Stags trim Blue Eagles for PCCL title | Inquirer Sports

Stags trim Blue Eagles for PCCL title

By: - Reporter / @jwpayoINQ
/ 08:17 PM December 15, 2011

San Sebastian coach Topex Robinson rejoices as the Stags bag the PCCL title. Photo by August Dela Cruz

San Sebastian coach Topex Robinson rejoices as the Stags bag the PCCL title. Photo by August Dela Cruz

MANILA, Philippines—Wiping out any doubt, San Sebastian captured the championship that even coach Topex Robinson thought might be improbable to clinch.

The Stags showed solid form throughout to down an erratic Ateneo Blue Eagles crew, 73-67, Thursday at the FilOil-Flying V Arena in San Juan and become the first NCAA team to rule the Philippine Collegiate Champions League (PCCL).

Calvin Abueva and Ian Sangalang again barreled their way against the four-time UAAP champion Blue Eagles, finishing with double-double figures in the winner-take-all title showdown.

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“What a way to end the year,” said Robinson after his Stags, the NCAA runner-up, also foiled the Eagles’ bid for a record third straight crown in the nationwide tournament among the country’s finest collegiate basketball teams.

“I was doubting my capabilities, after that championship [duel] against San Beda [in the NCAA], if [coaching] is really for me and if the players really believe in me.”

But those worries hardly showed as the Stags came out charging in the second period for a 34-22 lead and stayed clear of the Eagles the rest of the way.

Abueva, the fiery forward named to the Mythical Team, had another all-around outing of 20 points, 17 rebounds, three assists and three of the Stags’ four blocks.

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Finals MVP Sangalang had 19 points and 15 boards in the Stags’ historic romp in the tournament, where only four UAAP schools have ruled since its inception in 2003.

Ateneo’s own stars just couldn’t find their groove for most of the game as the Eagles, who forged the rubber match with a 56-51 win over the Stags Monday, missed shots they normally made.

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Aside from bagging the perpetual trophy, the Stags earned a cash prize of P400,000 for the team and P500,000 worth of sporting goods for the school.

The Stags, who came all the way from the knockout Sweet 16 round, toted a twice-to-beat advantage in the finals after topping the round-robin semifinals.

The Eagles settled for P200,000 for the team and P200,000 worth of goods.

Robinson, who also copped the Best Coach plum on his rookie year, praised his players’ solid defensive effort.

“There’s no way you can play a good zone defense if you don’t play as a team,” said Robinson. “I told them to communicate. We also wanted to take [Greg] Slaughter out of this game, that’s why he wasn’t a big factor this time.”

Slaughter had 10 points and five boards, while Kiefer Ravena and Nico Salva finished with just a combined 12 points for the Eagles.

Abueva, Sangalang, Salva, and Slaughter were named to the Mythical Team along with University of Cebu’s Junemar Fajardo.

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The scores:
SAN SEBASTIAN 73—Abueva 20, Sangalang 19, Del Rio 10, Vitug 9, Miranda 6, Maiquez 4, Semira 3, Dela Cruz 2.
ATENEO 67—Long 11, Tiongson 11, Slaughter 10, Erram 9, Monfort 8, Ravena 7, Salva 5, Sumalinog 3, Gonzaga 3, Golla 0, Chua 0.
Quarters: 17-16, 36-29, 57-49, 73-37

TAGS: 2011 Philippine Collegiate Champions League (PCCL), Ateneo Blue Eagles, Calvin Abueva, Greg Slaughter, Nico Salva, Philippine Collegiate Champions League, Ronald Pascual, San Sebastian Stags, Sports, Topex Robinson

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