Eagles start 5-peat drive in great style
Archers squeeze past tough MaroonsBy Jasmine W. Payo
Philippine Daily Inquirer
ATENEO emphatically kicked off its drive for five yesterday.
Greg Slaughter fueled Ateneo’s big run as the Blue Eagles buckled down to work in the second half to dump Adamson, 73-57, in the UAAP men’s basketball tournament yesterday at the Mall of Asia Arena.
“I think it was a workmanlike effort on the part of my players today,” said Ateneo coach Norman Black after the Blue Eagles impressively started their bid for a rare fifth-straight crown this year.
Earlier, highly touted rookie Jeron Teng overcame a jittery start to help lead La Salle past tough-fighting University of the Philippines, 73-68, in the first game.
Teng completed a key three-point play with 27.3 seconds left to put the Archers back on top, 70-68, after the Maroons had wrested the lead, 68-67.
Norbert Torres and LA Revilla, both delivering double-double numbers, nailed the buffer free throws as the Archers also foiled the Maroons’ last two attempts.
Both the Blue Eagles and the Green Archers joined opening-day winners National University and Far Eastern University for the early lead.
Slaughter, who shone with 17 points, 10 rebounds and four blocks, teamed up with Nico Salva in helping the Eagles turn a slim 39-37 edge to a 55-45 spread at the end of the third period.
“Just like in the past, the thing that held us the most in the game is our defense,” said Black. “That’s something we’ll really bank on in the entire league.”
Torres, showing a better inside game, also collected 16 points, 14 rebounds, three assists and three blocks to power the Archers.
Revilla, meanwhile, emerged as only the third point guard to post a double-double in the last three years after finishing with 15 points and 11 boards on top of seven assists and two steals.
“It was a different feeling playing for a bigger crowd,” said Teng, who drilled all but two of his 15 points in the second half.
Yutien Andrada, who also had a crucial block on UP’s Jett Manuel in the dwindling seconds, chipped in 10 markers, seven boards and a couple of blocks.
“It was our first game and it was a period of adjustment,” said La Salle coach Gee Abanilla. “We had a lot of combinations that didn’t work and it’s something we have to work on.”
The Maroons rose from 16 points down, 40-56, in the second half behind Mike Silungan, Mark Lopez, Alvin Padilla and rookie Henry Asilum.
Silungan shot 18 points and Asilum, a national youth team standout, had 12 markers to pace the Maroons.
In women’s action, Joi Tolentino shot 18 points to lead National University to a 96-59 drubbing of University of the East.
The Lady Eagles, leaning on a balanced charge led by Denice Tiu and Valerie Chua, also blasted the Lady Maroons, 77-43.
LA SALLE, 73—Torres 16, Teng 15, Revilla 15, Andrada 10, De la Paz 9, Mendoza 6, Webb 2, Van Opstal 0, Paredes 0, Vosotros 0, Gotladera 0, Tallo 0, Manguera 0
UP, 68—Silungan 18, Asilum 12, Lopez 10, Soyud 8, Padilla 7, Manuel 5, Ball 4, Romero 2, Hipolito 2, Wierzba 0, Montecastro 0, Gamboa 0, Gallarza 0
Quarters: 17-16, 35-29, 56-46, 73-68
ATENEO, 73—Slaughter 17, Salva 14, Ravena 9, Sumalinog 6, Buenafe 6, Tiongson 5, Erram 5, Chua 4, Gonzaga 3, Golla 2, Elorde 2, Porter 0, Pessumal 0, Lim 0, Capacio 0
ADAMSON, 57—Brondial 13, Nuyles 12, Camson 10, Cabrera 10, Cruz 4, Monteclaro 3, Trollano 2, Etrone 2, Cabigas 1, Julkipli 0, Agustin 0, Abrigo 0.
Quarters: 15-16, 32-28, 55-45, 73-57