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La Salle trips UST, completes UAAP semis cast

September 2, 2010 9:53pm

Make way for UAAP Season 73's Final Four cast: League-leading Far Eastern University, defending champion Ateneo, contender Adamson and returning La Salle.

x-FEU Tamaraws 10-2
x-Ateneo Blue Eagles 9-3
x-Adamson Falcons 8-4
x-La Salle Green Archers 8-4
NU Bulldogs 5-7
UST Growling Tigers 4-8
UE Red Warriors 4-8
UP Fighting Maroons 0-12
x - clinched Final Four berth

The Green Archers completed the semifinal cast on Thursday needing a solid effort down the stretch to boot out struggling University of Santo Tomas, 78-69, in the UAAP men's basketball tournament at the Araneta Coliseum.

La Salle finished tied for fifth with Adamson last season missing the semifinals for the first time since the Final Four format was used by the league in 1994.

Behind a balanced attack, the Taft-based squad leaned on a strong second quarter windup before keeping the Tigers at bay in the final two periods to capture their eighth win in 12 outings.

La Salle notched a record 15th overall Final Four appearance while also allowing idle Adamson to earn a free ride into the next round – only the Falcons' second.

"I'm glad we're in already," said coach Dindo Pumaren, who has never missed a Final Four since he started coaching in 2004 for University of the East.

The loss brought the Tigers down into a tie for sixth with University of the East to join National U in missing the semifinal bus.

UST has lost six of its last seven games for a 4-8 record failing to reach the Final Four for the second time in the last three seasons.

Joshua Webb, playing in his third season, scored 14 points, 11 of which came in the second half, to power the Archers in beating the Tigers for the 22nd time in 23 of their meetings dating back to Game 2 of the 1999 Dinals.

Simon Atkins, named the UAAP Press Corps Player of the Week, also made 14 points and four assists while Maui Villanueva added 11 markers and 10 rebounds.
UST's Chris Camus (left) collides with La Salle's Simon Atkins (center) while Yutien Andrada looks on during their game in the 73rd UAAP men's basketball tournament on Thursday at the Big Dome. GMANews.TV

Point guard Joel Tolentino also provided offensive spark tallying seven points, six rebounds and seven assists.

Tolentino contributed offensively during the second period hitting two consecutive triples to give La Salle a 36-24 spread with a minute left before halftime. That came after UST fought for most of the first half.

"We executed well towards the end but the first two quarters we were struggling, maybe because of the pressure," said Pumaren.

The Archers also had 44 rebounds and 11 steals.

Melo Afuang scored 15 of his 19 points in the first half while Jeric Teng, Jeric Fortuna and Aljon Mariano chipped in 14, 13 and 10 markers each.

Chris Camus struggled with just four points and nine boards. – JVP, GMANews.TV

La Salle 78 - Webb 14, Atkins 14, Villanueva 11, Marata 9, Mendoza 8, Tolentino 7, Ferdinand 7, Andrada 7, de la Paz 1, Vosotros 0, Tampus 0, Paredes 0.

UST 69 - Afuang 19, Teng 14, Fortuna 13, Mariano 10, Bautista 9, Camus 4, Pe 0, Lo 0, Daquioag 0, Aytona 0.

Quarter scores: 17-18, 36-27, 53-46, 78-69.
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