Ateneo draws first blood in UAAP finals-A A +A
Saturday, September 25, 2010
MANILA -- Ateneo became unshakeable and showed its championship poise the entire 40-minute contest to rip the hapless pre-season favorite Far Eastern University (FEU), 72-49, in Game 1 of the 73rd University Athletic Association of the Philippines (UAAP) men’s basketball tournament finals.
The win also went down as the most lopsided championship game in 12 years, barely matching the 72-47 blowout victory of La Salle ironically against FEU.
The Blue Eagles virtually grabbed the win in the first quarter, hacking out a 15-0 run to turn a precarious 9-6 advantage to a 24-6 rout in the closing seconds, much to the dismay of the crowd in green who endured Ateneo’s smashing vendetta in the last three quarters.
The Tamaraws beat Ateneo twice in the double-round eliminations, decided by a total winning margin of just five points.
But the boys from Katipunan never gave the Morayta-based cagers a chance to crack their stifling defense, after limiting the startled quintet to its lowest output for the season and eclipsing their 66-80 stinging setback to La Salle last month.
FEU was held to 63 points in their first round loss to Adamson last August 12.
“We were completely outplayed. We failed to caught up with their speed. I am very disappointed and embarrassed. They executed 10 times better than we did. You can attribute the loss to two things, experience and preparation,” said FEU athletic director Mark Molina.
But Ateneo coach Norman Black believed that championship experience was a non-factor in Saturday’s emphatic victory, saying that preparation and defensive prowess were the key.
“We haven’t thought about that going into this game. We just want to win the championship although we have been before and some guys are here in the past two years. It’s just we want to go out and win again, nothing more, nothing less,” he said. “We’re happy, we’re excited (to win the title) but we know that FEU is going to bounce back.” (Virgil Lopez/Sunnex)