By: Jonash Dannug
Angelo Kouame’s monster performance spoiled Jollo Go’s late-game heroics, as the Ateneo de Manila University Blue Eagles held off the De La Salle University Green Archers in overtime, 81-75, in the Filoil Flying V Preseason Cup presented by Chooks-to-Go, Tuesday, at the Filoil Flying V Centre.
With 1:12 remaining in regulation, Thirdy Ravena drained a jumper that gave Ateneo the lead, 67-66. Ravena then followed it up with a trey, putting the Blue Eagles in the driver’s seat with 23.5 seconds remaining, 70-66.
However, even with the game in Ateneo’s hands, the Green Archers would not go down without a fight. Aljun Melecio capped a three-pointer with 15 seconds remaining to trim the deficit to a solidary point. La Salle then fouled Isaac Go in the following possession, but the Gilas Cadet split his free throw, giving the Archers a 2-point lead, 71-69. Jolo Go then flipped a lay-up with 0.3 seconds left off an inbound pass to force the game into overtime.
Both teams started the extra period sluggishly, though the Green Archers led the game, with fourth quarter hero Jolo Go hitting another big shot. This time, however, the former Hope Christian school standout drained a three-pointer, giving La Salle their first lead in overtime, 75-73.
After that, Ivorian student-athlete Angelo Kouame took over the game and scored six straight points to deliver the finishing blow on La Salle.
Despite the win, Ateneo head coach Tab Baldwin was not impressed with the way his wards played.
“I don’t really have a lot to say about the game. I thought it wasn’t a great game of basketball,” said Baldwin. “It might have been entertaining, I thought La Salle probably played with a bit more grit and a bit more toughness than we did. I would prefer to probably compliment them for the effort that they put in today.”
Ravena top-scored the Blue Eagles with 17 points and five rebounds. Kouame posted a monster double-double finishing with 16 points and 18 rebounds, while Go chipped in 10 markers to help steer Ateneo to a clean slate in the eliminations with a 9-0 record.
Meanwhile, La Salle were spearheaded by Leo Santillan with 19 points and nine rebounds. Justine Baltazar scored 16 points and grabbed 13 rebounds, while Aljun Melecio fired 15 markers on 6-of-22 shooting from the field. La Salle finished the elimination round with a 7-2 card.
Picking up their sixth victory in the preseason cup, the San Beda University Red Lions scored a lopsided victory, handing the Mapua University Cardinals a 35-point beating, 95-60, gaining the last and final slot for the quarterfinals in Group A.
Entering the fourth quarter, the Red Lions already had a sizable advantage of 26 points. However, it was Jayvee Mocon’s 12-point explosion in the third frame that spelled the difference for the Mendiola-based squad.
San Beda had an impressive third quarter, scoring 35 points while Mapua only had 19.
“They really played well in the first quarter, they stayed close with us. But again, the boys really stepped-up their game in the third quarter and eventually we won the game,” said head coach Boyet Fernandez, noting his wards’ spectacular performance in the third quarter.
However, even after the big win, Fernandez pointed out that their sole goal is to prepare for the upcoming National Collegiate Athletic Association basketball tournament. “We’re really preparing for the NCAA, so any adjustments that we’re doing right now it’s more of a preparation for the NCAA. There are mix-ups of rotations, in order that we can really prepare ourselves for the NCAA season,” he said.
Mocon finished with 20 points on 8-of-13 shooting from the field and 3-of-4 from the foul line. Eugene Toba added 14 points and six rebounds, while Clint Doliguez finished with 10 points and seven rebounds. Donald Tankoua and Jeramer Cabanag contributed nine points each, pushing San Beda to a 6-2 record.
Cedric Pelayo fired 14 points and grabbed seven boards for Mapua, while Lawrence Victoria and Warren Bonifacio both added nine points.
The Cardinals, who won their first three games in the tournament, have now lost their last five assignments and are now down to a 3-5 card.
San Beda will join the Ateneo de Manila University, De La Salle University, and the University of the Philippines as the top four teams in group A.
The Lyceum University of the Philippines Pirates blasted a last-minute run as they denied the University of Santo Tomas Growling Tigers a win, 93-88, in the first game of the afternoon.
Entering the final two minutes of the game, the Growling Tigers were able to grab the lead courtesy of Marvin Lee’s free throws, 88-87.
However, in the following possession, Lyceum team B standout Casper Pericas was able to convert a coast-to-coast lay-up which gave the lead back to LPU, 89-88. Reymark Caduyac and CJ Perez then scored two consecutive baskets, finishing the match with a 6-0 blast to hand UST their sixth loss of the tournament.
Perez led the Pirates’ attack with 16 points, eight assists, and five rebounds. Rhanzelle Yong played big, collecting 15 points and eight boards, while Caduyac and Pericas contributed 12 and 10 respectively.
Marvin Lee paced the Growling Tigers with 18 points. Renzo Subido scored 16 points, while Kenneth Zamora added 11. Meanwhile, the returning Mario Bonleon scored 11 points and grabbed five rebounds for UST.
St. Benilde’s Prince Carlos was crowned as the first ever champion of the Hanes 1-on-1 King of the Hardcourt, after edging Letran’s Jeremiah Taladua, 15-14. Carlos drained five three-point shots to go on with an abbreviated win.
LPU (93) – Perez 16, Yong 15, Caduyac 12, Pericas 10, Tansingco 9, Pretta 8, Serrano 8, Remulla 7, Jv. Marcelino 5, Mahinay 3, Ibanes 0
UST (88) – Lee 18, Subido 16, Zamora 11, Bonleon 10, Agustin 10, Huang 8, Bataller 6, Consejo 5, Caunan 4
Quarterscores: 17-21, 35-41, 66-62, 93-88
SBU (95) – Mocon 20, Eugene 14, Doliguez 10, Tankoua 9, Cabanag 9, Bolick 7, Oftana 6, Nelle 5, Soberano 5, Presbitero 3, Cuntapay 3, Carino 2, Burri 2, Tongco 0
MU (60) – Pelayo 14, Victoria 9, Bonifacio 9, Lugo 8, Serrano 8, Salenga 4, Bunag 4, Pajarilo 4, Garcia 0, Gamboa 0, Nocum 0
Quarterscores: 10-17, 35-27, 70-46, 95-60
ADMU (81) – Ravena 17, Kouame 16, Go 10, Wong 8, Ma. Nieto 6, Mamuyac 5, Verano 5, Mi. Nieto 4, Belangel 3, Mendoza 3, White 2, Black 2, Maagdenberg 0, Asistio 0, Navarro 0, Tio 0
DLSU (75) – Santillan 19, Baltazar 16, Melecio 15, Go 8, Samuel 6, Caracut 4, Dyke 3, Manuel 2, Capacio 2, Lim 0, Bates 0, Manaytay 0
Quarterscores: 18-14, 34-28, 52-53, 71-71, 81-75