The Ateneo Blue Eagles made sure that there would be no more chances for a comeback in the end game. Ateneo closed out the fourth quarter with a bang to get the 66-52 win over the UST Growling Tigers. Ateneo opens the second round with a win to go up 8-0 while UST drops to 4-4.
Thirdy Ravena led Ateneo with 17 points and nine rebounds. SJ Belangel carried over his hot streak to end the first round with 11 points on 57% shooting . Isaac Go stepped up with eight points for the foul-plagued Angelo Kouame. Mark Nonoy led the Growling Tigers with 18 points.
After a slow start for both teams the Blue Eagles turned it on in the second quarter. Ravena bullied his way into the paint, scoring repeatedly and even adding a triple early in the period. Ateneo jumped out to a 10-0 run that put them up by nine points heading into the break. The Blue Eagles kept a safe distance for most of the game.
In the final period, Nonoy caught fire. He drained two triples to lead a comeback attempt by the Growling Tigers. He got them to within six points with four minutes left in the game. Unfortunately, that was the closest they’d get. The Blue Eagles went on a 10-2 run behind the efforts of Belangel and Ravena. Belangel drilled a buzzer-beating triple that put the Blue Eagles up by 12 near the one minute mark. That dagger practically ended the game, giving Ateneo the win.
In the first game, the UE Red Warriors continued their winning ways. After ending the first round with their second win, they opened the second round with their third win. They took down the Adamson Soaring Falcons, 80-74. The Red Warriors force a tie with the Falcons at sixth, both with a 3-5 record.
The Red Warriors were carried by their duo of Alex Diakhite and Rey Suerte. Diakhite powered his way inside with 29 points and 13 rebounds. Suerte scored 26 points and grabbed seven boards. Lenda Douanga had 16 points and 17 rebounds for the Falcons.
Diakhite was limited to just six points in the first half. But he exploded for 15 points to lead the Red Warriors in the third period. His dominance in the paint allowed UE to erase a two-point deficit and turn that into a nine-point lead early in the fourth period.
The Falcons refused to let the game go easily. Jerrick Ahanmisi and Valandre Chauca teamed up to get Adamson to within one point with close to six minutes left in the game. The Red Warriors once again leaned on Diakhite to deliver the win. He scored four points in an 8-3 counter run by UE that put them up by six points heading into the final minutes of the game. That was enough of a cushion to hold off the Falcons until the end.