AIMING to reclaim a share of the top spot, La Salle and Far Eastern University tackle separate opponents with both hoping to flash the same sharp form in their big UAAP wins last week.
The Green Archers, who are coming off a gritty 88-86 triumph over rival Ateneo, try to stretch their winning streak to seven against the struggling University of the Philippines in men’s basketball at 2 p.m. today at Mall of Asia Arena.
“We don’t look at [the standings of the] teams, our attitude is always the same,” said La Salle coach Juno Sauler. “And Jeron [Teng] as our team captain has been there. He’s the leader of the team, he makes sure everyone is focused.”
MANILA, Philippines – Ateneo star Kiefer Ravena said his dagger three-pointer against the University of the East (UE) became possible because the Red Warriors were "scared" of leaving his teammates alone and double-teaming him.
Ravena again took over in crunch time and nailed a long three-pointer over UE's Renz Palma with 14 seconds to go. The shot gave Ateneo a 76-72 lead, and they went on to win 78-73.
"I had the goal, before the start of the game because the coaches already told me what UE was going to throw at me," Ravena explained after the game. "Kaya noong umpisa, I was really involving my teammates."
MANILA, Philippines – National University's (NU) foreign centers Alfred Aroga and Henri Betayene, who have helped turn the Bulldogs into the UAAP's best defensive team, are proud of their roles as defensive anchors and rebounders.
NU ended the first round of the tournament as the best defensive team in the league, allowing only an average of 52.4 points per game and holding teams to only 31.6% from the field.
According to stats website HumbleBola, teams playing against NU only register an effective field goal percentage of 35.4%, nearly seven percentage points below the league average.
MANILA, Philippines – Much of the attention has been given to Ateneo's star guard Kiefer Ravena, but forward Chris Newsome has quietly been having a strong season for the Blue Eagles as well.
Newsome scored a season-high 23 points to go along with six rebounds in Ateneo's 78-73 win last Wednesday. Before Ravena stole the show with his crunch time heroics, it was Newsome who carried the Blue Eagles, showing no fear of UE's Charles Mammie as he repeatedly drove to the basket en route to 21 free throw attempts.
The soft-spoken forward said he was merely playing his part for Ateneo.
MANILA, Philippines – After a tremendous start to his collegiate career, Ateneo rookie Arvin Tolentino has seemingly hit the rookie wall. The former San Beda Red Cub has struggled in the Blue Eagles' past three games, culminating in a scoreless outing against the University of the East (UE).
Tolentino acknowledged his struggles in a tweet after Ateneo's hard-fought 78-73 win over UE, saying: "Anybody there who can give me money so I can buy a bucket?" The rookie took only one shot – a three-pointer – against the Red Warriors and bricked it.
Tolentino's teammates have rallied around him, however. Chris Newsome, who scored a season-high 23 points against UE, told reporters: "We really shouldn't be getting on him for things like that. We should be encouraging him."
MANILA, Philippines – National University's (NU) bench players drew praise from their coach after they helped the Bulldogs pull away from the Adamson Soaring Falcons in their UAAP Season 77 game Wednesday.
The Bulldogs started somewhat flat and even trailed 14-10 against the winless Falcons in the first period.
But they eventually took control of the game when players like Glenn Khobuntin, Rev Diputado, Paolo Javelona and Reden Celda came off the bench. A lay-up by the veteran Khobuntin sparked a 22-0 run spanning the first and second quarters, and the Bulldogs never looked back.
MANILA, Philippines — Jeers of “One Big Flop” rained down on Ateneo superstar Kiefer Ravena Wednesday.
That though, turned out to be the worst mistake the boisterous University of the East crowd, with the stinging memory of Ravena breaking the Red Warriors’ hearts late in the first round still fresh, could make Wednesday night.
“It motivated me when I heard the UE crowd cheering ‘one big flop,’” said Ravena, whose game-clinching 3-pointer at the top of the key in the waning seconds of the Blue Eagles’ 78-73 win left the crowd in red in dead silence. “It really motivated me to play even more.”