Sunday, August 24, 2014

Bulldogs bite Eagles anew

Kiefer was on mortal mode

Nobody said it was going to be easy. The road to the top is hard and a lot of people will be looking up to bring you down. That was what the Ateneo Blue Eagles got when the National University Bulldogs beat the Blue Eagles 76 – 66.  Five Bulldogs stamped their class on the Blue Eagles by scoring in double figures in what must the best game that the Bulldogs played offensively. Known as a defensive team the Bulldogs shoot 90 % in the first quarter and ended up scoring their most points of the season in this game. The Bulldogs opened up a 22 – 4 first quarter lead and never looked back to score the victory.

Chris Newsome jumper

African behemoth Alfred Aroga led the Bulldogs with 15 points and 11 rebounds. Not only did the Hulking Aroga made it hard for the Ateneo centers, his intimidating presence alone made it hard for the Men in Blue to penetrate the Bulldogs defense as he swatted away 8 shots, the most since Arwind Santos in 2005.  Troy Rosario scored 14 points, Glenn Khobuntin added 12 points and 5 rebounds, Nico Javelona sank two triples enroute to  12 points and 5 assists while lead point guard Gelo Alolino scattered  13 points, had 5 assists and 4 rebounds. Aroga went 7 of 10 (70%) from the field, Rosario was 6 of 8 (75%) while Javelona was 4 of 6 (67%) and Glenn Khobuntin 4 of 8 (50%). Only Alolino had a bad shooting day 6 of 16 (38%). The scoring itself was the story of the game.

The Fonz owned the fourth quarter

Kiefer Ravena had his usual numbers, 18 points, 7 assists, 3 rebounds, 2 steals and 4 turnovers in 33 minutes of action. Chris Newsome ably backed up Kiefer with 12 points and 7 rebounds with Ponso Gotladera showing up once again by scoring 11 points, 8 in the fourth quarter that saw the Blue Eagles bring down the lead to five points 55 – 60 with six minutes remaining in the ballgame. Unfortunately the Bulldogs responded with a paralyzing 12 – 2 run that more that shattered the hearts of the Blue Eagles.

Clint Doliguez's number was called and he
was ready to perform

The Eagles are now tied with NU for second place at 7 wins and three losses, behind them is defending champion DLSU and  FEU with similar 7 -2 slates, the two teams dispute the solo first lead on Wednesday. The Blue Eagles on the other hand will have UST, UP, Adamson and FEU remaining in their schedule. This is a good chance for the Eagles to hone their defense and sharpen their offense if they are to advance to the Final Four. Ten games among the top 6 teams will determine the final seedings of this year’s UAAP so stay tuned.

Nico Elorde on the drive

The scores:
National University (76)
Aroga 15, Rosario 14, Alolino 13, Javelona 12, Khobuntin  11, Diputado 6, Alejandro 3, Neypes 2, Betayene 0, Atangan 0,

Ateneo de Manila University (66)
K. Ravena 18, Newsome 12, Gotladera 11, Pessumal 8, Elorde 7, Capacio 4, Babilonia 4, Doliguez 2, A. Tolentino 0, V. Tolentino 0, Porter 0

24 – 14, 42 – 30, 60 – 47, 76 - 66   

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Blue Eagles bounce back, beat Tamaraws 81 - 78

Kiefer Ravena fakes of Roger Pogoy

The last time the Ateneo Blue Eagles had brothers donning the  Blue and White uniform was in the 1996 season when the Sison twins helped the Blue Eagles in the dark ages of Ateneo basketball. Last sunday, the Blue Brothers Kiefer and Thirdy Ravena combined for 27 points, 10 rebounds and 7 assists to  help the Ateneo Blue Eagles bounce back from a loss to the NU Bulldogs and beat a never say die FEU Tamaraws team 81 - 78.  The win put the Blue Eagles in solo second place with two more games remaining in the first round of season 77 of the UAAP.

The Ravena Brothers

Kiefer Ravena and Chris Newsome both bounced back from their subpar performance against the NU Bulldogs and led the Blue Eagle's balanced attack against an FEU team that never gave up until the last second of the ballgame. Ravena scored 23 points, 10 more than his previous outing, issued 7 assists and pulled down 5 rebounds for another all around game that saw him nail down the crucial basket during crunch time. In the final 3 minutes with the  Blue Eagles just on top by 2, 68 - 66, Ravena scored on a jumper, a three - pointer and two free throws to give the Eagles  a 75 - 66 lead with 1:12 to go in the game to give the team in Blue the needed separation before a searing rally by the tamaraws that eventually fell short.

Chris Newsome & Nico Elorde bounced back from subpar games

Chris Newsome started the offense for the Blue Eagles as he scored on jumpers to keep the Blue Eagles withing striking distance of the tams who went inside the paint courtesy of Anthony Hargrove.  Newsome scored 17 points on 7 of 9 shooting and also pulled down 7 rebounds. Point Guard Nico Elorde had 5 assists and finally got his offense going as he scored 12 points which came mostly on passes by Kiefer when he was double teamed. Von Pessumal on the other hand erupted in the second half as he scored 9 points in the third quarter after having a hard time heating up in the first half. The three definitely gave Kiefer the needed help in scoring.

Von Pessumal on the drive

Super rookie Arvin Tolentino's game unfortunately took a day off as he went 1 of 10 from the field as he scored on a three pointer and two free throws. However, the revelation of the day came from the former Juniors UAAP MVP Thjirdy Ravena who scored 4 memorable big points.  Given more time to play, Thirdy made the most out of his time as he stymied FEU's Mike Tolomia in the time that he was on the floor. His defense made it hard for Tolomia to score which the Blue Eagles used to their advantage that helped in giving enough separation for the Ateneo team. One rookie goes down, another one rises up to the occasion. Come the second round, his grit, defense and confidence will be needed for the Blue Eagles to go all the way. Special mention also goest o Gwyne Capacio who only played 8 minutes but scoed 5 important points, had 2 rebounds and a block shot. The Blue Eagles are definitely on the right track for a final four spot.

Kiefer on a fadeaway

Ateneo (81) 
K. Ravena 23, Newsome 17, Elorde12, Pessumal 12, A. Tolentino 5, Capacio 5, T. Ravena 4, Gotladera 2, V. Tolentino 1, Babilonia 0, Apacible 0

FEU (78)
Belo 22, Tolomia 15, Hargrove 13, Pogoy 8, Dennison 5, Cruz 4, Jose 4, Tamsi 4, IƱigo 3, Escoto Rus. 0, Escoto Ric. 0

Quarter scores:  14 - 16,  35 - all, 58 - 54, 81 - 78

Thanks to Arvin Lim and Raddy Mabasa for their great pictures of the Blue Eagles