Adamson has the potential to be the metaphorical straw which breaks the metaphorical camel’s back in their next game. While Ateneo is still trying to get their wheels going and configure their gears for the Final Four, Adamson has the opportunity to just throw a wrench into the middle of everything and just play bully. But then again, that would be a tall order, and then again, the Falcons do not have that reputation.
To believe that Adamson will tie the series would mean believing that some way some how they will play immaculate defense. That for 40 minutes, they will not only stop Kiefer Ravena, but they will stop the four other Eagles on the floor with him. That they will outrun, outgun, and outplay a team which has so much talent in them that a 4-4 record is not only disappointing, but a disaster to them.
But then again, there are things going for Adamson. So far the Falcons have already found their post presence in Papi Sarr, who unlike Ateneo’s Chibueze Ikeh is starting to mature into a serious post threat. From here, Adamson’s wings need to be on the ready to shoot from outside. Harold Ng, Jerome Garcia, and Nico Capote will benefit from the double teams that Ateneo will send Sarr’s way.
While Ateneo definitely has a mental edge over this team of often-looked-over players, count on ever confident Capote to exude confidence and even over-confidence for the Falcons. His “nobody can beat me” attitude is just what the Falcons need to stave off the intimidation coming from the school which has won five of the last seven UAAP championships.
On defense, all Adamson really needs to do is make up their mind in what they want to happen—A) Shut down Ravena; or B) Shut down everyone else. And it seems that plan-B is the more viable of the two.
Think back to round one, when Adamson clung on to the Eagles by the nails of their talons going into the second half, only to be hacked and gnawed and chewed up later on. What made the difference?
In the first half, it was Kiefer Ravena playing hero ball. He was juking and jiving, whirling and twirling, making crazy shot after crazy shot in front of the Adamson defense. But despite all that, the lead was still manageable. It was still a ball game.
Things got out of hand when it wasn’t Ravena making all the field goals. Aaron Black torched the Falcons from the three-point line, Jerie Pingoy, Matt Nieto and the rest of the Eagles started a three-point party which the Falcons weren’t invited to. That’s when things got out of hand.
Ateneo will be hard pressed to run anything outside of Kiefer’s heroics. Realizing this and not allowing Ateneo to run an offense outside of Ravena will be key to locking them down. Ateneo is mortal, they are bleeding. Adamson might not be on top of the world, but who’s to say we can’t throw a bit of salt into their wounds?
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