MANILA, Philippines – The Ateneo Blue Eagles again just had too much firepower for the University of the East Red Warriors to handle.
Pulling away early, the Blue Eagles displayed championship-level game in a 20-point rout, 90-70, against the UE Red Warriors to grab the solo lead at 8-2 in the UAAP Season 81 men’s basketball tournament at the Araneta Coliseum on Wednesday, October 24.
Angelo Kouame – who came off a career-high outing of 33 points and 27 rebounds – collected an easy 18 points and 16 rebounds with 3 blocks in just 21 minutes of action to power Ateneo.
Stand-in point guard Tyler Tio also fired 16 points on a 5-of-8 shooting clip for the Blue Eagles, who similarly whipped the Red Warriors by 27 points, 89-62, in the first round.
Five Eagles scored at least 10 markers, including Thirdy Ravena, who returned from a one-game suspension to finish with 10 points, 5 rebounds and 4 assists.
“We had a terrific first half, both offensively and defensively especially in the 2nd quarter,” said Ateneo deputy Sandy Arespacochaga.
“Third quarter, UE came out with more fire, and second half, they outworked us. But that’s one of the characteristics of that UE team, they really work hard all the way to the end. It’s a good thing we had a cushion. There are some things we have to improve on but we’re generally happy with our offense. We have to take a good look at our defense, especially in the 3rd quarter.”
The Eagles again grabbed first place in a see-saw affair with Adamson (7-2) while the Red Warriors (1-9) remained shackled at the very bottom of the standings.
Ateneo ran away with a massive 20-3 run in the 2nd quarter, ending with a series of triples from Jolo Mendoza and Aaron Black to end the half with a huge 33-point pileup on UE, 57-24.
The Warriors rebounded with a 27-point 3rd quarter but it was too little, too late as Ateneo was still up by 22, 73-51, heading into the 4th frame.
MVP candidate Alvin Pasaol again carried UE with a 29-point, 14-board double-double in 36 minutes on the floor.
Philip Manalang contributed 18 points, a game-high 7 assists and 6 boards in yet another loss.
Ateneo 90 – Kouame 18, Tio 16, Verano 14, Ravena 10, Mendoza 10, Mamuyac 6, Belangel 6, Navarro 5, Black 3, Daves 2, Asistio 0, Wong 0, Go 0, Andrade 0.
UE 70 – Pasaol 29, Manalang 18, Varilla 9, Cullar 6, Bartolome 4, Stait 2, Guion 1, Beltran 1, Gallardo 0, Lacap 0, Antiporda 0, Acuno 0, Gagate 0.
Quarters: 29-15, 57-24, 73-51, 90-70.