UAAP 81 Jrs: Kai Sotto has double-double as Ateneo claws UST
Philip Matel on Nov 11, 2018 05:24 PM
The Ateneo Blue Eaglets started their title defense on the right track as they warded off the pesky UST Tiger Cubs in a wire-to-wire victory, 74-61, at the Blue Eagle Gym Sunday afternoon.
Ateneo took control for most of the game, but their black and gold-clad opponents were relentless in mounting a comeback, but always came up short.
The Blue Eaglets also overcame the grinding defense of the Tiger Cubs, who targeted their physicality against big men Kai Sotto and Geo Chiu. The Blue and White however, just shrugged them off and led by as much as 16, 73-57, in the late stages of the fourth.
Sotto, an inclusion of the 20-man Gilas pool led the way with 24 points on 7/11 shooting, and added 13 rebounds, also blocking four shots.
Chiu meanwhile added 15 points and nine rebounds.
Forthsky Padrigao, in his debut for Ateneo also had an all-around performance of 13 points, 10 rebounds, and six assists.
For the Tiger Cubs, Mark Nonoy was the lone man in double-figures, but certainly punished his defender by scoring 31, and adding six rebounds, plus dishing out five assists in 34 minutes of action.
Batang Gilas member Bismarck Lina was the second-highest scorer for the boys from España with nine markers.
Both teams bannered new tacticians, with the defending champs now being led by former assistant Reggie Varilla, while veteran coach and UST assistant Bonnie Garcia called the shots for the Tiger Cubs.
In his first day on the coach, Varilla said that there were definitely a lot of things his side could improve on, but will eventually get the hang of it as their campaign goes by.
"There were points in the game that we were about to break the game wide open and then we commit two, three silly turnovers. We did not go down on defense two, three times. Suddenly UST's back in the game," the debuting coach said.
"We can't do that against other teams, especially yung mga contenders like NU and FEU. We have to do a better job and be patient with our offense."
Meanwhile, in the final game, the Adamson Baby Falcons soared over the UPIS Junior Maroons, 78-66.
Joem Sabandal led Adamson with an all-around game of 23 points, eight rebounds, and four assists. Adrian Manlapaz meanwhile tallied gaudy stats of 12 markers and 18 boards.
Allen Torres paced up with 21 points, while Jordi Gomez de Liaño contributed 14 points and six rebounds.
UPIS just could not buy a basket from downtown, making eight out of 39 attempts from the outside. Adamson also shot poorly but shot less at a 5/19 shooting clip.
ADMU (74) -- Sotto 24, Chiu 15, Padrigao 13, Jaymalin 8, Diaz 6, David 5, De Ayre 3, Espinosa 0, Fetalvero 0, Coo 0, Salandanan 0, Pangilinan 0.
UST (61) -- Nonoy 31, Lina 9, Barranco 6, Dolendo 5, Marzan 4, Sumabat 4, Manabat 2, Oliva 0, Casingcasing 0, Amador 0, Benzonan 0, Dumlao 0, Estrella 0.
Quarter Scores: 21-15, 43-35. 58-49, 75-61.
ADAMSON (78) -- Sabandal 23, Manlapaz 12, An. Doria 11, Padilla 7, Tulabut 6, Engbino 4, Hanapi 3, Santos 3, Capulong 2, Nitura 2, Prodigo 2, Berwite 2, Dominguez 1, Barcelona 0, Guarino 0.
UPIS (66) -- Torres 21, Labao 15, Gomez de Liaño 14, Vergiere 7, Galotera 4, Lopez 3, Estrera 2, Tuazon 0.
Quarter Scores: 23-10, 45-26, 59-52, 78-66.