Ateneo now top-seed after torching UE with 38-point second quarter
SJ Belangel and Ateneo rode their long-range missiles all the way to the top-seed
Of course, Ateneo de Manila High School knows very, very well the whole court and both of the rings of the Blue Eagle Gym in Quezon City.
That much was evident on Wednesday as the Blue Eaglets burned the nets to the tune of a total of 11 threes to gun down hapless University of the East, 101-74.
With the red-hot shooting, the kids from Katipunan have bagged the top-seed in the 80th Season of the UAAP Juniors Basketball Tournament.
More than that, they are one win away from a clean sweep of the elimination round.
That’s easier said than done, however, as awaiting them in the last game of elimination is second-running Nazareth School of National University.
Still, if they replicate even half of what they did up against the Junior Warriors, an automatic advance into the Finals is well within reach.
After the opening period, UE was still in the game and was only down by five.
Come the second, however, Ateneo just turned it on and dropped 38 points for a massive 65-38 halftime edge.
Yes, they matched in just a quarter the entire output of their opponents in a half.
The Blue Eaglets’ lead would only balloon to as much as 38 in the third.
SJ Belangel and Dave Ildefonso were the ringleaders in the three-point barrage with the former tallying 16 points, including four threes, to go along with seven assists and five rebounds while the latter collected 15 markers, including two threes, on top of nine boards and four dimes.
Even role players were feeling it as Jason Credo chipped in 15 points and one triple, Amchel Angeles added 11 points and three triples, and Matthew Escalona contributed 10 points.
In the day’s last game, De La Salle Zobel piled onto the woes of University of Sto. Tomas with an 86-79 upset of a win.
RC Calimag topped the scoring column with 19 points, but it was Raven Cortez who was the difference-maker with 15 points, 17 rebounds, and seven blocks.
The win is the biggest in the season for the Juniors Archers who improved to 4-9.
With a chance to get ahead of fellow playoff hopeful Adamson High School, the Tiger Cubs instead took another step back.
CJ Cansino scored 16 points on top of 10 rebounds, three assists, and one steal, but was ineffective for majority of the matchup in the face of Cortez’s defense.
As such, he was left helpless as his team fell for the fifth time in the last six games.
UST and Adamson are again tied in the standings at 6-7 – with their last assignments in the elimination round very well the decider on who between them gets the fourth and final playoff berth.
The Tiger Cubs tussle with defending champion Far Eastern University-Diliman while the Baby Falcons take on DLSZ on Sunday.
ATENEO 101 – Belangel 16, Ildefonso 15, Credo 15, Sotto 13, Angeles 11, Escalona 10, Manuel 8, Chiu 5, Lopa 2, Gusi 2, Jaymalin 2, Santos 2, David 0, Diaz 0, Tanedo 0, Ong 0
UE 74 – Miranda 20, Vinte 14, Dichoso 11, Angeles 10, Lopez 6, Dulalia 6, Tajonera 3, Villarta 0, Almacen 0, Santos 0
QUARTER SCORES: 27-22, 65-38, 91-55, 101-74
DLSZ 86 – Calimag 19, Carlos 17, Cortez 15, Santos 13, Cosejo 7, Escandor 5, Vesagas 4, Favis 2, Damiles 2, Pascual 2, Chavez 0, Terrado 0, Udal 0
UST 79 – Cansino 16, Villapando 16, Baquial 9, Relucio 9, Lina 7, Manabat 5, Anunciacion 5, Narvasa 5, Dolendo 4, Estrella 2, Palencia 1, Benzonan 0
QUARTER SCORES: 15-13, 37-29, 60-57, 86-79
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