Blue Eagles lock down the Fighting Maroons to remain undefeated
MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – The Ateneo Blue Eagles are still unbeaten in the league as they triumphed over the University of the Philippines (UP) Fighting Maroons, 96-82, on Wednesday, November 8, at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Javi Gomez de Liano tied the game at 79-all with 4:11 left in the game, but the Blue Eagles outshot the Fighting Maroons from the stripe, punctuated by Matt Nieto's triple that saved Ateneo from staining in their undefeated run.
The Blue Eagles outscored the Fighting Maroons 33-18 in the fourth quarter and closed out the game with a 10-1 run.
Back-and-forth action greeted the Katipunan crowd as the first half saw 14 lead changes between the Blue Eagles and the Fighting Maroons.
The Fighting Maroons dominated the 3-point range as they made 8 triples in the first two quarters, where one of them by Juan Gomez De Liano highlighted UP's 8-2 run at the close out of the second quarter.
Turnovers plagued the Fighting Maroons in the second half as they were unable to cut through the number one defensive team in the league.
Despite suffering from their lackluster offense for most of the game, the Blue Eagles improved their defense late in the third quarter and powered the final frame with a 14-2 run.
They also held down the Fighting Maroons to only 18 points and a 22% shooting percentage.
Matt Nieto topscored for the Blue Eagles with 19 points while Issac Go and Gian Mamuyac contributed 13 points apiece.
Juan Gomez de Liano led the Fighting Maroons with 21 points and grabbed 6 rebounds.
The Blue Eagles are undefeated with a 13-0 record while the Fighting Maroons fall to 5-8 in the UAAP Season 80 men's basketball tournament.
The loss of the Far Eastern University Tamaraws to the National University Bulldogs still gives the Fighting Maroons a chance to still make it to the final 4 despite UP's loss in the Battle of Katipunan.
Ateneo (96) – Matt Nieto 19, Go 13, Mamuyac 13, Ravena 10, Tolentino 10, Mike Nieto 9, Verano 8, Ikeh 6, Asistio 4, Mendoza 4, Tio 0, Black 0.
UP (82) – Gomez de Liano Ju 21, Desiderio 16, Manzo 13, Dario 8, Gomez de Liano Ja 7, Lim 4, Ouattara 3, Jaboneta 3, Webb 2, Romero 2, Lao 2, Prado 1, Vito 0, Ricafort 0, Harris 0.
Quarter Scores: 22-23, 42-48, 63-64, 96-82.