Ateneo gains Final 4 berth
A BATTLE-WEARY Ateneo squad drew strength from Kiefer Ravena and Chris Newsome as it repulsed Adamson, 67-52, yesterday to clinch a Final Four berth in the 77th UAAP basketball tournament at Mall of Asia Arena.
Ravena and Newsome joined forces in the Blue Eagles’ torrid windup, combining for nine points as the Eagles cruised to a 10th win in 13 games that formalized their entry in the Final Four after missing out last season.
Later, defending champion La Salle proved steadier down the stretch as it dumped University of Santo Tomas, 67-60, and assured the Archers of at least a playoff for a Final Four berth.
Jeron Teng and Arnold Van Opstal delivered down the stretch, knocking in critical baskets in a nip-and-tuck battle as the Archers notched their ninth win in 12 games.
The loss was the Tigers’ seventh in 12 games this season, putting them in danger of missing out the Final Four for the first time since 2010. A win by National U against University of the Philippines today will shut the Final Four door on the Tigers.
Playing their third game in a week, the Eagles still mustered enough strength to hold off the winless Falcons, who came within 35-41 early in the fourth quarter before finally losing steam as Ateneo staged a 15-0 run to build a 21-point buffer.
“We were playing our third game in seven days and I felt the energy was waning but our defense kicked in the third and early fourth quarter,” said Ateneo coach Bo Perasol.
Ravena tallied 16 points on top of seven rebounds and four assists, while Newsome dished out a double-double of 12 points and 10 rebounds that went with six assists.
Teng took charge for La Salle with 26 points, including 11 in the final period, while Van Opstal wound up with 11, seven of which coming in the last five minutes. But it was key defensive plays like the steal of Kib Montalbo off a driving Karim Abdul and another crucial miscue from Aljon Mariano with 15 seconds left that doomed the Tigers.
After Van Opstal tied the game at 60-all with a drive with 2:17 remaining, Teng went 5-of-6 from the foul line in the last two minutes.
ATENEO 67—Ravena 16, Newsome 12, Pessumal 8, Capacio 6, Elorde 6, Gotladera 6, Tolentino 6, Asistio 3, Doliguez 2, Porter 2, Apacible 0, Ravena 0.
ADAMSON 52—Trollano 20, Rios 9, Nalos 6, Aquino 4, Monteclaro 4, Ochea 4, Garcia 3, Villanueva 2, Barrera 0, INigo 0, Pedrosa 0, Polican 0.
Quarters: 10-4, 23-16, 41-31, 67-52
LA SALLE 67—Teng 26, Van Opstal 11, Montalbo 8, Sargent 7, Torres 7, Perkins 4, Vosotros 4, Bolick 0, Rivero 0, Tratter 0.
UST 60—Dacquioag 19, Lao 14, Abdul 13, Mariano 6, Lo 5, Gayosa 3, Basibas 0, Pe 0, Macasaet 0, Sheriff 0, Subido 0.
Quarters: 16-17, 34-30, 46-47, 67-60