UAAP 81 Jrs: Abarrientos erupts for 12 in OT as FEU hands Ateneo first loss
Philip Matel on Nov 25, 2018 05:14 PM
Virtually on one leg, RJ Abarrientos towed the FEU Tamaraws to a win over defending champs Ateneo Blue Eaglets.
FEU Baby Tamaraw RJ Abarrientos scored 12 of his 28 points in overtime as his team handed the defending champions, the Ateneo Blue Eaglets, their first loss, 87-80, in the continuation of the UAAP Season 81 Juniors' Basketball tournament at the Blue Eagle Gym Sunday.
Abarrientos, nephew of Morayta legend Johnny, was suffering from a strain in his left thigh and thus was being subbed in and out of the game, his minutes being controlled by head coach Allan Albano.
Blue Eaglet Ian Espinosa had just tied the game at 70-all as he followed up the miss of teammate JC Fetalvero.
FEU then called time and set up the play for the 5 foot 8 Abarrientos, but he missed badly, hitting the side of the board, with the players scrambling for the ball as time expired at the end of regulation.
Just below three minutes left in the extra period with the game tied at 72, Abarrientos hit a three from the right wing to give them the advantage.
On the next FEU possession, RR Tolentino had just narrowly missed a jump shot, which sailed into the hands of the 18-year old Abarrientos, who raced to the left corner, flung and swished the contested triple like it was nothing to extend the lead, 78-72.
As the home team managed to cut the lead to one, 78-77, with 90 seconds left, the Abarrientos hit another contested one from rainbow country to create an 81-77 cushion with 1:04 left.
Just 20 seconds later, the guard put the finishing touches, hitting the dagger triple, his 12th straight marker in the extra frame, and an 84-77 lead that would be insurmountable.
FEU and Ateneo are now tied for second place at 2-1.
"Halos di ko ineexpect yung mangyayari noong overtime eh. Syempre nandoon yung mentality ko na sabi sa akin ng mga coaches ko na, 'RJ, ready ka lang. Hindi ka magagamit nang matagal pero ready ka lang,'" said the guard, who recently won the FIBA U23 3x3 three-point shootout title.
Albano was all praises for his star player, who was unrelentless despite hitting a speed bump in such a crucial point of the game.
"Si RJ gusto niya maglaro talaga, gusto niya manalo, sa practice pa lang kita mo na sa mga mata niya gustong gusto niya manalo nagkataon lang na meron siyang injury hindi ko ginamit ng todo.
So nung ginamit ko siya at least nakapagpahinga siya. Hats off kay RJ Abarrientos."
Kai Sotto finished with 31 points for the blue and white, to go along with 14 rebounds and six rejections.
In the final game of the day, the De La Salle Santiago-Zobel Junior Archers sent the UE Junior Red Warriors to their third straight loss, 55-48.
Junior Archer Lance Jomalesa had a huge double-double of 15 points and 19 rebounds while Henrie Subido added 13 for the now 2-1 DLSZ.
Ralph Labao was the lone bright spot for his side, scoring 11 and grabbing 10 boards.
DLSZ was in control for the most of the game, leading by as much as 18 points, 40-22, courtesy of free throws from Subido.
FEU (87) -- Abarrientos 28, Torres 21, Sajonia 14, Alforque 7, Anonuevo 6, Bautista 5, Libago 4, Tolentino 2, Oña 0, Barasi 0, Bagunu 0, Sicat 0
Ateneo (80) -- Sotto 31, Chiu 11, Espinosa 10, Diaz 8, Fetalvero 7, Jaymalin 6, David 2, De Ayre 2, Coo 2, Salandanan 1
Quarter Scores: 19-25, 33-40, 52-55, 70-70, 87-80.
DLSZ (55) - Jomalesa 15, Subido 13, Villarin 8, Cudiamat 5, Sevilla 4, Milan 4, Pingol, Macasaet 2, Cortez 0, Dee 0, Pascual 0, Danao 0, Buncayo 0, Marana 0, Unisa 0.
UPIS (48) -Labao 11, Vergiere 9, Torres 8, Tuzaon 6, Gomez de Liano 3, Napalang 3, Lopez 2, Cordero 0, Villaverde 0, Dimaculangan 0, Armamento 0, Abreu 0, Galotera 0.
Quarter Scores: 18-5, 32-20, 42-29, 55-48
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