UAAP: Ateneo does all the right things to down error-prone La Salle
Angelo Kouame was a big difference for Ateneo in their victory versus archrival La Salle
This time around, it was Ateneo de Manila University that caused chaos for De La Salle University all throughout their first rivalry game in the UAAP 81 Men’s Basketball Tournament.
Forcing the Green Archers out of their comfort zone from start to finish on Saturday at the MOA Arena, the Blue Eagles flew away from all the arrows sent their way by the Green Archers for a 71-55 decision.
Kouame made a good account of himself in his first Ateneo-La Salle and made his presence felt all over with 20 points, 13 rebounds, and five blocks. Ravena also had nine markers, six dimes, and four boards in the defending champions’ fifth consecutive victory following a season-opening loss.
Those two definitely weren’t alone, though, as four different players made up the 12-0 run that turned a two-point deficit at the midway mark of the second to a 28-18 advantage late in the quarter. “It’s an Ateneo-La Salle game, very intense, but we are very happy with how our players performed,” assistant coach Sandy Arrespacochaga said post-game.
Many of those looks came courtesy of a defense that forced a total of 28 turnovers which were quickly converted to 29 points. “We’re very happy especially with how we played defense,” coach Sandy said.
The win continues Ateneo’s mastery over La Salle after the former edged out the latter for the championship a year ago.
For the Green Archers, Aljun Melecio showed the way with 21 points and seven rebounds. He was the only player in double-digits for them, however, as the frontline of Justine Baltazar only merged for 11 points in 4-of-11 shooting to go along with 17 rebounds.
Unable to keep up with their archrivals, they dropped to 3-3 in the standings.
ATENEO 71 – Kouame 20, Asistio 12, Ravena 9, Verano 8, Navarro 6, Go 6, Tio 5, Nieto Mi 3, Nieto Ma 2, Wong 0, Mamuyac 0, Belangel 0, Mendoza 0
LA SALLE 55 – Melecio 21, Santillan 7, Dyke 6, Baltazar 4, Montalbo 4, Caracut 4, Bates 3, Serrano 3, Manuel 3, Go 0
QUARTER SCORES: 12-13, 28-21, 50-33, 71-55
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