Ateneo holds off UE, posts 3rd straight win
Ateneo ran its winning streak to three at the expense of University of the East, 77-72, to claim solo second place in the UAAP Season 78 men’s basketball tournament Saturday at Mall of Asia Arena.
The Blue Eagles improved to 3-1 behind top seed University of Santo Tomas, which eyes its fourth win in as many games against winless National University later.
“We had gotten our bearings back,” said Ateneo head coach Bo Perasol, whose team has definitely put its 24-point blowout loss to Far Eastern University behind. “I know we can do better and I know there are other players who can contribute more aside from Kiefer (Ravena) and Von (Pessumal).”
Ateneo appeared on its way to an easy win after leading by 13, 63-50, heading into the fourth quarter before the Red Warriors went on a 10-0 run to cut the lead to 63-60 with Von Batiller scoring seven during the stretch.
Kiefer Ravena, however, just would not let the Blue Eagles plummet — as he led a 6-0 run — scoring a floater and assisting on his team’s next two baskets for a 69-60 spread for the Eagles with 5:05 left.
“It’s a tough win for us, it’s been our third game in seven days,” Perasol said. “It’s especially tough for Kiefer and Von as they take much of the minutes.”
Von Pessumal led Ateneo with 21 points, going 6-of-10 from deep, while Ravena had a near triple-double with 15 points, nine rebounds, and nine assists.
Batiller paced UE, which slid to 2-2, with 19 points while Chris Javier added 17.
Ateneo ruled the rebounding department with 50 rebounds as compared to UE’s 39. The Eagles won despite committing 24 turnovers, six more than the Warriors.
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