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Tiebreaker Times


Ravena, Ateneo bounce back at FEU’s expense

After a crushing defeat against the NU Bulldogs last Sunday, the Ateneo de Manila University Blue Eagles gained a morale-boosting win, taking a 76-71 win against the defending UAAP champions Far Eastern University Tamaraws Wednesday afternoon at the SM Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City.

Leading the bounce back win was Thirdy Ravena. After scoring just two points in their last game, the third year Atenean scored 17 points on an efficient 6-of-9 shooting clip.

Adrian Wong added 13 points while rookie Jolo Mendoza added 10 points in just nine minutes of action.

“Going into the game we knew we’re up against a tough agaist FEU,” Ateneo head coach Sandy Arespacochaga shared. “They’re a very good rebounding team and they’re a very good defensive team who forces a lot of turnovers.”

The Blue Eagles quickly jumped on a 23-10 lead early in the second quarter as Ateneo was able to defend the Tamaraws except for Wendell Comboy, who sizzled with 16 first half points.

All throughout the game, Ateneo was able to buck FEU’s attempts of taking over in the first three quarter. The defending champions could only cut the lead to just two during that frame.

“We’d like to see more of the defensive effort and stats of the first half,” Ravena said. “FEU made their adjustments in the second half.”

“We had to do some adjustments also. We had a lot of room for improvement but we feel our effort and focus especially on defense was there.”

FEU’s adjustments paid dividends in the final frame. With Ateneo leading 61-53 two minutes into the final frame, Raymar Jose was able to to spark a 13-5 Tamaraw rally to tie the game at 66-all. Jose scored four points in the rally while a triple by Joseph Nunag and a baseline drive by Richard Escoto tied the game with 2:15 remaining.

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“Binigay namin effort namin. This game is about who wants it more,” Ateneo’s mentor said about FEU. “Di naman ganun kalaki ang FEU. They have a really big heart, they give 100 percent every possession.”

Off a timeout, Ravena was quickly able to score off a post play while a quick handoff by Vince Tolentino to Anton Asistio resulted to an and-one play for the latter to return the momentum back to the Blue side. A split on the stripe by Prince Orizu and late-game free throws by Ravena with 29 seconds remaining sealed the win for the Blue Eagles.

Ateneo shot a season-high 42 percent from the field compared to a horrid 36 percent for FEU. In addition, the Blue Eagles had 36 perimeter points, the facet of the game they sorely lacked against the Bulldogs.

FEU sophomore Wendell Comboy scored a career-high 20 points on 7-of-13 shooting. Jose and Orizu both notched a double-double in the loss.

Ateneo’s leading scorer Aaron Black left the game early in the first quarter, 7:57 to be exact, after spraining his right knee. He did not return to the game.

“We’ll see, we’ll see,” Arespacochaga shared about Black’s condition. “He wasn’t able to comeback but we hope he does in the next game.”

The Ateneo Blue Eagles (2-1) look to sustain the momentum it gained on Saturday, September 17 as they face the Adamson Soaring Falcons (1-1). The FEU Tamaraws (1-2) take on neighbors UE Red Warriors (0-2) next on Sunday, September 18 at 4:00pm.

The Scores:

ADMU (76) – Ravena 17, Wong 13, Mendoza 10, Nieto Mi 9, Ikeh 8, Asistio 7, Nieto Ma 5, Babilonia 2, Go 2, Black 2, Tolentino 1, Porter 0

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FEU (71) – Comboy 20, Jose 16, Orizu 16, Escoto 7, Bayquin 4, Nunag 4, Dennison 2, Holmqvist 2, Trinidad 0, Inigo 0, Arong 0, Roxas 0, Tuffin 0, Ebona 0

Quarterscores: 18-10, 37-27, 58-47, 76-71

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