Archers closer to Final 4 bonus
MANILA, Philippines — Red-hot La Salle beat reigning champion Ateneo, 72-69, as it beefed up its twice-to-beat hopes and dragged its old rival to the brink in the UAAP Season 86 men’s basketball yesterday at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
The Archers, who last lost against Ateneo at the end of the first round, 77-72, ended their campaign at 11-3 with eight straight wins including a sweep of the second round to gain an inside track to a Top Two finish and win-once bonus in the Final Four.
Most Valuable Player race leader Kevin Quiambao flashed his all-around brilliance anew with 14 points, nine rebounds and six assists laced by a steal and a block as La Salle now awaits the result of the final match today between fellow leaders University of the Philippines (11-2) and National U (10-3).
A win by NU, so long as less than 38 points, over UP would forge a three-way tie at 11-3 and would catapult La Salle all the way to No. 1 due to superior quotient among the three teams, relegating UP and NU to a knockout for No. 2.
On the other hand, a mere win by UP, regardless of the winning margin, would lock the Maroons on top and the Archers at No. 2 for the two playoff incentives.
But more than that, the Archers pushed the Eagles at 7-7, instead of securing the outright last Final Four ticket, to a possible knockout match with the chasing Adamson Soaring Falcons (6-7) given a win against also-ran University of the East today.
Earlier, Santo Tomas saved its best for last, scoring a 67-53 repeat win over Far Eastern U to end its campaign on a high note yesterday at the Big Dome.
Santo Tomas ended a six-game skid for a 2-12 slate.