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MANILA, Philippines – The Ateneo Blue Eagles overcame an ugly first half to take down the UE Red Warriors, 94-72, in the UAAP Season 84 men’s basketball tournament on Thursday, April 7, at the Mall of Asia Arena.
It was Gian Mamuyac who led the way for Ateneo this time around as he finished with a career-high 21 points on 4-of-7 shooting from downtown, to go along with 9 rebounds.
Ange Kouame also imposed his will on both ends, putting up a monster stat line of 21 points, 13 rebounds, and 4 blocks for the Blue Eagles.
With the victory, Ateneo improved its unblemished record in Season 84 to 6-0, while UE remained at the bottom of the team standings with a 0-6 slate.
Fresh off a thrilling win over the NU Bulldogs on Tuesday, April 5, the Blue Eagles started off slow and trailed the Red Warriors by 5, 10-15, with less than three minutes remaining in the opening period.
The Blue Eagles managed to overtake the Red Warriors and build a six-point cushion, 24-18, midway through the second frame, but UE once again came roaring back, ending the quarter on a 21-15 run for the 39-all deadlock at halftime.
Harvey Pagsanjan paced the Red Warriors in their red-hot first half, pouring in 9 of his 15 points, while Clint Escamis and Kyle Paranada added 6 markers apiece.
In the third quarter, the Red Warriors once again put up a four-point advantage against the Blue Eagles, 48-44, before Mamuyac took over and unleashed 13 straight points to help Ateneo create some distance over UE, 65-55, before entering the final frame.
Ateneo never looked back in the payoff period as it even extended its lead to as many as 26 points, 90-64, which proved too much for UE to conquer with just four minutes remaining in the ball game.
Dave Ildefonso contributed 12 points, 5 rebounds, and 5 assists for the Blue Eagles, while SJ Belangel also recorded 12 markers.
On the other side, Pagsanjan and Kyle Paranada tallied 15 points each, while Escamis and Nico Paranada chipped in 8 points apiece for the Red Warriors, who played without their suspended head coach Jack Santiago for the second straight game.
The Blue Eagles will look to end the first round with a 7-0 sweep when they face the UST Growling Tigers in a rematch of the Season 82 finals on Saturday, April 9, at 4 pm.
Meanwhile, the Red Warriors will try to avoid a winless first round when they go up against the Bulldogs at 10 am.
Ateneo 94 – Mamuyac 21, Kouame 21, Ildefonso 12, Belangel 12, Daves 6, Gomez 5, Tio 4, Koon 4, Chiu 4, Mendoza 3, Lazaro 2, Padrigao 0, Andrade 0, Mallillin 0.
UE 72 – K. Paranada 15, Pagsanjan 15, Escamis 8, N. Paranada 8, Guevarra 6, Antiporda 6, J. Cruz 4, Lorenzana 4, Catacutan 4, Beltran 2, Abatayo 0, Sawat 0, Villanueva 0, Tulabut 0, P. Cruz 0, Pascual 0.
Quarters: 15-15, 39-39, 65-55, 94-72.