The Games that Play Us: Like Nothing to It

Leo Austria is all smiles as the Falcons clinch solo second.
(image by Joseph Nebrida/

AdU Soaring Falcons over the UP Fighitng Maroons, 72-46

Alex Nuyles’s two-hand-slam on transition after stripping Jelo Montecastro, with Montecastro tryng in vain to catch up at that, was symbolic of the whole game, if not UP’s chances of beating Adamson this season.

Montecastro tried to put a move on Nuyles. Nuyles stole the ball. He streaked downcourt. He rose as Montecastro trailed him. Nuyles dunked it, and Montecastro was left in the dust.

Alex Nuyles soars and slams it home!
(image by Joseph Nebrida/
All that, like there was nothing to it.

This game is yet another example of what makes the Fighting Maroons so dangerous to their opponents, but also so dangerous to themselves. Exactly a week after they waylaid the FEU Tamaraws, UP closes the 1st round on a whimper. This after losing to the Tigers the previous Sunday. They went from stupendous to atrocious in the space of seven days. Will they ever recover?

I suppose not even Madame Auring can clearly predict anything to that effect.

Despite coach Ricky Dandan trying something new to shake things up and surprise coach Leo Austria, Dandan started the J&J duo (that’s Jelo & Jett folks) instead of having them come off the pine, it didn’t really make any difference. Sure, they were able to hang with Adamson in the first quarter, but only because Adamson shot poorly from the field, making only 8 points in the period. UP? Just 6.

For the second straight game, Jett Manuel
was shackled.
(image by Diana Moraleda/
In spite of their rebounding edge, 44-32, the Maroons were just convincingly outplayed yet again. They shot 28% from the field, highlighted by a horrible 7% clip from rainbow country, had less assists, steals and blocks, and committed 23 turnovers. Plainly outclassed.

I heard that almost immediately after upsetting the Tamaraws last week, the Maroons whooped it up and “filled up” amid a celebratory atmosphere. Can they be blamed for it? Season 74 is officially 200% better than last season, after all. I doubt if there’ll be any reason to celebrate some more, though. Unlike last year when there was no way to go but up, this time around it seems the Maroons are back on the long way down.

Jelo Montecastro is left wondering, "What happened?"
(image by Joseph Nebrida/
Adamson, on the other hand, looks to have put the NU debacle well behind them. At solo second, the Falcons are now flying just a notch lower than the Eagles, and with a two-game winning streak spiking their confidence on the way to their date with the Archers on Sunday, there is a good chance of clear skies ahead.

AdU 72 – Nuyles 21, Alvarez 16, Camson 11, Etrone 8, Cabrera 6, Manyara 4, Brindial 4, Lozada 2, Colina 0, Cañada 0, Rios 0, Olalia 0, Monteclaro 0, Petilos 0, Manuel 0
UP 46 – Silungan 12, Montecastro 8, Romero 7, Manuel 5, Gomez 4, Mbah 2, Wong 2, Gamboa 2, Wierzba 2, Fortu 2, Juruena 0, Evangelista 0, Pascual 0, Gingerich 0
QS: 8-6, 35-23, 53-34, 72-46

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