UAAP Basketball

Ateneo fends off late rally, eliminates undermanned UE from Final Four

JR Isaga

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Ateneo fends off late rally, eliminates undermanned UE from Final Four

WIN TOGETHER. The Ateneo Blue Eagles huddle in the UAAP Season 86 men's basketball tournament

UAAP Season 86 Media Team

Ateneo rides Jared Brown's hot hand to clinch at least a UAAP fourth-seed playoff and eliminate a UE side that suffered an untimely suspension to star rookie Precious Momowei

MANILA, Philippines – The Ateneo Blue Eagles lived to fight another day amid their UAAP Season 86 men’s basketball title defense after booting the undermanned UE Red Warriors from Final Four contention, 80-74, at the Mall of Asia Arena on Wednesday, November 15.

Sniper Jared Brown made the most of his opportunity, notching a career-high 21 points on 6-of-11 shooting from three as the defending champions rose to a 7-6 record and clinched at least a fourth-seed playoff.

Kai Ballungay scattered 15 points, 5 assists, and 4 rebounds, while Joe Obasa tallied a 13-point, 11-rebound double-double, with 6 boards coming from the offensive end.

Holding a 17-point fourth-quarter lead, 65-48, early in the fourth quarter after a Ballungay and-one conversion, Ateneo looked like it was headed for a comfortable endgame, boosted by the fact that UE star rookie Precious Momowei was suspended due to two unsportsmanlike foul infractions.

UE, however, responded well with its back against the wall, exploding with a 20-7 run up to the 2:15 mark of the frame off a Wello Lingolingo corner triple to inch within 4, 68-72.

But following a Sean Quitevis split trip from the line and a Mason Amos hook, 75-68, with 49.5 ticks left, the Red Warriors simply ran out of time in their comeback as a pair of late Ethan Galang threes were not enough to shift both squads’ fortunes in the tense windup.

“It was disappointing to turn the ball over as much as we did and not be more dominant in the rebounding. They’re missing Precious and we had a significant size advantage,” said Ateneo head coach Tab Baldwin.

“I thought we fell in love with the three a little too much, but again, I think UE wanted us to shoot the three. It really is a sign that we weren’t locked in like we should be. This is a team that unfortunately still demonstrates that at times.”

Noy Remogat paced the loss with another big line of 22 points, 7 assists, 5 rebounds, and 3 steals, while Lingolingo scored 14 on a 4-of-9 clip from deep.

The Scores

Ateneo 80 – Brown 21, Ballungay 15, Obasa 13, Espinosa 5, Koon 5, Chiu 5, Amos 4, Nieto 3, Quitevis 3, Gamber 3, Credo 2, Celis 1, Lazaro 0, Bongo 0, Tuano 0.

UE 74 – Remogat 22, Lingolingo 14, Galang 12, Sawat 12, Alcantara 6, Maglupay 5, Langit 2, Tulabut 1, Cruz-Dumont 0, Spandonis 0, Cabero 0, Gilbuena 0, Manalang 0.

Quarters: 18-21, 42-34, 62-48, 80-74.


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