Angelo Kouame and Tyler Tio had impressive performances anew as Ateneo continues to miss the services of the Nieto twins Matt and Mike.
Kouame, the 6-foot-11 recruit out of Ivory Coast, came up with a big double-double in the first half, firing 14 points and outrebounding the entire Red Warriors squad 13-11 as the Blue Eagles zoomed to a 57-24 lead.
Tio, on the other hand, sustained his hot streak as the Eagles moved back to the top of the standings with an 8-2 record.
The Red Warriors got their bearings back in the second half but got no closer than 17 points as the Blue Eagles came away with another comfortable wire-to-wire victory over former assistant Joe Silva.
“We had a terrific first half, both offensively and defensively but in the third quarter, UE came out with more fire. Second half they outworked us, but that’s one of the characteristics of that UE team, they really work hard all the way to the end,” said Ateneo assistant coach Sandy Arespacochaga.
“Generally we’re happy with our offense, we’re gonna take a look at our defense in the third quarter. We’re happy we came up with a win now we have to study this game and prepare for the next game,” he added.
Kouame finished with 18 points, 16 rebounds and three blocks in just 21 minutes of action as Tio had with a career-best 16 points as he continued to step-up in the absence of Matt Nieto.
Raffy Verano scored 14 points, Jolo Mendoza added 10 as Thirdy Ravena returned from a one-game suspension to deliver 10 points, five rebounds and four assists.
Alvin Pasaol had another high scoring game for the Red Warriors, finishing with 29 points, 14 rebounds and three steals.
Philip Manalang also had a solid game with 18 points, seven assists and six rebounds as they dropped to 1-9.
Ateneo 90 – Kouame 18, Tio 16, Verano 14, Ravena 10, Mendoza 10, Mamuyac 6, Belangel 6, Navarro 5, Black 3, Daves 2, Asistio 0, Wong 0, Go 0, Andrade 0.
UE 70 – Pasaol 29, Manalang 18, Varilla 9, Cullar 6, Bartolome 4, Stait 2, Guion 1, Beltran 1, Gallardo 0, Lacap 0, Antiporda 0, Acuno 0, Gagate 0.
Quarterscores: 29-15; 57-24; 73-51; 90-70.