Thirdy Ravena came up with another explosive outing as Ateneo De Manila University clobbered University of the East (UE), 83-65, to seize the solo lead anew in the University Athletic Association of the Philippines (UAAP) Season 80 men’s basketball tournament on Sunday at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City.
Ravena sizzled with 21 points, including 11 markers in the fourth quarter, as the Blue Eagles clawed their fourth win in as many games and stayed as the only unscathed team in the season so far.
With the blowout victory, Ateneo moved one game ahead of rival De La Salle University and University of the Philippines, which are tied for the second spot with identical 3-1 win-loss records.
Ateneo assistant coach Sandy Arespacochaga was elated with how his team dominated the payoff period following a dismal performance in third frame.
“In the third quarter, we have the lead but we couldn’t really say that we have control of the game because we’re keeping the score within distance,” said Arespacochaga, whose side gave up 29 points to the opposing team.
“Good thing that the players responded especially on putting the clamps down on UE in the fourth quarter,” he added.
Matt Nieto chipped in 11 points highlighted by two triples while his brother Mike Nieto and Aaron Black added 10 markers and four rebounds apiece for the Katipunan-based squad.
Alvin Pasaol proved to be the lone bright spot for UE with 22 points as the tough-luck Red Warriors remained at joint bottom with equally struggling University of Sto. Tomas, both winless in four games.
It was a tied ball game early on but Black hit back-to-back baskets to give Ateneo an 18-11 advantage in the opening period.
Mark Maloles and Clark Derige combined forces to cut the Red Warriors’ deficit down to three, 33-36, but the Eagles responded with a 16-6 exchange for a commanding 52-37 lead.
Pasaol dropped nine straight points to close the gap once again, 52-60, with Ateneo ahead entering the final frame.
Ravena drained 11 consecutive points as the third-year winger spearheaded a fourth period charge that virtually took the fight out of the Red Warriors.
In the second game, Adamson University bounced back from a loss at the expense of National University, 83-76.
The Soaring Falcons improved its win-loss record to 2-2 while the Bulldogs dropped to an identical card as both squads shared the fourth spot with Far Eastern University.