College Hoops

UAAP Opening Weekend Wrap-up

Photo by Jerome Ascano/NPPA ImagesPhoto by Jerome Ascano/NPPA Images

The Opening Ceremonies
What happened
Rain, rain, and more rain. As in literally, it rained on the athletes' parade. The idea of involving athletes from other sports is indeed novel, and the UAAP has been trying to feature non-basketball sports for a number of years already.

To this end, it has had some measure of success with the volleyball games. Involving all athletes in the opening ceremonies was therefore a natural next step. It's how to execute it that's been the problem ever since.

File this under the "it sounded like a good idea at the time" category. July is one of the wettest months of the year, so the chances of rain on July 9 were fairly good. And boy, did it rain. The football field was soaked and did not have good drainage, so much so that there were puddles of water everywhere. The weather was so bad that three of the four schools who had basketball games the following day -- namely FEU, DLSU and Adamson -- didn't allow their basketball teams to march for fear of compromising their health so close to opening day.

The program leading up to the actual parade of athletes could have been better if the performers were not prancing around muddy and wet grass. The condition of the field also slowed down the momentum of Olsen Racela on his way to lighting the flame, and it took away a little bit of the drama.

Also, I thought the show was just a little too Ateneo-centric. Yes, Ateneo was the host, and there's an unwritten rule that the host can indulge a bit in some breast-beating during the opening ceremonies. But if you're trying to make this season more than just about basketball, then it might have been better to tone down the "hey, look at us" rhetoric.

For instance, the emcees, who were all Ateneo graduates, started the program by discussing the upcoming parade, and how this opening would be very different because it would be the first to involve all the other sports. Well and good. But after that, they couldn't stop talking about Ateneo's four-peat aspirations. For a non-Atenean, it somehow felt off. After all, majority of the crowd came from the seven other schools. Not sure if they enjoyed listening to all that.

The parade itself wasn't that bad, but again, it could have been better for the athletes if they weren't made to stand in the mud for nearly an hour. All in all, the Olympic-style concept was good, but very ambitious. Unless someone builds a stadium with a retractable roof, or the UAAP opening is pushed back to summer, it might be better to keep it indoors next time.

FEU 74, DLSU 65
What happened

RR Garcia (Photo by Jerome Ascano/NPPA Images)RR Garcia (Photo by Jerome Ascano/NPPA Images)RR Garcia happened. The reigning UAAP MVP poured in 17 of his 21 points in the second half to help turn back the Archers. Garcia scattered 10 points in the payoff period, including two big triples, as the Tamaraws erected a 10-point lead late that they used as a cushion to thwart a last-minute La Salle surge that cut the lead to four.

Smart Gilas player Aldrech Ramos also came up big with 16 points and 8 rebounds, while ex-Gilas member JR Cawaling was the third Tamaraw in double figures with 10. The Archers had trouble all game long in their halfcourt set, especially with their only outside sniper Joseph Marata seeing limited minutes due to a hamstring injury. The other shooters couldn't find their range, and the team made only two triples the entire game. Meanwhile, the deep frontline rotation of Norbert Torres, Papot Paredes, Arnold Van Opstal, Jovet Mendoza, Ponso Gotaldera and Maui Villanueva had only 13 points combined.

La Salle's vaunted press and running game, which they rely on for quick points, wasn't too effective against a veteran team like FEU. Garcia, Terrence Romeo, Jens Knuttel and rookie Cris Tolomia easily handled the Archers' defensive pressure, and FEU actually had more turnover points than La Salle.

The bright spot was the triumphant return of point guard LA Revilla from a two-year absence due to an assortment of illnesses that nearly ended his playing career prematurely. But Revilla was the only Archer in double digits with 18, and the team as a whole shot less than 30% from the field.

Check out Game 1 photos here.

Ateneo 55, Adamson 51
What happened
Ateneo's Greg Slaughter. (Photo by Jerome Ascano/NPPA Images)Ateneo's Greg Slaughter. (Photo by Jerome Ascano/NPPA Images)Zero points in almost seven playing minutes happened. Adamson was ahead 51-44 with 6:58 left and looked poised to beat Ateneo for the first time since 1997. But somehow, the Falcons found a new way to lose to the Blue Eagles, failing to score a single point the rest of the way in an astonishing display of horrible offense.

Coach Leo Austria's game plan was simple: single coverage on man-mountain Greg Slaughter, let him get his points, then clamp down on the others. And for the first 33 minutes of the game, it worked.

Slaughter checked out with 23 points, the only Eagle to break double digits, in an impressive UAAP debut.The Falcons put Austin Manyara on him, and the Kenyan import had his hands full as he was simply too small to negate Slaughter's height and heft advantage. The ploy could have paid off if only Adamson had made one or two baskets down the stretch.

Slaughter shot 9-of-14, while the rest of the team sputtered to shoot an ugly 9-of-40.
Yet those stats became irrelevant because Ateneo scored -- and Adamson didn't —- when it mattered most: in the end game. The Blue Eagles came up with a few good defensive plays down the stretch, but during those seven minutes, it was more of Adamson playing bad offense than Ateneo playing good defense.

Roider Cabrera and Janus Lozada got a few good open looks from outside, Eric Camson ran his favorite turnaround move a couple of times, and the two-headed point guard of Jerick Canada and Lester Alvarez took their usual jumpers. Nothing dropped, and because of that the losing streak now stretches to 29 games.

Check out Game 2 photos here.

  • Pacquiao has lost his 'pop', Mayweather
    Pacquiao has lost his 'pop', Mayweather

    Floyd Mayweather says Manny Pacquiao has lost a step and that the Filipino's superstar slide has coincided with his decision to split from former strength trainer Alex Ariza. The 37-year-old undefeated welterweight champ Mayweather weighed in Wednesday on the latest performance by Pacquiao who beat Timothy Bradley on April 12 in Las Vegas in a rematch of their first bout in June 2012. "Actually, I did watch the fight," said Mayweather who is training to fight Argentina's Marcos Maidana in a …

  • Jodie Foster marries girlfriend
    Jodie Foster marries girlfriend

    Jodie Foster has reportedly tied the knot with Alexandra Hedison, who she has been dating for less than a year. …

  • Bad news for Samsung: 85% of people in Philippines willing to buy homegrown …
    Bad news for Samsung: 85% of people in Philippines willing to buy homegrown …

    Smartphone growth is being fueled not by big names like Samsung but by the increasing demand of homegrown smartphone brands in the country. …

  • Eruption now engaged to GF
    Eruption now engaged to GF

    [caption id="attachment_131583" align="alignright" width="240"] Newly engaged couple Eric Tai and Rona Samson; (inset) Samson’s engagement ring (Instagram)[/caption] Eric “Eruption” Tai has already proposed to his non-showbiz girlfriend Rona Samson. The “It’s Showtime” mainstay offered Samson the ring near Mayon Volcano, Albay over the Holy week break. Tai shared during Monday’s episode of “It’s Showtime,” how he asked Samson the big question. “Umakyat kami, siyempre Eruption at Mayon Volcano. …

  • 'More Fun in the Philippines' campaign brings more visitors from New Z …
    'More Fun in the Philippines' campaign brings more visitors from New Z …

    More New Zealanders are finding fun in the Philippines, based on recent data revealed by the Department of Tourism. …

Editor’s note:Yahoo Philippines encourages responsible comments that add dimension to the discussion. No bashing or hate speech, please. You can express your opinion without slamming others or making derogatory remarks.

  • Pacquiao has lost his 'pop', Mayweather

    Pacquiao has lost his 'pop', Mayweather

    AFP News - 17 hours ago
    Pacquiao has lost his 'pop', Mayweather

    Floyd Mayweather says Manny Pacquiao has lost a step and that the Filipino's superstar slide has coincided with his decision to split from former strength trainer Alex Ariza. The 37-year-old undefeated welterweight champ Mayweather weighed in Wednesday on the latest performance by Pacquiao who beat Timothy Bradley on April 12 in Las Vegas in a rematch of their first bout in June 2012. "Actually, I did watch the fight," said Mayweather who is training to fight Argentina's Marcos Maidana in a …

  • Jodie Foster marries girlfriend

    Jodie Foster marries girlfriend

    Cover Media - Thu, Apr 24, 2014
    Jodie Foster marries girlfriend

    Jodie Foster has reportedly tied the knot with Alexandra Hedison, who she has been dating for less than a year. …

  • Obama 'ate only half' the sushi course

    Obama 'ate only half' the sushi course

    AFP News - 10 hours ago
    Obama 'ate only half' the sushi course

    Barack Obama may have enthused publicly about the sushi he was served at an exclusive Michelin-starred restaurant, but he stopped eating half way through the meal, reports said Thursday. Pictures showed the US president being served sake by Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe at the counter of the tiny Tokyo eatery, as part of a meal billed as a chance for bonding, at which neither wore a tie. But a report Thursday said instead of making small talk and savouring Japanese delicacies at …

POLL
Loading...
Poll Choice Options