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Bader helps Archers claim national title.

BAHRAINI Bader Abdulla Malabes helped the De La Salle Green Archers win the Philippine Collegiate Championship yesterday, with a 71-62 victory over arch-rivals the Ateneo de Manila Blue Eagles.

Bader scored eight points for the Archers and played his usual hard-nosed defence in the win, which earned them the distinction of being the Philippines' national champions.

It was Bader's last game with the Archers this year. He is scheduled to return to Bahrain later this week to join his family for a four-week break during the Christmas holidays.

The tournament has been sanctioned by the country's national basketball federation, and is similar to the NCAA Men's Division One Basketball Tournament of the US. A total of 250 teams from nine different regional areas took part over its different phases.

With the victory, the Archers have won the right to represent the Philippines in next year's multi-sport World University Games, known as the Universiade, which will be held in Belgrade, Serbia in July.

The Archers came back from an early deficit to cut the Eagles' lead to just one, 28-29, heading into the half-time break.

Then, spearheaded by guard JV Casio, who is in his final year with the team, the Archers came out firing to start the second half to take a 51-46 lead after three quarters.

Showing

They maintained their strong showing in the final canto and quickly halted any late comebacks by the Eagles en route to sealing the nine-point victory.

The result helped the Archers avenge their loss to the Eagles in this year's finals series of the University Athletic Association of the Philippines (UAAP). The Archers were the UAAP champions last year, although the Eagles took over at the top after winning the finals in two games.

Casio scored a team-best 20 points in the win, while Peejay Barua contributed 10 points. Big man Ferdinand added seven, while four other players scored five points apiece.

Jai Reyes led the Eagles with a game-high 22, while reigning UAAP Most Valuable Player (MVP), Kuwaiti-Filipino Rabeh Al Hussaini, had 10 points. The Eagles played without captain Chris Tiu, and UAAP Rookie of the Year Ryan Buenafe.

Copyright 2008 Gulf Daily News

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Publication:Gulf Daily News (Manama, Bahrain)
Date:Dec 11, 2008
Words:370
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