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Ateneo extends dominance over UP to 13 games

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The Ateneo de Manila University Blue Eagles have started the second round by peaking at the right time.

The Blue Eagles extended their winning streak to four games with a victory over the University of the Philippines Fighting Maroons, their 13th straight win over their Katipunan neighbors, early Wednesday evening at the Smart Araneta Coliseum in Quezon City.

The Fighting Maroons started the game with an early 4-0 lead through Cheick Kone and Agustini Amar. The Blue Eagles struggled from the field in the opening stages as they only got their first field goal at the 6:39 mark of the first quarter, with a Ponso Gotladera jumpshot. After an Amar three-pointer gave UP a 9-6 lead, the Blue Eagles hit their Katipunan neighbors with a 13-2 run through G-Boy Babilonia and first-year guard Adrian Wong.

Ateneo increased their lead to a game-high 19 points in the second quarter, as the duo of Kiefer Ravena and Arvin Tolentino scored eight apiece for the Blue Eagles. Moreover, the Ateneo bench was able to score 14 of the 26 second quarter points. On the other end, the Fighting Maroons shot a miserable 28% from the field in the half, including just 1/11 from downtown. Second leading scorer Paul Desiderio added to the UP struggle as he was held scoreless, converting none of three attempts, while Jett Manuel was just 1/5 from the field in the half.

After the break, the Fighting Maroons switched their defense to a full court press that surprised the Blue Eagles. The Katipunan cagers were limited to just nine points in the quarter, on just 3/8 shooting from the field. Moreover, Manuel, Desiderio, and Diego Dario combined for 12 points that cut the Ateneo lead to just ten, 54-44, entering the final quarter.

Through the hot-shooting of Wong, the Blue Eagles were able to re-extend the lead to 19 midway through the final quarter. Ravena and Chibueze Ikeh put on the finishing touches as the Blue Eagles extended their streak over the Fighting Maroons to 13 games, winning 74-65.

“I feel like we started really well,” Coach Bo Perasol said after the game. “We talked in the dugout about the run that UP was going to make after halftime and [fortunately] we had good composure in the third quarter.”

Perasol also complimented the performance of Filipino-American Wong, who scored 14 points on 5/8 shooting. “We didn’t have a good offensive game by Von [Pessumal]. Wong stepped up for us.”

For Ravena, this was a good outing for the team before their big game against La Salle on Sunday, November 8. “After a ten day break, we benefited from it. Sabi namin UP is gonna play hard. At least now we could prepare well for La Salle kasi fresh talaga sila.”

Ravena again led the scoring for the Blue Eagles with 16 points on 7/15 shooting. The league leader in assists also dished out five dimes in this game. His fellow Smart Elite ambassador finished with just five points but was able to grab seven boards in 25 minutes of action.

Diego Dario scored 13 points but was just 5/17 shooting. Smart Elite ambassador Jett Manuel scored ten points on a horrible 2/13 clip.

As a team, the Blue Eagles shot an efficient 51.67% from the field compared to just 33.78% for the Diliman cagers. They were also able to assist on 16 of their 31 made field goals.

The Ateneo Blue Eagles (8-4) will face their rivals, the DLSU Green Archers, on Sunday, November 8 at 4:00pm while the UP Fighting Maroons (3-8) face the NU Bulldogs on the same day at 11:00am. Both games will be played at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

The Scores:
ADMU (74) – Ravena 16, Wong 14, Tolentino A 8, Gotladera 6, Ikeh 6, Nieto 5, Pessumal 5, Babilonia 4, Capacio 4, Black 2, Tolentino V 2, Go 2.
UP (65) – Dario 13, Amar 11, Manuel 10, Desiderio 8, Kone 7, Harris 4, Moralde 4, Vito 4, Gallarza 2, Lim 2, Asilum 0, Jaboneta 0, Juruena 0, Longa 0.
Quarterscores: 19-11, 45-26, 54-44, 74-65

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