Blue Eagles drop Red Warriors for fifth win

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Thirdy Ravena of Ateneo grabs the ball from Edson Batiller of UE during a UAAP men’s baskeball game at the San Juan Arena on Wednesday. PHOTO BY RUSSELL PALMA

Thirdy Ravena of Ateneo grabs the ball from Edson Batiller of UE during a UAAP men’s baskeball game at the San Juan Arena on Wednesday. PHOTO BY RUSSELL PALMA

Ateneo de Manila University beat University of the East (UE) 75-61, to remain No. 3 in the University Athletic Association of the Philippines (UAAP) Season 79 men’s basketball tournament on Wednesday at The Arena in San Juan City.

Rookie point guard Jolo Mendoza had a career-high 15 points while sophomore Thirdy Ravena delivered 14 markers, five rebounds and one assist to lead the Blue Eagles to their fifth win in nine games.

“It’s really hard playing against UE. Good thing, a couple of our bench guys stepped up this time both on offense and defense. Right now, we want to focus on our next game [against National University],” said Ateneo assistant coach Sandy Arespacochaga.

John Wong contributed 11 points and three assists, and Mike Nieto added 10 points, seven boards and two steals for Ateneo.

The Red Warriors suffered their seventh loss against two wins to remain at the bottom of the standings.

Philip Manalang topscored for UE with 16 points, five rebounds and three assists, while Ronnie De Leon chipped in 13 points, five boards, a steal and an assists.

UE had a strong start resulting in a seven-point lead in the first quarter, 23-16, but Ateneo retaliated in the second frame with a 26-14 bomb to claim the upper hand, 42-37, going into the second half.

The Blue Eagles continued to dominate the third period to stretch their lead to 12 points, 60-48. Since then, Ateneo never looked back to seal the win.

Ateneo survived the game despite committing 23 turnovers. They registered 48 rebounds compared to UE’s 40.

The Blue Eagles went 19-of-23 in the free throw line and had 38.71 field goal shooting, a few notches higher than the Red Warriors’ 31.88 shooting percentage.

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