UAAP 82: Ateneo makes quick work of UP, makes history with elims sweep

Norman Lee Benjamin Riego on Oct 30, 2019 06:31 PM
Ateneo makes quick work of UP, makes history with sweep
SJ Belangel scored a career-high 14 points off the bench as Ateneo swept the elimination round of the UAAP Season 82 Men's Basketball Tournament and clinched an automatic Finals berth (Photo courtesy of UAAP)

The Ateneo de Manila University team of the UAAP 82 Men's Basketball Tournament has done something no other Blue Eagle squad has done before.

Ateneo has staked claim to a clean sweep of the elimination round after stamping its class on the University of the Philippines once more, 86-64, Wednesday at the MOA Arena.

The Blue Eagles yet again proved they are heads and shoulders above the competition - even the second-seeded Fighting Maroons - and won their 14th game in as many games by dominating the second to fourth quarters. "We understand that this is a significant accomplishment, but as you all know, the job isn't done," head coach Tab Baldwin said post-game.

State U was actually up by one, 25-24, early in the second only to see the two-time defending champions go on a 19-2 tear for a 43-27 lead all of a sudden late in the period.

Several players contributed in that killer run, but Ange Kouame and Will Navarro punctuated it with a two-handed throwdown and a follow-up inside basket, respectively.

They would never look back and even mounted a lead as big as 24 points in the second half.

In the end, Kouame had a 20-point, 12-rebound double-double to his name on top of five blocks and two assists while Navarro also added 13 markers, two boards, two dimes, and two steals.

SJ Belangel chipped in 14 points, all but five coming in the second quarter, while Thirdy Ravena also added 11 markers, five assists, four rebounds, and three steals.

This is the first time in school history that Ateneo has a completed a clean sweep of the elimination round and therefore, clinched an automatic advance into the Finals.

At the same time, the Blue Eagles' 14-0 elims standing forces stepladder playoffs among the other three semifinalists. "This is the season before the season and I'm confident we'll stay focused," coach Tab said of the two-week break in front of them.

He then continued, "It's not gonna be very difficult for us to get our focus on the playoffs. We'll be sharp."

UP will now await the winner in the knockout bout between Far Eastern University and University of Sto. Tomas on November 6 at Araneta Coliseum.

Kobe Paras topped the scoring column for them in this one with 13 points to go along with seven rebounds and two assists while Bright Akhuetie and Javi Gomez de Liano each chimed in 11 markers and six boards.

BOX SCORES

ATENEO 86 - Kouame 20, Belangel 14, Navarro 13, Ravena 11, Go 7, Ma. Nieto 7, Mamuyac 5, Tio 4, Maagdenberg 3, Mi. Nieto 2, Andrade 0, Chiu 0, Daves 0, Mallillin 0, Wong 0.

UP 64 - Paras 13, Akhuetie 11, Ja. Gomez de Liano 11, Ju. Gomez de Liano 9, Tungcab 5, Jaboneta 4, Rivero 4, Manzo 2, Murrell 2, Webb 2, Mantilla 1, Prado 0, Spencer 0.

QUARTER SCORES: 20-21, 45-32, 65-44, 86-44.

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