July 31, Sunday
Adamson's the type of team that literally floors it in a game's opening seconds. They'll just try to run you down and gun you down right of - and they have the players to do it - if you're team is not physically and mentally prepared you'll simply lose the game in the first quarter alone.
The NU Bulldogs knew this. Amidst the frenzy of the cocky Adamson gallery, they kept their focus and in the first half alone, despite the sense that Adamson was actually in control all the time, I had a feeling that if the previous FEU-UST thriller kept my fingers on my DSLR shutter button, this just might be an even more nail-biting game. The kind of match where I simply knew I had to keep my lens in focus on where the action was because I sensed anything could AND WOULD happen.
Lo and behold, my instincts were right. Adamson led by 10 [20-10] after the First quarter but in the next three Quarters NU outscored them to eventually win by 7 [63-56].
40% and above -- that had been the stratosphere where the Falcons' field goal% had been consistently maintained. But by halftime it was NU holding on to a higher 44.4% field goal clip [Adamson was a close 41.2%]. Although NU outscored Adamson on the 2nd and 3rd Quarters, the Falcons still lead at the end of the half and at the start of the 4th, albeit by only 3 [46-43].
And again, just like the FEU-UST match the day before, it boiled down to who to a single clutch basket or defensive gem to finally decide the outcome. Who would take that gamble and take the shot, who would cop out and decide to kick out, or who would make that go for broke drive-in or risky assist pass ? Who would be the hero, who would be the scapegoat ??
More importantly for me was that I HAD to be able to capture that game deciding play -- lay-up or 3-pointer, foul or put back, last minute steal or block.
Turns out, with the score tied in the end game, Bulldog Lee Villamor scored on a fade away [the ball actually trickled in!] and was fouled - He missed the bonus but Adamson failed to score on the next sequence and Lee ended up open on the left corner on the next NU possession - and he drilled a three!! Bulldogs up by five !! Falcons had to call time.
Turns out too, I got Villamor's fade away twinner and left corner
Here are some select photos from that Helluva Bulldog Victory.
Right of the Falcons played very angry and agressive
but the Bulldogs were ready.
Who let this dog out? Labing -Isa a step ahead of Alvarez.
Brondial had the unenviable task of defending Bobby Parks.
NU played hungry and Austria's boys had to find
every trick in the book if they wanted to escape an upset.
Manyara was totally outhustled by Mbe.
Two Bulldogs against one Falcon.
Legs kicking, arms flailing - - -
bodies falling - - -
faces grimacing. - - -
Makes for exciting images.
More than the test of basketball skills, physical stamina and athleticism was the test of WILLs between the players.
Falcon claws versus Bulldog Teeth.
Iba talaga kapag may galit ang laro.
Yup -- Mad Dogs or Angry Birds -- Take your pick.
Mbe was everywhere.
Mbe went all out for Falcon blood. If the Falcons played like angry, angry birds -- Emmanuel played like a mad, rabid dog -- kung baga sa Tagalog --
"Parang asong ulol". He top scored for NU.
With the game tied, Villamor's fade away twinner bounces around the rim before it finally trickling in [talk about drama]. -- with a foul to boot.
Villamor's Dagger Three.
What more could I have asked for ?
I had a thriller of a game in front of me and a
pretty photographer seated to my right.
All JPEGs in this blog, unless indicated otherwise, are
Low Res reduced/compressed files.
Original file sizes range from 6 to 8 MB.
More text to follow.