BLUE EAGLES DRUB TAMARAWS FOR 8TH STRAIGHT TRIUMPH
MANILA, August 25, 2003 (MALAYA) By MARIVIC AWITAN - Streaking Ateneo came up with a big fourth quarter surge to beat Far Eastern U 87-63 yesterday and grab a share of the leadership in the 66th UAAP cage wars at the Araneta Coliseum.
The win was the Blue Eagles' eighth straight after opening up the season with two straight losses. They are now tied with their latest victims with both needing two more wins to secure a top two slot in the Final Four and the twice-to-beat advantage that goes with it.
All due to a stifling zone-press defense resulting in a massive 13-0 blast sparked by JC Intal opening up the decisive period that pulled them away for good from a 52-all count.
The lead even ballooned to as much as 77-57 with Larry Fonacier, LA Tenorio and Wesley Gonzales hitting at least a triple each.
"We just caught them flat-footed in that zone-press and they were not able to break that," said Ateneo coach Joel Banal after his wards avenged their 65-75 loss to the same team in the first round.
"We were also able to control the rebound. When we play zone, it helped us limit their offensive rebounding because they are the No. 1 offensive rebounding team in the league," he added.
Adamson University kept its hopes alive of making it to the Final Four round by repeating over National University 85-67 earlier.
A stifling defense caused the Bulldogs offense to fizzle out in the middle quarters, enabling the Falcons to take the half 40-31 and erect a 62-42 lead at the end of the third.
The win improved the Falcons' record to an even 5-5, their best in more than 10 years, and gave them the chance to enter the next round for the first time since the Final Four was introduced in 1994.
The Bulldogs tried to stage a comeback with a 13-2 blast opening the fourth period, moving them within 64-72, still 1:12 to go.
Adamson 85 - Abadia 17, Tagupa 11, Cabahug 10, Hate 8, Tajonera 7, Poloyapoy 7, Bono 6, Sanbarosa 5, Alonzo 5, Catabay 4, Kong 3, Tiongco 2.
NU 67 - Cajayon 18, Baguion 17, Mendoza 14, Miclat 8, Tolentino 6, Catamora 3, Mollena 1, Malcontento 0, Malagueño 0, Balijon 0, Moradas 0.
Quarterscores: 22-21; 40-31; 62-42; 85-67.
Ateneo 87 - Alvarez 18, Gonzales 17, Fonacier 15, Tenorio 12, Bugia 10, Intal 7, Kramer 2, Membrere 2, Escalona 2, Uichico 2.
FEU 63 - Jones 15, Sinco 11, Santos 9, Sierra 7, Isip 6, Miranda 6, Rizada 6, Catli 3, Zablan 0, Yabut 0.
Quarterscores: 17-15; 35-36; 52-52; 87-63.
Reported by: Sol Jose Vanzi
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