UAAP Weekend Recap 3: New leaders
Anthony Divinagracia on Sep 26, 2015 09:43 AM
Losing to UST is just a hiccup. From there, FEU has started to pick up, collecting three straight wins. The last proved the Tamaraws’ vaunted resiliency.
Rest isn’t a prerequisite to climb the UAAP Everest. The proverbial learning curve becomes steeper than ever as the tournament goes on. Safe to say, every UAAP fan will trade the moon and the stars just to see their respective teams hit the stratosphere or plug the gaping Black Hole in its campaign. Nevertheless, we look back at the season’s meteoric rise on its third week.
For many years, Von Pessumal has lingered on the shadows of Kiefer Ravena. Arguably, he’s been the resident Pippen of the Jordanesque King Eagle. But last Saturday, Pessumal and Ravena decided to switch places. With Ravena loading his guns, Pessumal the sniper mercilessly assaulted UE’s perimeter defense, hitting six triples in Wild, Wild West fashion to keep the Warriors’ stuck in the bushes. “Nakakahiya naman kay coach at sa mga teammates ko kung di pa ko makaka-shoot,” said Pessumal who finished with a game-high 21 points on 6-of-10 from beyond the arc. To which Ravena smilingly ribbed back: “Actually ganyan din yung sinabi niya last game.” Undoubtedly, Pessumal and Ravena (or Ravena and Pessumal as the purists would have it) are on target. Their Eagled eyes are sticking on the prize.
And it happened…
There won’t be any sweep this season, thanks (or no thanks) to defending champion NU which gave erstwhile unbeaten UST a “dose of reality” (to use a much UP-braided figure of speech by its student publication). That dose of reality was audaciously mixed and served cold by Alfred Aroga’s baseline jumper against the outstretched arm of Karim Abdul with 18 ticks left in the game to push NU ahead for good, 55-54. Eric Altamirano has always reminded Aroga “not to shoot those kinds of shots.” But the heck. NU had just averted an ego-deflating 0-4 start. Sometimes, hard-headedness is a beautiful thing. As for the Tigers, their jilted 4-0 start boiled down to two words: “Ed Daquioag.” Yeah, even basketball sages submit to the Law of Averages.
Whose no.1 now?
Losing to UST is just a hiccup. From there, FEU has started to pick up, collecting three straight wins. The last proved the Tamaraws’ vaunted resiliency as they unloaded 32 points in the fourth quarter to withstand an early UE assault and post a come-from-behind 92-81 victory. Mac Belo, who played erratically against UP, led five Tamaraws in double figures with 24 points on 12-of-19 shooting, including three triples, eight rebounds and five assists. If Belo continues that way, then expect the Tamaraws to enjoy greener pastures atop the hill. Kaya Tama-raw na sila ang No.1 ngayon.
Soaring to sorry
Pun intended – and extended. Some quarters in the league had thought it’s anomalous for Adamson at this point to keep the word “soaring” on its monicker. Oxymoronic as it is, how can a team “soar” if it actually remains grounded and unfounded by an unenviable 0-5 record? If there’s any mocking consolation, Mike Fermin had just notched his first – uh, not win – but suspension after getting in the referee’s nerves against La Salle. Adamson badly needs a coach. Unless it wants to be called “Sorry Falcons.” Fly or fry?
Not just basketball
In case you’ve overstayed in Mars, the UAAP has just unfurled its badminton competition. UP remains unbeaten in the women’s division after flustering La Salle, NU, and UST. The Bulldogs and the Archers share solo first place with identical 3-0 cards in men’s play. Attack the shuttlecock.