The Ateneo Blue Eagles stretched their hot streak in UAAP Season 81 as they overpowered archrivals De La Salle Green Archers, 71-55, Saturday at the Mall of Asia Arena.
The Blue Eagles capitalized on the Green Archers' season-high 28 turnovers to soar to their fifth consecutive victory for a 5-1 slate.
"We're very happy especially with how we played defense," said Ateneo assistant coach Sandy Arespacochaga. "It's an Ateneo-La Salle game, very intense. But we are very happy with how our players performed in this game."
Ivorian big man Angelo Kouame displayed his might in the paint, filling the stat sheet with 20 points on 7-of-10 shooting, 13 rebounds, five blocks, and three steals in the win.
Anton Asistio drained four of his five 3-point attempts to record 12 points, while Thirdy Ravena had nine points, six assists, and four boards. Raffy Verano keyed crucial triples down the stretch en route to eight markers.
The Blue Eagles picked up the pace and began pulling away in the third frame, thanks to their crisp ball movement and balanced attack. Tyler Tio's personal 5-0 run to end the period widened the gap to 17. They continued their onslaught in the fourth to keep the struggling Green Archers at bay.
Aljun Melecio was the lone double-digit scorer for La Salle with 21 points but he needed 18 attempts to reach that number. Santi Santillan delivered seven points and seven rebounds. Justine Baltazar was limited to only four points on top of his ten boards.
With this loss, the Green Archers dropped to fourth place with a 3-3 card.
ATENEO 71 - Kouame 20, Asistio 12, Ravena 9, Verano 8, Navarro 6, Go 6, Tio 5, Nieto Mi 3, Nieto Ma 2, Wong 0, Mamuyac 0, Belangel 0, Mendoza 0
LA SALLE 55 - Melecio 21, Santillan 7, Dyke 6, Baltazar 4, Montalbo 4, Caracut 4, Bates 3, Serrano 3, Manuel 3, Go 0
QUARTER SCORES: 12-13, 28-21, 50-33, 71-55
- The Blue Eagles manufactured 29 points off La Salle's 28 errors while giving away only two turnover points.
- The Green Archers barely moved the ball, finishing with only three assists compared to Ateneo's 14. This is the lowest recorded number of assists in the UAAP since UST also dished three dimes against NU back in 2014.
- La Salle captain Kib Montalbo suited up despite earlier reports that he will be sidelined for at least a month due to a hand fracture.
Ateneo - October 10 (Wednesday) vs FEU Tamaraws at Mall of Asia Arena
DLSU - October 13 (Saturday) vs Adamson Falcons at Mall of Asia Arena