Preview: Ateneo meets sliding Adamson

Levi Verora
A rising Ateneo squad meets a sliding Adamson crew in UAAP Season 76.

TAKING FLIGHT. Ravena is slowly rounding out to form. Photo by Rappler/Josh Albelda.

MANILA, Philippines — Teams continue to battle for supremacy in the 76th UAAP men’s basketball tournament this Sunday, August 25, at the Smart Araneta Coliseum with defending champs Ateneo de Manila University looking to continue its winning run against Adamson University.

ADMU Blue Eagles vs AdU Soaring Falcons

First round meeting: ADMU (71) – (59) AdU

Poy Erram – 12 points, 12 rebounds

READ: Ateneo beats Adamson for 1st Season 76 win

Why ADMU will win: The Blue Eagles are getting back to championship form. Kiefer Ravena’s getting phenomenal again and he’s just the FOURTH leading scorer for Ateneo. Captain Juami Tiongson and Ryan Buenafe have been consistent performers all season long and they’ll provide the load for Katipunan. Chris Newsome’s energy will torment his opponents and outshine everybody else.

Why AdU will win: The Rodney Brondial-Ingrid Sewa tandem is still physically the most imposing frontline in Season 76. They will overpower Ateneo’s bigs. Roider Cabrera—who is averaging more than two triples per contest—takes care of outside scoring. Finally, there’s Jericho Cruz who is unstoppable once he waxes hot. He can shoot from anywhere on that court.

Key Match-up:

Kiefer Ravena (9.8 PPG, 4.5 RPG, 2 APG) vs Jericho Cruz (15.9 PPG, 4.6 RPG, 3.4 APG)

It’s firepower against firepower as college basketball’s two amazing shooting guards face each other today. Cruz paces the Falcons with close to 16 points per outing. One the other end, Ravena turned up the heat in their last three wins with 14 PPG and 8 RPG. In this terrific duel, whoever gets rhythm early will eventually lead their team to success.

X-Factors:

ADMU: Poy Erram

Erram’s best game this season came at the expense of the Soaring Falcons. The 6-foot-7 beanpole is again tasked to defend the paint against Adamson’s bigs and shut down their inside games. He’s quicker than Sewa too and he can move well without the leather to pick up the loose balls and get open looks at the basket.

AdU: Ryan Monteclaro

Adamson’s veteran point guard is still yet to show his best performance in Season 76. Pitted against an experienced Ateneo backcourt, this is Monteclaro’s chance to prove that he is indeed the Falcons’ main court general.

What this game means: There’s still a small window of opportunity for the Falcons. It is a tough grind but if they’re still serious about making it to the Final Four, they can’t let another game slip away. It is a tough road also for Ateneo who’s currently in 5th place. Winning this match means a bigger crack at the playoffs and eventually, keeping their hopes alive for a 6th straight crown. – Rappler.com