Buenafe lifts Eagles past Tigers, 68-66By Jasmine W. Payo
Philippine Daily Inquirer
MANILA, Philippines—Ryan Buenafe completed a three-point play with 5.1 seconds left as Ateneo slipped past University of Santo Tomas, 68-66, to claim the first twice-to-beat semifinal bonus in the UAAP men’s basketball tournament Saturday at Mall of Asia Arena.
Buenafe went for a drive that drew a goal-tending call against UST’s Karim Abdul, who could have been the game hero after giving the Tigers their last lead with a jumper, 66-65, with 7.7 ticks remaining.
Aljon Mariano, who had bailed out UST in past games, tried to win it anew for the Tigers but missed his three-point attempt at the buzzer.
After the Blue Eagles wrapped up their elimination run with a 12-2 record, the Tigers said they’ll put the game under protest.
“They (school management) saw things that weren’t fair,” said UST coach Pido Jarencio after his Tigers dropped to third with a 9-4 card. “It’s management’s decision.”
Kiefer Ravena knocked in a team-high 18 points, including seven in a third-quarter run where he teamed up with Juami Tiongson to put the Eagles ahead at 50-41.
“We could not get the ball to (Greg) Slaughter, it freed up Buenafe in the post and it just happened to be a lucky play,” said Ateneo coach Norman Black of the winning drive. “He made the best of it by going straight to the basket. The play was actually for Kiefer.”
Tiongson, who finished with 13 points, accounted for half of Ateneo’s 18-4 outburst in the pivotal third quarter where the Blue Eagles surged ahead after trailing, 18-27.
Buenafe finished with 11 points, while Slaughter also shot 10 for the four-time champions.
“It was tough all game long,” said Ravena, who also had six rebounds and four assists. “I was cramping up in the latter part of the game, but I told coach don’t take me out, it’s do-or-die. We don’t want to go through all the complications if we lose.”
Earlier, Jericho Cruz buried 21 points and dished out eight assists as Adamson rolled past University of the East, 89-69, in a battle of eliminated teams.
Roider Cabrera also drilled 15 points from beyond the arc to help push the Falcons to a share of sixth with the Warriors at 3-10.
“We played without pressure,” said Adamson coach Leo Austria.
Aside from the 6-foot Cruz and 6-foot-4 Cabrera, center John Roodney Brondial also joined the scoring fray with 14 points.
The Falcons virtually decided the game as early as the third quarter when they surged to a 72-55 spread.
Tiny point guard Shej Roi Sumang topscored for the Warriors with 24 points.
ADAMSON 89—Cruz 21, Cabrera 15, Brondial 14, Camson 10, Rios 9, Etrone 9, Monteclaro 7, Petilos 2, Olalia 2, Trollano 0, Deans 0, Cabigas 0, Agustin 0, Abrigo 0.
UE 69—Sumang 24, Javier 18, Sumido 10, Santos 10, Belleza 3, Gallanza 2, Duran 2, Alberto 0, Valdez 0, Olayon 0, Hernandez 0, Flores 0.
Quarters: 28-14, 54-37,72-55,89-69
ATENEO 68—Ravena 18, Tiongson 13, Buenafe 11, Slaughter 10, Sumalinog 7, Salva 6, Elorde 3, Gonzaga 0, Golla 0, Chua 0.
UST 66—Abdul 22, Teng 12, Mariano 9, Fortuna 8, Ferrer 8, Bautista 7, Vigil 0, Pe 0, Lo 0, Afuang 0.
Quarters: 15-18, 30-33, 52-43, 68-66