The Games that Play Us: It’s Ugly. We’ll Take It.

Greg Slaughter expectedly towered over the opposition.
(image by Alyson Yap/

AdMU Blue Eagles over AdU Soaring Falcons, 55-51

A win is a win after all.

It doesn’t have to be a blowout. It doesn’t have to have highlight reels left and right. It doesn’t even have to showcase our supposed depth at every position. In the end the stat that matters the most is whether we have more points than the other team or not.

Thank the heavens for that. Thank the heavens for an 11-0 game-ending run that saw our win-streak against the Soaring Falcons unsnapped.

In all honesty, it was a sloppy win. I’m sure nobody planned for that to happen, least of all coach Norman Black, but sometimes it just turns out that way (in basketball games, it seems, as it does in war).
Slaughter carried us through with 23pts, 7rebs, 2blks & 2assts
(image by Alyson Yap/
We did start strong, mounting a 16-5 lead as we rode high on the heroics of prized find Greg Slaughter and the rest of our starters. Along with Slaughter, Nico Salva, Kirk Long and Emman Monfort all scored in the 1st period, and as they did it seemed it would be a cruise-control type of affair against Adamson.

Far from it.
Alex Nuyles and the Soaring Falcons gave
the Eagles all they could handle.
(image by Alyson Yap/
The moment our second-stringers came in, the Falcons swooped down and slowly chipped away at the deficit. Eric Camson and Jerick Cañada shredded the Ateneo defense as Roider Cabrera and Janus Lozada hit a triple each to remind the Blue & White that these Falcons aren’t pushovers.

Slaughter came through again in the 2nd period, scoring 8 points to help Ateneo gain a semblance of order by lemontime, 33-27.

By then, however, it was clear that our team still had a lot of things to work on. The Ateneo bench accounted for just 7 of our 33 1st half points, and ended up with a grand total of 8 for the whole game. And this with scoring threats Justin Chua, Tonino Gonzaga, Juami Tiongson and rookie hotshot Kiefer Ravena coming off the pine. For our supposed depth, we seemed pretty shallow out there on Day One.

Oh but it is just Day One right? Chalk it up to opening day jitters and the like. Our Eagles, afterall, have a tendency to start the season on the slow side right?

Season 73 Opening Game: Lost to FEU, 69-72
Season 72 Opening Game: Beat FEU, 63-59
Season 71 Opening Game: Beat DLSU 79-73

We just don’t blow teams out of the water on opening day. And even with possibly the best 7-footer in the history of Philippine Basketball on our team alongside probably the best 17-year old in the country today, we shouldn’t feel too underwhelmed. A near-loss is still, after everything, a win.
Capt. Kirk and the Eagles escape opening
day with a valuable win.
(image by Alyson Yap/
But I doubt the other 6 teams we’ve yet to face will allow us to scrape by with that kind of performance again, especially the eager beaver ones we’re set to face next week (nothing would be sweeter for them than nailing their maiden win at our expense, especially after dropping their opening assignment to the Tamaraws).

The bench will be better – coach Black will make sure of that. We will be a lot less predictable on offense when the Big Guy is on the floor. We will run out on those spot-up shooters (I think we were burned at least 4 times today by open threes). And we will finish better (there were at least three sequences that I felt could be labeled: everything but the shot).

I doubt if we’ll ever play this sloppily ever again, but if there is one other thing this “ugly win” highlighted, it’s that we seem to have lacked the swagger we possessed in the past few seasons. Is it simply because Eric Salamat, Ryan Buenafe and Art dela Cruz are all absent this season and nobody on the roster has the same strut? Or, much worse, is it because we’ve read too many articles and listened to so many experts declare this OUR season that we’ve come to actually believe it?
Rookie hotshot Kiefer Ravena had some
problems guarding the likes of Jerick Cañada.
(image by Alyson Yap/
The answers will be revealed in time. For now, we start our historic 4-peat bid with a win, not the kind of win that inspires legend, but still the kind of win that will count where it matters most.

So here’s to ugly wins. They can be as hideous as 3-headed dogs with burnt fur, broken teeth and scar-ridden skin, but as long as they count on the win column, they’ll be just as good as the pretty ones.

One BIG Fight!

ADMU 55 - Slaughter 23, Long 10, Salva 8, Monfort 6, Erram 3, Gonzaga 3, Austria 2, Chua 0, Golla 0, Ravena 0, Sumalinog 0, Tiongson 0
ADU 51 - Nuyles 11, Alvarez 8, Cabrera 6, Cañada 6, Camson 6, Manyara 5, Lozada 3, Colina 2, Etrone 2,
QS: 16-12, 33-27, 43-44, 55-51

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3 Comment

adamson knew the weak link in our defense, the 3-pt area. when they shot well from 3pt distance they took the lead and the momentum. when they didnt shoot well from 3pt distance, they still shot from 3pt distance. ugly win, but still a W! galit na si kiefer, lagot next opponent natin. sino ulit sa saturday?


Yea a win is a win no matter how the game went down!! Saturday BLUE vs GREEN mate!


Drei: Haha hope Kiefer explodes on Saturday!

Dugong: One BIG Fight!