KAI Sotto hardly broke a sweat as he accounted for almost half of Ateneo's production in its 77-60 trouncing of University of the Philippines on Saturday in the UAAP Season 81 juniors' basketball tournament at Blue Eagle Gym.
As the case all year long, the 7-foot-1 slotman was on a league of his own, unleashing a career-best 36 points to go with 11 rebounds, three assists and three steals as the Blue Eaglets notched back-to-back wins.
Coach Reggie Varilla, however, continued to ask for improvements not just from his team but especially from Sotto, who committed nine turnovers.
"With Kai kasi, basketball is easy for him. Sa ngayon, ang hinahanap na namin is yung continuous improvement every game. He played well, but I think, same with the team, they could all play better," he said.
Ian Espinosa continued to carry the playmaking torch for Ateneo with his eight points, eight rebounds, and six assists to make up for the absence of the injured Forthsky Padrigao.
Joaquin Jaymalin, JC Fetalvero, and Daniel Coo all scored six in the easy victory as the Blue Eaglets rose to 4-1.
Ralph Labao shouldered the load for the Junior Maroons with his 22 points, three boards, and two assists, while Allen Torres got 12 points and 20 rebounds in the losing effort.
UPIS stayed down at the cellar with its 0-5 card.
In the first game, De La Salle-Zobel pulled off a shocking 67-62 win over fancied Far Eastern University-Diliman.
Ivan Cudiamat was left unmarked and punished the Baby Tamaraws with his on-point outside sniping, going 7-of-15 from threes to pump 23 big points, on top of his six rebounds.
Lance Jomalesa added nine points and seven rebounds as Henrie Subido also had nine for DLSZ, which went on a scorching 46-percent from rainbow country.
The Junior Archers improved to 3-2 to force a third-place tie with the Baby Tamaraws.
Royce Alforque bannered FEU-Diliman with his 11 points, seven assists, three assists, and three steals, as RJ Abarrientos found himself caged as he only shot 1-of-9 from threes to unload 11 points, three boards, and three dimes in the loss.
DLSZ 67 - Cudiamat 23, Jomalesa 9, Subido 9, Macasaet 9, Pingol 7, Sevilla 3, Unisa 3, Milan 2, Buncayo 2, Villarin 0, Marana 0.
FEU 62 -- Alforque 11, Abarrientos 11, Tolentino 8, Sajonia 8, Anonuevo 7, Torres 7, Ona 5, Bautista 5, Bagunu 0, Sicat 0, Armendez 0, Balaga 0, Labago 0.
Quarterscores: 19-14; 30-30; 53-49; 67-62.
Ateneo 77 - Sotto 36, Espinosa 8, Jaymalin 6, Fetalvero 6, Coo 6, David 4, Diaz 4, Chiu 4, Corral 3, Salandanan 0, Lechoncito 0, Pangilinan 0, Ladimo 0, Narciso 0.
UPIS 60 - Labao 22, Torres 12, Tuazon 12, Estrera 8, Vergiere 6, Gomez de Liano 0, Cordero 0.
Quarterscores: 22-9; 42-26; 59-46; 77-60.