ATENEO completed a second round sweep in the UAAP Season 81 as it demolished University of Santo Tomas 102-62 on Wednesday at the Mall of Asia Arena.
It took little time for the defending champions to pull away as Angelo Kouame led a first quarter onslaught as the Blue Eagles jumped to a 16-0 lead behind the nine points of the 6-foot-10 rookie out of Ivory Coast.
There was no stopping the Blue Eagles from ripping the Growling Tigers apart as they padded that lead to as many 42 points in the fourth period with transferee William Navarro delivering the goods for the Blue Eagles.
The win was the Blue Eagles’ seventh straight as they finished the elimination round with a 12-2 record even despite playing without head coach Tab Baldwin who was under the weather.
“Of course we’d rather have coach Tab here, but one of the things that we told the players was coach Tab’s system is already in place. We told the players to step up, we wanted the leadership not to just come from the coaches but from the players too,” said Ateneo assistant Sandy Arespacochaga.
“We’re happy that our mentality in this game wasn’t a no bearing game. Our players were serious. We wanted to make sure that we were serious from the start because UST is a dangerous team,” he added.
Kouame finished with 22 points, 10 rebounds and three blocks in just nearly 14 minutes of action while Navarro finished with 17 points, hitting all of his seven shots while pulling down five rebounds and making two assists.
Renzo Subido paced the Growling Tigers with 18 points as they played without rookie sensation CJ Cansino who was diagnosed with an ACL tear last Tuesday.
The Tigers fell to 5-9 but saw encouraging signs from rookies Tobi Agustin and Joshua Marcos who finished with 15 and 13, respectively.
Ateneo 102 – Kouame 22, Navarro 17, Mendoza 9, Andrade 9, Go 8, Ravena 6, Asistio 6, Nieto Ma 5, Nieto Mi 5, Black 4, Verano 4, Daves 4, Belangel 3, Wong 0, Tio 0, Mamuyac 0.
UST 62 – Subido 18, Agustin 15, Marcos 13, Mahinay 6, Huang 4, Lee 2, Ando 2, Cosejo 2, Bataller 0, Zamora 0, Bonleon 0, Caunan 0.
Quarterscores: 34-13; 58-31; 83-42; 102-62.