Adamson ends Ateneo agony, trashes rare 14-game sweep | Inquirer Sports

Adamson ends Ateneo agony, trashes rare 14-game sweep

By: - Reporter / @jwpayoINQ
/ 09:06 PM September 10, 2011

MANILA—Adamson hammered out a historic feat in a game where Ateneo tried to make history.

Coming out in full throttle from the get-go, the Falcons foiled the Blue Eagles’ bid to complete a rare 14-game sweep with a surprise 62-46 rout Saturday in the UAAP men’s basketball tournament.

Aside from playing spoiler to Ateneo’s bid of jumping straight to the Finals, the Falcons secured the No. 2 spot, which comes with the remaining twice-to-beat semifinal advantage. Moreover, the Falcons snapped their 14-year losing skid against the Blue Eagles.

“We knew that there were so many things at stake, but I guess the most important thing is the team is starting to believe that we’re capable of winning the championship,” said coach Leo Austria after his Falcons wrapped up their elimination run with a 10-4 record.

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“The players followed everything that we wanted to do. It’s a big statement that if we play as a team, we can go far and win against a dominant team like Ateneo.”

Adamson’s veteran swingman Alex Nuyles shone throughout to finish with a game-high 21 points and seven rebounds in a duel that had a championship atmosphere and drew an overflow crowd of 17,579 at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

“They (Falcons) pretty much controlled the game from the start; we didn’t play as a team today,” said Ateneo coach Norman Black as his three-time champions absorbed their first heartbreak in 14 games.

With Lester Alvarez also leading the early charge, the Falcons got off to a 12-4 start and held the lead the rest of the way.

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Earlier, also-ran University of the East wrapped up its season with a victory, 68-54, over the University of the Philippines.

Alvarez finished with 14 points to help the Falcons pull away by as many as 20 points, 52-32, early in the fourth period.

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Adamson ended its 29-game losing skid against Ateneo, which the Falcons last defeated on Sept. 18, 1997 with a 54-52 decision.

The Falcons held the Eagles to many season lows, including the lowest number of points in a quarter (eight in the first canto), total output (46) and field goal clip (31.5 percent).

“They just played better than us,” said Ateneo’s star rookie Kiefer Ravena.

Seven-footer Greg Slaughter paced Ateneo with 10 points, while Ravena and Kirk Long had nine markers each.

“We didn’t allow Slaughter and Ravena to dominate the game,” said Austria.

It was also a redemption of sorts for Adamson, which failed to halt University of Santo Tomas’ own sweep bid in their final elimination game in 1993.

Biboy Enguio capped his stint with the Warriors with a solid game of 18 points, six rebounds, four steals and two blocks.

Adrian Santos and JM Noble added 12 markers each for the Warriors, who finished seventh with a 3-11 record.

“Even if we didn’t reach the Final Four this year, we never quit every game,” said guard Paul Zamar, who also played his final year for the Warriors.

“We found ways to be competitive along the way,” added rookie coach Jerry Codiñera.

The Maroons ended the season at the basement for the second straight year with a 2-12 card.

Far Eastern University and University of Santo Tomas, meanwhile, dispute the third spot against separate opponents on the final day of elimination Sunday.

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But the Tigers, tied for third with the Tamaraws at 8-5, take on National University minus Ca

TAGS: Adamson Falcons, Alex Nuyles, Andy Jao, Ateneo Blue Eagles, Basketball, De La Salle Green Archers, FEU Tamaraws, Greg Slaughter, Karim Abdul, Kiefer Ravena, Kirk Long, Leo Austria, Lester Alvarez, NU Bulldogs, Paul Zamar, Sports, UE Red Warriors, UP Fighting Maroons, UST Growling Tigers

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