The Games that Play Us: New Dogs, Old Tricks

Ray Parks and the Bulldogs were shutdown by
Greg Slaughter and the Eagles.
(image by Ralph Samson/
AdMU Blue Eagles over the NU Bulldogs, 86-62

When the NU Bulldogs acquired the services of Bobby Ray Parks, they viewed him as the big difference that would bridge the gap between being an also-ran and a title contender. Before Thursday's anticipated tussle, the Parks-era Bulldogs had beaten the Ateneo Blue Eagles twice in three meetings. By all intents and purposes, this game had the makings of a would-be classic.

Instead, it turned out to be a classic blowout.

Nico Salva got the ball rolling in the 1st quarter
for the Blue Eagles.
(image by Alyson Yap/
The Bulldogs paraded new faces to contend with Ateneo's marvelous array of talent. Foremost of course was Parks, but other names have also been floated as potential stars like former Tiger Cubs Cedrick Labing-isa and Kyle Neypes, slotman John Eman, NCAA juniors hotshot Jelo Alolino and Rizal Tech transferees Robbie Celiz and Denice Lee Villamor, who has been hot of late. None of those players-not-named-Bobby-Ray, however, really made a dent. Labing-isa and Celiz combined for just 3 points, Eman and Villamor both laid big fat eggs, and Neypes didn't even play. Alolino was the lone impressive one of the bunch, along with the relatively unknown Reden Celda.

New hire coach Eric Altamirano also fell way short of solving the Ateneo riddle.

It was the Bulldogs who were riddled with problems all throughout the game.

NU was outhustled, outshot, and just thoroughly outplayed.

Kirk Long and the rest of Ateneo simply
outplayed the Bulldogs from end to end.
(image by Alyson Yap/
There was a hero in each quarter for Ateneo, with Nico Salva netting 6 in the 1st period, Oping Sumalinog scoring all 7 of his points in the 2nd canto, Kirk Long and Juami Tiongson rifling 4 treys in the 3rd stanza, and the twin towers of Greg Slaughter and JP Eram combining for 12 to keep the dogs at bay in the last 10 minutes. Emman Monfort and Kiefer Ravena were also brilliant all-game long with their hustle nonpareil.

It was sheer awesomeness on the part of Ateneo. So awesome that watching, even live at the newly-labeled Smart Araneta Coliseum with drums-a-rolling, was bordering on boredom.

Gasp! A boring Ateneo game? Was there ever?

This could be a candidate. The Eagles were leading by 32 by the 3rd quarter's end, and there was no way NU could crawl back.

Oping Sumalinog was a defensive dynamo
all-game long.
(image by Ralph Samson/
Even our third-stringers saw daylight and exchanged blows (figuratively of course) with their canine counterparts.  Their stint in the last 4 minutes was an enticing glimpse of the future.

As for the future of these nouveau Bulldogs? If they play the way they did against Ateneo -- collapsing under the bright lights with rabid fans screaming and cursing after every step and misstep -- then their barks might turn to whimpers. This game didn't show anything new for NU. If anything, it only compounded the impression that they tend to crumble on the big stage.

The cliche goes like this, "You cannot teach an old dog new tricks."

They might look new, but the Bulldogs, at least in this game, pulled out nothing but a bag of old tricks.

AdMU 86 - Slaughter 15, Long 11, Ravena 13, Salva 12, Monfort 7, Sumalinog 7, Eram 6, Tiongson 6, Austria 2, Gonzaga 2, Chua 2, Capacio 2, Pessumal 1, Golla 0, Cipriano 0, Estrada 0
NU 62 - Parks 20, Alolino 11, Mbe 10, Celda 7, Javillonar 6, Magat 2, Celiz 2, Khobuntin 2, Labing-isa 1, Terso 1, Villamor 0, Eman 0
QS: 16-11, 38-20, 69-37, 86-62

One BIG Fight!

*Sighted on the Ateneo side of things (way up in the Upper Box): former DLSU Green Archer and future Mapua Cardinal Gab Banal.

Kiefer Ravena was his all-around brilliant self.
(image by Ralph Samson/
Emman Monfort epitomized the hustle that
helped Ateneo build an insurmountable lead.
(image by Diana Moraleda/
Next Post »
3 Comment

The final score was 86-62 and not 80-62. :D Great article nonetheless! I admire your dedication upon seeing you earlier. OBF!


I would also like to commend JP Erram with his brilliant 6 point, 2 block performance despite entering the game in its closing minutes.


Anonymous: Yes it was 86-62! :) It's what I wrote on the box scores at the bottom, but I did write the wrong score at the top! My bad! Thanks! Erram WAS great! 6 points in like 5 minutes! OBF!