MANILA,  September 7, 2004  (STAR) The Filipino cue masters got ambushed right in the first round of the 2004 World Pool Masters with former world 9-ball champion Efren "Bata" Reyes and reigning titlist Alex Pagulayan bowing out with heartbreaking losses to their respective rivals in Egmond aan Zee, Holland.

Reyes, who won in Cardiff in 1999 and came into the race-to-8, knockout-format event oozing with confidence with a victory in the just-concluded On Cue: The Continental Challenge, fell to Niels Fiejen, 7-8.

On the other hand, Pagulayan, winner of the world 9-ball in Taiwan and whom Reyes beat in the final of the Manila event, failed to flaunt his form and absorbed a stinging 5-8 loss to Nick Van Den Berg.

Also getting the boot in the upset-marred opener were American Johnny Archer, who fell to Luc Salvas, 6-8; Swede ace Mika Immonen, who lost to Marcus Chamat, 6-8; and another Filipino bet, Marlon Manalo, who was routed by former world 9-ball champion Thorsten Hohmman.

Even defending champion Tony Drago fell by the wayside in the tournament featuring 16 of the world’s top players, losing to Thomas Engert, 7-8.

Feijen, Europe’s No. 2, overcame the odds as he came from behind to beat the fancied Reyes, while Van den Berg, a Mosconi Cup hopeful, swept in to a 3-0 and never gave Pagulayan room for a comeback.

Tams, Eagles ready for duel By Joel Orellana, Reporter (from the MANILA TIMES)

Games Thursday(Philsports Arena) 1:30 p.m.–UP vs. NU 4 p.m.–La Salle vs. UE

FAR Eastern University and Ateneo de Manila University, last year’s finalists in the men’s basketball event of the University Athletic Association of the Philippines, are primed for another big showdown.

The defending champion Tamaraws and the Blue Eagles fashioned out contrasting wins against separate foes on Sunday to remain locked for the top spot—heading into a crucial clash this weekend that will determine the No. 1 team after the 67th UAAP season’s elimination round.

Ateneo got a big scare from the pesky National University side before scoring a 62-58 win, while FEU opened a 20-point margin midway through the fourth quarter to subdue the University of Santo Tomas, 66-57, at the Philsports Arena.

Both winning teams now carry 10-3 cards, so the victor of the Tamaraws-Eagles rematch on Saturday will gain the top rank in the Final Four and the twice-to-beat incentive along with it.

The loser of that match may face dangerous De La Salle University in a playoff for the No. 2 spot and the incentive if the Green Archers, current third with a 9-4 mark, prevail over fellow semifinalist University of the East (8-5), on Thursday.

“That will be a big game for both teams. For us, if we win, we will reach our goal, which is to be the top team after the eliminations,” said FEU mentor Koy Banal, who drew 16 points from Jeffrei Chan.

Chan engineered a second-half assault by the Tamaraws that gave them a 66-42 cushion, before the Growling Tigers unloaded their own 13-0 bomb to cut the FEU lead to 62-55, 53 seconds left.

But Dennis Miranda’s unusual one-handed 3-pointer—which actually was a pass for a cutting Arwind Santos—hit the mark and served as the dagger that finished off UST.

In the first game, Ateneo center Paolo Bugia hauled down the biggest offensive rebound of the game after an incomplete 3-point play that gave the Blue Eagles a 59-56 edge with 13.5 ticks left.

The NU Bulldogs wasted the opportunity to send the game in overtime after Marlon Mollena turned the ball over, his forward pass too strong for Jason Malcontento.

LA Tenorio was the only Blue Eagle in double figures with 11 points and 11 rebounds, although he shot an awful 1-of-11 from beyond the arc.

“NU played well, and I told the players we can’t afford to relax, said Ateneo head coach Sandy Arespacochaga who drew nine points from Bugia, Doug Kramer and JC Intal.

“Although this was the way we planned the game. We looked for a momentum game when we play FEU next,” he added.

But Ateneo will miss a big man in Kramer against the Tamaraws, as he was assessed for his second unsportsmanlike foul during the game for an automatic one-game suspension.

“He [Kramer] is a loss but not a big loss,” said Arespacochaga. “It will still be an exciting game [against FEU].”

Edwin Asoro led all scorers with 17 points for the Bulldogs, who remained winless in the second round for a tournament-worst 1-12 slate.

Reported by: Sol Jose Vanzi

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