It’s Ateneo vs DLSU!
Good game, DLSU. You deserve this one. When Jeron Teng started the game strong and took matters into his own hands in the first quarter, I was telling myself, “Yes you are playing well now but you will fade in the fourth quarter.” In the second quarter, it was Kiefer Ravena’s turn to sizzle but we were still behind at the half. During the third quarter Ateneo made it’s run and closed the gap and by the fourth quarter it was a nip-and-tuck affair.
Just like the first game, whichever team that can make the shots and make the stops in the endgame, wins. Jason Perkins field goal gave DLSU the cushion it needed. Chris Newsome tried to save the day but came up short. The key here is that Jeron Teng made his free throws in the clutch. In fact, he didn’t miss! Kiefer Ravena scored only 7points in the second half but his supporting cast fought a good fight. Let’s just give credit to the DLSU coaching staff for making the necessary adjustments.
We won the first game and we were in cloud 9. DLSU won this game. Should we feel sad? Maybe just a bit because we care. At the start of the season, I don’t think any of us expected that we could beat DLSU twice in the regular season. Winning once would have been good enough. Remember DLSU is intact and the team to beat this year. They may have many players injured but this doesn’t really matter to them because they were built to be 2-3 strong per position. One goes down, someone else capable will step up. Watch out for Rivero in the future!
Just remember, our goal of this season is to reach the Final Four. Ending the first round with a 6-1 record is heaven sent, but we also don’t want to be limping to the Final Four. Of the teams in this tourney, barring any major injuries, we should get wins from UP and Adamson. Then, hopefully, we can grab three wins from the remaining teams. So this loss is only a glitch in our quest for a Final Four spot.
The road doesn’t get easier, though. We next play UE on Wednesday with two athletic imports and Roi Sumang looking for payback. Let’s continue to support the team and give them One Big Fight!
Analyzing this game is difficult. For Ateneo, you know what to expect. It’s the Phenom. Wherever Kiefer Ravena goes, Ateneo goes. So I guess for DLSU, the strategy is simple: Stop Kiefer. Of course, that’s easier said than done. Kiefer burned them in their last outing with consecutive 3-pointers. But Kiefer can’t do it alone. Since DLSU is bigger, it is imperative that the outside sniping of Von Pessumal, Chris Newsome and Arvin Tolentino hit their marks. The Ateneo big men are expected to hold the fort but can Gotladera shine again? Will DLSU prepare for Gotladera? Hack-A-Gotladera? It’s a legitimate strategy but I feel it’s such a cop out. I hope Gotladera spent some time polishing his free throws.
At the moment I believe DLSU only has 9 players. For sure Thomas Torres is out. Some people decry that situation but hey they could’ve filled up all the slots but they opted only for 14 players. Well, this team was built to be 3-strong per position. Someone goes down, someone else can step up. I’m sure the injured players are dying to play. THIS IS ATENEO – LA SALLE FOR PETE’S SAKE! All stats go out the window for now. This is for school pride. DLSU is the defending champion and they are aching for PAYBACK since losing in the first round. Jeron Teng will probably get his usual numbers, if not a bit more since he will try to carry this team. Same with Almond Vosotros whose 3-point shooting must go in to open the Ateneo defense. But Ateneo’s biggest thorn will be Jason Perkins. Expect Perkins to manhandle his defenders. Does Perasol and the rest of the Ateneo team have something special for him? Maybe they do. Ateneo was able to shackle the powerful Mammie in the 2nd half of their last game versus UE.
So who is going to win? Hard to say. Too many intangibles and unforeseen circumstances. I would say ATENEO has the edge in this game. Maybe they can exploit their manpower advantage. But one thing must happen, Ateneo must exhibit the killers’ instinct because DLSU is dangerous and out for vengence. Moreover, the sixth man of the Blue Eagles – the crowd cheering “ONE BIG FIGHT!” – have to be in full force to motivate the team. No lead is safe against DLSU. One misstep and we will pay. Expect all-out war on Sunday. Abangan!
BTW I wonder what uniform the coaches will use for the game. Do they dare…?