MANILA, September 23, 2005 
(STAR) By Joey Villar - It’s Ateneo versus La Salle and Far Eastern University against University of the East in the Final Four.

The Eagles sealed the semifinal pairings by ripping the Warriors, 76-65, yesterday in the 68th UAAP basketball tournament at the Araneta Coliseum.

JC Intal sizzled with 21 points while Doug Kramer chipped in 16 on top of 16 big rebounds as Ateneo claimed its third straight win over UE, the No. 3 spot and an expected explosive showdown with archrival and defending champion La Salle on Sunday at the same venue.

UE, for its part, plays FEU, which topped the elimination round with 12 wins and two losses, in the other Final Four game.

"This is the first time our big men had the legs, we haven’t been getting that production from them lately, it’s a good sign," said Ateneo coach Norman Black.

The Eagles, however, would be hard-pressed against the Archers, who clinched No. 2 spot outright after emerging with the highest quotient from a three-way tie, needing two wins to book a return trip to the finals in three years.

"It’s an exam we haven’t been able to pass, we have to study and prepare hard against them (Archers). It’s a problem we have to solve," said Black.

Ateneo seized a 53-39 advantage – it’s biggest – early in the third quarter but UE closed the gap a 51-54 on the strength of Jorel Canizares’ constant outside sniping.

It was the closest the Warriors could get as the Eagles had every answer to gain the win.

Kramer churned in 12 point and collared nine rebounds as early as the first half as the Eagles went to the break with a 41-32 lead.

He got help from Magnum Membrere, who had eight points in a second quarter stretch when Ateneo turned a 21-19 advantage to a 37-24 lead midway in the second period.

Canizares then scored six points in an 8-4 exchange as UE closed in going into the break.

Government footing half of SEAG bill — PSC By Abac Cordero The Philippine Star 09/23/2005

The government will end up spending more than what was originally planned regarding the country’s hosting of the 23rd Southeast Asian Games this year.

Philippine Sports Commission chairman Butch Ramirez yesterday said that with 65 days left before the SEA Games, the government, and not the Philippine SEA Games Organizing Committee, has provided most of the funding.

"There have been statements that government contributions to our hosting are weak," said the chairman of the PSC, the government’s funding arm in sports.

"The President had given P300 million via DBM (Department of Budget and Management) and it goes through the PSC. What Philsoc needs, we give it to them," said Ramirez.

"And with what we have released (from Malacañang), only a little has yet to come out. I don’t want to go into details but the PSC will spend another P150 to P200 million for the training, venues and equipment," he added.

"There are other contributions that we’ve done silently. But in due time I will announce so the people will know that government has contributed almost 50 percent of the whole SEA Games operation."

Ramirez said tax exemptions on the importation of the needed equipment, technical and those needed by the athletes, plus the fact that more than a hundred PSC employees now working for Philsoc are just some of the "unquantifiable contributions."

As soon as Philsoc was formed more than a year ago, it was announced that it would shoulder 70 percent of the needed P1 billion to organize and run the Games.

Philsoc, now under Philippine Olympic Committee president Jose Cojuangco, said the remaining 30 percent would come from the government. This represents the P300 million that would come from Malacañang.

Philsoc had said it would maximize private funding for the SEA Games unlike during the 1991 Manila SEA Games when the government shouldered most of the expenses.

Philsoc has succeeded in luring Globe, PLDT and the Lucio Tan Group of Companies into its "gold" sponsorship package worth at least P100 million.

Other companies have either availed themselves of the "silver" worth P50 million or "bronze" worth P30 million or less. But these sponsorships are not purely on a cash basis but rather operational or product-based.

It has also tried to get financial help from the Senate and the House of Congress.

Philsoc, therefore, runs to the government, when it needs cash. Ramirez, however, said the government wouldn’t stop giving for as long as there’s something to give.

"We’re still committed to the whole operation," he said.

Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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