Ateneo silences La Salle for 10th straight win
Ateneo officially booked a trip to the Final Four tournament this season.
The Blue Eagles battered their arch nemesis La Salle Blue Eagles to a 77-69 triumph in the UAAP Season 82 men’s basketball tournament at the Mall of Asia Arena on Sunday October 13.
With that 10th straight win, Ateneo now advances to the Final Four with a twice-to-beat incentive on their belt.
Unlike Ateneo’s 81-69 beatdown against La Salle in the first round, they found themselves in a dogfight especially in the second half.
From a 55-50 slim lead to enter the finale period, Ateneo widened the deficit to a 61-50 advantage courtesy of Will Navarro’s triple and Mike Nieto’s and-one play.
Justine Baltazar managed to push La Salle to a 55-61 matchup, but a back-to-back lay-ups from Gian Mamuyac and Thirdy Ravena with 3:48 mark gave Ateneo enough momentum to close out the game.
Adrian Wong calmly sank four of five free shots to officially seal the deal for the Blue Eagles.
“We hung on. I think we can play better, but we gotta give credit to La Salle,” said Ateneo head coach Tab Baldwin.
Wong conducted Ateneo’s offense with 18 points on 4-of-7 shooting from beyond the arc.
Thirdy Ravena added 13 points and seven rebounds, while Angelo Kouame collected 10 markers and 14 rebounds.
La Salle, meanwhile, slid down to a 4-5 standing after their two-game winning streak was halted with that loss.
Still, Encho Serrano paced La Salle with 15 points and eight rebounds while Baltazar contributed 12 markers and nine boards.
Ateneo 77 – Wong 18, Ravena 13, Kouame 10, Navarro 9, Mamuyac 6, Belangel 5, Mi. Nieto 5, Daves 3, Ma. Nieto 3, Tio 3, Go 2.
La Salle 69 – Serrano 15, Baltazar 12, Caracut 11, Malonzo 10, Melecio 10, Manuel 7, Bartlett 2, Bates 2, Lojera 0.
Quarters Scores: 19-15, 36-30, 55-50, 77-69.