FORTHSKY Padrigao made the biggest difference as Ateneo got back at Far Eastern University-Diliman, 77-61, on Sunday in the UAAP Season 81 juniors' basketball tournament at Filoil Flying V Centre in San Juan.
The shifty guard ignited the Blue Eaglets' second quarter pullaway, dropping 13 of his 19 points to make it a 36-29 halftime lead.
Padrigao also added six assists, three rebounds, two steals and a block to make up for his absence in the first round due to appendicitis, where the Baby Tamaraws took the 87-80 overtime win.
Kai Sotto delivered 27 points, on top of 22 rebounds and four assists as Ateneo broke the game wide open in the third frame, 62-42, and led by as many as 22 points.
Ian Espinosa was also happy to do the dirty work with his eight points, five rebounds, four assists and four steals in the conquest.
The Blue Eaglets' triumph allowed them to level with the Baby Tamaraws at second place with their identical 7-3 cards.
RJ Abarrientos found himself caged in the game, shooting 4-of-14 from the field to finish with 16 points, seven rebounds, two assists and two steals as FEU-Diliman saw its four-game winning run snapped.
Xyrus Torres and Chiolo Anonuevo both had 10 in the defeat.
Ateneo 77 - Sotto 27, Padrigao 19, Espinosa 8, Chiu 7, Fetalvero 6, Ladimo 6, David 3, Jaymalin 1, Diaz 0, Coo 0, De Ayre 0, Salandanan 0, Pangilinan 0.
FEU 61 - Abarrientos 16, Torres 10, Anonuevo 10, Alforque 6, Ona 6, Sajonia 6, J. Bautista 3, Bagunu 2, Tolentino 2, Barasi 0, Sicat 0.
Quarterscores: 12-14; 36-29; 62-42; 77-61.