A record-breaking 23,037 spectators trooped to the Smart Araneta Coliseum Saturday for the second game between DLSU Green Archers and UST Growling Tigers and witnessed how the team from Taft Avenue played their hearts out to survive slaughter by the team from Espana Boulevard. With the win DLSU forged a game 3 next Saturday. Millions were glued to their TVs and computers at home. Some got blow-by-blow account thru their mobile phones via Facebook or Twitter.
Unlike in the first game where the Archers were way behind at the start, this time they were in command through and through– 21-12 in the first quarter, 41-33 at the end of first half, 64-53 at the end of 3rd quarter and 77-70 at the end of the game. Jeric Teng contributed much to the Tigers’ score as his younger brother Jeron did for the Archers. But Player of the game was Norbert Torres of La Salle.
Before the playoff, UAAP gave out the awards for basketball. Named MVP were Terrence Romeo (FEU, men’s), Thirdy Ravena (Ateneo, juniors) and Camille Sambile (FEU, women’s). Two-time MVP Bobby Ray Parks of NU was awarded Suzuki Fastbreak Player of the Season. Named to the Mythical Five were Romeo, Parks, Roi Sumang (UE), Karim Abdul (UST) and Jason Perkins (DLSU). The Juniors Mythical five were Ravena, Hubert Cani (NU), Mark Anthony Dyke (NU), JP Cauilan (NU) and Reinier Quinga (Adamson University).
Romeo got two other awards, namely, Jollibee Champ of the Season and PS Bank Maaasahan Player of the Year. Yellow Cab Big Man of the Season was Karim Abdul. RCBC Savings Bank My Loans Life-Changing Player of the Season was Jeron Teng. Appeton Most Improved Player was Arnold Von Opstal (DLSU). Kyles Lao of UP was Rookie of the Year. Junior Rookie of the Year was Aaron Reyes of UST. Winner for the P500,000 Avida Hit it Home Shoot for Your School Awardee was this year’s host, Adamson University.
The final game will be held at the Mall of Asia Arena and there are apprehensions about scalping as it’s been reported that tickets reached as much as P45,000 in the black market. During the elimination rounds until the first finals game last Wednesday, UAAP was broadcast on Studio 23, but today and next Saturday it’s broadcast on the mother station ABS-CBN Channel 2.
Although my personal choice is DLSU to be the new champ, I see that the Tigers have that fierce look in their eyes and ready to roar their loudest as they have shown when they beat and eliminated the top seed NU Bulldogs.
We have seen many times before how basketball games ended unexpectedly. As we all know, the ball is round–everyone can hold it but no one can grip it.
May the best team win!