RECAP: Ateneo Blue Eagles Get Their Revenge Against DLSU, Capture Their 9th Championship Title.

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.

Ateneo celebrated their 9th championship Thursday night (Photo Courtesy of LJ Mendoza)

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. 

Ricci Rivero and Ben Mbala of DLSU hug each other in tears in defeat (Photo Courtesy of Ian Genada)

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.

No Automatic Finals Birth: La Salle stunned Ateneo to Force a Final Four

We will have a Final 4 as La Salle denies Ateneo’s attempt to sweep the eliminations by winning their match up earlier, 79 to 76.
A win by Ateneo will send them directly to the Finals but La Salle crashed the party.

Ateneo was in cruise control and was able to lead as much as 12 points and had enough lead midway 4th quarter but it’s La Salle’s MAYHEM defense which helped them to inch closer.
Only down by 1, La Salle gave the ball to their co-captain, Kib Montalbo who drove to the paint once then dropped a floater to give them the lead.
Ateneo had a chance to take back the lead but Isaac Go missed a semi-hook shot over the outstretched arms of Ben Mbala. Then Ricci Rivero sunk 2 crucial freebies to seal the deal for the Green Archers.
Ben Mbala led La Salle with 28 points, 19 rebounds, 6 steals and 6 blocks while Ricci Rivero managed to chip in 21 points, 5 rebounds, and 2 blocks.
Thirdy Ravena, Isaac Go and Matt Nieto combined for 40 points for Ateneo.
Box Scores:
DLSU 79 – Mbala 28, Rivero R 21, Tratter 8, Santillan 7, Melecio 6, Montalbo 6, Go 3, Caracut 0, Rivero P 0, Baltazar 0, Paraiso 0
ATENEO 76 – Ravena 15, Go 13, Nieto Ma 12, Verano 9, Mendoza 7, Asistio 6, Tolentino 6, Ikeh 4, Porter 3, Nieto Mi 1, Mamuyac 0, Black 0
Quarter Scores: 17-22, 37-35, 54-63, 79-76
~ Ben Mbala hurt his elbow midway through the 3rd quarter.
~ Too many missed calls from the referee including a tripping incident involving Ateneo’s Mamuyac and La Salle’s Ben Mbala.
~ Final four will begin next weekend.
~ It was a highly physical game that resulted to 49 total fouls and 48 free throws.

First Round Sweep: Ateneo Blue Eagles Outlasted La Salle Green Archers

When defense matters the most. 

Ateneo’s defense saves them on losing their first game of the tournament as they made back-to-back crucial stops together with clutch free throw shooting from Matt Nieto to give them a narrow 76 to 75 win against the defending champions, DLSU Green Archers.

Matt Nieto drained 2 crucial free throws as he was fouled by Kib Montalblo after they force a steal on La Salle.
La Salle actually attempted 2 short-range shots to try to steal the game but no avail.
It was all Ateneo in the first half as Anton Asistio and Matt Nieto waxed hot from the outside and they led as much as 13 points. But La Salle came back at the second half and took a 1 point lead with few seconds remaining in the game but it was not enough.
Ateneo remained as the only undefeated team in the tournament with a record of 7-0 while La Salle is still in solo second with 5-2 record.

La Salle Destroyed Ateneo, 97 – 81; Sweeps 1st Round of Elimination

Even without Coach Aldin Ayo and College Superstar Jeron Teng, La Salle are simply too much for Ateneo.

Ateneo was able to lead by as much as 6 points in the second quarter but since then it was all La Salle as they unleashed a 21 – 3 run and never looked back.

Ben Mbala dominates the game by finishing 28 points, 13 rebounds and 5 steals. La Salle also got a lift from Andrei Caracut, Abu Tratter, Thomas Torres, Kib Montalbo ang Ricci Rivero who combined for 48 points.

Defense basically makes it happen for La Salle as they forced Ateneo to 30 turnovers. They also dominates the inside game and posted a 52 inside points and 49 total rebounds

Ateneo was led by John Wong and Matt Nieto with 15 and 14 markers respectively.

La Salle sweeps the first round but the team says that they are still a working in and they are just around 75% to 80%.

The scores:
DLSU (97) — Mbala 28, Caracut 14, Tratter 10, Torres 8, Montalbo 8, R. Rivero 8, Melecio 5, Perkins 5, Dyke 4, Baltazar 2, Go 2, Paraiso 2, P. Rivero 1, Sargent 0.
Ateneo (81) — Wong 15, Ma. Nieto 13, Asistio 11, Ravena 11, Mendoza 9, Ikeh 7, Porter 6, Go 5, Babilonia 2, Mi. Nieto 2, Tolentino 0, Verano 0.
Quarterscores: 20-20, 53-36, 80-58, 97-81.

De La Salle Green Archers favored to sweep it all. Can they really do it?

Having one of the best line up ever in the league history, the DLSU Green Archers are favored by a lot of people to sweep it all up to the finals? Can they do it? Let’s check!

They already won twice this season. They won against FEU with a slim margin while they basically dismantled UP last Saturday at Araneta.

We already knew that they have a Jeron Teng in their line up but the biggest factor why people saying that they can do it because of Ben Mbala. Mbala for me was the best player right now in the league. He averages 21.5 points and 18.5 rebound per game.

Other than those 2 superstars, they also have their other holdovers like, Thomas Torres, Kib Montalbo, Abu Tratter, Prince Rivero, Jollo go, Julian Sargent and Joshua Caracut. They also have a bunch of rookies that was a High School Phenoms back in their days like Aljon Melencio, Ricci Rivero, Mark Dyke, Justin Baltazar and Brent Paraiso.

The line up is great but what scares me the most is that DLSU is now taking pride in their defense. Coach Aldin Ayo is very vocal in term of their defense and that defense is one of the best weapon so far of DLSU.

It is too early for other to predict what’s gonna happen but there will be a possiblity that DLSU can do it.

– Yes! DLSU will sweep it all.
– MVP awarf for Ben Mbala.

Ateneo beat La Salle IN UAAP Season 78 second round meeting

The college rivalry continues as the defending champion Ateneo De Manila University got their revenge as they defeated rival De La Salle Lady Spikers in the UAAP Season 78 second round of elimination earlier at Mall of Asia Arena.

ADMU clinched the top seed in women’s volleyball tournament with the win.

Set scores as follows: 21-25, 25-22, 25-16, 21-25, 15-5

On their first meeting, the DLSU handed Ateneo their only loss on the first round.

Here are some pictures on today’s match-up:

UP PEP Squad UAAP Champion of Cheerdance

: UP PEP Squad 2011 UAAP Cheerdance Champion, Blonde having fun!

The blond rule this year 2011 UAAP cheer dance contest as they put up a very clean and challenging routine with a unique theme. Yes a unique theme! UP PEP squad came out of the stage like a virgin as they all wear a Madonna inspired costume and routine. Blonde do have more fun as they wow the crowd at the UAAP-Samsung Cheerdance Competition Saturday behind a packed crowd at the Araneta Coliseum.

Photo by August Dela Cruz, INQUIRER Photo     

They will bring home P340,000 top prize and while successfully defending last year Championship. Meanwhile La Salle and FEU won 2nd and 3rd price and will bring home P200,000 and P140,00 each. 2011 UAAP cheer dance contest results.

“Madonna is known for reinventing herself and the team can really identify with her,” said UP co-captain Laurence Martin Bautista. “I think we showed creativity. Our theme came off as different. We sented a very clean routine, yet very challenging.”

Eagles overpower Archers, 74-57


Games Thursday (Araneta Coliseum)
2 p.m. — Adamson vs UP
4 p.m. — UE vs Ateneo

This time, there was no wild finish but only a sweet win for Ateneo.

Showing their mighty form right from the very start, the Ateneo Eagles dominated the La Salle Archers to win in runaway fashion, 74-57, and inch closer to a semis berth in the UAAP basketball tournament Sunday before huge Sunday crowd at the Araneta Coliseum.

The Eagles took an 18-11 first quarter lead before humming like a well-oiled machine that saw them outscore their bitter rivals, 21-10, in the second quarter which turned out to be the push they needed to finally disarm the Archers.

With 15,362 screaming fans on hand, Kirk Long stood out in a long list of Ateneo heroes as he banged a career-high 22 points, the bulk of which coming in the second quarter that set the tone for a breezy win.

The win – their sixth straight and eight overall in 10 starts – enabled the Eagles to inch closer to the Final Four.

Meantime, University of the Philippines threw another golden chance of nailing its first-ever win this season when Dionisio Hipolito bungled his two free throws with barely 2.4 ticks left that allowed National University to escape with a 61-59 win in the first game.

Behind by only one point, 60-59, Hipolito went into the free throw area off Mervin Baloran’s foul. But to the horror of UP bench, he missed both his charities.

UP, however, plans to lodge a protest due to several no-calls.

Ateneo coach Norman Black was ecstatic over their revenge but he was still hoping to snatch the top spot from Far Eastern University at the end of the two-round elims. The Tamaraws is leading the tournament with a 9-1 card.

Long was simply hot, making all but one of his five tries from the rainbow territory that helped energize his teammates. He also had three rebounds, two assists and two steals as he made major damage mostly in the first half when Ateneo rolled to a commanding 39-21 halftime lead.

The part-time varsity baseball player also came up with a triple plus a steal and a layup on successive plays to push the Eagles’ lead to a high of 26 points, 55-39, with 4:27 in the third period.

The Archers, who beat the Eagles, 66-63, in the first round, raced to a 9-4 lead on a triple by Joel Tolentino but the Eagles refused to be intimidated as they made their own run to finally dictate the tempo of the game.

“I don’t know what happened. It was like a nightmare,” rued La Salle coach Dindo Pumaren. “We had a bad start and we didn’t play La Salle basketball.”

The scores:

First Game

NU 61 — Mbe 21, Hermosisima 14, Ponferrada 8, Baloran 6, Khobuntin 3, Javillonar 3, Terso 3, Malanday 3, Ludovice 0, Javelona 0, Ignacio 0, Eriobu 0, Tungcul 0, Singh 0, Magat 0.

UP 59 — Silungan 17, Padilla 13, Sison 8, Reyes Ma. 6, Hipolito 6, Juruena 4, Reyes Mi. 3, Gomez 2, Saret 0, Pascual 0, Maniego 0.

Quarters: 11-15; 20-28; 44-42; 61-59.

Second Game

ATENEO 74 — Long 22, dela Cruz 10, Buenafe 9, Salva 7, Monfort 7, Salamat 6, Golla 6, Austria 3, Escueta 2, Chua 2, Erram 0, Tiongson 0.

LA SA LLE 57 — Mendoza 20, Villanueva 7, Andrada 6, Tampus 5, Tolentino 5, Atkins 5, Marata 4, de la Paz 3, Webb 2, Vosotros 0, Paredes 0, Elorde 0, Ferdinand 0, Banal 0.

Quarters: 18-11; 39-21; 61-40; 74-57.