Saturday, 10 April 2010 4,552 Views / 134 Comments
THE RED Lions came in strong, but the Blue Eagles proved to be stronger.
Ateneo de Manila University leaned on a second half explosion to post an impressive 84-73 win over San Beda College in the first game of opening day action at the FilOil Flying V Tanduay Preseason Invitational at the Arena in San Juan.
Eric Salamat fired two consecutive three pointers in the four-minute mark of the third period to lead the Blue Eagles’ rally against the Mendiola five, which led by as many as 11 points in the first half.
Indeed, it was a tale of two halves, with San Beda owning the first. Sudan Daniel and Jake Pascual joined hands in a critical second quarter push, while Borgie Hermida’s breakaway lay-up with under 10 seconds gave the Red Lions their 11-point halftime edge.
Ateneo coach Norman Black said his squad’s nine three-point shots and 16 assists in the second half helped them bounce back in the game. The Blue and White also committed 10 less turnovers in the last 20 minutes after coughing up the ball 19 times in the first half alone. Black said his boys were not in good condition when the game started. “The goal [this summer] is to be in better condition to play better basketball,” he added.
But the collective efforts of Salamat, Nico Salva, Emman Monfort, Ryan Buenafe, rookie Jason Escueta and Chris de Chavez helped Ateneo maintain its hold on the game until the end. Salva was adjudged the game’s best player with 16 points and nine rebounds.
A short opening ceremony welcoming the 17 participating teams preceded the game.
Ateneo 84 – Monfort 16, Salva 16, Salamat 12, Escueta 10, de Chavez 10, Golla 5, Austria 4, Long 4, Buenafe 3, Gonzaga 2, Tiongson 2, Chua 0, Erram 0.
San Beda 73 – Dela Rosa 14, Lanete 12, Marcelo 12, Daniel 11, J. Pascual 5, A. Semerad 5, Hermida 4, Caram 2, Mendoza 2, K. Pascual 2, D. Semerad 2, Mendoza 2.
Quarter scores: 15-19, 32-43, 60-57, 84-73.