Ateneo demolishes UST by 50 and reserves a 7th consecutive ticket for the Final Four


Ateneo De Manila University continued their perfect season after imposing their will on the University of Santo Tomas with a dominating 101-51 victory in the UAAP Season 84 Men’s Basketball Tournament on Thursday morning, at the SM Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City.

The Blue Eagles came out of the gates with a strong start and finished the first quarter with a 22-8 lead. Tab Baldwin’s side then used a 22-0 run halfway through the game to further stretch the margin against the Growling Tigers.

Ateneo led as far as 53 points after a Forthsky Padrigao lay-up gave the Blue Eagles a 101-48 advantage with 42 seconds left in the last frame. The defending champions never took their foot off the pedal en route to a wire-to-wire victory.

“I think the difference in the scoreline is a reflection of the fact that our coaching staff have asked our players for 40 minutes of performance, and that’s something that torments us this year. We haven’t really given up on a 40 minute performance, so today we got closersaid Ateneo head coach Tab Baldwin.

Ateneo’s 50-point margin in this game is the largest since the computerization of UAAP statistics in 2003.

Raffy Verano headlined the Blue Eagles with 18 points and seven rebounds while SJ Belangel produced 16 points built on five three-pointers. Geo Chiu followed with 14 points and eight rebounds.

The Blue Eagles maximized their depth to dominate this game by getting 61 from the start and 40 from the bench compared to the Growling Tigers’ 40 and 11.

Meanwhile, Nic Cabañero led UST with 18 points and four rebounds in a losing effort.

Christian Manaytay and Joshua Fontanilla added nine and eight points respectively. Fontanilla shot just 4 of 11 from the field while committing six turnovers.

Sherwin Concepcion was also limited to single digits, finishing with just five points while missing eight of his attempts from deep.

With their 36th straight win, the Blue Eagles have now booked a ticket to the Final Four of the ’84 season – their seventh consecutive appearance. The last time Ateneo missed out on the Final Four was in the 76 season.

The two schools will then play on Saturday at the SM MOA Arena. University of Santo Tomas (3-7) takes on Adamson (3-6) at 10:00 a.m. On the other hand, Ateneo (10-0) will face National University (4-5) next at 12:30 p.m.

The sheet music:

Ateneo 101 – Verano 18, Belangel 16, Chiu 14, Lazaro 12, Ildefonso 11, Kouame 10, Koon 9, Andrade 6, Padrigao 5, Mamuyac 0, Tio 0, Gomez 0, Daves 0.

UST 51 – Cabañero 18, Manaytay 9, Fontanilla 8, Manalang 7, Concepcion 5, Yongco 2, Santos 2, Ando 0, Herrera 0, Gomez De Liaño 0, Garing 0, Mantua 0, Pangilinan 0.

Quarter score: 22-8, 46-21, 80-36, 101-51.

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