|"You shall not pass!" Kirk Long shut down Bobby Ray Parks and keyed an Ateneo win (pic source)|
ADMU 86 - NU 62
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Player of the Game : Can we please forgo using steals, rebounds and blocks as our criteria for Defensive Player of the Year? Because Kirk Long deserves that award like nobody else. Long stayed in front of Parks for nearly the entire game and held him to just 2 points while guarding him straight-up. Considering how Parks is maybe an inch or two taller, with a longer wingspan and a larger build, that's no easy task. The fifth-year team captain of the Eagles also contributed on the offensive end, scoring 11 points on 4/7 shooting, and distributing the ball to the tune of 7 assists.
Ateneo Stat to Watch : Going into the game, there was a possibility that the combination of Emmanuel Mbe and Bobby Ray Parks would be too much for the interior of Ateneo to handle. Obviously, that didn't happen, as the Blue Eagles edged NU out in terms of offensive rebounds, 13 to 11, and second-chance points 14-12.
Ateneo Player to Watch : With Coach Black opting to run out Kirk Long on Parks, with Bacon Austria as second option, Tonino Gonzaga didn't see a whole lot of burn (just 4 minutes), but he did manage to hit a long deuce.
NU Stat to Watch : The Bulldogs started Emmanuel Mbe to counter Greg Slaughter, but still had 22 of their 62 points come from the bench, as Coach Altamirano frantically cycled through nearly everyone on his roster, looking for anyone who could spark his squad (only Kyle Neypes and to my surprise, Ajeet Singh, didn't see the floor). Aside from 11 points on mostly outside shooting from Gelo Alolino though (after he tried, and failed, to post up Emman Monfort), there wasn't much to see from the NU reserves
NU Player to Watch : In hindsight, I feel bad for propping up Joseph Terso, as his numbers last season against Ateneo were pretty horrible: 5.5 points on 36% shooting, 1 rebound, 1.5 assists and 3.5 turnovers. Yesterday was pretty bad as well, as he missed all of his shots, but managed a split at the free throw line for a solitary point, pulled down 3 rebounds, had no assists, one steal, and no turnovers, though he did foul out. All of that in 21 forgettable minutes.
- Ateneo shot 50.79 percent from the field, making 10 more field goals in the process than NU, who were just 36.67 percent. The perimeter defense of the Blue Eagles prevented NU from getting perimeter points, as the Bulldogs made just 3 of their 22 shots from outside the shaded lane.
- The Blue Eagles scouted NU correctly, and ran, ran, ran. They got a 23-9 edge in fast break points, and 29 to 11 advantage in turnover points, with nary a Parks chase down block attempt.
- Of Ateneo's 32 field goals, 30 came off an assist. Their high last season came in their round two blowout of UP, 26.
|"You shall not pass" part 2. Ping Exciminiano was a one-man wrecking crew versus UE (pic source)|
FEU 66 - UE 47
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Player of the Game : FEU has been hoping that Exciminiano would show them some offensive spark what with their need for a wing player, and he delivered in this game, tallying 12 points on 5/6 shooting, most coming off his 4 steals and 2 blocks, as he harassed the less athletic competition.
FEU Stat to Watch : After FEU was simply out-worked in their game versus Adamson, the Tams bounced back nicely here, getting 17 second chance points (though UE had 14) and 29 turnover points (UE had just 9).
FEU Player to Watch : Terrence Romeo's poor play continues to mystify people. He had 7 points in 20 minutes (3 of 8 shooting, no free throws), but got just 4 rebounds and 2 assists, versus 3 turnovers. That's excusable versus UE, but against other contenders, it becomes a big problem.
UE Stat to Watch : UE's game continues to be characterized by a bunch of guys dribbling into traffic, and getting swatted or fouled by the giants guarding the rim. The Red Warriors made just 2 out of 25 perimeter shots including a 0/8 performance from downtown. They were getting some good looks too, but nothing would go down.
UE Player to Watch : Paul Zamar got a noticeable short stint yesterday, playing in just 15 minutes, and got nothing going. He had just two points on free throws, and missed all five of his attempts from the field, finishing with only two rebounds and nothing else.
- FEU was 2/18 in a disastrous first quarter that saw UE take a 12-2 lead before the Tams started fighting back. Morayta's sons also turned the ball over 5 times, and the lead would have been higher had UE not missed all four of their charities.
- UE's poor free throw shooting continued, with a 9/18 performance from the stripe. All in all, UE's making just under 60% of its free throws, 34/57 to be precise.
UAAP Picking Record: 7-3