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Blue Eagles tame Tigers for 3rd win

(UPDATE) DEFENDING champion Ateneo de Manila University clobbered University of Santo Tomas (UST), 97-77, in the UAAP Season 86 men's basketball tournament on Wednesday at the Mall of Asia Arena.

The Blue Eagles continued their roller-coaster ride this season, improving their record to 3-3 for solo fifth in the standings heading to this weekend's Battle of Katipunan.

University of Santo Tomas’ Angelo Crisostomo blocks Ateneo de Manila University’s Jared Brown during the UAAP Season 86 men’s basketball tournament at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City on Wednesday, Oct. 18, 2023. PHOTO BY RIO DELUVIO

Ateneo and University of the Philippines (UP), which crossed paths in the last two Finals, meet on Sunday at the same Pasay venue.

For coach Tab Baldwin, this victory was a good way for the Blue Eagles to warm up for their weekend clash against the Fighting Maroons.

“Generally speaking, it was a good game on both ends of the floor for us,” said Baldwin. “I think we need that kind of performance, especially going into the UP game, and we're happy. It's gonna be a very, very happy dugout today.”

Ateneo flipped the switch in the third quarter, with Nigerian center Joseph Obasa scoring 11 points while Chris Koon sank a three-point shot to give their team a 54-40 cushion with over seven minutes to go in the period.

However, the Growling Tigers gave themselves light at the end of the tunnel. Migs Pangilinan, Angelo Crisostomo, Christian Manaytay, Nic Cabañero and Ivanne Calum brought UST within 58-62 with two minutes and 45 seconds left in the period.

Ateneo then put the finishing touches in the payoff period behind Mason Amos, Obasa and Kai Ballungay.

“We shot over 50 percent from the field [and] held a tough UST team,” said Baldwin. “I know their record doesn't flatter them but all the teams that played against them know how tough they are. We held them to 40 percent [from the field].”

Ballungay produced 17 points, seven rebounds and three assists, while Obasa also scored 17 points and managed to get eight rebounds and two blocks for the Blue Eagles. Amos scored 15 points while Lazaro grabbed nine rebounds.

The Blue Eagles seized 34 offensive rebounds to the Growling Tigers' 22. Ateneo also shot 12-of-23 from the three-point line compared to UST's 6-of-21.

Cabañero led UST with 21 points, seven rebounds and four assists while Manaytay contributed 17 points, seven rebounds and two steals. Pangilinan had 11 points, five rebounds and two assists.

UST — currently at 0-6 — will look to end its 19-game losing streak against face Far Eastern University also on Sunday at 1 p.m.

Credit belongs to : www.manilatimes.net

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