Seldom-used rookie JP Erram put on a defensive show in the first quarter, blocking 5 shots as the Ateneo de Manila University Blue Eagles surprised everybody with a masterful 72-49 rout over the highly favored Far Eastern University Tamaraws in Game 1 of the UAAP men’s basketball finals on Saturday at the Big Dome.

The surprise entry of the rookie big man JP Erram in the first quarter also worked wonders for Ateneo as Erram held his own ground against FEU’s touted big men of Aldrech Ramos and Reil Cervantes, blocking five shots then forced his opponents to make tough-angled attempts inside.

That translated into numerous transition points for the Eagles, who showed no let up in the next three quarters to the delight of the Blue faithfuls.

“This was probably our best game of the year and hopefully we could a little bit better on Thursday,” added Black, who is seeking his first “three-peat” since winning one as a PBA coach with San Miguel in 1989.

The players were just as excited as their coach.

“Kinakabahan ako nung simula nung game,” Erram said. “Pero nung pinasok ako parang nawala ng konti lalo na nung lumamang kami. Doon lumabas yung confidence ko na feeling ko mananalo kami.”

Erram caught the eye of talent scouts during the Philippine Collegiate Championships League (PCCL) two years ago when Xavier University, led by JP Erram, almost upset FEU with players like Andy Barroca, Aldrich Ramos, Paul Sanga, JR Cawaling and Mac Baracael.

That was the last time Erram wore the Crusaders uniform. A few years after, he’s now a Blue Eagle.

The scores:

ADMU 72 – Long 14, Chua 13, Salva 10, Monfort 9, Austria 8, Salamat 8, Erram 4, Gonzaga 2, Golla 2, Buenafe 2, Tingson 0, Dela Cruz 0.

FEU 49 – Garcia 11, Romeo 10, Cervantes 7, Noundou 6, Ramos 6, Cawaling 3, Exciminiano 2, Cruz 2, Bringas 2, Guerrero 0, Mendoza 0, Knuttel 0, Sanga 0.

Quarter scores: 26-8, 42-21, 60-38, 72-49.

all photos from inboundspass photostream at flickr

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