The Ateneo Blue Eagles just came from an embarrassing 24-point loss against FEU, so this next game versus the Adamson Soaring Falcons is very crucial.

On paper, the Blue Eagles should have this easy. Adamson lost five key pieces (including the most important ones in Don Trollano, Jansen Rios, and Ryan Monteclaro), while Ateneo lost two. Adamson has no clear go-to guy just yet, while Ateneo has THE Kiefer Ravena. Adamson has a blue chip recruit in JD Tungcab, while Ateneo has Jerie Pingoy, Hubert Cani, and twins Mike and Matt Nieto.

Should the Blue Eagles take it easy? Of course not.

I think we’ve established by now that this season is full of surprises. Look at UP sitting pretty on top of the standings! The Falcons would surely want to pull an upset or two of their own. Despite the loss in their opening match, they were able to make a statement that they need to be taken seriously because they can also put up a good fight.

The import matchup between Chibueze Ikeh and Pape Sarr will be interesting, although based on offensive arsenal, the Falcon import does have clear advantage. The challenge for Ikeh is to be more imposing defensively and to haul as much available ball possessions for his team as he can.

Ateneo must be ready to unleash their three-point shooting weapon – which was totally amiss in their last game – in anticipation of the zone defense that Adamson likes to employ. Von Pessumal having his killer instinct back after an off night will be a welcome sight. Heck, seeing anybody else not named Kiefer perform better than the last time will be a breath of fresh air.

Will the Blue Eagles be able to redeem themselves from their horrible first outing? Yes, I believe so. If they still fail… well I don’t want to think about that yet.


TIME: 2:00 PM

Featured image courtesy of Roy Afable, Slam Philippines