Keys to Victory:
Greg Slaughter wakes from his slumber: Slaughter finally got out of his rut against UST this season, scoring 15 points and grabbing 11 rebounds. He had moments of difficulty containing Karim Abdul, especially when the latter used some quick crossovers on Ateneo's big man. But for the most part, Abdul was ineffective, barreling into traffic for offensive fouls or traveling calls. More importantly, Slaughter scored eight points in the fourth quarter as UST threatened to come back one last time. Slaughter lived up to his Mythical Five award even though he was not Ateneo's best player (that would be Kiefer Ravena, whose exclusion is a wake-up call to fix the way this award is given) for extended stretches this season.
Kiefer Ravena's hot start: Ravena scored nine points in the first quarter, six of them coming off three uncontested layups. The turning point of the game came with 8 minutes left in the fourth quarter, when Ravena scored on a three-point play and drew an unsportsmanlike foul from Melo Afuang. He made both free throws that gave Ateneo a 52-47 edge, a lead that they would preserve for the rest of the ball game.
Free throw defense: An oxymoron in itself, UST shot themselves out of this game with a 7/17 showing at the foul line. Nerves played a huge role in the collapse, perhaps none bigger than the two attempts Jeric Teng flubbed in the final minute of the game.
Ryan Buenafe's flu game: 0 points, 11 rebounds, 5 assists for the Finals MVP two seasons ago. Remarkable performance in spite of Buenafe's being held scoreless. Did anyone see his bullet pass to Finals MVP Nico Salva?
Kim Lo stunned the Blue Eagles in the first quarter with eight points on two triples and a scooping layup. He was held scoreless for the remainder of the game. He was Coach Pido Jarencio's best option to take the game-tying triple during the last few seconds of the game. Instead, Fortuna heaved a 27-footer that turned out to be UST's last gasp of the season.
Clark Bautista gave the Blue Eagles a scare in the third quarter when he sank two triples that gave the Growling Tigers a 38-32 lead. Like Lo, he would be rendered scoreless the rest of the game. UST also lacked the impact Aljon Mariano brings, as he was held to only four points and was out of sync the whole game.
Juami Tiongson sank the biggest basket of his UAAP career to give the Blue Eagles a 62-58 lead. Although he missed two free throws that would have secured the title, he redeemed himself with a steal in the final five seconds of the fourth quarter that prevented UST from taking another game-tying triple. With the departure of numerous players, his scoring prowess will be counted on even more next season. No pressure, Magic.
Salva, Justin Chua, and Tonino Gonzaga graduate with an unblemished track record of five championships.
The search begins for Ateneo's next head coach. Also, will Buenafe be back for his fifth and final year in Season 76? And who is Chris Newsome?
'Yung mananalo ba sa UAAP Men's Basketball ang magdedetermine ng future ngRH bill? GO ATENEO! :))
— Andreo Calonzo (@dreocalonzo) October 11, 2012
Looks like Kiefer is off to a great start!! #OBF #DriveforFive
— Janna E. (@jannabanana08) October 11, 2012
INTERLOPERS ONE BIG FIGHT
— Tata (@tatayap) October 11, 2012
For playing 0 minutes, Afuang sure is being mentioned a lot #UAAP
— Dino Alcoseba (@dalcoseba) October 11, 2012
I'd clear up your drainage system first before you talk about deja vu 2006. It's going to flood tears either way.
— Jandric Lim (@JLimberlake) October 11, 2012
Tiongson to the rescue! #OBF
— Renchie Veracruz (@renchieveracruz) October 11, 2012
Sana may lemonade sa bonfire.....
— Pamcy Fernandez (@ycmap) October 11, 2012
Dear UST, it was a good series. #respect
— Miguel Papa (@migpap) October 11, 2012
Thank you everyone for the support! #OBFive
— Greg Slaughter (@GWillSlaughter) October 11, 2012
Finals MVP Nico Salva: "I learned to give on and off the court. After 5 long years, I learned to pass the ball."
— Candice Montenegro (@candsmontenegro) October 11, 2012
slept at 4am and im up now. feeling so excited. it just hit me. it just sunk in. 5 uaap cships in a row. oh my god!
— nico salva (@nickobesalva) October 12, 2012
Quarter scoring: 13-14, 29-29, 47-46, 65-62