He did it during his stellar year with a fade way in the face of Jervy Cruz, and he does it again, but this time, in style. Kirk Long bags 21 points to carry Ateneo de Manila Blue Eagles on his shoulders to victory against the University of Santo Tomas Growling Tigers.

The first game of the Sunday Showdown this August 23, 2009 at the Araneta Coliseum was owned by the defending champions from Katipunan once again, the UAAP 71 Champions showed their mettle on court even without the full potential of reigning MVP Rabeh Al-Hussaini who has seen most action from the sideline on the bench.

It’s the question to ask where Ateneo would have been in this match without the presence of Kirk Long who knocked 5-6 triples to help the Blue Eagles stay on top in this match. Long was all over the place and shot the most unbelievable baskets, noteworthy the turning point from my perspective; the triple with six on the clock that more or less six feet away from the rainbow line.

This victory for the defending UAAP champions marks a 6-0 win/loss ratio for the Jesuits, while La Salle at the other end, as like we’ve mentioned is still struggling, especially after the defeat against the University of the Philippines. Surely the present La Salle Squad is not the strongest line-up you have seen, but don’t count them out, especially with Franz Pumaren heading them, for over a decade of success.

Ateneo therefore remains atop of the standings with a 9-1 win/loss ratio with the only defeat going to the UP Fighting Maroons on their July 26 outing. FEU is closely behind Ateneo and looking to rejoin them on top of the standings if ever they can defeat the University of the East Fighting Maroons as the game is right now still going on.

The Blue Eagles still have four assignments left, this includes matches against the National University, the Adamson University and then the University of the Philippines with a final clash against the Far Eastern University to close out the eliminations of this years UAAP season 72.

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