Tuesday, December 13, 2011

PCCL 2011 - Finals Game 1: ADMU vs SSCR

Three Up
  • UAAP Finals MVP Nico Salva scored four points in the first half, but made up for it with 14 in the second, 10 coming in the third quarter to help Blue Eagles seize and keep the lead. The fourth-year player not only drew defenders like Calvin Abueva and Michael Miranda, and still scored, on the flipside, he also had stretches where he had to guard those two guys, and even some stints versus Ian Sangalang. With the offense stuck in neutral against the zone of Baste, no Salva would have meant an easy ADMU loss.
  • After giving up nine unanswered at the start of the fourth quarter, the Ateneo defense managed to shut San Sebastian down when it mattered, allowing just a single point in the final 3:50 of the game. Sure it helped that Calvin Abueva threw himself out of the game with 1:04 left, but even before that incident, Oping Sumalinog seemed to have gotten the handle on "The Beast," resulting in the steal that led to Abueva's last foul. 
  • Stags head coach Topex Robinson unveiled his latest defensive wrinkle to stop Ateneo: instructing his players to aggressively play for the steal out of their zone. The ploy worked, and the Eagles coughed the ball up a grand total of 26 times. They had 16 turnovers already by the first half, in the UAAP, Ateneo had six games where they finished with less than that number, which led to 13 of San Sebastian's 23 markers in the 20 minute span. 

Three Down
  • Calvin Abueva giveth, and Calvin Abueva taketh away. After missing most of the first half due to what seemed like an early case of cramps, Abueva returned for 11 in 13 second-half minutes, taking over the scoring duties for the Stags. As good as he was though, Abueva also turned the ball over 10 times, four in the final quarter, and none more costly than the one Sumalinog came up with, leading to the ref whistling the NCAA MVP for his fifth. Then on the way off the court, Abueva intentionally bumped that same referee, leading to a technical foul that was charged to his head coach, and free throws that sealed things for Ateneo.
  • How effective was San Sebastian's zone? The Eagles could barely get the ball into the post and Greg Slaughter's hands at times, forcing them to rely on lower percentage shots. Coupled with the arm-bar antics of Michael Miranda and Anthony Del Rio (yes, Anthony Del Rio managed to successfully guard Slaughter several times), and the big man was held to just seven points on 3 of 10 shooting. 
  • Ateneo had an off-day for them at the foul line, shooting just 13 of 20 from the stripe, including missing a few that could have closed the Stags out earlier, but luckily for them, San Sebastian was even worse, with a 5 for 13 clip. They had managed better than 50 percent in the entire NCAA tournament. 

Random Notes
  • As previously mentioned, Ateneo is no stranger to winning two in a row for a PCCL title. They did that against FEU and Adamson in the last two years. 
  • Luckily for Abueva, the PCCL has no provisions for suspending players (something they ought to look into for next year), so he'll be able to make up for his antics on Thursday.  


PCCL 2011: Finals - ADMU vs SSCR

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