In what could be the best that defending champion Ateneo Blue Eagles can do in a game, the Loyola dribblers put away the University of the East Warriors, 84-50, yesterday at the Ynares Center in Antipolo.
The Blue Eagles struck hard with their outside shooting, sinking 14 of 42 three-point attempts—a healthy 33-percent shooting clip—to earn their 12th straight win in the 82nd University Athletic Association of the Philippines men’s basketball tournament.
Isaac Go banged in a season high 13 points—shooting 3-of-6 from three-point land—as the Blue Eagles went on to post one of the season’s biggest blowouts.
The Ateneo big man said he – like each player in the squad – is ready to step up when needed.
“I guess it’s just the embodiment of ‘Next Man Up’. Anybody is ready to perform when called upon. It just happens to be me today. But as you’ve seen through the course of the season, it’s been Chu (Geoff Chiu), Pat (Maagdenberg), Ange (Kouame). Everybody has stepped up. Everybody has had great games. That just makes us a good team. Everybody from 1-16 can come out and play and perform. It’s up to them to uphold their standards. They work hard in practice. They know they’re ready,” said Go.
Angelo Kouame and Thirdy Ravena hit 11 points each for the Blue Eagles as they put the Warriors out of contention for the Final Four with their 3-9 win-loss slate.
Kuome also had eight rebounds and three blocks. Ravena tallied seven boards and two assists.
UE grabbed an early 4-0 lead which turned out to be its first and last decent stand in the game. Ateneo went on a 17-2 run to seize control of the game early.
It was over for the Warriors right in the first period, after Ateneo took control with their outside shots. Go knocked down two treys in the last 2:24 to give the Blue Eagles a 17-6 edge in the first.
Ravena fired six points, including a two charities in the second period to hand Ateneo a 40-23 spread.
Triples from Go and SJ Belangel in the closing minute of the third allowed Ateneo to move away by 30, 65-35, at the end of the quarter.
The Blue Eagles went to finish with a 29 of 69 shooting clip, and their 14/42 three-point performance is considered as the second highest for the season.
Alex Diakhite made 15 points for the Warriors, while Rey Suerte added 10 points.
The Blue Eagles are now just two wins away from a sweep of the elimination round, which would reward them with an outright Finals berth.
ATENEO 84 – Go 13, Kouame 11, Ravena 11, Belangel 9, Wong 9, Ma. Nieto 6, Tio 6, Chiu 4, Credo 4, Mamuyac 3, Mi. Nieto 3, Maagdenberg 2, Mallillin 2, Andrade 1, Daves 0, Navarro 0.
UE 50 – Diakhite 15, Suerte 10, Abanto 6, Apacible 6, Camacho 3, Cruz 3, Antiporda 2, Pagsanjan 2, Tolentino 2, Manalang 1, Conner 0, Lorenzana 0, Mendoza 0, Natividad 0.
Quarter scores: 17-8, 40-25, 65-35, 84-50.
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