Triangle Offense

UAAP Sunday (August 30) Predictions by _celestial
August 30, 2009, 12:59 pm
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La Salle’s nothing short of heartbreaking, two-point setback to UE last night, 66-64, gives UST a good chance to prop up their semis bid as they take on the lowly NU  at the 2pm game.

Meanwhile, Ateneo positions itself to grab the twice-to-beat bonus as the Eagles square off with upstart Adamson, who, in return, hopes to boost their honestly flickering final four hopes with a much-needed win today.

As the Archers move to one game and a half behind Tigers in the standings following a four-game tailspin, UST needs to hurdle past today’s assignment to build cushion coming in to Thursday’s battle against La Salle. The winner of that game will virtually secure the coveted final spot in the semis.

Hopefully, I don’t jinx it.


UST_Growling_Tigers_logo versus NU_Bulldogs_logo

The Sports Minded: UST by 14 points.

The Tigers is in a must win situation here to put one foot on the final four. This should be a statement game for them. They should start showing what they are made off. They need to peak starting this game.

KC13: UST by  12 points.

It’s going to be the battle of the offensive strides since NU isn’t capable of tenacious D alike. UST will come firing on all cylinders and expect them to run the breaks. Catch them if you can, Bulldogs.

On Point: UST by 16 points.

The Bulldogs also play a fast pace game and that’s a no-no when you;re up against the Tigers, who are the number one offensive team in the league. NU got blown out in the first round ’cause they played UST’s game and look for another rout later.

blueeagle versus 125px-AdamsonFalcons

The Sports Minded: Ateneo by 12 points.

Ateneo are now reaching their unstoppable form. The fighting spirit of the Falcons might be dead after losing so many close games.

KC13: Ateneo by eight points.

Ateneo will kill any hopes left in Adamson with this win. Ateneo will dominate in the stretch as Adamson might succumb to another faltering endgame sickness, only if Adamson manages to stay close.

On Point: Ateneo by nine points.

The Falcons managed to come with in striking distance against the Eagles in the first round, where Coach Leo and his boys were still on a mission to get to the final four. Now, I don’t see the fire in Adamson anymore though I expect them to hang around early while Ateneo goes for the kill late in the game.


FEU locks in final four berth; NCAA Friday (August 28) Predictions by _celestial
August 28, 2009, 12:27 pm
Filed under: Basketball, College Hoops | Tags: , , , , , , , ,

FEU hit their strides in the second half after a slow start to finally grab a ticket to the semi-finals, after being stopped on its tracks by the resurgent UE last Sunday, with the 84-75 drubbing of Adamson yesterday.

Also nearing a twice-to-beat incentive is the league-leading Ateneo  following an easy win over NU yesterday, holding them to one of the worst scoring outings in a quarter with only three points then finishing them off, 75-54.

Another win would give Ateneo a commanding twice-to-beat advantage to further solifiy their title defense.


Letran and Arellano, two teams who are fighting to shatter the idle fourth place tie (7-4),clash today in a crucial setto that will determine the remaining final four cast after San Beda, JRU and San Sebastian have virtually occupied the first three spots with their impressive campaign.

Arellano tries to repulse Letran anew after their 81-72 meeting that went in favor of the Chiefs in the first round. Letran, however, looks to avenge their loss with the help of the rejuvanted RJ Jazul,  who was held to a low eight points their last meeting, but has been lights out in their latest victories.

Emilio Aguinaldo College and Perpetual Help, who are prematurely out of the contention with 2-9, 3-8 cards, respectively, square off at 2pm.


pr_1249312058_EACGeneralslogoversus university-of-perpetual-help-dalta-system-altas

The Sports Minded: Perpetual Help by six points.

It’s just a matter of who would have a great game today.

KC13: Perpetual Help by eight points.

Perpetual has better scorers, expect them to give it all.

125px-Knightslogoversus pr_1249311895_ArellanoChiefslogo

The Sports Minded: Letran by five points.

This would be one heck of a game. Both teams are equally talented and it will all boil down to poise and killer instinct down the stretch. Experience plus Coach Louie Alas’ brilliance will be enough.

KC13: Letran by four points.

These two teams have waited for this day to come after they have been lodged  in a tie for so long. It’s one of the better match ups in the league where two of today’s best scorers in Giorgio Ciriacruz and RJ Jazul are tasked to lead their team. The one who will execute better in the payoff period will win it.

Ateneo, FEU look for easy W’s; UAAP August 27 (Thursday) Predictions by On Point
August 27, 2009, 2:35 am
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Top seed Ateneo Blue Eagles and the Far Eastern University Tamaraws will look to solidify their contention for the twice-to-beat advantage come final four when they face the National University Bulldogs and the Adamson Falcons respectively.

Ateneo (9-1), the only team yet to be assured of a final four seat, will battle listless National U (2-8) in the main event at 4pm while second seed Far Eastern U (8-2) , who’s eight game winning streak was snapped by Univ. of the East in its last game, will try to avoid another sleazy stint against the upstart Adamson (3-7) in the first game scheduled at 2pm.

A victory by the Tamaraws will finally earn them a berth to the final four.


thesportsminded: FEU by five points

In the first round, FEU narrowly escaped the Falcons. I see this battle being close as well. After an upset defeat in the hands of UE last Sunday, Coach Glenn Capacio won’t allow another.

KC13: FEU by nine points

Seeing how Adamson managed to rise up from their first round debacle, another upset to further derail FEU’s semis bid could be possible. However, considering FEU’s eagerness to seal the deal and the fact that Aldrech Ramos had a subpar performance their last meaning, Coach Leo Austria’s troop might need to double the effort if they want to win.

On Point: FEU by 10 points

throw out the first round result where the Tamaraws barely won. the Tams got crushed in their last game, they just won’t allow another one. Both of these teams love to play slow, both focus on their halfcourt sets but with FEU having the more potent offense and better defense, this game will be out of reach come second half.

blueeagleversus NU_Bulldogs_logo

thesportsminded: Ateneo by 18 points

What the hell?!

KC13: Ateneo by 15 points

Ateneo will win over NU. But anything can still happen. UP has proven so against La Salle and Ateneo. Ateneo wouldn’t want another sorry loss.

On Point: Ateneo by 16 points

Here’s the analogy: UP won over Ateneo while, NU beat UP. So which means NU can also beat Ateneo given the scenario? Not really, lest bad officiating and injuries. Why so? ’cause NU just doesn’t have the firepower to do so. Ateneo, with its man power, can easily defend NU, who certainly lacks players who can score.

Ateneo will win over NU. But anything can still happen. UP has proven so against La Salle and Ateneo. Ateneo wouldn’t want another sorry loss.
On Point: Ateneo by 16
Here’s the analogy: UP won over Ateneo while, NU beat UP. So which means NU can also beat Ateneo given the odd scenarios happened? Not really, lest bad officiating and injuries. Why so? ’cause NU just doesn’t have the firepower to do so. Ateneo, with its man power, can easily defend NU, who certainly lacks players who can score.

FINAL FOUR PREVIEW? UAAP Sunday (August 23) Predictions by _celestial


As La Salle’s chances for a semifinals  bid started to ebb away following UP’s clobbering of the Green Achers, 83-78, earlier today, UST and UE, who boast of an identical 5-4 record prematurely completing the final four, will face a tough challenge in shattering the third place tie as they go against the league’s top two teams tomorrow.

The Tigers, who bowed down to the same team in a rout in the first round, tries to pull an upset over the rejuvenated Eagles in the first game at 2pm while the Warriors shoot for a first win over the Tamaraws in the main event pegged at 4pm after putting up a tight contest almost three weeks ago.


UST_Growling_Tigers_logo versus blueeagle

The Sports Minded: Ateneo by nine points.

Ateneo is playing big right now. Only a flawless game by UST can give them a chance. Anything less won’t get it done.

KC13: Ateneo by 15 points.

Pick your poison. UST, despite its explosive gunners and athletic forwards, still hasn’t learned to play D  as we’ve seen in that awful showing against UP. They will face a double whammy in limiting Al Hussaini’s production down low while preventing Ateneo’s outside stringers. Theydon’t have a center who plays big in the paint that will be able to provide them interior D. If they are lucky to be able to pick the less deadly’ poision in the two and make Ateneo play their running game, they have a shot. Although pulling off a high-scoring venture would favor them, if they start giving away counterpat baskets on the offensive end, forget about winning this game, or even another championship.

P.S. If Ababou goes into early foul trouble, forget everything.

On Point: Ateneo by 10 points.

The main weapon for the Tigers is their offense. If UST’s three-point shooting shows up, this will be a tight contest. If not, this will be another rout. Again, the Tigers must control the boards to be able to run. Ababou’s outside shooting must drop to open the lane for Teng and other slashers of UST. For Ateneo, they would want to attack the inside early to create open shots for their jump shooters. UST can’t afford not to double-team Al-Hussaini thus, Salamat, Reyes and co. will be open. If the Tigers don’t close-out quickly, Ateneo will have a field day from downtown.

ue versus FEU_Tamaraws_logo

The Sports Minded: FEU by 14 points.

FEU will make this a statement game.

KC13: FEU by single digits.

This is actually one of the better matchups to watch in the league right now. UE can keep up with  FEU’s size. Especially downlow where Aldrech Ramos thrives, they have Pari Llagas and Elmer Espiritu to patrol. One of FEU’s edge lie on its backcourt. UE may have Paul Lee, but he’s more of a scoring point. With that, ball movement will be the key knowing that some of UE’s players have the tendency to take ill-advised shots.

On Point: FEU by eight points.

Besides Ateneo, UE is the only other team that can bang with FEU down low. The only problem for the Red Warriors is who will they use to defend the wing players of the Tamaraws? Plus, UE is loaded with players with a shoot-first mentality thus, their players tend to look for their own shots whether it’s forced or hurried which will hurt them ’cause FEU, on the other hand is known for limiting its opponents to just one shot per possession.

Eagles showed why they are favored to repeat by thesportsminded
August 17, 2009, 12:35 am
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The Ateneo Blue Eagles aren’t most analysts’ pre-season favorites for nothing. They proved their worth in a scintillating fashion.

From the first second of the game up to the last, the Eagles dominated their arch rival Archers. They never gave an inch. They also sent a message to the rest of the league, especially to FEU, that they are serious in defending their crown.

Round two of the historic rivalry proved to be a far cry from their exciting battle last week. When Ateneo started the game with an 8-0 blitz, you know they are in for that kind of night. La Salle never won a second of the game as Ateneo never stopped pounding up to the final horn. The scary part is that the Eagles won it by playing a flawless game.

Reigning MVP Rabeh Al-Hussaini torched La Salle in the paint all game long as he dropped 26 points while Nonoy Baclao took care of the defensive end. The supporting cast played excellent as all of Norman Black’s wards contributed.

Eric Salamat played a brilliant all around game on both ends as he proved to be the x-factor.

After an unbelievable setback suffered in the hands of the UP Fighting Maroons, the Eagles are now riding a five-game winning streak. They both outclassed UE and DLSU in their last two outings showing that they have reached top form.

Al-Hussaini realized once again that he can be a beast if he wants to. Salamat is playing very well again. Baclao is doing his job in the paint as usual and the rest of the cast are hitting their shots and contributing heavily the past five games.

Everyone knows that this season’s battle for the crown is clearly between the Tamaraws and the Eagles as both teams are way above everybody else in the league. But what is Ateneo’s advantage over the Tamaraws?

The Tams are also on a hot streak as they are currently on a seven-game roll of their own but I think Ateneo’s killer instinct might become a huge difference if ever the projected finals will occur.

FEU is as talented as Ateneo when it comes to the individual skill. But Norman Black’s team is built towards a good championship system.

They play controlled basketball and their team is made to have with specific roles for every player. As talented as Barroca and Ramos are and as deep as their team is, I don’t think the Tams have a player like a Salamat who plays every possesion as it is his last. They don’t have a lock down defender like Kirk Long.

I do think the Tams are a bit deeper in terms of individual talent but the Eagles have the edge regarding team play. They mix up their plays well and they utilize their personel’s strength. Plus, it’s Baclao and Al-Hussaini’s last year, as both want to end their careers on a high note.

Both contenders are equally deep and talented but I think Ateneo’s championship poise and mental toughness would be the difference. If you put the Eagles on a best of three series against any UAAP team right now, I just don’t think they’ll lose twice. If they continue playing the way they did in their past two games, it’s tough to imagine the others teams stopping them.

They have the edge right now.

UAAP Sunday (August 16) Predictions by On Point

In just a short span of time, Ateneo and De La Salle are once again set to rock the Big Dome for round two of their much anticipated showdown this season at 5pm while, the University of the East and Adamson University will try to at least emulate or surpass their double-overtime thriller back in the first-round.

In the main event, the Blue Eagles at 7-1, look to remain side by side with the Tamaraws at the hill while, the Green Archers at 4-4, need this win not only to avenge their sorry defeat in their first encounter but more importantly to stay afloat with fellow-fourth placers Tigers and Warriors.

Meanwhile, the Red Warriors also at 4-4, will now have their leading scorer and rebounder Pari Llagas back, after serving a one-game suspension while, the Falcons with a 2-6 mark, had enough heartbreaks after an impressive game against the Archers the last time out and instead have set to build on a two-game roll with a win.


University of the East Red Warriors versus Adamson Falcons

The Sports Minded: Adamson by six points

Adamson wants to be on a roll and I feel like they are still on a high after beating La Salle. I expect them to continue their surge tomorrow.

KC13: UE by not less than 15.

UE will seek revenge after their last setback, and with the comebacking Pari Llagas, it won’t be too hard to execute the plan.

On Point: UE by single digits

The last time these two teams met, it was a double-OT thriller won by UE, but in a game like that, it means that it could’ve gone either way. I expect this curtain raiser to be a darn good one. Don’t be deceived by the Falcons losing record. Remember that all of their losses are games that they could’ve won. On the other side, the Warriors put up a good fight against the Eagles on their last game even without their top-big man Pari Llagas. Expect a hard-fought game with UE earning a hard-fought win.

The last time these two teams met, it was a double-OT nailbiter won by UE. It could’ve gone either way. I expect this curtain raiser to be a darn good one. Don’t be deceived by the Falcons losing record. Remember that all of their losses are games that they could’ve won. For UE, it’s a homecoming for Pari Llagas. Expect a hard-fought game with UE earning a hard-fought win.

Ateneo Blue Eagles versus De La Salle Green Archers

The Sports Minded: Ateneo by 14
Round two right away after just one week. I am sure that Joshua “Super Hyper” Webb won’t have another great game like last Sunday. Without a guy stepping up, La Salle is a vulnerable team.

KC13: Ateneo by 10

It’s getting too old to predict but I will try anyway. Ateneo will dominate their archrivals in a way that will give you your thousands of money’s worth. Al Hussaini, who is fresh from a 30-point feat, will likely prevail…only if he doesn’t get intimidated with *gulps* ‘Muscle Man’ Yutien Andrada, who had a monster game for a rookie the last time against Ateneo.

On Point: Ateneo by 7

La Salle’s veterans continue to hurt this team while Rabeh just busted out of his season 72 slump with a 30, 10 output against UE. Buenafe will show up, Baclao also. Expect coach Franz to put Andrada on Al-Hussaini once again. Another block party by ‘Tayshaun’? We’ll see.

Falcons, Eagles claw foes by On Point
August 14, 2009, 12:42 am
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Heartbreak kids no more.

Adamson this time played the heartbreaker role as they toppled La Salle, 61-55, yesterday at the start of the second round of the 72nd Season of the UAAP at the Big Dome.

The Falcons, led by as much as 16 points as they limit the Archers’ offense to an abysmal 20% shooting from the two point area including a shameful four point total in the opening period.

La Salle’s veteran big three of James Mangahas, Bader Malabes and PeeJay Barua did another disappearing act that left multi-titled coach Franz Pumaren searching for offense.

Meanwhile, Reigning MVP Rabeh Al-Hussaini shook off a sprained ankle to post a season-best 30 points as he led Ateneo past University of the East, 80-75.

Al-Hussaini, who suffered a minor injury on their last game, took care of business as he pounded the Llagas-less Warriors in the paint with 12 boards.

The Eagles stay in first place-tie with the Tams at 7-1 while, the Warriors and the Archers share seats at fourth place with a 4-4 ledger.