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    Will the result of the winner-take-all Game Three of the 2013 University Athletic Association of the Philippines (UAAP) men’s basketball tournament between the De La Salle Green Archers and the University of Santo Tomas Growling Tigers be a replica of the 1999 finals?

    Or will it be a different Cinderella-like ending for a No. 4 seed that has never before captured a title in the UAAP’s 76-year existence?

    De La Salle and UST will clash for the championship hardware on Saturday, October 13, in what is expected to produce a record-breaking attendance at the Mall of Asia (MOA) Arena in Pasay City.

    Since 1994, when the UAAP instituted the Final Four playoffs in men’s basketball, the two teams have battled each other in a best-of-three titular series a total of five times.

    This also marks the fourth time that their finals matchup has stretched to the maximum three games.

    In three of their four previous title encounters, the eventual winner bucked a series-opening setback by securing the second and their games.

    UST turned in the trick in 1994 and 1995 and La Salle repeated the feat in 1999, which was the last time the two teams had met before this season.

    In 1994, the Green Archers took the opener, 77-74, but the Growling Tigers bounced back to grab the next two games, 89-75 and 77-76.

    In 1995, La Salle again posted a 1-0 lead with an 88-78 victory but UST evened the series with a 66-62 decision in the second game and subsequently retained its UAAP crown for the third consecutive year with a 67-64 squeaker in the winner-take-all Game Three.

    The following campaign (1996), UST swept La Salle, 2-0, in the finals with scores of 65-60 and 57-54 (after the Green Archers won both elimination-round games) to claim the league diadem for the fourth year in a row under coach Aric del Rosario.

    Del Rosario, who’s now the head coach of the University of Perpetual Help System Dalta in the rival National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), still held the UST mentoring reins in 1999 when UST and La Salle faced each other a league-record six times that year.

    During the elims, UST triumphed in the first round, 61-59, but La Salle got back in the second, 78-69, to force a playoff with its victim for the No. 1 seed. In the playoff, the Green Archers registered an 84-79 victory to secure the top spot.

    Following semifinal wins over their respective foes, UST and La Salle once more clashed for the crown. UST topped the finals series opener, 62-60, but DLSU levelled the count with an 81-74 victory in the second game.

    In the sudden-death Game Three, La Salle edged UST, 78-75, in overtime to retain its UAAP title.

    UST had grabbed a sizeable double-digit lead through the first 35 minutes but La Salle slowly came roaring back as the Growling Tigers were plagued by turnovers and inept free-throw shooting (notably Gilbert Lao, who this season served as an assistant to rookie head mentor Nash Racela at fourth-place Far Eastern University) in the final minutes of regulation time.

    With less than three seconds left, and La Salle down by three points (67-64), Archers playmaker Dino Aldeguer, backstopped by hardworking center and two-time UAAP Most Valuable Player Don Allado and streak-shooting Renren Ritualo, deadlocked the score (67-67) when he connected on a triple while being fouled.

    Aldeguer, though, missed the succeeding free throw and the game went into a five-minute extension, where La Salle outscored UST, 11-8.

    UST, by the way, is the most recent team to capture the UAAP championship after trailing 0-1 in the finals. This happened in 2006 when UST, under then-rookie Tigers bench boss Pido Jarencio, upset heavy favorite Ateneo de Manila University in three games. The year also marked the last time that UST had romped away with the crown.

    Statistically speaking, history favors UST in Saturday’s Game Three showdown against La Salle. During the Final Four era, 15 of the 19 previous teams that took the finals opener went on to annex the UAAP title. Then again, the four exceptions were recorded by UST (three times) and La Salle (once).

    NOTES – It’s very important to set the tone early in Game Three. A strong start will most likely lead to success as the first two games in the series have gone to teams that established solid leads in the early goings – UST in Game One (21-4) and La Salle in Game Two (36-19). The opposing side made a run or two at some point but fell short eventually … Don’t lose your focus when referees go amuck by calling quick fouls against your bigs or key men. For the bigs, let’s get physical but just make sure you don’t displease the almighty whistletooters by shouting “I love your mom” when fouls are called ...
    Tags: dlsu, henry liao, uaap, ust Add / Edit Tags
    Philippine Basketball

    It boils down to which team wants the title more.

    Hard-hat cage observers like this Hoopster keenly await the winner-take-all Game Three of the best-of-three finals of the 2013 University Athletic Association of the Philippines (UAAP) men’s basketball tournament between the University of Santo Tomas Growling Tigers and De La Salle University Green Archers to be played on Saturday, October 12, at the state-of-the-art Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City.

    Expect the MOA Arena to be rocking in the sea of yellow and green as a mammoth, record-setting crowd will be around to witness a blockbuster finish to Season 76.

    The UAAP Cheerdance Competitions last month drew 20,830 fans at the MOA Arena for the largest attendance ever in its two-year existence.

    Should the MOA Arena management decide to sell SRO (standing room only) tickets for aisle viewing from the arena’s roof-level sections (Upper B and General Admission), this year’s UAAP cage tournament will likely to surpass the record-breaking crowd of 23,037 that trooped to the world-famous Araneta Coliseum to watch the finals’ Game Two last Saturday during which La Salle evened the series at 1-1 with a hard-earned 77-70 decision over UST.

    An unproductive triple by the Green Archers gunner Almond Vosotros and a block by Tigers big man Karim Abdul of LA Revilla’s floater in the dying seconds of the series opener preserved UST’s spine-tingling 73-72 victory over La Salle last October 2.

    Buoyed its team’s Game One triumph, UST fans came in full force for Game Two. Nearly 70 percent of the MOA audience wore yellow tees in support of UST, which was seeking a 2-0 finals sweep and its first UAAP crown since 2006.

    The Growling Tigers faithful, though, went home disappointed. The Green Archers, who trailed for the last time at 12-10 on fifth-year UST skipper Jeric Teng’s triple midway through the first quarter, knocked in 13 unanswered points bridging the first and second quarters to move ahead, 23-12.

    La Salle never trailed thereafter, enjoying its biggest lead of 17 points, 36-19, midway through the second quarter. (Note: In UST’s Game One win, its largest lead was also 17 points, 21-4, in the first quarter.)

    The Green Archers were up, 41-33, at halftime, and increased their advantage to as many as 12 points early in the third period before UST came dangerously close at 44-43. Rookie coach Juno Sauler’s troops withstood the Tigers’ rally with a 6-0 run of their own for a 50-43 lead.

    With 73 seconds remaining in the third quarter, UST came within six points, 57-51.

    But all hell broke loose for when foul-troubled Kevin Ferrer was whistled for an unsportsmanlike foul for kicking the rock after play was stopped to signal a jumpball. La Salle’s baby bear Norbert Torres, who finished with 16 points and 10 boards, connected on a pair of free throws and then completed a three-point play in DLSU’s next offense as the Taft Avenue-based unit moved out of harm’s way at 62-51 following the five-point swing.

    DLSU, which employed just seven players, led by no less than seven points the rest of the way. Down by 14 (77-63), UST scored the game’s final seven points to make the final count respectable.

    DLSU sophomore Jeron Teng was full of energy and intensity in Game Two that the 6-2 swingman could have played another 40 minutes. Willing his team to victory, the 2012 Rookie of the Year awardee chalked up a team-best 19 points, seven of them in the tone-setting first period, and a nice follow-up to his 15-point, seven-rebound effort.

    Defensively, Jeron also helped make life hard for lanky Kevin Ferrer, UST’s Game 1 hero with five triples and 20 markers who was limited to six points. A sore spot was his 3-for-9 free-throw shooting.

    Four guys scored in double figures for the Green Archers – Teng, Norbert Torres, Arnold Van Opstal (13 points) and Almond Vosotros (11).

    Jeric, Jeron’s elder brother, chalked up a game-best 28 markers for UST for a 22.5 clip in the series. The Tigers’ lone Mythical Five selection Karim Abdul registered a double-double in Game One with 19 points and 12 boards but only had a pedestrian line of 13 and nine.

    Here are some significant factors that could decide the sudden-death Game Three winner:

    REBOUNDING – No rebounds, no rings. La Salle has outrebounded UST in both games – 44-43 in Game One and 57-39 in Game Two, including a 27-10 edge off the offensive glass that allowed the Green Archers to pick up 18 second-chance points (against UST’s six).

    OFFENSE – Undoubtedly Jeric Teng is UST’s meal ticket. Unfortunately, Aljon Mariano (5.5 ppg) has had a hard time shadowing newcomer Mythical Five choice Jason Perkins (9.0 ppg) so ...
    Tags: dlsu, henry liao, uaap, ust Add / Edit Tags
    Philippine Basketball
  3. 2013 Cesafi Finals: University of the Visayas Makes History

    Tallo was cesafi mvp for swu, which was 14-0 for season and 2-0 vs UV in the best of 5 finals. Then UV won 3 straight to become the1st team ever to overcome a 0-2 deficit and win the title.

    Game 5 was completed an hour ago. UV 64-SWU 62. SWU is dethroned as CESAFI champ. UV stave off elimination by taking Game 3 in double ot.

    Mark Tallo, who played for La Salle two years ago in the UAAP, won MVP honors.The defending champ Cobras had gone 14-0 for the season, including a 2-0 lead over the University of the Visayas in the best-of-5 cesafi finals. Then disaster struck. It lost 3 straight games to the Green Lancers, including a thrilling 64-62 decision in game 5 tonight at the Cebu Coliseum. UV thus became the 1st team ever to overcome a 0-2 deficit and win the cesafi title. UV staved off elimination by taking game 3 in double overtime. The Green Lancers, who represented the Philippines in the 2013 Kazan Universiade last July, also took Game 4 to set up a decisive winner-take-all fifth game. SWU and UV also clashed for the title a year ago with SWU gaining the crown via a 3-2 score.
    Philippine Basketball
  4. Jeric vs Jeron: A Tale of Two Brothers

    In 2012, jeron joined jeric in the uaap. Ust n dlsu have played each other 4 times during the last two seasons and the record is 2-2. In those games, Jeric averaged 12.0 ppg, 4.3 rpg and 2.0 apg. Jeron normed 13.8 ppg, 9.0 rpg and 2.5 apg. 2 games went into 0T ('12 1st round and '13 1st round). Jeron hit a jumper off kevin ferrer at game buzzer in 2nd round '12 game for a 53-51 dlsu win on aug 29, 2012. Jeric was 2009 tiong lian mvp as a xavier school senior for 2 straight titles n scoring crowns. Jeron was tl mvp in 2010, '11 and '12 and won 3 tl titles (including '09 as a hs rookie teammate of jeric) and 3 scoring titles. Jeric was uaap rookie of the year in '09 while jeron was rookie of the year in '12.

    Updated 10-02-2013 at 09:16 PM by admin

    Tags: dlsu, henry liao, uaap, ust Add / Edit Tags
    Philippine Basketball
  5. We Haven't Got It All

    When the SM Group bought into National University some three or so years back, a lot of college basketball fans knew it would be the start of an unprecedented renewal for the most moribund varsity program in the UAAP. After all, the richest man in the Philippines - SM founder and chair Henry Sy - literally pulled himself up by his bootstraps to build the SM Group, arguably the most valuable conglomerate in the country. His company's long-time slogan is "We've got it all", and indeed they seem to live up pretty well to that slogan.

    True enough they have transformed themselves from the league doormat into one of its most exciting and talented teams. Not too long ago the Bulldogs were the resident UAAP whipping boys, and a sure-win assignment for any of the other teams. Win-less seasons were never out of the question for the boys from old Bustillos.

    When the SM Group took over things changed pretty fast for NU though, most visibly with their varsity teams. Arguably their biggest varsity recruitment coup was landing 6'3" swingman Ray Parks, MVP in two of the last three UAAP seasons, and an undisputed talent. Parks is the son of legendary 7-time PBA Best Import Bobby Parks, and was also heavily recruited by the Division 1 Georgia Tech Yellowjackets of the US NCAA. He was reportedly on his way already to the Ateneo De Manila, as the then-Blue Eagles Coach Norman Black was a good friend of his departed father's and his Godfather as well. It is a testament to the commitment of the SM Group to improve the lot of the NU varsity program as swiftly as possible that Parks chose NU over the Ateneo.

    This year they were crowned the UAAP Cheer Dance Champions, arguably the single most-attended event in the UAAP calendar outside of college basketball. They also got all of their basketball teams into the Final 4 of their respective divisions, with the Bull Pups and the Lady Bulldogs entering their respective Finals; their high school team even owns the distinction of sweeping the eliminations and gaining an insurmountable thrice-to-beat edge in the junior division. Talk about having it all.

    Contrary to what their corporate owner's popular slogan says though, the NU Bulldogs of the SM Group does not in fact "have it all".

    In fact, Season 76 has to be the single most disappointing season thus far in the history of NU. They ended the eliminations as the Number 1-ranked team entering the Final 4. That of course carried with it the coveted twice-to-beat advantage. Furthermore, the Bulldogs were the only team with a legit twice-to-beat edge in this year's Final 4. De La Salle and Far Eastern actually slugged it out in a virtual Best 2-out of-3 in their Final 4 match because they ended up tied with NU at 10-4 records. NU got the favorable quotient and thus the Number 1 ranking, relegating the Green Archers and the Tamaraws into a knockout-knockout series that La Salle won.

    NU faced the Santo Tomas Growling Tigers, a team that also barely made it to the Final 4. UST had to duel erstwhile champion the Ateneo in a knockout match to determine who would catch the last Final 4 bus. UST prevailed in that match 82-74 behind the 25 points of Cameroonian import Karim Abdul to set up their Final 4 showdown with the Bulldogs.

    UST made history by becoming the first ever Number 4 Seed to topple a Number 2 Seed and move on to the Finals against La Salle. Kevin Ferrer led the improbable UST charge with 14 points in an 81-72 spanking of NU in their first game, then followed that up with 18 points in a 76-69 kiss goodbye in their second game.

    This of course begs the question: how did UST do that against NU?

    Here we see exactly how much NU did not "have it all".

    Yes, they had Parks, arguably the single most talented player in the UAAP the last three years running. He failed to win an unprecedented third straight MVP this season but still came a close second to Season 76 MVP, FEU's Terrence Romeo. Parks is a superb athlete who can play as many as four positions on the floor. He has the size, strength and talent to overwhelm any other UAAP player one-on-one, maybe even one-on-two. Unfortunately for him he ran into Ferrer, his former RP Youth teammate.

    At a long and wiry-strong 6'4" Ferrer is probably the only UAAP player who can match Parks physically. He is also a nasty defender who knows all the tricks. He just plain made life miserable for Parks throughout their Final 4 encounter. Parks could only grouse about Ferrer's "dirty play" on him while Ferrer relished taking it to his one-time teammate. With Parks taken out of his game by Ferrer, and literally taking himself out in the last minute and a half of this encounter with an injury, Parks practically took NU's Finals hopes with him.

    None of his other teammates had enough to take up the cudgels. Guards Robin Rono and Gelo ...
    Philippine Basketball
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