Booming triples from Isaac Go and Jolo Mendoza set the tone for the defending champion Ateneo Blue Eagles’ pace last night at the Araneta Coliseum.
They found their mark in the last two seconds of the first period, and the Blue Eagles went on to win by a big margin, posting a 92-71 crushing of the University of the Philippines Fighting Maroons.
When it was over, Thirdy Ravena and rookie Tyler Tio led with 16 and 14 points for the Blue Eagles.
Their big contributions carried the Blue Eagles to their second straight win in the 80th University Athletic Association of the Philippines (UAAP) men’s basketball tournament.
“Almost everyone contributed defensively.That’s the way we want to play. We don’t know who’s going to hit double figures each game,” said Blue Eagles alternate coach Sandy Arespacochaga.
The count was tied at 16-all in the final minute of the first canto when Go and Mendoza struck with consecutive treys.
From there, the Loyola dribblers were never in trouble after they enjoyed a 22-16 spread at the end of the period.
As the Maroons fought to stay within range, 23-26, Tio came into the picture, hitting a pair of outside shots, and assisting Mike Nieto for a triple that put Ateneo ahead by 11, 36-25, in the remaining 6:01.
The Fighting Maroons, who took their first setback in two outings, were actually shooting much better than the first half.
UP’s 44 percent shooting clip was providing a scare to the Blue Eagles’ 41 percent performance.
When the third period, the Blue Eagles held the Maroons shooting to 33 percent.
A drive from Ravena put them up by 12, 52-40, in the final 4:47 of the third.
Tio, who waited a year to play for the Blue Eagles following issues with his parent’s Canadian citizenship, struck hard thrice in the start of the last cant.
A clutch shot and two treys from Tio handed Ateneo a 19-point spread, 70-51, in the final 8:41.
The Maroons were led by Juan Gomez de Liano with 16 points while Jun Manzo made 14.
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