Ateneo de Manila University pulled away in the fourth quarter, toppling the upset-seeking University of the East, 94-72, to stay immaculate in the UAAP Season 84 men's basketball tournament, Thursday at the SM Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City.
The Red Warriors were able to keep in step until midway through the third frame after a Nico Paranada trey that saw them up, 53-51.
“We have problems and they manifest themselves in times during games,” said Ateneo coach Tab Baldwin. “I think finally in the fourth quarter, we did a better job defending their three-point shooting. We got to the line a lot. Ange got a big game in the second half”
But it was all Blue Eagles after that as Gian Mamuyac scored 10 in a 14-0 blast to create a 12-point cushion with 16 seconds left in the quarter, 65-53.
Ahead by 11, Ateneo uncorked 11 unanswered points to build an insurmountable 22-point lead with 6:13 left on the clock, 84-62.
Mamuyac finished with a career-high 21 points and nine rebounds, while Ange Kouame had 21 points as well to go with 13 rebounds and four blocks.
Dave Ildefonso and SJ Belangel chalked up 12 points apiece for Ateneo as well.
The Blue Eagles rose to 6-0 -- extending their UAAP winning streak to 32 games -- while the Red Warriors remained winless in six outings.
Kyle Paranada and Harvey Pagsanjan unleashed 15 points apiece for the Red Warriors, who made 13-of-36 from behind the arc.
The Season 82 finals rematch will be on Saturday with Ateneo facing off against University of Santo Tomas at 4 pm. UE will start the day against National University at 10 am.
ATENEO 84 -- Mamuyac 21, Kouame 21, Ildefonso 12, Belangel 12, Daves 6, Gomez 5, Tio 4, Koon 4, Chiu 4, Mendoza 3, Lazaro 2, Padrigao 0, Andrade 0, Mallillin 0.
UE 72 -- K. Paranada 15, Pagsanjan 15, Escamis 8, N. Paranada 8, Guevarra 6, Antiporda 6, J. Cruz 4, Lorenzana 4, Catacutan 4, Beltran 2, Abatayo 0, Sawat 0, Villanueva 0, Tulabut 0, P. Cruz 0, Pascual 0.
Quarters: 15-15, 39-39, 65-55, 84-72. (Dennis Lachica, Sportsmanila Photojournalist)