ATENEO De Manila University toppled University of the Philippines (UP), 86-75, to remain unbeaten in three games in the University Athletic Association of the Philippines Season 77 men’s basketball tournament at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City.
The Blue Eagles gained a slim advantage in the opening quarter, 23-21, before erecting a 15-point lead in the second half that led to the Fighting Maroons’ lousy 0-3 start this season.
“They thought it’s going to be a breeze, but in the end were able to fight it out,” said Ateneo head coach Bo Perasol, who drew a huge 20-point, eight-rebound output from forward Arvin Tolentino. “The best is yet to come for him [Tolentino].”
Guard Kiefer Ravena scattered a season-low 19 points along with five rebounds and four assists, while guard Chris Newsome added 18 points and 12 rebounds and Gwayne Capacio contributed nine points for the Blue Eagles, who out-rebounded the Maroons (42-32) including 19-11 in the offensive end.
“After struggling in the first quarter, I would like to thank Kiefer and Arvin for playing well in the next quarters. If not for their timely heroics, we would really be in trouble,” added Perasol. “They [UP] prepared really well against us. Kiefer had to bleed for his points.
Kyles Lao led the Fighting Maroons with 16 points and Rey Gallarza chipped in 10.
UP absorbed its 24th loss since 2011.
In the second game, defending champion De La Salle University survived National University, 57-55, for its first win in three games. The Bulldogs dropped to 2-1.