JOLO Mendoza sparked a fourth-quarter Ateneo surge and the Blue Eagles turned back Mapua, 90-77, on Thursday to secure a quarterfinal spot in the 2016 Filoil Flying V Preseason Tournament at The Arena in San Juan.
Mendoza scored nine points in a 15-3 Ateneo run in the final four minutes, sealing their fourth win in six games.
The Blue Eagles are behind La Salle (6-0) and San Beda (5-1) in Group B.
Aaron Black scored 18 points, while Thirdy Ravena added 11, Mendoza also finished with 11, while Mike Nieto scored 10.
“Good looks for Jolo in the end, his teammates recognizing the talents of Jolo,” said Ateneo assistant coach Sandy Arespacochaga.
Although they’re happy for the win, Arespacochaga said that they needed to exert more effort on their defensive intensity.
“We were happy that we played well offensively, we shot a good percentage, were happy with that but we weren’t too happy with our defensive effort and intensity,” he said. “We are happy to come up with the win, we are happy with the things we have to improve on we’re getting progress there.”
“The coaching staff was getting some looks on what we need to improve and continue to do,” he added.
NCAA rookie-MVP Allwell Oraeme, CJ Isit and Justin Serrano each had 13 points for Mapua, Andoy Estrella scored 12 and Exeqiel Biteng had 10 points.
Ateneo 90 – Black 18, Ravena 11, Mendoza 11, Nieto Mi 10, Tolentino 7, Porter 6, Wong 5, Nieto Ma 5, Ikeh 4, Babilonia 4, Tio 4, Go 2, Banzon 2, Allmond 1.
Mapua 77 – Oraeme 13, Isit 13, Serrano 13, Estrella 12, Biteng 10, Orquina 8, Menina 2, Bunag 2, Aguirre 2, Dela Cruz 2, Victoria 0, Dela Rosa 0.
Quarterscores: 21-16; 38-40; 62-63; 90-77.