ATENEO sustained its unbeaten run, beating University of Santo Tomas, 94-84, on Wednesday in the UAAP Season 80 basketball tournament at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
The Blue Eagles tightened their grip on the lead with a 5-0 win-loss slate after surviving a furious rally by the Growling Tigers in the fourth quarter.
The Growling Tigers sank to 0-5, their challenge fizzling after getting to within a point in the fourth quarter on a three-pointer by Marvin Lee, 81-80.
UST failed to score another field goal from there.
Matt Nieto had 22 points including a clutch jumper that settled the final score for the Blue Eagles.
Ateneo coach Sandy Arespacochaga said he was not surprised with UST’s strong effort that nearly erased a 22-point deficit.
"We are not happy with our performance. Not taking away from UST, they played a good game. They've been staying close. It's only in the end game that's what they need to improve on," said Arespacochaga.
After Lee's triple, the Blue Eagles responded with a 7-1 run to gain enough cushion, 88-81, with 3:13 left.
Isaac Go had 13 points, while Thirdy Ravena finished with a double-double of 12 points and 11 rebounds for the Blue Eagles.
Lee scored 22 as he atoned for his poor shooting in the last two games, while Jordan Sta. Ana added 21 points for the Tigers.
Ateneo 94 - Ma. Nieto 22, Go 13, Ravena 12, Mamuyac 8, Ikeh 7, Asistio 7, Mi. Nieto 6, Tolentino 5, Verano 4, Tio 3, Mallillin 3, Black 2, Mendoza 2, Porter 0.
UST 84 - Lee 22, Sta. Ana 21, Faundo 6, Escalambre 6, Akomo 6, Romero 6, Garcia 4, Huang 4, Basibas 4, Soriano 3, De Guzman 2, Kwawukumey 0, Arana 0.
Quarterscores: 29-23; 55-43; 76-71; 94-84.