Friday, September 16, 2011

Blue Eagles fly to the Finals

"The Phenom" Kiefer Ravena
Image by the UAAP Sports
Blue Eagles knock-off the Growling Tigers in a close-tight game 69-66. With the strong effort of "The Phenom" Kiefer Ravena. He was awarded as the best player of the game with, 15pts. 2rebs. 2assts.

It was a hardly contested game from start to finish. In the first quarter it seemed UST would control the ball game and keep Blue Eagles on a chased down but the Ateneans refused to be on that spot and came back in the second quarter and ended the first half leading by 8-points, 30-38.

ADMU's lead ballooned to 15-points in the third quarter, their largest lead in the ball game but the UST Growling Tigers fought back and brought the lead to 12-points after three quarters, 52-40.

In the early part of the fourth and final quarter everyone thought that the Blue Eagles would easily take this one out of Uste. ADMU led the whole game, but they relaxed a bit and Uste took advantage of that and made their last and strong run to salvage their position in the Final 4 playoff and forced the Blue Eagles to a sudden death game this coming Sunday but ADMU denied that run.

Cris Camus
Image by the UAAP Sports
Cris Camus made a 3-point shot that triggered the UST community inside the Smart Araneta Coliseum roar and fueled the come back of the Growling Tigers. He made three 3-point shot in the crucial parts of the game, as we all know Camus was only 28% shooter beyond the arch before the game, with a big help from Kevin Ferrer both players made an extra effort to kept Uste in the fight. When Uste brought the lead down to 5 points it became a free-throw shot contest for both team, UST Growling Tigers missed 11 free-throws for the whole game, they shot 15 out of 26 in the line (58%) and Camus, the one who started the rally, missed 4 crucial free-throws that could tie the ball game or even gave them the lead. While Ferrer, fouled out, when he contested the 3-point shot of Ravena and that stopped the momentum of the Growling Tigers.

Karim Abdul on the line
Image by the UAAP Sports
The big guy of Uste, Karim Abdul gave a very good effort against the "Big Slaughter" Greg Slaughter. He made good inside shot to kept the game close in the first half. He battled inside for the rebound and 2nd chance points, but in the start of 3rd quarter Greg Slaughter redeemed his self from his head-to-head battle with Abdul. Karim Adbul said that he couldn't out jump and outplay Slaughter but he will out smart the biggest guy in the UAAP right now. Unfortunately, Greg won their match up and went straight to the Finals.

Jeric Fortuna (Left) and Jeric Teng (Right)
Image by the UAAP Sports
They were both out of their element in their playoff game against ADMU. Fortuna and Teng, they had an awful shooting all game long and that hurt their team. they combined for only three 3-point shots, Teng's only 3-poniter came in the last seconds of the game when he brought down the lead of  ADMU to 1 point, 66-67. UST had a disappointing 21 turnovers that was a HUGE! factor that gave them a hard time competing with Ateneo. They had 5 turnovers in the fourth quarter and 2 of that 5 came from Fortuna and those turnovers were so crucial, that could have change the complexion of the game and shifted the momentum to UST's side. 2.7 seconds remaining in the game and UST was still in the ball game, they had the possession and the score was 66-69, they could tie and force an extra 5-minutes to decide the outcome. Fortuna received the inbound pass, and his last shot was off. The history was still up for grabs, because there's no team that ever come back and knock-off the first seeded in the Final 4 format.

Ateneo De Manila University is again in the Finals for the fourth straight year. They made an overall team effort to win their Match-Up against the fourth seeded UST. Their maturity and Finals experience is really doing so well for them. 2008, 2009, 2010 Champions, can they get the 2011 championship? Will they have the first ever Four-Peat?

NEXT: Adamson Falcons vs. FEU Tamaraws (Final Four Match Up)

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