ARVIN Tolentino scored 16 of his 20 points in the second half to power Ateneo to an 80-74 win over University of Santo Tomas in the UAAP Season 78 men’s basketball tournament at the Araneta Coliseum.
Last year’s Rookie of the Year finally lived up to his billing in his sophmore season, hitting important baskets to turn back one UST fightback after another on the way to ending the Tigers' five-game win streak.
The victory also improved Ateneo's second to 6-4 (win-loss) in a tumultuous week marred by a 'drunken rampage' that led to the suspension of the Blue Eagles' sophomore player, John Apacible.
UST fell to 8-2, leaving idle Far Eastern University all alone at the top spot with an 8-1 record.
Tolentino came off the bench to score 13 points in a big fourth quarterafter the Growling Tigers cut down a 17-point deficit to just three points, 53-50.
He also went 3-of-5 from three-point land, capping that performance with a triple that put Ateneo up, 73-59.
“This is actually a very big win for us,” said Ateneo coach Bo Perasol, who saw a 16-point lead slip away in their first round encounter against the Tigers.
“I think that they key there is our scoring from the bench. What a way for Arvin to get out of his slump,” he said.
Von Pessumal added 16 points while Kiefer Ravena had 11 points, seven rebounds, and five assists for the Blue Eagles.
Ed Daquioag had 19 points while Marvin Lee added 15 for UST.
Ateneo (80) — A. Tolentino 20, Pessumal 16, Ravena 11, Black 9, Wong 6, Babilonia 5, Capacio 5, Gotladera 3, Ikeh 2, Ma. Nieto 2, Go 1, Cani 0.
UST (74) — Daquioag 19, Lee 15, Ferrer 13, Abdul 12, Lao 7, Vigil 4, Sheriff 4, Bonleon 0, Subido 0, Garrido 0, Faundo 0.
Quarterscores: 21-12, 41-28, 60-52, 80-74.