Eaglets get better of Baby Tams behind Manuel’s heroics

Norman Lee Benjamin Riego on Feb 04, 2017 05:13 PM
Eaglets get better of Baby Tams behind Manuel’s heroics
A VERY LONG ENGAGEMENT. Ateneo and FEU-Diliman are tied 1-1 in their head-to-head matchup.

Many scores are yet to be settled in the UAAP 79 Juniors Basketball Tournament, but one thing is already for certain – Ateneo de Manila High School and Far Eastern University-Diliman will be going at it at least two more times.

Proving he also has the clutch genes his brother possesses, Joaqui Manuel fired five of his 18 points in the last two minutes to shoot the Blue Eaglets over the Baby Tamaraws, 75-70, on Saturday at the San Juan Arena.

Coming up big in their biggest game of their season thus far, the younger brother of Jett Manuel buried a big-time triple that morphed a two-point deficit into a one-point advantage.

Following a defensive stop, Manuel then made good on a couple of charities to extend their lead to 73-70. Splits from the line from Dave Ildefonso and Jason Credo moments later finished the game and entangled Ateneo and FEU-Diliman in the standings now at 11-3.

In all, the Eaglets rode a 7-0 rush to battle back from a 67-70 disadvantage inside the last four minutes.

Jason Credo and SH Belangel chipped in 13 points each in what was the Katipunan kids’ first win against the top two teams in the tournament – Nazareth School of National University and FEU-Diliman.

RJ Abarrientos and LJ Gonzales scored 14 and 13 points, respectively, in the losing effort for the Baby Tamaraws.

Ateneo and FEU-Diliman meet again on Thursday to determine who between them will be the second-seed and have the twice-to-beat advantage.

After that, the two teams will remained paired with each other in the semifinals.

In turn, the Blue Eaglets’ win and the Baby Tamaraws’ loss gifted the top-seed to NU.

Nonetheless, the defending champions went all out in their non-bearing matchup with former league-leader Adamson High School.

Backed by a jam-packed half of the arena, however, it was the Baby Falcons who eventually ended the victor, 70-68.

Showing support to Encho Serrano, the suspended former frontrunner for MVP, students from San Marcelino filled up half of the venue and kept on making noise for their boys even as the Bullpups went ahead, 60-47, after three quarters.

Boosted by their boisterous crowd, Adamson went on an unbelievable 22-4 tear to take a 69-64 lead inside the last two minutes.

John Lloyd Clemente kept the game interesting and NU threatening at 68-69 with 37 ticks to go, but the Baby Falcons stood strong on defense as Jason Celis sealed the deal with a split from the stripe.

Carl Tamayo and Gerry Abadiano were the only Adamson players in double-digits, but had five other teammates contribute at least seven points.

The Baby Falcons wind up their season at the bottom of the standings at 2-12, but, without a doubt, go out with a bang in what could have been a championship season.

Clemente topped the scoring column for the Bullpups with 21 points. Even with the loss, they ended the elimination round with the best record at 12-2 and are assured of the top-seed.

The defending champions will next meet whoever will win in the fourth-seed playoff between De La Salle Zobel and University of Sto. Tomas on Thursday.

BOX SCORES

THIRD GAME

ATENEO 75 – Manuel 18, Credo 13, Belangel 13, Berjay 9, Sotto 8, Angeles 8, Ildefonso 5, Escalona 1, Salazar 0, Flores 0, Afable 0

FEU-DILIMAN 70 – Abarrientos 14, Gonzales 13, Gloria 11, Sapinit 9, Roman 8, Gabane 7, Celzo 2, Jabel 2, Alforque Roy 2, Baclay 2, Alforque Ram 0

QUARTER SCORES: 23-18, 41-37, 61-58, 75-70

FOURTH GAME

ADAMSON 70 – Tamayo 13, Abadiano 11, Umayao 9, Santos 9, Padrigao 8, Celis 8, Agbong 7, Antiporda 3, Beltran 2, Desoyo 0, Sabandal 0

NU 68 – Clemente 21, Fortea 11, Tolentino 10, Malonzo 6, Sarip 6, Coyoca 4, Manalang 3, Callejo 3, Amsali 2, Penano 2, Peralta 0, Dela Cruz 0

QUARTER SCORES: 15-16, 30-33, 47-60, 70-68

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