Tuesday, 9 July 2013 19 Comments
Not since 1997.
Back when I was still in third-year high school.
Back when Backstreet Boys CDs were still churning out receipts for Tower Records, we still had MTV Philippines, and people were wondering if that singer from Hanson was a boy or a girl.
Back when big shirts and baggy jeans were still in fashion, the Jordan XIIIs first came out, and Claudine Barretto was not nearly as controversial as she is now.
That far back.
In a way, Ateneo can take some pride in the fact it’s been that long. It means the school’s program since then has improved by leaps and bounds.
But thinking about that barely offers any consolation.
It’s bad enough the Eagles lost their third straight game, but to do it with the Green Archers staring down from their pedestal? That just makes it profane.
Oh but things didn’t start so gloomy, did they?
The Eagles were great in the first half. They shot 47% from the field, were +3 in assists, and forced 5 more DLSU turnovers. With Chris Newsome and Ryan Buenafe creating mainly from the top of the key, the Ateneans were able to find creases in the La Salle armor.
Newsome, of course, stood out from the rest. The Fil-American is playing only in his first year of UAAP ball (he’s not technically a rookie, though, since he already spent time with Team B), but he has shown great composure and confidence. Sure, he can blow by his defender and out-jump almost anyone, but in the first 20 minutes of this match, his leadership and poise shone through.
With the Katipuneros up by a dozen markers at halftime and momentum clearly on their side, it seemed like, finally, all would be well in Loyola Heights sans Kiefer Ravena.
And then the third period came.
I honestly cannot think of any single reason justifying Ateneo’s collapse in the third other than the fact that, painful to admit as it is, the La Sallians just played really well.
Everything was actually still moving along quite nicely until Almond VosoTRES hit a three to cut a 14-point deficit down to just 11 with about 5 minutes to go in the quarter. That basket began a 25-8 blast to end the third, with La Salle finding itself on top, 59-56, heading into the payoff period.
Imagine that – 25 points in 5 minutes. It took the Archers about 25 minutes to get to 34 points, and then they go on to score 30% of their total scoring output in around 5 minutes.
But it DID happen, and it just sucks it had to happen against Ateneo.
Vosotros scored 9 of his 19 points in the third, while Arnold Van Opstal, who has historically struggled against the Ateneans, erupted to score 8 of his 18 markers in the same stanza
Meanwhile, JP Erram fouled out with 45 ticks left and DLSU was awarded SEVENTEEN free throws – all in the third canto. Again, I won’t take any credit away from La Salle. It seemed like they adjusted to the way the refs were making their calls, and they exploited the mismatches up front, continuously pounding the ball down low. Majority, in fact, of the Greenies’ 25-points-in-5-minutes came from both Jason Perkins and Van Opstal, whether it was directly scoring from inside forays or from free throws.
The Ateneans just got blitzed, and, try as they may, they just couldn’t swing the momentum back in their favor.
Still, I love how the Eagles never gave up, how they kept on fighting toward the bitter end (special mention to Juami Tiongson, who really tried to rally his teammates), but it was clear after that crippling third period that there was no other result other than, indeed, a bitter end.
The hope of a breakthrough win turned into the despair of a third-straight loss.
The future uncertain in the face of the indefinite state of the Phenom’s condition.
The skies over Loyola darker than they’ve been for the past 16 years.
DLSU GREEN ARCHERS over AdMU BLUE EAGLES, 82-73
De La Salle 82 – Vosotros 19, Van Opstal 18, Teng 13, Dela Paz 10, Perkins 9, T Torres 8, N Torres 5, Reyes 0, Montalbo 0, Bolick 0
Ateneo 73 – Newsome 27, Tiongson 14, Buenafe 11, Pessumal 10, Erram 6, Elorde 3, Golla 2, Tolentino 0, Capacio 0, Babilonia 0
QS: 14-20, 28-30, 59-56, 82-73
Almond Vosotros (DLSU) – 19pts, 9rebs, 1ast
Jeron Teng (DLSU) – 18pts, 8rebs, 2asts
Chris Newsome (AdMU) – 27pts, 7rebs, 4asts, 1stl