The University of Manila Hawks copped their sixth title after beating the STI College Olympians 68 – 55 in Game 2 of the finals of the 10th National Athletic Association of Schools Colleges and Universities. The win avenged the 2007 loss of the Hawks to the same team. Leading the way for the Hawks is rookie forward Eugene Torres who scored 30 points and was the thorn on the side of the Olympians. The Olympians shut down the league’s scoring champion Rhandelle Colina as the hot shooting Colina ended his NAASCU career with a zero point production. Unfortunately for the Olympians, Torres would rise up to the occasion and tow the now six-time champions.
The game was played in spurts as the Hawks started on a 7 – 0 tear courtesy of Torres and second year center Jay Ar Manuel. The Olympians then countered as Norman Ihalas and Hesed Gabo scored to give the Olympians a 9-7 lead. Unfortunately for them it was their last stand as Eugene Torres waxed hot and took matters into his own hands. The 6-1 forward from Davao hit three more three pointers which gave the Hawks a commanding 23 – 13 lead after the first quarter.
From then on the Hawks would weather all rallies made by the Olympians as the rest of the Hawks contributed a dime or two to shut down the Olympians. Last year’s only returning mythical selectee Jerald Bautista was held to only one point, sophomore forward Cedric Ablaza scored only two points while rookie forward Abby Chavez who scored heavily in the final four shooting guard did not score. The defense of the Hawks was so suffocating that it did not give the hapless Olympians a chance to come back.
The NAASCU then gave Eugene Torres the league MVP award as the Forward from Davao was the most consistent Hawk all year long. Mythical five selectees included Torres, Colina, last year’s rookie of the year Jeff Alvin Viernes , RK Morales of the Olympians, Mark Montuaño of the Informatics Icons.
Norman Ihalas scores
Torres 30, Viernes 18, Manuel 11, Pateno 7, Tamayo 2, Rabalo 0, Ancheta 0, Colina 0, Tan 0.
Gabo 13, Morales 10, Betayene 10, Sabellina 8, Ihalas 8, Melano 3,
Ablaza 2, Bautista 1, Po 0, Daguplo 0, Villadoz 0, Riva 0, Bocablo 0, Chavez 0.
Quarter Scores 23 – 13; 45 – 29; 54 – 39; 68 – 55 Final