ANTIPOLO — Defending champion Ateneo handed National University its worst loss of the season, while University of Santo Tomas rediscovered its winning ways in the UAAP men’s basketball tournament yesterday at the Ynares Center here.
The Blue Eagles hardly worked out a sweat in a 71-50 rout of the hard-luck Bulldogs while the Growling Tigers leaned on Benin’s Soulemane Chabi Yo in the second half to repulse Far Eastern University, 82-74.
The Blue Eagles extended their unbeaten run to five games while the Tigers remained in third spot at 4-2 behind second-running University of the Philippines (4-1).
Ivorian Angelo Kouame imposed his will in the middle with 15 points, 13 rebounds and seven blocks to go with three assists and two steals while Gian Mamuyac was the other Ateneo player in twin digits with 13 markers.
Ranged against this season’s heartbreak kids, coach Tab Baldwin was satisfied the way the Eagles responded to the challenge thrown by the beleaguered opponents.
“Again we’re happy to get that win under our belts. Our coaching staff, I should say my assistant coaches, know coach Jamike (Jarin) so well and you know, they kept warning me, ‘He’s gonna come out with something different, something unusual.’ and he did,” said Baldwin.
After posting a commanding 41-24 lead in the break, NU tried to stall Ateneo’s game, but despite limiting its foes to nine points in the third period, it hardly mattered.
“The game slowed down a little bit in the third quarter for us and that’s not something we want. We want that tempo but we want to generate it through pressure. And we don’t like it when the game slows down too much,” said Baldwin.
“But I think even in slow game, it helps our offense a little bit. So we want to be able to handle every situation. We train to do that. Coach Jamike and his team presented some problems today and credit to my guys I think they did a good job figuring it out,” he added.
Chabi Yo was solid for UST in the paint with 21 points and 18 rebounds.
After the Tamaraws were able to cut down a 62-73 deficit to five courtesy of a Brandrey Bienes triple, Barkley Eboña was whistled for a costly unsportsmanlike foul on a dribbling Renzo Subido, who hit two free throws to give the Tigers a 77-70 cushion with 54.5 seconds remaining.
UST then went 5-of-6 from the charity stripe in the final 51.8 seconds to seal the deal.
After three one-point losses and a painful overtime defeat from the hands of the Tigers, the Bulldogs, who stayed winless in five matches, suffered their first double-digit setback of the tournament.
In the women’s division, Rhena Itesi bullied her way with 25 points, 21 rebounds, five blocks as NU scored an easy 78-51 victory over Ateneo to stay immaculate in 86 straight games now and 6-0 in the season, while Grace Irebu came through with 21 points, eight rebounds, three assists, three steals, and two blocks as UST arrested a two-game skid and escaped with a tight 56-55 escape over FEU.
Ateneo (71) — Kouame 15, Mamuyac 13, Ravena 8, Wong 6, Belangel 5, Nieto Ma. 5, Nieto Mi. 5, Andrade 3, Tio 3, Chiu 2, Credo 2, Daves 2, Maagdenberg 2, Go 0, Mallillin 0, Navarro 0.
NU (50) — Ildefonso D. 10, Ildefonso S. 9, Gaye 8, Clemente 5, Galinato 5, Yu 4, Minerva 3, Joson 2, Mangayao 2, Mosqueda 2, Diputado 0, Gallego 0, Malonzo 0, Oczon 0, Rangel 0, Tibayan 0.
Quarterscores: 20-11, 41-24, 50-37, 71-50
UST (82) — Chabi Yo 21, Concepcion 12, Nonoy 11, Subido 11, Abando 10, Bataller 8, Paraiso 3, Ando 2, Cansino 2, Huang 2, Cuajao 0.
FEU (74) — Gonzales 16, Torres 14, Eboña 11, Comboy 10, Bienes 6, Tuffin 6, Alforque 4, Stockton4, Nunag 3, Cani 0, Celzo 0, Tchuente 0.
Quarterscores: 14-24, 34-39, 64-55, 82-74