ATENEO moved within two wins of a sweep in the UAAP Season 80 while pushing University of Sto. Tomas to the verge of a winless campaign with a 102-83 victory on Saturday at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
It was Matt Nieto and Thirdy Ravena who starred for the Blue Eagles in the fourth quarter to make sure there would be no late-game rally from the Growling Tigers this time around.
Ateneo turned a precarious five point lead early in the fourth quarter to another blowout.
To add insult to injury, Ravena wrapped things up with a what could be one of the best dunks of the year as he put in a thunderous tomahawk off a Chiz Ikeh pass to put the game away for good 92-77 with 2:18 left in the game.
The win moved Ateneo to 12-0, with University of the Philippines and La Salle standing in the way of the elims sweep.
The Tigers on the other hand dropped their 13th straight game and 17th since last season.
“We expected that they’re gonna give their best and play hard given their situation. We knew they were gonna be tough. Credit to them. They really played hard and it’s a good thing that the players responded to the challenge and they pushed our game to the next level,” said Ateneo coach Sandy Arespacochaga.
“We had to rise up to that challenge and I’m happy our players stepped up to that challenge,” he added.
Ravena was a model of efficiency for the game as he finished with 20 points on 7 for 13 shooting to go eight rebounds and seven assists against just one turnover.
Matt Nieto was the only other player in double figures for the Blue Eagles as he scored 19, making five of his seven three pointers.
That wasn’t a problem though with Gian Mamuyac adding eight points, while Isaac Go, Mike Nieto, Tyler Tio and Troy Malilin chipped in seven points apiece.
Oliver de Guzman paced the Tigers with 19 points as Jordan Sta. Ana and Steve Akomo added 12 apiece.
Ateneo 102 – Ravena 20, Nieto Ma 19, Mamuyac 8, Go 7, Nieto Mi 7, Tio 7, Mallillin 7, Verano 6, Asistio 6, Black 6, Ikeh 5, Tolentino 4, Porter 0, Andrade 0, White 0.
UST 83 – De Guzman 19, Sta. Ana 12, Akomo 12, Faundo 11, Basibas 11, Garcia 8, Caunan 6, Lee 4, Macasaet 0, Escalambre 0, Soriano 0, Lorenzana 0, Romero 0, Kwawukumey 0.
Quarterscores: 26-20; 49-39; 75-70; 102-83.