How ‘Sweep’ it is!

October 30, 2019

Amazing Eagles maul Maroons, make it to championship outright.

ATENEO reasserted its mastery of University of the Philippines, scoring a masterful 86-64 win to jump straight to the Finals of the UAAP men's basketball tournament last night at the Mall of Asia Arena.

Unlike in 2011 where they were denied of a 14-0 sweep, the Blue Eagles were able to accomplish the rare feat this time as they became  the third team in 26 years to complete a perfect double-round elimination round campaign.

University of Santo Tomas first did the trick in 1993 en route in becoming the outright champions, followed by University of the East in 2007.  Unlike the Growling Tigers, the Red Warriors had to go through to the Finals, but UE was swept by La Salle.

Definitely this feat will be meaningless for the Eagles if they won't fulfill the team's ultimate goal of winning a third consecutive championship.

"Our job is far from done, and it's going to get harder," said coach Tab Baldwin.

Ateneo finished five games ahead of the league's second-best team, as the Katipunan-based squad was simply dominating with its disciplined play and defense, posting an average winning margin of 17.4 points.

"This team has a tremendous kind of heart," said Baldwin. "This is the hardest practicing team I've ever coached in 40 years."

Despite the loss, the fifth in 14 contests, the Fighting Maroons will hold the twice-to-beat advantage in the second phase of the step-ladder semifinals.

UP will face the winner of the knockout match between No. 3 Far Eastern University and No. 4 University of Santo Tomas on Nov. 6 at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

The Eagles are not taking those potential championship opponents so lightly.

"It's tough, they are very strong teams," said Baldwin regarding the upcoming step-ladder semis. "We don't have a break. For us, it's business as usual."

SJ Belangel and Ange Kouame led Ateneo's stirring 25-11 second quarter breakaway to erect a 45-32 lead at the break and never looked back.

The scores:

First Game

UE (79) – Suerte 28, Diakhite 17, Abanto 6, Cruz 6, Pagsanjan 6, Manalang 5, Mendoza 5, Antiporda 3, Tolentino 3, Apacible 0.

NU (77) – Gallego 20, D. Ildefonso 20, Gaye 10, S. Ildefonso 9, Clemente 5, Oczon 5, Galinato 4, Joson 2, Minerva 2, Rangel 0, Yu 0.

Quarterscores: 22-21, 37-42, 59-57, 79-77

Second Game

DLSU (89) – Malonzo 34, Baltazar 14, Caracut 14, Bartlett 7, Serrano 7, Hill 5, Melecio 3, Laput 3, Lojera 2, Bates 0, Cu 0, Escandor 0, Lim 0, Manuel 0.

AdU (63) – Manlapaz 15, Lastimosa 10, Mojica 9, Douanga 6, Ahanmisi 5, Chauca 4, Fermin 4, Sabandal 3, Zaldivar 3, Camacho 2, Yerro 2, Bernardo 0, Capulong 0, Flowers 0, Magbuhos 0, Orquez 0.

Quarterscores: 25-12, 50-29, 68-40, 89-63

Third Game

Ateneo (86) – Kouame 20, Belangel 14, Navarro 13, Ravena 11, Go 7, Ma. Nieto 7, Mamuyac 5, Tio 4, Maagdenberg 3, Mi. Nieto 2, Andrade 0, Chiu 0, Daves 0, Mallillin 0, Wong 0.

UP (64) – Paras 13, Akhuetie 11, Ja. Gomez de Liaño 11, Ju. Gomez de Liaño 9, Tungcab 5, Jaboneta 4, Rivero 4, Manzo 2, Murrell 2, Webb 2, Mantilla 1, Prado 0, Spencer 0.

Quarterscores: 20-21, 45-32, 65-44, 86-64