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The Games That Play Us: We Haven’t Seen These Dark Skies

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.

Ridiculous, right?

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.


Boy, if this kid were playing...


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

Key Performances:

Almond Vosotros (DLSU) – 19pts, 9rebs, 1ast

Jeron Teng (DLSU) – 18pts, 8rebs, 2asts

Chris Newsome (AdMU) – 27pts, 7rebs, 4asts, 1stl


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Started playing basketball the same way many other Pinoys do -- on the street with his relatives, friends, and neighbors. After accepting the fact I will never be Philippine Basketball's savior against the might of China and Korea on the court, I turned to writing off the court. I'm not exactly the most objective armchair analyst on this side of the basketball universe, but it's not for want of trying. I write about other basketball leagues on If you also have any queries about the English language, blame it on the day job. Follow me on Twitter: hoopnut


  • Flight says:

    Hey Enzo, no more if’s and but’s. La Salle won so we move on.

  • Anti-heat says:

    As an alumni of DLSU any win against Ateneo is a good win. As a basketball fan however I feel for the struggles of the Blue Eagles. Sure things might have gone differently if Ravena was there but the lack of production from the PF/C positions (no Newsome and Buenafe are not PFs)is losing them games. Ateneo right now has the worst set of bigs in any collegiate league. Is it their fault though? Tax was right in a previous thread, Coach Perasol hasn’t run enough plays for them. Bigs are just used to set screens and get rebounds. How does making a play for them make a difference? If Erram or Golla was able to get some fouls from AVO and company on the offensive end who knows what could’ve happened? DLSU bigs might’ve gotten into foul trouble and it would’ve been Ateneo who was getting to the foul line. Production from the big men was the key for Ateneo during their 5-peat run, without it I don’t think they can make a serious run at the title even with Ravena playing at his best.

    • AH, it isn’t in Bo’s mind! Remember, PowerAde! Casio, Latisser, David…. Bo is a Patton, not a Macarthur! But, let’s see! He might turn out to be a Marshall!

      However, Sauler does not impress me too thus far; no offense! But, lets see. Both are new.

      • Anti-heat says:

        Yes but that didn’t win him any championships and it wasn’t like they were winning many games they got hot at the right moment. Besides Juami Tiongson isn’t Jvee he can shoot like Jvee but he can’t create plays to the level of Jvee.

        Sauler….Well we will have to trust him as much as you guys will have to trust Bo. To be fair you guys should try to replace a coach 3 weeks before the start of the season and see how things work out. He’s doing the best he can and that’s all we can ask. Also at least he is open minded when it comes to offense.

  • Buenafe says:

    There are no dark skies for the best school in the land blessed with superior students. Other schools are not worthy of even being in the same court as Ateneo.

    Please note that our janitor is an FEU graduate. Nuff said.

    • mighty_bangaw says:

      Foul. Arrogant. ill-bred.

    • king archer says:

      @Buenafe: I am a pure blooded lasallian but I do have a lot of friends from ateneo (I mean A LOT!) and I must say that the way you’re talking you are just a poser and not a real atenean…because true ateneans knows the meaning of the word “RESPECT”…In your case, sorry but if ever (take note IF EVER) you are really from ateneo, you are a big shame to the whole ateneo community!…

      anyway, to all LEGIT ateneans out there, the season is still young just keep your focus and keep fighting!

      congrats to DLSU for winning!!!

      ANIMO LA SALLE!!!!

    • Parks says:

      So much for being a “superior” student. Show some class kid!

    • nobrainer says:

      ano yan ka lahi ni kief? hehe

    • Lucid says:

      “… Other schools are not worthy of even being in the same court as Ateneo”

      Flame-bait from a posing Atenean. Haha. If you are a “TRUE” Atenean and you think your alma matter doesn’t deserve to be around the other UAAP cagers, then feel free to urge your school to relocate elsewhere. But please finish the course of the competition first, just for formality. :D

      Hindi talaga maubos ang mga poser dito… lol

  • moch says:

    Move on dude.. everybody losses and your school already had its good share of winnings.. also, this kind of article should be in your school’s site/blog where your article is better appreciated.. looks as if ur whining to the readers when u only lost 3

  • zestyzesta says:

    Kalbo na nga ba Blue Eagles??? Abangan!!!

  • tikboy says:

    Katipuneros, be afraind. Be very afraid. We are free of Webb – the Ateneo 6th man in our line-up.

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