Ateneo keeps UE winless, but loses Raffy Verano to injury
MANILA, Philippines – Ateneo got off to a hot start and never turned back for an 89-62 blasting of the University of the East in the UAAP men’s basketball tournament on Wednesday, September 26 at the Filoil Flying V Centre.
Despite the huge win, disaster struck for the Blue Eagles just a minute into the 4th frame after key big man Raffy Verano suffered an apparent right ankle injury.
With no other feet under him during a routine rebound battle, Verano suddenly crumpled to the floor upon landing and had to be immediately helped back to the locker room.
This only fired the Eagles up more as they cruised to a 32-point lead, 84-52, off a Gian Mamuyac fastbreak layup at the 4-minute mark.
Verano still wound up topscoring with 12 points as the Blue Eagles streaked to their third straight triumph after a shock loss to Adamson in the opener.
Angelo Kouame added 8 points and 15 boards for the Blue Eagles.
“Coming to this game, we knew that we wanted to make sure of two things: One, we want to control the rebounds, we wanted to win the battle of the boards because UE is No. 1 in defensive rebounds. The second one is we knew that UE fights hard, they play hard regardless of the score, and we wanted to make sure that we match their intensity from start all the way to the end,” said Ateneo deputy coach Sandy Arespacochaga.
“We wanted to make sure we didn't let down. We wanted to make sure we execute offensively against their change-up defense.”
Alvin Pasaol led UE for the third straight game with 17 points and 8 rebounds.
Will Bartolome chipped in 12 points in 24 minutes off the bench for the Red Warriors, who remained winless in four outings.
After a quick 4-0 start by UE, the defending UAAP champs responded with a quarter-ending 26-6 outburst to end the 1st already up 16, 26-10.
Things only got worse for UE after the 1st half as a Will Navarro corner triple lifted Ateneo to a 21-point lead, 53-32, at the 7:04 mark of the 3rd. However, the Red Warrior bench mob finally woke up and mustered a 12-5 fightback, 44-58, with 3:16 remaining in the 3rd.
Not to be outdone, Ateneo's own bench players responded with a 10-0 run punctuated by a transition Tyler Tio jumper to the 3rd up 24, 68-44.
Ateneo 89 – Verano 12, Navarro 11, Asistio 9, Mendoza 9, Kouame 8, Ravena 8, Go 7, Nieto Ma 6, Nieto Mi 6, Mamuyac 5, Tio 4, Wong 2, Daves 2, Belangel 0, Black 0, Andrade 0.
UE 62 – Pasaol 17, Bartolome 12, Conner 8, Manalang 7, Cullar 6, Maloles 6, Varilla 4, Gagate 2, Acuno 0, Gallardo 0, Antiporda 0, Lacap 0, Sobrevega 0.
Quarters: 24-10, 43-31, 68-44, 89-62.