Ateneo used its patented third quarter run to beat National University, 77-60, and gain a piece of the early lead Wednesday night in the UAAP Season 85 men's basketball tournament at the Philsports Arena.
The Blue Eagles opened a 60-45 advantage at the end of the third period and led as much as 22 points the rest of the way to improve to 2-0 in the young season.
"I think there was an improvement over our first game in terms of our offense," said coach Tab Baldwin after Ateneo moved into a tie with titleholder University of the Philippines on top. "Defensively, we are still solid but we can be better."
The Bulldogs showed grit in the early goings and Baldwin noticed that they will be a tough side to deal with as the competition progresses.
"I'm really pleased to get the win. I think NU is going to be a difficult team throughout the season. They will gonna get better and better," said
Reigning Most Valuable Player Ange Kouame had a double-double for the second straight game with 17 points and 12 rebounds to go with three blocks and three assists while Forthsky Padrigao chipped in 13 points, five assists, four boards, and three steals for the Blue Eagles.
The win will put Ateneo in good stead heading into Sunday's rivalry game with De La Salle at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Michael Malonzo led the Bulldogs with 13 points and nine rebounds.
Ateneo (77) -- Kouame 17, Padrigao 13, Ildefonso 12, Ballungay 10, Andrade 9, Koon 6, Lazaro 5, Gomez 3, Daves 2, Chiu 0, Garcia 0, Quitevis 0, Fornilos 0, Lao 0, Ong 0.
NU (60) -- Malonzo 13, Clemente 9, Manansala 9, Baclaan 7, Figueroa 6, Yu 4, Galinato 3, Palacielo 3, Minerva 2, John 2, Tulabut 2, Mahinay 0, Padrones 0.
Quarterscores: 20-15, 38-30, 60-45, 77-60