FOUND themselves in a battle all game long in their University Athletic Association of the Philippines semifinals, the De La Salle Green Archers stood their ground and eventually staved off the Adamson Soaring Falcons, 69-64, yesterday to claim the first finals seat in Season 79 men’s basketball.

Holding a twice-to-beat edge in the Final Four, the Taft-based Archers saw no need to use of as they dispatched the Falcons at the first instance, with import Ben Mbala and Jeron Teng showing the way, but not after being made to sweat by their opponents.

La Salle started the game strong with a 7-0 run, five coming from Teng.

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THE defending champions Far Eastern University Tamaraws bucked a sluggish performance yesterday to come from behind and beat the University of the East Red Warriors, 64-61, and snap their losing streak in the windup of the eliminations round of Season 79 of the University Athletic Association of the Philippines.

Riding on the stepped-up play of guards Wendell Comboy and Axel Iñigo down the stretch, the Tamaraws completed a turnaround in a game that saw them trail for much of the contest. The win halted FEU’s slide to three games while also keeping its slim top two hopes alive.

FEU trailed early in the match, surrendering a 20-11 advantage to UE at the end of the first quarter before getting its bearing in the second canto to outscore its opponent, 23-14, to knot the game at 34-all by half time.

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Played their last game on Sunday against the University of the East Red Warriors, the Maroons ended their season with a 5-9 record for a share of fifth spot with the National University Bulldogs.

The five wins were the highest for the Diliman-based team since Season 68 of the UAAP when they finished their campaign with a 6-8 card.

While they failed to advance to the next round anew, graduating members of the UP men’s basketball team said that all told, as the popular adage goes, it was more of the journey for them not the destination.

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SEEMINGLY peaking of late, the Ateneo Blue Eagles try to continue to put further wind on their assault for number two as they battle defending champions and currently second-running Far Eastern University Tamaraws today in midweek action in Season 79 of the University Athletic Association of the Philippines (UAAP).

Winners of their last three games, the Eagles (7-4) go for four wins in a row in their 2 p.m. tiff against the Tamaraws (8-3) and challenge the latter for the number spot and the twice-to-beat advantage that goes with it in the Final Four.

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THE CHAMPIONSHIP crown of men’s basketball in the National Collegiate Athletic Association returned to Mendiola the other day after the San Beda Red Lions completed a sweep of the Arellano Chiefs in their best-of-three finals. And while NCAA titles are no longer different for the school, its latest conquest carries special significance for the “selfless” manner with which it latched on it.

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