In the highly-storied La Salle-Ateneo rivalry, moments are made and heroes are born.
In the first round of the 2015 rendition of the rivalry, Joshua Torralba’s back-breaking corner triple from the left wing was the latest addition to the pages of the biggest rivalry in collegiate sports.
Recounting the game’s defining sequence, it was 39.3 ticks left in regulation with Jeron Teng calling for his team’s one-in, four-out play. Upon doing so, he ran a pick and pop with Jason Perkins at the top of the key which caused Ateneo’s Kiefer Ravena, Jerie Pingoy, and Chibueze Ikeh to collapse on him to deter him from a clear path of the basket.With those three Ateneo players focusing their attention to Teng on defense, Andrei Caracut was also left open in the right corner but Teng instead passed the ball to Perkins on the left wing. Von Pessumal, Torralba’s assigned defender, immediately ran to Perkins to challenge him on defense.
“It was a big shot but I was a little frustrated during the [earlier parts] game because I shot badly. Good thing is that I made the shot, we really need it,” Torralba told reporters when asked about his game-winning triple. “[The defense collapsed on] Jeron’s drive so I was able to have that shot. The big shot really came through so it built my confidence but I still got to practice.”
In a typical rivalry game between La Salle and Ateneo, the neophytes will always feel a whole new different atmosphere. It is the typical baptism of fire for an athlete since the pressure of a highly-anticipated and adrenaline-inducing bout will always find a way to creep in into a team’s younger players. Torralba and all of La Salle’s first year players were no exception.
“I was very nervous especially during the beginning of the game and even two nights before the game,” he added. “Even during [my] residency [period] or even the years before it, I’ve watched [Ateneo and La Salle] play so it’s like wow, I’m actually here. It’s like a surreal moment but I tried to keep my composure and we got that win.”
Torralba had a hard time taking the lid off the basket during the earlier parts of the game as he shot 1 out of 6 during the first half. But he would soon get the feel of the game and shake off the jitters come the second half, he finally nailed some crucial shots in aiding his team’s furious scoring run.
“Yeah, I was missing a lot but those were good shots pero I mean my very first one was in and out but I guess it’s not really how you start and it’s really how you finish,” a proud Torralba closed.
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