Ateneo frustrates UE to swoop into solo third
Norman Lee Benjamin Riego on Oct 19, 2016 02:49 PM
BLUE OVER RED. Jolo Mendoza helped shoot Ateneo over UE and back onto the win column.
Although they were coming off an 11-day layoff, the energy just wasn’t there for Ateneo de Manila University when they took back to the floor of the San Juan Arena on Wednesday.
Apparently, they just needed a quarter and then some to get going.
Falling behind by as much as 14 early on, the Blue Eagles flipped the switch in the second quarter and never let up en route to a 75-61 romp of University of the East that keeps them in sole possession of third-place in the UAAP 79 Men’s Basketball Tournament.
With their last assignment being last October 11, the kids from Katipunan suffered a slow start and trailed, 9-23, early on. “Whenever we play UE, it’s really a tough game. Good thing that a couple of our bench guys stepped up and helped us out on both ends,” assistant coach Sandy Arespacochaga said.
Indeed, it was the entry of Thirdy Ravena and Jolo Mendoza that gave life to the Ateneo offense which went on a 33-12 tear to suddenly snare a 42-35 lead.
The last six were courtesy of back-to-back long-distance swishes from Mendoza who wound up with a team-high 15 points, all coming in the first half. “Jolo is not a player who gets a lot minutes, but he was ready to play and gave us a big boost,” Arespacochaga said.
The Eagles would not look back as they clamped down on defense and only allowed eight field goals in the last two quarters to see their advantage reach to as high as 18, 69-51. Nothing but satisfied with the effort of his wards, Arespacochaga said, “All of our players are hardworking. Hopefully, we see more signs of maturity.”
Ravena added 14 markers of his own to help Ateneo arrest a two-game slide and get back on the win column now at 5-4.
Philip Manalang paced the Red Warriors with 16 points. An offense that shot 43.8 percent in the first half and then ended with a 31.9 percent clip, however, made sure they remained at last-place with a 2-7 standing.
ATENEO 75 – Mendoza 15, Ravena 14, Wong 11, Nieto Mi 10, Go 8, Asistio 4, Tolentino 4, Black 4, Verano 4, Ikeh 1, Babilonia 0, Nieto Ma 0, Porter 0
UE 61 – Manalang 16, De Leon 13, Varilla 7, Pasaol 7, Batiller 5, Olayon 4, Bartolome 4, Palma 3, Derige 2, Penuela 0, Gagate 0, Charcos 0, Abanto 0, Larupay 0
QUARTER SCORES: 16-23, 42-37, 60-48, 75-61
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