MANILA -- De La Salle University went mightier in the last two minutes to end its two-year losing skid against archrival Ateneo, 66-63, at the Araneta Coliseum in Quezon City Saturday night.
Second year Samuel “Tata” Marata made back-to-back triples to erase the nine-point lead of Ateneo, 65-63, with 1:26 remaining in the last canto.
King Archer Simon Atkins, on the other hand, split his charities in the last 17.6 seconds as Ateneo bigman Justin Chua failed to register two attempts beyond the arc to the delight of thousands of La Salle fans.
La Salle never won a game against Ateneo since the first round of Season 71, the prime reason why the Green Archers fired up in crunch time to end just that.
“I don’t know what to say. I’m just very happy,” said debuting La Salle mentor Dindo Pumaren.
Pumaren, who took over the coaching chores of La Salle after multi-titled brother capped his mentoring career in 2009, said his wards are hungry for the win.
“It’s been two years and the boys really just fired up,” he said.
Marata finished with 12 points, nine of which came from the outside, four rebounds and two assists while teammate Joshua Webb produced 12 points as well.
Chua topscored for Ateneo with 16 points and eight rebounds while Eman Monfort added 11 points.
Some 16,556 people watched the game based on gate attendance. (Virgil Lopez/Sunnex)