UAAP: Ateneo Blue Eagles crush UP Fighting Maroons
MANILA—Ateneo win bragging rights in a battle of Katipunan-based squads yesterday, squeezing out double figures from all of their starters to demolish the University of the Philippines, 77-57, in Season 74 of the UAAP basketball tournament at the Araneta Coliseum.
Rookie-sensation Kiefer Ravena pumped in 15 points and had four steals, and Greg Slaughter added 14 points and 13 rebounds in a potent inside-outside performance that propelled the unbeaten Blue Eagles to their fifth straight victory.
Kirk Long also had 14 points while Emman Monfort and Nico Salva had 13 and 10 for the Blue Eagles, who began to cut loose midway in the second period and turned the one-sided affair into a free-wheeling contest three-fourths of the way.
Michael Tolomia buried a three-pointer with 2.9 seconds remaining, lifting Far Eastern University to a come-from-behind 62-59 win over University of Santo Tomas in the other match.
RR Garcia, last season’s MVP, drove to the basket with time winding down and kicked it out to Tolomia for the game-winner en route to the Tamaraws’ fourth victory in five outings.
Ateneo duplicated UE’s feat when all the starters of the Red Warriors scored 10 points or more in a 76-72 thriller over the FEU Tamaraws two seasons ago.
But Ateneo coach Norman Black was more pleased with the output of his team on the defensive end.
“I think we played good defense in the last three quarters. We didn’t play bad defense in the first, it’s just UP had a great offense,” said Black.
So efficient was Ateneo in protecting the rim that the Maroons finished without a double-figure scorer on the stats sheet, leading to their third consecutive defeat after debuting with aplomb over the Warriors.
At the center of Ateneo’s blockade were the 6-foot-11 Slaughter and Long, the three-time champions’ top wing defender.
“He’s (Long) been playing the same role in the last five years, which is to defend the best wingman from the other team,” said Black.
UP gunner Mike Silungan was held to a 2 of 15 performance from the field while Jet Manuel muffed all of his six three-point attempts as the Maroons made just 28.6 percent from the field after converting 20 out of 70 shots.
The Blue Eagles, who scored 23 points in the second quarter while containing the Maroons to 10, were 28 of 61 from the floor for a 45.9-percent clip, including going six of 10 beyond the three-point zone.
Guard Michael Gamboa knocked down a couple of threes and had eight points in the first quarter, giving the Maroons a 21-19 edge before the Blue Eagles worked their defensive magic.
The Tigers were in command for three quarters and led by as many as 13 before going down in their second defeat after four games.
The Tamaraws, the only team in the season to pull off a victory after trailing entering the fourth, have beaten the Tigers for the seventh straight time since 2007.
Aldrech Ramos nailed a mid-range jumper inside two minutes, finally giving the Tamaraws a taste of the lead since getting the upperhand, 15-13, in the first quarter.
Jeric Fortuna retaliated with a three-pointer on the other end, 57-55, and Garcia, who was nursing a fever the day before, equalized the count with a breakaway layup.
Fortuna tied it for the last time at 59 with a short jumper with 24 seconds to go after a steal by Chris Exciminiano resulted in an easy basket for the Tamaraws.
Coach Bert Flores called a timeout and mapped out the final assault—an isolation play for Garcia, who dribbled the time away and drove with six seconds left before dishing it off to a waiting Tolomia in the wings.
ATENEO 77—Ravena 15, Slaughter 14, Long 14, Monfort 13, Salva 10, Gonzaga 6, Golla 2, Chua 2, Tiongson 1, Pessumal 0, Cipriano 0, Capacio 0, Erram 0, Sumalinog 0, Austria 0.
UP 57—Silungan 8, Manuel 8, Gamboa 8, Maniego 7, Mbah 7, Romero 6, Montecastro 6, Gomez 5, Pascual 2, Wierzba 0, Fortu 0, Juruena 0.
Quarters: 19-21, 42-31, 57-43, 77-57
FEU 62—Tolomia 10, Ramos 10, Garcia 9, Exciminiano 8, Cawaling 7, Cruz 6, Bringas 6, Romeo 4, Foronda 2, Sentcheu 0, Fabian 0, Escoto 0, Knuttel 0.
UST 59—Teng 23, Fortuna 16, Camus 8, Ferrer 6, Abdul 3, Lo 2, Afuang 1, Vigil 0, Tan 0, Pe 0.
Quarters: 16-15, 21-30, 38-44, 62-59