Ateneo Blue Eagles

Longest 9.3 seconds Of My Life

My Picture With Kiefer

My Picture With Kiefer

Let’s set something straight. I missed the Ateneo-NU “do-or-die” game. I was checked in the Pal airport terminal awaiting my flight to Bacolod. The television monitors at the gates were showing something else while the sole TV in the lounge was out of order. Good thing my friends were updating me thru Viber and some kind lady was updating those who couldn’t watch in Atenista Ako FB page.

Instead of getting quarter by quarter scores, I was receiving play-by-play analyses. No one seems to be in the mood to work! What’s more, they were worried about the dark, heavy, gloomy clouds outside was troubling. It was signaling a heavy downpour!

My flight was delayed but what’s new with PAL? At least I can finish the game while still on the ground in Manila. First, second and third quarters pass. Ateneo was down but caught up. Come fourth quarter, it was time to board. As I walk towards the gate, I continued to get updates. As I show my boarding pass and walk thru the tunnel, it was a nip-and-tuck game. I took my seat and the doors closed and it was a deadlocked game! Still I kept my phone on but in silent mode to get the updates. As we began to taxi down the runway, the game clock was at 9.3 seconds with the NU ahead by 2 points. 9.3 seconds! You could hold your breath in 9.3 seconds!

And then the game was delayed due to lighting malfunction. Bitin! WTF?!

Throughout the flight I was thinking of positive scenarios although I knew that the situation was precarious. Maybe Ateneo scored 2 points to send game into overtime? Or even better, score 3 points for the win?! Darn, bitin naman!

Just before touchdown, phone started to vibrate as the updates and comments poured in. Talo! Bad trip!!!

Since I was totally oblivious to what happened after the delay, I wanted to watch the replay. Man, it took me over one hour to find out what happened after the last 9.3 seconds of play!

I was hoping for a more favorable result but nevertheless , I am proud of our Ateneo team and congratulate NU!

And my thoughts of the DLSU – FEU game? That’s a topic for tomorrow!

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Ateneo – FEU: The Greatest Escape

Ateneo vs FEU

Ateneo vs FEU

Nope, I’m not talking about the Filipino peacekeepers who fought Al Queda operatives who surrounded them for three days and escaped under cover of darkness. That is truly heroic and commendable. What I’m talking about is the unbelievable recovery of the Ateneo Blue Eagles to beat the FEU Tamaraws in overtime.

The whole UAAP basketball community is stunned by what transpired. I wasn’t there to watch live but I can imagine what the crowd was thinking at that very moment. 19 points down with 6 minutes to go…talo na yan! 10 points down with 3 minutes to go…doubtful, I don’t think we have enough time. 6 points with 1 minute to go…Puede pa, maybe just maybe. Tied game with less than 2 seconds to go but with FEU premier guard on the FT line..déjà vu ala UP?

And then Tolomia missed both free throws. Unbelievable!

In overtime, it’s who gets to strike first and who can hold the fort in the end. Whew! Ateneo didn’t just dodge a bullet, we dodged a missile!

In this game, could we say that Ateneo wanted it more? FEU must’ve also wanted it because number 1 seed was on the line and with it the crucial twice-to-beat advantage. And for the first 34 minutes, FEU appeared that they indeed wanted it more and they made the Ateneo team look like high school players. But what happened after that was truly miraculous. Ateneo started to make its shots. FEU started to miss theirs which resulted in Ateneo exploiting their running game. Why FEU didn’t slow the game down is a mystery. Did FEU panic? They have been in close game situations before!

This miraculous victory was the result of two things: skill and luck. Had Ateneo not made its shots in the last 6 minutes, we would probably lost by a lot. But Lady Luck was smiling at us. Had FEU made one or two more free throws in the last quarter, the momentum could have changed and Ateneo would have fallen short. Putting the game away is one of the hardest things to do and with half of the coliseum jeering the shooter. I wouldn’t want to wish this on anyone.

I’m a die-hard Atenean and I believe in the 6th Man. Of course I’m biased. For the other schools, they believe their cheering is better than ours. Fine. But in our case, we have the history and mystique coming back from seemingly hopeless situations. And with half of the spectators shouting “Get that ball!” at the top of their voice during a frenzied rally, that could be truly rattling. The other side wouldn’t know what we are saying when we chant “Fablioh” or “Halikanu”, but it’s no joke going up against rabid fans.

For this UAAP Season 77, Ateneo has had numerous slow starts and at least 3 come-from-behind mind-boggling finishes. Is it too much to ask for a faster start and a sustained finish? Oh well, until that happens – “Mary For You, For You’re White and Blue. We Pray you Keep Us Mary Constantly True. We Pray You Keep Us Mary Faithful To You! ” OBF!