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Ateneo drub La Salle for 5th win

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Defending champions Ateneo de Manila University tallied another huge-victory, this time against arch-rival De La Salle University, 71-55, in the UAAP Season 81 men’s basketball tournament at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City Saturday.

After a slow start, Blue Eagles tied the game at 18-apiece late in the second quarter. Thirdy Ravena’s three-point shot saw the defending champions extend their lead to 17, 57-40, in the fourth quarter.

Green Archers slowly mounted a rally to reduce Ateneo’s deficit to 13, 53-66, but Anton Asistio stopped the bleeding and sealed the game, 69-55.

“We knew that La Salle was also riding on a momentum coming off a win against UST. We wanted to make sure to focus on what we were gonna do and what we wanted to do in terms of our strategy,” said Blue Eagles assistant coach Sandy Arrespacochaga.

Angelo Kouame paced the defending champions with a double-double 20-points and 13-rebounds. Asistio and Ravena contributed 12 and nine points, respectively.

Aljun Melecio’s 21 points went to waste for the Green Archers.

Ateneo improved to 5-1 while La Salle dropped their third game in six outings.

Up next for the Blue Eagles is Far Eastern University on Wednesday, October 10, at the same venue.