A win continues to elude the Ateneo de Manila University Blue Eagles in the 2017 Filoil Flying V Premier Cup.
After a heartbreaking 89-90 loss to Lyceum on opening day, the University of the Red Warriors did an encore on Wednesday night, handing Ateneo a 72-71 loss in Group A action at the Filoil Flying V Centre in San Juan City.
“Well, we still have not settled down. Especially in the start, we had a bad start. I was telling them to settle down, parang we’re kinda excited out there, we have a lot of new faces,” said recently-renewed UE head coach Derrick Pumaren, as the game had 13 lead changes.
“But you know, if things are not going right offensively, we gotta make it right on the other end by playing defense and that’s what we did, that’s why we were able to get back in the ball game and get the lead,” the veteran mentor added.
UE sophomore Alvin Pasaol led his team with 23 points on 22 attempts to go along with 10 rebounds and four steals.
“Kailangan kasi siyempre maliliit po kami, kailangan namin na maging mas pisikal pa sa kanila kasi we’re the smaller team, kailangan talaga pumukpok, at maganda ang ipinakita namin sa depensa ngayon,” said Pasaol, who had taken over rebounding duties after Mark Olayon fouled out of the game midway through the final frame.
But it was rookie Mark Maloles who stole the show.
With 36.4 tick to go and Ateneo up by one, the former RTU Blue Thunder crossed up Vince Tolentino and knocked down the go-ahead floater.
Ateneo though had chances to win but rookie Tyler Tio and Chibueze Ikeh missed a jumper and a put-back respectively to finish the highly-physical contest.
“Even up to the end, we still played good defense. Alvin missed a free throw that could have iced the game, but we played tough defense. We have a smaller team compared to Ateneo, but we were able to stand our ground,” Pumaren stated.
Maloles chipped in 13 points and eight rebounds.
UE led by as many as 10 points, 43-33, during the third quarter but Ateneo were able to rally back, capped by a Raffy Verano put-back with 49.5 seconds remaining that gave Ateneo a 71-70 lead.
Mike Nieto led Ateneo with 15 points and eight rebounds. Ikeh added eight points and seven rebounds.
UE will face the University of Santo Tomas Growling Tigers on Wednesday, May 10. On the other hand, Ateneo take on the same team on Friday, May 5, at 5:00pm.
UE (72) – Pasaol 23, Maloles 13, Olayon 8, Abanto 6, Derige 6, Conner 4, Varilla 3, Manalang 2, Gagate 2, Armenion 2, Cullar 2, Acuno 1, Green 0.
ADMU (71) – Nieto Mi. 15, Ikeh 8, Go 6, Porter 6, White 5, Mendoza 5, Tio 4, Asistio 4, Ravena 3, Nieto Ma. 3, Wong 3, Verano 3, Ildefonso 3, Tolentino 2, Andrade 1, Mamuyac 0.
Quarterscores: 13-18, 37-32, 53-51, 72-71.