Ateneo wins first rivalry game of the season, FEU bounces back

The Ateneo Blue Eagles continued their winning run over the La Salle Green Archers. The Blue Eagles built a big lead and staved off a Green Archer comeback to win, 81-69. Ateneo rises up to 2-0 while La Salle starts the season with a loss.

Thirdy Ravena and Angelo Kouame struggled offensively in the game. Thankfully for the Blue Eagles, the Nieto Twins and Gian Mamuyac stepped up to carry the load. The Nieto twins combined for 33 points with Mike scoring 18 to lead the Blue Eagles and Matt following behind with 15. Mamuyac finished with 14 points including clutch baskets in the final minutes of the game. New addition Jaime Malonzo top-scored for the Green Archers with 18 points 10 rebounds.

The Green Archers came out with a solid game plan in the first quarter. They used their speed and athleticism to get out into the open floor and beat the Blue Eagles to the hoop. They continuously pushed the pace and got baskets on the break, including a highlight slam by Malonzo over Ravena.

The Blue Eagles settled down in the second quarter and shut the Green Archers down. After allowing 21 points in the first period, Ateneo allowed only eight points and 17% shooting in the second period. Kouame patrolled the paint and blocked several shots while the Nieto twins led the way on offense. Ateneo ended the period on a 21-1 run to take a 22-point lead in the game.

The Green Archers tried to chip away at the lead in the second half. They were able to bring the lead down 15 points after the third period and down to just eight points heading to the final minutes of the game. But Mamuyac came up clutch. He nailed a floater, a midrange jumper and a put back off his own miss to keep Ateneo ahead all the way to the end.

In the first game of the day, the FEU Tamaraws bounced back from an opening day loss, getting an 85-61 win over the UE Red Warriors. FEU evens out their slate at 1-1 while UE stays winless in two games.

Wendell Comboy caught fire in the game. He scored a game-high 24 points on six triples. LJ Gonzales had another all-around game with 14 points, eight rebounds and eight assists. Alex Diakhite led UE with 21 points and 15 rebounds.

Gonzales started off the game strong, scoring six points in the first quarter to lead FEU. The Tamaraws also flexed their muscle on the defensive end in the first 10 minutes of the game, limiting UE to just 10 points in that stretch. That seven-point lead was the foundation of the FEU double-digit lead in the following periods.

UE tried to make a comeback in the third period, leaning heavily on Diakhite. The big man scored 15 points in the third period to lead the Red Warriors. Unfortunately for them, Comboy found his range in the third period as well. He scored 13 points on three triples in the same stretch to offset Diakhite’s output. FEU led by as much as 13 points in the third period and held on to the double-digit lead until the end.