Eagles in full flight, inflict Tams 3rd loss
Olmin Leyba (The Philippine Star) - August 29, 2013 - 12:00am

Games on Saturday

(Smart Araneta Coliseum)

2 p.m. – AdU vs UP

4 p.m. – NU vs UE

MANILA, Philippines - Ateneo went humming like the champion team of old and crushed pacesetting Far Eastern U, 92-73, to breach the top four position in the UAAP Season 76 men’s basketball tournament at the Smart Araneta Coliseum yesterday.

With Juami Tiongson, Kiefer Ravena and Chris Newsome leading a torrid offensive, the Blue Eagles built an early 18-point bulge and pounded the flat Tams all game long en route to posting their fifth straight win for 6-4 overall.

The huge triumph put the Eagles into a tie for third with idle La Salle, just one game behind National U (7-3) and one and half off the still-leading Tams (8-3). FEU absorbed its third loss in four games after a sweep of the first round.

“I believe the winning tradition that Ateneo has had in the previous years is coming into play now. That’s what’s happening and of course, our emphasis on making stops,” said Ateneo’s Bo Perasol.

The Eagles, who led by as many as 33 at 73-43 in the third, shot 33-of-71 or 46.5 percent. They choked the Tams to 27-of-78 (35.6 percent) clip, allowing FEU only 11 points in the first quarter, and 17 markers each in the middle periods.

“The significance of this win is that we’re able to go into the Top Four and tie La Salle. I was telling the team during halftime that it’s not about the lead, it’s about the necessity to win. If we’re not going to win, we’re not going to be in the top 4. And they responded well,” said Perasol.

Tiongson rifled in 20 points, spiked by three-of-five shooting from beyond the arc, while Ravena added 18 markers plus nine rebounds and five assists and Newsome had 11 points and 14 boards.

“I commend Juami and the others for stepping up,” said Perasol.

“You got to give credit where credit is due and that’s to coach Bo for coaching even though he just underwent surgery,” said Tiongson.

Perasol had his kidney stones removed but went against doctor’s advice to rest and joined the Eagles in practice and called the shots in this crucial game.

Injury-hit University of Santo Tomas bucked the absence of team leader Jeric Teng to score an 80-67 triumph over Adamson and snap a three-game skid in the other game.

Karim Abdul fired 19 points, grabbed 12 rebounds and had four blocks while Ed Daquiaog banged in 17 and Aljon Mariano added 16 as the hobbling Tigers improved to 5-5 and kept their semis aspirations alive. The Falcons suffered their sixth straight setback and 3-8 overall, their season virtually over.

Teng sat out the match due to the hamstring injury he suffered in his come-back game against NU last time, joining Pipoy Marata and Jon Macasaet (both ACL injuries) and Ryan So (LCL) in sick bay.

Meanwhile, UAAP commissioner Chito Loyzaga defended his decision to slap a pair of two-game suspensions against University of the East’s Charles Mammie and Lord Casajeros. 

Mammie, he explained, should have been called for an unsportsmanlike foul for “sticking out his foot on the landing area of shooter (Romeo) in their last game. Mammie had already been assessed two previous unsportsmanlike fouls that earlier led to a one-game ban in the first round. 

“That’s his third offense. Based on UAAP rules, you get a warning for your first offense, a one-game suspension for your second and a two-game suspension for your third,” he said. 

As for Casajeros, Loyzaga said during the tape review, he saw the UE guard “either throwing a punch or using an elbow” from the blindside to bring down Romeo” but escaped with an infraction in the second quarter. 

“I believe that kind of intention deserved a high penalty. In my personal opinion, if that foul was seen by the referees, it should have been a disqualifying foul right then and there,” he said.  

Later in the first overtime, Casajeros was slapped an unsportsmanlike foul for swinging an elbow to the face of Romeo. 

UE, however, said it will appeal the two-game suspensions on Mammie and Casajeros.

“We’ll file a formal appeal to the (UAAP) technical committee tomorrow (today) to downgrade (the infraction), if not lift the suspensions,” UE PE director and representative to the UAAP board Rod Roque said.

Roque and coach Boycie Zamar sat down with Loyzaga last night to discuss the cases.

“We talked with the commissioner to clarify things about the calls which led to the suspensions. He explained it very well to us. But there are two parties involved here so there are two interpretations. On our side, we felt there was no intention (to hurt) on the part of Mammie, same with Casajeros,” said Roque.

The Warriors camp said should the technical committee junk their appeal, they are ready to elevate it to the board level.

The Warriors are slated to face streaking National U on Saturday.

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