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Joescoundrel
07-14-2014, 08:47 AM
Still a contender...

Eagles, Bulldogs feast on listless Falcons, Tigers

4:51 am |

Monday, July 14th, 2014

MANILA, Philippines — National University coach Eric Altamirano had boldly declared that the Bulldogs, even with the departure of two-time MVP Ray Parks, would keep up with the top contenders.

True enough, the Bulldogs surprisingly overwhelmed last year’s finalist University of Santo Tomas, 59-40, in the 77th UAAP men’s basketball tournament Sunday at Smart Araneta Coliseum.

“We played some defense and they (Tigers) didn’t shoot well,” said Altamirano. “We’re confident with our game. I think the boys are starting to jell.”

Earlier, Ateneo also flashed murderous form in dumping Adamson, 79-57, to join the Bulldogs and opening-day winners University of the East and Far Eastern University on top.

Kiefer Ravena showed his old firepower and rookie Arvin Tolentino proved to be as promising as billed as the duo fueled the Blue Eagles’ one-sided win early.

“All of us wanted to be better than what we were last season,” coach Bo Perasol said of his Blue Eagles, who were nowhere in sight all summer as they trained in the Unites States, Japan and South Korea.

Gelo Alolino led the Bulldogs’ second-half breakaway to finish with 13 points, but the game also showed how miserable the Tigers played as they committed a whopping 26 turnovers and shot a pitiful 24 percent from the field.

Ravena, who had a less stellar showing last season due to injuries, pumped in a game-high 22 points on top of four rebounds and four assists.

“It’s a new start for us,” said Ravena. “A new adventure begins for us starting with this win.”

UST chief gunner Kevin Ferrer had seven turnovers and only five points for the Tigers, who wound up just a point better than the league’s lowest production of 39 points the past decade.

The Bulldogs outscored the Tigers, 22-10, in the third quarter to stretch their lead to 16, 47-31, after a slim 25-21 halftime lead.
Behind Alolino and Troy Rosario, the Bulldogs surged ahead to a 21-point spread, 58-37, as the Tigers continued to look out of sync.

The Eagles zoomed to a 10-1 start before opening up a 27-point gap, 47-20, as Ravena and Tolentino outscored the entire Adamson squad with a combined 21 points.

“The gauge is still how Kiefer will lead the team, but he will definitely need the help and assistance of everybody,” said Perasol.
The scores:

First Game

ATENEO 79—K. Ravena 22, Newsome 12, A. Tolentino 12, Pessumal 8, Elorde 6, Javellosa 4, Apacible 4, Asistio 3, Capacio 2, Gotladera 2, Babilonia 2, Doliguez 2, V. Tolentino 0, T. Ravena 0, Lim 0, Porter 0.

ADAMSON 57—Villanueva 15, Rios 15, Trollano 7, Ochea 7, Iñigo 4, Gumtang 4, Baytan 2, Aquino 2, Nalos 1, Polican 0, Barrera 0.
Quarters: 24-11, 47-20, 62-35, 79-57

Second Game

NU 59—Alolino 13, Rosario 9, Diputado 8, Aroga 8, Khobuntin 6, Alejandro 5, Neypes 4, Perez 2, Celda 2, Javelona 1, Salim 1, Yu 0, Betayene 0, Atangan 0.

UST 40—Abdul 11, Mariano 10, Sheriff 7, Ferrer 5, Subido 3, Lo 2, Daquioag 2, Basibas 0, Pe 0, Gayosa 0, Vigil 0.
Quarters: 14-9, 25-21, 47-31, 59-40

Joescoundrel
07-24-2014, 11:00 AM
Eagles alone on top at 3-0

Archers avoid 0-3 hole, nip NU

By Jasmine W. Payo |

Philippine Daily Inquirer 4:46 am |

Thursday, July 24th, 2014

Arvin Tolentino proved yet again that he’s this season’s prize catch as Ateneo turned back University of the Philippines, 86-75, to grab the solo lead with its third straight victory in the UAAP men’s basketball tournament yesterday at Mall of Asia Arena.

Tolentino, an early frontrunner for the top rookie plum, poured in 14 of his 20 points in the second half to help the Blue Eagles quell the Maroons’ persistent rallies.

“There was no doubt in my mind that he can make an impact right away as far as scoring is concerned,” Ateneo coach Bo Perasol said of Tolentino, a former San Beda high school star. “The best is yet to come for him. He’s used to highly competitive games when he was in high school, that’s why we really pursued him.”

La Salle later survived an even tougher challenge as Jason Perkins buried a shot clock-beating basket to bail out the Green Archers against National University, 57-55.

Perkins knocked in the Archers’ last six points, including a crucial basket underneath off an inbound pass from Jeron Teng with just 1.9 seconds left on the shot clock.

That big basket gave the Archers a four-point cushion, 57-53, in the last 6.7 seconds and helped the Archers seal their first victory in three games.

“It took a while for the play to develop,” La Salle coach Juno Sauler said of Perkins’ winning play. “We were lucky there.”
Perkins topscored with 14 and grabbed seven rebounds, while big man Norbert Torres, who also came through with key baskets inside the last five minutes, finished with 13 points.

Ravena posted 19 points, five rebounds and four assists for the Eagles, while Chris Newsome fueled the team’s big start with 18 points and 12 boards.

The winless Maroons moved within a bucket, 51-49, in the third quarter before the Blue Eagles roared back with a 12-0 spurt, half coming from Tolentino, that stretched the lead back to double figures, 63-49.

The Archers, who spoiled the Bulldogs’ bid to join the Eagles on top, trailed 48-49 before Torres and Perkins teamed up to wrest the lead, 53-49.

After a Troy Rosario shot pushed the Bulldogs within a bucket, 53-51, Perkins responded with a putback off a Teng miss to give the Archers a 55-51 edge with 36.6 seconds left.

The scores:

First Game

ATENEO 86—Tolentino 20, K. Ravena 19, Newsome 18, Capacio 9, Elorde 7, Pessumal 5, Babilonia 2, Gotladera 2, Javellosa 2, Lim 2, Apacible 0, T. Ravena 0.

UP 75—Lao 16, Gallarza 10, Asilum 9, Gingerich 9, Juruena 9, Dario 6, Vito 6, Reyes 5, Moralde 5, Bederi 0.

Quarters: 23-21, 46-38, 66-54, 86-75

Second Game

LA SALLE 57—Perkins 14, N. Torres 13, Teng 9, Van Opstal 7, Vosotros 7, Andrada 3, Montalbo 2, Rivero 2, Bolick 0.

NU 55—Aroga 12, Rosario 10, Alolino 9, Khobuntin 9, Javelona 5, Diputado 4, Alejandro 3, Neypes 2, Perez 1, Betayene 0, Atangan 0, Celda 0, Salim 0.

Quarters: 12-16, 35-29, 45-43, 57-55

Joescoundrel
07-24-2014, 11:04 AM
NU lost this game in the last 8.9 seconds. First there was that failure to secure the loose ball with 1.9 seconds left on the Lasalle shotclock. Then there was that failure to defend the inbound underneath Lasalle's own basket that led to Perkins making that pivotal basket. Then there was that confused return play on their own end that saw Alfred Aroga dribbling away most of whatever time they had remaining.

Joescoundrel
07-28-2014, 09:46 AM
Diputado, Javelona give NU lift in win over Ateneo

By Mark Giongco |

INQUIRER.net 7:45 pm |

Saturday, July 26th, 2014

MANILA, Philippines — National University banked on its guards down the stretch to beat erstwhile unbeaten Ateneo, 64-60, in the UAAP Season 77 men’s basketball tournament Saturday at the Mall of Asia Arena.

Veteran forward Troy Rosario led the Bulldogs with a near double-double effort with 16 points and eight rebounds but the young backcourt of Paolo Javelona and Rev Diputado provided stability in the crucial stage of the game.

“I’m very proud of our boys especially our bench. Like what I said, this season the identity of our team is not relying on just one player,” said NU head coach Eric Altamirano after his squad pinned Ateneo its first loss in four games. “I think the team really showed character today (Saturday) especially when we were missing our free throws.”

“Our bench players stepped up especially Javelona and Diputado,” Altamirano, whose team tied the Blue Eagles in second place with identical 3-1 marks, commended.

The second-year guard Javelona and rookie Diputado responded to the challenge facing Ateneo’s veteran guards Kiefer Ravena and Nico Elorde.

Javelona made three out of four free throws in the final one minute and 24 seconds that extended the Bulldogs’ lead back to four, 60-56, after Diputado scored on a reverse and sank a free throw late to keep the Blue Eagles at bay.

“We felt at the end we needed to focus more on our defense, make sure we stop Kiefer and we wanna pressure the point guard. The last few minutes they did a good job at controlling the tempo,” Altamirano said on why he opted to stick with Javelona and Diputado to finish the game and keep its lead guard Gelo Alolino on the bench.

“Gelo will always be our leader. We will stick with him. We need him this season to be our leader and be our main point guard.”

Alolino didn’t finish with his usual numbers, scoring just six points on two-of-nine shooting from the field with more turnovers (2) than assists (1).

The Bulldogs’ defense limit Ravena to his lowest output in four games with 13 points on a horrible shooting night. Ravena made just three out of his 20 attempts from the field. He also misfired on all of his seven attempts from long range.

Rosario split his charities to sealed the game with 11.9 seconds to go.

“We’re very happy he (Rosario) is delivering. His rebounding and defense is really a big help to the team.”

Glenn Khobuntin added eight points and 16 rebounds for the Bulldogs, who will take on Adamson next.

Blue-chip rookie Arvin Tolentino had a game-high 17 points and team-best nine rebounds for the Eagles, who shot just 31% from the field.

Sam Miguel
07-31-2014, 09:25 AM
No. 1 Bulldogs feast on Falcons

By Jasmine W. Payo |

Philippine Daily Inquirer 4:15 am |

Thursday, July 31st, 2014

National University caught Adamson on a bad day and the Bulldogs carved out the most lopsided triumph this season with a 62-25 rout to grab the solo lead in the UAAP men’s basketball tournament yesterday at Mall of Asia Arena.

The Bulldogs set the tone for the whopping 37-point romp right in the opening minutes as they zoomed to early double-digit leads behind Jay Alejandro, Gelo Alolino and Glenn Khobuntin.

“When we watched Adamson in the last two games they were really shooting well,” said NU coach Eric Altamirano. “Today they were not shooting well. It just so happened we played good defense and they couldn’t buy any shot.”

Alejandro unloaded 10 of his team-high 13 points in the first half where the Bulldogs erected a comfortable 29-point cushion, 40-11, on the way to their fourth victory in five games.

Earlier, Mac Belo continued to do wonders coming off the bench as Far Eastern University downed University of the East, 73-63, to climb to a share of second at 3-1.

Belo, the standout forward who didn’t start for the second straight game, sparked the Tamaraws’ comeback from an early deficit before finishing with a game-high 21 points.

“He’s very consistent,” FEU coach Nash Racela said of Belo. “His true leadership showed today. Even if he came off the bench in a big game, he still gives the numbers.”

Anthony Hargrove, who teamed up with Roger Pogoy and Achie Iñigo in a fourth-quarter breakaway, posted a double-double of 14 points and 12 rebounds.

The Falcons’ three-point output in the first quarter was the lowest scored by a team since the Bulldogs had the same measly production against Ateneo in 2009.

The Bulldogs led by as many as 39 points, 58-19, as the miserable Falcons could not score more than eight points in any quarters.

“I didn’t see them relax,” Altamirano said of his Bulldogs, the league’s surprise early leader. “I saw their body language even before the game that they were very focused.”

Alolino added 10 points, eight rebounds and four assists, while Troy Rosario had 10 markers and 10 boards for the Bulldogs.

“Being No. 1—we cannot rest on that,” said Altamirano. “This season is very unpredictable. You can go from 1 to 7 in a span of two games. What’s important is we have to be consistent every game.”

The Tamaraws came back from an early 13-point deficit, 9-22, with Belo and Hargrove fueling a 10-3 blitz at the start of the second quarter to trim the gap to 22-25.

By the second half, the Tamaraws were in full control and kept UE star guard Roi Sumang scoreless in the first three quarters.

The Warriors absorbed their second straight loss to drop into a tie with idle La Salle at 2-2. The Falcons remained winless in four outings.

The scores:

First Game

FEU 73—Belo 21, Hargrove 14, Tolomia 13, Cruz 7, Iñigo 7, Pogoy 5, Jose 4, Dennison 2, Escoto 0, Denila 0.

UE 63—Varilla 12, Galanza 11, Javier 8, Arafat 8, Sumang 7, Mammie 6, Alberto 5, Jumao-as 4, De Leon 2, Olayon 0.

Quarters: 12-22, 31-32, 52-49, 73-63

Second Game

NU 62—Alejandro 13, Alolino 10, Rosario 10, Khobuntin 7, Aroga 6, Cauilan 3, Neypes 3, Yu 3, Diputado 2, Javelona 2, Salim 2, Perez 1, Betayene 0, Atangan 0, Celda 0, Tansingco 0 .

ADAMSON 25—Trollano 7, Ochea 5, Nalos 4, Monteclaro 3, Aquino 2, Baytan 2, Barrera 1,Pedrosa 1, Butron 0, Donahue 0, Garcia 0, Gumtang 0, Iñigo 0, Rios 0, Villanueva 0.

Quarters: 19-3, 40-11, 56-17, 62-25

Sam Miguel
07-31-2014, 09:25 AM
No. 1 Bulldogs feast on Falcons

By Jasmine W. Payo |

Philippine Daily Inquirer 4:15 am |

Thursday, July 31st, 2014

National University caught Adamson on a bad day and the Bulldogs carved out the most lopsided triumph this season with a 62-25 rout to grab the solo lead in the UAAP men’s basketball tournament yesterday at Mall of Asia Arena.

The Bulldogs set the tone for the whopping 37-point romp right in the opening minutes as they zoomed to early double-digit leads behind Jay Alejandro, Gelo Alolino and Glenn Khobuntin.

“When we watched Adamson in the last two games they were really shooting well,” said NU coach Eric Altamirano. “Today they were not shooting well. It just so happened we played good defense and they couldn’t buy any shot.”

Alejandro unloaded 10 of his team-high 13 points in the first half where the Bulldogs erected a comfortable 29-point cushion, 40-11, on the way to their fourth victory in five games.

Earlier, Mac Belo continued to do wonders coming off the bench as Far Eastern University downed University of the East, 73-63, to climb to a share of second at 3-1.

Belo, the standout forward who didn’t start for the second straight game, sparked the Tamaraws’ comeback from an early deficit before finishing with a game-high 21 points.

“He’s very consistent,” FEU coach Nash Racela said of Belo. “His true leadership showed today. Even if he came off the bench in a big game, he still gives the numbers.”

Anthony Hargrove, who teamed up with Roger Pogoy and Achie Iñigo in a fourth-quarter breakaway, posted a double-double of 14 points and 12 rebounds.

The Falcons’ three-point output in the first quarter was the lowest scored by a team since the Bulldogs had the same measly production against Ateneo in 2009.

The Bulldogs led by as many as 39 points, 58-19, as the miserable Falcons could not score more than eight points in any quarters.

“I didn’t see them relax,” Altamirano said of his Bulldogs, the league’s surprise early leader. “I saw their body language even before the game that they were very focused.”

Alolino added 10 points, eight rebounds and four assists, while Troy Rosario had 10 markers and 10 boards for the Bulldogs.

“Being No. 1—we cannot rest on that,” said Altamirano. “This season is very unpredictable. You can go from 1 to 7 in a span of two games. What’s important is we have to be consistent every game.”

The Tamaraws came back from an early 13-point deficit, 9-22, with Belo and Hargrove fueling a 10-3 blitz at the start of the second quarter to trim the gap to 22-25.

By the second half, the Tamaraws were in full control and kept UE star guard Roi Sumang scoreless in the first three quarters.

The Warriors absorbed their second straight loss to drop into a tie with idle La Salle at 2-2. The Falcons remained winless in four outings.

The scores:

First Game

FEU 73—Belo 21, Hargrove 14, Tolomia 13, Cruz 7, Iñigo 7, Pogoy 5, Jose 4, Dennison 2, Escoto 0, Denila 0.

UE 63—Varilla 12, Galanza 11, Javier 8, Arafat 8, Sumang 7, Mammie 6, Alberto 5, Jumao-as 4, De Leon 2, Olayon 0.

Quarters: 12-22, 31-32, 52-49, 73-63

Second Game

NU 62—Alejandro 13, Alolino 10, Rosario 10, Khobuntin 7, Aroga 6, Cauilan 3, Neypes 3, Yu 3, Diputado 2, Javelona 2, Salim 2, Perez 1, Betayene 0, Atangan 0, Celda 0, Tansingco 0 .

ADAMSON 25—Trollano 7, Ochea 5, Nalos 4, Monteclaro 3, Aquino 2, Baytan 2, Barrera 1,Pedrosa 1, Butron 0, Donahue 0, Garcia 0, Gumtang 0, Iñigo 0, Rios 0, Villanueva 0.

Quarters: 19-3, 40-11, 56-17, 62-25

Joescoundrel
08-04-2014, 10:51 AM
Bulldogs overpower Warriors; Eagles win

By Olmin Leyba (The Philippine Star) |

Updated August 4, 2014 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - National U rode on a big 9-0 tear and clamped down on defense in the stretch to eke out a come-from-behind 57-55 victory over University of the East and keep the solo lead in the UAAP Season 77 men’s basketball tournament at the Smart Araneta Coliseum yesterday.

Cameroonian Alfred Aroga banged in 18 points and 15 rebounds in a dominating performance that helped the pacesetting Bulldogs complete the win, storming to their third straight and 5-1 overall.

“It was a tightly contested ballgame; it could have gone either way. But I just want to commend the boys for their resiliency in the end. They just refused to lose,” said NU coach Eric Altamirano, whose wards trailed by 11 points early on.

“In the early part of the game, we kind of forced the issue and lost our discipline. But come the third quarter, we got our acts together and got back to where we’re really strong at – defense – so I think it came down to making stops in the end,” he added.

Facing a 48-54 deficit, the Bulldogs shackled the Warriors and fired nine unanswered points in a three-minute stretch, making the most out of their offensive rebounding to turn the game around and seize a 57-54 margin going to the last 2:15.

UE, which trimmed the NU lead to two at 55-57 on a split by Roi Sumang, still had the chance to go for an equalizer or even a game-winner having ball possession with 17.1 seconds left. Sumang drove past Nico Javelona but found Aroga waiting underneath to challenge his up-and-under shot that missed the mark. Aroga picked up the rebound as NU supporters who included former star Bobby Ray Parks, Jr. celebrated.

“We knew they were going to Sumang. Of course, we didn’t want to give up a three, at least we can give up a two but we wanted to contain him really well, force him to one side where we know there will be help coming and true enough, Alfred was there to help up Javelona on the drive,” Altamirano said.

Glenn Khobuntin added 14 points plus eight rebounds and two assists and Troy Rosario came up with 11 markers and five boards to complement Aroga.

Bong Galanza and Sumang shot 16 apiece for the Warriors, who fell to their third straight loss after a 2-0 start. Charles Mammie and Moustapha Arafat went scoreless in their matchup with Aroga.

In the second game, Kiefer Ravena uncorked 12 of his 23 points in the payoff period to power Ateneo to an 81-78 victory over Far Eastern U and solo second with 4-1.

Taking charge in the crunch, Ravena knocked in a fadeaway jumper, a booming trey and two freethrows in succession to give the Blue Eagles a 75-66 cushion going to the last 1:15. The cagers from Katipunan hung tough in the face of a searing fightback by the Tams with Ravena’s split restoring a three-point spread with 2.4 seconds left.

Mike Tolomia launched a Hail Mary shot from near centercourt that hit the glass and didn’t go in, leading to FEU’s second setback in five games for a share of fourth with La Salle.

Joescoundrel
08-04-2014, 10:52 AM
Aroga stands tall for red-hot Bulldogs

(philstar.com) |

Updated August 4, 2014 - 10:31am

MANILA, Philippines -- National University Alfred Aroga may be capable of dominating a game, but that's not what the Cameroonian center has in mind for the Bulldogs to succeed in the UAAP men's basketball tournament.

“As far as I'm concerned, I can't talk like an individual player because everything that matters is the team,” said Aroga, “We're just playing as a team and we don't care about our stats. We just care about helping each other being better.”

But Aroga, named as the UAAP Press Corps-Accel Quantum Plus/316 Player of the Week, has shown how big he has been for the team.

Last Sunday, Aroga came through on both ends as the Bulldogs escaped the University of the East Red Warriors, 57-55, to grab the solo lead with a 5-1 record.

The 6-foot-7 Cameroonian center buried the Bulldogs' final bucket with over two minutes left, before stepping up on the defensive end in the dying seconds, where he forced UE guard Roi Sumang to miss a driving layup that would have extended the game.

Aroga finished with a double-double of 18 points and 15 rebounds on top of two assists and a block.

“He gives us that inside presence, especially in rebounding,” said NU coach Eric Altamirano. “He gave us 15 rebounds. More than the points, his rebounds are very important.”

Aroga also had 10 boards to go with six points, three assists and six of the team's 10 blocks in the Bulldogs' 37-point crushing of the Adamson Falcons, 62-25, last Wednesday.

“I just did my best in trying to execute what coach wanted me to do,” said Aroga.

Aroga edged Ateneo's Kiefer Ravena and Far Eastern University's Mark Belo for the weekly citation backed by Bactigel hand sanitizer, Doctor J Mighty Alcohol and Mighty Mom Anti-bacteria.

More than earning individual honors, Aroga said he wants to focus on sustaining the success of the Bulldogs, who were hardly seen as contenders following the departure of two-time Most Valuable Player Bobby Ray Parks.

“Each game, a different person comes out as player of the game,” said Aroga. “It's not all about a single player here. It's about the team.”

Sam Miguel
08-05-2014, 08:28 AM
Big cage week for National U

By Jasmine W. Payo |

Philippine Daily Inquirer 3:12 am |

Tuesday, August 5th, 2014

National University surprisingly dominated both the UAAP men and women’s basketball just a week before the first round of the eliminations wraps up.

The unbeaten Lady Bulldogs rolled to their fifth straight victory after whipping Far Eastern University, 56-40, in women’s action over the weekend at Blue Eagle Gym in Quezon City.

Kristine Abriam fired 16 points and Afril Bernardino posted a double-double of 12 points and 10 rebounds to power NU.
Defending champion La Salle joined the Lady Bulldogs on top at 5-0 by downing rival Ateneo, 48-39, behind Cass Santos and Trisha Piatos.

The Bulldogs also claimed the solo top spot with a 5-1 record in the men’s tournament.

Cameroonian center Alfred Aroga, named as the UAAP Press Corps-Accel Quantum Plus/316 Player of the Week, came up with big plays both in the Bulldogs’ 37-point blasting of Adamson, 62-25, and in their heart-stopping escape over University of the East, 57-55.

“I can’t talk like an individual player because everything that matters is the team,” said Aroga, who averaged 11.5 points, 10 rebounds and 2.2 blocks in six games.

Even in juniors volleyball, the Bullpups shared the early lead with the 10-time champion Junior Warriors at 3-0.

The Junior Warriors drubbed La Salle Zobel, 25-12, 25-18, 25-17, and overwhelmed tournament newcomer FEU-Diliman, 25-17, 25-7, 25-13, in the boys’ division.

The Bullpups stretched their perfect run by tripping University of Santo Tomas, 24-26, 25-16, 25-22, 26-24, and University of the Philippines, 25-12, 25-16, 25-19.

In girls’ action, defending champion UST clipped Adamson, 25-20, 25-21, 25-22, for its second straight triumph.

Sam Miguel
08-10-2014, 10:49 AM
Tams collar Bulldogs; Maroons end 2-year skid

By Jasmine W. Payo |

Philippine Daily Inquirer

4:37 am | Sunday, August 10th, 2014

CARL Bryan Cruz emerged as a surprise spark as Far Eastern University spoiled National University’s bid to grab the solo top spot with a 71-62 victory in the UAAP men’s basketball tournament yesterday at Mall of Asia Arena.

The Tamaraws’ rise, though, failed to match the aftershocks that followed University of the Philippines’ first win this season—and in 27 games spanning two years.

Mikee Reyes and JR Gallarza carried the past equally hapless Adamson, 77-64, in the earlier game, which generated greater public reaction especially over social media (See related story on Page A1).

Cruz unloaded 13 of his 16 points in the first half where the Tamaraws surprisingly erected a 20-point advantage, 42-22, before fending off the Bulldogs’ comeback attempt in the final quarter.

“It was the most crucial game for us because if we lost this game, we’ll be in the middle of the pack,” said FEU coach Nash Racela after the Tamaraws climbed to a share of third at 4-2.

“The players knew how important the game was. From the beginning, the focus was there and the effort was there.”

The Maroons pulled away early with Gallarza firing 18 of his 24 points in the first half, before Reyes took over to finish with a career-high 28 points and doom the Falcons to their sixth straight loss.

“We worked so hard this season, we just couldn’t get it going until today,” said Gallarza after the Maroons triumphed for the first time in two years despite the absence of head coach Rey Madrid.

Madrid missed the Maroons’ breakthrough win as he served the last of a two-game suspension for accusing the referees of match fixing.

“We really wanted this game,” said Reyes, who fueled a third-quarter outburst where the Maroons led by as many as 24 points, 60-36. “We felt that this is the game we can get a win.”

Achie Iñigo also delivered for the Tamaraws with 14 points, missing only once in five attempts, aside from dishing out three assists.

The Bulldogs, who held FEU stars Mac Belo and Mike Tolomia below their usual numbers, ended their first round with a 5-2 record to fall behind Ateneo, which has a 5-1 record.

“That has always been the emphasis—we should be unpredictable,” said Racela. “If they (opponents) focus on one or two players, other players should be able to step forward.”

Tolomia hit four crucial points in the endgame, before finishing with 10 on a poor 4-of-15 shooting clip. Belo had nine points, seven rebounds and a key block on Troy Rosario down the stretch.

The scores:

First Game

UP 77—Reyes 28, Gallarza 24, Lao 10, Asilum 4, Juruena 4, Lim 2, Moralde 2, Gingerich 2, Amar 1, Vito 0, Harris 0.

ADAMSON 64—Trollano 24, Rios 20, Monteclaro 5, Nalos 4, Iñigo 3,Villanueva 3, Bayran 2, Ochea 2, Polican 1, Aquino 0, Barrera 0, Garcia 0, Pedrosa 0.

Quarters: 17-13, 40-32, 64-46, 77-64

Second Game

FEU 71—Cruz 16, Iñigo 14, Tolomia 10, Belo 9, Jose 6, Pogoy 6, Tamsi 5, Hargrove 5, Dennison 0, Escoto 0, Delfinado 0, Ugsang 0.

NU 62—Alolino 13, Khobuntin 9, Javelona 8,Betayene 7, Diputado 7, Neypes 6, Rosario 6, Aroga 4, Atangan 2, Alejandro 0, Celda 0, Perez 0.

Quarters: 21-16, 42-22, 55-42, 71-62

Sam Miguel
08-10-2014, 10:49 AM
Tams collar Bulldogs; Maroons end 2-year skid

By Jasmine W. Payo |

Philippine Daily Inquirer

4:37 am | Sunday, August 10th, 2014

CARL Bryan Cruz emerged as a surprise spark as Far Eastern University spoiled National University’s bid to grab the solo top spot with a 71-62 victory in the UAAP men’s basketball tournament yesterday at Mall of Asia Arena.

The Tamaraws’ rise, though, failed to match the aftershocks that followed University of the Philippines’ first win this season—and in 27 games spanning two years.

Mikee Reyes and JR Gallarza carried the past equally hapless Adamson, 77-64, in the earlier game, which generated greater public reaction especially over social media (See related story on Page A1).

Cruz unloaded 13 of his 16 points in the first half where the Tamaraws surprisingly erected a 20-point advantage, 42-22, before fending off the Bulldogs’ comeback attempt in the final quarter.

“It was the most crucial game for us because if we lost this game, we’ll be in the middle of the pack,” said FEU coach Nash Racela after the Tamaraws climbed to a share of third at 4-2.

“The players knew how important the game was. From the beginning, the focus was there and the effort was there.”

The Maroons pulled away early with Gallarza firing 18 of his 24 points in the first half, before Reyes took over to finish with a career-high 28 points and doom the Falcons to their sixth straight loss.

“We worked so hard this season, we just couldn’t get it going until today,” said Gallarza after the Maroons triumphed for the first time in two years despite the absence of head coach Rey Madrid.

Madrid missed the Maroons’ breakthrough win as he served the last of a two-game suspension for accusing the referees of match fixing.

“We really wanted this game,” said Reyes, who fueled a third-quarter outburst where the Maroons led by as many as 24 points, 60-36. “We felt that this is the game we can get a win.”

Achie Iñigo also delivered for the Tamaraws with 14 points, missing only once in five attempts, aside from dishing out three assists.

The Bulldogs, who held FEU stars Mac Belo and Mike Tolomia below their usual numbers, ended their first round with a 5-2 record to fall behind Ateneo, which has a 5-1 record.

“That has always been the emphasis—we should be unpredictable,” said Racela. “If they (opponents) focus on one or two players, other players should be able to step forward.”

Tolomia hit four crucial points in the endgame, before finishing with 10 on a poor 4-of-15 shooting clip. Belo had nine points, seven rebounds and a key block on Troy Rosario down the stretch.

The scores:

First Game

UP 77—Reyes 28, Gallarza 24, Lao 10, Asilum 4, Juruena 4, Lim 2, Moralde 2, Gingerich 2, Amar 1, Vito 0, Harris 0.

ADAMSON 64—Trollano 24, Rios 20, Monteclaro 5, Nalos 4, Iñigo 3,Villanueva 3, Bayran 2, Ochea 2, Polican 1, Aquino 0, Barrera 0, Garcia 0, Pedrosa 0.

Quarters: 17-13, 40-32, 64-46, 77-64

Second Game

FEU 71—Cruz 16, Iñigo 14, Tolomia 10, Belo 9, Jose 6, Pogoy 6, Tamsi 5, Hargrove 5, Dennison 0, Escoto 0, Delfinado 0, Ugsang 0.

NU 62—Alolino 13, Khobuntin 9, Javelona 8,Betayene 7, Diputado 7, Neypes 6, Rosario 6, Aroga 4, Atangan 2, Alejandro 0, Celda 0, Perez 0.

Quarters: 21-16, 42-22, 55-42, 71-62

Joescoundrel
08-18-2014, 10:39 AM
Tams outlast Bulldogs in overtime

By Olmin Leyba |

Updated Monday August 18, 2014 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - Carl Cruz banged in all of his nine points in the fourth quarter and in overtime as Far Eastern U outlasted National U, 74-70, to improve to 6-2 in the UAAP Season 77 men's basketball tournament at the Smart Araneta Coliseum yesterday.

After forcing overtime at 65 on a fade-away, Cruz sustained his form in extra period, hitting a clutch looper that gave the Tams a 72-68 cushion going to the last 19.3 seconds.

The Bulldogs sliced it to a single basket off an Alfred Aroga undergoal stab but Mac Belo cashed in on his two charities to seal the victory, 74-70, 6.4 seconds left.

Belo finished with a career-high 23 markers and 10 rebounds while Mike Tolomia shot 18 points with five assists as FEU won its third straight match dating back to the end of the first round, including a 71-62 over NU eight days ago.

The Bulldogs fell to 5-3, just one game ahead of joint fifth University of the East and Santo Tomas.

A more satisfied FEU coach Nash Racela showed up for the post-game interview, in contrast to the unhappy mentor who had rued his wards' inconsistencies following their bland 71-62 win over Adamson last Wednesday.

"The good thing about this inconsistency is when we play tougher teams, they deliver. Again what we want is for us to play (the same) regardless who we're playing. We're just asking for consistency, malapit na siguro (it will come soon)," said Racela.

The win put the Tams closer to the top.

Sam Miguel
08-21-2014, 01:02 PM
Ravena lifts Eagles over scrappy Warriors

By Olmin Leyba |

Updated Thursday August 21, 2014 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - Atoning from his endgame meltdown last time, Kiefer Ravena rifled in nine of his 16 points in the payoff period to lift Ateneo to 78-73 victory over University of the East and back into the solo lead in the UAAP Season 77 men's basketball tournament at the MOA Arena yesterday.

Ravena, who initially let Chris Newsome and Von Pessumal run the show, took charge in the crunch and knocked down a pair of charities followed by a booming trey that gave the Eagles a 76-72 cushion going to the last 14.2 seconds.

The win put Ateneo back on track after an 86-88 setback to rival La Salle last Sunday and installed the Eagles at the pace with 7-2. The Warriors dropped to 4-5.

"What can I say, parang ginawa lang ng teammates ni Kiefer nag-bake sila tapos si Kiefer ang naglagay ng icing, ng frosting (It's like the rest of the team baked the cake and Kiefer was there to put the icing)," said Ateneo coach Bo Perasol.

The 6-foot Ravena got the leather from Newsome, dribbled to the left, shrugged off defender Renz Palma, and launched it from top of the rainbow territory.

"As any player would do after a loss, I just wanted to bounce back. Crucial misses for me in that loss to La Salle and I wanted to bounce back," said Ravena, who also had eight rebounds and seven assists. "I was also motivated to play even more by the chants of 'one big flop' by UE and the cheers of the Ateneans."

Newsome fired a season-high 23 points plus six rebounds, two steals and two assists to lead Ateneo while Pessumal added 13, including two free throws in the last 8.1 seconds that sealed it.

"I was telling Kiefer at the five, six-minute mark to up the ante because he seems to be coasting. In the end he delivered. It also helped that we had our best start in five games and didn't have play catchup anymore. Plus Von, Chris and Nico (Elorde) were there for defense, shooting and leadership," Perasol said.

Charles Mammie had 18 rebounds and 15 points while Sumang had 10 after a scoreless first half to pace UE.

Earlier, National U ran roughshod over a hapless Adamson side, 71-50, to break a two-game slump and improve to 6-3 while formally eliminating the Falcons (0-9) from Final Four contention.

Although the Falcons doubled their previous tally from a record-low 25 points in a 37-point blowout the first time, the Falcons limped with two markers in the second quarter, allowing the Bulldogs to pull away. Those two points were the lowest output in a quarter since Ateneo scored that little in a 72-76 loss to NU way back August 2003.

"Very pivotal talaga yung second quarter. Our second unit stepped up, medyo low energy yung first unit. Yung second unit sila ang nag-provide ng spark (The second quarter was the pivotal point. Our first unit lacked the energy but our second unit stepped up and provided the spark),"said Altamirano.

Boosted by their good game in a 61-59 loss to Santo Tomas last Saturday, the Falcons fought the Bulldogs toe to toe in the early goings and even led by 14-10.

It was then that Altamirano sent in the likes of Rev Diputado, Pao Javelona and Reden Celda, who joined forces in a 22-0 blast bridging the first and the second to seize a 32-14 tear. The Falcons broke their long silence via a jumper by Jansen Rios but that was all they could manage as the Bulldogs countered with a 10-0 salvo to widen the gap further, 42-16 at the turn.

"We're just happy to get this win. We know how important this game was for us (in the race for the Final Four)," said Altamirano, whose wards closed in on the lead pack.

Gelo Alolino (14 points and five assists) and Glenn Khobuntin (12 markers, six boards) topped scoring for NU, which led by as many as 31.

Don Trollano and Rios paced the Falcons with 15 and 10, respectively.

The scores:

First Game

NU 71 - Alolino 14, Khobuntin 12, Aroga 7, Betayene 6, Celda 6, Javelona 6, Rosario 6, Diputado 5, Alejandro 3, Neypes 3, Perez 2, Salim 1, Atangan 0, Cauilan 0, Tansingco 0.

AdU 50 - Trollano 15, Rios 10, Inigo 7, Nalos 7, Garcia 6, Aquino 3, Ochea 2, Baytan 0, Butron 0, Donahue 0, Gumtang 0, Monteclaro 0, Pedrosa 0, Polican 0, Villanueva 0.

Quarterscores: 18-14, 42-16, 59-28, 71-50

Second Game

AdMU 78 - Newsome 23, K. Ravena 16, Pessumal 13, Elorde 11, Gotladera 11, Babilonia 2, Capacio 2, T. Ravena 1, A. Tolentino 0, V. Tolentino 0.

UE 73 - Mammie 15, Sumang 10, De Leon 8, Varilla 8, Alberto 7, Jumao-as 7, Olayon 7, Arafat 4, Palma 3, Galanza 2, Javier 2, Guiang 0.

Quarterscores: 15-11, 35-32, 54-51, 78-73

Sam Miguel
08-21-2014, 01:02 PM
Ravena lifts Eagles over scrappy Warriors

By Olmin Leyba |

Updated Thursday August 21, 2014 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - Atoning from his endgame meltdown last time, Kiefer Ravena rifled in nine of his 16 points in the payoff period to lift Ateneo to 78-73 victory over University of the East and back into the solo lead in the UAAP Season 77 men's basketball tournament at the MOA Arena yesterday.

Ravena, who initially let Chris Newsome and Von Pessumal run the show, took charge in the crunch and knocked down a pair of charities followed by a booming trey that gave the Eagles a 76-72 cushion going to the last 14.2 seconds.

The win put Ateneo back on track after an 86-88 setback to rival La Salle last Sunday and installed the Eagles at the pace with 7-2. The Warriors dropped to 4-5.

"What can I say, parang ginawa lang ng teammates ni Kiefer nag-bake sila tapos si Kiefer ang naglagay ng icing, ng frosting (It's like the rest of the team baked the cake and Kiefer was there to put the icing)," said Ateneo coach Bo Perasol.

The 6-foot Ravena got the leather from Newsome, dribbled to the left, shrugged off defender Renz Palma, and launched it from top of the rainbow territory.

"As any player would do after a loss, I just wanted to bounce back. Crucial misses for me in that loss to La Salle and I wanted to bounce back," said Ravena, who also had eight rebounds and seven assists. "I was also motivated to play even more by the chants of 'one big flop' by UE and the cheers of the Ateneans."

Newsome fired a season-high 23 points plus six rebounds, two steals and two assists to lead Ateneo while Pessumal added 13, including two free throws in the last 8.1 seconds that sealed it.

"I was telling Kiefer at the five, six-minute mark to up the ante because he seems to be coasting. In the end he delivered. It also helped that we had our best start in five games and didn't have play catchup anymore. Plus Von, Chris and Nico (Elorde) were there for defense, shooting and leadership," Perasol said.

Charles Mammie had 18 rebounds and 15 points while Sumang had 10 after a scoreless first half to pace UE.

Earlier, National U ran roughshod over a hapless Adamson side, 71-50, to break a two-game slump and improve to 6-3 while formally eliminating the Falcons (0-9) from Final Four contention.

Although the Falcons doubled their previous tally from a record-low 25 points in a 37-point blowout the first time, the Falcons limped with two markers in the second quarter, allowing the Bulldogs to pull away. Those two points were the lowest output in a quarter since Ateneo scored that little in a 72-76 loss to NU way back August 2003.

"Very pivotal talaga yung second quarter. Our second unit stepped up, medyo low energy yung first unit. Yung second unit sila ang nag-provide ng spark (The second quarter was the pivotal point. Our first unit lacked the energy but our second unit stepped up and provided the spark),"said Altamirano.

Boosted by their good game in a 61-59 loss to Santo Tomas last Saturday, the Falcons fought the Bulldogs toe to toe in the early goings and even led by 14-10.

It was then that Altamirano sent in the likes of Rev Diputado, Pao Javelona and Reden Celda, who joined forces in a 22-0 blast bridging the first and the second to seize a 32-14 tear. The Falcons broke their long silence via a jumper by Jansen Rios but that was all they could manage as the Bulldogs countered with a 10-0 salvo to widen the gap further, 42-16 at the turn.

"We're just happy to get this win. We know how important this game was for us (in the race for the Final Four)," said Altamirano, whose wards closed in on the lead pack.

Gelo Alolino (14 points and five assists) and Glenn Khobuntin (12 markers, six boards) topped scoring for NU, which led by as many as 31.

Don Trollano and Rios paced the Falcons with 15 and 10, respectively.

The scores:

First Game

NU 71 - Alolino 14, Khobuntin 12, Aroga 7, Betayene 6, Celda 6, Javelona 6, Rosario 6, Diputado 5, Alejandro 3, Neypes 3, Perez 2, Salim 1, Atangan 0, Cauilan 0, Tansingco 0.

AdU 50 - Trollano 15, Rios 10, Inigo 7, Nalos 7, Garcia 6, Aquino 3, Ochea 2, Baytan 0, Butron 0, Donahue 0, Gumtang 0, Monteclaro 0, Pedrosa 0, Polican 0, Villanueva 0.

Quarterscores: 18-14, 42-16, 59-28, 71-50

Second Game

AdMU 78 - Newsome 23, K. Ravena 16, Pessumal 13, Elorde 11, Gotladera 11, Babilonia 2, Capacio 2, T. Ravena 1, A. Tolentino 0, V. Tolentino 0.

UE 73 - Mammie 15, Sumang 10, De Leon 8, Varilla 8, Alberto 7, Jumao-as 7, Olayon 7, Arafat 4, Palma 3, Galanza 2, Javier 2, Guiang 0.

Quarterscores: 15-11, 35-32, 54-51, 78-73

Joescoundrel
08-26-2014, 08:58 AM
Aroga imposes will as Bulldogs rip Eagles

By Aldo Avinante (philstar.com) |

Updated August 24, 2014 - 7:18pm

MANILA, Philippines -- National University imposed its size and romped away with a 76-66 victory over Ateneo in the 77th season of the UAAP men's basketball tourney at the Araneta Coliseum on Sunday.

Alfred Aroga led the charge with a monstrous performance, posting a double-double effort with 15 points and 11 rebounds while swatting away eight shots, including seven in the first half, that led to a 10-1 advantage in the blocks department.

"He (Aroga) was very focused today and he did his job well. He knows what he needs to do for us to grab rebounds and play defense. He is huge for us," said NU coach Eric Altamirano.

Aroga, for his part, echoed the sentiments of his coach.

"I was really prepared for this game. The win against Adamson was a boost for us. Ateneo is really good so coming to this game, I just want to help my team get rebounds and blocks," said the Cameroonian big man.

"To help my team, it’s not about scoring for me. It’s about getting rebounds and playing defense. I just tried my best today," he added.

Troy Rosario, Aroga's partner in the shaded lane, also made a good account himself with double-double effort of 14 markers and 10 boards. Additionally, Gelo Alolino, Nico Javelona and Glenn Khoubuntin scattered 13, 12 and 11 points in that order.

Altamirano also pointed out their strong start as one of the keys to the game.

"That really helped us a lot. We had a good offensive game, which is not normal for us. I think that gave us the cushion we needed for this game," he said.

The Eagles started the fourth quarter like a house on fire, with Fonso Gotladera going on a personal 8-0 run highlighted by an and-one play to cut the deficit, 55-60, at the 7:54 mark.

Not to be outdone, the Bulldogs responded with a 9-0 blast capped by a free throw from Javelona to take a 69-55 lead with 3:27 left and ultimately the victory.

Kiefer Ravena topscored for Ateneo with 21 points albeit on a 7-of-21 shooting while Chris Newsome and Gotladera chipped in 12 and 11 markers, respectively.

With the win, NU tied Ateneo in the standings with a 7-3 win-loss record behind league leaders DLSU and FEU (both 7-2).

Joescoundrel
08-26-2014, 01:39 PM
NU's biggest advantage is its athletic frontline. Aroga, Rosario and Khobuntin can run, jump, rebound and defend with the best of them. That they've also emerged as providers of points is also an advantage. If NU can get any more production out of backup big man Beteyane they are one of only three teams with four legit, productive big men.

Joescoundrel
09-08-2014, 09:54 AM
Never-say-die Warriors crush Tams

By Olmin Leyba (The Philippine Star) |

Updated September 8, 2014 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - Back-against-the-wall University of the East dished out what coach Derrick Pumaren described as their “best performance” to date, bringing down pacesetting Far Eastern, 94-71, yesterday to keep its Final Four bid alive in the UAAP Season 77 men’s basketball tournament at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

The Warriors unleashed a lethal 21-0 run in the fourth anchored on Charles Mammie, returning Roi Sumang and Bong Galanza to take command en route to their seventh win in 12 outings, staying one game behind fourth-running National U (8-4) in their chase for the semis.

Final Four qualifier Tams, who welcomed back coach Nash Racela after his stint with Gilas Pilipinas in Spain, dropped to 10-3 but maintained its position at the top in the company of Ateneo.

“So far that’s the best we played this season,” said Pumaren, after steering his wards to their third straight victory. “We’re happy but we can’t be too happy about this because we’re still not out of the woods, we’re still right behind NU and we have to control our destiny.”

Mammie punched in 18 points despite foul woes to backstop Galanza, who fired a career-high 26 markers. Sumang, benched the last time out for disciplinary reasons, saw limited action but pumped in nine points, all in their fourth-quarter breakaway.

“The guys showed their guts out tonight. They refused to lose, knowing the predicament we’re in right now. I think we played a hell of a defense in the fourth. We’re able to defend their dribble-drive offense, we’re there all the time to challenge every shot,” said Pumaren, whose team also beat FEU for the first time in five years.

UE has moved on from last week’s episode that led to the disciplinary action against Sumang.

“He’s been showing up in practice and working very hard and it showed tonight, especially in the fourth where he was able to settle down and hit two three point shots that kept him going,” said Pumaren.

“He really played well, especially in the fourth. But I must say it was a total team effort. We really played as a team on defense,” he added.

Mac Belo (16) and Achie Inigo (10) topscored for FEU.

Earlier, National U overpowered University of the Philippines, 66-51, to boost its semis bid with 8-4 card.

The Bulldogs wasted little time asserting themselves against the Maroons (1-12), limiting their opponents to 8 and 9 in the first two quarters for a 29-17 lead.

“I told the boys we have to assert our identity in the game and it had to start on our defense so I think, everything else evolved and followed from our defense,” said the NU coach Eric Altamirano, whose wards choked UP to 30.36 percent clip while shooting 49.12 percent.

Alfred Aroga shrugged off back spasm to bang in 18 points, 10 rebounds and three blocks. With the hulking Cameroonian at the forefront, the taller Bulldogs dropped 46 markers inside the paint against UP’s 14.

Joescoundrel
09-14-2014, 11:23 AM
Eagles clinch Final 4 bonus

By Jasmine W. Payo |Philippine Daily Inquirer

1:40 am | Sunday, September 14th, 2014

Ateneo fought back from 19 points down in the last six minutes of regulation then stunned Far Eastern University in overtime, 68-64, to grab the No. 1 semifinal spot in the UAAP men’s basketball tournament yesterday at Smart Araneta Coliseum.

Kiefer Ravena caught fire to end what looked like his worst performance of the season, dropping 12 of his game-high 23 points in the last six minutes of the fourth quarter, including two free throws that forged overtime, 59-59, with 20.3 seconds left.

“This season has been tremendous for us. It has been a revelation for so many players, especially Kiefer,” said Ateneo coach Bo Perasol after his Eagles, who trailed at 36-55, wrapped up their elimination run on top with an 11-3 record, while nailing the first twice-to-beat advantage in the Final Four.

The Tamaraws, who ended their elimination round with back-to-back losses for a 10-4 slate, still have a chance for the other twice-to-beat bonus in a playoff match this Saturday against La Salle.

The Green Archers forged a tie for second after hacking out an emphatic 68-56 triumph over National University in the second game.

The Bulldogs fell to fourth but their chance of clinching the last semifinal berth hinges on University of Santo Tomas beating University of the East Tuesday. A win allows UE to tie NU’s 9-5 record and force another playoff for the No. 4 slot.

The Tamaraws, starring Mac Belo and Mike Tolomia, dominated the first three quarters before collapsing in the fourth period where they only nailed one field goal and sank just two of 13 free throws in the last six minutes.

FEU still had a chance to salvage the game in regulation, but Tolomia missed two free throws with 2.8 seconds left.

Ateneo’s great escape recalled a similar stroke of luck when the Eagles got away with a 70-69 decision over lowly University of the Philippines when Maroons’ guard Mike Reyes blew two free throws with eighth tenths of a second left last Sept. 4.

Chris Newsome also came out big in the clutch to finish with 13 points, 16 rebounds, three assists and four steals for the Eagles.

Almond Vosotros hit his stride early to finish with 15 points and Arnold Van Opstal also had 14 markers to lead the Archers, who launched a 9-0 spurt that set the tone for their second-half breakaway, 46-37, after a deadlock at 37.

Norbert Torres added 13 points.

The scores:

First Game

ATENEO 68—Ravena 23, Newsome 13, Gotladera 9, Pessumal 7, Capacio 6, Babilonia 5, Elorde 3, V. Tolentino 2, Doliguez 0, Tolentino 0.

FEU 64—Belo 16, Pogoy 15, Tolomia 10, Cruz 8, Hargrove 8, Iñigo 3, Jose 2, Dennison 2, Tamsi 0, Denila 0, Lee Yu 0.

Quarters: 7-12, 18-25, 26-45, 59-59 (reg.), 68-64 (OT)

Second Game

LA SALLE 68—Vosotros 15, Van Opstal 14, Torres 13, Teng 9, Perkins 8, Montalbo 5, Sargent 4, Bolick 0, Mustre 0, Rivero 0, Tratter 0.

NU 56—Alolino 18, Rosario 14, Aroga 8, Javelona 8, Betayene 4, Khobuntin 4, Celda 0, Diputado 0, Neypes 0, Perez 0.

Quarters: 20-17, 31-31, 49-43, 68-56

Sam Miguel
10-02-2014, 11:36 AM
Bulldogs, Tamaraws seal title duel: One big bite at History

By Olmin Leyba (The Philippine Star) |

Updated October 2, 2014 - 12:00am

Games on Saturday (MOA Arena)

11 a.m. – NU vs FEU (women’s finals)

3:30 p.m. – FEU vs NU (men’s finals)

MANILA, Philippines - The National University Bulldogs completed a cluster of feats in the season that a UAAP men’s crown in the end could only come as gravy to its long arduous journey.

Consider: The Bulldogs were the first top seed in the Final Four era to be ousted last year and did the trick this time on top seed Ateneo, which they whipped four straight times in the season, the last a sweet 65-63 decision that sent NU to the finals yesterday.

It was the first championship stint in 44 years for the Bulldogs and only the third, including a first-ever crown in 1954-55, since NU joined the experimental Big 3 league in 1938, a precursor of the NCAA, the others being University of the Philippines and University of Santo Tomas.

It finally reached its goal in the fourth year of an aggressive sports program under the leadership of new owner – the Sy family.

Gelo Alolino drilled in a clutch game-tying trey and converted two pressure-packed charities then Alfred Aroga came through with a huge block against a driving Kiefer Ravena as the Bulldogs prevailed before a jampacked crowd at Smart Araneta Coliseum.

The Bulldogs previously beat the Eagles, 78-74, to set yesterday’s do-or-die.

“Our experience last year helped build our character. If you think about it, what happened last year made us tougher this year, especially the veterans who experienced it first-hand and vowed it won’t happen again,” said NU coach Eric Altamirano, himself a member of a first-ever champion team from UP in 1986.

“I thank God for giving us another opportunity to redeem ourselves. Who would have ever thought we would be able to redeem ourselves and get into the finals just one year later?” he added.

NU is in its first finals appearance since 1970, when it lost to then six-time titlist University of the East. The drought for a title drags even longer for NU at 60 years running.

For Altamirano and his staff, the breakthrough finally came on their third try at the Final Four, an accomplishment the soft-spoken mentor likened to the biblical “Jericho wall.”

“I was reading the Bible and the story of Jericho and I think the message given to me by God today was that finally, we’re able to break the walls of our own Jericho. And now we’re close to reaching the Promised Land,” he said.

Ateneo seized a 63-60 lead on a bucket by Ravena and a split by Gboy Babilonia going to the last 2:22. Alolino then entered the fray and fired from long range to even things up, and after an exchange of unproductive offensives, he drew a foul on Nico Elorde to get to the stripe. No problem there and Alolino converted both, giving NU a 65-63 cushion going to the last 9.3.

A “power fluctuation” brought about by the afternoon thunderstorms led to a half-hour delay. When play finally resumed, Ateneo went to Ravena, who drove and faced a waiting Aroga who swatted it away to deny the Season MVP and the former five-peat champ AdMU.

“During the delay, I just told don’t try to exert energy while on the bench, just stay focused and wait until it’s time to get onto the court,” Altamirano said.

“We knew where they’re going and we’re able to stop it. I thank Alfred Aroga for bailing us out again with his defense; his blocked shot, that really stamped the game,” he added.

Aroga had 14 points and 12 rebounds plus two blocks while Alolino added 12.

Chris Newsome paced Ateneo with 22 in his last game while Ravena finished with 18.

The scores:

NU 65 – Aroga 14, Alolino 12, Khobuntin 11, Rosario 9, Javelona 8, Neypes 4, Diputado 3, Alejandro 2, Perez 2, Betayene 0, Atangan 0.

AdMU 63 – Newsome 22, Ravena 18, Elorde 8, Pessumal 8, Babilonia 4, V. Tolentino 2, Gotladera 1, Apacible 0, Capacio 0, A. Tolentino 0.

Quarterscores: 12-8, 32-27, 46-47, 65-63

Sam Miguel
10-02-2014, 11:36 AM
Bulldogs, Tamaraws seal title duel: One big bite at History

By Olmin Leyba (The Philippine Star) |

Updated October 2, 2014 - 12:00am

Games on Saturday (MOA Arena)

11 a.m. – NU vs FEU (women’s finals)

3:30 p.m. – FEU vs NU (men’s finals)

MANILA, Philippines - The National University Bulldogs completed a cluster of feats in the season that a UAAP men’s crown in the end could only come as gravy to its long arduous journey.

Consider: The Bulldogs were the first top seed in the Final Four era to be ousted last year and did the trick this time on top seed Ateneo, which they whipped four straight times in the season, the last a sweet 65-63 decision that sent NU to the finals yesterday.

It was the first championship stint in 44 years for the Bulldogs and only the third, including a first-ever crown in 1954-55, since NU joined the experimental Big 3 league in 1938, a precursor of the NCAA, the others being University of the Philippines and University of Santo Tomas.

It finally reached its goal in the fourth year of an aggressive sports program under the leadership of new owner – the Sy family.

Gelo Alolino drilled in a clutch game-tying trey and converted two pressure-packed charities then Alfred Aroga came through with a huge block against a driving Kiefer Ravena as the Bulldogs prevailed before a jampacked crowd at Smart Araneta Coliseum.

The Bulldogs previously beat the Eagles, 78-74, to set yesterday’s do-or-die.

“Our experience last year helped build our character. If you think about it, what happened last year made us tougher this year, especially the veterans who experienced it first-hand and vowed it won’t happen again,” said NU coach Eric Altamirano, himself a member of a first-ever champion team from UP in 1986.

“I thank God for giving us another opportunity to redeem ourselves. Who would have ever thought we would be able to redeem ourselves and get into the finals just one year later?” he added.

NU is in its first finals appearance since 1970, when it lost to then six-time titlist University of the East. The drought for a title drags even longer for NU at 60 years running.

For Altamirano and his staff, the breakthrough finally came on their third try at the Final Four, an accomplishment the soft-spoken mentor likened to the biblical “Jericho wall.”

“I was reading the Bible and the story of Jericho and I think the message given to me by God today was that finally, we’re able to break the walls of our own Jericho. And now we’re close to reaching the Promised Land,” he said.

Ateneo seized a 63-60 lead on a bucket by Ravena and a split by Gboy Babilonia going to the last 2:22. Alolino then entered the fray and fired from long range to even things up, and after an exchange of unproductive offensives, he drew a foul on Nico Elorde to get to the stripe. No problem there and Alolino converted both, giving NU a 65-63 cushion going to the last 9.3.

A “power fluctuation” brought about by the afternoon thunderstorms led to a half-hour delay. When play finally resumed, Ateneo went to Ravena, who drove and faced a waiting Aroga who swatted it away to deny the Season MVP and the former five-peat champ AdMU.

“During the delay, I just told don’t try to exert energy while on the bench, just stay focused and wait until it’s time to get onto the court,” Altamirano said.

“We knew where they’re going and we’re able to stop it. I thank Alfred Aroga for bailing us out again with his defense; his blocked shot, that really stamped the game,” he added.

Aroga had 14 points and 12 rebounds plus two blocks while Alolino added 12.

Chris Newsome paced Ateneo with 22 in his last game while Ravena finished with 18.

The scores:

NU 65 – Aroga 14, Alolino 12, Khobuntin 11, Rosario 9, Javelona 8, Neypes 4, Diputado 3, Alejandro 2, Perez 2, Betayene 0, Atangan 0.

AdMU 63 – Newsome 22, Ravena 18, Elorde 8, Pessumal 8, Babilonia 4, V. Tolentino 2, Gotladera 1, Apacible 0, Capacio 0, A. Tolentino 0.

Quarterscores: 12-8, 32-27, 46-47, 65-63

Sam Miguel
10-07-2014, 09:38 AM
Tamaraws slip past Bulldogs

By Jasmine W. Payo |

Philippine Daily Inquirer 1:49 am |

Sunday, October 5th, 2014

BASKETBALL glory is within reach again for Far Eastern University.

Riding on a huge second-half assault, the Tamaraws slipped past the National University Bulldogs, 75-70, yesterday to move within a win of the UAAP men’s basketball championship at the packed Mall of Asia Arena.

Mac Belo again buried the big shot at crunch time, but the Tamaraws also drew big games from Mike Tolomia, Roger Pogoy and Achie Iñigo, who shone in the final two quarters.

“Perfect play, perfect timing,” FEU coach Nash Racela said of Belo’s clutch basket with 44.6 seconds left. “Again, Mac is not afraid to take the big shots.”

Belo–who knocked in the buzzer-beating triple in FEU’s semifinal escape over La Salle–drove past NU’s Alfred Aroga to nail the decisive layup that padded the Tamaraws’ lead to 73-68 after the Bulldogs had threatened, 71-68, following Jay Alejandro’s corner triple.

Tolomia pumped in 15 points to lead the Tamaraws, who boast the most number of titles in the league with 19, but the last one came almost a decade ago in 2005.

The Tamaraws aim to wrap it up in Game 2 of the best-of-three series at 3:30 p.m. on Wednesday at Smart Araneta Coliseum.

“I just reminded them to do the right things again–to be disciplined, play the right defense,” said Racela after his Tamaraws came back from as many as 12 points down, 18-30.

The Bulldogs’ undoing started in the third quarter where they only had three field goals and sank only six of 13 free throw attempts as the Tamaraws zoomed to leads as high as 13 points, 60-47, behind the hot-shooting Pogoy.

NU, though, made history in women’s action as the Lady Bulldogs downed the Lady Tamaraws, 59-48, to complete a perfect season and bag their first championship.

The scores:

First Game (Women)

NU 59—Miranda 14, Antiquiera 12, Tongco 12, Bernardino 6, Abriam 4, Gupilan 4, Paig 3, Escoto 2, Sison 2, Nabalan 0.

FEU 48—Valenzona 14, Siat 10, Tanaman 10, Arellado 8, Ventura 4, Castro 2, Baldonado 0, Gabriel 0, Chan 0, Lozano 0.

Quarters: 13-19, 29-30, 40-36, 59-48

Second Game (Men)

FEU 75—Tolomia 15, Pogoy 14, Iñigo 12, Jose 8, Belo 8, Hargrove 8, Dennison 5, Tamsi 3, Cruz 2, Escoto 0.

NU 70—Aroga 17, Alolino 14, Rosario 12, Khobuntin 9, Celda 7, Alejandro 3, Betayene 3, Javelona 3, Diputado 2, Neypes 0, Perez 0.

Quarters: 14-15, 35-38, 60-50, 75-70

Sam Miguel
10-07-2014, 09:38 AM
Tamaraws slip past Bulldogs

By Jasmine W. Payo |

Philippine Daily Inquirer 1:49 am |

Sunday, October 5th, 2014

BASKETBALL glory is within reach again for Far Eastern University.

Riding on a huge second-half assault, the Tamaraws slipped past the National University Bulldogs, 75-70, yesterday to move within a win of the UAAP men’s basketball championship at the packed Mall of Asia Arena.

Mac Belo again buried the big shot at crunch time, but the Tamaraws also drew big games from Mike Tolomia, Roger Pogoy and Achie Iñigo, who shone in the final two quarters.

“Perfect play, perfect timing,” FEU coach Nash Racela said of Belo’s clutch basket with 44.6 seconds left. “Again, Mac is not afraid to take the big shots.”

Belo–who knocked in the buzzer-beating triple in FEU’s semifinal escape over La Salle–drove past NU’s Alfred Aroga to nail the decisive layup that padded the Tamaraws’ lead to 73-68 after the Bulldogs had threatened, 71-68, following Jay Alejandro’s corner triple.

Tolomia pumped in 15 points to lead the Tamaraws, who boast the most number of titles in the league with 19, but the last one came almost a decade ago in 2005.

The Tamaraws aim to wrap it up in Game 2 of the best-of-three series at 3:30 p.m. on Wednesday at Smart Araneta Coliseum.

“I just reminded them to do the right things again–to be disciplined, play the right defense,” said Racela after his Tamaraws came back from as many as 12 points down, 18-30.

The Bulldogs’ undoing started in the third quarter where they only had three field goals and sank only six of 13 free throw attempts as the Tamaraws zoomed to leads as high as 13 points, 60-47, behind the hot-shooting Pogoy.

NU, though, made history in women’s action as the Lady Bulldogs downed the Lady Tamaraws, 59-48, to complete a perfect season and bag their first championship.

The scores:

First Game (Women)

NU 59—Miranda 14, Antiquiera 12, Tongco 12, Bernardino 6, Abriam 4, Gupilan 4, Paig 3, Escoto 2, Sison 2, Nabalan 0.

FEU 48—Valenzona 14, Siat 10, Tanaman 10, Arellado 8, Ventura 4, Castro 2, Baldonado 0, Gabriel 0, Chan 0, Lozano 0.

Quarters: 13-19, 29-30, 40-36, 59-48

Second Game (Men)

FEU 75—Tolomia 15, Pogoy 14, Iñigo 12, Jose 8, Belo 8, Hargrove 8, Dennison 5, Tamsi 3, Cruz 2, Escoto 0.

NU 70—Aroga 17, Alolino 14, Rosario 12, Khobuntin 9, Celda 7, Alejandro 3, Betayene 3, Javelona 3, Diputado 2, Neypes 0, Perez 0.

Quarters: 14-15, 35-38, 60-50, 75-70

Sam Miguel
10-07-2014, 09:42 AM
Why did NU lose Game 1 to FEU? Coach explains

By Camille B. Naredo, ABS-CBNnews.com

Posted at 10/05/2014 2:04 PM | Updated as of 10/05/2014 2:04 PM

MANILA, Philippines – Emotions and the excitement of playing in the Finals got in the way of the usually steady National University Bulldogs (NU) in Game 1 of their best-of-three series against Far Eastern University, admitted head coach Eric Altamirano.

After showing great composure in their two games against Ateneo in the Final Four, NU allowed FEU's Mac Belo to score on a crucial possession then flubbed a potential game-tying attempt.

The Tamaraws took the game, 75-70, and the Bulldogs are once again in a do-or-die situation heading into Wednesday's Game 2 at the Araneta Coliseum.

"Masyado silang emotional kanina," Altamirano said of his players. "'Yung emotions nila got in the way."

Altamirano said the excitement of making the Finals may have also cut into the Bulldogs' focus, something that manifested in their free-throw shooting. NU made only 15 of their 31 free throw attempts, and even the usually steady Gelo Alolino made only three of seven.

"To sum it all up, that did us in, 'yung free throws namin," Altamirano said. "We missed 16 free throws, so 'yun talaga eh. I think we have to address that."

"Normally, when I see them shoot their free throws, very focused sila, very relaxed, and they're not expending a lot of energy. I felt that they were doing that, even si Gelo na normally very steady," he added.

"Siguro, excited sa Finals," he also said.

Two of their free throw misses came in the final minute, courtesy of Alolino and Alfred Aroga. Altamirano believes that mental fatigue became a factor for his players, especially after a hard-fought Final Four series against the Blue Eagles.

"I will attribute that talaga sa mental fatigue, and then mostly focus lang 'yan," said Altamirano, who guaranteed that there will be extra free throw shooting practice for NU.

"These guys shoot every day, so 'yung focus lang. They have to make sure that they put their minds into it, do their regular routines. Importante na maka-pahinga sila ngayon," he added.

Altamirano also pointed to a fairly catastrophic third quarter for his team, when they allowed FEU to score 25 points and shoot nearly 48% from the field. The Tams led by as much as 13 points in that frame, a cushion big enough to help them hold off NU's late charge.

"They were able to get their momentum, especially sa transition, and they were able to score in transition and made their shots," said Altamirano. "They made their shots from the outside, and then most of their transition baskets came from our turnovers."

Despite their missed free throws, NU still had a chance to tie the game down, 70-73, when they got control of the ball with around eight seconds left. But veteran guard Glenn Khobuntin's three-pointer hit only the backboard, and FEU controlled the rebound, forcing NU to foul.

"At that time talaga, we were just looking for the right shot. Unfortunately, Gelo did not see Rev (Diputado) and Pao (Javelona)," said Altamirano, referring to two guards who are more reliable three-point shooters than Khobuntin.

"We rushed things," said Altamirano. "That comes from being in a hurry and then not keeping your poise at the end of games."

At the same time, the coach acknowledged that the Tamaraws "wanted it more than us."

The Bulldogs now have their backs against the wall once more, a situation they are all too familiar with as they have already played three do-or-die games this season.

"Wala kaming choice. We're put in this situation, and the most important thing is we give it our best on Wednesday," said Altamirano.

Sam Miguel
10-07-2014, 09:42 AM
Why did NU lose Game 1 to FEU? Coach explains

By Camille B. Naredo, ABS-CBNnews.com

Posted at 10/05/2014 2:04 PM | Updated as of 10/05/2014 2:04 PM

MANILA, Philippines – Emotions and the excitement of playing in the Finals got in the way of the usually steady National University Bulldogs (NU) in Game 1 of their best-of-three series against Far Eastern University, admitted head coach Eric Altamirano.

After showing great composure in their two games against Ateneo in the Final Four, NU allowed FEU's Mac Belo to score on a crucial possession then flubbed a potential game-tying attempt.

The Tamaraws took the game, 75-70, and the Bulldogs are once again in a do-or-die situation heading into Wednesday's Game 2 at the Araneta Coliseum.

"Masyado silang emotional kanina," Altamirano said of his players. "'Yung emotions nila got in the way."

Altamirano said the excitement of making the Finals may have also cut into the Bulldogs' focus, something that manifested in their free-throw shooting. NU made only 15 of their 31 free throw attempts, and even the usually steady Gelo Alolino made only three of seven.

"To sum it all up, that did us in, 'yung free throws namin," Altamirano said. "We missed 16 free throws, so 'yun talaga eh. I think we have to address that."

"Normally, when I see them shoot their free throws, very focused sila, very relaxed, and they're not expending a lot of energy. I felt that they were doing that, even si Gelo na normally very steady," he added.

"Siguro, excited sa Finals," he also said.

Two of their free throw misses came in the final minute, courtesy of Alolino and Alfred Aroga. Altamirano believes that mental fatigue became a factor for his players, especially after a hard-fought Final Four series against the Blue Eagles.

"I will attribute that talaga sa mental fatigue, and then mostly focus lang 'yan," said Altamirano, who guaranteed that there will be extra free throw shooting practice for NU.

"These guys shoot every day, so 'yung focus lang. They have to make sure that they put their minds into it, do their regular routines. Importante na maka-pahinga sila ngayon," he added.

Altamirano also pointed to a fairly catastrophic third quarter for his team, when they allowed FEU to score 25 points and shoot nearly 48% from the field. The Tams led by as much as 13 points in that frame, a cushion big enough to help them hold off NU's late charge.

"They were able to get their momentum, especially sa transition, and they were able to score in transition and made their shots," said Altamirano. "They made their shots from the outside, and then most of their transition baskets came from our turnovers."

Despite their missed free throws, NU still had a chance to tie the game down, 70-73, when they got control of the ball with around eight seconds left. But veteran guard Glenn Khobuntin's three-pointer hit only the backboard, and FEU controlled the rebound, forcing NU to foul.

"At that time talaga, we were just looking for the right shot. Unfortunately, Gelo did not see Rev (Diputado) and Pao (Javelona)," said Altamirano, referring to two guards who are more reliable three-point shooters than Khobuntin.

"We rushed things," said Altamirano. "That comes from being in a hurry and then not keeping your poise at the end of games."

At the same time, the coach acknowledged that the Tamaraws "wanted it more than us."

The Bulldogs now have their backs against the wall once more, a situation they are all too familiar with as they have already played three do-or-die games this season.

"Wala kaming choice. We're put in this situation, and the most important thing is we give it our best on Wednesday," said Altamirano.

Sam Miguel
10-07-2014, 09:43 AM
NU's Aroga hails Tamaraws Belo, Tolomia; says Bulldogs should go hard on defense for finals Game 2

By MARISSE PANALIGAN,GMA NewsOctober 5, 201

After National University dropped Game 1 of the UAAP finals to Far Eastern University in a 75-70 thriller on Saturday, big man Alfred Aroga said the Bulldogs need to go hard on defense in order to force a decider.

"We just have to do what we do best," Aroga said of NU, which is considered the best defensive team in the league this season.

"When the opponent is leading with high score, you need to focus back on defense, make stops and try to execute in offense," Aroga added.

With the loss, the Bulldogs are facing a sudden death situation for the fourth time this year. They had to overcome a strong challenge from the University of the East for the last final four spot, before erasing a twice-to-beat advantage against the no. 1 team Ateneo de Manila University to enter the finals.

"We've been through all these do-or-die games for like three times, so we need to step up big time," Aroga said of NU for the next game, which they have to win to extend the finals series.

The Bulldogs have yet to win against FEU this season, as the Tamaraws swept them in the elimination round.

"FEU is a tough team. They have players like Mac Belo, who plays like a veteran 'cause he's really, really smart. We need to find ways to stop him," the NU center said.

Aroga also lauded the Tamaraws' team play led by Mike Tolomia's playmaking abilities.

"They're really collective. You can see how they play like a team on offense. They're really sharing the ball," Aroga said.

"Tolomia, that guy, he really thinks a lot. That's the guy I really appreciate a lot on the court," he said. "He creates for his players." - RAF, GMA News

Dark Knight
10-15-2014, 08:01 AM
Member of 1954 NU Bulldogs champion team hoping for repeat against FEU
By ROUCHELLE DINGLASAN,GMA NewsOctober 14, 2014 10:15pm

Meet Nestor "Nesting" Sapida.

When he was 18 years old, he was part of the National University Bulldogs squad that gave the school its first and only men's basketball championship in the UAAP.

Some 60 years later, Nesting will join the NU faithful hoping that the Bulldogs' can end the team's basketball championship drought.

NU is hoping to do it on Wednesday in a winner-take-all match against Far Eastern University — perhaps fittingly, the same school the Bulldogs defeated back in 1954.

Since that title win, quite a few things have changed. The Bulldogs have had to battle through decades of heartbreak before a recent renaissance took them to the verge of title glory once more.

"Iba ang laro noong 1954, bata-bata pa ako nun!" said Nesting, noting that there were only six teams in the UAAP then, with NU and FEU being joined by University of Santo Tomas, University of the East, University of the Philippines, and University of Manila in the collegiate league.

At just 5-foot-11, the Dasmariñas, Cavite native had to play center for the squad.

"Isa na ako sa pinakamataas noon," said Nesting, who was a freshman on that title squad.

"Ang training din noon iba pa. Noon, ang drill lang namin, libutin at takbuhin 'yung bleachers ng Rizal Memorial Stadium at practice games lang. Ngayon, iba na."

Though he did not play much during that championship season, it remains an experience he cherished. He would go on to play until 1958, serving as team captain in his final season with the Bulldogs.

All this time, the memories of that last championship have remained with Nesting.

"Marami na rin nanonood noon. Puno na rin naman 'yung Rizal Memorial, matindi na rin ang labanan noon," said the retiree, who remains an active member of Dasmariñas Lion's Club and the Citizens' Brigade Band of Dasmariñas.

"Noong nag-champion kami, binigyan pa kami ng party sa Manila Hotel at ang daming inimbita, pati ang pagkain ang dami."

Life after basketball

After college, he worked for a logging company in Butuan City, where he would meet and marry his wife Vaciones.

But even while working, he continued to play basketball, even helping his company win championships in inter-commercial leagues in Mindanao.

Later, he would go back to Cavite, working in a sugarcane plantation before eventually managing the funeral parlor that he inherited from his father. He was the third generation member of the Sapida family to manage the business.

Through the years, he has lost touch with his old college teammates.

Asked if he can still play hoops, he answered, "Hindi na, mahina na tayo. Pero ang hilig, andiyan pa rin."

Then, he deadpanned: "Itong edad ko lampas na sa bingo card."

Advice for the Bulldogs

FEU took Game One of the Season 77 finals, before NU struck back in Game Two. That set up an ultimate match for the UAAP Season 77 championship.

With NU on the verge of a title, the school has been looking for oldtimers like Nesting to come and witness the championship game.

The enthusiasm for the game remains, and he sees a way for the Bulldogs to once again bring home the crown.

"Tibayan pa nila ang kanilang depensa at 100 percent sure kayang-kaya ng NU 'yan. Babalik na sila sa limelight," he said.

But more than the X's and O's, Nesting said faith is the most important thing for the Bulldogs as they go into the ultimate battle in UAAP Season 77.

"Noong aming panahon, binigyan kami ng misa. Hindi kami nakalimot sa Diyos. Kaya ang maipapayo ko sa kanila, dapat Diyos ang isipin nila dahil hindi naman pwedeng mag-isa," he said. — JST, GMA News

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Spikermike
10-15-2014, 07:04 PM
Congratulations to the National University Bulldogs, UAAP Season 77 champions!

Joescoundrel
10-16-2014, 09:50 AM
NU wins 2nd UAAP title after 60 years

INQUIRER.net 4:33 am |

Thursday, October 16th, 2014

MANILA, Philippines–National University (NU) finally shook off the whipping team-tag that hung around its Bulldogs in decades past. And this time, they can proudly call themselves champions.

Completing their long and arduous climb from league doormat, the transformed Bulldogs dominated the Far Eastern University (FEU) Tamaraws, 75-59, in the Finals decider Wednesday to capture the UAAP men’s basketball championship and snap the league’s longest title drought of 60 years.

The No. 4 Bulldogs, who barely made it to the semifinals, also became the lowest-seeded team to bag the crown following huge games from Finals MVP Alfred Aroga and Gelo Alolino in the winner-take-all Game 3 that drew a boisterous record crowd of over 25,000 at Smart Araneta Coliseum.

“It was really a long journey for us,” NU coach Eric Altamirano said. “But all those adversities we had to go through, they made us stronger.”

Even more incredible, the Bulldogs pulled off the title romp against the fancied Tamaraws, the team that boasts the most number of crowns in the league with 19.

“They just wanted to win, that’s all,” said Hans Sy, the SM Prime Holdings chair, whose financial support helped transform the Bulldogs.

Unexpected

While the Bulldogs picked up only their second title in the league’s 77-year history, this one was truly unexpected.

Five times this season, the Bulldogs stood at the brink of elimination. And five times they survived with different game heroes stepping up.

And in Game 3, it was Aroga who took charge with a huge double-double of 24 points and 18 rebounds to lead the Bulldogs’ relentless assault in the second half.

Alolino also dropped eight of his 12 points in the second half, where the Bulldogs zoomed to double-digit leads as high as 16 points, 70-54, in the thrilling match that shattered attendance records anew with a crowd of 25,138.

“There’s a collective spirit among them that they won’t give up,” Altamirano said. “They refused to lose.”

The Bulldogs showcased it again as FEU’s ace guard Mike Tolomia got off to a hot start to tow the Tamaraws to an early 11-5 lead.

But NU’s big men, led by Aroga, started asserting themselves inside to push the Bulldogs ahead, 20-18, by the end of the first quarter.

From there, the Bulldogs just kept pounding with Glenn Khobuntin also chipping in and young gunners Jay Alejandro and Rev Diputado starring in key stretches.

“With this team, you never really know who’s going to step up,” Altamirano said.

Stripped of stars this season, including two-time UAAP Most Valuable Player Ray Parks, the Bulldogs surprisingly became the first fourth-ranked squad to win the title since the league adopted the Final Four format in 1994.

The Bulldogs, though, almost didn’t even make it to the Final Four as they had to go through a playoff match against the University of the East for the last semifinal berth.

In the Final Four, the Bulldogs again fought off elimination twice as they shockingly eliminated the No. 1 Ateneo Blue Eagles by overcoming their twice-to-beat semifinal advantage.

When the Tamaraws took Game 1 with a 75-70 decision, the Bulldogs rose to the occasion anew with a clinical 62-47 Game 2 triumph last week.

“Every knockout game that we played made us stronger and helped us gain more confidence,” Altamirano said after the Bulldogs remarkably survived their fifth do-or-die match this season with their Game 3 win.

“All of those games really prepared us for Game 3. The players felt that they’ve been here. It’s not new to them,” he added.

Painfully short

The Tamaraws painfully fell short of making their own history with a 20th overall crown even if their top duo of Tolomia (23 points) and Mac Belo (17 points and 13 rebounds) came out sizzling.

“It was really tough,” said FEU coach Nash Racela. “Any angle you look at it, we were overpowered by Aroga. We did not have a person to match up against him.”

But it wasn’t just Aroga who did the damage as Khobuntin also unloaded 10 markers and Alejandro, who sparked the Bulldogs’ strong second quarter, also finished with 10.

Diputado, the Bulldogs’ rookie guard, also knocked in five straight points that helped defuse the Tamaraws’ comeback attempts in the third quarter.

Among those celebrating the Bulldogs’ historic title romp were former President and NU alumnus Fidel V. Ramos and Nestor Sapida, the last known member of the Bulldogs’ 1954 champion team.

Very, very happy

“I’m very, very happy,” said the 78-year-old Sapida, who at only 5-foot-11, played center then. “Before the game, at the dugout, I already told them that we have this already.”

True enough, it seemed like destiny for the Bulldogs.

“Who would have thought,” said Altamirano. With INQUIRER.net

THE SCORES:

NU 75—Aroga 24, Alolino 12, Alejandro 10, Khobuntin 10, Neypes 8, Rosario 6, Diputado 5, Betayene 0, Javelona 0, Perez 0, Salim 0.

FEU 59—Tolomia 23, Belo 17, Dennison 6, Cruz 4, Jose 4, Iñigo 3, Hargrove 2, Tamsi 0, Ru. Escoto 0, Pogoy 0, Ugsang 0, Ri. Escoto 0.
Quarters: 20-18, 30-26, 55-44, 75-59

Joescoundrel
10-16-2014, 02:09 PM
Alolino, Rosario rise for Bulldogs

By Jasmine W. Payo |

Philippine Daily Inquirer 4:48 am |

Thursday, October 16th, 2014

Two revelations this season turned out as champions.

Overshadowed by a do-it-all star in past seasons, Gelo Alolino and Troy Rosario finally grabbed the limelight in helping power the National University Bulldogs to a historic UAAP men’s basketball championship yesterday.

“It’s a breakout season for Troy,” NU coach Eric Altamirano said of the 6-foot-7 Rosario, who averaged 11.3 points, 8.4 rebounds and 2.4 assists to bag this year’s Most Improved Player award.

“And Gelo, I saw how he grew as a player. But all I can say is he’s a very brave player. You can count on him when the stakes are high,” Altamirano said.

Alolino and Rosario, though, downplayed their starring roles after the departure of their old leader and hero Ray Parks. The crown, they stressed, belonged to them as much as anyone on the NU lineup.

“We did everything to win,” said Alolino, the fourth-year guard who averaged 12.7 points, 6.3 rebounds and 1.3 assists in the title series.

Rosario, the hero in the Bulldogs’ 62-47 Game 2 win that leveled the series, also gave credit to the support of the entire squad.

“My teammates trusted me, so I just returned their trust,” said Rosario.

Parks, who this time just cheered his teammates from the gallery, had nothing but praises for Alolino and Rosario.

“Gelo led them and Troy, his maturity really showed this year,” said Parks, a two-time UAAP Most Valuable Player.