Ateneo Blue Eagles def. Adamson Soaring Falcons 62-48

NOTABLE PLAYERS

Isaac Go, Ateneo (12 points, 2/5 3FG, 7 rebounds)

Go’s three-point shooting during the third quarter was huge in opening up the floodgates for the Blue Eagles. Some will say his game has been predictable this season — setting screens for pick and pops, offensive rebound here and there — but you can’t deny how effective he has been in spacing the floor. Plus, he had a nice moment in the second quarter where he CURLED to the right wing for a three-point basket. That was awesome.

Thirdy Ravena, Ateneo (10 points, 9 rebounds, 2 blocks)

In case any of you forgot, Thirdy Ravena is one of the, if not THE best local in the UAAP today. While his stats won’t pop out since he plays for a Tab Baldwin system, his effectiveness on the court is astounding. He can already play 1-4, with the speed to defend guards, and the strength and athleticism to match up with big men. He’s quite the marvel to behold.

Jerom Lastimosa, Adamson (13 points, 2 steals, 8 turnovers)

Lastimosa continues to be quite the thorn for the Blue Eagles. His activity and pesky defense gave problems to the Blue Eagle guards, especially when the Soaring Falcons went with their patented press. However, whatever good he provided in pressing, was countered by some careless turnovers on the other end of the floor.

Jerrick Ahanmisi, Adamson (10 points, 4/12 FG)

We waited…. and waited… and waited for a Jerrick Ahanmisi explosion. We did get it… but even when it came, it wasn’t enough. Credit to Ahanmisi for not forcing too many baskets, but it was clear as day that Ateneo’s defense slowed him down. Does this mean Ateneo’s provided a blueprint on how to stop Ahanmisi? Not exactly. Instead, let this game be proof of Ahanmisi’s sheer value to how Adamson runs its offense.

QUICK ANALYSIS

  • Let’s get it out there: this game was UGLY. It wasn’t just a result of the slow pace of the game (78.28), but also the poor offensive efficiency of both teams (ADMU: 79.21, AdU: 61.32). Call it a defensive slugfest, a grit and grind contest, whatever. It wasn’t pretty to the eyes.
  • But don’t mistake ugly with meaningless. There was reason to the inability to score of both teams. Other than missing a number of gimmes here and there, both Ateneo and Adamson played VERY GOOD defense against each other. While painful to the casual fan, a basketball savant could appreciate the level of defense both squads put up. Absolutely marvelous.
  • A quick look at the stat sheet, and there’s plenty of similarities between both teams. One key difference, however, was free throw shooting. Ateneo shot 16/18 from the line, while Adamson put up an atrocious 7/16 clip. It’s easy to straight up Math this and say, “If Adamson made all their free throws, then it would have been just a five-point game!” While true, think of free throws as small potions in a brutal Pokemon battle. Ateneo timed their use properly, while Adamson threw them away as if they had a Gameshark Cheat for revives installed. Sorry Adamson, no cheating allowed.
  • Ateneo used a lot of unconventional lineups earlier (Plenty of Thirdy at the four, YESSIR!), but what was particularly interesting were the ones that had Matt and another point guard playing with him. Coach Sandy declined to comment (as he should have) on whether this is something they’ll be doing more moving forward, but there’s no denying this is an interesting development to watch out for. An excellent use of depth, and an exercise in trying out different things. Lots of fun.
  • While the score doesn’t suggest it, let it be known: these two teams are well-matched against each other. No complaints if these two teams meet in the Finals. We would be getting a quality contest no matter what.