Sunday, September 4, 2011

One Day Later: NU vs ADMU, ADU vs UST

High five - NU couldn't score on the Ateneo quintet, dropping out of Final Four contention (pic source)

ADMU 61 - NU 39
Recap - - - Preview

Player of the Game : The flashy part of this yeoman like defensive extravaganza? Nico Salva, tallying 14 points on 6o f 10 shooting, plus seven boards, two assists and a block. Of course, two of those points came on that showtime-esque slam from Kiefer Ravena's over the head pass, and his registered block was a huge rejection of Bobby Ray Parks.

NU Positives :
  • NU's 2-3 zone confused Ateneo. For about a quarter, a quarter and a half at most. 
NU Negatives :
  • The Bulldogs' offense only looks explosive when they're up against UE and UP, it seems. It ran into a brick wall versus Ateneo, as they were held to a pathetic 39 markers, a record it seems, for as much as people can remember in the UAAP. NU missed all seven of their triples, and made a paltry 16 field goals. 
  • NU didn't do themselves any favors by turning the ball over 25 times, five from Parks, and four each from Robby Celiz and Glenn Khobuntin. Khobuntin's stint stands out particularly, as according to the official stat sheet, he only played six minutes.
  • Parks' failed attempt to dunk on the last possession. Not only did he miss, he came down limping, asking to be subbed out. That's probably why you don't play your best players late into blowouts.

ADMU Positives :
  • Despite just a day between this and a surprisingly tight (early on, that is) second Battle of Katipunan, Ateneo managed to show off their defense to the hilt, posting a little piece of history to boot. 
  • The Eagles broke the zone the way they know how, by forcing turnovers and scoring before the opponents set up. That led to 13 fastbreak points and 23 turnover points for the defending champs, compared to just six and eight respectively for NU. 
  • It was a team effort once again, as four different Blue Eagle starters finished in double-digits. And though Emman Monfort was the odd man out, with just two points, he did get six rebounds, six assists and four steals.
ADMU Negatives :
  • 3 of 20 three-point shooting is pretty bad, but about par for course for Ateneo's shooters. Two came from Kiefer Ravena, proving that he can shoot from long-range (though he'll need seven tries), but surprisingly, Tonino Gonzaga went 0 for 3 in this game, despite ample opportunity.
  • In the overwhelming win, Ateneo piled on the points despite not making less free throws (6 to 7, with both teams shooting nine) and getting out-rebounded 42-40, and 11-9 on offensive rebounds. 

A hand in your face - Adamson jumpers could not connect in the second half (pic source)

UST 74 - ADU 58
Recap - - - Preview

Player of the Game : Jeric Teng was 0/4 from the field, 1/4 from the foul line in a dismal first half, but the former rookie of the year bounced back in a big way in the second half, finishing with 19 points on 7 of 12 shooting, to help ignite a UST comeback along with backcourt-mate Jeric Fortuna. Teng also added eight boards and six assists, while his defense picked up a notch or two in the second half, contributing to the woes of Adamson's shooters.

ADU Positives :
  • The Falcons were able to get one of their signature hot starts, but this is the second time this season that they were unable to sustain it (the first being the NU loss in round one)
  • As mentioned above, Jeric Teng was shadowed pretty well in the first half, missing everything including free throws. Where that defense went to in the second half, I have no idea.
  • Adamson reverted to its style of play from last season, getting nine steals in the first half, and converting those into 20 turnover points. Unfortunately, once those easy baskets dried up, so too did Adamson.
ADU Negatives :
  • Head coach Leo Austria mentioned after the UP win that his boys played lazy basketball because they were looking for a big game. Apparently, they didn't seem to think this counted as one, being content with a first half lead, only to see it vanish in the fourth period. 
  • When panic settled in and head coach Leo Austria burned his last timeout in the fourth, the Falcons looked like headless chickens running around. Instead of running pick and rolls, screen, or anything that would get them a high percentage shot, the Falcons jacked up nine triple attempts. This was despite the fact that the lead was just 10 and they had about five minutes to go. Of course, once UST got the ball, they started nailing treys, and things blew up in the faces of the Adamson team.
  • Adamson took a whopping three attempts in the paint in the second half. THREE.

UST Positives :
  • Head coach Pido Jarencio wanted his team to not give up in the second half, perhaps having seen before how this Adamson team can go from hot to not in a span of a quarter. His players redoubled their efforts, and it paid off, as they were able to overhaul the lead in the second half. 
  • UST took much better care of the ball in the second half and the result was a mere six points in transition, zero off turnovers, cutting off the Falcons' source of easy points in the first half.
  • Aside from Teng, three other Tigers, Abdul, Fortuna and Camus, scored in double figures. That's the sort of team play UST will need going forward.
UST Negatives :
  • UST's flat start nearly left Coach Jarencio apoplectic. Versus FEU, the Tigers cannot expect that they can simply make comebacks when they want to, and should instead come out competitive from the opening tip.
  • Adamson was actually in a good position at the start of the third, with three fouls each on Chris Camus and Karim Abdul, unfortunately, their reliance on jump shots prevented them from exploiting the foul trouble, keeping Camus and Abdul on the court where they hurt the Falcons. Any other team would have tried to fish for those fouls. Camus in particular, seemed to go after every shot, seemingly fishing for whistles. Smarter teams will exploit that weakness and send him to the bench early.  

UAAP Picking Record: 36-12

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