Ateneo pummels UE to end 2-game slide
Ateneo bucked a poor start and went on a tear to hammer University of the East, 75-61, Wednesday in the UAAP Season 79 men’s basketball tournament at Filoil Flying V Centre in San Juan.
The Blue Eagles stared at a 14-point deficit early, 23-9, after the Red Warriors waxed hot from three in the first, but gained momentum on a 26-point second quarter for 42-37 halftime lead.
Ateneo would extend that edge to 18, 71-53, after an Anton Asistio drive with 3:23 to play as it snapped a two-game losing skid and stayed in solo third place at 5-4.
“Whenever we play UE, it’s always a tough game. UE got to a big lead and they hit their shots, and we’re not getting ours. But the good thing is a couple of our bench guys helped us in offense and defense,” said coach Sandy Arespacochaga.
Jolo Mendoza topped Ateneo with 15 points on a 3-of-5 shooting from three, while Thirdy Ravena added 14 markers and five rebounds.
Adrian Wong chipped in 11 points and three assists, while Mike Nieto had 10 markers and seven boards.
Aaron Black also played his first game from a foot injury, finishing with four points, four rebounds, and three assists.
UE could not sustain its 6-of-7 shooting from three in the first half, as it remained at the cellar with a 2-7 card.
Philip Manalang carried the Red Warriors with 16 points, five rebounds, and three dimes, while RR de Leon got 11 of his 13 markers in the first half.
ATENEO 75 – Mendoza 15, Ravena 14, Wong 11, Mi. Nieto 10, Go 8, Asistio 4, Tolentino 4, Black 4, Verano 4, Ikeh 1, Babilonia 0, Ma. Nieto 0, Porter 0
UE 61 – Manalang 16, De Leon 13, Varilla 7, Pasaol 7, Batiller 5, Olayon 4, Bartolome 4, Palma 3, Derige 2, Penuela 0, Gagate 0, Charcos 0, Abanto 0, Larupay 0.
Quarters: 16-23, 42-37, 60-48, 75-61.