UAAP Basketball

Mason Amos heats up in OT as Ateneo denies UP first-round UAAP sweep

Delfin Dioquino

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Mason Amos heats up in OT as Ateneo denies UP first-round UAAP sweep

TOP ROOKIE. Mason Amos in action for the Ateneo Blue Eagles in UAAP Season 86.


Fearless rookie Mason Amos scatters 7 of his 19 points in overtime as the Ateneo Blue Eagles deal the UP Fighting Maroons their first loss in UAAP Season 86

MANILA, Philippines – Sweep denied.

Ateneo handed UP its first loss in the UAAP Season 86 men’s basketball tournament after hacking out a heart-stopping 99-89 overtime win to wrap up the first round at the jam-packed Mall of Asia Arena on Sunday, October 22.

Mason Amos fired 19 points and hit a bunch of clutch shots in the extra period as the Blue Eagles prevented the erstwhile unbeaten Fighting Maroons from sweeping the opening round in a finals rematch of Season 85.

With the game tied at 85-85, Amos scattered 7 points in a pivotal 9-2 run that practically clinched Ateneo its first consecutive wins of the season and fourth in seven games.

“Just feels good to win. We’ve been on the losing end three times this year. That does not feel good,” said Blue Eagles head coach Tab Baldwin.

“It is a very, very good win for our program.”

Churning out a double-double with 10 rebounds, Amos drained a short stab and a stepback three-pointer in succession – both over fellow rookie Francis Lopez – then converted a layup for a 94-87 advantage.

Veteran forward Chris Koon backstopped Amos with 17 points and 7 rebounds, while Joseph Obasa shone on both ends with 13 points, 8 rebounds, and 5 blocks.

Kai Balunggay chimed in a 10-point, 10-rebound double-double for defending champion Ateneo, which won in overtime for the first time in three tries as it ended the first round at third place.

The Blue Eagles finished with the same 4-3 card as rival La Salle but claimed the higher spot after beating the Green Archers earlier in the season.

CJ Cansino netted 22 points, 6 rebounds, and 2 blocks in the Maroons’ gallant stand as he kept UP in the fight after it got buried by double figures in the fourth quarter.

Ateneo looked on its way to a convincing regulation win after it mounted a 78-68 lead midway through the fourth period before Cansino ignited a 12-2 run with a triple and drive in back-to-back plays.

Five straight Lopez points and a Reyland Torres putback capped the stretch as UP forced an extra period, 80-80.

But the Maroons ran out of steam in overtime, missing out on becoming the first team to sweep a single round since the Blue Eagles won all of their seven games in the first round of Season 84.

UP, though, remained on top by virtue of its win over second-placer NU, which also totes a 6-1 record.

Malick Diouf posted 13 points, 11 rebounds, and 2 blocks in the loss, Gerry Abadiano tallied 12 points, while JD Cagulangan supplied 5 points, 6 assists, 5 rebounds, and 3 steals.

The Scores

Ateneo 99 – Amos 19, Koon 17, Obasa 13, Balunggay 10, Brown 9, Espinosa 8, Credo 8, Nieto 7, Quitevis 3, Lazaro 3, Chiu 2, Gomez 0.

UP 89 – Cansino 22, Diouf 13, Abadiano 12, Belmonte 9, Torres 8, Torculas 6, Cagulangan 5, Lopez 5, Alarcon 5, Alter 3, Felicilda 1, Gonzales 0, Briones 0. 

Quarters: 20-18, 44-43, 68-63, 80-80 (reg.), 99-89 (OT).


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Delfin Dioquino

Delfin Dioquino dreamt of being a PBA player, but he did not have the skills to make it. So he pursued the next best thing to being an athlete – to write about them. He took up journalism at the University of Santo Tomas and joined Rappler as soon as he graduated in 2017.