(Smart Araneta Coliseum)
2 p.m.--Ateneo vs FEU (M)
4 p.m. --Adamson vs La Salle (M)
DEFENDING champion Ateneo needed a huge third quarter run and weathered a late University of the Philippines fightback to carve out an 87-79 victory in the UAAP men’s basketball tournament at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Holding a slim three-point lead at the break, the Blue Eagles ran out the gates and took a 67-56 advantage after Jolo Mendoza drained a triple with 1:31 left remaining.
The Fighting Maroons then lost coach Bo Perasol, who was ejected at the 6:56 mark of the payoff period for charging at the referees, going livid after a non-call on a missed dunk by Nigerian Bright Akhuetie.
That energized UP, which went on an 8-0 run since Perasol was tossed out of the game and was able to cut Ateneo's lead to 75-70.
But that was the best the Maroons could offer, as the Eagles brought back the lead to twin digits at 84-74 after Ivorian Angelo Kouame split his charities off an Akhuetie foul, with 1:57 remaining.
Earlier, University of Santo Tomas earned its first win under coach Aldin Ayo with a 76-74 conquest of Far Eastern University.
It was a big rebound for Ateneo after its title-retention drive began with an ego-deflating 70-74 defeat to Ateneo on opening weekend.
Unlike last year where they emerged victorious on the final elimination round game, it took only the second game of the season for the Growling Tigers to enter the win column with Ayo, who took over to revive the once-proud program last January.
UST (76) -- Subido 18, Lee 13, Marcos 12, Akomo 10, Huang 9, Cansino 7, Zamora 5, Mahinay 2, Cosejo 0, Cuanan 0, Bonleon 0.
FEU (74) -- Orizu 25, Cani 15, Escoto 13, Tolentino 6, Comboy 5, Parker 4, Tuffin 2, Eboña 2, Stockton 2, Iñigo 0.
Quarterscores: 15-17, 39-32, 56-52, 76-74
Ateneo (87)--Ravena 17, Asistio 16, Kouame 14, Ma. Nieto 12, Mi. Nieto 7, Go 5, Mendoza 5, Wong 5, Verano 4, Black 2, Belangel 0, Navarro 0.
UP (79) -- Ju. Gomez de Liaño 29, Desiderio 17, Manzo 9, Akhuetie 8, Ja. Gomez de Liaño 5, Murrell 4, Dario 3, Prado 2, Vito 2, Gozum 0, Jaboneta 0, Lim 0, Spencer 0, Tungcab 0.
Quarterscores: 25-24, 46-43, 67-58, 87-79.