The Games That Play Us: Wild & Woolly Weekend

Mike Silungan and the Maroons fought hard in Week 7.
Did they come out victors?
The gist is this: I chose to be a good teacher/moderator/coach rather than a good basketball writer/observer over the past weekend. I missed so much basketball, but it was, in all honesty, worth it because of the success my students got in another field of sports.

Regaling and raving about that, however, is for another day.

Now I have to do some accounting. After spending the past two days watching the videos-on-demand and highlights of the August 25-26 weekend, I’ve finally gathered my thoughts, and I believe I have enough to go on.

Needless to say, it was a wild and woolly weekend. There were some things that strengthened the status quo (Ateneo beating UP), but there were also some things that might signal a really tight finish for the upper half of the team standings.

In lieu of the usual single-game-single-article set-up, I’ll just bunch up Week 7 in this single write-up (time hasn’t been my friend of late; ditto with sleep).

*deep breath*

Here goes nothing.


The only surprising thing in this game was UE leading after the first period, but La Salle rallied in the second quarter to take control of the game for good.

One great thing the Archers did here was outrebound the Reds big time to the tune of 66-40. Four La Sallians came through with double-digit rebounds, led by Jovet Mendoza’s 12. Norbert Torres grabbed 11 boards, while Jeron Teng and Thomas Torres (yes, THOMAS TORRES the 5’9” point guard) collared 10 each. Teng led DLSU in scoring, which is no surprise, with 16 points, and Arnold Van Opstal finally showed up on offense, scoring a dozen markers – now THAT’s a surprise! Another surprise? AVO shot 6-of-7 from the free throw line. Clearly he’s NOT a graduate of the Richard Del Rosario school of free throw shooting! J

La Salle moved up to 5-3 here, while UE sank to 1-7. This was Coach Boysie Zamar’s first game back as the Red Warriors’ head coach after Jerry Codiñera’s “resignation.”

The scores:

DLSU 73 – Teng 16, Van Opstal 12, N. Torres 10, Vosotros 8, Mendoza 8, Webb 7, T. Torres 4, Manguera 4, Reyes 2, Paredes 2, Tallo 0, Dela Paz 0
UE 52 – Sumang 17, Belleza 16, Javier 8, Flores 5, Alberto 2, Santos 2, Hernandez 2, Sumido 0, Vilarias 0, Valdez 0, Galanza 0, Duran 0, Duncil 0
QS: 15-16; 31-24; 50-41; 73-52
Key Performances:
Arnold Van Opstal (DLSU) – 12pts, 8rebs, 1blk
Jeron Teng (DLSU) – 16pts, 10rebs, 3blks, 1ast
Gene Belleza (UE) – 16pts, 5rebs, 3stls, 2asts

Arnold Van Opstal stepped up to help
DLSU dump the Red Warriors.


For the second time this season, the Fighting Maroons stuck to the Blue Eagles and made the Blue & White faithful sweat their underarms.

For the second time, too, Ateneo escaped with a win, thanks in no small part to the brilliance of super soph Kiefer Ravena.

In easily his best offensive outing of Season 75, the former King Eaglet rattled in 21 points on 9-of-12 field goal shooting as the boys of Coach Norman Black rose to 7-1. Coupled with the loss of UST earlier in the week, this win gave Ateneo a firm grip on top spot.

Twin towers Greg Slaughter and JP Erram had contrasting afternoons here. Greg shot just 3-of-8 from the floor, but he did grab 13 rebounds and block 4 UP shots. Erram, on the other hand, was efficient on offense, making 4 of his 5 field goal attempts, though he had a paltry 3 boards and 1 block. Greg became the utility guy, while Erram was the inside threat. What does this mean? It’s a commentary on how deep Ateneo’s frontline is. Anybody can step up and score. Anybody can impact a game. Anybody can cause nightmares for the opposition.

Despite the loss, though, UP can still hold their heads high. They led the Eagles at the half, and they were never really left in the dust till inside the final minute. Things should continue improving for Coach Ricky Dandan, though whether the improvements ultimately lead to a W might be another story.

The scores:

ADMU 73 – Ravena 21, Gonzaga 10, Salva 10, Slaughter 9, Erram 9, Tiongson 6, Buenafe 3, Chua 3, Elorde 2, Golla 0, Pessumal 0, Sumalinog 0
UP 66 – Soyud 14, Silungan 13, Asilum 10, Lopez 8, Gamboa 6, Padilla 6, Gallarza 5, Hipolito 2, Montecastro 2, Manuel 0, Romero 0, Mbah 0, Wierzba 0
QS: 17-17; 32-34; 53-46; 73-66
Key Performances:
Kiefer Ravena (AdMU) – 21pts, 5rebs, 2asts, 1stl
Greg Slaughter (AdMU) – 9pts, 13rebs, 4blks, 3asts, 1stl
Raul Soyud (UP) – 14pts, 3rebs

Kiefer Ravena's 21 points led Ateneo in a close
game against UP.


After scoring a blowout against the Growling Tigers earlier in the week, the FEU Tamaraws weren’t supposed to have a hell of a hard time against the Soaring Falcons, who were, ironically, anything but soaring.

The Tams, however, DID have a hard time. If not for a late rally, they would’ve been on the short end of a Week 7 upset. Lucky for them, RR Garcia, Arvie Bringas, and Anthony Hargrove all contributed in a game-clinching 18-3 run in the final 5 minutes to burst Adamson’s hopes for a second win.

Garcia, Bringas, and Hargrove were all actually struggling throughout the game, but they came through for Coach Bert Flores in that decisive endgame spurt. Garcia wound up with 13 markers, while Bringas and Hargrove combined for 16 points. The scoring leader, no big shock here, still turned out to be Terrence Romeo with 27 points. The former Letran Squire and FEU-FERN Baby Tamaraw hit SEVEN triples to keep FEU in the thick of the fight, but his guns fell silent in the fourth period, where he went 0-of-3 from the floor.

This is the strange thing with this FEU team. They have a host of scorers in Romeo, Garcia, Bringas, Hargrove, Tolomia, and, at times, Pogoy, but too much seems to revolve around Romeo. Nobody can deny his awesome talent, his creativity on offense, and his current willingness to pile up the rebounds and assists, but, somehow, something is still missing. Despite him putting monster numbers to start round two, I feel FEU’s fortunes are still firmly dependent on how Garcia and Hargrove will fare. Romeo is the constant, but I just don’t think he alone can lift this FEU team into the championship stratosphere. If there’s any UAAP player who can shatter the notions of this humble observer, though, that’s Romeo.

On the other end of the floor, could Adamson have won had Nuyles been healthy? I think we all know the answer to that. The Falcons are probably getting used to these near misses, these “oh that’s okay, at least you kept the score close” games, but I’m sure these have also been very frustrating. They can try to end that bout with frustration versus UP this weekend.

The scores:

FEU 76 – Romeo 27, Garcia 13, Pogoy 13, Hargrove 9, Bringas A. 7, Mendoza 7, Bringas M. 0, Cruz 0, Inigo 0, Sentcheu 0
Adamson 68 – Camson 24, Cruz 16, Trollano 9, Agustin 6, Monteclaro 5, Rios 4, Cabrera 2, Julkipli 2, Abrigo 0, Etrone 0, Petilos 0
QS: 18-23; 40-40; 56-57; 76-68
Key Performances:
Terrence Romeo (FEU) – 27pts, 7 treys, 5asts, 3rebs, 1stl
Roger Pogoy (FEU) – 13pts, 9rebs, 5asts, 2blks
Eric Camson (AdU) – 24pts, 13rebs, 2asts, 1stl

RR Garcia hit the big shots that propelled
FEU past Adamson.


Coach Pido Jarencio and the UST Growling Tigers continue to temp fate, falling behind early (again), and, in an all too familiar turn for their fans, rallying in the second half and the extra session to steal the game from the NU Bulldogs (yes, again).

The España quintet is making a living out of climbing from the grave, but there are signs things might not go smoothly from here on out.

First, though they limited NU to an anemic 29.7% success rate from the field overall, that defense only really worked in the second half. In the first half, UST allowed the Bulldogs to shoot nearly 50% from the floor, which resulted in NU’s 17-point bubble at the break. Falling behind by that many that early might be too deep of a hole when they go up against teams like Ateneo, La Salle, or even UP.

Second, UST didn’t exactly shoot the lights out themselves. They were good in the second half, but they had an embarrassing 14-point output in the first 20 minutes of play. Nowhere in the world is that acceptable. Look at these field goal shooting numbers: Aljon Mariano was 9-of-23, Jeric Teng was 3-of-8, and Jeric Fortuna was 3-of-10. In this round, with all the other teams gunning for them, those numbers will no longer be enough to tide them over.

Perhaps the most nagging flaw that UST showed in this game, however, was their butt-awful free throw shooting. The Tigers were just 47.4% from the line. And here I thought Jap Cuan’s shooting woes were bad enough.

Here’s the thing – UST’s good, but not even they can keep walking on the edge like this and expect to come out the winners every single time. It was shown against FEU last week, and I’m afraid it’ll happen again pretty soon.

Note: NU actually had a higher Team Efficiency Rating of 53, while UST had just 47. Ray Parks had a disastrous outing as he missed 18 field goals and turned the ball over 8 times.

The scores:

UST 58 – Mariano 22, Abdul 10, Bautista 8, Fortuna 8, Teng 8, Ferrer 2, Afuang 0, Lo 0, Pe 0, Vigil 0
NU 57 – Parks 15, Mbe 10, De Guzman 8, Rosario 6, Labing-isa 5, Javillonar 4, Betayene 3, Alolino 2, Neypes 2, Roño 2, Singh 0, Villamor 0
QS: 11-16; 14-31; 32-42; 51-51; 58-57
Key Performances:
Karim Abdul (UST) – 10pts, 10rebs, 3blks, 2stls
Aljon Mariano (UST) – 22pts, 6rebs, 3asts, 1blk
Emmanuel Mbe (NU) – 10pts, 13rebs

How long can UST keep this "lucky" streak going?

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