Friday, 11 June 2010 14 Comments
IT was indeed a sweltering afternoon, not just because of the summer heat, but thanks to back-to-back nail-biters at the 16th Father Martin Summer Cup last June 10 at the St. Placid Complex in Mendiola.
When the dust settled, Ateneo de Manila University and Mapúa Institute of Technology set up a winner-take-all championship showdown by disposing off their pesky rivals.
Kirk Long’s game-winning triple at the buzzer resounded carried the reigning UAAP champion Ateneo past University of Perpetual Help System Dalta, 86-83 in the second semifinal. With everyone at the edge of their seats, Long received an in-bounds pass from Bacon Austria while literally “waiting in the wings,” and then hit a three-pointer almost five feet away from the line, with his defender too late to catch up.
That dagger sent the entire Blue Eagle bench in a frenzy, frantically celebrating at mid-court. Just the day before, the Blue Eagles were surprisingly bounced out of another summer league, the 2010 FilOil Flying V Tanduay First Five Invitational Cup, by Adamson University.
Long finished with 15 points for the Blue Eagles, while Nico Salva garnered team-high honors with 21 markers.
This spoiled Jett Vidal’s late game heroics for Perpetual Help as replicated a stellar performance in the FilOil tiff two weeks ago against De La Salle University. He nailed eight three points — four in the last two minutes of the game — to finish with 28 points.
Ateneo was still up 76-69 with 2:30 remaining when Vidal started getting open looks—and making them, as he scored 12 of the Altas’ last 14 points. His first miss was a highly-contested jumper with a little under five ticks remaining, but forward George Allen caught the miss for a quick follow-up to knot the game at 83.
In the first game, 2008 NCAA Rookie of the Year Allan Mangahas scored on a clutch teardrop from the right baseline with 16.7 seconds in the game to give a determined Mapúa unit its first lead since early in the second quarter, and ultimately the game, 66-65 over Far Eastern University.
The Cardinals, who were without their head coach Chito Victolero during the game, stayed within striking distance despite trailing for most of the game. FEU, which played the game sans big man Reil Cervantes, had an opportunity to snatch the game back with ample time on the clock and their best players on the court, led by lefty guard RR Garcia, Pipo Noundou and the comebacking Philippine Developmental team member Aldrech Ramos.
But Garcia, on an isolation play, misfired on a potential game winning jumper. Ramos then missed on a point-black putback attempt as time expired.
Garcia led FEU with 22 points, while rookie swingman Gryann Mendoza added 16.
The Blue Eagles and Cardinals battle for the title this Saturday, June 12, also in the campus of San Beda College.
Mapúa 66 – Mangahas 14, Sarangay 13, Ranises 9, Acosta 8, Cornejo 8, Guillermo 8, Banal 4, Stevens 2, Cabrera 0, Cinco 0, Maniego 0, Ighalo 0, Pascual 0.
FEU 65 – Garcia 22, Mendoza 16, Noundou 12, Ramos 8, Exciminiano 2, Sanga 2, Knuttel 2, Bringas 1, Romeo 0, Cawaling 0, Cruz 0, Foronda 0, Antonio 0, Manalo 0.
Quarter scores: 20-20, 34-35, 48-53, 66-65.
Ateneo 86 – Salva 21, Long 15, Salamat 8, Tiongson 8, dela Cruz 6, de Chavez 6, Golla 6, Austria 5, Erram 4, Escueta 4, Gonzaga 3.
Perpetual Help 83 – Vidal 28, Allen 19, Danganan 11, Ynion 7, Sumera 5, Gomez 4, Alano 3, Kintanar 0, Asuncion 0, Arboleda 0.
Quarter scores: 20-22, 41-36, 59-56, 86-83.