Ateneo intensifies F4 bid, rips Fighting Maroons

6 09 2007

Ateneo relied on a huge second half attack last September 6 to deal winless University of the Philippines a stinging 93-59 setback – its 12th straight loss – in the 70th UAAP men’s basketball at the Ninoy Aquino Stadium.

After engaging in a close fight in the first half, the Blue Eagles were virtually unstoppable scoring big baskets to outscore the Fighting Maroons in the third period (24-8) and the final quarter (29-17) en route to their eighth victory after 12 games.

“We started lame but my boys were able to finish the game on high note,” said Blue Eagles mentor Norman Black. “It seems the players have kept their aggression after beating reigning champ UST in their last game.”

Ahead by 40-34 at halftime, Ateneo started the onslaught after uncorking a 12-2 attack early in the third quarter capped by Eric Salamat’s three-point play plus two baskets during a run that provided them a huge 52-36 bubble with 4:12 minutes to go.

The Fighting Maroons, who stayed winless in 12 games, couldn’t execute their game due to the Blue Eagles’ clogging defense. UP was kept scoreless most of the time particularly in the third period.

The Blue Eagles had an insurmountable 84-51 advantage after Kirk Long, who chipped in for 9- points, scored a long two-pointer with 4:11 minutes left in the game. And from there, the UP Fighting Maroons never recovered.

Salamat, a former San Sebastian College junior standout in NCAA juniors, paced Ateneo with 18 points on a 6-of-7 shooting from the field and converting 6-of-7 attempts from the foul line.

Clifford Arao dominated the shaded lane with 13 points and nine rebounds, while playmaker Eman Monfort and Severino Buclao added 10-points each.

The Fighting Maroons, without any player in double digit figures, were led by rookie Soc Rivera who marked 9-points.

Ateneo was on target, tallying 35-out-of-64 (54.7%) in total field goal shooting against 21-out-of-67 (31.3%) for UP.

The Blue Eagles, were ahead in rebounding, 43-39, got more assists than the Fighting Maroons, 21-12. Ateneo also had more steals with 7 against the UP’s 2 steals.

Individual scores:

Ateneo 93: Salamat 18, Arao 13, Baclao 10, Monfort 10, Long 9, Laterre 7, Al-Hussaini 6, Tiu 5, Baldos 4, Escueta 4, Sumalinog 3, Reyes, Barracoso 1.

UP 59: Rivera 9, Reyes 8, Marfori 7, Lopez 7, Gamboa 7, Sison 6, De Asis 6, Victoria 3, Agbayani 3, Epres 2, Serios 1, Wong 0.

Quarter scores: 21-21, 40-34, 64-42, 93-59

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