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Ateneo clobbers UST in Game 1 to close in on UAAP championship

By: - Reporter / @cedelfptINQ
/ 06:02 PM November 16, 2019

MANILA, Philippines–Thirdy Ravena fired 32 points as defending champion Ateneo came out tenacious after a 16-day break, bringing down University of Santo Tomas, 91-77, Saturday night to move on the cusp of a perfect season in UAAP Season 82 at Smart Araneta Coliseum.

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In a performance reminiscent to his Game 2 explosion in last season’s finals win over University of the Philippines, Ravena put on a dazzling show as he anchored the Blue Eagles strong start with 11 points in the first period, where Ateneo built an early double-digit advantage.

Ivorian center Ange Kouame was a pillar of strength inside the paint once again, adding 18 points and grabbing 12 rebounds for the Eagles, who could complete their unbeaten run with a third straight crown with a win in Game 2 on Wednesday at MOA Arena.

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The Growling Tigers survived three knockout games to reach the finals, but they ran into an inspired Ateneo team that hardly showed any rust even with its more than two-week hiatus.

Behind eight quick points by Ravena, the Eagles raced to an 18-2 lead in the first five minutes of the game played in front of the season’s biggest crowd at 19,176.

Rookie of the Year Mark Nonoy finished with a career-high 26 points, including 18 in the second half where he kept the Tigers within striking distance.

Nonoy’s triple allowed UST to creep in at 38-41, but SJ Belangel responded with a trey to also set off a closing 13-1 burst that gave the Eagles a commanding 54-39 lead at the break.

The Scores:

ATENEO 91 – Ravena 32, Kouame 18, Belangel 12, Mamuyac 9, Navarro 6, Mi. Nieto 5, Ma. Nieto 4, Wong 3, Daves 2, Andrade 0, Go 0, Maagdenberg 0, Mallillin 0.
UST 77 – Nonoy 26, Paraiso 14, Chabi Yo 13, Subido 8, Cansino 4, Abando 3, Concepcion 3, Ando 2, Bataller 2, Huang 2.
Quarters: 32-17, 54-39, 76-58, 91-77
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TAGS: Ateneo Blue Eagles, Sports, Thirdy Ravena
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