These Stags Are Golden

Calvin Abueva and the Golden Stags denied the Blue Eagles
of a fourth straight PCCL crown.

*All images by Arvin Lim/

Coach Topex Robinson’s Stags really are the classic foils to coach Norman Black’s Blue Eagles. In four meetings this year (once in the Fil-Oil Flying V Summer League and thrice here in the PCCL), Baste had Ateneo’s number in all but one game. They are the only team to beat Ateneo that many times in 2011, and the only team to deny the Blue & White in a championship series this year as well.

Ateneo ends its season with 3 titles (Fil-Oil, UAAP and Unigames), but this PCCL National Championship (and the Manny V. Pangilinan Perpetual trophy) will move to the Stags’ lair in Legarda.

Defense was the name of the game for Baste as they severely limited Ateneo’s high-powered trio of Greg Slaughter, Kiefer Ravena and Nico Salva. That triumvirate combined for 35 points against the Stags in Game 1, but they could only muster 22 in this one. Slaughter, for one, has struggled against Baste’s smaller, but more athletic, frontline. Ian Sangalang got the better of him again here, scoring 19 points and grabbing 15 rebounds.

Calvin “The Beast” Abueva was his usual beastly form, too, producing a double-double line of 20 markers and 17 boards to go along with 3 rejections. Despite missing the services of ace shooter Ronald Pascual, San Sebastian, surprisingly enough, didn’t have a really difficult time disposing of the Katipunan quintet. Coach Robinson’s unheralded players were the ones who stole the show, especially in the 2nd canto, where AJ Vitug and Michael Miranda engineered a key spurt that put just enough separation between the two schools. Baste then repulsed any potential game-changing rally Ateneo mounted thereafter.

With this win, the Golden Stags claim the bragging rights as the first NCAA team to hoist the PCCL trophy. It is also the first crown for Topex Robinson’s head coaching career.

SSC 73 — Abueva 20, Sangalang 19, Del Rio 10, Vitug 9, Miranda 6, Maiquez 4, Semira 3, Dela Cruz 2.
AdMU 67 — Long 11, Tiongson 11, Slaughter 10, Erram 9, Monfort 8, Ravena 7, Salva 5, Sumalinog 3, Gonzaga 3, Golla 0, Chua 0, Austria 0.
QS: 17-16, 36-29, 57-49, 73-67

Coach Topex Robinson earns his first title as Baste's head coach.
Juami Tiongson stepped up for Ateneo,
but it wasn't enough to overhaul the Stags' lead in the end.
Kiefer Ravena got shackled by the Stags' airtight defense.

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