Growing Their Wings: Eaglets Fall to the Bullpups

Mark Gamboa and the Eaglets struggled to keep the
Bullpups at bay this past Wednesday.


For a while there, it seemed like the Ateneo de Manila HS Blue Eaglets would be able to hold on to their fourth quarter lead. Compound that with the fact that NU top gun Raph Atangan went down with the cramps, and things really were looking up for the Loyola quintet.

Things may have seemed a little to good, though, as the Eaglets appeared to play a little too loose at that point. The Bullpups wasted no time in chopping down the lead and then eventually retaking it in the waning moments. Atangan would then return and score four quick points to help seal the win for Coach Jeff Napa’s wards.

Despite the loss, however, there are still some positives Coach Joe Silva and his boys can take from this game. For one, the Eaglets converted 15 NU turnovers into 25 turnover points. This, in spite of the fact Ateneo actually committed three more errors than the Bullpups (NU scored only 11 points-off-turnovers).

Another positive is the stellar production of undersized frontliners Thirdy Ravena and Michael Nieto. Ravena, who stands no taller than 6’1, played mostly as a swingman last season, while Nieto, who’s not even 6’0 and already starts at center, wasn’t even on Team A. In this game, they combined for 38 points and 18 rebounds, with Ravena adding 8 assists and 4 rejections to his stat-line.

Before the preseason games began, Coach Silva told me that even if this team was undersized compared to past editions of the Eaglets’ roster, he still felt that this iteration had the potential to be a much better team. This is because of the team’s speed, defense, and teamwork.

A glance at the stat-sheet reveals that this is not far from the truth. Ateneo had more assists than NU, and, as mentioned above, had more TO points.

The only missing ingredient, it seems, is a little more poise under pressure. The Bullpups have this in spades by virtue of playing, and winning, the Juniors Finals in Season 74. Against the Eaglets, NU used this to the hilt.

With a bit more solid play in crunch time, the Blue & White Juniors should be able to duplicate the success of their big brothers. They might be undersized when compared to almost every UAAP team out there, but they’re not short on talent and heart. Add a little dose of clutch composure to the mix, and these Eaglets should regain the top spot in no time.

Mike Nieto is clearly in pain after coming down
with a leg injury.
Ralph Busa celebrates after hitting a big three
to thwart the Eaglets' hopes.


NU 95 – Atangan 19, Busa 17, Morido 15, Cani 15, Lapiz 10, Cauilan 8, Banawan 4, Canaynay 3, Dela Cruz 2, Biteng 2, Mosqueda 0, Lopena 0, Castillo 0, Battad 0.
AHS 89 – Ravena 20, Asistio 20, Nieto Mi. 18, Mendoza 10, Nieto Ma. 9, Black 8, Gamboa 2, Capacio 2, Vitangcol 0, Puno 0.
QS: 20-19, 49-42, 68-71, 95-89.
Notable Performers:
Reggie Morido (NU) – 15pts, 12rebs, 3asts
Thirdy Ravena (AHS) – 20pts, 11rebs, 8asts, 4blks, 1stl
Mike Nieto (AHS) – 18pts, 7rebs, 1ast

Other Juniors Scores:

UPIS Junior Maroons over AdU Baby Falcons, 63-61
UPIS 63 – Sablan 16, Dario 10, Ancheta 9, Nacpil 8, General 8, Pajarillaga 7, Quejada 2, Lina 2, Gregorio 1, Lopez 0.
AdU 61 – Margallo 17, Asistio 13, Quinga 10, Javier 8, Pangaibat 6, Munsayac 3, Pacturan 2, Fernandez 2, Ylagan 0, Solomon 0, Oebanda 0, Nemenzo 0, Madrid 0, Inigo 0, Casino 0, Barroga 0.
QS: 12-20, 31-38, 45-53, 63-61.

FEU-FERN Baby Tamaraws over DLSZ Junior Archers, 70-67
FEU-FERN 70 – Pingoy 19, Delfinado 11, Escoto 8, Domingo Jos. 8, Domingo R. 8, Aguilon 7, Completo 3, You 2, Palacio 2, Hassan 2, Magbuhos 0, Domingo Joh. 0, Palana 0, Lee Yu 0.
DLSZ 67 – Subido 23, Melecio Alj. 18, Melecio Ale. 7, Cabarrus 7, Saubier 5, Banzon 5, Andaya 2, Samonte 0, Manguera 0, Evangelista 0, Cruz 0.
QS: 14-11, 35-34, 53-46, 70-67.

UST Tiger Cubs over UE Pages, 105-55
UST 105 – Ungria 22, Soriano 12, Martin 8, Baetiong 8, Berdijo 7, Mayor 6, Dandan 6, Corre 6, Borje 6, Lavarias 5, Laman 5, Bahia 5, Abuyen 5, Syyap 2, Ramirez 2.
UE 55 – Viajar 13, Garcia 7, Ceralde 7, Carabejo 7, Rafol 6, Briones 6, Swan 2, Sison 2, Del Rosario 2, Correche 2, Arbarro 1, Posadas 0, Gonzales 0, Castillo 0.
QS: 31-15, 58-30, 88-43, 105-55.

*All images are by Josh Albelda/
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