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Blue Eagles survive Bulldogs' pace to stay undefeated

MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – The Ateneo Blue Eagles came back from a first quarter deficit to remain undefeated by the National University (NU) Bulldogs, 96-83, at the Araneta Coliseum on Saturday, September 30.

The Bulldogs' pace dictated the game, but the Blue Eagles successfully adjusted to the fast pace in preparation for their last game of the first round against the DLSU Green Archers. 

The Bulldogs garnered an early 8-2 lead over the Blue Eagles at the 8:47 mark of the first quarter. Although NU ended first frame with a 4-point cushion, the Blue Eagles rallied back with a 9-0 run in the following period that was highlighted by a Chibueze Ikeh triple. 

Ikeh's triple proved to be the dagger to sealing the lead for the Blue Eagles throughout the game. 

Veteran Bulldog J-Jay Alejandro stopped the second quarter bleeding by powering the Bulldogs' offense with back-to-back triples before the first half buzzer sounded.

The pace picked up in the third quarter, where the Bulldogs came within one point as Alejandro faked a shot and nailed a triple. However, the Blue Eagles composure allowed them to pull away the lead with Ikeh drilling in his second triple of the game on 2/2 shooting. 

The final frame saw the Blue Eagles continue take control of their possessions and a Matt Nieto jumper from the edge of paint ended the game with a double digit lead. 

Ikeh attained his season high of 18 points, 11 rebounds, 1 assist and 2 blocks. On the other hand, Vince Tolentino reached his career high of 15 points, while providing 3 rebounds and 2 assists. 

Alejandro led the Bulldogs with 24 points, 3 rebounds, 3 assists and 1 steal. Former Blue Eaglet Enzo Joson followed with 14 points, 2 rebounds, 7 assists and 2 steals in this match against his former school. 

The Ateneo Blue Eagles are undefeated with a 6-0 record, while the Bulldogs fall to a 2-4 record in the UAAP Season 80 men's basketball tournament.

The Scores

Ateneo (96) – Ikeh 18, Tolentino 15, Nieto Ma. 12, Nieto Mi. 12, Verano 9, Ravena 8, Asistio 7, Go 4, Black 4, Mendoza 3, White 2, Mamuyac 1, Mallillin 1, Andrade 0, Tio 0.

NU (83) – Alejandro 24, Joson 14, Gaye 14, Rangel 7, Mosqueda 6, Bartlett 4, Morido 4, Yu 4, Salem 3, Tibayan 3, Aquino 0, Diputado 0, Abatayo 0, Cauilan 0.

Quarter scores (Ateneo-NU): 21-25, 47-43, 71-65, 96-83

Rappler.com

Beatrice Go

More commonly known as “Bee”, Beatrice is a multimedia sports reporter for Rappler, who covers Phillippine sports governance, national teams, football and the UAAP. Stay tuned for her news and features on Philippine sports and videos like the Rappler Athlete’s Corner and Rappler Sports Timeout.

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