The UAAP: Season 77 - Ateneo vs La Salle Round 1

A sea of blue and white welcomed me at the Ateneo side of the Araneta
(All photos by: Rolly Mendoza)

What's better than writing about basketball? Watching LIVE basketball!

I haven't been to a live UAAP Mens' Senior Basketball game in years. I think my last game was 10 years ago, maybe more. Fortunately, I was able to watch the first round game between Ateneo de Manila University and De La Salle University last Sunday. The coliseum was packed and loud! Nothing beats cheering for your alma mater!

The action was fast-paced and intense. DLSU built an early 9-point lead during the first quarter due to Keifer Ravena getting into early foul trouble while the rest of his teammates were fumbling the ball and committing a bunch of turnovers. The defending champs knew what to do with giveaways as Almond Vosotros, Jeron Teng and Jason Perkins took turns making the Ateneans pay. However, ADMU made a comeback in the second quarter headed by Von Pessumal and Arvin Tolentino. The duo made key baskets that allowed Ateneo to grab the lead after back-to-back threes and the score at 29-28. The Blue Eagles  maintained the slim lead until halftime, 39-37. Von Pessumal led ADMU with points at the half while Jason Perkins paced DLSU.

Now, on to the halftime entertainment!

The Blue Babble Battalion provided the fans a momentary respite from the maddening pace of the game

Three fights and a fight, fight, Blue and White!

One Big Fight!

The DLSU Animo Squad made sure that the fans were awake and lively during the noon-time game

Animo La Salle!
After the intermission, the Blue Eagles and Green Archers resumed their mano-a-mano with fervor. Arvin Tolentino and Von Pessumal started the 3rd frame, perhaps a reward for their exceptional performance during the first half. The game was close in the 3rd quarter with neither team threatening to pull away. The Green Archers out-rebounded the smaller Eagles but they were making more mistakes and missing more shots. Meanwhile, ADMU was starting to hit their outside shots but the game remained close after the 3rd period ended. Ateneo still held a 2-point lead after 30 minutes of play.

The fourth canto was a different matter. Someone wearing blue exploded and his jersey number was 15. Kiefer Ravena (King Eagle) went crazy outside the three-point arc as he connected for FIVE threes and finished with 29 points to lead all scorers. Von Pessumal chipped in 21 and Arvin Tolentino had 14 points and 10 rebounds. The Blue Eagles scored at will while the Archers were unable to keep pace. Jason Perkins (25 and 10) and Arnold Van Opstal tried to keep DLSU within striking range but it was all for naught since Vosotros and Teng both shot horribly from the field. The duo was a combined 12 of 39.

In the end, Ateneo won by 11 points, 97-86 even with La Salle intentionally fouling Alfonso Gotladera to prolong the game. Gotladera was replaced by Nico Elorde during offensive possessions to counter DLSU's intentional fouling.

So after two games, the Eagles are 2-0 while the Archers are 0-2. To make matters worse for DLSU, Thomas Torres broke his foot during the game and could miss 1-2 months. More bad news, Arnold Van Opstal might get suspended for a punch he threw towards the back of Gotladera's head during the game. The referees did not see that cheap shot but the UAAP is examining the incident.

Well, that was an awesome game! Wow! I'm already looking forward to Round 2 between ADMU and DLSU! See you at the game next time.

Well-deserved win for the Blue Eagles!

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2 Comment

AVO's cheap shot


Well....well.....well, the "cheap shot" was actually calling it a "cheap shot" prematurely. The video was tampered. Some guys can get real creative. Gotladera himself laughed off the whole incident.
Enough of the "showbiz sht". Just play ball.