ATENEO de Manila University bested Colegio de Sta. Ana de Victorias, 75-60, on Sunday to win the San Remegio Properties Invitational at the Magis Eagles Arena in Canduman, Mandaue City.
SJ Belangel, Dave Ildefonso and 7-foot center Kai Sotto made clutch baskets as the Blue Eaglets pulled away from the resilient CSA-V squad from Victorias City in Negros Occidental.
Belangel, the star from Bacolod, led the way for the Blue Eaglets with 22 points, five boards, three assists and two steals while Ildefonso, son of many-time PBA MVP Danny Ildefonso, chipped in 17 markers and nine boards.
Sotto finished with a near triple-double of 13 points, 10 rebounds and eight blocked shots and was named Most Valuable Player of the tournament after averaging 11.75 points, 8.25 rebounds and four blocks per game.
CSA-V rallied from a 15-point deficit and closed the gap to three, 47-50, at the end of the third. Jeric Adorio sparked that run by scoring 11 of his 17 points during that stretch.
CSA-V trimmed the deficit down to a single point at the start of the fourth after import Junior Essakadoulla banked a shot in but the Blue Eaglets pushed right back behind baskets by Belangel and Sotto that raised their lead back to seven, 56-49.
An Adorio three-pointer brought CSA-V closer but another basket by Belangel and two free-throws each by Ildefonso and Belangel gave Ateneo de Manila a nine-point cushion, 62-53, time down to 3:29.
Ateneo de Manila then put the game away as Jason Credo and Belangel swished three straight free-throws and Sotto scored on an undergoal stab and a putback to put them up by 12, with just two minutes remaining, 69-57.
Essakadoula had 14 points and 12 rebounds while Jeffrey Manday, who came into the finals game averaging 29 points, managed just 12 but still had 10 boards, four assists and six steals.
Sacred Heart School Ateneo de Cebu placed third after beating Western Leyte College, 87-81.