The Games that Play Us: Two-Way Street

Nico Salva slams it home to punctuate a perfect performance
in Game 1 of the Season 74 UAAP Finals.
(image by Philip Sison/

AdMU Blue Eagles over the FEU Tamaraws, 82-64

Success in basketball, like success in love, is a two-way street.

I will make no pretentions about their track record in love, but at least in basketball, the Ateneo Blue Eagles have achieved great success thanks to playing two-way basketball.

And the latest exhibit? Game 1 of the Season 74 UAAP Finals.

On Defense:

The trio of Aldrech Ramos, Cris “Mike” Tolomia and RR Garcia torched the Adamson Falcons in their previous outing with a combined 40 points.

Against the Blue Eagles? They could only muster 20. That triple-threat converted on 15 of 33 shots against coach Leo Austria’s defense about a week ago.

Against coach Norman Black’s? Just 9 out of the same number of tries.

Ateneo cleaned the glass pretty well, too, outrebounding FEU, 34-28, with 29 coming off the defensive end.

The FEU Tamaraws found things tough against the Ateneo D,
especially in the 2nd half.
(image by Philip Sison/
On Offense:

Ateneo didn’t have the best of starts in Game 1, what with the pressure of a four-peat probably weighing on them quite heavily. The evidence? FEU, behind the exploits of Terrence Romeo and Russel Escoto, dictated the tempo early and erected a 10-point bubble with about 7 minutes left in the 2nd canto.

A lot of nervous blue-hued fans probably shook in their seats at that moment.  Would it be a repeat of the 2nd round game where the Tams put up a 16-point bulge at the mid-term break?


Not when the Loyola offense finally got going behind Nico Salva, Greg Slaughter and Kiefer Ravena. That terrific triad of talent led a furious 17-7 Ateneo run to end the first half, and knotted things up at 33.

Kiefer Ravena's 17 points helped Ateneo run away
with the Game 1 win.
(image by Philip Sison/
Things only got better for Ateneo as the Eagles’ shots found their marks (Monfort made a three!!!) in the second half. Salva was immaculate, going 8-of-8 from both the field and the line. Mr. Perfect he should be called (but let’s not jinx him for Game 2!!!). And the number 8! Infinity + Perfection = infinite perfection. Oh how we wish the basketball gods to be so generous.

By game’s end the Ateneo offense stood tall. The Eagles shot 60% from the field and 80% from the stripe. Their inside incursions and transition points gave credence to their two-way basketball success.

Emman Monfort helped the Eagles will
themselves to the resounding victory.
(image by Philip Sison/
Such is the story for Game 1. Such is the lesson for our remembrance – success is a two-way street. Love, too. And how we would love for another successful Game 2, right?

One BIG Fight!

JP Erram and Ateneo are still a win away from
the much-awaited 4-peat.
(image by Philip Sison/

AdMU 82 – Salva 24, Ravena 17, Slaughter 12, Monfort 11, Long 8, Tiongson 4, Erram 4, Chua 2, Gonzaga 0, Austria 0, Golla 0
FEU 64 – Romeo 23, Escoto 12, Ramos 9, Exciminiano 6, Garcia 6, Tolomia 5, Pogoy 2, Cruz 1, Bringas 0, Sentcheu 0
QS: 14-19, 33-33, 60-49, 82-64

Next Post »
0 Comment