31 January 2015,
Blue Eagle gym,
Ateneo de Manila University campus,
A boy from Cebu made a splash recently in the 77th University Athletic Association of the Philippines Junior Basketball wars.
It happened last January 31 when Gerald Fernandez shot 14 points for the Adamson Baby Falcons, who won over the University of Santo Tomas Tiger Cubs.
On that day, the Ateneo Blue Eaglets made it back in the finals after they swept their 14-game elimination assignment.
(Gerald Fernandez in action, not against UST Tiger Cubs, but in game with FEU)- file photo sources from Richard Esguerra.
This was after Michael Nieto, who ran away with the MVP honors, led with 29 points as the Blue Eaglets swamped the defending champion National University Bullpups, 76-49, last Saturday.
Because of this, the Blue Eaglets earned a thrice-to-beat incentives, which is given to teams which gain an automatic finals seat.
At the same day, Joaquin Banzon fired 18 points for the Junior Archers, who leaned on the heroics of Noel Cabarrus at endgame to beat Far Eastern University, 60-58.
(Gerald Fernandez trying to get past a screen)- photo sourced from Richard Esguerra.
Big plays from Fernandez in the first period helped decide the outcome of the game in the next three periods.
He came off the bench in the last 5:29 of the first period.
Gerald subbed for JD Tungcab after the latter missed a two-pointer.
(Gerald Fernandez trying to avoid a double team)- photo sourced from UBL.
He came into the picture just when the Baby Falcons have just erected 15-2 advantage.
Because of the win, the fourth placing Baby Falcons made it to the stepladder semis and will meet the defending champion National University Bullpups in the start of the semis last Feb. 1.
- Gerald Fernandez speaks up
After waiting for Gerald to come out of the locker room with the rest of his teammates after, he finally emerges upon the encouragement of one of the assistant coaches, Christian Luanzon.
It turns that this guy, who hails from Consolacion, Cebu, is on his first last playing year for the Baby Falcons.
This was he spent a year in residency following his transfer from the University of Visayas.
“Wala lang. Ginawa ko lang lahat. Binigyan ko ng effort ang laro,” said Fernandez, who plays as a shooting guard for the team.
That afternoon, Fernandez was the topscorer, next to Miguel Sasuman, JD Tungcab and James Pasturan with 14 points.
He played for 23.17 minutes, made 5 of 9 free throw attempts, was 50 percent from the three-point line, score 2 of 5 from the free throw area, and snagged three rebounds.
- How Fernandez did in stepladder semis
On Feb. 3, the NU Bullpups won the first stepladder semis, and with 72-45 beating of the Baby Falcons.
And so Fernandez bowed of the season with just three points to show, and a rebound.
It was Sasuman’s turn to shine, coming up with 13 points behind Pasturan’s 11.
Hopefully, this will not be the last time that we will see Fernandez play.
Adamson 76—Fernandez 14, Sasuman 13, Tungcab 12, Pasturan 11, Zaldivar 5, Antiporda 4, Chua 4, Cabanilla 4, Boac 4, Calacalsada 3, Egan 2, Mayo 0, Binarao 0,Guanco 0, Agbong 0, Darang 0.
UST 67—Lapena 14, Santos 12, Jison 10, F. Luna 6, N. Luna 6, Marcelo 5, Ferrer 4, Mayor 3, Narvasa 3, Balingit 2, Salinas 2, Pascual 0, Lorenzana 0, Montes 0, Guevarra 0.
Quarterscores: 31-7, 45-25, 64-42, 76-67.