Friday, September 16, 2011

Tamaraws forced Knock-Out Game

Terrence Romeo
Image by the UAAP Sports
He was part of the core three of the Tams with Garcia and Ramos. Terrence Romeo was the least expected to handle and carry his team in their game against the No.2 AdU Falcons, he was hitting all cylinder and burning nets. He was awarded the best player of the game with an outstanding 19 points.

Romeo's clutch game emerged when the team needed the most. After the tight game in the first half, Romeo, pulled it off, he hit a BIG 3-point shot that brought their lead to 13 points, 27-40. That was an answer to the 2-3 Zone Defense of the Falcons. That fueled the 17-4 run by the FEU in the third quarter and they posted their biggest lead in the game with 21 points, 31-52. The confidence and poise of this young Tam showed up in the game. He also played a very very good defense to Lester Alvares and limit the AdU's point guard production especially outside the 3-point line.

Ping Exciminiano
Image by the UAAP Sports
Injured and all, Exciminiano took the challenge of stopping their biggest threat, Alex Nuyles. Exciminiano sprained his ankle before the playoff but that was not an excuse for him. He was part of the early surged of Tamaraws and with his effort in the offensive end it was a big bonus for Coach Bert Flores. The three-guard line up of FEU in the first quarter did the magic and responsible for the sticky defense. They play a very Physical Defense. NO EASY SHOTS! It reflected in the first quarter score, they just allowed Falcons to 9 points, and the only time Falcons led was in the first quarter,3-0. FEU Tams also forced AdU Falcons in a very very low perimeter shooting percentage, Falcons were bleeding just to score in the paint and they were not connecting in their outside shot. Overall Defense made Tams the winner on their first encounter.

(From Left to Right) Jan Colina, Alex Nuyles, Lester Alvares, Janus Lozada
Image by the UAAP Sports
AdU Falcons never had a chance to be in the Final Four for 5 long years. Their last appearance was in 2006 season. This time their Final Four appearance could be the sweetest, because this would be their FIRST EVER twice-to-beat advantage in the playoff. They felt the pressure, an overwhelming pressure that they were not used to. They found themselves in an unfamiliar scenario, and they looked confused on how to handle the situation and play against FEU Tams. They were so tentative and uncertain on how to get their offense flowing. Their own Trio, Alvares, Nuyles and Camson were out of sink from the very start.

Lester Alvares
Image by the UAAP Sports
AdU Falcons live and die in their perimeter game, especially on their 3-point shooting. An awful outside game of Lester Alvares will just hurt his team in any game. He was out played, out scored and out smart by his match up, Terrence Romeo. Alvares made the first 3-point shot of the game, but that was his only successful shot in 3-point territory for the whole game. Coach Leo Austria was forced to go again with Jerick Canada, because their Captain was shrinking in the most important game of his team. Very poor perimeter shooting percentage for the whole team was the worst thing that could happen for AdU, they need to make their shots especially Alvares to give their big guys the opportunity to score in the paint.

Alex Nuyles
Image by the UAAP Sports
Alex Nuyles kept his team fighting in their first playoff game against FEU Tams. He had a hard time scoring in the first half, because of the denying defense of Ping Exciminiano. Falcons know how to bounce back from a big deficit, just like what they did to UST, they came back from a 17 point down and win the game. In the start of the fourth quarter FEU had a 20 point lead, Nuyles knew what he needed to do. He made 9 straight points, 2 3-point shots, a free throw and an explosive dunk to bring down the lead of Tams to 9, 47-56. Falcons also held the Tamaraws into a 5-minute drought to give them a chance to chase them and make a big come back. Although, Nuyles effort was threatened when he came down and probably injured his left ankle in the last minute of the fourth quarter.  Coach Austria had no choice but to pulled him out and let FEU took over the game, 59-49 in favor of the Tams.

The Sudden Death Sunday game will determine if AdU Falcons will commit to what they say that this is their time. They waited for so long for this opportunity, their last Finals appearance was 17 years ago. How will they react from the strong statement of the steady Finals contender FEU Tamaraws? Can Nuyles play? Can Alvares redeem his self and outplay his counter part Romeo? How will Colina, Camson and Lozada help their team if they can't dominate the paint? Will ADAMSON FALCONS go to the Finals for the first time in a long time?

Knock-Out Game Sunday
1:00pm-September 18,2011
AdU Falcons vs FEU Tamaraws
(Winner will face the waiting Ateneo Blue Eagles)

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