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Ikeh, Ateneo shock National U to cop 3rd place


After a turbulent off-season, the Ateneo de Manila University Blue Eagles can go into its long off-season with a confidence booster.

The Blue Eagles bucked a slow start in a 66-54 win over the National University Bulldogs to bag the bronze medal in the 2016 FilOil Flying V Premier Cup Sunday afternoon in San Juan City.

“After everything that happened to us, losing 70 percent of our offense due to graduation and then losing other of our talented teammates, we are happy with our finish in the Premier Cup,” Ateneo head coach Sandy Arespacochaga said. “We’re very happy with the improvements of our players. It’s nice to see different players step-up in each game.”

Chibueze Ikeh led the Blue Eagles with a double-double effort in scoring 18 points and grabbing 17 rebounds. Vince Tolentino added 15 markers on 7-for-11 shooting from the field.

After scoring just eight markers in the first quarter, the Blue Eagles turned it up in the second frame in scoring 28 points and limiting their opponents to just six points. The Cameroonian big man scored all nine of his first half points in the second quarter.

“First of all, I have to thank my teammates who gave me the opportunity to help each other,” Ikeh said. “We just help each other to get better.”

Ikeh continued his production in the third canto as he powered his way inside, even against Alfred Aroga, to score eight points in the quarter while a five straight points by Tolentino gave Ateneo the biggest lead of the game, 50-33, with 2:03 remaining in the quarter. Rev Diputado tried to spark an NU rally but a back-breaking jumper by Ravena sustained the double-digit lead of the Blue Eagles.

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“Our slow start can be attributed due to lack of energy. We understand but we can’t make that as an excuse,” Arespacochaga added. “One of our mottoes is to play every game even when we are tired. Our players picked up the intensity and credit to them.”

The Bulldogs were able to get as close as seven points, 58-51, with 3:40 remaining in the game but turnovers and cold-shooting arrested any momentum they had gained. Baskets by Ravena, Tolentino, and Ikeh sealed the third place trophy for the Blue and White.

A scary moment occurred with 4:40 remaining in the game as Matt Nieto bumped knees with an NU player and was brought out of the game. He had to be iced by the Blue Eagles’ medical staff the rest of the game.

FILOIL-2016-Matt-Nieto-injury Ikeh, Ateneo shock National U to cop 3rd place ADMU Basketball News NU  - philippine sports news

No Bulldog scored in double-figures. Chino Mosqueda led the Bulldogs with nine points while Alfred Aroga notched eight points and eight rebounds. Naitonal University shot just 37 percent from the field and were greatly outrebounded 46-34.

The Scores:

ADMU (66) – Ikeh 18, Tolentino 15, Ravena 14, Nieto Ma. 4, Babilonia 4, Black 3, Wong 3, Asistio 3, Mendoza 2, Porter 0, Allmond 0, Banzon 0.

NU (54) – Mosqueda 9, Aroga 8, Diputado 6, Salem 6, Gallego 6, Morido 5, Labing-isa 4, Aquino 3, Salim 3, Abatayo 2, Go 2, Yu 0, Cauilan 0.

Quarterscores: 8-20, 36-26, 52-38, 66-54.

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