Philippine basketball

Ateneo, Benilde set up UAAP-NCAA title clash in AsiaBasket

Martin Mendoza

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Ateneo, Benilde set up UAAP-NCAA title clash in AsiaBasket

BIG MAN. Kai Ballungay in action for the Ateneo Blue Eagles in the AsiaBasket.

AsiaBasket

Ateneo disposes of Sanzar, while Benilde survives Corsa Tires in their respective semifinal matches to arrange a championship duel in the AsiaBasket

MANILA, Philippines – The Ateneo Blue Eagles and the CSB Blazers arranged a UAAP-NCAA title clash in the AsiaBasket Las Piñas Championship after dispatching their respective semifinal opponents on Friday, July 28, at the Villar Coliseum.

Ateneo big men Kai Ballungay, Mason Amos, Joseph Obasa, and Geo Chiu all imposed their will inside the paint to power the undefeated Blue Eagles to an 89-79 triumph over Sanzar Pharmaceuticals. 

Coming off a 17-point performance in Ateneo’s 22-point demolition of the San Beda Red Lions in the quarterfinals on Thursday, July 27, Ballungay came up huge anew and delivered an identical 17-point showing to lead the Blue Eagles in scoring.

Incoming Ateneo rookies Amos and Obasa added 16 and 14 points, respectively, while Chiu chipped in 11. 

The four towering big men combined for an efficient 23-of-32 field goal clip as Sanzar had no answers down low despite having two world imports in its lineup.

After leading by as many as 20 points in the second quarter, 51-31, Ateneo failed to keep its foot on the gas as Sanzar tied the game at 72-all with 8:04 left in the fourth frame.

Unfortunately for Sanzar, Ballungay took over for Ateneo and unleashed 10 of his 17 points in the final seven minutes to crush any hopes of an upset.

Like the Blue Eagles, the Blazers survived a gritty stand by the Gerald Anderson-led Corsa Tires for a 76-70 victory in the other semifinal pairing.  

Reigning NCAA MVP Will Gozum, Migz Oczon, and Robi Nayve scored 13 points each to propel Benilde to the down-the-wire win. 

With Benilde trailing by a point, 67-68, at the 3:20 mark of the final frame, it was Nayve who came through in the clutch as he unloaded 6 unanswered points to give the Blazers a two-possession lead with only 47 seconds remaining, 73-68.

A layup by former Red Lion and incoming Blazer Tony Ynot pulled Corsa back within 3 points, 70-73, before Benilde’s Felipe Marasigan responded with a cold-blooded triple with eight seconds to play to seal the deal.

Anderson, a celebrity basketball player, showed the way for Corsa in the loss with a game-high 17 points on 7-of-16 shooting, to go along with 8 assists and 3 steals.

Meanwhile, Ynot and his fellow former Red Lion and Benilde transferee Justine Sanchez had 15 and 14 points, respectively, against their future team in the NCAA. 

The knockout finals between Ateneo and Benilde will take place on Sunday, July 30.  

The Scores

First Game

CSB 76 – Gozum 13, Oczon 13, Nayve 13, Carlos 12, Turco 7, Sangco 6, Jarque 4, Marasigan 3, Arciaga 3, Mara 2, Flores 0. 

Corsa 70 – Anderson 17, Ynot 15, Sanchez 14, Estacio 12, Ndong 10, Pagulayan 2, Cunanan 0, Acosta 0, Ortega 0, Lepalam 0.

Quarters: 19-22, 37-36, 60-53, 76-70.

Second Game

Ateneo 89 – Ballungay 17, Amos 16, Obasa 14, Chiu 11, Espinosa 9, Nwabude 6, Tuano 4, Quitevis 4, Koon 3, Celis 3, Credo 2, Nieto 0, Gomez 0, Ong 0.

Sanzar 79 – Odou 17, Kawamura 15, Torres 13, Ondoa 13, Kone 11, Famaranco 7, Obuyes 3, Jolangcob 0, Villapando 0, Abaoag 0, Mailim 0, Bitoy 0.

Quarters: 31-19, 53-36, 70-62, 89-79.

– Rappler.com

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