Friday, December 9, 2011

PCCL 2011 - ADMU vs SBC

Three Up
  • After a fourth quarter that produced just a single point, the trio of Greg Slaughter, Nico Salva and Kiefer Ravena made sure that this time, their lead was not going away, dropping 16 of their team's final 21 points. Ravena, the Rookie of the Year in the UAAP, led the charge, scoring eight points in eight minutes, including a sick, mid-air put-back of a Greg Slaughter miss that started a 6-0 blast to finally put San Beda away. 
  • Ateneo's big men sometimes forget to play up to their size, but they didn't in this game, scarfing up the caroms like they were going out of style, 37 to 21, 13 to 7 on the offensive glass, for a 14 to 4 advantage in second-chance points. Slaughter and Salva, the starting frontcourt, hauled down eight each, while guards like Tonino Gonzaga and Kirk Long got four a piece, plus an additional five courtesy of reserve big Justin Chua. 
  • Sticking Tonino Gonzaga on the primary ball-handler was a stroke of genius by head coach Norman Black, as the shut-down defender harassed the likes of Anjo Caram and Baser Amer to no end. On several possessions, the Red Lions would only get into their set plays with 12 or 10 seconds left on the clock. Resulting in a 24-second violation or rushed shots. Towards the latter part of the game, San Beda was forced to resort to leaving two ball-handlers on the court, just to work around Zags.

Three Down
  • San Beda's big men were once again held in check by their larger counterparts. Kyle Pascual was 3 for 5 from the field for six points, along with four boards and two assists, while Dave Marcelo had the unenviable task of trying to guard Greg Slaughter, though on the other end, scored seven, to go with three boards and three dimes. With the offense centered on the San Beda shooters getting free for open looks, it's no wonder the big men vanished from time to time. 
  • With the Eagles shooting 0 for 5 from beyond the arc, it's surprising the Red Lions didn't opt to try a zone defense, which is what threw Ateneo off against San Sebastian. Since the first Final Four match against UC, the outside shooting of Ateneo has been sorely lacking (5/23 combined in those two games against NCAA teams).
  • The more I see of the Gonzaga/Ravena backcourt, the more I like it. Many assumed that we'd have either Juami Tiongson or Nico Elorde at the point with Ravena at the two-spot, and while we haven't seen Elorde yet, Tiongson has been horrible this entire PCCL. He simply hasn't fully grasped the offense yet it seems, forcing Black to go with either Austria or Long at the point guard spot in crunchtime. 

Random Notes
  • When Ateneo plays San Sebastian on Monday, they'll have to beat the Stags twice, if they win on December 12, they'll need one more victory on the 14th to be the PCCL Champs. This isn't the first time they've needed two straight to clinch the crown however. Back in the last two years, when the Finals was a best of three affair, Ateneo dropped the first game of series versus FEU (2009) and Adamson (2010), before bouncing back to raise the trophy. 

PCCL 2011: ADMU vs SBC

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