Blue Eagles survive toughest test, nip Tamaraws in OT | Inquirer Sports

Blue Eagles survive toughest test, nip Tamaraws in OT

By: - Reporter / @cedelfptINQ
/ 11:57 PM August 13, 2011

MANILA—Ateneo used another strong finish to survive its toughest test yet.

Finding their rhythm in the second half, the Blue Eagles completed a come-from-behind 74-67 overtime victory over the Far Eastern U Tamaraws last night for their eighth straight win at the start of the second round of the 74th UAAP men’s basketball tournament at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.


Pushed to the wall by an FEU side determined to avenge a week-old defeat, the Eagles responded to the challenge with a workmanlike effort in the last two quarters, before finishing the Tamaraws off with another solid defensive display in the extension.

“We showed we’re a team that never gives up,” said Ateneo coach Norman Black, whose boys forged overtime at 63-all.
“It’s a game where we really found out the character of this team.”


While FEU faltered in its bid for revenge, National U proved successful in emphatic fashion, posting a 91-51 demolition of University of the East in the first game.

Emmanuel Mbe, a member of the mythical team last season who had a quiet first round campaign, came through with a big double-double effort for the Bulldogs, finishing with season-highs of 21 points and 16 rebounds.

Bobby Ray Parks also dished out a solid all-around game with 18 points, eight rebounds and seven assists as the Bulldogs avenged their 71-72 loss to the Warriors in the first round.

“It’s redemption for us,” said NU coach Eric Altamirano, whose squad improved to 3-5 after shooting 52.7 percent from the field—the highest by any team this season.

“It was a heartbreaking loss the last time but I’m happy we still kept our focus on this game. Everything worked for us. We found a way to score on fastbreaks which was our problem before.”

The Bulldogs’ 40-point winning margin matched UE’s victory over University of the Philippines in September 2007.

Nico Salva topscored with 18 points for the Eagles, but it was rookie Kiefer Ravena who delivered the biggest baskets, sinking two tough layups inside the final 45 seconds of regulation to force overtime.


Ateneo looked doomed when RR Garcia buried a triple from the corner for 63-57 cushion with 1:16 left.
But two turnovers by Terrence Romeo—a weak pass intercepted by Eman Monfort and an out-of-bounds violation—proved costly for the Tamaraws as Monfort and Ravena both converted to put the Eagles within, 61-63.

Coming alive after a scoreless first half, Ravena drove past Chris Exciminiano to tie the game at 63 with eight seconds remaining, before Greg Slaughter blocked Carl Cruz’s attempt at the buzzer, triggering wild celebrations by the Ateneo gallery

The Tamaraws were held to a single field goal in overtime, before Slaughter punctuated the comeback with a tip-in off Salva’s miss with 32 seconds left to all but wrapped up the game, 72-67.

“We’re thankful Kiefer hit those shots and we got the momentum going into overtime,” said Slaughter, the Most Valuable Player derby leader after the first round, who finished with 14 points, 10 rebounds and three blocks.

The Eagles trailed for almost the entire game as the Tamaraws, six days removed from a 49-69 ambush dealt by
Ateneo, summoned their old, fiery form early on.

FEU looked firmly in control in the second quarter with Aldrech Ramos’ jumper not only giving the Tamaraws their biggest lead at 36-20 with 2:38 left, but also underscoring how easily they broke down Ateneo’s defense with their perimeter baskets.

“FEU really caught us off guard,” Black said of the Tamaraws, who dropped to fourth after falling to 4-4. “But we hung in there defensively.”

The scores:
First Game
NU 91—Mbe 21, Parks 18, Vilamor 10, Terso 10, Javillonar 10, Terso 10, Alolino 8, Ignacio 7, Neypes 2, EMan 2, Celiz 2, Singh 1, Rono 0, Labing-isa 0, Khobuntin.
UE 51—Casajeros 8, Santos 7, Zosa 6, Javier 6, Zuma 4, Enguia 4, Zamar 4, Sumido 4, Sabangan 2, Chavez 2, Tagarda 2, Duran 2, Montelibano 0, Noble 0, Flores 0.
Quarters: 20-14, 40-20, 69-38, 91-51
Second Game
ATENEO 74—Salva 18, Ravena 15, Slaughter 14, Chua 9, Monfort 7, Gonzaga 6, Long 3, Austria 2, Tiongson 0, Golla 0.
FEU 67—Garcia 17, Romeo 11, Cruz 10, Ramos 8, Escoto 7, Bringas 6, Tolomia 5, Exciminiano 3, Pogoy 0, Mendoza 0, Knuttel 0.
Quarters: 13-21, 25-38, 42-47, 63-63 (reg) 74-67

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TAGS: Aldrech Ramos, Ateneo Blue Eagles, Basketball, Carl Cruz, Emmanuel Mbe, Eric Altamirano, FEU Tamaraws, Greg Slaughter, Kiefer Ravena, Nico Salva, Norman Black, Ray Parks, RR Garcia, Sports, Terrence Romero, UAAP Season 74, UE Red Warriors
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