ATENEO played just good enough to survive another gutsy University of the Philippines attack and pull off a 73-66 win on Saturday to remain on top of the UAAP seniors basketball competitions at the Mall of Asia Arena.
The Blue Eagles hiked their record to 7-1 win-loss behind the play of Kiefer Ravena, who scored four of Ateneo’s final five points to register a season-high 21 points.
Ateneo coach Norman Black, however, was not happy with the victory with Final Four contenders Far Eastern University on Wednesday and La Salle on September 1 up next for them.
“Quite honestly, I’m not satisfied with how we played,” said Black. “I don’t think we played intelligently and we didn’t play as a team.
“We played good enough to win but we won’t win if we play this way in the future,” Black added.
The Fighting Maroons, who dropped 1-7 win-loss record, played without Chris Ball who has yet to submit his alien certificate of registration that will make him eligible to play this season.
UP made the game interesting as the Maroons posted a 34-32 halftime lead and a 41-36 third quarter edge but Ateneo took a 53-46 lead in the third quarter.
The Maroons were still in the game and were within four points, 64-68, on a jumper by Raul Soyud. But Ravena split his two free throws and converted a three-point play after a hard foul on Alvin Padilla to wrest the lead.
Nico Salva and Tonino Gonzaga each had 10 points for the Eagles, who also got 13 rebounds and four blocks from Greg Slaughter.
ATENEO (73) – Ravena 21, Salva 10, Gonzaga 10, Slaughter 9, Erram 9, Tiongson 6, Chua 3, Buenafe 3, Elorde 2, Sumalinog 0, Pessumal 0, Golla 0.
UP (66) – Soyud 14, Silungan 13, Asilum 10, Lopez 8, Padilla 6, Gamboa 6, Gallarza 5, Montecastro 2, Hipolito 2, Mbah 0, Wierzba 0, Romero 0, Manuel 0.
Quarterscores: 17-17; 32-34; 53-46; 73-66.