Blue Eaglets put up one big fight to deny Baby Tams’ entry into Finals

Norman Lee Benjamin Riego on Feb 14, 2017 03:15 PM
Blue Eaglets deny Baby Tams’ entry into Finals
ONCE MORE, WITH FEELINGS. Ateneo and FEU-Diliman will need one more game to settle their score.

SJ Belangel showed the way and the rest of his teammates followed suit as Ateneo de Manila High School put up its most impressive end-to-end effort in the UAAP 79 Juniors Basketball Tournament.

Belangel and Dave Ildefonso took care of the scoring and all of the Blue Eaglets tightened the noose on defense to halt the charge of Far Eastern University-Diliman, 75-56, on Tuesday at the San Juan Arena. 

Belangel, the MVP frontrunner, had 14 points, five rebounds, and three assists while Ildefonso took flight once more with 19 points and five rebounds. Jason Credo added 13 points and seven rebounds and Kai Sotto had an 11-point, 12-rebound double-double.

Those starters coupled with a defense that tallied seven blocks and five assists all while limiting their opponents to 31 percent shooting were more than enough to keep Ateneo alive in the tournament.

The contest was close early on and the Baby Tamaraws had a one-point cushion until Belangel and Ildefonso merged to spearhead a huge 31-15 surge that established a 47-30 advantage for Ateneo.

The Eaglets’ lead increased to as much as 20 before L-Jay Gonzales clawed the Baby Tamaraws to within 12, 54-66.

Belangel and Ildefonso again had the answer, however, as Ateneo finished with a flourish.

The convincing victory vanquished FEU-Diliman’s twice-to-beat advantage and sets up a winner-take-all matchup on Friday. In their head-to-head meetings, the two teams now own two wins each.

L-Jay Gonzales topped the scoring column for the Baby Tamaraws with 13 points.

BOX SCORES

ATENEO 75 – Ildefonso 19, Belangel 14, Credo 13, Sotto 11, Berjay 8, Manuel 5, Flores 5, Escalona 0, Angeles 0, Gatmaytan 0, Deonio 0, Laud 0, Espino 0, Afable 0

FEU-DILIMAN 56 – Gonzales 13, Roman 10, Abarrientos 7, Alforque 6, Gabane 5, Sapinit 5, Gloria 4, Celzo 3, Jabel 3, Torres 0, Baclay 0, Sevilla 0, Bieren 0

QUARTER SCORES: 21-19, 47-33, 60-45, 75-56

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