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UAAP 86 MBB: Ateneo recovers from nightmare 3rd, holds off Adamson for solo 4th

Ateneo de Manila University survived a disastrous third quarter, escaping Adamson University in a defensive battle, 62-58, to boost its UAAP Season 86 Men’s Basketball Final Four bid on Sunday at the SMART Araneta Coliseum.

The Blue Eagles now hold solo fourth in the standings with a 6-6 record, a game ahead of the Soaring Falcons, who slipped to 5-7 at fifth.

“It was tough as it gets and we expected that,” said Ateneo head coach Tab Baldwin. “That’s the Adamson team, that’s the Adamson coaching staff, they just grind you down and they’re doing it to everybody. It was never easy against them.”

UAAP-86-Basketball-ATENEO-vs.-ADU-Sean-Quitevis-34 UAAP 86 MBB: Ateneo recovers from nightmare 3rd, holds off Adamson for solo 4th ADMU AdU Basketball News UAAP  - philippine sports news

Chris Koon put the Blue Eagles ahead by two possessions after splitting his free throws with 3:16 left, 59-55.

Then the next basket came at the 1:23 mark on a three-pointer by Matt Erolon, pulling the Soaring Falcons within a point, 58-59.

Afterwards, the defensive battle ensued.

Adamson had four chances to take the lead, but Vince Magbuhos airballed a three. Ced Manzano missed two shots, before Didat Hanapi flunked a fadeaway jumper badly with nine seconds remaining.

Ateneo, on the other hand, also failed to convert, with Chris Koon, a 72.9-percent shooter from the line, missing two free throws with 46.1 seconds left.

Sean Quitevis was sent to the line with 4.1 ticks to go, making the first while missing the second. That resulted in a scramble for the loose ball, which fell on a sitting Joseph Obasa.

The one-and-done Nigerian big then took care of his freebies to seal the game with 3.3 seconds.

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UAAP-86-Basketball-ATENEO-vs.-ADU-Joseph-Obasa-6 UAAP 86 MBB: Ateneo recovers from nightmare 3rd, holds off Adamson for solo 4th ADMU AdU Basketball News UAAP  - philippine sports news

“To us, it was really important to stick to our defensive principles this game,” said Quitevis, who provided 12 points and eight rebounds.

A triple by Kai Ballungay with 6:50 left in the third pushed Ateneo up by 10, 42-32, but Adamson responded with 17 huge unanswered points to end the frame on top, 49-42.

In that run, Matthew Montebon, Manzano, Magbuhos, and Hanapi all contributed.

Obasa had 10 points, eight rebounds, and four blocks, while Ballungay added 10 points and eight rebounds as well.

Adamson won their first round matchup, 71-68 in overtime, thanks to a buzzer-beating triple by Magbuhos.

Ateneo will go for at least a playoff for a post-season berth against University of the East on Wednesday at the SM Mall of Asia Arena at 11:00 AM.

Both teams missed one of their point guards due to different injuries.

Joem Sabandal, who has averages of 6.91 points, 3.09 rebounds, and 2.55 assists, did not play for Adamson due to a hamstring injury.

Meanwhile, Ateneo did not have Gab Gomez due to a left wrist injury.

Montebon paced the Soaring Falcons with 13 points and four rebounds, while Jhon Calisay and Erolon added nine and eight points, respectively.

Adamson will fight for survival against co-league-leader National University at 6:00 PM, also on Wednesday.

The Scores:

Ateneo 62 – Quitevis 12, Obasa 10, Ballungay 10, Koon 8, Espinosa 7, Amos 6, Credo 4, Brown 3, Lazaro 2, Celis 0, Chiu 0, Nieto 0.

Adamson 58 – Montebon 13, Calisay 9, Erolon 8, Magbuhos 7, Manzano 6, Hanapi 6, Yerro 5, Ramos 2, Ojarikre 2, Barasi 0, Cañete 0, Colonia 0.

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Quarterscores: 18-13, 38-29, 42-49, 62-58

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Just a kid from Cavite trying to make a difference.

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