JOLO Mendoza connected from long distance to power a huge early run by Ateneo en route to a 75-61 victry over University of the East on Wednesday in the UAAP Season 79 basketball tournament at the Filoil Flying V Centre.
Mendoza, a former star of the Blue Eaglets and Batang Gilas, had 15 points in the first half as the Eagles overhauled an early 7-21 deficit behind an 18-5 finish to the second quarter for a 42-37 lead at the break.
The Blue Eagles never relinquished the lead and snapped a two-game skid to improve to 5-4 for third place.
UE fell to 2-7, its two-game winning streak snapped.
“It’s really a tough game when we play UE. They got into a big lead and they hit their shots. Good thing, a couple of our bench guys helped us out both on offense and defense,” said Ateneo assistant coach Sandy Arespacochaga.
Thirdy Ravena had 14 points, Adrian Wong scored 11 and Mike Nieto added 10 for the Blue Eagles.
Philip Manalang scored a career-high 16 points, while RR De Leon added 13 points for the Red Warriors.
Ateneo 75 — Mendoza 15, Ravena 14, Wong 11, Mi. Nieto 10, Go 8, Asistio 4, Tolentino 4, Black 4, Verano 4, Ikeh 1, Babilonia 0, Ma. Nieto 0, Porter 0.
UE 61 — Manalang 16, De Leon 13, Varilla 7, Pasaol 7, Batillier 5, Olayon 4, Bartolome 4, Palma 3, Derige 2, Penuela 0, Gagate 0, Charcos 0, Abanto 0, Larupay 0.
Quarterscores: 16-23; 42-37; 60-48; 75-61.