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    Belangel leads late surge as Ateneo rallies past San Beda to defend PCCL title

    Mar 8, 2020
    Ange Kouame towers over the San Beda defense for a jump-hook.
    PHOTO: dante peralta

    IF there's still any question whose team Ateneo will be this season, SJ Belangel made sure there won't be any more from hereon.

    The third-year guard was playing on a different plane as he steered the Blue Eagles to a 57-46 victory over San Beda to capture the 2019 Philippine Collegiate Champions League title Sunday at Filoil Flying V Centre in San Juan.

    Belangel weaved his magic anew for Ateneo in the fourth quarter, where he unleashed all of his 10 points, to go with two rebounds, two assists, and two steals and lead his side to back-to-back crowns.

    He quarterbacked the Blue Eagles from a 45-39 deficit with 7:23 remaining before staging a huge 12-0 finishing kick to take the 11-point win.

    "In the second half, I calmed myself down, looked at what the defense gave to me, and when I was open and I shot it," he said.

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    Belangel, to no one's surprise, was hailed as the PCCL MVP.

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    Joining him in the Mythical Team are Ateneo teammate Ange Kouame, San Beda's Calvin Oftana and Ralph Penuela, and UV's Lassina Coulibaly.

    Kouame also made mincemeat of his opposition on his way to a 17-point, 17-rebound performance, while Troy Mallillin got 11 points and five boards off the bench.

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    It was the fifth PCCL crown for Ateneo, keeping them at the top of the leaderboard in the national collegiate championship.

    "It's a reflection on how we work: the consistency of the work of the boys, the coaching staff, and the management," said assistant coach Gabby Severino, who once again took the spot in lieu of head coach Tab Baldwin. "If one's not performing well, it wont happen even at this early in the season."

    Oftana paced the Red Lions with 14 points, six rebounds, and two steals in the runner-up finish.

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    The Scores:

    ATENEO 57 -- Kouame 17, Mallillin 11, Belangel 10, Navarro 6, Daves 6, Fornilos 3, Mamuyac 2, E. Ramos 2, Credo 0, Tio 0, Chiu 0.

    SAN BEDA 46 -- Oftana 14, Carino 8, Penuela 7, Canlas 4, Alfaro 4, Cuntapay 3, Abuda 0, Etrata 0, Villejo 0, Ejercito 0, Ratuiste 0.

    Quarters: 18-17, 34-25, 39-41, 57-46.

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    Ange Kouame towers over the San Beda defense for a jump-hook.
    PHOTO: dante peralta
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