TAMS SWEEP BLUE EAGLES

MANILA, OCTOBER 6, 2003 (MALAYA) By MARIVIC AWITAN - Far Eastern U beat Ateneo 69-56 last night at the Araneta Coliseum to complete a sweep of their championship duel and win the most coveted seniors basketball crown in the 66th UAAP.

Much like in their 83-65 victory in the best-of-three series' opener last Thursday, the Tamaraws used a sustained attack from the second period on to lead by as many as 17 points.

The Blue Eagles' bid to extend the series seemed a very distinct possibility when they came out strong and managed to keep it a 17-all count after the first period.

The defending champions even whittled the deficit to just seven points late in the third quarter and trailed by just 50-60, with still 2:58 to go.

But the Tamaraws were simply irrepressible and held on win their first title since 1997 and 17th in all, second only to University of the East's 18 total.

Arwind Santos, earlier named as defensive player of the year, scored only two points but was still voted as Finals MVP.

University of the East shooting guard James Yap was surprisingly named league MV P over statistical leader Mark Cardona of La Salle.

Yap, who was only No. 4 in the statistical race, bagged the award after getting the majority of votes from the players/coaches and media.

Joining Yap in the Mythical Team are FEU's Santos, Rey Mendoza of National U, UE's Paul Artadi and Ateneo's Alvarez.

La Salle's Joseph Kenneth Casio was named Rookie of the Year and Koy Banal was adjudged Coach of the Year.

In the juniors division, Ken Barracoso of Ateneo was named MVP to lead a Mythical Team that also has Jerome Tungkol of UE, Jay Leyga of UST, Arvin Villanueva of UPIS and David Atkins of La Salle.

Adamson's Dorothy Torres bagged the top individual plum in the distaff side. She is joined in the Mythical Team by teammate Minerva Narcisa, La Salle's Aimee Manosca and Regina Velarde and UP's Camille Dowling.

Carlo Medina sank the winning basket in the last 15 seconds as Ateneo escaped with an 84-82 victory over the Adamson Baby Falcons for the juniors crown.

Fil-Nigerian rookie Aewo Arayi made two crucial baskets in the dying minutes as the Lady Falcons pulled off a 46-44 win over the Lady Maroons to sweep the best-of-3 title series and end a 10-year barren spell.

Head coach Emelia Vega was named MVP when Adamson last won the title in 1993. She took the coaching job in 1998.

The scores:

FEU 69 - Catli 16, Rizada 11, Jones 10, Chan 9, Isip 7, Sinco 7, Miranda 7, Santos 2, Razon 0, Sierra 0.

Ateneo 56 - Fonacier 18, Tenorio 11, Alvarez 9, Bugia 6, Arao 6, Del Rosario 4, Membrere 2, Gonzales 2, Kramer 0, Intal 0, Escalona 0.

Quarterscores: 17-17; 39-26; 49-39; 69-56.


Reported by: Sol Jose Vanzi

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