Payback Time: Archers shoot down Eagles to win National Championship

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In this final face-off for year, they certainly made sure that they will have the last laugh.

JV Casio ended his illustrious collegiate career in grand fashion as the Green Archers defeated the Ateneo Blue Eagles yesterday, 71-62 to win the 2008 Philippine Collegiate Championship crown at the Araneta Coliseum.

Casio, who played his last game for the Green and White squad exploded for 17 of his 20 points in the final half while being adjudged MVP of this tournament and a Mythical Five selection. He also dished out 6 rebounds, 6 assists and 3 steals.

It was payback time for the Archers as they finally ended a long losing streak to Ateneo this year dating back to the summer pre-season tournaments. With this victory, they are now considered as the best collegiate team in the country.

The Team was awarded with the Manuel V Pangilinan Trophy, PHP500K worth of athletic scholarships and an additional PHP400K to be divided among the players. They will also represent the country in the 2009 Universiade Championships in Serbia.

Determined to redeem themselves after losing this year’s UAAP, the Archers seized control entering the 2nd half after trailing all the way in the first 2 quarters of the ballgame. La Salle’s accurate shooting and total domination of the boards, 53-39 despite their height disadvantage were key to their comeback as they led by 5 at the end of the 3rd period.

With their stingy defense and capitalizing on their opponent’s turnovers, the Archers made sure that there would be no attempts for Ateneo to stage a rally in the payoff quarter.

Peejay Barua and Bader Malabes, both instrumental in the Archers’ 2nd half blitz were among the top scorers for the team with 10 and 8 points respectively. Jai Reyes, the lone bright spot for the Blue Eagles all game long led all scorers with 22. UAAP MVP Rabeh Al-Hussaini only managed to score 10 despite averaging close to 20 points in this tournament.

Earlier, Colegio de San Juan de Letran defeated San Beda College to bag third place. Joining Casio in the Mythical Five were teammate Rico Maierhofer, Al-Hussaini, Ateneo’s Nonoy Baclao and Letran’s RJ Jazul.

Game photos at http://greenarchersph.multiply.com/photos

The scores:

De La Salle 71 – Casio 20, Barua 10, Malabes 8, Ferdinand 7, Mangahas 5, Bagatsing 5, Maierhofer 5, Webb 5, Mendoza 2, Walsham 2, Villanueva 2, Lee 0.

Ateneo 62 – Reyes 22, Al-Hussaini 10, Gonzaga 6, Salva 5, Austria 5, Baldos 4, Baclao 4, Long 2, Salamat 2, Escueta 2, Sumalinog 0.

Quarter scores: 9-13; 28-29; 51-46; 71-62