October 5, 2013
I told you to keep the faith and not be green with envy, haven’t I? See my earlier blog titled Green, Green Grass of Hope and you know I’m right.
So La Salle took Game Two, 77-70, tied their best-of-three championship showdown at 1-1 and forged a deciding Game Three on Oct. 12 at the MOA Arena. Expect a TITANIC battle in that do-or-die game. For all the marbles. The winner embraces destiny, loser got mugged by ignominy.
What won it for La Salle?
It’s Jeron Teng for starters. He had a team-high 19 points after converting half of the 19 shots he took, all of it coming inside the arc. Never mind that he missed six of the nine free throws he attempted. He had nine rebounds, four assists and three steals to go with his sterling scoring game. He looks more like his idol, Kevin Durant, in Game Two compared to Game One when he resembled Thabo Sefalosha. If he keeps it up, then its Green Day for sure the rest of the year.
The Archers found a way to capitalize on their size advantage. Norbert Torres, or BEAR to you and I, Arnold Van Opstal (Or do I hear someone say Animo Van Opstal?) and Jayson Perkins were like bulldozers in Game Two as the troika combined for 36 points, 30 rebounds and four blocks. In Game Two, La Salle’s inside might was evident as it totally dominated the boards, 57-39.
LA Revilla finally showed up. After a forgettable Game One performance, Revilla was all over the place in Game Two. He had nine points, 10 rebounds (Yes, 10 rebounds), four assists and a block. That’s what Jeron and La Salle need, another scoring threat and a seasoned force.
What lost it for UST?
I hate to say it, but can someone wake Aljon Mariano up? Man, he’s struggling in this series, where he is averaging just a measly 5.5 points. I mean, there is no chance UST could win Game 3 if he remains in a slump. Kevin Ferrer was held to just six points after torching the Archers with 20 in the opener. He’s another player UST needs to win it all. If not for Jeric Teng’s persistence, the Tigers would have been buried deep. Jeric, by the way, exploded with a series-high 28 points. To put it simply, JERIC COULDN’T DO IT ALONE!
Unlike in Game One, UST didn’t rotate the ball well and didn’t fight for rebounds the way they used to. Refer to the rebound stats up there and you know what I’m saying.
Sportsmaryosep’s prognosis: Since the Final Four format was introduced in 1994, 15 of the 19 teams that won Game One won the title. Of the four who lost Game One and won the championship eventually, two of those teams were UST and La Salle. So it will all boil down to heart. Oops. What was Pido Jarencio’s mantra? Was it PPP? Does it mean Pride, Puso and Palaban? Did I say Puso? There you go!
Congratulations UAAP. Congratulations host Adamson. Game Three is money in the freaking bank. Oh, my congratulations also to the star of this UAAP Season 76 series–S-C-A-L-P-E-R-S!!!
Follow Sportsmaryosep on Twitter: @JoeySVillar
(Photo courtesy of Martin San Diego of Fullcourtfresh.com)