Ateneo failed to shut down Far Eastern U’s attack the way it planned, but the Blue Eagles’ red-hot shooting proved more than enough to get the job done.
With seven players making at least a triple, the Eagles used a fiery start to crush another contender in the Tamaraws, 94-82, on Sunday and regain top spot in UAAP Season 80 basketball tournament at Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Thirdy Ravena finished with another all-around game with 18 points, 11 rebounds and five assists, while Anton Asistio picked up 16 points, built on three triples as the Eagles won by twin digits for the third straight game.
“We shot well from the field,” said Ateneo assistant coach Sandy Arespacochaga.
“It’s a high scoring game and we shot well from the field, even from the three-point line. But we also gave a lot of points to FEU. They shot the ball well also, more than what we would’ve wanted.”
Later, Paul Desiderio broke out of his early season slump, firing a season-best 28 points as University of the Philippines repulsed University of the East, 84-71.
Making just 26 percent of his shots in the first two games, Desiderio went 9-of-15 from the field as the Fighting Maroons shook off a flat start to improve their record to 2-1 for solo third behind Ateneo and La Salle.
Malinese center Ibrahim Ouattara delivered a breakout performance of 14 points and 18 rebounds for the Maroons who rallied from 13-27 down in the opening period.
“I have to give credit to my guys because they were able to withstand UE’s strong start,” said UP coach Bo Perasol said.
Playing their third game in eight days, the Eagles came out smoking in the first period with Asistio hitting three triples and Ravena chipping in 10 points in a 34-point explosion that helped erect an 18-point bulge.
“Our shooting helped us throughout the whole game, Anton hit the shots early, and all the others contributed so props to my teammates,” said Ravena. “But it was hard to pull off the defensive game plan.”
The Tamaraws came within nine points in the fourth quarter but the Eagles, already in the groove offensively, found an answer each time with Ravena, Vince Tolentino and Matt Nieto making big shots to snuff out any hopes of a comeback.
Nieto also had three triples and finished with 11 points, while Isaac Go and Rafael Verano also accounted for a trey each as the Eagles continued their offensive juggernaut that saw them beat Adamson by 20 points last Sept. 9 and UP by 21 on Wednesday.