CHIBUEZE Ikeh took advantage of the absence of Papi Sarr as Ateneo defeated Adamson, 85-65, on Saturday on opening day of the UAAP Season 80 basketball tournament at the Mall of Asia Arena.
Ikeh hit double-double in the first half as the Eagles dominated the Falcons, as Sarr missed the season opener due to an injury.
Ateneo joined National University as the opening day winners.
Thirdy Ravena had 20 points and 10 rebounds, while Ikeh finished with 18 points, 17 rebounds and two assists.
"We were a bit lucky that Papi Sarr was not in the game but we weren't surprised that Ikeh played a good game. He has been playing well for us in the past few weeks in practices," said Ateneo assistant coach Sandy Arespacochaga.
The Falcons sorely missed Sarr as they were outrebounded, 60-35.
Adamson, however, still managed to trim the deficit, 63-54.
Matt Nieto came up big on defense with two of his three steals following that Adamson run to increase the gap again to 14.
Rookies Kurt Lojera and Keith Zaldivar led Adamson's last stand, finishing with 11 and 10 points respectively.
Sean Manganti flirted with a double-double as he tallied nine points and 11 rebounds.
Ateneo 85 — Ravena 20, Ikeh 18, Mendoza 14, Asistio 9, Tolentino 7, Go 4, Ma. Nieto 3, Porter 3, White 3, Black 2, Mi. Nieto 2, Andrade 0, Mallillin 0, Mamuyac 0, Verano 0.
Adamson 65 — Lojera 11, Zaldivar 10, Ahanmisi 9, Manganti 9, Manalang 6, Hill 6, Pingoy 5, Ochea 3, Camacho 3, Bernardo 3, Mustre 0, Chua 0, Frias 0.
Quarterscores: 25-16; 43-28; 59-45; 85-65.