Ateneo cuts UP down to size to cop solo first in UAAP 81

Norman Lee Benjamin Riego on Oct 14, 2018 06:58 PM
Ateneo cuts UP down to size to cop solo first in UAAP 81
Ateneo has swept the Battle of Katipunan once more.

Ateneo de Manila University has yet again jumped on Katipunan rival University of the Philippines to get back on track in the 81st Season of the UAAP Men’s Basketball Tournament.  

With Matt Nieto out due to a fever, it was Jolo Mendoza’s time to shine and he was only flanked by Thirdy Ravena in yet another convincing victory for the Blue Eagles versus the Fighting Maroons, 83-66, on Sunday at the MOA Arena. 

Ravena made his presence felt all over with 21 points, 11 rebounds, two steals, and two blocks as for the second time in the season, the defending champions bounced back from a loss at the expense of State U. “It’s important for us to come out strong in the second round because we’re coming off a loss,” assistant coach Sandy Arrespacochaga said.  

It was Mendoza and Ravena who joined forces for all of the points in the 13-2 run that broke a tied tally of 48-all late in the third quarter and built up a 61-50 advantage in favor of Ateneo. 

Both the double-digit lead and the momentum would remain with until the final buzzer. 

Mendoza woud up with 10 points in just nine minutes on the floor while fellow guard Tyler Tio also stepped up with a season-high 12 points to go along with five assists and two rebounds. 

Angelo Kouame also added nine points and 16 rebounds all while helping slow down UP’s Nigerian powerhouse Bright Akhuetie. 

Now at 6-2, the Blue Eagles are again alone atop the leaderboard. “This is more than the standings for us. We wanted to mainly focus on our intensity and I think we did a pretty good job on that,” coach Sandy said. 

On the other hand, UP fell farther behind in the playoff race with its second straight loss and fifth overall in eight games. Akhuetie still showed the way for them with 20 points and eight rebounds while Paul Desiderio chipped in 16 markers and seven boards. 

Gomez de Liano brothers Juan and Javi struggled, however, and only merged for nine points in 4-of-16 shooting while also committing seven turnovers. 

BOX SCORES 

ATENEO 83 – Ravena 21, Tio 12, Verano 10, Mendoza 10, Asistio 9, Kouame 9, Mamuyac 6, Belangel 4, Go 2, Navarro 0, Black 0, Wong 0 

UP 66 – Akhuetie 20, Desiderio 16, Manzo 8, Gomez de Liano Ju 5, Gomez de Liano Ja 4, Dario 3, Jaboneta 2, Prado 2, Murrell 2, Vito 2, Gozum 2, Spencer 0, Lim 0 

QUARTER SCORES: 18-15, 35-29, 54-48, 83-66 

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Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo. 

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