By Ira Pablo
Hold on a sec! Are we really down to our last two or three games for the men’s basketball in the UAAP Season 80? We’re still trying to catch our breath from that crazy semi-finals series over here! The aftermath of the controversial game between the DLSU Green Archers and the ADU Soaring Falcons last November 18 (which got all the referees suspended because of questionable officiating) still got people wondering if that match deserves a second game.
On the other hand, that last game between the ADMU Blue Eagles and the FEU Tamaraws on November 22 got all basketball fans on the edge of their seats with the many lead changes that happened all throughout the game. Wimage still get goosebumps every time we see a replay of the 3-point, game-tying basket by Isaac Go which sent the blue shirts to winning the overtime. Wow!
The hunt for tickets for November 25 is definitely ON! While you guys are still trying to score seats for Game 1, we put together 10 motivations for you to put in that extra effort for the searching game. And by 10 motivations, we mean these 10 hotties you will be seeing in the blue and green side if you emerge as Charlie in the chocolate factory with that golden ticket, or even so on your TV screens. Close-ups are just as good!
1. Tyler Tio (ADMU). This Fil-Canadian rookie can’t just be overlooked in a powerhouse team like the ADMU Blue Eagles. During the elimination round, he gave a statement performance, making six out of six baskets against the UP Fighting Maroons, and finished the game with 14 big points in just 11 minutes. Tyler is out to prove that the future is bright with this next UAAP star.
2. Anton Asistio (ADMU). The maturity in Anton’s game speaks a lot for his character. After being placed in Team B for a season, this point guard focused on improving his game and showed that he has what it takes to live up to the Baldwin-Arespacochaga expectations. Now that finals experiences are part of his basketball resume, will UAAP Season 80 Champions be next?
3. Mike Nieto (ADMU). How’s this guy for your #fitspiration? He lost almost 40 pounds from his high school to college years to be a quicker and more effective small forward. Even through his Instagram account, Big Mike is still what he likes to be called. Aside from the stronger facial features that became visible after losing those LBs, we admire the discipline he showed for the love of the sport!
4. Thirdy Ravena (ADMU). On the court, there is no doubt that Thirdy Ravena can give the numbers. Off court, he still wins the Instagram game. This guy is Mr. OOTD! Even though his mother and volleyball analyst, Mozzy describes his wardrobe as “wear and throw” because Thirdy does not like repeating outfits, we love the statement he is making that even the dudes can put on fashionable, comfortable, and sporty pieces together and own the look by taking a good photo. Dope!
5. Isaac Go (ADMU). That three-point basket and kneeling shot got everyone in social media talking about Ateneo’s newest hero, Isaac Go. Although Coach Tab does not like referring to any player as their go-to guy, he planned that three-point basket for Isaac and sure enough, the shot sent the game to overtime. The likes of the photos of him hugging his head coach after the victory is what we look forward to in the finals series.
1. Jollo Go (DLSU). This high school standout and highly reliable guard for the DLSU Green Archers, is one of the guys the scouting coaches have to be careful of. He is a consistent shooter and when left open is a threat to the Blue Eagles. Now with a UAAP championship title already attached to his name, Jollo will surely want a repeat for his alma matter.
2. Kib Montalbo (DLSU). After a crucial turnover during the first encounter, giving the ADMU Blue Eagles the win in the first round, Kib Montalbo bounces back the next time he and his team met with their rivals. He scored a big floater for the green shirts, handing Ateneo their first and only loss of the elimination round after 13 games. Because of that, there was no sweep!
3. Brent Paraiso (DLSU). Also a high school standout and has been sporting the green and white colors since, Brent Paraiso definitely has the animo blood flowing through his veins. This role player has the defensive power to bring another title to the Aldin Ayo system.
4. Ricci Rivero (DLSU). Even just playing in his second year, Ricci Rivero has already proven that his name belongs to the list of UAAP stars. Scoring double digits in his games, he also scores double time both on and off court. This social media influncer has got a lot of brands promoted in his Instagram account that has almost 150 thousand followers! Can we say #lodi?
5. Ben Mbala (DLSU). The two time Cameroonian MVP proved how dedicated he is to the UAAP league by choosing to play for the Green Archers than in the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2019 African Qualifiers. He missed the first two games of this season but that didn’t stop him from putting up the numbers for his second MVP title this season. Not for long, he could be getting his second UAAP championship as well.
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Photographs from Vyn Radovan, Instagram.com/brenttparaiso, Instagram.com/getblued, Instagram.com/jollogo16, Instagram.com/isaacgo1, Instagram.com/tylertio, instagram.com/abscbn_sports