Thoughts on the UST-JRU Game and the CCL being just one of those thingies…

The upset pulled off by the Jose Rizal University Heavy Bombers over the UST Growling Tigers yesterday showed us why the Collegiate Champions League (CCL) is still and just ONE OF THOSE TOURNAMENTS…

I took the time out to watch the whole game last night and to see for myself how are things coming along with the league.

Having been crowned the UAAP Champs and seeded 3rd in the tournament, UST came into the game the obvious favorite against the 14th seed JRU Heavy Bombers, a wildcard entry from the NCAA.

If you watched the game, you can immediately see the evident disparity in skills, basketball fundamentals, and team system. On all points — advantage UST. Add to this a huge plus factor — homecourt advantage.

The cagers from Espana were more polished, had sound basketball fundamentals, and frequently ran and stuck to offensive patterns (save for the occasional brilliant displays of one-on-one basketball courtesy of the talented Duncil). The Golden Boys also conveyed a sense of quiet confidence, each a portrait of composure.

On the other hand, the players from Shaw Boulevard were a picture of pure bravado, a mix of athletic individuals who seemed to give nary a thought on how to properly play the game. No discernible plays were observed. Ill-advised shots were a staple. They were living up to their monickers…. a crew focused on just bombing away. It was like watching a team competing in an Inter-Barangay tournament.

Now, you’d be asking yourself… What the heck happened to the UAAP Champs!?????!

Here’s my take… yes, just a single factor as to why UST gave the game away to JRU…


I mentioned that the Golden Boys had a sense of quiet confidence in them. Yep. And they extended this aura to that dreadful sense of overconfidence.

After that miraculous run to the crown in the UAAP, it might have gotten into their heads.

You could see Japs Cuan showboating by dribbling like a duck the length of the court.

You could see Pido Jarencio sharing a laugh with ALL his players just before the start of the 3rd canto.

You would have noticed Pido Jarencio’s move to “counter” JRU’s rough-housing of his players (which may have been a psy-war tactic of Coach Ariel Vanguardia of JRU by instructing his players to play the Bad Boy brand of play, made famous by the Detroit Pistons of the late 80’s, to throw off the Tigers) by making a platoon substitution with a probable instruction to do a tit-for-tat. This move by Coach Jarencio only escalated the tension which was already simmering at the start of the ballgame. The sad consequence of this was the eventual ejection of Dizon and Gile, who both stormed into the court after Duncil was vehemently tagged by Marvin Hayes of JRU. Jervy Cruz lost his cool as well as he “immaturely” retaliated with obvious second motions, the culminating act of which was a proverbial elbow to Feniquito of JRU that earned Cruz a disqualification foul.

Okay. I would be remiss if I don’t give some form of credit to the victors…

JRU played tougher, scrappier, and hungrier basketball. It was evident that they were out to make an upset. Failing to make waves in the NCAA, they were out to make a name for themselves in the CCL. To make up for their lack of offensive polish, the Heavy Bombers relied on a solid, almost suffocating, interior defense, forcing UST to go almost always to the perimeter. With Jervy Cruz out, UST lost interior presence offensively and defensively.

Here’s a telling fact… So tremendous was the Heavy Bombers’ defensive application in the 2nd half that the Growling Tigers went 0-for-20 in FG in the final quarter! UST ONLY scored 2 points via Ababou’s charity pair in the dying minutes of the game!

BUT, most telling of all… after the game, you could see the UST players taking pictures with their student fans… smiling and obliging… oblivious to what just happened to them. Judging from the way they acted before, during, and after the game, the UST Growling Tigers, the newly crowned UAAP Champions, didn’t take the CCL seriously.

To the Growling Tigers, the CCL is just one of those tournaments….

10 thoughts on “Thoughts on the UST-JRU Game and the CCL being just one of those thingies…”

  1. by ‘just one of those thingies’, you mean, it’s a substandard league like other leagues? And which leagues are you comparing it to be like?

    Just wanted to get that clear 🙂

    BTW I added new ‘CCL’ and ‘CCL-news’ categories.

  2. Hey, Gary!

    What I mean when I said that “CCL being just one of those thingies” is that the pre-eminent teams competing in the CCL MAY just be taking the tournament for granted.

    It seems that these teams may be treating it as an “exhibition” tournament. With regards to comparisons, the nearest will be the Bantay Bata UAAP-NCAA All Star games or your ordinary pre-season games build-up.

  3. The Shaw-based cagers came in and played rough….did you see Feniquito’s arm coming down on the back of Jervy’s head…the game plan was to rough them (Tigers) up so that they could lose their focus……great plan….it worked to perfection………I really want to diss JRU for their rough play but whats done is done…they showed hustle and passion…..and UST showed fatigue….oh well….till they meet again next year…..Oh by the way, UST will NEVER EVER shoot 0-20 in a game again….Pido will never allow such an atrocious display of offense in a game ever……

  4. wow if the CCL is only as good as the Bantay Bata Exhibition games, and the teams treat it as such, then it’s gonna be in trouble.

    Well, let’s give it a shot. If UST didn’t come prepared and JRU did, it only means it was UST’s fault for not bringing their game.

    Losing like that will teach UST to take CCL games seriously. The second time they meet, UST will definitely want to pound JRU.

    Incidentally, those are the things (sama ng loob sa pagkatalo, initan ng ulo, gustong makabawi, etc.), which make leagues interesting. So there’s hope I suppose.

  5. Hey, Cho!

    Like you said, perfect game plan by the JRU coaching staff. They probably knew that UST is a much better team (plus they had the homecourt edge) than they. The rough play tactic to take them out of their focus was a sly, but effective ploy.

    Yup, saw that incident involving Feniquito and Cruz. Did you see how Jervy Cruz get back at him? A no-holds-barred block attempt on Feniquito’s shot!

  6. To John,

    Jervy gave Feniquito a shot in the ribs after he got tagged in the nape…It was very hard for the fans to see their team getting beat by an we know how ateneo feels (without the major heartache)…it sucks when a team wants to play and another wants to inflict pain…..UST and ADMU played a very tight and physical finals…but you never saw anyone intentionally giving a elbow to the chops…..they were scrambling/diving for the ball, jockying for position, playing in your face D…everybody loved finals series…the JRU vs UST game was irritating….there has to be a line separating heart/passion/hustle from playing dirty.

  7. Comment ko lang regarding doon sa not taking the games seriously. To be quite honest, I’ve been pissed with that excuse since the first time I heard of it. Basketball is a competition, not a soiree. It is a battle for supremacy, not a fashion show. And to those who say that UST just gave the game away and that Tomasians don’t give a damn about any other league except the UAAP, it is no less than His Airness who will be more pissed with the mentality of those who say that “it’s just another tournament” or even “not taking the game seriously, unless it’s this league or that league.”

  8. excuses! excuses! sumali ka pa sa liga… tapos hindi mo seseryosohin… that’s BS!!! talo sila… period. UAAP Champions UST losing to the perennial laughing stock of the NCAA… woohooo… medyo nakakahiya nga… malamang gumawa nga ng excuses yan…

  9. we can not accept the litany of excuses. a win is a win and at the UST hoemcourt at that. JRU deserves a little more respect and credit for its solid effort. it is better for UST to act like celebraties and rest becuase they deserve losing

  10. Hey, Guys!

    This post was about my personal observations as to why UST lost the game to JRU. The post merely reflected what I thought was an obvious nonchanlant attitude on the part of the Growling Tigers and was not an offering of a list of excuses for the UST Team.

    I am sure that the UST fans have their own sets of opinion and view of the game just like non-UST fans have a cache of their own.

    In fact, any self-respecting team that loses will not and should not offer excuses. A loss is a loss.

    I just felt that UST could have easily avoided that ignominious defeat based on the advantages they had and which were cited above.

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