NBA
Avenge bitter UAAP loss: Tigers finally hurdle Eagles, rule PCCL
Joey Villar (The Philippine Star) - December 8, 2012 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - University of Santo Tomas claimed a first-ever championship in the Philippine Collegiate Champions League, beating Ateneo in a scrambling finish, 81-76, yesterday and outclassing UAAP final tormentor before a packed crowd at the Ynares Sports Center in Pasig City.

Kevin Ferrer scored on a putback off Karim Abdul miss in the closing seconds, virtually scuttling whatever hopes the Eagles had after rallying from 12 points down in the last two minutes to move within three, 76-79, on Kiefer Ravena’s charities.

“Nakabawi din sa kanila (We finally got back at them),” said Jeric Teng, who took charge in a telling UST run early in the fourth, scoring 13 points in that stretch, including three triples that helped give the Tigers a double-digit lead.

He finished with 22 points while Ferrer backed him up with 21 points for the España-based squad, which clinched the best-of-three series, 2-1, for their maiden victory in the annual event that gathered the country’s best collegiate teams.

The victory, worth P700,000, also avenged UST’s stinging two-game sweep at the hands of Ateneo in the 75th UAAP season that gave the Eagles their fifth straight championship.

“This one’s for the UST community and the people who supported us all along,” said UST coach Pido Jarencio, who was later named Coach of the Year.

For his finals heroics, Teng took the MVP honors. He was later joined in the Mythical First team by teammates Jeric Fortuna and Abdul and Ateneo’s Greg Slaughter and Ravena.

The title romp was also a fitting farewell gift to playmaker Jeric Fortuna and Carmelo Afuang, who played their last game for UST in a five-year tour of duty that went short of a UAAP crown.

“It’s nice to play our last game for UST with a championship,” said Fortuna, who hit a tough, running jumper in one crucial stretch.

Up by just two points, UST went to Teng, who fueled a blistering 17-5 run he capped with a huge triple that saw the Tigers erect a 79-67 lead with over two minutes to go.

But Ateneo refused to give up as it uncorked a nine-point barrage, including seven straight by Ryan Buenafe that closed the gap at 76-79 with 39.5 seconds remaining. 

But Ferrer soared high for a follow-up of Abdul miss and then the Tigers made key stops on the other end to secure UST’s biggest and most memorable victory since beating Ateneo in a 2-1 series win in the 2006 UAAP season.

In an act of sportsmanship, Slaughter and Abdul traded uniforms at the end of the match and wore it as tribute to each other.

“I’ve always wanted to have his (Slaughter) jersey,” said Abdul.               

 

ABDUL ATENEO BUT ATENEO BUT FERRER COACH OF THE YEAR GREG SLAUGHTER AND RAVENA JERIC FORTUNA AND ABDUL AND ATENEO JERIC FORTUNA AND CARMELO AFUANG UST
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