Sunday, August 10, 2008

Ateneo avenges only defeat in the UAAP

Blue Nation in Jubilation

In the past, the FEU Tamaraws always found ways to beat the Ateneo Blue Eagles, as evidenced in the first round, the undermanned Tamaraws dealt the Blue Eagles their first loss in Season 71. The good thing with the Eagles is that they managed to claw back and get back at these hard fighting Tamaraws. Eric Salamat was the key ingredient to the Blue Eagles’ mix as he scattered 8 fourth quarter points enroute to a career high 18 points on the strength of 4 three pointers to lift Ateneo over the FEU Tams 78-74.

No more shooting woes for Long

The Tamaraws started out strong, as if they wanted to prove that their first round win was not a fluke, as Paul Sanga started like a house on fire by canning two three pointers to give FEU a 10-5 lead in the first four minutes of the game. The Eagles went inside while the Tams got their points from the outside and by doing that the Eagles got 10 free throws with which they converted only 6 free throws of the 10 given them. FEU ended the first quarter on top 15-13.

The second quarter started with the Tamaraws making headway and trying to put the Eagles away by taking a 25-17 after the red hot Paul Sanga converted two three pointers plus a John Alisbo jumper. With an eight point deficit, Ateneo captain Chris Tiu took the cue to take charge of the Ateneo offense by scoring on a fastbreak and a three pointer to put the Ateneans within striking distance at 24-27. Rabah Al-Husaini and Jai Reyes put the finishing touches of the quarter with a 12-6 Ateneo run capped by four free throws of Rabah and a three pointer by Jai to end the first half. The Eagles had 8 turnovers while the Tams had 9 with Ateneo having 8 fastbreak points as against none by the Tamaraws.

No. 19 - I RAB YOU!!!

At the start of the third quarter it was now the time of the Eagles to impose their will on the tamaraws as Chris , Ryan and Rabah combined to give Ateneo a 45-37 lead with 6:40 to play. Again, the Tamaraws refused to buckle as they went to Riel Cervantes and Ben Fernandez to cut that Ateneo lead to a manageable 44-45 deficit with 5 minutes to play. Chris Tiu suddenly came alive again as he scored on a bank shot and a three pointer to give the Eagles another 5 point spread at 50-45. As the Tamaraws crawl back courtesy of Riel Cervantes, Eric Salamat took matters into his own hands as he racked up five consecutive points to give the Blue Eagles enough breathing room going to the penultimate quarter with a 57-51 lead.

What a play by Salamat - Thanks

As they say, Basketball is a game of spurts and reaction, so if one cannot control the other’s advances then one is bound to suffer the consequences. This game is just like that, Ateneo surges to a 15 point lead and FEU comes roaring back to cut it to two. The Eagles started the quarter with an avalanche of points as Eric Salamat and Kirk Long each nailed three pointers plus two more field goals that opened a 67-52 lead for Ateneo with 8:10 to play. The Tamaraws called for a time out and after that scored seven consecutive points on a drive by Jens Knuttel,bucket by Marlon Adolfo and three point play by Ben Fernandez to cut the lead to eight 67-59. Now it was the time for the Tamaraws to go on a scoring spree as they scattered 15 points the rest of the way and cut the gap to two points 74-76 with 1:03 remaining after Mark Barroca connected on a fastbreak. Dejavu? In the first round it was a similar situation, Ateneo led in the fourth quarter early on and the Tams caught up to beat them. This time Ateneo Coach Norman Black won’t let that happen again as he sued for time and mapped out an important possession for the team. After the huddle , the ball went to their big man Rabah Al-Husainin on an isolation play and the big guy delivered with the most important field goal of the evening to give the Ateneans a 78-74 lead with 50 seconds left. FEU had a chance to put the lead down but Aldrech Ramos, the hero in their first round encounter muffed two free throws with 38 seconds left and Ateneo capitalized on this by wasting the time enroute to their 7th win.

Guys, please be seated
Nakarami na kayong jox ah

Eric Salamat scored 18 points, ahd 3 assists, 2 rebounds and 2 steals while Chris Tiu had 16 points 7, rebounds, 3 assists and one steal and the big man Rabah Al-Husaini with 16 points. This win solidifies the Eagles hold on the first spot with a 7-1 slate followed by DLSU with a 6-2 card.

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