Ateneo de Davao University crushed Ford Academy, 79-47, in an explosive but uncharacteristic debut in the 2017 SM-NBTC basketball tournament on Sunday at the ADDU Jacinto Gym.
Unlike their fierce battles last season, the Blue Knights dominated Ford from start to finish, led by prolific forward Francis Gabriel Escandor who fired a game-high 17 points.
Escandor, the 6-foot-2 two-time high school MVP, was almost unstoppable in attacking the basket and added one triple aside from coming down with several rebounds.
Axel Doromal and Ion Angeles provided ample scoring support for the Blue Knights.
Ateneo played cohesively from the get-go, taking the first quarter 15-11 before stretching the gap at the break, 39-26.
The Blue Knights never looked back from there to score the lopsided win over Ford.
“The boys played well. No let up in defense. I think we played with more intensity,” said Ateneo coach Miggy Solitaria.
Ateneo moved into the quarterfinal round of the annual tournament sanctioned by the Samahang Basketball ng Pilipinas Region 11 under regional head Glenn Escandor. NBTC is an annual nationwide cagefest for secondary schools that aims to scout fresh talents moving up into the collegiate ranks.