Eagles were like night and day. Finally the Blue Eagles came out with more spunk, more swagger and more energy as compared to their relaxed and tentative start.  In a wink of an eye, the Blue Eagles erased the UST lead and created their own 11 point lead.  Nico Salva started the scoring for the Blue Eagles, then Juami Tiongson sank a three pointer, Nico converted another jumper then Kiefer Ravena sank a three pointer. Salva and Ravena scored on two more field goals while Slaughter split his charities to give the Blue Eagles a 48 - 38 lead.  Kevin Ferrer would break the Tigers silence at the 3:37 mark with a drive down the heart of the Ateneo defense which was answered by a thre pointer by Nico Salva that gave the Blue Eagles their biggest lead 51 – 40 with  3:13 left in the third quarter. The quarter would end with the Blue Eagles erecting a ten point lead 61 – 51 – a thirty point third quarter.

Juami scored when needed

Just like what everybody predicted, the finals is like a pendulum with each team just looking for the right momentum to swing it to their side. At the start of the fourth quarter, Aljon Mariano took matters into his own hands as he orchestrated another fourth quarter comeback for the Thomasians by scoring nine points in a 13 - 2 run that was punctuated by a fastbreak dunk by Karim Abdul   to give back the upperhand to the Tigers 64 – 63 with 6:57 left in the game.  The UST crowd suddenly came alive and the championship lived up to its billing with both teams trading punches.  The turning point came with 3:04 left and the Blue Eagles protecting a three point lead 73 – 70, Ryan Buenafe once again hit the big shot as he nailed a three pointer and got fouled by Teng. After finishing the four point play, the Blue Eagles were in line for another Game 1 win as Juami Tiongson scored on back to back drives and Kiefer Ravena put the nail in the coffin with a jumper with 8 seconds to go.  Mariano and Teng scored 8 points in that span for the final score 83 – 78 with the Blue Eagles drawing first blood. 

Keifer scores 
with 8 seconds left

Game 1 of the finals is probably one of the best in recent years as the Tigers shot a whopping 52.3% from the field with Mariano shooting 9 for 15 (60%) and Teng 10 for 17 (59%) while Salva making 14 of 23 shots (61%) and Juami Tiongson 5 of 9  (56%).  The Tigers were awarded more free throws but unfortunately the 9 missed free throws, 4 in the fourth quarter, hit the Tigers hard.

Ryan scoring the tying basket

A commotion happened after the game when Coach Pido Jarencio lambasted the referees and had a litany of things to say about the officiating during the press conference after the game.  Jarencio blew his top on the foul called on Karim Abdul, the UST center’s 5th foul and the free throws that were not awarded on the alleged foul on Jeric Teng who took a three point shot as time expired. Unfortunately his appeal fell into deaf ears. The Blue Eagles can wrap up their 8th UAAP title on Thursday and the 22nd over-all Collegiate title of the Blue Eagles (NCAA and UAAP combined) - the most in country.  One Big fight for the Blue and White.

Greg slaughtered

Individual Scores:

Ateneo (83 )
Salva 30, Ravena 13, Tiongson 12, Buenafe 10, Chua 9, Slaughter 5, Elorde 2, Gonzaga 2, Golla 0, Sumalinog 0.

UST (78)
Teng 25, Mariano 22, Ferrer 13, Abdul 9, Fortuna 4, Lo 3, Pe 2, Bautista 0.

Quarter Scores: 18-24; 31-38; 61-51; 83-78