UAAP Weekend Recap 7: Playing with heart

Anthony Divinagracia on Oct 24, 2015 01:19 PM
UAAP Weekend Recap 7: Playing with heart
Some elected to fill a particular void. Others however tried to literally elect themselves as someone wedged between a sailor and a concealer. Dropping further insinuations, our UAAP has nevertheless remained on track for another eventful haul. Week 7 however deserves a quick scroll.

Actions – on and off court – spoke louder than words the past few days.

Not even the howling winds packing Typhoon Lando’s weekday barnstorming managed to silence the deafening volume of these actions. Some elected to fill a particular void. Others however tried to literally elect themselves as someone wedged between a concealer and a sailor.

Dropping further insinuations, our UAAP has nevertheless remained on track for another eventful haul. Week 7 however deserves a quick scroll.


Tale of two big men

For those who haven’t heard, Ateneo now is at solo third. The Eagles clinched their sixth win in ten games after outsmarting UST.

Kiefer Ravena and Von Pessumal again showed up for the Katipunan squad, but it was Arvin Tolentino who put the rampaging Tigers back in the cage on both ends.The former Rookie of the Year out of San Beda has been criticized lately for hurling more pots than actual shots, not to mention playing lackluster defense.

All that changed last Wednesday as Tolentino balled to his potential, nailing timely threes while using his length to keep Kevin Ferrer off the paint as Ateneo withstood another UST comeback. Tolentino scored 20 points on 7-of-10 shooting.

Sure, the game was about Tolentino’s resurgence. But his re-acquired presence drowned with John Apacible’s expected absence. With Ateneo absorbing the brunt of Apacible’s road-ruffing misdemeanour, the Eagles management decided to suspend him for the rest of the second round.

Yet others can’t help but ponder. What if Apacible wasn’t red-shirted because of “self-election”? Could he have eaten up some of Tolentino’s minutes? Possibly but not substantially. Some demanded Apacible’s expulsion. Others wanted him charged for breaking the law.

Apparently, a public apology is not enough. But in a unique mark of brotherhood, Pessumal dedicated their win “for John.”

Prior to that Ravena nearly lost his cool after Adamson’s Joseph Nalos face-tagged Vince Tolentino last Sunday. Instead, “The Phenom” re-channelled his wrath on the Falcons’ defense to put the Eagles beyond .500. Ravena sure knows when to explode. And keep those emotional bombs off-load.


Stepping up

The Falcons were a few minutes away from landing their second win, but someone played K.J. (kill joy) along the way.

Let’s call him J.J. Yes, it’s the guy surnamed Alejandro who dished a breakout game when the Bulldogs needed it most last Wednesday. The former national youth team mainstay unloaded 12 of his 22 points in the last 22 seconds of the payoff period and overtime to turn back Adamson and keep NU’s title defense alive despite a pedestrian a 4-6 card.

With the Bulldogs starting on the wrong paw, Alejandro felt that righting their missteps takes more than a pair of video-game-mode performances from Alfred Aroga and Gelo Alolino. “We have to do it together. Hindi kaya mag-san ni Alfred, hindi kaya ni Gelo. Ready lang ako, gamitin ka ng three minutes o thirty minutes you just give your best. Nothing to be ashamed of.”

Hope the rest of the Bulldogs will follow. If not, NU’s season stands to be a longer row to hoe.


No heart…

Bong dela Cruz is indeed a man of few words. Without actually saying much, the UST tactician delivered the most telling post-game message to his wards after losing to Ateneo.

Dela Cruz, ever smiling and a little waifish, got out of the dugout with a show-stealing redesign of UST’s “No heart, no chance” tee. “Nawala yung heart. Kaya tinakpan namin ‘to,” he said, explaining why he taped the word “heart” on his shirt.

The Tigers looked headed for another comeback after slowly trimming a 32-49 third-quarter deficit to just 50-53 in the fourth. But they failed to respond against the Eagles’ 7-2 counter-attack to eventually absorb their second loss.

Maybe the Law of Averages again caught up with the Tigers after five straight wins. Good thing that the Tigers remain in solo second. “Magba-bounce back kami,” Dela Cruz said.

Rebounding from a tough loss should always be the norm. Yet the Tigers should guard themselves from peaking too soon. Or they end up crying for the moon.


…Plenty of heart

Talk about rivals winning their first championships at the same time. Obviously it’s not in the yet to-be-concluded basketball wars but Ateneo and La Salle made separate reasons to celebrate after winning their maiden titles in UAAP beach volleyball.

The Eagles bested UST for their first sandcourt trophy, which also served as an early graduation present for Ysay Marasigan. Do-it-all offensive weapon Marck Espejo made it all happen, diving, spiking and feeding off Marasigan to clinch the winner-take-all finale.

La Salle’s title run was equally interesting with Kim Fajardo shrugging off cramps to help partner Cyd Demecillo overcome FEU in Game 2 and finally get one for the Lady Spikers. Fajardo’s motivation was simple: “Kapag athlete ka, ang pinakamalakas na muscle na kailangan mo ay puso.”

These days, playing with heart is the new art.

Speaking of heart, UST for its part reclaimed the poomsae title while NU kept the men’s badminton crown. Can’t blame the others to frown.

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