collegiate basketball

New-look Ateneo pummels Indonesia by 86 in Japan pocket tournament debut

JR Isaga
New-look Ateneo pummels Indonesia by 86 in Japan pocket tournament debut

Chris Koon of the Ateneo Blue Eagles at the UAAP Season 84 men's basketball tournament

UAAP Season 84 Media Team

New Blue Eagles Paul Garcia, Kai Ballungay, and Joseph Obasa show off in Ateneo's 86-point humiliation of Indonesia's Universitas Pelita Harapan at the start of Japan's World University Basketball Series

MANILA, Philippines – The Ateneo Blue Eagles cruised to a statement debut at the World University Basketball Series tournament in Japan and handed Indonesia’s Universitas Pelita Harapan an 86-point decimation, 125-39, on Tuesday, August 9.

Young holdovers like Geo Chiu, Chris Koon, and Forthsky Padrigao teamed up with newcomers like Kai Ballungay, Paul Garcia, Inand Fornillos, and Nigerian student-athlete Joseph Obasa to shoot a whopping 60% from the field, and 16-of-34 (47%) from three.

Garcia, a former teammate of fellow Fil-Am Jalen Green, led the way with 17 points in as many minutes on 3-of-5 shooting from downtown, while Ballungay scored 15 on a near-perfect 7-of-8 clip.

Padrigao scattered 14 points, 6 assists, 4 rebounds, and 4 steals in 19 minutes, while Koon also scored 14 with 5 boards.

Indonesia only enjoyed a brief 2-0 start before Ateneo locked them down with a 28-4 run the rest of the first quarter for a 28-6 start, and never looked back.

As is always the case with head coach Tab Baldwin’s teams, the Blue Eagles played aggressively until the final buzzer, and peaked with an 86-point lead off one last Garcia kill shot from deep in the final minute of regulation to set the final score.

The 6-foot-11 Obasa – filling in for the injured UAAP MVP Ange Kouame – churned out 12 points, 9 rebounds, and 3 assists in 20 minutes, while JC Fetalvero and Chiu scored 11 and 10, respectively.

Ateneo aims to keep its momentum going on Wednesday, August 10, with a 6:45 pm (Manila time) game against Taiwan’s National Chengchi University (NCCU). – 

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