UAAP 82: It was Ateneo's Mamuyac-led defense that put an end to FEU's charge
Norman Lee Benjamin Riego on Oct 16, 2019 04:17 PM
(Photo by Arvin Lim)
Ateneo de Manila University was put to the test by Far Eastern University, Wednesday at MOA Arena.
The Blue Eagles ultimately prevailed, but not before having to dig deep in the face of the Tamaraws' charge.
In fact, the defending champions found themselves trailing by 11 at the half and then by as much as 13 early in the third quarter.
Fortunately for them, they turned the tides from that point, going from a 29-42 deficit all the way to a 65-55 win. "The guys became who we believe we are in the second half," he said.
Indeed, Ange Kouame and Thirdy Ravena turned it on in the last two periods where the former pounded in five of his 10 points and 12 of his 15 rebounds and the latter pumped in nine of his 10 points and seven of his nine rebounds.
More important, though, was at the other end where Ateneo only allowed 15 points in the second half - after letting FEU score 18 and 22 markers in the first and second quarters, respectively.
"We always have to get it done on defense. Nung first half, 'di talaga kami yun kasi defense namin, we always try to hold opponents to 15 or lower," Gian Mamuyac said. "Feeling ko, yung defense nga namin yung gumana nung second half kasi stop-by-stop, we were able to catch up. Then nung crunch time, we got stops pa rin and won the game."
As always, Mamuyac was at the head of that spear, given the responsibility of trying to stay in front of speedster playmaker L-Jay Gonzales. "L-Jay's a really great player so I just tried my best to stay in front of him. Kung ma-beat man, alam ko namang may sasalo sa likod ko," the former said.
In the first half, Gonzales was shining bright and already had nine points, three rebounds, and two assists.
The rest of the way and with the Blue Eagles' long-limbed defensive stopper on him, though, he only had three points, three rebounds, and no assists.
And when Wendell Comboy was beginning to get going, even shooting the Tamaraws to within two inside the last four minutes, Mamuyac was shifted over to him. "We all know Comboy is a great player also so nanghingi lang din ako ng tulong sa teammates ko," the latter said.
With the 6-foot-1 swingman on him, Comboy would have no more makes for the remainder of the game.
With that, Mamuyac yet again proved his value for the defending champions. As he put it, "Ayun nga, siguro nga parang sabi ko rin dati, defense is my calling card. I always do what my team needs me to do."
He then continued, "If the team needs me to try and stop the hot guy, I'll try my best to do that."
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