UAAP: Defending champ Ateneo misses Final Four after 15 years-A A +A
Wednesday, September 18, 2013
FIGHTING for dear life, University of Santo Tomas advanced to the Final Four of the 76th UAAP men's basketball tournament at the expense of five-time defending champion Ateneo de Manila, 82-74, at the Araneta Coliseum in Quezon City on Wednesday.
"I give credit talaga dun sa mga players, sabi ko sa kanila, 'may ensayo pa ba tayo bukas o uwian na tayo, bakasyon na, or last game na si Jeric Teng?' Sabi nila hindi raw," UST coach Pido Jarencio told reporters.
Teng, who had to skip some games due to injury, sank six of his 17 points in the last 28 seconds to carry UST over the fighting Atenean quintet.
UST led by as many as 18 points in the first half on the back of Karim Abdul's 19 markers. But Ateneo surged in the third quarter, dropping 25 points to move within one, 51-52.
UST tried to pull away in the fourth, leading by 12 at one point, before Ateneo cut the deficit to three, 74-77, with 29.2 ticks remaining.
Teng perfected his charities in the next play as Juami Tiongson virtually ended Ateneo's season when he missed a crucial trey to the delight of thousands of yellow-clad fans.
"Nag-trust ako sa team namin, nakita ko talaga na ang puso nila gusto manalo. If you work as a as a team, if you work hard as a team, mahirap matibag yun," said Teng, who had 17 points and nine rebounds.
The Tigers (8-6) need to defeat league-leader National University (10-4) twice beginning on Sunday to make a back-to-back trip to the finals. The other twice-to-beat bonus will be disputed by La Salle and Far Eastern University on Saturday.
Ateneo's exit from the Final Four race was the first for the Quezon City-based dribblers in 14 years.
Kiefer Ravena finished with 20 points while Chris Newsome and Nico Elorde added 13 and 12 markers, respectively, for the Blue Eagles, who wound up fifth with 7-7 slate. (Virgil Lopez/Sunnex)