Blue Eagles survive San Sebastian to force rubbermatch; San Beda routs UC for third place
The reigning champions Ateneo Blue Eagles survived the San Sebastian Stags, 56-51, to force a winner-take-all game for the title in the finals of the 2011 Philippine Collegiate Champions League yesterday at The Arena in San Juan City.
The Blue Eagles turned to UAAP Finals MVP Nico Salva in the third period for offense as they opened up a 46-39 lead after leading by just three at halftime after a lackluster first half. Salva scored eight points in that stretch and finished with 18 points and five rebounds.
The Stags, behind the strength of the Calvin Abueva, came roaring back and even took the lead after a three-pointer by AJ Vitug, 47-46, with 4:56 left.
But the Blue Eagles responded with three free-throws from Salva and a fadeaway jumper from Kiefer Ravena for a 53-50 lead.
The Stags had several chances to come closer down the stretch but blew it as Abueva picked up his fifth foul and got a technical as well with just seconds remaining.
Meanwhile, the University of Cebu (UC) Webmasters bowed out of the competition in fourth place after they were waylaid by the reigning NCAA champions San Beda Red Lions, 69-82, in the battle for third-place game.
The two-time Cebu Schools Athletic Foundation Inc. champions struggled mightily from the outside.
In contrast, the Red Lions hit their three-pointers when it mattered the most as makes from Paolo Pontejos, Rome dela Rosa and Cebuano Mar Villahermosa sealed the game’s outcome.
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