Kiefer sizing up the opponent
Coach Eric Altamirano of the National University Bulldogs and his coaching staff has coached Kiefer Ravena and Von Pessumal in countless National Youth Games in the past. The Awesome twosome eventually became the focal point of the Bulldog defense that saw them bleed of their points that did not help the cause of the Blue Eagles against the Bulldogs. This familiarity was what NU brought in the game as the Sampaloc based Bulldogs scored a hard earned 64 – 60 win against the previously unbeaten Ateneo Blue Eagles at the MOA Arena to tie the Blue Eagles with the same 3 wins and a one loss card.
Von drives and pops
The Bulldogs used their tight guarding defense as their calling card as they started the game with a straight man to man defense and dared Kiefer to drive and by the time he goes to the paint he is met by either 6’6 Henri Betayene or 6’7 Troy Rosario or another big man in 6’7 Alfred Aroga. Kiefer eventually missed all his seven field goals, got four points from the line but issued a nifty assist to Von Pessumal that resulted in a three pointer and an alley-hoop pass to Chris Newsome that resulted in a thunderous dunk by the awesome forward. The quarter ended with both teams tied.
Kris Porter started this game
In the second quarter Kiefer finally sank a field goal to lead the Blue Eagles offense. The Phenom went three for three from the field including a nice three point play. Helping him out in the scoring chores is rookie Arvin Tolentino who dropped 7 second quarter points. Unfortunately, the Bulldogs capitalized on Tolentino’s lack of defensive intensity as NU’s power forward Troy Rosario constantly attacked him and scored a ton of points to help the Bulldogs recover lost ground and lead at the end of the half 33- 31. It was the first time in four games that the Blue Eagles trailed at the half.
Coast to Coast lay up by Arvin T.
If the second quarter saw Kiefer never miss a field goal, the second half saw him never score on onel. The Bulldog defense continued to hound him on defense as guard Paolo Javelona shadowed him throughout the quarter that had him become a facilitator on offense instead of scoring. Arvin Tolentino and Fonso Gotladera, the San Beda Connection of the Blue Eagles, carried the fight in the third canto as the two would score eight and four points respectively as the Eagles still trailed after three 43 – 49.
The NU Defense on Kiefer
The Blue Eagles played catch up and with 1:32 left, and the Bulldogs proctecting a 57 – 56 lead, the game eventually became a free throw shooting contest. The Bulldogs put the game away by scoring on 7 of 15 free throws while the Eagles went 4 of 5 from the stripe and Kiefer missing a cruical free throw that summed up his shooting woes. Those seven free throws were enough to give the Bulldogs a four point spread at the time the Blue Eagles launched their last offensive.
Arvin sank three three pointers
Just like what basketball purists say there are times when you encounter a team that totally outhustles you, dictates the pace of the game and slows down your run and gun game. That was what the Bulldogs did. They played straight man to man so that our shooters will be covered most of the time. They fouled the Eagles on the break to prevent them to run, and most importantly clog the middle to intimidate the slashers. Kiefer did score 13 points but went 3 for 19. For the second straight game, Rookie Arvin Tolentino topscored with 17 points and 9 rebounds, 9 of those coming from beyond the arc, two from the free throw line and three lay ups including a spectacular coast to coast lay in to posterize Alfred Aroga. Tough luck for the Blue Eagles but this kind on the brighter side, this kind of game blew out the UST Tigers so the Blue Eagles are lucky to have stayed in the game considering that all things pointed against them. Next stop the FEU Tamaraws.
Nico putting the cuffs on Gelo A.
NATIONAL UNIVERSITY (64)
Rosario 16, Diputado 10, Aroga 9, Khobuntin 8, Alolino 6, Javelona 6, Betayene 4, Atangan 2, Celda 2, Alejandro 1, Neypes 0
Tolentino 17, Ravena 13, Gotladera 7, Pessumal 7, Elorde 6, Newsome 6, Porter 2, Lim 2, Babilonia 0, Capacio 0