Ateneo makes it 10-0, rolls past La Salle anew
MANILA, Philippines—Ateneo continued its mastery of fierce rival De La Salle with a 77-69 victory that also clinched a Final Four berth for the Blue Eagles Sunday in UAAP Season 82 at Mall of Asia Arena.
Adrian Wong delivered 18 points, including four treys as the Eagles extended their unbeaten start to 10 games.
Ateneo has now won 20 straight matches in a run that dates back to last season. The Eagles have won the last five meetings against the Archers.
Thirdy Ravena added 13 points and seven rebounds, while Ivorian center Angelo Kouame tallied 10 points and 14 boards and three blocks in another stellar game.
Will Navarro also stepped up for Ateneo in the second half, scoring all of his nine points, going 4-of-4 from the field after missing his first six shots.
The Archers led by four points in the first period, before Wong got going. Sidelined by injury last season, Wong hit a couple of treys as the Eagles turned the game around, before holding off repeated runs by the Archers.
“That’s the beauty of our team. In any game, any player can step up,” said Ateneo captain Mike Nieto. “That’s what we worked on the whole offseason.”
Encho Serrano finished with 15 points to lead four other players in twin digits for La Salle, which remained in fourth spot, tied with Far Eastern U, even after dropping to 4-5.
Ateneo coach Tab Baldwin felt the Eagles looked nervous to start the game.
“We looked nervous than La Salle in first half,” said Baldwin. “They looked composed and sure themselves. If Adrian (Wong) didn’t come out hot in the first half, we would’ve been in trouble.”
ATENEO 77 — Wong 18, Ravena 13, Kouame 10, Navarro 9, Mamuyac 6, Belangel 5, Mi. Nieto 5, Daves 3, Ma. Nieto 3, Tio 3, Go 2.
LA SALLE 69 — Serrano 15, Baltazar 12, Caracut 11, Malonzo 10, Melecio 10, Manuel 7, Bartlett 2, Bates 2, Lojera 0.
Quarters: 19-15, 36-30, 55-50, 77-69.
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