UAAP: Streaking Ateneo routs FEU to extend winning run to five
MANILA, Philippines — Not even Far Eastern University, the top team in the league, could douse a blistering Ateneo side Wednesday.
The Blue Eagles, finally coming into form after a dismal start, led from the get-go en route to a masterful 92-73 win over the Tamaraws in the UAAP Season 76 men’s basketball tournament Wednesday at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
“The significance of this win is that we are now able to go into the top four, top four in a sense that we are now tied with La Salle. And if the layoffs are going to start now where will we be?” said Ateneo coach Bo Perasol, whose team extended its winning streak to five to tie rival De La Salle in third place with a 6-4 record.
“Doing halftime even, I told the guys, it’s not even about the lead, it’s about the necessity win. I think that they have responded well and I hope that we can carry this momentum through against a very tough team in La Salle on Sunday,” Perasol added.
Kiefer Ravena set the tone with eight of his 18 points coming in the first quarter where defending champion Ateneo got off to a 26-11 start.
Ravena, who also had nine rebounds and five assists, formed a lethal combination with Juami Tiongson as the Blue Eagles padded on to their lead as the game went on — reaching by as much as 33 points, 73-40, late in the third quarter.
“I commend Juami and the others for stepping up and for having a spectacular offensive game,” said Perasol.
Tiongson finished with a game-high 20 points on seven-of-10 shooting from the field including three triples, two in back-to-back fashion early in the third period as Ateneo’s lead ballooned to 29, 65-36, at the 5:03 mark.
“Well you’ve got to give credit where credit is due. If you guys don’t know, Coach Bo is coaching with a minor surgery. He could be resting right now but he still chooses to coach with us [and] watch video tapes. There are a lot of reasons why we want to win this game but our real reason is for Coach Bo,” said the graduating guard Tiongson.
Perasol said he had “some kidney stones removed” and that it’s not something “that’s serious.”
Apart from its hot-shooting, Ateneo also clamped down on FEU ‘s guards as it held down Terrence Romeo, RR Garcia and Mike Tolomia to just 17 points through three quarters.
Romeo, who leads the league in scoring coming in averaging close to 21 points per game, scored just five points in the first three quarters and at one point shot just three-of-16 from the floor. He scored 14 points in the fourth quarter where the game was pretty much decided.
“The objective is to really play good defense for us to make it to the top four. There’s really no secret to that,” said Perasol.
Ateneo fired from all cylinders in the first half with a 58.8 percent shooting from the field in the first half while FEU, which still sit atop the standings with a half game lead over National University at 8-3, couldn’t buy a basket at 26.8 percent.
Originally posted at 4:18 p.m.
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