ATENEO overcame an early surge by University of the Philippines, pulling off a 67-59 win on Thursday for its third straight victory in the UAAP men’s basketball tournament at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
The Blue Eagles won after trailing by 11 points in the first half, using an 8-0 blast in the third period to take the lead for good.
Ateneo evened its record to 4-4 for the first time this season after a 0-3 start to its defense of the title but Eagles coach Bo Perasol was not satisfied with the victory.
“I think that we could have done better, bracing ourselves for more tougher situations in the second round,” said Perasol. “But as any other coach will say, I’ll take the win any time.”
It was a disappointing loss for the Maroons, who remained winless in eight games, after they led 33-22 in the second period on a triple by Sam Marata.
UP shot 43 percent in the first half but could not sustain its shooting form in the final two periods.
“We didn’t give up when we were down in the first half. If there is one thing that brought out the better in us is that we didn’t gave up,” he added.
Kiefer Ravena had a double-double effort of 14 points and 14 rebounds with five assists and three steals. Juami Tiongson and Chris Newsome each had 11 points for the Blue Eagles.
Marata had 15 points but after hitting 3-of-5 from three-point range in the first half, ended up with 5-of-13.
Ateneo (67) – Ravena 14, Tiongson 11, Newsome 11, Buenafe 7, Golla 6, Erram 6, Elorde 4, Capacio 4, Tolentino 2, Pessumal 2, Murphy 0, Enriquez 0, Asistio 0.
UP (59) – Marata 15, Lao 9, Asilum 8, Wong 5, Soyud 5, Gingerich 4, Desiderio 4, Pascual 3, Gallarza 3, Ligad 2, Ball 1.
Quarterscores: 14-21; 33-34; 53-47; 67-59.