In their first game of the summer season, a match against St. Clare College of Caloocan in the Fr. Martin's Summer Cup, the Blue Eagles got up and running, leaving their opponent in the dust.
When one thinks of Ateneo, defense and size are two factors that immediately come to mind as the reasons for the Blue Eagles' success these past couple of seasons. An underrated reason for their winning though, has to be their fast break offense, and that was in full display today, as the Eagles zoomed to a 102-60 victory.
Starting Frank Golla, Nico Salva, Kirk Long, Kiefer Ravena and Eman Monfort, the Eagles made the extra passes to find wide open guys and ran the break to perfection. From that point on, it was just a matter of divvying up the minutes to make sure everyone got to play.
- Kiefer seems to have grown taller, to the point where I would wager him as a legit 6'0. He scored 11 on a variety of ways in the third quarter that got the crowd "ooooh-ing" and "ahhhh-ing." Ateneo is blessed to have him.
- Salva seems a touch more athletic, attacking the rim, while still nailing that mid-rang jumper.
- Gonzaga is an early lock for "most improved player." He will dog the other side's best player from end to end AND knock down triples with ease. Toss in the fact that we can bring him, Bacon and Pessumal off the bench, and Ateneo's second unit can put the stranglehold on opposing teams.
- Erram has added even more muscle, and when the team was going to him in the fourth, he responded well with 14 in that period. Another big that's gotten better is Chua, who showed a wider array of post moves.
- Tallo's offense wasn't quite here yet, but his ball handling and floor vision was. And did I mention Ateneo is going to run a whole lot more?
Ravena - 17, Chua - 16, Erram - 16, Gonzaga - 14, Salva - 14, Long - 6, Monfort - 6, Capacio - 5, Pessumal - 3, Tallo - 3, Austria - 2, Tiongson - 0
SUMMER LEAGUE ROSTER NOTES:
- Don't expect Ryan Buenafe, Jeric Estrada, Art Dela Cruz and Chris De Chavez to make summer league appearances, due to a variety of issues, mostly grades. Because of that, the Blue Eagles have elevated 6'4", long-limbed Paul Siarot to the Team A roster.