Photo by Jamie Velasco/Courtside Philippines

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Ateneo reasserts mastery over UST to enter PCCL Final Four

by Niel Victor Masoy, February 09, 2020 6:31pm

Ateneo de Manila University reasserted its mastery over University of Santo Tomas, 82-71, on Sunday to go 2-0 in the Philippine Collegiate Championship League (PCCL) - University Athletic Association of the Philippines/ National Collegiate Athletic Association (UAAP/ NCAA) Challenge at the FilOil Flying V Centre.

With the victory over the Growling Tigers, the Blue Eagles booked their ticket to the Final Four of the country's national collegiate championship - which will also have another team in the UAAP/ NCAA phase, and the Luzon and Visayas-Mindanao champion schools.

SJ Belangel put up another stellar performance, turning in 26 points, two rebounds, and two steals to lead the Blue Eagles in the highly-physical contest especially late in the fourth quarter.

Ange Kouame wreaked havoc in the paint anew as he came up with 15 points, 13 rebounds, and five blocks, while Matthew Daves chipped in seven points, six boards, and two blocks.

Ateneo raced to a 22-6 start, but UST won the middle quarters to pull within a point, 66-65, heading into the fourth period.

However, the Blue Eagles did not crumble and turned to their defense to win the game.

Ateneo went on a 14-3 run capped by a Geo Chiu free throw to take an insurmountable 14-point, 82-68 lead with 2:20 left.

The Blue Eagles' defense was so solid that the Growling Tigers didn't get their sixth point in the quarter until Rhenz Abando buried a buzzer-beating trey at the end of the contest.

Abando paced UST with 14 points and five rebounds as Vince Cuajao provided support of 14 markers and two rebounds.

CJ Cansino turned in 10 points, five rebounds, and two assists.

The Growling Tigers fell to a 1-1.

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