Ateneo marches forward to 12-0 after making quick work of UST

Ateneo marches to 12-0 after making quick work of UST
BALANCE. Thirdy Ravena had 20, Matt Nieto had 19, and eight other Ateneo players chipped in somewhere between six to eight points.

Thirdy Ravena and Matt Nieto got Ateneo de Manila University off to a strong start on Saturday at the Araneta Coliseum, but it was the reserves who ultimately towed them past University of Sto. Tomas.

Ravena flirted with a triple-double, Nieto stroked the nets, and the rest of the Blue Eagles did their part to overwhelm the tamed Tigers, 102-83, and hike their record to 12-0, still tops in the UAAP 80 Men’s Basketball Tournament.

UST, now winless through 13 tries, actually showed much sense of urgency early on and actually had a two-point lead in the second. “We expected that they’d give it their best no matter the situation in the standings. It’s a good thing the players responded to the challenge,” coach Sandy Arespacochaga said.

It was at that point, however, that Ravena and Nieto connived for all but three points in an 11-0 answer that gave back the lead to Ateneo, 44-35, late in the quarter.

The Tigers again threatened early in the final frame, just down 70-75, only to see Mike Nieto and Isaac Go’s back-to-back hits re-increase the Blue Eagle advantage to 79-70 inside the last six minutes.

Ateneo would not let their opponents any closer from there as Ravena even had a thunderous throwdown with 2:18 remaining to put the exclamation mark on their win. “Good thing in the fourth that we played well defensively,” Arespacochaga said.

In the end, the do-it-all forward had 20 points, eight rebounds, seven assists, and two steals to his name.

Matt Nieto contributed 19 points built on five triples on top of three assists while eight other teammates chipped in somewhere between six to eight points.

Now, the league-leaders are two wins away from a sweep of the elimination round.

Conversely, the once proud boys from Espana are just one loss away from a winless season.

Dating back to a year ago, they have now lost 16 in a row.

Oliver De Guzman topped the scoring column for them in this one with 19 points.

BOX SCORES

ATENEO 102 – Ravena 20, Nieto Ma 19, Mamuyac 8, Go 7, Nieto Mi 7, Tio 7, Mallillin 7, Verano 6, Asistio 6, Black 6, Ikeh 5, Tolentino 4, Porter 0, Andrade 0, White 0

UST 83 – De Guzman 19, Sta. Ana 12, Akomo 12, Faundo 11, Basibas 11, Garcia 8, Caunan 6, Lee 4, Macasaet 0, Escalambre 0, Soriano 0, Lorenzana 0, Romero 0, Kwawukumey 0

QUARTER SCORES: 26-20, 49-39, 75-70, 102-83

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