Blue Eagles make easy prey of Warriors

Ateneo De Manila University cruised to an easy third straight win after pulverizing University of the East (UE), 89-62, in Season 81 University Athletic Association of the Philippines (UAAP) men’s basketball on Wednesday at the FilOil Flying V Centre in San Juan City.

The Blue Eagles flew to a searing start, a clear message that they have regained their winning ways after a stunning season-opening loss to Adamson University.

“We knew that UE fights hard, they play hard regardless of the score. We wanted to make sure that we match their intensity from the start all the way to the end,” said assistant coach Sandy Arespacochaga.

Third-year forward Raffy Verano led a balanced attack with 12 points, pouring 10 of those in the first half, before sitting out at the start of the fourth quarter due to a sprained ankle.

William Navarro — a 6-foot-5 transfer forward from San Beda University — shone bright with his 11 markers, five rebounds and three assists in 18 minutes of action.

Matt Nieto of Ateneo blasts through the defense of Wilson Bartolome of UE during a UAAP men’s basketball game at the San Juan Arena on Wednesday. PHOTO BY RUSSELL PALMA

All but three of the 16 players deployed by head tactician Tab Baldwin contributed at least two points as the Eagles stretched their streak over the Warriors to five wins in three seasons and marked their first UAAP win against former assistant mentor and now UE head coach Joe Silva.

Ateneo crashed the boards heavily compared to UE, 46-27. The Eagles hauled down 19 offensive rebounds and produced 20 second chance points.

“We wanted to control the rebounds. We wanted to win the battle of the boards because UE is No. 1 in offensive rebounding,” said Arespacochaga.

The Katipunan-based team also bested the squad from Recto in assists with a season-high 24 against UE’s 15.

Nine Atenean cagers had at least two assists as they dominated the perimeter with 52 points and fired 12 triples against the Warriors’ 21 perimeter markers and a lone three-pointer.

Staring at an early four-point deficit, Ateneo shook off its stupor and erected a 24-10 lead in the opening period behind Verano and was never threatened from then on.

The Eagles’ lead ballooned to as high as 32 points late in the game, 84-52, on Gian Mamuyac’s layup off a fastbreak with 4:08 remaining.

Ateneo held UE’s main gunner Alvin Pasaol down to 17 points on top of eight rebounds and a steal. Pasaol averaged 29 markers in the Warriors’ past two games.

“We wanted to try to minimize his (Pasaol) touches and make things difficult for him,” said Arespacochaga.

Wil Bartolome was the only other Warrior who scored in double-digit with 12 points as UE fell to its fourth defeat in as many outings.

Meanwhile, leading team Adamson (3-0) is eyeing to extend its lead as it plays against a skidding University of the Philippines (1-0) at press time.

The scores
ATENEO (89)– Verano 12, Navarro 11, Asistio 9, Mendoza 9, Kouame 8, Ravena 8, Go 7, Nieto Ma 6, Nieto Mi 6, Mamuyac 5, Tio 4, Wong 2, Daves 2, Belangel 0, Black 0, Andrade 0.

UE (62)– Pasaol 17, Bartolome 12, Conner 8, Manalang 7, Cullar 6, Maloles 6, Varilla 4, Gagate 2, Acuno 0, Gallardo 0, Antiporda 0, Lacap 0, Sobrevega 0.

Quarterscores: 24-10; 43-31; 68-44; 89-62

The post Blue Eagles make easy prey of Warriors appeared first on The Manila Times Online.

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