ATENEO scored its third win in as many outings, defeating University of the Philippines, 86-75, on Wednesday in the UAAP Season 77 men’s basketball tournament at the Mall of Asia Arena.
Rookie Arvin Tolentino had 20 points while Kiefer Ravena scored 19 points for the Blue Eagles, who surprisingly failed to maintain distance from the Maroons and broke away only with a 17-4 endgame run.
“I think in the first quarter, to me, if not for the timely heroics of Arvin and Kiefer, we would really be in trouble,” said Ateneo coach Bo Perasol.
Chris Newsome added 18 points as the Blue Eagles kept their record unblemished.
Ateneo, which was coming off a rousing win over archrival De La Salle on Sunday, only had a 23-21 lead in the first quarter. The Blue Eagles were clinging to a 51-49 lead in the third period before a 12-0 run increased their lead to 63-49.
The Maroons trimmed the deficit to 71-67 before the Blue Eagles’ run in the fourth.
“I think that they really prepared well against us. Defensively, against Kiefer he had to bleed for his points and also I think we were a step slower than they were. That’s the reason why I really on the onset wanted them to feel that the La Salle win we had is the same as UP,” Perasol said.
Kyles Lao had 16 points while JR Gallarza added 10 for the Maroons (0-3), who have lost 24 in a row.
Ateneo (86) – A. Tolentino 20, K. Ravena 19, Newsome 18, Capacio 9, Elorde 7, Pessumal 5, Babilonia 2, Gotladera 2, Javelosa 2, Lim 2, Apacible 0, T. Ravena 0.
UP (75) – Lao 16, Gallarza 10, Juruena 9, Gingerich 9, Asilum 9, Dario 6, Vito 6, Reyes 5, Moralde 5, Bederi 0.
Quarterscores: 23-21; 46-38; 66-54; 86-75.