Thursday, August 13, 2009

UAAP Season 72 Game 8: Ateneo 80-75 UE

Keys to victory:
Triple Threat: Ateneo had three main options in the game: Al-Hussaini, Salva, and Reyes. Al-Hussaini, who is currently eighth in the MVP race this season, shrugged off an ankle injury and went on to score 30 points. Salva was a man possessed as Ateneo tore away in the second quarter and Reyes spread out his jumpers throughout the game that kept Ateneo in control of the lead. Throw in a fourth option in Eric Salamat, whose breakaway steals ignited the Blue Eagles’ offense.

UE implosion: A barrage of expletives by Lawrence Chongson. Elmer Espiritu missed a wide-open layup. Val Acuna missed another wide-open layup. Ateneo did not have to do much in this; the Red Warriors dug themselves into a big hole and choked early on. I mean, this is only the elimination round and they are already blowing it big time. Life…

Chalk talk:
Nonoy Baclao came into the ball game sporting a heavily bandaged left hand. Al-Hussaini’s status was questionable despite showing up in his white jersey. No worries. Both came to play and gave 150% for this one.

Kirk Long just made the second best shot of his career (we all know what his best one so far is) with that torrid layup that brought the house down. Too bad he blew three of four free throws at the end game since this was by far the game where he showed the most effort this season.

Edwin Duran’s unsportsmanlike foul on Al-Hussaini is not the first and definitely not the last that will be called. It’s a sad fact that other teams are resorting to hacking our center by whatever means possible. Honest defense please.

Coach Norman Black made errant substitution patterns towards the endgame, and it almost cost them the ballgame, or at the very least sent it into overtime. His lack of vigilance made Salva and Salamat foul out in the last minute of the fourth quarter, which would have spelled their doom if this went into the extra five-minute session.

With the win and at 7-1, Ateneo now closes in on a twice-to-beat position in the Final Four, the magic number in this point will have to be four more wins, but look for them to try and go 6-0 in the remainder of the second round.

Game 9: vs DLSU
This might be the last time these two teams will see each other this season. Might.          

Statistics taken from

No comments: