DE La Salle University bucked a lethargic first half to stun defending champion Ateneo de Manila University, 82-73, on Sunday in UAAP men’s basketball at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City.
The Green Archers, who now have a 2-1 win-loss card under new coach Juno Sauler, ended a sixth straight game loss to the Blue Eagles since 2010.
Ateneo is 0-3 for the first time since 1994 when it lost its first six matches.
The Blue Eagles raced to a 40-28 halftime lead with Chris Newsome scoring 18 points and Ryan Buenafe scoring seven in the first two quarters.
Ateneo converted 18 points on turnovers in the first half while the Green Archers only had four.
But La Salle came out strong in the third period, outscoring Ateneo, 31-16, with big man Arnold Van Opstal delivering with 15 points and seven rebounds in the first three quarters off the bench.
Van Opstal, who finished the game with 18 points, eight rebounds and two blocks, scored on a three-point play to give La Salle the lead going into the fourth quarter, 59-56.
Almond Vosotros, who led La Salle with 19 points and nine rebounds, stretched La Salle’s edge to 63-57 midway in the third after scoring on a lay-up.
Ateneo narrowed the gap to 73-70 before La Salle’s Luigi Dela Paz sparked a devastating 9-3 run to seal the victory.