ABL 2012 Game 2: Falling Short

It was good to be back at the Blue Eagle Gym again. This was AHS 4D 2003’s first game at the decades old stadium since the last match of the ill-fated Season 2010. Since it was a Sunday night, the gym was almost deserted, save for a few basketball diehards and some early birds. It was an ominous return to such a storied venue.

For the first two quarters, the team seemed to match up with the bigger lineup of Team Sabino quite well. The daredevil drives of Paolo Rosales (5 points, 6 rebounds) and Merrill Lazo’s (20 points, 5 rebounds, 3 assists) dagger treys kept the opposing team’s lead to a manageable five points in some stretches. Adi Dimaliwat (made a couple of three-point baskets in the most opportune of times. Yayo Puno and Velden Lim returned from a one-game absence to man the front-line with their athleticism, hustle and game smarts.

The team, despite the absence of main man Ryan Agas, even grabbed the lead in the first half.

Things started to crumble in the third quarter, as a foul-troubled Merrill was forced to ride the bench for a few minutes. All of a sudden, there was a gaping hole in the middle. The fired-up 6’4 behemoth Johann Uichico took advantage of Merrill’s temporary absence, wreaking havoc with his accurate short stabs and numerous drives. At the start of the fourth quarter, the opposing team’s lead had ballooned to as large as eight points.

Midway into the last period, our error prone team squandered golden chances to narrow the deficit. We were unable to run consistent plays and missed supposedly easy point blank shots. The imposing front line of Team Sabino exacerbated our offensive woes, as the opposing team grabbed a massive 54 rebounds against AHS 4D 2003’s measly 42. Despite making more three-pointers and notching a 78.4% field goal percentage, the team faltered in the end game.

There was one seemingly infinite stretch when we couldn’t seem to force the ball out of Team Sabino’s possession. For two long minutes, the ball stayed at the wrong side of the court, as our opponents grabbed offensive rebounds at will.

Despite a last ditch gasp to trim the deficit, the final buzzer sounded with the team behind by a heartbreaking five points, 48-53.

AHS 2003 Week 3 Stats (from the ABL site)

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