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Philippines sportsEagles overpower Archers, 74-57

By JONAS TERRADO | http://www.mb.com.ph

Games Thursday (Araneta Coliseum)
2 p.m. — Adamson vs UP
4 p.m. — UE vs Ateneo

This time, there was no wild finish but only a sweet win for Ateneo.

Showing their mighty form right from the very start, the Ateneo Eagles dominated the La Salle Archers to win in runaway fashion, 74-57, and inch closer to a semis berth in the UAAP basketball tournament Sunday before huge Sunday crowd at the Araneta Coliseum.

The Eagles took an 18-11 first quarter lead before humming like a well-oiled machine that saw them outscore their bitter rivals, 21-10, in the second quarter which turned out to be the push they needed to finally disarm the Archers.

With 15,362 screaming fans on hand, Kirk Long stood out in a long list of Ateneo heroes as he banged a career-high 22 points, the bulk of which coming in the second quarter that set the tone for a breezy win.

The win – their sixth straight and eight overall in 10 starts – enabled the Eagles to inch closer to the Final Four.

Meantime, University of the Philippines threw another golden chance of nailing its first-ever win this season when Dionisio Hipolito bungled his two free throws with barely 2.4 ticks left that allowed National University to escape with a 61-59 win in the first game.

Behind by only one point, 60-59, Hipolito went into the free throw area off Mervin Baloran’s foul. But to the horror of UP bench, he missed both his charities.

UP, however, plans to lodge a protest due to several no-calls.

Ateneo coach Norman Black was ecstatic over their revenge but he was still hoping to snatch the top spot from Far Eastern University at the end of the two-round elims. The Tamaraws is leading the tournament with a 9-1 card.

Long was simply hot, making all but one of his five tries from the rainbow territory that helped energize his teammates. He also had three rebounds, two assists and two steals as he made major damage mostly in the first half when Ateneo rolled to a commanding 39-21 halftime lead.

The part-time varsity baseball player also came up with a triple plus a steal and a layup on successive plays to push the Eagles' lead to a high of 26 points, 55-39, with 4:27 in the third period.

The Archers, who beat the Eagles, 66-63, in the first round, raced to a 9-4 lead on a triple by Joel Tolentino but the Eagles refused to be intimidated as they made their own run to finally dictate the tempo of the game.

"I don't know what happened. It was like a nightmare," rued La Salle coach Dindo Pumaren. "We had a bad start and we didn't play La Salle basketball."

The scores:

First Game

NU 61 — Mbe 21, Hermosisima 14, Ponferrada 8, Baloran 6, Khobuntin 3, Javillonar 3, Terso 3, Malanday 3, Ludovice 0, Javelona 0, Ignacio 0, Eriobu 0, Tungcul 0, Singh 0, Magat 0.

UP 59 — Silungan 17, Padilla 13, Sison 8, Reyes Ma. 6, Hipolito 6, Juruena 4, Reyes Mi. 3, Gomez 2, Saret 0, Pascual 0, Maniego 0.

Quarters: 11-15; 20-28; 44-42; 61-59.

Second Game

ATENEO 74 — Long 22, dela Cruz 10, Buenafe 9, Salva 7, Monfort 7, Salamat 6, Golla 6, Austria 3, Escueta 2, Chua 2, Erram 0, Tiongson 0.

LA SA LLE 57 — Mendoza 20, Villanueva 7, Andrada 6, Tampus 5, Tolentino 5, Atkins 5, Marata 4, de la Paz 3, Webb 2, Vosotros 0, Paredes 0, Elorde 0, Ferdinand 0, Banal 0.

Quarters: 18-11; 39-21; 61-40; 74-57.



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