UAAP: Sotto has 26-20, Eaglets too much for archrival Jr. Archers

Norman Lee Benjamin Riego on Feb 03, 2019 05:33 PM
Sotto has 26-20, Eaglets too much for archrival Jr. Archers
DLSZ was just no match for Kai Sotto and the rest of Ateneo.

STANDINGS
NU 12-1 (twice-to-beat)
Ateneo 10-3 (Final Four)
FEU-Diliman 9-4 (Final Four)
Adamson 9-4 (Final Four)
UST 6-7
DLSZ 4-9
UE 1-12
UPIS 1-12

Ateneo de Manila High School has owned archrival De La Salle Zobel in the last three years – and in the UAAP 81 Juniors Basketball Tournament, the former has yet again swept the latter in their rivalry series.

Kai Sotto found no match, Forthsky Padrigao and Ian Espinosa ran circles around their counterparts, and the Blue Eaglets stamped their class on the Junior Archers, 88-59, on Sunday at the Filoil Flying V Centre.

Sotto pounded in a powerful 26-point, 20-rebound double-double on top of three assists and three blocks while point guards Padrigao and Espinosa merged for 19 markers, 10 dimes, and eight boards.

Still, the contest was close, with La Salle even getting a three-point edge, 28-31, late in the second quarter. “Yung game kanina, it was for pride. La Salle brought it to us in the first half so paglabas namin kanina ng third quarter, masaya ako na we played with pride,” head coach Reggie Varilla.

Indeed, starting right before halftime, Sotto and Padrigao restored order, fronting the 33-8 tear that put them on top, 61-39, late in the third period.

Ateneo would never look back from there en route to its fifth win in a row and 10th overall in 13 games.

They have not dropped a single matchup against their archrivals since 2016.

More importantly, the win keeps the Blue Eaglets at solo second in the standings and at the forefront of the chase for a twice-to-beat advantage. “This season, lahat ng teams, pwede kang talunin at every given time. Malaking advantage if we get twice-to-beat especially against either FEU na tinalo kami or Adamson na dangerous,” coach Reggie said.

That playoff incentive is theirs if they down Adamson High School in the last game day of the elimination round a week from now.

For DLSZ, Ivan Cudiamat stood at the forefront with a 14-point, 10-rebound double-double to go along with three steals. Without an answer for Sotto, however, they dropped to 4-9.

BOX SCORES

ATENEO 88 – Sotto 26, Padrigao 15, David 11, Fetalvero 9, Chiu 7, Jaymalin 7, Ladimo 5, Espinosa 4, Diaz 4, Coo 0, Narciso 0, Lechoncito 0, De Ayre 0, Salandanan 0, Pangilinan 0.

DLSZ 59 – Cudiamat 14, Unisa 13, Jomalesa 12, Macasaet 6, Subido 5, Luna 3, Villarin 3, Sevilla 2, Milan 1, Danao 0, Marana 0, Pingol 0.

QUARTER SCORES: 20-15, 36-33, 62-47, 88-59

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