Eagles resurgent | Inquirer Sports

Eagles resurgent

Battling Blues down FEU Tams; Surprising Falcons seal Final 4 berth
By: - Reporter / @junavINQ
/ 03:46 AM November 10, 2016
ateneo blue eagles vs feu tamaraws uaap

Ateneo Blue Eagles vs FEU Tamaraws in a UAAP Season 79 game. Photo by Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.net

Bad news for Ateneo’s opponents: The resurgent Blue Eagles are playing with new-found confidence at the most crucial juncture of the season.

Five days after their shock upset of the La Salle Green Archers, the Eagles thumped the Far Eastern U Tamaraws anew, 74-59, yesterday in the UAAP Season 79 men’s basketball tournament at Mall of Asia Arena.

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Many attributed to luck the Eagles’ defeat of the defending champion Tamaraws almost two months back. Now, pundits say the Blue Eagles can’t be overlooked after tearing apart two of the best teams in the league in succession.

“Again, it was a great team win,” said Ateneo pivotman Isaac Go. “FEU is the No. 2 rebounding team, and one way to beat them is through heart and effort. That’s what our team showed today.”

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For the second straight game, Go was a pillar of strength for Ateneo, fighting off FEU big men Prince Orizu and Raymar Jose in the shaded area, just as he made life difficult for La Salle’s Ben Mbala.

“I guess we just came out to fight,” said Thirdy Ravena, whose knifing layup in the closing minutes energized the Eagles as they held off the Tams’ fightback in the closing minutes. “We knew we’re the underdogs and our game plan was to work hard for every possession.”

Go tossed in a floater in the next sequence and Ateneo was safe again with a 13-point lead.

With their fourth straight win, the Eagles caught the Tamaraws at second with an 8-4 record but could eventually wrest the No. 2 seeding should both teams end up tied entering the Final Four.

Adamson completed the Final Four cast with a 76-61 triumph over the University of Santo Tomas Tigers in the other game.

“Nobody expected us to be here in the Final Four,” said Adamson coach Franz Pumaren. “If this is a dream, I hope I don’t wake up.”

While La Salle has already sealed the top ranking, Ateneo, FEU and Adamson are still in the race for the No. 2 berth, which offers a twice-to-beat privilege in the Final Four.

The Falcons, whose semifinal appearance came in 2011 under coach Leo Austria, moved up to 7-5 and sent the Tigers reeling to their 10th defeat in 13 games.

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TAGS: Blue Eagles, Far Eastern U tamaraws, Green Archers, UAAP Season 79 men’s basketball
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