Verano, Ateneo make sure NU’s downward spiral continues

Norman Lee Benjamin Riego on Oct 23, 2016 07:05 PM
Verano, Ateneo make sure NU’s downward spiral continues
FLIGHT. Ateneo was boosted to a stronger position as solo third behind the breakout of rookie Raffy Verano.

Another win, another breakout star for Ateneo de Manila University in the 79th Season of the UAAP Men’s Basketball Tournament.

This time on Sunday at the Araneta Coliseum, it was Raffy Verano who left something to remember him by with a career-best 20 points to go along with two rebounds and two steals.

The Filipino-American wasn’t alone, however, as five other Blue Eagles also contributed at least six points in their 65-50 rout of reeling National University.

The Bulldogs last won on October 1 and their struggles remained full display as they only mustered eight points in each of the first two quarters. “Coming into this game, we knew that we’re up against an NU team that might be a little more desperate,” coach Sandy Arrespacochaga said.

He then continued, “So we wanted to if not match, at least surpass, NU’s defense.”

Indeed, much of the Bulldogs’ struggles had to do with Ateneo’s active defense right from tip-off. “I think we were able to do just that. We held them to 50 points and 30 percent shooting so we’re happy with that,” Arrespacochaga added.

At the other end, the Eagles just followed the lead of Verano who already had 11 points by halftime to show the way to a 34-16 advantage. They would not let up the rest of the way to notch back-to-back wins.

Isaac Go contributed nine points in only eight minutes to help Ateneo improve to 6-4. They remain in sole possession of third-place.

For NU, it was J-Jay Alejandro who topped the scoring with 13 points. Unable to find their range yet again, however, they lost for the fifth time in a row coming from a 4-2 record.


ATENEO 65 – Verano 20, Go 9, Black 7, Asistio 6, Babilonia 6, Tolentino 6, Ravena 4, Nieto Mi 3, Mendoza 2, Wong 2, Escaler 0, Ikeh 0, Ildefonso 0, Nieto Ma 0, Porter 0, White 0.

NU 50  – Alejandro 13, Aroga 8, Salem 7, M. Diputado 6, Morido 5, R. Diputado 3, Gallego 3, Rangel 3, Pate 2, Abatayo 0, Mosqueda 0, Salim 0, Yu 0.

QUARTER SCORES: 11-8, 34-16, 52-34, 65-50.


Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo.

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