UAAP: ARCHERS OUTGUN FOES FOR PLAYOFF SEAT

MANILA, September 9, 2003 (STAR) By Joey Villar  - La Salle tore Adamsonís vaunted zone defense with a barrage of three-pointers as it hacked out an 82-74 victory yesterday to clinch a playoff for the last Final Four berth in the 66th UAAP basketball tournament at the Makati Coliseum.

Mark Cardona drilled in five of the Archersí season-high 14 triples that secured their seventh victory against five losses in a game originally scheduled last Sunday but was postponed after Falconsí Jojo Hate damaged the board at the Blue Eagle Gym.

"We thought that by playing the zone they could pull this win from us but we made adjustment by taking those outside shots," said La Salle coach Franz Pumaren.

The win also made up for a pair of disappointing losses to league doormats National University and University of the Philippines last week while dampening the backdoor bid of the Falcons.

But for two quarters, Adamson countered La Salleís awesome outside shooting with its inside game, thanks in large part to its talented foursome composed of Mark Kong, Chad Alonzo, Kenneth Bono and Hate.

But the Falcons failed to sustain that offensive firepower into the third quarter. Worse, they failed to clamp down on key La Salle shooters who continued to hit their shots from behind the three-point arc in the final half to build enough cushion to clinch the crucial win.

Cardona led the charge with 28 points in a solid performance that included nine rebounds, five steals and one assist as the Archers move a step closer to joining defending champion Ateneo (10-3), Far Eastern University (9-3) and University of the East (8-3) in the Final Four.

The Falcons absorbed their seventh defeat in 12 outings but could still force a playoff for the last semis berth with a sweep of their two games versus the Tams and the Warriors coupled with the Archersí defeat to the Eagles and the Warriors.


Reported by: Sol Jose Vanzi

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