Ateneo de Manila University cruised to its third straight win, crushing Adamson University, 78-47, to open the UAAP Season 84 men's basketball Thursday quadruple-header at the SM Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City.
Facing a 27-11 deficit early, the Soaring Falcons closed the gap to eight at the start of the second half after a strong second quarter finish, 28-36.
But the Blue Eagles answered back with 18 unanswered points, highlighted by Ange Kouame's three-pointer, to build a 26-point lead with 1:54 left in the third, 54-28.
Koaume was efficient in 20 minutes, collecting 13 points on 6-of-8 shooting to go with 10 rebounds for Ateneo.
Tyler Tio and Chris Koon tallied nine points apiece while Raffy Verano, Gab Gomez, and Forthsky Padrigao made eight each in the blowout.
All 14 players fielded by Blue Eagles head coach Tab Baldwin scored in the balanced attack.
“We think everyone has a job to do. Today, we got everyone on the floor which we should do," said Baldwin.
The Eagles hiked their record to a flawless 3-0 while pulling the Falcons to 1-2. Moreover, Ateneo extended its UAAP winning streak to 29 games.
It was a drought for Adamson with Lenda Douanga and Keith Zaldivar as their leading scorers with just six points apiece.
The rivalry between Ateneo and De La Salle University opens another chapter this Saturday at 7 pm, while a game before, the Falcons look to bounce back at 4 pm against University of Santo Tomas.
Ateneo 78 - Kouame 13, Tio 9, Koon 9, Padrigao 8, Verano 8, Gomez 8, Ildefonso 6, Chiu 3, Mendoza 3, Mamuyac 3, Belangel 2, Lazaro 2, Andrade 2, Berjay 2.
AdU 47 - Zaldovar 6, Douanga 6, Manzano 5, Yerro 5, Jaymalin 5, Hanapi 5, Lastimosa 4, Magbuhos 3, Peromingan 2, Sabandal 2, Erolon 2, Colonia 1, Calisay 1, Barasi 0, Fuentebella 0, Maata 0.
Quarterscores: 17-8, 36-24, 54-34, 78-47.
(Dennis Lachica, Sportsmanila Photojournalist)