ATENEO took Far Eastern University's best punches and still came out on top, pulling off a 65-55 victory to stay on top of the UAAP Season 82 men's basketball tournament Wednesday at Mall of Asia Arena.
Thirdy Ravena recorded a double-double of 10 points and 10 rebounds for the Blue Eagles as they stayed unbeaten through 11 games in this campaign.
"FEU certainly gave us a wakeup call in the first half that we needed," admitted coach Tab Baldwin.
Ateneo owned the boards, 53 to 34, to turn the tide in the second half after being down by 13 points, 42-29, early in the third canto.
Ange Kouame had a big hand in that, scoring 10 points, but more importantly, grabbing 12 of his 15 boards from the offensive end, to go with four blocks to complete the turnaround.
It also helped that the Blue Eagles' defense was stout in the final two frames, holding the Tamaraws scoreless in the first three-and-a-half minutes of the fourth quarter to take a 54-47 lead.
Wendell Comboy made things interesting with a trey with 3:43 left to put FEU within two, 57-55, but Ateneo responded with eight straight points to wrap up the game.
The Tamaraws only scored 15 points after the break after putting up 40 in the first half.
Rookie center Pat Maagdenberg also had a career-best nine points on a perfect 4-of-4 clip, to go with four rebounds, while Gian Mamuyac was a pest on defense as seen with his plus-15 on the court despite just posting three points, five boards and one assist.
Baldwin, however, was unhappy with his wards' demeanor, telling his wards that regardless if they're playing four games in 12 days, they should always bring their A-game.
"I don’t care if we have 10 playing dates in a row. If you lose your humility to be good. If you think all you need to do is put your uniform on, you need a wakeup call. I wish we never did, but we are human," he said.
L-Jay Gonzales had 12 points, six rebounds and two assists as he was the only FEU player to notch double-digits.
The Tamaraws fell to fifth place with a 5-6 card.
Ateneo 65 - Kouame 10, Ravena 10, Maagdenberg 9, Navarro 8, Wong 8, Belangel 5, Daves 4, Ma. Nieto 4, Mamuyac 3, Go 2, Mi. Nieto 2, Andrade 0, Tio 0.
FEU 55 - Gonzales 12, Bienes 8, Comboy 8, Tuffin 6, Cani 4, Ebona 4, Stockton 4, Tchuente 4, Torres 3, Alforque 2.
Quarterscores: 15-18; 29-40; 46-47; 65-55.