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Younger Marata picks up from where late uncle left off

The late Ric Ric Marata will surely be proud to see his nephew, Samuel Joseph Marata, playing the role as clutch performer for La Salle. The younger Marata went perfect from beyond-the-arc, drilling in all of his four triples, including two in a see-saw encounter between fierce rivals La Salle and Ateneo. His perfect shooting enabled the Green Archers to score a come-from-behind 66-63 win over the Blue Eagles on Saturday at the jampacked Araneta Coliseum. The elder Marata was a former Three-point King in the 1994 and 1996 PBA All-Star Games. He died last April that left Sam and another nephew, Cyrus Baguio, as the second-generation of Maratas playing in the big-time basketball scene. Playing probably the biggest game of his early career as an Archer, Sam preserved his best against his team's archrival, Ateneo. He drilled in a triple from the right quarter court, his third, to shove his team to within a point, then let loose another one from top of the key for a 65-63 La Salle lead as the green gallery saw the imminent fall of the reigning two-time defending champions. The more experienced Eagles crumbled and could not match the end-game heroics of the 6-foot-2 Marata, who went berserk in homestretch. - JVP, Rey Joble, GMANews.TV