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UAAP: Eagles upset Archers, 65-64, to force 1 more game

September 27, 2007 5:26pm
The Ateneo Blue Eagles beat the La Salle Green Archers on Thursday by a single dramatic point, 65-64, giving themselves another chance to get into the finals of the UAAP men's basketball.

The Archers, headed by coach Franz Pumaren, have a twice-to-beat advantage against the Blue Eagles, headed by coach Norman Black. The Eagles' victory – earned before the usual jam-packed crowd at the Araneta Coliseum – gives them another shot at their arch rival Archers on Sunday (September 30).

Whoever wins in that sudden-death match gets to take a stab at the undefeated University of the East Red Warriors in the finals.

Chris Tiu, who shot bricks during the first half of play, became the Blue Eagles' hero for scoring 5 straight points, including the winning lay-up with 7.3 seconds left to give his team the all-important victory.

The No. 2-seeded Green Archers, who came into the game carrying a twice-to-beat advantage, missed out on the last play: Bader Malabes misfired on a three-point attempt as time expired, sending the throng of Ateneo supporters in a frenzy.

"We're happy we won the game," coach Black said after the game. "We couldn't do anything on offense. Luckily, Tiu made the lay-up and our defense held up. Tiu struggled the entire game, but he came up with the big shots when the game's on the line."

Tiu erupted with 7 points in the final period after being held to only a point in the first half. He finished with 14 markers.

Arao led the Eagles with 19, of which he made 10 in the first quarter. Noy Baclao and Eric Salamat each had 8 points.

The win was the Eagles' third in four meetings against the Archers, whose only victory earned them the No. 2 slot in the stepladder semifinals.

It was a bitter loss for the Archers, who had been leading most of the game, taking control in the early minutes. They gained headway in the third quarter, thanks to a 7-point output from Ty Tang, who top-scored with 20 points.

Main man Jayvee Casio, meanwhile, added 11 but struggled with only two treys in the game and scored only a point in the fourth quarter.

The Archers led at the end of every quarter, and was poised to put the game under wraps after entering the fourth period at 52-47. The Archers took a six-point lead twice, the first one at 54-48 on Rico Maierhofer's foiled three-point-play attempt.

Baclao's back-to-back tip-in shots for the Eagles tied the game for the last time at 54-all.

But Cholo Villanueva made a fast-break lay-up and Tan hit four straight points to put the Archers again on top, 63-58, time down to 2:20. Casio then put the score at 64-58 after a split free-throw, as the final quarter entered the two-minute mark.

The Eagles, who were given up for dead after La Salle erected that six point lead, erased their deficit on a 7-0 run, courtesy of Tiu's exploits and a lay-up by Ford Arao, to put the final tally at 65-64.

The Ateneo-La Salle fifth meeting on Sunday will be the most the arch rivals face each other since 2002. The two also played five times in that year, although three of the five games were played during the championship series.

The 65-64 decision marked the fourth straight time that the Ateneo-La Salle match was decided by 3 points or less. The Eagles swept its elimination round meetings with the Archers, scoring 80-77 and 89-87, while La Salle took the playoff match for the No. 2 seed, 70-69.

Quarter scores (DLSU vs ADMU): 16-15, 31-30, 52-47, 64-65
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