UAAP Basketball

Ateneo destroys weary Adamson, marches to 3rd finals with UP in 4 seasons

JR Isaga
Ateneo destroys weary Adamson, marches to 3rd finals with UP in 4 seasons

SNIPER. Ateneo guard Chris Koon taunts Adamson at the UAAP Season 85 men's basketball Final Four

UAAP Season 85 Media Team

Ateneo leads by as many as 30 points in its Final Four demolition of battle-worn Adamson to set up another Battle of Katipunan finals against defending champion UP

MANILA, Philippines – The Ateneo Blue Eagles bullied their way to their sixth straight UAAP finals with an 81-60 demolition of the weary Adamson Soaring Falcons at the Araneta Coliseum on Wednesday, December 7.

Chris Koon spearheaded Ateneo’s three-point barrage with 4-of-8 long bombs for 15 points plus 5 assists and 3 rebounds in just 19 minutes, while Dave Ildefonso scored 11 on a 3-of-8 clip from deep to go with 9 boards and 4 dimes.

Reigning MVP Ange Kouame anchored the paint as usual with 9 points and 10 rebounds while the rest of his teammates collectively shot a blistering 16-of-28 clip from downtown (57%) after shooting just 29% for the season.

From a manageable 36-44 deficit early in the third quarter, the Falcons saw its morale methodically destroyed right before their eyes as the Eagles rocketed away with a game-clinching 22-0 run bridging the latter two frames, ending with a Sean Quitevis triple at the start of the fourth for the 66-36 gap.

From the eye test, Adamson certainly tried its best to even make a small dent in Ateneo’s gargantuan lead, but nothing else worked with time running out as the Eagles happily cruised to another finals meeting with the UP Fighting Maroons – their third in the last four seasons.

“First of all, I’d like to play tribute to Adamson and coach Nash (Racela). It’s a really difficult job to play the game they played against La Salle the other night, and to turn around and try and play a team that’s been preparing for a week and well-rested. I think the game really was a reflection of that,” said Ateneo head coach Tab Baldwin.

“You need time to prepare, you need rest, and you need a full team hitting on all cylinders. Tonight, I think we were that team, and they were just a bunch of fighters out there, and I really admire them for the fight they put up.”

King Falcon Jerom Lastimosa got checked to just 1 point and 3 turnovers in the first half before scoring a team-high 10 overall on a paltry 4-of-15 clip. No other Adamson player even breached double-digit scoring as Didat Hanapi and Cedrick Manzano scored 9 and 8, respectively.

Ateneo begins another Battle of Katipunan finals series against UP on Sunday, December 11, 6 pm, at the Mall of Asia Arena, one day after the UAAP Cheerdance Competition, also set at the same venue.

The Scores

Ateneo 81 – Padrigao 16, Koon 15, Ballungay 13, Ildefonso 11, Kouame 9, Andrade 5, Gomez 3, Quitevis 3, Garcia 3, Daves 2, Lao 1, Lazaro 0, Chiu 0, Fetalvero 0, Fornilos 0, Ong 0.

Adamson 60 – Lastimosa 10, Hanapi 9, Manzano 8, Yerro 7, Douanga 6, Flowers 6, Torres 5, Sabandal 3, V. Magbuhos 3, Colonia 2, Manlapaz 1, Fuentebella 0, Jaymalin 0, Barasi 0, W. Magbuhos 0, Barcelona 0.

Quarters: 20-13, 39-29, 63-36, 81-60.

– Rappler.com

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