Rookie Verano leads Ateneo past struggling NU | Inquirer Sports

Rookie Verano leads Ateneo past struggling NU

/ 07:12 PM October 23, 2016

Tristan Tamayo/

Tristan Tamayo/

Raffy Verano emerged as the unlikely hero, leading Ateneo in a huge 65-50 victory over National University Sunday in the UAAP Season 79 men’s basketball tournament at Smart Araneta Coliseum.

The 6-foot-3 rookie exploded for 20 points, 11 of which coming in the second quarter where the Blue Eagles broke away to erect a 34-16 halftime edge.


Verano also had two rebounds and two steals to help the Eagles stay in solo third place with a 6-4 record.


“I think we’ve seen glimpses of Raffy in some of the other games. He’s a sparkplug for us off the bench,” said Ateneo coach Sandy Arespacochaga. “He plays well defensively, but he also proved today that he can also score.”

Isaac Go added nine markers and three boards, while Aaron Black got seven points and three rebounds for the Eagles.

“Coming into this game, we knew that we’re up against an NU team that might be a little more desperate and we know that NU’s system, especially defensively, is really very tough, so we wanted to make sure that we executed offensively,” said Arespacochaga.

Ateneo went on to fire on all cylinders, hitting 7-of-18 from threes 

The Blue Eagles also avenged their 70-60 setback to the Bulldogs in the first round last month.

NU’s woes continued as it reeled to its fifth straight defeat and dropped to 4-7.


J-Jay Alejandro topscored for the Bulldogs with 13 markers.

The scores:

ATENEO 65 – Verano 20, Go 9, Black 7, Asistio 6, Babilonia 6, Tolentino 6, Ravena 4, Mi. Nieto 3, Mendoza 2, Wong 2, Escaler 0, Ikeh 0, Ildefonso 0, Ma. Nieto 0, Porter 0, White 0.

NU 50  – Alejandro 13, Aroga 8, Salem 7, M. Diputado 6, Morido 5, R. Diputado 3, Gallego 3, Rangel 3, Pate 2, Abatayo 0, Mosqueda 0, Salim 0, Yu 0.

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Quarters: 11-8, 34-16, 52-34, 65-50.

For the complete collegiate sports coverage including scores, schedules and stories, visit Inquirer Varsity.

TAGS: Ateneo Blue Eagles, Basketball, Jay Alejandro, NU Bulldogs, Raffy Verano, second round, UAAP Season 79

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