Ateneo- UST: We Should Win This One

Remember the last game? What?! You don’t?! Here’s a video to jar your memory . . .

Now in the 2nd round, the situation is different. Ateneo is fighting to win its last 4 games for positioning in the UAAP Final Four; UST, on the other hand, has to win it’s remaining games just to have a remote chance of making the Final Four. Ateneo has its lineup intact; UST does not have Kevin Ferrer. So who do I think will win on Saturday? Ateneo definitely has the advantage and should win by about 7 points or so. I’m not being overconfident. In fact, I’m being cautious.  I daresay I’d wager a blowout but I don’t know which Aljon Mariano will play on Saturday. Will I see the dismal Aljon or a fantastic Aljon? If the latter, then UST has a chance. It’s a given that Paula . . . este, Karim . . . Abdul will have his usual game and try to carry the team. I wonder if his recent whining regarding his teammates will help him or alienate him from them. Subido and Vigil will have to play excellent games to give the team a chance since UST isn’t that deep. Ferrer’s injury is definitely a big blow to them.

Kiefer has to have his usual game and the Ateneo bigs have to contain the damage of Abdul. With no Ferrer, maybe Tolentino can get his outside game back. Does UST have a Kiefer-stopper? Daquiaog? Aljon Mariano? If UST focuses on Kiefer, then Von Pessumal  should step up and make his shots. Chris Newsome should also have a good game. I wonder if Gotladera can hold his own versus Abdul. Gotladera has been a revelation and is the new darling of Ateneo basketball.

I believe UST is a longshot to make it to the Final Four even if they win all their games. Kevin Ferrer may be gone for the season and their placing is even lower than UE. At best at this point they serve as spoilers, but spoilers can be dangerous because they have nothing to lose and everything to gain. So Ateneo should just play it’s game and not take UST for granted. I hope for a convincing win wherein second and maybe even third stringers get a chance to play for more game experience. Of course, if it’s not a convincing win, I will take any win. We have a big chance to make Top 2 so let’s go for it. OBF!


US Open Tennis 2014



Picture of me in 2010 US Open

It’s US Open time again and I wonder who will be the Last Man Standing at the end of two weeks. For this year, your guess will be as good as mine. With the withdrawal of Rafa Nadal due to wrist injury, everyone is saying that Novak Djokovic is the overwhelming favorite.

True, but . . .

. . . Novak Djokovich hasn’t had a good hard court season this year. Why? Novak just got married last month! He also lost twice in the third round of hard-court tournaments which serve as warm-ups to the US Open. Ok, so these tourneys are 2-out-of-3 sets playing everyday for a week while a Grand Slam is 3-out-of-5 sets playing every other day. I didn’t see any of his earlier matches but I assume he may be a tad slower and his focus isn’t there. Novak has already stated that his focus now will be on his family, meaning tennis will be number 2 in his list of priorities. Don’t get me wrong – Novak is still the man to beat. I’m just saying he is vulnerable. He is stronger in the latter stages of the tournament progresses so he can be vulnerable in the earlier rounds.

So is this Roger Federer’s chance to win another Grand Slam? You betcha! With Rafa out, Roger becomes second seed and will not meet Novak until the Finals. Roger has had a great hard court season and with his accurate serving and flawless style, he is my sentimental favorite to win it all. Go Roger Go!

But it as I have mentioned this tourney is wide open and there are many contenders. One can never count out Andy Murray. Others have given David Ferrer a chance. David is a bulldog and will run down everything and give it his all but I don’t see him beating Novak, Roger, or Andy unless David is playing exceptionally well. Stan Wawrinka is seeded 3 but I believe his form of late is much to be desired. With a good draw, maybe he can make the semis.

Then there are the long shots like Milos Raonic, Dmitrov and maybe John Isner of the USA. Raonic has been playing well lately and his game is well-suited for hard courts. Dmitrov, also known as Baby Federer, also known as the boyfriend of Maria Sharapova, is a dangerous player. And we all know that Americans will support their own so John Isner, the tallest ATP player with one of the game’s best serve, could surprise. I nearly forgot Tomas Berdych. He may surprise, too.

This could be a very interesting two weeks. With no Rafa, my money is on Novak but my heart goes to Roger. I wouldn’t be surprised if someone new would win it all. Have fun watching!