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Eagles down Tams

  • Written by Theodore Jurado
  • Published in Basketball
  • Read: 123

ATENEO bucked a slow start to turn back Far Eastern University, 70-59, and secure the first semifinals berth in the UAAP men's basketball tournament last night at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

Trailing by seven in the first half,  their biggest this season, the Blue  Eagles needed a huge fourth quarter effort on both ends of the floor to extend their perfect run to 10 games.

A 15-4 run capped by two charities by Chibueze Ikeh gave Ateneo a 62-54 lead, with 3:13 remaining and never looked back.

Earlier, defending champion La Salle opened a two-game buffer over Adamson in the race for the No. 2 seed in the playoffs with a 80-74 victory.

The Green Archers raised their record to 6-4, but not without surviving a gallant Falcons stand.

Andrei Caracut hit a go-ahead trey and Santi Santillan scored an undergoal stab to give La Salle a 76-72 advantage, with 36.3 seconds remaining.
    
Third-running Adamson dropped at 6-4.  
    
After leading by as much as 10 points in the first half, the Falcons found themselves trailing 59-67 at the 6:41 mark.
    
Never giving up, Adamson dropped three straight triples in a telling 15-4 run to grab the lead for one final time at 72-71, with 2:19 remaining.
    
Ricci Rivero produced 17 points, while Santillan (16 points, 10 rebounds) and reigning MVP Ben Mbala (15 points, 17 rebounds) delivered double-double numbers for the Archers.
    
“This game was a test of character for all of us. This is a good thing kasi it will help us as a team,” said Rivero.
    
Jerrick Ahanmisi, who spearheaded the Falcons fightback, had 17 points while Papi Sarr also scored 17 points and grabbed 12 rebounds.
    
The scores:
      
First game
       
La Salle (80) -- Rivero R. 17, Santillan 16, Mbala 15, Montalbo 10, Rivero P. 7, Melecio 5, Tratter 5, Caracut 3, Baltazar 2, Go 0.
    
AdU (74)-- Ahanmisi 17, Sarr 17, Espeleta 12, Manalang 11, Hill 8, Lojera 3, Manganti 2, Ochea 2, Bernardo 2, Pingoy 0, Zaldivar 0, Mustre 0, Chua 0, Frias 0.
      
Quarterscores: 13-17, 35-35, 58-54, 80-74      
    
Second game
      
Ateneo (70)-- Nieto Ma. 14, Verano 14, Tolentino 7, Asistio 6, Black 6, Ravena 6, Ikeh 5, Go 5, Nieto Ma. 4, Mamuyac 3, Andrade 0, Mendoza 0, Tio 0.
    
FEU (59) -- Dennison 12, Tolentino 11, Cani 10, Parker 7, Orizu 6, Escoto 5, Eboña 4, Iñigo 4, Comboy 0, Tuffin 0, Ramirez 0, Stockton 0.
    
Quarterscores: 12-21, 27-34, 47-50, 70-59