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WUBS: Ateneo turns back Taiwan’s NCCU, books championship clash vs Tokai


Ateneo de Manila University rallied back from 11 down, silencing University Basketball Alliance champion National Chengchi University with an 88-78 win on Day Two of the World University Basketball Series, Wednesday at the Yoyogi National Stadium in Tokyo, Japan.

The Blue Eagles, who were coming off a 125-39 demolition of Indonesia’s Universitas Pelita Harapan yesterday, will face Japan’s Tokai University in the virtual title clash for the tournament.

Tokai defeated NCCU yesterday, 90-74, before beating UPH earlier in the day, 91-35.

Unlike their game against UPH, Ateneo had to work their way to get this one.

Ateneo trailed 11 points late in the third quarter, figuring in foul trouble and committing uncharacteristic turnovers during the first 30 minutes of the game.

Down 57-64 entering the final frame, the Blue Eagles went on a 15-5 surge to take the lead. An inside bucket by Joseph Obasa gave Ateneo a 69-68 lead with 4:#2 remaining while BJ Andrade followed it up with his sole trey of the game.

It was a nip-and-tuck affair afterward as the Blue Eagles struggled to put away the Griffins.

Fortunately for Ateneo, NCCU cooled off late as they held on to an 83-78 lead. Free throws by Paul Garcia, Obasa, Sean Quitevis, and Kai Ballungay eventually gave Ateneo a 10-point cushion late.

Ballungay once again impressed for Ateneo, tallying 21 points on four treys with seven rebounds. Dave Ildefonso also played his first game back since suffering an ankle sprain against New Zealand in the FIBA third window, producing 14 points and 11 rebounds.

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Obesa, who was filling in for the injured Angelo Kouame, got 17 points, 15 rebounds, and three blocks while Garcia added 12 points.

Mouhamed Mbaye paced the Taiwanese school with 20 points and nine rebounds. Lee Yunchieh got 14 points, Chang Chenya added 13, while Sung Hsinhao chipped in 12 points and six rebounds.

The Ateneo-Tokai clash will happen on Thursday at 2:00 PM.

The Scores:

Ateneo 88 – Ballungay 21, Obasa 17, Ildefonso 14, Garcia 12, Padrigao 8, Chiu 7, Andrade 3, Bongo 2, Quitevis 2, Fornillos 2, Koon 0, Gomez 0.

NCCU 78 – Mbaye 20, Lee 14, Chang 13, Sung 12, Lin L. 6, Lin Y. 5, Chuang 4, Tu 2, Wang 2, Wu 0, Drame 0, Chung 0.

Quarterscores: 14-18, 39-44, 57-64, 88-78.

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