Has Ateneo found the answer for DLSU’s ‘mayhem?’

Norman Lee Benjamin Riego on Nov 06, 2016 12:10 PM
Has Ateneo found the answer for DLSU’s ‘mayhem?’
THIS IS HOW YOU DO IT. Ateneo played with as much, if not more, hustle as their mayhem-making archrivals.

For the first time in the UAAP 79 Men’s Basketball Tournament last Saturday, De La Salle University did not look like anything at all like the De La Salle University that steamrolled to a 12-0 start.

Coach Aldin Ayo’s patented “mayhem” was nowhere to be seen and the Green Archers were playing the game of their archrival Ateneo de Manila University.

In the end, the scoreboard read 83-71 in favor of the Blue Eagles.

It was the first and only mark in the loss column for DLSU.  And while they still lead the league, their cloak of invincibility has been unraveled.

Ayo’s boys still forced 26 turnovers which were quickly converted into 27 points, but for much of the time during their rivalry game, Ateneo’s litany of ball-handlers didn’t let themselves get trapped, wasted no time in crossing over to their side of the court, and pounded the ball into the paint where only one defender was left standing.

There, the Blue Eagles made their living and owned, to the shock of just about everybody, a 50-34 advantage in inside points. Remember, this comes against an opposing frontline led by Ben Mbala.

Nonetheless, the Katipunan kids’ gameplan was executed to perfection so much so that they wound up with a total of 20 assists – five each for Thirdy Ravena and Adrian Wong and four for Matt Nieto. Also helping them out with handling the ball were Aaron Black, Anton Asistio, and Jolo Mendoza.

Ergo, that’s six, at the very least, ballhandlers for Ateneo – exactly what the doctor ordered for the pressure-packing Archers.

Nothing but satisfied with the endless effort of their wards, coach Sandy Arespacochaga said, “(DLSU) is a tough team, but we told our players to be mentally tough. If we commit turnovers, focus on the next play.”

He then continued, “We’re very happy that we’re seeing our team growing before our eyes.”

Arespacochaga was quick to clarify, however, that their big-time win still doesn’t mean they now have the answer for DLSU’s “mayhem.” As he put it, “We still had 26 turnovers so that doesn’t mean their press isn’t good.”

For his part, Ayo was also quick to shoot down insinuations that their riddle has been solved in its entirety. “Alam na rin naman ng lahat kung anong gagawin namin, pero siyempre, yung detalye, yun ang hindi nila alam. So in terms of kung na-figure out na yung ginagawa namin, I cannot say that,” he expressed, full of confidence.


Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo.

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