Blue Eagles shred Bulldogs for fifth straight win

Ateneo De Manila University cruised to its fifth straight win with a 71-50 thumping of National University in Season 82 University Athletic Association of the Philippines (UAAP) men’s basketball tournament on Sunday at the Ynares Center in Antipolo City.

The two-time champions Blue Eagles dictated the tempo right from the get-go en route to keeping it’s slate immaculate in five outings.

“Our effort was where it needed to be. We wanted that tempo and generate pressure,” said Ateneo head coach Tab Baldwin

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Ateneo also stretched its streak to 15 wins dating back to last season. The Eagles have not lost a UAAP game since their 60-63 defeat to Far Eastern University on October 10, 2018.

Ateneo’s Thirdy Ravena fires a floater against Tzaddy Rangel of NU during a Season 82 UAAP men’s basketball game on Sunday at the Ynares Center in Antipolo. PHOTO BY J. GERARD SEGUIA

“We’re happy to get this win under our belt,” said the veteran American-Kiwi tactician.

Save for the nine-point third quarter, the Katipunan-based team showed no signs of rust despite a week-long layoff following its 63-46 win over Far Eastern U last September 14.

Ateneo hit 29-of-71 (40.85 percent) from the field while also limiting NU to a dismal 17-of-60 (28.33 percent) shooting clip.

The Eagles produced 24 points off the Bulldogs’ 20 turnovers while scoring 21 second chance points and 10 fastbreak markers.

The 6’10 Ivorian center Angelo Kouame paced Ateneo’s assault with a double-double of 15 points and 13 rebounds to go with seven blocks, three assists and two steals while Gian Mamuyac tallied 13 points on an efficient 4-of-6 clip.

After establishing control early in the game, the Eagles Belangel knocked down a triple for a commanding 32-15 lead midway the second quarter.

NU’s Dave Ildefonso sparked an 8-2 run to narrow the gap, 32-43, at the 5:59 mark of the third period but it was the closest the Bulldogs could get. The Eagles regained steam stretching their lead to as high as 25 points, 65-40, on Adrian Wong’s fadeaway jumper with 4:01 left in the game.

Ildefonso was the lone double-digit scorer with 10 points but had seven turnovers for the Bulldogs, who were winless in five matches.

Earlier in the women’s division, five-time titlist NU extended its record winning streak to 86 wins, remaining unscathed this season after crushing Ateneo, 78-51.

In the other game, University of Sto. Tomas halted a two-game losing skid with a 56-55 win against FEU.

The Golden Tigresses (3-2) forged a three-way tie with the Lady Tamaraws and Adamson University at No. 2.

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