Ateneo rides fiery Pessumal, clutch Ravena for third straight

Norman Lee Benjamin Riego on Sep 19, 2015 04:41 PM
Ateneo rides fiery Pessumal, clutch Ravena for 3rd straight
LEADING THE WAY. Ateneo garnered its third straight win courtesy of its old reliables in Kiefer Ravena and Von Pessumal.

University of the East were wearing their red and white uniforms, but nobody more red-hot than Von Pessumal on Saturday at the MOA Arena.

The fifth-year gunner connected on six long-range bombs to shoot the Ateneo de Manila Blue Eagles over the Red Warriors, 77-72, all the way to their third consecutive victory in the UAAP 78 Men’s Basketball Tournament.

The Warriors grabbed a 17-19 edge after the first before back-to-back treys by Pessumal ignited a 10-0 blast that took the lead for Ateneo, 27-19, at the 6:38 mark of the second. UE closed the gap to 28-32 until another three from Pessumal capped off a 9-2 response that remounted a 43-30 Blue Eagle advantage right before halftime.

The Katipunan-based squad still led, 63-50, entering the final frame before the Warriors scored 10 unanswered to threaten at 60-63 with 6:24 remaining. It was at that point that Kiefer Ravena took charge and posted two points and two assists in a 6-0 run that re-established a 69-60 Ateneo lead.

UE kept battling and trimmed the deficit down to three thrice in the last minute, but Ravena and Matt Nieto made all six of their free throws to keep them at bay.

Pessumal topped the scoring with 21 points while the reigning MVP turned in an all-around effort with 15 points, nine assists, and nine rebounds  as the Blue Eagles stretched their winning streak to three following a season-opening defeat. “They play the most minutes, so it’s ironic that Kiefer almost had a triple-double and Von Pessumal finally hit his shots,” coach Bo Perasol said.

Batiller ended with 19 points to lead the UE effort which just fell short to hand them a 2-2 card.

BOX SCORES

ATENEO 77 – Pessumal 21, Ravena 15, Gotladera 9, Ikeh 8, Apacible 6, Nieto Ma 5, Wong 5, Babilonia 4, Capacio 2, Black 2, Pingoy 0, Cani 0, Tolentino 0

UE 72 – Batiller 19, Javier 17, Abanto 6, Varilla 5, Palma 5, Derige 5, Charcos 5, Yu 4, De Leon 4, Sta. Ana 2, Manalang 0, Gonzales 0, Gagate 0

BOX SCORES: 15-17, 43-33, 63-50, 77-72

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