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Stats Don’t Lie: the Anatomy of a Rivalry

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Throwback Thursday: the Anatomy of a Rivalry

While basketball is a team sport, I can understand why fans are drawn to individual matchups. After all, basketball is probably the best example of a team sport where an individual can impose his will on the game. Luckily for UAAP fans, we’ve got a monster rivalry that’s been in the works the past three years.

 

Kiefer Ravena vs. Jeron Teng

 

The similarities are simply endless. Both have the athletic prowess running through their veins, with both players having fathers who played in the pro league. Both also have brothers who are quite impressive in their own rights. And as fate would have it, one plays for Ateneo and the other for La Salle – two halves of the biggest rivalry in Philippine sports. What more could you ask for?

Yes, I know that the media has been pumping out this story line for three years now, but it’s been the last three contests between the two superstars that have really captured the hearts of UAAP fans young and old alike.

Last year in the second round, the two went head-to-head with Jeron coming out ahead and hitting a game-winning jumper at the buzzer. Last month, Kiefer found redemption as he destroyed La Salle with a series of long-range 4th quarter bombs.

And then we were granted last Sunday’s masterpiece.

I was lucky enough to be granted a press pass last Sunday and caught the game live. Boy, was I in for a treat – it turned out to be a battle for the ages.

Just take a look at these stat lines:

MINPTSFGFTREBASTTO
K. RAVENA   37228/234/8662*

* Seriously, I can’t stress this enough. He has the ball ALL-THE-FREAKING-TIME, so to only have two turnovers in a high-pressure situation, with Babes Bolick, Julian Sargent and their lola’s covering him every second of the game – that’s damn impressive.

kiefer-shot-chart-1

 

MINPTSFGFTREBASTTO
TENG37327/1617/20**654

**career-high

jeron-shot-chart

 

Initially, when I was watching the game, I couldn’t help but feel that the reason DLSU won was because Teng had more help. But once I looked at the box scores, I realized that it was only Jason Perkins who decided to show up (18 pts, 10 rebs and a huge shot down the stretch to put the Archers up 3)

As for Ateneo, regulars Elorde (14 points, 5 rebounds, 5 assists) and Newsome (15 points, 5 rebounds, 3 assists) contributed, while PONSO GOTLADERA once again lit up his former teammates, registering a huge double-double with 10 points and 15 rebounds.***

***What does this guy eat for breakfast on gamedays against La Salle??? Pork liempo at Manang’s? That makes it two games out of two that he’s killed his former team. Kudos big fella.

After reviewing the game tape, I can see why Jeron had a bigger stat-line. Just take a look at how each performed using three main types of plays: using a ball screen (pick & rolls), drives to the basket, and isolation.

Ravena’s Offensive Possessions

ScoreAssist to teammate
PlayerFGMFGAFG%FGMFGAFG%Earn trip to FT lineTO
Drives2540.0%2366.7%31
Ball screen2728.6%22100.0%00
Isolation1520.0%000.0%00
Others3650.0%3560.0%11
Total82334.8%71070.0%42

 

Teng’s Offensive Possessions

ScoreAssist to teammate 
PlayerFGMFGAFG%FGMFGAFG%Earn trip to FT lineTO
Drives11100.0%030.0%41
Ball screen5771.4%010.0%01
Isolation050.0%000.0%20
Others1333.3%4666.7%41
Total71643.8%41040.0%103

 

We can see that both struggled on isolation plays, with the two combining for a single basket when going one-on-one. No surprises here – Newsome and Sargent are two of the best individual defenders in the league.

Teng and Ravena also attacked the basket on drives, drawing fouls and setting up teammates.

The major difference between their performances came down to how they managed two key aspects of the game: free throws and ball screen offense.

Jeron went to the line 20 times that game, hitting an impressive 85%. Even if you take out the four attempts he took when Ateneo fouled him to stop the clock, that’s 16 free throws coming from strong and aggressive plays in the first 39 minutes.

uaap4

Jeron was aggressive in slashing to the lane the entire game

Kiefer also attacked the basket and earned 8 free throws, although he only made half of his free throws. But the fact that the Archers were able to keep him from getting freebies from the line was a major victory for their defense. Keep in mind that Ravena took 25 free throws against UE. Preventing him from taking free throws also kept Ateneo from setting up their press, which in effect slowed the game down, shifting the pace in favor of La Salle.

uaap9

Kiefer would only attempt 8 free throws in the game. He would miss half of those 8.

The second major factor was how effective each was using the ball screen. Kiefer is a master using screens to free himself up and his teammates. However, against La Salle, he struggled a little bit, hitting just 2/7 shots for 28.6% FG% clip.  Furthermore, all 7 shots were of the pull-up jumper variety, preventing him from drawing fouls.

At first thought, it’d be hard to imagine Jeron being effective as a point man using ball screens. Last Sunday though, Teng worked La Salle’s pick and roll offense to a T.  Truth be told, he doesn’t naturally look to setup his teammates on those actions, but let’s remember – he’s a SCORER. The ball screens are to help free him up to let him do what he does best – SCORE.

He ended up finishing 5/7 on finished pick & roll shots for an unearthly 71.4%. What was most impressive was that he was 3/3 on pull-up jumpers coming off a ball screen. It’s clear that all the work he put in during the off-season is paying dividends.

So Jeron won this round, evening the season series at one a piece. With rumors floating around that Kiefer may forego his 5th and final playing year, this may actually be the last time these two go head-to-head in the UAAP… unless Ateneo and La Salle happen to meet in the playoffs.

 Kiefer vs. Jeron in the Final Four or the Finals? Now THAT would be something.

 

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Football

Composed Ceres-Negros expels Shan United in shootout victory

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Photo from the-AFC.com

2017 AFC ASEAN Zone Champions Ceres-Negros banked on their poise and composure from the spot as they knocked out Myanmar’s Shan United via a 4-3 penalty shootout (1-1 after extra time) triumph, Tuesday evening at the Thuwunna Stadium in Yangon, Myanmar.

The Negrenses punched their ticket to Brisbane, Australia after emerging the better spotkick takers. Four Busmen were on target, while two of their Shan Warriors counterparts fluffed their lines.

The two domestic champions were inseparable after 120 minutes, with the hosts holding their own against the Philippine champions. Ceres-Negros looked the more dominant of the two teams. However, they couldn’t make the advantage count where it mattered, as they failed to breach the sturdy Shan United defense inside the first two regulation halves.

The visitors were visibly more comfortable in the first half, but with the scores staying level at the break, the less-fancied Myanmar champions eventually found their footing in the encounter. While there were several half-chances from either side to open the scoring, both defenses remained defiant en route to unwanted extra time.

“It was a tough game. We weren’t ready to play 120 minutes because we only had four training sessions before the game but everytime we wear this jersey, we represent Ceres, we represent Bacolod, we represent the Philippines, so we have to give our best,” Ceres’ defender Carli de Murga elaborated to the Inquirer after the match. The Asian Football season has yet to start, and with both teams not too busy with pre-season preparations, rust and fatigue in a demanding affair were evident.

Come extra time, Ceres-Negros took the initiative when Stephan Schröck’s deflected effort went past the helpless Thiha Si Thu just three minutes into the first half.

Nonetheless, the hosts refused to go down without a fight, and their resilience was rewarded later in the opening half. Substitute Patrick Asare found the back of the net to restore parity in Yangon.

Another 15 minutes of goalless action took place in the second half as both teams looked more cautious, perhaps with the collective aim of avoiding a costly error or two. Among all the chances, Schröck’s in the 114th minute may have proved to be the closest to changing the scores, as his attempt shaved the post.

Shan United took to the spot first, where Asare made his penalty attempt count. Nay Lin Tun also made his, but not before teammate Chizoba smashed his attempt over Toni Doblas’ goal.

While the hosts squandered a shot, the visitors remained calm in front of a hostile Myanmar crowd. De Murga, Schröck and Mike Ott nailed their turns, with Marañon also not missing a vital kick from 12 yards.

It set up William Biassi Nyakwe, the man credited with the own goal when he deflected Schröck’s opener, with the chance to prolong his team’s campaign in the AFC Champions League. Unfortunately for him, he couldn’t atone for his earlier mistake, as his attempt soared high and wide — much to the delight of the visiting team from Bacolod, the Philippines.

The reward for Ceres-Negros is a trip to Queensland, Australia, where they will seek to do one better than compatriots Global-Cebu. The 2016 Philippine champions also played against the Brisbane Roar, who dealt them a staggering 6-0 hammering this time last year. The match will be held at the Suncorp Stadium on January 23.

As for Shan United, a spot in the AFC Cup Group Stage awaits them and they may not have seen the last of Ceres-Negros just yet. If the Negrenses lose to either Brisbane Roar or Tianjin Quanjian, they will be reacquainted with the Burmese champions in Group F.

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Basketball

Abu Tratter plans to work his way to 2023 by continuing to do ‘the dirty work’

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Abu Tratter may have missed the jersey-giving ceremony that the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas held for the 23 for 2023 cadets last Monday but he made sure to help out when the current batch needed him the most.

After helping the Marinerong Pilipino Skippers win the Sinulog Cup in Cebu a week ago, the 6-foot-7 Filipino-American did not hesitate to heed Gilas’ call, as they were undermanned for their second session in preparation for the 2019 FIBA World Cup Asian Qualifiers.

“I think it’s just an honor to put on this jersey, to be able to represent our country, to possibly represent our country in the future. It’s an honor,” shared the Laguna-native.

The 25-year old, who just celebrated his birthday last January 9, admitted that he was in awe of the talent inside the Meralco Gym. Like a fan, he wanted to take a few photo ops with the senior team’s Gabe Norwood and June Mar Fajardo.

“Actually, at first I was just shocked to see June Mar and Gabe, just to be able to be in the midst of them,” gushed the former DLSU Green Archer, who will suit-up for Marinerong Pilipino in the D-League. “I even asked them for a picture, and hopefully they’ll still give me one.

“It’s just humbling, definitely.”

However, the work has only began for Tratter. With five years to go until the 2023 FIBA World Cup, the two-time UAAP champion plans to continue to do what he does best — be the same scrapper that he is and hopefully catch the eye of Gilas’ brass.

“I think just doing the dirty work, of course. Giving whatever the team needs, rebound or any steals, any thing a dirty player would need to pick up on,” he said.

“That’s how it is, garbage into gold. Get anything, sweep up anything and try to put it back.”

Moreover, he will continue answering the call when Gilas needs him, as he himself is learning a lot from being surrounded by the country’s topflight cagers.

“Whenever I can. I want to be able to absorb all the information coming from here and hopefully apply it in the D-League and hopefully apply it on future practices, future games.”

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2018 FIBA 3X3 World Cup

Terrence Romeo invited to join Pilipinas 3×3 for World Cup

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Stronger than ever

Scoring sensation Terrence Romeo has been invited by the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas to join the Philippine team in the upcoming FIBA 3X3 World Cup, according to Philippine Star columnist Quinito Henson.

Romeo, who is currently out due to a right knee injury, has been in rehabilitation and is expected to miss the entire Philippine Cup campaign of the Globalport Batang Pier and the second window of the 2019 FIBA World Cup Asian Qualifiers.

“Baka sa second conference na ko makabalik kasi talagang gusto ko malakas ako pagbalik ko,” the 25-year-old shared during Chooks-to-Go Live last January 2.

SBP Executive Director Sonny Barrios personally met with the 6-foot guard, inviting him to be part of the Philippine team.

Romeo has plenty of 3×3 basketball experience under his belt.

Back in 2014, Romeo was part of the Manila West 3×3 team during the Manila Masters. He was adjudged as the tournament Most Valuable Player.

The 2018 3X3 World Cup will take place from June 8-12 at the Philippine Arena in Bocaue, Bulacan.

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NCAA

Red Spikers extinguish Blazers for second win

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Shaking off a forgettable outing against the Perpetual Help Altas last January 11, the San Beda College Red Spikers vented their ire on defending champions College of Saint Benilde Blazers in four sets, 25-15, 25-16, 23-25, 26-24, and claimed their second win of the season, Friday afternoon at the FilOil Flying V Centre.

“Sabi ng coaches kalimutan na yung talo,” shared captain Lorenze Santos of what transpired after that match.

So, in this game, the San Beda team poured on what they worked hard for to regain momentum. “Binuhos po namin lahat ng ginawa namin sa training [ngayon].”

After tight starts in all the first two sets, the Mendiola-based side pulled away to register the seemingly insurmountable 2-0 lead.

Nonetheless, summoning the heart of a champion and led by seniors Isaah Arda and Jethro Orian, the reigning champions pulled off gritty runs to snag the third set and making a tussle of the fourth.

Ultimately, Adrian Viray virtually ended the match with a vicious serve, which the Blazers failed to convert.

The prolific outside hitter finished with 17 points, 11 coming from attacks and five off blocks. Former skipper Mark Encino also registered 17 markers.

The Red Spikers (2-1) will face the Mapua University, also at 2-1, on Friday, January 19.

Orian was such a presence at the net, ending up with 20 points for the Taft-based squad.

The defending champions Blazers (2-1) will try to bounce back later that day against San Sebastian College (0-3).

The Scores:

SBC 3 – Viray 17, Enciso 17, Santos 11, Patenio 7, Amagan 7, Desuyo 3, Zabala 0, Genobaten 0, Manliclic 0, Casin L.

CSB 1 – Orian 20, Arda 18, Bacani 6, Basilan 4, Bautista 4, Magsino 2, Martinez 0, Garcia 0, San Miguel 0, Saldavia 0, Dy L.

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