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    Fri, Dec 2
    Dave Ildefonso Ateneo vs La Salle
    Dave Ildefonso sparks the Eagles' second-half onslaught.
    PHOTO: Marlo Cueto

    ATENEO once again banked on its vaunted third-quarter barrage to compound La Salle's woes with a 68-54 whipping in the UAAP Season 85 men's basketball tournament on Saturday at Smart Araneta Coliseum.

    Ateneo vs La Salle recap

    The Blue Eagles staged an 18-3 run to open the second half with Dave Ildefonso giving his side the 47-32 lead with 3:23 remaining, with the lead swelling to its biggest at 22, 61-39, after a Forthsky Padrigao three.

    Intent to stay in step in this rivalry game, the Green Archers still kept chipping the lead away and got to within 11, but Chris Koon repeatedly snuffed that uprising, with his last three from the top of the arc making it 68-54 with 50.9 seconds left.

    "I think that the third quarter was very telling. We defended great in the third quarter and that led to some easy points which allowed us to get some separation on the scoreboard, which was pretty critical," said coach Tab Baldwin.

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    Ange Kouame bounced back from his silent two-point night against National University and responded with 11 points, 14 rebounds, five blocks, and three steals in this victory.

    Four other players scored in double figures led by Ildefonso's 12 points, seven boards, three steals, and two dimes.

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    Koon shot 3-of-6 from deep for his 11 points and five rebounds, Kai Ballungay got 11 points, seven boards, and four assists, and Padrigao chimed in 11 points, five assists, five steals, and four rebounds before exiting due to a sprained ankle.

    University of the Philippines also benefitted from the result of this win as the defending champion officially clinched a Final Four spot.

    On the other hand, La Salle's downward spiral continued with this fourth straight loss to drop to 3-6 while still missing leading scorer Schonny Winston to a calf injury.

    Evan Nelle came back from his one-game suspension with his 15 points, seven rebounds, and five assists in the loss.

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      The Scores:

      ATENEO 68 -- Ildefonso 12, Kouame 11, Ballungay 11, Koon 11, Padrigao 11, Andrade 8, Gomez 2, Chiu 2, Lazaro 0.

      LA SALLE 54 -- Nelle 15, Nwankwo 7, Quiambao 6, Nonoy 6, Austria 5, Estacio 5, Manuel 4, M. Phillips 3, Abadam 2, Macalalag 1.

      Quarters: 10-16, 29-29, 56-39, 68-54.

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      Dave Ildefonso sparks the Eagles' second-half onslaught.
      PHOTO: Marlo Cueto
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