MANILA, PHILIPPINES – The greatest sports rivalry in Philippine history squared off Sunday afternoon at the Araneta Coliseum in the two best words any UAAP fan can hear: Game. 3.
The day before, tickets sold out before any announcement could be made, as fans already started camping outside Araneta coliseum as early as 1 am, leaving only General Admission tickets and tickets from resellers/scalpers the only ones available to purchase. The rivalry between DLSU and ADMU could be well seen through social media and fans.
Like the first two games of the finals, the game had lots of physicality and spirit, as 22,012 were in attendance. ADMU quickly jumped to a 4-0 lead off buckets from C Chibueze Ikeh and F Thirdy Ravena. Threes were going in everywhere from both sides. At the end of the first, the Eagles led DLSU by double digits at 24-14. La Salle turned the ball over 10 times, mostly off deflections and fouls, in just the first quarter.
In the second quarter, the Green Archers came back charging as their excellent defense led to a 10-1 run. Ateneo didn’t get their first field goal of the quarter until the 5:34 mark. ADMU was able to maintain their 2-4 point lead during the last 5 minutes of the quarter until DLSU Guard Ricci Rivero grabbed an offensive rebound and scored on the post for a second chance opportunity, handing them a 38-37 lead, their first of the game. The Blue Eagles closed the first half on an 8-0 run including a heavily contested bank shot from three made by G Anton Asistio at the buzzer. DLSU outscored ADMU 24-21 in this quarter.
At the end of the first half, the score was 45-38 in Ateneo’s favor. Thirdy Ravena led all scorers with 11 points while the reigning back-to-back MVP Center Ben Mbala and G Andrei Caracut led the Green Archers with 7 points apart. the Green Archers had 14 turnovers with 3 steals compared to Ateneo’s 8 turnovers with 6 steals, but DLSU was able to outrebound the Eagles, 27-22. ADMU was shooting 44 percent from the field while being able to hold DLSU at just 37 percent.
During the beginning of the second half, shots were going in for both sides as was the great defense. DLSU G Aljun Melecio was able to drive through the lane for the 51-50 lead over Ateneo but Matt Nieto quickly responded with a three of his own to take back the lead for ADMU, his first since missing his first three in the game. The next few possessions turned to a three point shootout, with a total of three lead changes in a span of just 2 minutes. Ricci Rivero came up with two highlight plays during this stretch, one being a behind the back dribble slicing through defenders and a one handed baseline jam off a steal to snatch a 60-59 lead over Ateneo. At the end of the third, the game is tied at 66. La Salle again outscored Ateneo 28-21.
Now in the last 10 minutes of the season, DLSU’s star players Ben Mbala and Ricci Rivero were both playing with three fouls each. Matt Nieto finally recaptured the lead for the Eagles with a three pointer and Asistio made it a back-to-back three which was all part of their 8-0 run to make the lead 76-68 in Ateneo’s favor with just 5 minutes left in the game. DLSU shot poorly from the perimeter as they were 0-for-7 until Aljun Melecio shot a three to keep DLSU’s hopes for a repeat alive. DLSU came up with several clutch plays including a 4 point play from Mbala and Rivero and a clutch three from G Andrei Caracut to cut Ateneo’s lead to just 2. With less than a minute left, Ateneo led 82-80. Ateneo C Isaac Go came up for the dagger once again with a contested three. Aljun Melecio’s second chance three wasn’t enough as ADMU sealed the game with two free throws. As time expired, Andrei Caracut threw a three pointer that counted.
Ateneo captured their 9th championship, their first in 5 years. They now lead the all-time finals series against La Salle, 3-2. The Adamson Soaring Falcons won 2nd runner-up while the De La Salle Green Archers won 1st runner-up. Isaac Go won the Manulife Heart and Hustle Player while the PS Bank Player of the Finals and UAAP 80 Finals MVP was awarded to Thirdy Ravena, who averaged 16.3 PPG, 6.7 RPG, 4.3 APG, and 1.3 SPG in three games throughout the Finals.
The Blue Eagles didn’t shoot well. But…
Defense on Big Ben
Come the much-awaited Finals rematch, the Bolts can use these to their advantage
The 3 Major Things that Meralco may Use against the Gin Kings:
Allen Durham’s Numbers
- Through 11 games of the elimination round, Durham has averaged 27 points, a league-leading 19 rebounds and another league league-leading 7 assists. In addition to this, he had a near triple-double in their game against the Gin Kings during the elimination round which the Bolts won, of course. He scored 30 points, grabbed 24 rebounds and dishing 9 assists.
- During the semifinal series against the Star Hotshots, Durham was completely an unstoppable beast on both ends of the court as highlighted by his performance in Game 3 which saw him produce 24 points, 19 boards and 6 dimes. Big time player producing big-time numbers on a big-time stage. That’s exactly the kind of player who is poised to win another Best Import award.
Meralco’s Bench Production
Ginebra needed big numbers from 3 players to eliminate an import-less TNT team
Justin Brownlee- 46 Points
LA Tenorio- 25 Points
Greg Slaughter- 21 Points
These things will hamper the Bolts’ chances come the Finals- regardless of who they will face
3 Bad Numbers to Forget in the Finals
Allen Durham had to play for 46 MINUTES
7 Missed Free Throws
|Photo by PBA Media Bureau|
Now that the finals stage is set, everyone’s saying that Meralco’s the underdog in this championship match considering facts that it is the first appearance of this team in the finals and experience is one of the factors that the fans and the media people are looking at. But for Tim Cone, experience is not a factor if we’re talking about Meralco with Norman Black calling the shots for them.
“Norman black is not a first timer, its all about the leadership over there Norman obviously he tore apart TNT they dominated that series it wasnt that close” Tim Cone’s reply when asked about his thoughts on facing a new comer in the finals stage. “I remember the year I came in the league 1989 is the year that he won the grandslam so I felt my whole career was based on trying to climb over him
baby was retiring soon and he was the new bench mark.” Cone said.
“So ive always been chasing Norman, the organization might be new to the finals but he’s there and been there and absolutely multiple times both amateurs and PBA Luigi Trillo is over there is also a torn on my side he knows me extremely well he knows what I like to do I had a lot of trouble beating him when he take over Alaska, you also got jimmy there too he knows how to win.”
“For me they are the experienced team”
When asked about his concerns when it comes to the defensive and offensive approach come finals Cone explains his thoughts. We’ve had so much attention just to this game its hard to really think I didn’t watch the game 4. Its hard for me to say but obviously Durham is the key guy and you gotta control Jimmy cause Jimmy leads em obviously. Hodge had 32 points I’m sure dillinger will be back and that makes it a big impact, they’re a very athletic team that’s the biggest thing you gotta battle their athleticism they’re athletic from point guard to forward so that’s the number one thing that you gotta battle their athleticism allows them to defend well. I really haven’t really formed I game plan for the game. We’ll try to figure it out.
|Photo by PBA Media|
In front of a huge crowd recorded at 20,374 gate attendance, the Barangay Ginebra San Miguel finally gets the bacon home as they send SMB on vacation after a huge victory. Ginebra dominated most part of the game but somehow lost their consistency when San Miguel made a huge 22-0 run and cut the lead down to only one. Tim Cone, regrouped and called a time out after multiple turnovers and missed shots and then went back on the floor to continue the mission. Sol Mercado and Scottie Thompson together with Justin Brownlee lead the way for Ginebra as these 3 players scored more than twenty points each.
San Miguel on the other hand who had a successful night on their game 4 against Ginebra somehow lost their outside shooting in this game and made a lot of errors that caused turnovers that translated to points. Marcio Lassiter and Alex Cabagnot had a tough night having multiple misses on the rainbow country while their Import Elijah Millsap try to atleast inch their way back on the driver’s seat.
For Sol Mercado and Thompson who struggled on their last outing prior to this game 5 three point field goals wise has finally found their attempts converted in to points as they made three pointers which helped them win the game. Very good defense is the reason why Ginebra was able to getaway from this game for they were able to deny Junmar Fajardo who is the focal point of the SMB offense. Then Tim Cone who tried to use Zone in game 4 went back to their usual defensive approach which is man to man that made it hard for out side gunners to make an attempt.
The crowd was emotional and started cheering even before the tip off and after the win as they will finally witness their favorite team to appear in the finals after 3 years.
Ginebra will be facing Meralco who will compete on their first ever Finals. Game 1 will be on Friday 7pm at the Araneta Coliseum and will be expected to be a tight one as these two teams battle for the first win of the best of 7 championship series.
Best Player of the Game : Scottie Thompson 24 points 15 rebounds.
GINEBRA 117 – Brownlee 26, Thompson 24, Mercado 22, Tenorio 18, Mariano 11, Devance 6, Aguilar 5, Caguioa 2, Helterbrand 2, Marcelo 1, Cruz 0, Villamor 0.
SAN MIGUEL 92 – Santos 24, Millsap 18, Lassiter 11, Cabagnot 10, Heruela 9, David 7, Fajardo 7, Reyes 3, Ross 3, Arana 0, De Ocampo 0, Espinas 0, Semerad 0, Tubid 0.
Quarterscores: 33-12, 45-38, 81-53, 117-92