Ateneo repeats as PCCL champion, smothers San Beda
MANILA, Philippines — Ateneo stifled San Beda down the stretch to carve out a 57-46 decision and repeat as champions in the Philippine Collegiate Champions League (PCCL) Sunday at Filoil Flying V Centre in San Juan.
SJ Belangel came through when it mattered most, pouring all of his 10 points in the payoff period to help ease the load off Ange Kouame’s shoulders and right the moments the Blue Eagles looked in trouble.
“I just calmed myself down and just surveyed what the defense was giving to me,” said the crafty playmaker, who led Ateneo’s 12-0 run towards the end.
Kouame finished with a monster double-double of 17 points and 17 rebounds, both team-bests. Troy Malilin, meanwhile, added 11 off the bench.
“You have to commend San Beda’s defense, too. But we ought to slow them down and look at what they were giving away and then from there just make shots and execute better, as shown by that fourth quarter,” said assistant coach Gabby Severino.
Just like in its Final Four victory over University of the Visayas, Ateneo came out and played stingier defense in the second half. The Blue Eagles held the Red Lions to just five points in the fourth quarter.
Calvin Oftana was the lone Red Lion in double-digit scoring with 14 points. Kemark Cariño had eight while Ralph Penuela chipped in seven in the losing stand.
Belangel, Kouame, Oftana, Penuela, and University of the Visayas’ Lassina Coulibaly made up the tournament’s Mythical Team.
The victory puts Ateneo in hallowed PCCL ground with five first-place finishes.
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